New state-owned timber resource to be harvested by Indigenous company

Cape York Timber, an Indigenous-owned business that processes timber at its Cooktown sawmill, has been granted a 10-year sales permit to harvest state-owned native forest log timber which will have local employment benefits.

The issuing of the sales permit follows completion of a competitive sale process undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, with assistance from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the 10-year permit would provide jobs and certainty in the region.

“This new sale to harvest 5000 cubic metres of timber annually from state leasehold land until the end of 2028 will provide employment and training opportunities for local Indigenous communities through harvesting, transport, processing and other associated enterprises,” Ms Lui said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing the regional jobs we need now and in to the future.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Cape York Timber was experienced in the timber industry and its harvested hardwood sawlogs were highly sought after for a range of timber products.

“Harvesting will be undertaken responsibly and in accordance with the relevant environmental and workplace health and safety codes and regulations.”

Cape York Timber is 100 per cent Indigenous-owned, with 70 per cent Indigenous employment, providing career opportunities for Indigenous people in the Cape York Region.

Cape York Director Richie Ah Mat said “Our production of high quality selectively-harvested Australian hardwood positively impacts local communities through Indigenous employment and training at our Cooktown sawmill.”

“We are currently expanding our sawmill’s capacity, and this new long-term supply of log timber in Cape York is critical to the success of the expansion project and to provide increased benefits to local Indigenous people and enterprises,” Mr Ah Mat said.

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