hampshire mill

Braddon Liberal candidate Brett Whitely, left, Hermal Senior Manager Special Projects, James Lantry, Resources Minister Guy Barnett and Burnie Mayor Alvwyn Boyd at the proposed Hampshire site.

Australia’s largest plantation-based hardwood mill and the first ever hardwood cross-laminated production plant is set to be built on the North West Coast.

The Hermal Group has announced that an 80-hectare site at Hampshire will be the preferred location of its $190 million timber mill and production facility.

The State Government said Hermal’s focus on opportunities in Tasmania came after it was forced out of Australia’s biggest hardwood sawmill, when the Victorian Labor Government decided to slash wood supply by more than half.

“The Hodgman Government is backing this game-changing Hampshire project and the hundreds of jobs it will provide with a $13 million grant and training support. A loan of up to $30 million also will be available,” Resources Minister Guy Barnett said.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of the Coordinator-General, John Perry and his team for their hard work in helping bring Hermal to Tasmania.”

Burnie City Council Mayor Boyd said the announcement was great news for the region.

“The project is set to bring $190m investment, generate over 200 new jobs upon completion and approximately 160 jobs during the construction phase.

“We know that long-term sustainable jobs are critical to our future not only in terms of direct employment, but in creating a great place to live, work and play through stronger communities, vibrant industry and diversity in our economy.

Ald. Boyd said council was mindful that there were still many steps to go before the project became a reality, including the assessment of a Development Application.

“This is a process Council must undertake independently by considering the application against clear criteria. In this regard, Council has a responsibility to its community to ensure those standards and requirements are upheld.”