Sawmill seeks workers amid demand

Catherine MasseyAugusta Margaret River Times
Whiteland Milling owner and sawmill Manager Neil Whiteland.
Camera IconWhiteland Milling owner and sawmill Manager Neil Whiteland. Credit: supplied/supplied

WA native timber is still a hot product amid the coronavirus pandemic with business strong for Busselton’s Whiteland Milling, which is seeking new employees to join the team.

This year has been no exception for the family business whose product demand has prompted them to look further afield for labourers.

Owner and sawmill manager Neil Whiteland said the business employs 35 people, but sourcing reliable local labour continued to be a challenge.

“We have a large client base and supply to a diverse range of markets, including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Victoria, New South Wales and Perth,” he said.

Mr Whiteland has run the sawmill for 40 years while his son, Marc Whiteland, a qualified cabinet maker, manages the nearby processing facility and has done for 17 years.

“The demand for WA timber is there, one of our biggest challenges is finding labour. We have jobs, we just need willing workers,” Mr Whiteland said.

To keep up with the demand and labour shortage, the Whiteland family built a new sawmill specifically for processing karri, installed two new drying kilns, and implemented new machinery — an investment worth close to one million dollars.

BWM was established in 1981 and began as a sheoak sawmill which produced furniture-grade timber and roofing shingles. Today, it operates to also process local jarrah, marri, karri, and blackbutt.

To apply, contact the office on 9751 1093.

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