Otway Ranges Environment Network



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Murnane Sawmill Production

Information gained through the West RFA process gives some insight into the Western Victorian native forest logging industry which includes the Murnane sawmills.

In July 1999 the West Victoria Comprehensive Regional Assessment provided information on the amount of timber that was being value-added for the west region in 1997/1998 and projected levels of value-adding for the years 2007/2008. Results were published in Table 5.10.

At the time the West Victoria Comprehensive Regional Assessment was put together, about 30 out of every 100 trees cut down in the Otways were graded and used as sawlogs from the Otways. The other 70 trees were being woodchipped. The findings in Table 5.10 of this report have been presented again in the table below. However this table also shows the number of trees per 100 cut down and manufactured into various products based on 30 out of a hundred trees being used as sawlog.

Logging 1997/1998

Logging 2007/2008

% sawn timber

Trees per 100 logged

% sawn timber

Trees per 100 logged

Appearance Grade (furniture, doors, flooring)





Dried Structural










Palings and Pallets





Note: Some minor categories of seasoned and unseasoned not included.

Appearance grade for furniture, doors, flooring only represented three out of a hundred trees in 1997/98 projected to grow to 5 in a hundred trees by 2007/2008.

It turns out the amount of timber that is value added (seasoned) is proportional to the total number of A and B grade sawlogs removed from the Otway State which is was about 6 out of 100 trees or 6%.

Much of the scanting and all the fence palings are used to make urban boundary fences. However conservationists question the need to clearfell log native forest to make urban boundary fences for peoples homes when other material such as steel or softwood can be and are widely used in other states. Additionally, pallets can be made from other materials.

On average only 6 of every 100 trees from clearfell logged forest shown below (Geelongs water supply catchment) are high value added. Is this justified?


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