One of Western Australia's major forestry towns has lost a pivotal employer with the earlier-than-expected shutdown of the Greenbushes timber mill — a move that has caught workers off guard.
Queensland-based company Parkside last week announced the closure of its Greenbushes sawmill in WA's South West region — the first to officially close since the government announced a ban on native timber logging last September.
The workers' last day was set to be Friday, however the ABC understands the mill closed on Tuesday.
While Parkside did not respond to questions from the ABC, Forest Industry Federation of WA (FIFWA) president Ian Telfer spoke on its behalf, saying the decision to close early would give displaced workers the opportunity to access support services and apply to receive compensation payments
Reality of the forest logging ban is already hitting WA and it will continue to hurt businesses, employers, employees, local communities, manufacturers, retailers and consumers for many years to come – very sad!