Timber Industry and Forestry Commission

Extract from the Publication – BENDOC a centenary souvenir published in 1973.

Prior to World War II, sawmilling was not significant. Timber was milled mainly for domestic purposes. One of the first mills to operate in the district was Hamilton Reed’s, who it seems had many irons in the fire. The mill, on Mill Creek, was established and operated by using a steam engine.

Ernie and Bill Jamieson established a small sawmill at Haydens Bog in 1927 and grew into quite a big concern, and in 1957 was sold to Mr Richards. Through the years this mill has progressed from steam to diesel power, and is now operated electrically. There are also two other mills, one owned by Roy Jamieson and the other by Bidwell Sawmilling Co. Up to 1972 approx 100 million super feet of timber had been milled, and currently 12½ milion super feet is handled, providing employment for about 63 men.

During the 1950’s and 60’s mills were operated by Cliff Yelds, John Mawson and others. Mawson’s was a wattle mill and was located in the township across from the Commercial Hotel.

The timber now consists mainly of shining gum and cut-tail which are very important sources of seasoning quality timber and therefore suitable for the production of furniture and joinery. Messmate, peppermint and mannagum produce scantlings. This is used mainly in the timber framing of houses.

The buik of timber cut was transported to Canberra and Sydney.

The stripping of wattle bark and cutting of sleepers have also been a source of income to many in the district. In addition, after WWII, there were many eucalypt distilleries in the district.

Bendoc is a sub-district of Orbost District, which is a Division of the Forrestry Commission of Victoria.

The sub-district acreage is approximately 655,000 acres, covering an area of 1924 square miles. It has an average rainfall of 36″ with moderate falls of snow, and temperatures range from -9c to 38c.

The Forrestry Commission have erected a spotting tower on the trig site on Mt Delegate. In summer a fire spotting officer is stationed here.

A permanent fire bombing base is sited at the Bonang airstrip, and approx 700 miles of 4wheel drive tracks have been constructed in the sub-district. These Forestry roads make the mountain land more accessible, and have enhanced the tourist potential in the Distrct, as the native animals, plants, birds and shrubs maybe enjoyed by taking a tour of the forest.