Eugowra Township



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SpeakersTurner Mr Russell
BusinessPrivate Members Statements


    EUGOWRA TOWNSHIP

Page: 16370

    Mr R. W. TURNER (Orange) [10.33 p.m.]: I take this opportunity to mention Eugowra, one of the small villages within the electorate of Orange. Eugowra is out to the west of my electorate, between Cudal and Forbes. It is a typical small farming community that is struggling to survive with a couple of hotels, a supermarket, a newsagent, a butcher, a golf club, a bowling club, a couple of craft shops, coffee shops, et cetera. One highlight was the local council's recent approval for a feedlot located on the edge of town to progressively increase its numbers to 6,000 head. That is good news. They are environmentally conscious and very good farmers, and I am sure they will do a great job and allay any fears that people may have felt at the time of the development application.

    There is also a farm produce supplier, a lucerne plant and a granite stonemason that produces headstones and various other products. Ron and Christine—the proprietors of another company, E. A. Hay and Son—are second-generation sawmillers, principally producing house frames from cypress timber. They draw the timber from various places around the area, some from private plantations but principally from State forests, getting the product from as far away as the Pilliga Scrub. As I said, that company has been using cypress pine for many years and has developed a very important trade with Japan. Cypress pine is very highly sought-after in Japan because of its resistance to white ants. Because of the way they construct their homes in Japan they need cypress pine that has that resistance, as against other timber that continues to cause problems so far as white ants are concerned. The Japanese have an objection to using timber that has been chemically treated. E. A. Hay and Son have a plan to establish a lamination plant, which would take many of the offcuts from the cypress pine that are not suitable lengths of timber, again for export to Japan.

    The plant is fairly small compared with some of the major timber manufacturers but, if it goes ahead, it will cost approximately $500,000. It would provide for an additional guaranteed six or eight employees in addition to the 15 to 20 that the company already employs in Eugowra. The company is a very important employer within that small area. The problem is that the company cannot obtain a guarantee from the Government, principally from the Minister for the Environment. The company needs a 10-year guarantee in order to get a return on its investment but at the moment it is existing on a 12-month guarantee. Honourable members will appreciate that no company is going to invest $500,000 without a guaranteed supply of timber from State Forests beyond a 12-month period. Even a period of two years or five years is not long enough. At 10-year guarantee is needed. The company is not only existing from one 12-month period to another, but the Minister has said, "We will give you something like a five-year guarantee but you need to take a 10 per cent cut in production."

    This company wants an increase of more than 10 per cent, not a 10 per cent decrease, if it goes ahead with this plant. The company is also investigating, in conjunction with either the CSIRO or the Department of Agriculture, whether impregnation of the oil extracted from the cypress into radiata pine will give the same resistance against white ants. That is an important investigation and may lead to further export potential to Japan. However, the company cannot do that unless it gets a guarantee of supply. Tonight I call on the Minister to see what he can do to guarantee that supply. [Time expired.]