8 Oct 2008

Aid tipped for West coast timber industry

3:39 pm on 8 October 2008

There are signs the Government will soon announce a rescue package for the West Coast timber industry.

Three sawmills have already closed this year, costing nearly 80 jobs.

Accountant, Barry White, who represents the owners of the sawmill Whiley & Co, which went into liquidation a month ago, says the company has put forward a compensation proposal for a lack of wood from the state-owned enterprise Timberlands West Coast.

Mr White says the region's mills were assured of a sustainable supply of 350,000 cubic metres when Labour ended the logging of indigenous forests.

Recent estimates indicated only 150,000 cubic metres of radiata pine will now be delivered.

Labour Party MP for West Coast-Tasman, Damien O'Connor has confirmed a rescue package is being considered, but won't say if it is for Whiley & Company or the wider industry.

Labour has already given $120 million - mostly in the form of a regional development fund.