Habgood is one of 160 workers losing their job. Like many of them, he’s spent almost 40 years working there and it’s all he knows. 
“There’s a lot of people here who because of their age, because of their skill profile are going to really struggle, and may never work again.”
The mill makes newsprint paper from radiata pine – it’s owned by the Norwegian company Norske Skog.
The boss flew in from Australia to break the news to his staff.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, nobody likes this sort of thing but unfortunately it’s the industry that we’re in,” said Eric Luck, Norske Skog Australasia President.   
Demand for the mill’s paper dropped 30 percent last year due to COVID-19, causing it to review its operation and ultimately shut it down. 
This is the reality of the decline in news printing. Two out of three paper machines at the mill have already been demolished – and now the last remaining one will be at the end of this month. 
The small town built around the mill is reeling. 
“[I’m] gut-wrenched, because I got a lot of family in there,” one person said. “We’re all family here in this town, we’ve all got kids to feed and now it’s going to make that hard for them.” 
“I think it will have a lot of impact here because it is a small community, everyone knows everyone here,” added another.
It’ll cost Norske Skog $40 million to clean up the site and pay workers all of their redundancy entitlements – but that money won’t last forever. 
Habgood says he’s probably going to get started on a CV and apply for some jobs. He’ll be one of many googling how to put a CV together on Thursday night.

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