4 February 2018
Mill open doors for Groote Eylandt timber industry

THE deafening din of a sawmill can be heard at Pole 13 where trees are being “slabbed” to create furniture.

The Lucas mill has been set up next to the  Amangarra Warehouse on Groote Eylandt.

Men’s shed coordinator Ian O’Malley said local men were learning to use it and had started milling logs.

“From these beginnings we are looking at working with GEAT Market Garden and others to create a space to have the mill and employ staff to work it,” Ian said.

“One of the wishes of the senior men has been for the young men to have real work like they had back when they were young when they farmed, cut trees and milled them,” Ian said.

“While it is going to be hard work for those employed, it gives great satisfaction and personal gratification.”

Timbers currently being milled are the salvaged African mahogany, tamarind, mango and stringy bark.

GEBIE CDP Training Shed participants have been using the milled timbers to make tables.

The ALC has a vision to stop prime saw logs being sent to the burn pile and to instead turn the archipelago into a timber-making industry.

PHOTO: The new Lucas mill will prepare local timbers for furniture making.

Timber Mill