Otway Ranges Environment Network



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4. Kimberly Clark Australia quits Otways

Conservationists from OREN learnt from people associated with the Otway native forest logging industry that Kimberly Clark executives from the United States of America had flown to Australia, toured the Otways and then put pressure on the major shareholder of Kimberly Clark Australia (Amcor) to get out the Otways.

Kimberly Clark sometime before the beginning of the 1998/1999 Otway logging season made the decision to quit the Otways, despite the fact there Otway woodhip licence (Licence No. S000428) allowed the company to continue taking woodchips logs until June 2001.

Even the Otway loggers did not know about the Kimberly Clark decision until they had already started logging in Novemebr 1998. For the first few months of clearfell logging, woodchips trees logs had to be stockpiled near Birrigurra until another woodchip buyer could be found. This ended up being the Midway export woodchip mill in Geelong .

in December 1998 just after the 1998/1999 Otway logging season had already started, conservationists found out from the Otway loggers that Kimberly Clark had quit. Journaists at the Geelong Advertiser were tipped off and subsequently followed up with a story on the 10th December 1998.

Kimberly Clark Quits Otways

Kimberly Clark denied the decision to quit was anything to do with the conservationists campaign. However their justification for leaving contradicts both the letter Kimberly Clark sent to NUS in June 1997 stating their intention to take Otways woodchips untill 2000 and the fact their woodchip licence that did not expire until June 2001.

Kimberley Clark instead began to source woodchip from the Central Highland native forest area to the east of Melbourne.

Sourcing harwood tree logs from the Cenrtral Highlands was more inconvenient for Kimberly Clark as the transport distance was considerably greater. With the Kimberly Clark manufacturing plant and the Otways to the West of Melbourne and the Central Highlands to the East, there was an extra three to four hour travel time to get log trucks to Millicent in South Austrlia.
Kimberly Clark was pursued by forest campaigners from Environment Victoria who continued to put pressure on Kimberly Clark to get totally out of native forest in Australia. Environment Victoria ran an expensive advertising campaign in daily news paper. In the end, Kimberly Clark did exit native forest when they said they would in 2001.

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