In 2005, the old Black Forest Timber mill at Woodend and the CRC for Wood Innovations were given $1.1 m from the then Premier Steve Bracks to set up a ‘pilot program for rapid shaping of wooden components for furniture’. Is there really such a huge demand for coffee tables with legs shaped out of one piece of wood that we need to give another million to the industry to investigate it? We hear the mill also scored another million-dollar-plus grant earlier in the year for some other wood microwave project.
Add to this obscenity, the fact that this mill also got $1.2 M a year to pay its transport costs of getting logs from Gippsland’s forests and it makes the cost of a few thousand people on welfare look positively insignificant.
These millions all supported a workforce of 35 people!