Pulp and Paper Mill at Geeveston

The Pulp and Paper Mill at Geeveston was established at the mouth of the Kermandie River in 1928, despite the belief that paper could not be made from eucalypt pulp. A small syndicate persevered, and Tasmanian Paper Pty Ltd set up a pilot mill. It began semi-commercial production of pulp and paper using the ground-wood process. At its peak the mill produced up to 4 tons of pulp a day, and its newsprint was used by Tasmanian newspapers. It closed down around 193435 in the Depression.

Australian Paper Manufacturers built a new mill on the site in 1961. The Hydro-Electric Commission constructed a dam two miles upstream to give a secure water supply, and built a power line from Hobart to provide power. In the mill's heyday pulp ships called every twelve days. Pulp pellets were taken by conveyor belt along the jetty and up a gantry, then down a chute into the ship's hold. It took around 44 hours to load 13,000 tonnes of pelleted pulp into a ship. The mill closed in 1991, due to volatile prices, the falling Australian dollar, lack of domestic markets and obsolescence, as few mills could by now use the pulp.

Further reading: Mercury, 29 October 1962, 6 June 1991.

Wayne Smith