Albury Named As Paper Mill

20 January 1977 The Canberra Times 

Sydney, Wednesday. - A $100 million paper mill and softwood industry will be established at Albury.

An official statement is expected to come from the company involved, Australian Newsprint Mills Pty Ltd, but State Government sources said today that the project would definitely go ahead.

Talks were held today between company representatives, the Premier of NSW, Mr Wran, and a three-man Cabinet sub-committee.

The investment will mean 400 new jobs in Albury and a further 200 in the Tumut timber-getting area.

In recent months there has been competition between Albury and Tumut as to which centre should get the mill.

The company's decision to build the mill at Albury is believed to have been based on a feasibility study carried out last year.

The only thing delaying a start on the project, one of the biggest to beunder taken in country NSW, is completion of an environmental-impact study requested by the NSW Government.

The mill, when completed, will have an annual output of 180,000 tonnes of newsprint, enough to supply 80 per cent of Australia's newsprint needs, by 1990.

At present, Tasmania is the only State producing newsprint and Australia imports newsprint from New Zealand, Canada and Scandinavia.

The Tumut area has 53,000 hectares of softwoods, mostly radiata pine, which are essential for production of newsprint.

It is believed Mr Wran promised Australian Newsprint Mills today that his Government would "assist where necessary".

The Opposition spokesman on  conservation, Mr Cowan, said today that once the decision to go ahead with the project had been made the State Government should not hesitate in providing roads, housing, transport and services for the industry.

"In addition the Government should encourage private plantings", he said.

It was essential that the present softwoods planting be expanded.

"It is ludicrous that Australia should be importing softwoods when vast areas are available for planting in NSW", he said.