Safely seeding the South West

Seeding – It is all hands-on deck at the West Manjimup Nursery in Western Australia. Forest Products Commission (FPC) staff and a team of casuals have started dispatching seedlings for the 2020 planting season.

The first load of pine seedlings left the nursery in mid June and was taken to Baudin Plantation.

Nursery and Seed Centre Manager Jeffrey Cook said approximately 3.3 million pine seedlings and one million karri seedlings would be dispatched and planted in the South West during June and July.

“The nursery has been required to increase the workforce significantly to meet the demands of the planting schedule,” Mr Cook said.

“We have employed approximately 45 casual employees which has been a big boost in employment for the Manjimup community.”

Nursery processes have had to evolve to deliver and meet new social distancing requirements.

“We have installed polycarbonate sheeting on the packing line to provide a barrier of protection between each individual packer, to meet social distancing requirements and create a safe working environment during dispatch,” Mr. Cook said.

The nursery has also staggered lunch and other breaks to assist in managing social distancing.

“The casual employees are very happy to be back working as employment opportunities have been scarce in the last few months and the FPC plays a vital part in regional employment,” Mr Cook said.