Inspecting plans for the new $8 million Hurford Hardwood Pty Ltd timber mill at Kyogle yesterday are (from left) Hurfords forester, Warren Weaver, Hurfords managing director Andrew Hurford, Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin and Rob Hurford.
Inspecting plans for the new $8 million Hurford Hardwood Pty Ltd timber mill at Kyogle yesterday are (from left) Hurfords forester, Warren Weaver, Hurfords managing director Andrew Hurford, Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin and Rob Hurford. Samantha Elley

Business rises from Norply blaze

JUST over four years since the devastating fire at the Norply mill in Kyogle resulted in the town losing one its major employers, a phoenix seems to be rising from the ashes.

Hurford Hardwood Pty Ltd, a three-generational local family business, has since bought the site and is building a timber processing mill where Norply used to stand.

“There was some debate about whether Norply would rebuild,” Hurford managing director Andrew Hurford said.

“When that didn’t happen we became interested in the site.

“There is a skilled workforce in Kyogle and the land already had quite a bit of infrastructure, such as turning lanes, roads and the concrete slab, which was a great head start for us.

“We’re hoping to employ about 25 people initially, as well as contractors. It also means that downstream employment will be created at our Tuncester plant, near Lismore.”

Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin visited the mill site yesterday to see how work was progressing.

“The Kyogle community worked hard after the Norply fire in 2005 to keep local businesses going and save jobs in the town,” she said. “I congratulate Hurfords on this project, which involves an investment of more than $8 million and is employing North Coast firms in the mill design and construction.”

Mr Hurford said the mill should be fully operational by the middle of next year. The Hurford group of companies has been wholly owned and managed by the Hurford family for more than 75 years and is now a forest grower, saw miller, manufacturer and wholesaler.



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