Timber jobs cut in SA

94 jobs will be slashed in Mount Gambier as timber company Carter Holt Harvey closes two of its facilities.

Carter Colt Harvey’s Lakeside and pine moulding facilities will be closed on December 14, while operations at a third mill will be consolidated.

Prafull Kesha of Carter Holt Harvey said some of those workers would be moved elsewhere, ABC reported.

"We've created at the same time 113 new positions at our Jubilee Highway sawmill so there's a net impact of 94 roles," he said.

The company first announced job cuts in August blaming high log prices.

A State Government $27 million assistance package was then rejected by the company.

The forestry union said the government’s failure to reduce log prices is to blame for the job losses.

Union secretary Brad Coates said the Government responded poorly to the concerns.

"Now the reality is starting to hit in and it's now time for them to step up and be mature about it," he said.
"We basically warned them that this would and could happen if they didn't take it seriously. They decided to not take it seriously and as a result workers have paid with their jobs."

However, Mount Gambier Mayor Steve Perryman says mill closures show the region must diversify.

"We can continue to do more of the same and have the likelihood of more of these outcomes with job losses or as a region we can look at other opportunities in other areas and pursue those with vigour and try to bolster our economy and our employment," he said.

Employment Minister Tom Kenyon promised help for the affected workers.

"Services offered to the workers will be the same as those provided to those retrenched from Kimberly-Clark Australia in Millicent," he said.

"All workers will be supported through the SA Government support package for a period of 12 months after their retrenchment."

Image: Adelaide Now

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