The application by Whittakers Limited is for a licence to be issued under the provisions of the Commonwealth Export Control (Unprocessed Wood) Regulations made under the Export Control Act 1982. Whittakers has applied for approval to export up to 50,000 tonnes (approximately 41,150 cubic metres) per annum of Karri and Marri woodchips. These woodchips would be derived exclusively from the wastes generated from the milling of sawlogs derived from State Forest in accordance with contracts with the Department of Conservation and Land Management.
Whittakers' proposal involves the combining of woodchips produced from sawmill residues produced by several other mills, including Monier Ltd and Worsley Timber Pty Ltd. Each of these mills currently sell their woodchips or sawmill waste to WA Chip & Pulp Co. Pty Ltd. Additional sawmills will need to provide woodchips to Whittakers before they could achieve their proposed tonnage.
The expansion of Whittakers Greenbushes sawmill would be undertaken in four stages and involves a progressively increased intake of Jarrah sawlogs and Karri thinnings sawlogs, as well as softwood sawlogs. It is proposed that the Greenbushes mill would eventually have an intake of approximately 45,000 cubic metres per annum of Jarrah and 41,580 cubic metres per annum of Karri sawlogs.
These woodchips and those produced at other contributing sawmills would be carried by truck to Bunbury, where they would be stockpiled within the Port of Bunbury prior to loading onto ships for export. When the Greenbushes mill reaches full production woodchip transport from the mill would involve approximately 2.5 loads per working day. Existing loading facilities would be used at the port. It is anticipated by Whittakers that the stockpile would contain up to 20,000 tonnes of woodchips.