The Victorian Government announced an agreement to purchase the Heyfield Mill, located in Gippsland, from the Hermal Group.
Carolyn Crossley, Wellington Shire Council Mayor, commented:
“This news will be an absolutely welcome relief to the 250 workers and those service industries that will have been affected by the mill’s closure. This may not have been the outcome that everybody was expecting from initial discussions in relation to timber supply but it is great to see that the Premier Daniel Andrews has been true to his word to purchase the mill and save the jobs.
There will undoubtedly be a period of adjustment over the coming months and Council will continue to have discussions and meetings with the Hermal Group and parliamentary representatives.”
The mill’s operator, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH), had been locked in a dispute with the government and state-owned logging company VicForests over the amount of timber supplied to the mill. In March 2017, ASH announced the mill’s closure.