The main shed and two saws at the Myrtle Creek sawmill were destroyed in the 2019 bushfires.
The main shed and two saws at the Myrtle Creek sawmill were destroyed in the 2019 bushfires.

From the ashes: Sawmill’s big decision after bushfire

The operators of a Richmond Valley sawmill are finally looking to restart operations, almost 18 months after it was destroyed in a devastating bushfire.

A development application has been lodged with Richmond Valley Council for the site of the Myrtle Creek sawmill on Myrtle Creek Rd, and it is currently on public exhibition.

However it is not for a full-scale sawmill.

In documents lodged with the council by Graham Meineke of Lismore-based GM Project Development and Management, it states the DA is for a mobile sawmill that will "primarily saw/dock logs for the firewood market".

The operators will not use the main shed, which was partially destroyed, along with two saws, in the 2019 bushfires.

 

The multisaw shed would become the main base of the sawmill’s operations.
The multisaw shed would become the main base of the sawmill’s operations.

 

"Since that time the sawmill has been lying dormant," the report states.

"The owner wishes to recommence sawmill operations but on a smaller scale by using a portable saw and the saw in the shed that was not destroyed.

"The major product of the operation will be firewood destined for the national market.

"The mill on site has been in operation since the mid 1970s but there is no record of it having been approved by the then Copmanhurst Council.

"The land owner wishes to 'formalise' its existence, hence this application to council."

Mr Meineke stated the proposal would have a positive economic benefit for the region, providing a locally-made product and new job opportunities.

 

The mobile firewood docker that will be used.
The mobile firewood docker that will be used.

 

The fire-damaged shed could be subject to a future development application.

It is proposed to operate the scaled-down sawmill from 7am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, with six full-time staff.

The DA is on public exhibition until March 8.

Documents can be inspected at the council's customer service centres at Casino and Evans Head, or online.

To make a submission, email council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au, visit the website, or write to Locked Bag 10, Casino NSW 2470.



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