The board has been further strengthened as the project moves toward financial close with the addition of former Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister ,Steve Bredhauer.
Swanbank Paper director and co-founder, Graham Chappel, welcomes the high profile appointments which he says represent a significant vote of confidence in the project and its prospects for success.
“We are delighted that John and Steve have accepted our invitations to join the board,’’ Chappell says. “The considerable skills and networks they bring to the company, and to this exciting project, will prove invaluable as we move to financial close and put in place appropriate corporate governance structures to prepare Swanbank Paper for an initial public offering after the mill has been commissioned.’’
Reynolds, 62, has established a national business profile over the past 30 years, having had extensive CEO-level experience within Top 100 media and resource companies in Australia and overseas.
He gained great insight into Australia’s paper making, publishing and printing sectors while running companies such as West Australian Newspapers, Bell Group Printing, Australian Provincial Newspapers (APN) and David Syme & Co, publisher of The Age.
Reynolds also brings an international perspective to Swanbank Paper through his experience as a former director of major Dublin-based publisher, INP Plc.
He chairs CH4 Gas Ltd and Queensland Cotton Holdings Ltd, is a director of the Bank of Queensland Ltd, Mater Health Services Brisbane Ltd and Brisbane Powerhouse Pty Ltd, and holds various university advisory roles.
“I am particularly excited by the opportunity to be involved with this major Queensland project, given the scale of its economic benefits and potential to reshape and revitalise Australia’s paper manufacturing and printing sectors,’’ Reynolds says.
The plant will be located within Swanbank Enterprise Park, adjacent to CS Energy’s Swanbank Power Station near Ipswich. Swanbank Paper will create the equivalent of 650 full-time jobs during construction and over 260 direct jobs once the paper plant begins production, planned for late 2008.
Reynolds says the Swanbank Paper project would provide a major economic boost to Queensland and the Ipswich region as a significant generator of wealth and jobs within the State’s rapidly growing western corridor.
“This is an excellent example of Queensland leading the nation by building a state-of-the-art plant which will manufacture products with a net import replacement value of some $450m a year,’’ he says.
Reynolds got to know Queensland and its business community well as managing director of APN while overseeing its successful public float and rapid expansion and diversification into radio and outdoor advertising.
Swanbank Paper’s management team is headed by respected Australian paper industry executive, Joe Foster, a former managing director of paper merchant Edwards Dunlop Paper and leading office products supplier Corporate Express.
Chappel says the appointment of Reynolds and Bredhauer as directors established a balanced and highly experienced board with a broad range of skills, including strong public company leadership and expertise in printing and publishing, government affairs, business administration, finance and the law.
Swanbank’s other directors are former Freehills partner, Neil Griffin and Brisbane businessman and seed capitalist, Gary Deane.
The proposed mill, which will produce 390,000 tonnes of coated paper a year, has been declared a “significant project’’ by the Queensland Government and been granted “Major Project Facilitation’’ status by the Commonwealth Government.
Swanbank Paper has spent the best part of the last year procuring an improved water solution for the project which will boast world’s best environmental practice in industrial water re-cycling.
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