South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) general manager Peter Mitchell has fired back at claims by Chipstop campaigner Harriet Swift that the Eden woodchip mill is “living on borrowed time”.
Ms Swift’s comments came after SEFE declared a $1,137,698 loss in its annual financial statement to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) on Monday; its third loss in as many years.
The company’s exports were listed as being down 766,161 tonnes from the previous year, with more than three-quarters of its income coming from parent company Nippon Paper.
Ms Swift said she expected the Japanese paper giant would soon “run out of patience” with SEFE after the failure of its wood fired power station and wood pellet plant.
“In recent years SEFE has tried various ways to diversify its activities to improve its long-term viability,” she said.
“All of these have failed and the future of the chip mill is looking grim.”
Mr Mitchell fired back at the comments, saying SEFE’s “eco-nazi” opponents are again demonstrating a lack of understanding.
“While SEFE posted an overall loss for 2013, we actually made a slight operational profit but, due to accounting adjustments, this appeared as a loss in our ASIC declaration,” Mr Mitchell said.
“We undertook a successful restructure in 2012, and are now cash flow positive.
“I understand that our eco-nazi opponents may not fully understand our operating position, as evidenced by their similar lack of understanding of past Forest Corporation of NSW financial releases.”