DRI aims to develop new timber related industries for the Dorset region of North East Tasmania.
Our community focused enterprise intends to use the region’s renewable resources to improve the environment and build community resilience.
We intend to achieve this initially by refurbishing the Ling Siding site at Scottsdale. This will then allow us to offer space to businesses and industry so that they may locate at the site. DRI is particularly interested and focused on renewable industries. Therefore, the businesses and industries DRI is interested in will use a component of the renewable resource - timber or wood or a bi product of a timber related industry. We anticipate that in time, the waste of one business will be come the resource of another. By co-locating on one site, DRI believes that many synergies can be achieved, including such items as shared resources; weigh bridge; hard stand to store resources; timber treatment and processing; office space; power; water; OH&S aspects; engineering; marketing and other expertise.
DRI received a Federal Government grant of $2.8 million to refurbish the Ling Siding site and ready it for an integrated timber processing hub, this project is not largely completed and the HUB is open for business and opportunities.
Some sixteen odd businesses have now started to work from the site, and other businesses are invited to apply for space. DRI is particularly interested in securing an engineering firm to be located at the site. The treatment plant is in operation and can treat timber and timber products for customers. New start up timber processing activities are particularly invited to apply for space and DRI are committed to assisting these new start up's with favourable leasing arrangements.
DRI intends to work with the community and Government to attract industries that will benefit from sharing common resources and services. We are deeply committed to the resurgence of the timber industry in Tasmania, anticipating that it will become an important player in economic development, opportunities, skills development and employment.
Michael Brill has worked in timber processing and manufacturing since the 1990s.
He purchased Stronach Timber Industries in 1998 with his wife Jillene. By 2011, Stronach Timber Industries employed 74 personnel in timber processing and had established a timber retail business and labour hire business - Stronach Labour Force.
Michael’s business has been recognised for its commitment to non-discriminatory employment and in 2007 received the Prime Minister’s runner up award as employer of the year/small business.
The Stronach Group continues business today looking to maintain a creative edge and capitalise on market opportunities.
Michael has a commitment to the local economy and believes that the DRI vision will grow the region significantly.
Michael's role on the DRI Board is to facilitate the development of business growth at the HUB site. Anyone interested in looking at the site and what it can offer their businesses are encouraged to talk to Michael.
Michael co-manages the prospective tenant enquiries at the HUB with Ken Hall. Interested business can make contact with Michael at his business across the road from the HUB.
Director, Vice Chairman, Treasurer
Karen Hall is a member of the North East Tasmania Chamber of Commerce and was the Chair for three years. She has worked energetically with groups aiming to improve the lives of those in the Dorset communities affected by mill closures and high unemployment.
Karen has worked tirelessly for the local community and is deeply committed to improving the opportunities for the people of the North East.
Karen's job on the Board is varied,from working with the Chairman of the Board as Vice Chairman, to working with John Beattie to ensure the finances of the organisation are proper and ready for scrutiny.
An important element of Karen (and Ken's work) is to keep the local community aware of the project and its successes, and to prepare the community for the opportunity that will soon emerge - that of the opportunity to be a share holder in the DRI Co-operative.
David is committed to working to improve the resilience of communities through appropriate, sustainable development. He thinks that small to medium sized locally owned businesses, which meet local needs from local resources, are more likely to provide sustainably beneficial economic activity than large, remotely owned and headquartered businesses. David accepts the evidence of climate change science and its message that we need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible, and believes that the transition to renewable energy provides great opportunities for communities to take more control of their energy futures.
David was educated in physics and worked as an occupational hygienist for many years. He is a Retired Fellow of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists. Since his retirement David has been working part-time as an energy consultant, where he advises on energy efficiency, renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
David is the Chairman of the DRI Board. He has an important function to consult and to talk to local government, state government ministers and officials and to the communities in general about the prospects for renewable resources and potentially energy.
David has the responsibility of communication to the Federal Government on the Project Refurbishment Funding.
Dale Jessup is the General Manager of Branxholm Sawmill and a councillor within the Dorset municipality. He has over 30 years of experience in the timber industry in various operational and management positions. Dale has extensive experience in Project & Environmental Management, Quality System Development, Sales, Resource Procurement and Operational Management.
Dale spent 21 years working at the Ling Siding site during the Frenchpine Sawmill Era when a workforce of 180 people were engaged, He is committed to see the site being brought back to life proving valuable employment and economic development for the region and the state.
Dale believes local business development and support is crucial for the ongoing viability of our local schools, hospital and services in Dorset.
Dale is the Project Superintendent of the Ling Siding Site, overseeing the upgrade of the site so that it can again be a major contributor to the North East economy.
Wendy is passionate about the opportunities for wood and wood related products in Tasmania as a substantial and sustainable industry and considers the Dorset Renewable Industries project at Ling Siding of critical importance to the local and State economy. She expects that it will generate skills, jobs and wealth for the area.
Wendy is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Care TASMANIA see www.cct.org.au.
Wendy Mitchell has extensive business development and regional development experience. Her previous roles include working to provide strategic direction and advice for Tasmanian industries in her role as Business Advisor for the Commonwealth Government – Enterprise Connect Program. Wendy also worked for the Dorset Council as the Manager of Development Services, where she saw the opportunity to assist a rebirth of the timber industry into the local community and economy.
Among other qualifications, Wendy has a Masters of Environmental Management and a Post Graduate Degree in Rural and Regional Development.
Wendy's roles on the DRI Board includes making connections to government and industry, working to develop the next major project for the Board - the DRI Community Cooperative, and its objectives to develop a locally owned and operated pellet plant supplying the industry and homes with environmentally friendly heating opportunities.
Wendy also assists with the development and management of this website which hopes to facilitate knowledge and interest about DRI, the HUB, renewable industries in general and the Community Cooperative.
Wendy considers the co-operative an outstanding opportunity where people can have ownership and provide directions to a fantastic new local industry, Wendy urges everyone to get on board and be supportive.