DTM Timber managing director Curly Tatnell, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Minister John McVeigh.
DTM Timber managing director Curly Tatnell, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Minister John McVeigh. Alistair Brightman

$1.75 million to carve new age for M’boro timber industry

TIMBER production has remained a rare constant in a proud manufacturing industry crippled by the loss of rail contracts over recent years.

Now, for the first time since the golden era of the 1980s, the heritage city's timber industry is getting real funding from the government, bringing fresh hope to the region's labour workforce.

A $1.75M injection to Dale and Meyer's Maryborough sawmill, likely to create 30 new jobs, is the latest boost for the industry.

Under the Federal Government's Regional Jobs and Investment package, the funding will provide a production line for the development of laminated timber products.

The project will use shorter cuts of timber generated as scrap from the factory during the construction.

It is expected to double the number of jobs at the 30-man Maryborough factory.

But DTM Timber managing director Curly Tatnell said the expansion would create even more opportunities for sales representatives and harvesters in the field.

"There's 10 employed on this project, the next step will bring in another 10 people and to get into full production there will be another 10," Mr Tatnell said.

"But the field work will create ongoing employment."

Mr Tatnell said the project would help create a new path for Maryborough's timber industry.

"It will never be what it once was, but unless people out there think outside the box like we're doing, there's every chance they won't be in the industry in the next few years anyway," he said.

"The supply is here, but we're really pressured at the moment by China purchasing timber and shipping it off."

It comes after a combination of construction contracts in the timber and rail industries were announced over the past year.