Gympie to be forestry capital
THE Gympie Region’s political representatives have enthusiastically backed a citizen’s plan to re-locate the head office of Queensland’s massive forestry operation to Gympie.
State MP David Gibson and Mayor Ron Dyne expressed their support for the plan, put forward by a reader of The Gympie Times.
“One of the problems is there are far too many government departments in George Street or elsewhere in the Brisbane CBD and not enough of them out in the areas where the impact of their decisions can be directly seen,” Mr Gibson said yesterday.
Cr Dyne was also highly supportive.
“Gympie is the capital city of Queensland’s forestry industry and should be where the state’s forest farming enterprise is based,” a reader told The Gympie Times this week.
The proposal would be a major boost for the Gympie economy would not cost the State Government anything, other than removal expenses, but would save millions because of its convenient location in the heart of most of the state’s forest farming and associated value-adding industries, the reader, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
With the planned sale of Forestry Plantations Queensland, he suggested the relocation of the company’s head office to Gympie should be a condition of the sale.
As well as being a geographical centre for the industry, the region was also home to major employers and value-adding processing operations such as Laminex, Carter Holt Harvey and a large exotic pine plantation nursery. The increasingly vacant Main Roads Department building would be one possible source of office space for the move.
Mr Gibson said decentralisation was an important part of Queensland’s future and would rectify a situation where the forestry industry was run from an office in Brisbane “where there isn’t a plantation tree in sight.”
“If the Bligh Government continues to defy the will of the people of Queensland and continue with this sale, they should make it a condition that the head office of the new owner establish a head office in Gympie.
“And it should be a Queensland company, not a multi-national with headquarters interstate or overseas,” he said.
Cr Dyne said that anything which increased the work opportunities of Gympie people would have to be supported. “It’s a good idea as long as a private company can be persuaded to re-locate to Gympie,” he said.