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W.A. Nannup timber mill closes

7 February 2023

The small West Australian community of Nannup has been left devastated by the closure of the town’s timber mill, which the council says could drive “a significant amount” of the working population away from the area.

After almost 50 years in the timber industry, Neil Marlow is now out of work after the state government’s ban on native logging led to the closure of the 100-year-old mill.Mr Marlow, who started working at the mill when he was 14, was among the 45 people who lost their jobs when Parkside Timber closed the doors last week.

The ABC understands a small number of staff will keep working at the mill, which was acquired by Parkside in 2019, to help clean up and decommission the site. The closure comes less than a year after the Queensland-based company shut its mill in Greenbushes following the WA government’s decision to ban native timber logging by 2024.

Forest Industries Federation president Ian Telfer said the impact on timber towns in the South West would be ongoing. “It’s devastating for communities and devastating for Nannup,” he said.

“The illogic [sic] around some of the decisions that have been made makes it even more galling that we’re losing employees, losing investment, losing community infrastructure and support for a decision that, to be frank, doesn’t make sense.

The state government has agreed to support workers who have lost their jobs by offering them a one-off payment of AU$30,000, plus a top-up payment of AU$1,000 for every year of service, capped at AU$15,000. The money is expected to be given to workers by the end of the month.

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Source: ABC, Photo: WA Forest Alliance

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