Stephen Cornish, executive director of the Tasmanian Country Sawmillers Federation, said companies needed to convert their mills to focus on the change in timber resources away from old-growth wood. He said it could cost up to A$1m to convert mill machinery.

The federation’s meeting in Hobart also focused on the WorkChoices legislation. But companies do not believe the legislation, which deals with industrial relations, will have much impact on the sawmilling industry.