The Andrews Labor Government has finalised the purchase of the Heyfield Timber Mill, securing local jobs, protecting the timber industry and giving certainty to the community.
From today, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) will continue under the ownership of the Victorian Government and a shareholder group made up of members of ASH management.
The Labor Government has always maintained that the mill is a viable business and that local jobs are worth fighting for.
The purchase means valuable Gippsland jobs have been saved and the sawmill can continue making timber products and contribute to the local Heyfield economy.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan will be responsible for the transition of ownership from the Hermal Group and oversee the corporate structure and strategic direction of the mill.
A new board will be established and the existing ASH management team will be responsible for the day to day operations of the business.
The Labor Government will always stand by regional communities, support industries, and do what’s needed to create and protect local jobs.
We will now work with Heyfield management to determine a sustainable pathway forward for the mill and its workers, and look forward to making further announcements in the near future.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan
“We promised to fight for local jobs and do everything we could for the Heyfield community – today we deliver on that promise.”
“We have secured the future of this mill – saving jobs, protecting the timber industry and ensuring the local Heyfield economy is supported into the future.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“This is a good day for Heyfield. This mill was closing and now it is not.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“We’re standing by Heyfield, the Latrobe Valley and the whole of Gippsland.”
“We will continue working to create and protect local jobs now and into the future, including through our investment of $110 million into plantation timber in Gippsland. That’s what good governments do.”