© Copyright 2011  Julianne Dodds
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Timber, Veneer and Plywood 1901 - 1969
Queensland Veneer
Plywood Board In May 1934, nine Queensland manufacturers founded the Queensland Veneer and Plywood Board.  In an attempt to control and limit the production of plywood during the years of over-supply when the Board was first established, members’ levies went to a Plant Purchase Account. Equipment was purchased by the Board and various items were sold to members. Part of the Mac’s plant was installed at the Manumbar Timber Company. In 1939 this organisation further developed into the Australian Plywood Board.
Deshon Street, Woolloongabba in 1946. The long building is the Queensland Veneer Company. On the right are the two bridges crossing Kingfisher Creek connecting Woolloongabba to Coorparoo. The larger bridge was built by Mac in 1920.
Queensland Veneer Company in Woolloongabba Although there was still about five million feet of softwood remaining at Mac’s Killarney sawmill he sold the equipment and the sawmill. He then put his efforts into his newly formed Queensland Veneer Company in Deshon Street, Woolloongabba which had begun operating about August 1935. [9]
North Queensland Veneer Company in Mareeba There was still abundant, suitable timber in Far North Queensland on the Atherton Tablelands. In 1936 Mac discussed re-opening Jamieson’s sawmill beside Granite Creek at Mareeba. Formerly known as Granite Sawmills, it had been derelict for a long period. The North Queensland Veneer Company Pty. Ltd. was set up on 27th August 1936 with a capital of £45,000. [10]  There were three shareholders, John McG. Williams, John Henry Bevan and Frank Stephen. Mac looked after the Brisbane side of the business, and Bevan and Stephen managed the Ravenshoe and Mareeba areas respectively. In the existing building they set up an electrically driven plant for the output of veneer, ply and also for flitching of logs and stumps.  A further shed, 60 feet square was erected and additional machinery was installed. On one occasion Mac joined the Bevan and the loggers working east of Mareeba around Ravenshoe. Camping out in the middle of Winter, he endured fleas, leeches and ticks - in between trips to the Ravenshoe Club Hotel. The new mill produced very high class veneer that found a ready market in the south. At its peak there were twenty-two employees, including three girls. Following the usual procedure, logs were first cut into quarters then boiled for two days and sliced into strips. After stacking and seasoning the timber was measured and cased ready for transport. The business was not making enough money even though stock was sent to Melbourne as quickly as possible to replenish their funds. Stephen had asked Mac to put more money into the business but, realising the veneer mill was not a success, Mac declined. Around June 1937 Mac sold out his shareholding to Bevan and ended his involvement with the Mareeba business. Two years later Frank Stephen took out proceedings against North Queensland Veneer Company Pty. Ltd. for alleged arrears of salary and for moneys paid and lent by him. Bevan was left with the company that went deeper into debt. In July 1941 winding up procedures were commenced and it took several years for the mill to be finally sold.
Moulding a new career First rotary lathe in Brisbane Woolloongabba Mills Glue and logs from the country Expansion after The Great War Mac's men at the mills Largest plywood mill in Australia Timber resources The Great Depression Queensland Veneer Company World War II Retirement References