11 Mar 2009

More mill job losses expected

1:31 pm on 11 March 2009

The Wood Processors' Association warns the industry to expect on-going sawmill closures and job losses unless there's a rapid turn-around in the number of houses being built.

Last year 19 sawmills closed and job losses have continued this year.

The latest is at the Blue Mountain Lumber Mill in West Otago where up to 65 employees will lose their jobs as a result of stalled demand.

Sixty positions were lost at Nelson Pine last week and another 20 jobs went at Gunns Veneer in Christchurch.

Association chief executive Peter Bodeker says the number of houses being built is down dramatically in Australia and New Zealand. He says companies run the risk of not having enough sales to support the number of people on the payroll.

He says further sawmill closures are inevitable.