From the Newsroom

General Manager of Marshall Notaras Hardwoods and Vice President of Timber NSW, Donna Layton (second from left), was joined by representatives from the timber industry as she presented over 2000 submissions to Clarence Valley Council (CVC) Mayor Ian Tiley on August 28 in response to council’s report from the Biodiversity Advisory Committee (BAC) aimed at phasing out native logging on public land. Image: Emma Pritchard

Community logging on to support timber industry

Emma Pritchard


More than 2200 submissions were presented to Clarence Valley Council (CVC) Mayor Ian Tiley by General Manager of Marshall Notaras Hardwoods and Vice President of Timber NSW Donna Layton on August 28 as a formal response, rejecting a report made at a council meeting two months ago by the Biodiversity Advisory Committee (BAC) which proposes to phase out native logging on public land.

Voicing her anger and disappointment at the absence of community and industry consultation prior to the motion being put forward, Ms Layton said her main concerns are the serious implications including the catastrophic social, environmental, and economic losses which would devastate the Clarence Valley if native forestry is banned in NSW state forests.

As a large crowd of industry representatives gathered outside councils Grafton office earlier this week, Ms Layton said the timber industry in the Clarence Valley has been overwhelmed by local support.

“It’s not just the timber industry that’s going to be affected (by this motion), it’s the whole community,” she explained.

“Council should know how important the timber industry is for the Clarence Valley.

“Why are they trying to shut us down?”

Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, along with a number of other mills throughout the region, receive a majority of their timber supply from native harvesting.

Ms Layton said the impacts of the proposal would effectively result in the closure of several local businesses within the industry and take jobs away from more than 500 people.   

After witnessing the damage caused by green ideology in his home state of Victoria, third generation timber industry employee Michael Harrington travelled to Grafton this week to support Ms Layton and other Clarence Valley residents.  

“Green lawfare has a lot to answer for,” he said.

“Bans on the timber industry kill country communities.

“Without the timber industry, places like Grafton will die.

“In Gippsland where I’m from, they cease to exist, and I don’t want to see that happen here.

“I wanted to come here and help spread the message and help keep the timber industry alive for future generations.”

As he accepted the substantial paperwork from Ms Layton, which he described as “a magnificent result”, Mayor Tiley said council will consider all solutions at the October meeting, adding “we will have a workshop between now and then to discuss this matter.”

The Mayor also expressed his personal view, describing the timber industry as vital to the Clarence Valley.