Cathy McGowan: Member for Indi

Benalla timber operation branches out with success in manufacturing

April 24, 2014
Contact: Simon Crase

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ONE Benalla business is leading the way in a competitive landscape through successfully value-adding to harvested timber.

Federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, accepted an invitation to tour the Ryan & McNulty Sawmill in Benalla and visited the plant on April 23 to see first-hand how the successful enterprise was operating in a very tough market.

With timber a vital component of the agriculture and manufacturing sector in Indi, Ms McGowan was interested in seeing how the owners of the sawmill had created another market for timber grown and harvested in the area.

“We grow a very high grade of timber in the North East and it’s great to see it being turned into a range of quality products, such as furniture, flooring, decking, cladding and fence posts,” she said.

“Value-adding to what we produce in Indi is going to be critical for the long-term sustainability we’re going to need to create jobs for our youth. It’s not enough to simply produce and export, we must be looking at creative and innovative ways to value add to what we produce.”

Ms McGowan said the commitment and dedication shown by the Joyleen and Greg McNulty (pictured) to build the business was an inspiration.

“This family-run and operated sawmill in Benalla is a great example of what can be achieved, and is leading the way for Indi,” she said.

Ms McGowan said North East businesses looking at ways to value add to their operations deserved targeted government support to assist them get their ventures up and running.

“Family businesses in Indi do an exceptional job in creating employment opportunities and providing important economic activity across a range of sectors, including agriculture, retail and tourism,” she said.    

Ms McGowan is hosting an Economic and Industry Development Forum next week in Wangaratta on April 29 for business owners in the North East to attend. The forum will focus on innovative cost-saving measures and how government programs can help to find improvement in their operations, or assist in getting new enterprises off the ground.

“To remain competitive in the current economic conditions, businesses need to be continually looking at ways to operate more efficiently and effectively to ensure they are sustainable, provide quality employment opportunities and experience growth,” Ms McGowan said.

The Economic and Industry Forum is being held on April 29 at the Rural City of Wangaratta council chambers from midday to 2pm.


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