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Glen Innes sawmill inspires PNG

Issued: Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Correctional staff from Papua New Guinea have turned to Glen Innes Correctional Centre in the state's north west for inspiration. A senior delegation recently visited the rural gaol to see the operations of its successful sawmill managed by Corrective Services Industries (CSI).

The sawmill employs more than 120 inmates who are trained to operate the state-of-the-art equipment. The inmates produce timber for the CSI bed manufacturing plants at the Mid North Coast and Cessnock Correctional Centres. They also manufacture structural timber and pallets. The enterprise features a high temperature kiln which helps increase its turnover of a diverse range of timber products. A computerised twin edged saw is also used, along with two new multi-saws, to reduce timber wastage.

Glen Innes Correctional Centre's General Manager Michelle Paynter said that PNG Corrections is planning to expand its small timberyard at Beon Prison.

"Our timber milling enterprise is constantly keeping up with changes in forestry plantation while maintaining its competitive edge," Ms Paynter said.

"They were in awe with our operation and impressed to see that nothing goes to waste."

The mill helps inmates with their reintegration back into the community. The skills they gain can easily be applied to many industries including building, carpentry, hardware retail, warehousing, mining and earth moving.

After the tour, Ms Paynter and her team exchanged presents with the delegation. The tour organiser Terry West from Crossroad Bible Institute Australia said the visit was a resounding success and Glen Innes Correctional Centre will now be part of PNG correctional services history.