Renee Pilcher

Buy Ausgum, it's good for Gympie

“BUY gum it's good”, should perhaps be tweaked to “buy Ausgum, it's good for Gympie's economy”, after the innovative company invested $4 million in the region in the last eight months.

The purchase and upgrade of Sunshine Pine on Gympie's northern entrance, and the recent re-establishment of the facility to undertake hardwood and pine treatment, marks a new era for the rapidly growing business says owner/director Adam Gleeson.

There are now some 30 employees on staff.

On the southern entrance to town, the Drummond Drive manufacturing plant utilises timber that is surplus or not suitable to a mill's needs.

This timber, which is mostly eucalyptus hardwood spotted gum, is made into a range of products, from the not very glamorous but nonetheless much needed “blast stakes” for mining projects to award-winning, stylish outdoor furniture that features in Kirribilli House and Hamilton Island.

Mr Gleeson says the cash injection into the region is very much a vote of confidence for Gympie, which he sees as a central location for the timber industry.

He's particularly proud of the company's claim “to maximise return out of timber trees”, and says they are able to get 60 per cent more value out of a tree because they use timber that would otherwise be wasted.

“We can use shorter logs (from branches) to make tables and chairs,” he said. They have equipment in place that can take power pole “seconds”, timber mill residue, or timber from demolition projects and develop high-value products.

Mr Gleeson said Ausgum products are sold throughout Australia and the company is making inroads into export markets right around the world.

“The investment shows huge faith in the current and future prosperity of Gympie and surrounding districts,” he said.

“Over the last few years, since hardwood could no longer be treated with CCA, mills have been undertaking a round trip of about 200km to have their timber treated,” he said. With the new treatment now available on their doorstep, it means a saving of transport costs and fewer trucks on the “horror stretch” of the Bruce Highway.