THE purchase of the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods timber mill in Heyfield has been finalised, ending months of community uncertainty.
ASH will continue under the ownership of the state government and a shareholder group made up of members of ASH management.
Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan will be responsible for the transition of ownership from the Hermal Group and oversee the corporate structure and strategic direction of the mill.
A new board will be established and the existing ASH management team will be responsible for the day to day operations of the business.
“We promised to fight for local jobs and do everything we could for the Heyfield community – today we deliver on that promise,” Mr Noonan said.
“We have secured the future of this mill – saving jobs, protecting the timber industry and ensuring the local Heyfield economy is supported into the future.”
Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing said the government was standing by Heyfield and the whole of Gippsland.
“We will continue working to create and protect local jobs now and into the future, including through our investment of $110 million into plantation timber in Gippsland. That’s what good governments do,” she said.
More to come...