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Randel Morrison

Tasmanian Special Timbers Pty Ltd was formed out of the union of two Tasmanian pioneer milling families in 1993-94. The two companies, C A Bradshaw & Co Pty Ltd and Morrison’s Huon Pine Sawmill, have been in operation since 1936 and 1940 respectively.

The new company, Tasmanian Special Timbers Pty Ltd is recognised as a major long-term supplier of quality kiln dried Tasmanian specialty timbers, particularly Huon Pine.

Tasmanian Special Timbers’ Randel Morrison speaks fondly of his family’s long connection with the West Coast and timber milling and of the continuing demand for Huon Pine.

“The market for Huon Pine is particularly strong in the areas of furniture manufacture, boat building and craft.”

“Even though Huon Pine has achieved iconic status and has a certain ‘aura’, costs are still comparable with middle-level exotic species from overseas. The bulk of supply is to the local market, with perhaps 40% being directed to the mainland for furniture manufacture.”

Virtually no harvesting of Huon pine now occurs, with the bulk of stocks coming from salvage operations conducted on State forest managed by Forestry Tasmania.

“We mainly collect wood from the Teepookana plateau near Strahan, supplemented by some incidental salvage from coastal and Habour-side areas.”

Randel believes that current allocations are ‘good for perhaps 50 years’ but has concerns about the security of some supply contracts.

“Ideally, we would like to see some additional security around our supply contracts. Banks are reluctant to lend on the basis of current arrangements and this obviously leads to a diminishing level of confidence in possible expansion into the future.”

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Series 2

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