Maryvale white paper to wind down

Opal Australian Paper has confirmed white paper manufacturing is being affected due to court decisions impacting logging. file photograph

Michelle Slater

Opal Australian Paper has flagged it will be unable to maintain manufacturing white copy paper at Maryvale as from December 20 due to insufficient pulp supplies in the wake of a court decision.

An Opal spokesperson confirmed that the mill’s white paper production “may be potentially impacted” as from the third week of December.

“As a consequence, temporary stand downs or a reduction in working arrangements affecting a small number of work groups at the Maryvale Mill may become necessary,” the spokesperson said.

“We are continuing to consult on this issue with our team members. Opal is also continuing to work through this situation with our customers.”

The spokesperson said the company would continue to inform stakeholders and its team members as the situation developed.

It comes as the Supreme Court ruled that VicForests must carry out more effective surveys for endangered gilders before logging areas of native forests in Gippsland and central highlands.

But VicForests has put the clamps on logging until it can develop a survey method that complies with the court’s order, meaning a lack of pulp supply is continuing to impact  Maryvale.

“This is a challenging situation with the potential to create financial and production difficulties for Opal Australian Paper,” the spokesperson said

“Opal is investigating a number of alternative wood supply options however, unfortunately, to date, sufficient volumes are not available.”

More to come.