Monday, 18 February 2019
Statements by Members
NF McDonnell & Sons
On Friday I had the great privilege of attending a celebration at NF McDonnell & Sons to mark 75 years of exceptional sawmilling in Mount Gambier. The business was founded by Newman McDonnell and his two sons, Don and Les, following the softwood forest at Mount Burr being devastated by fire in 1943. Through this tragic event, Newman, Don and Les took a team of workers from their home in Cobden, in Victoria, to begin milling the burnt timber of the Southern Trading Company, for which they had contracts through Woods and Forests. They arrived in 1944, and their bush mill was one of many established in the coming decade. The move was successful and later, as the business grew, other mills were established in Millicent and Kalangadoo and later on the Hundred Line Road near the border, east of Tarpeena.
During these many years, the company's been involved in log hauling, harvesting, road transport, farming and sawmilling and today is one of the major players in the softwood-milling industry in the south-east of South Australia and indeed across our nation. Since 1944, the NF McDonnell & Sons business has grown significantly to be a large employer, and today there are about 110 employees at its Suttontown mill. I congratulate NF McDonnell & Sons—or, as I like to refer to them, 'NF McDonnell & Sons & Daughters & Grandchildren & Great-Grandchildren'.