Carter Holt Harvey in closure talks

Morwell-based sawmill owner Carter Holt Harvey has today announced it is consulting with staff over plans to possibly close its Latrobe Valley operation.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the company, which employs 160 staff, said it was facing a significantly reduced quality and supply of sawlogs for its Morwell operation.

The company attributed its uncertain future to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

The statement read that fires since 2003 had burnt 15 per cent of pine sawlog supplier, HVP Plantations’ pine estate.

“We are distressed by our predicament and more importantly, are extremely conscious of the distress of our workers whose livelihoods are now uncertain and threatened,” Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia chief executive Geoff Harris said.

“In the event of a closure, CHH will seek to redeploy staff where possible, meet full entitlements and assist with any transition arrangements.”

The company said while no final decision had been made, Carter Holt Harvey had entered into “good faith consultation and negotiations” with employees around the future of the sawmill.

Further details in Thursday’s Express.