News Article

Fingerboards project provides potential to support the region’s transition from native timber

   Thursday 6th May, 2021

A report recently commissioned by the East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils indicates that approximately 1,100 jobs in the Wellington and East Gippsland Shire Council regions are at risk from the Victorian government’s planned closure of the native timber industry in 2030.

In response to the planned closure of the industry, the Native Timber Taskforce, which comprises representatives from the Wellington and East Gippsland Shire Councils, Timber Towns Victoria, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, Radial Timbers and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) have identified a number of recommendations for the Victorian government, including that the government “works with communities to identify and implement job creation schemes in new and existing industries to minimise the impacts of the decision on affected communities”.

Kalbar Operations, developer of the Fingerboards project, will engage with the Victorian government and the East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils to support the transition of workers from the native timber industry to new industries including mining.

While still in the approval process, the Fingerboards mineral sands project has the potential to establish a new industry for the East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Council regions, creating up to 200 direct jobs for local people over the 15-20 years life of the project and supporting many downstream jobs and businesses. Economic modelling indicates that the Fingerboards project could inject more than $1.7 billion into the local economy during construction and operation of the mine.

Australia is the largest producer of mineral sands globally, with mineral sands and rare earths important ingredients in a wide range of products used in renewable energy production, medical applications, transport, communications, electronic devices, and household goods.

Mineral sands mining is undertaken in strips and involves continuous backfilling and rehabilitation of the mine void, with no hole left behind as happens with other forms of mining.

The Fingerboards project presents a significant opportunity for the local economy and Kalbar Operations look forward to early engagement with State and Local governments to realise this potential.


For further information please contact:
Vesna Rendulic
0491 055 310