University Of Tasmania
whole_McCuaigMaryAnn1984_thesis.pdf (18.29 MB)

Socio-economic aspects of the export woodchip industry in Tasmania

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posted on 2023-05-26, 20:15 authored by McCuaig, MA, Hoysted, PA
A contribution is made toward assessing some socio-economic effects of the export woodchip industry in Tasmania. This is considered important since the industry was initially promoted as being desirable from the point of view of rural development and other social and economic benefits. This thesis examines woodchip industry effects at both the State and regional level and is introduced by reference to studies of the social and economic role of forest industries in Australia and New Zealand. Observation of the nature of the Tasmanian economy and trends in major forest industries shows that the export woodchip industry epitomizes the peripheral economic position of Tasmania and represents a continuation of the major thrust of change in Tasmanian forestry, involving concentration of control over Crown forests, increasing capital intensity of industry, and declining employment with rising volumes of wood used. Review of the operation of the two export woodchip companies in Tasmania shows that the industry has furthered control over Crown forests by one company, Associated Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd, and that the stated intentions of legislation covering concessions to Crown forests from which woodchips are produced are unlikely to be fulfilled. Employment associated with the woodchip industry is discussed and it is shown that approximately 1300 people are employed in cutting, handling, and processing of pulpwood for export. Application of an employment multiplier suggests that the industry supports approximately 3750 jobs throughout Tasmania. The state-wide appraisal of woodchipping also involves an assessment of public expenditure on. transport infrastructure for the industry and on Forestry Commission management of concession areas. It is estimated that the industry receives a minimum public subsidy of $10 million annually. Regional effects of the industry are investigated in a comparative case study of two municipalities, Spring Bay and Esperance. Greater impact in terms of population growth and increasing employment is apparent in the smaller Spring Bay municipality where preexisting industry was less developed and which lacked an appreciable background in forestry. The results of a questionnaire survey of community attitudes in both Municipalities are reported.. Opinions and attitudes are examined by two approaches; general opinions are described while attitudes to particular aspects of municipal life and the woodchip or woodpulp industry are measured using Likert-type attitude scales. Both communities regarded the respective industries favourably, but in Spring Bay, the woodchip industry was found to be more widely supported than was the woodpulp industry in Esperance. Significant problems associated with each industry ,mainly involved environmental and forest management concerns. Factors which most influenced attitudes in both municipalities are also identified and discussed in terms of differing historical development and industry effects. While the regional significance of the export woodchip industry is acknowledged, on a state-wide level the benefits are not as conspicuous. This thesis highlights the need for continuing assessment of the industry on both levels.



School of Earth Sciences

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Copyright 1983 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M. Env. St) - University of Tasmania, 1984. Bibliography: l. 280-288

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