The Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, has paid tribute to the respected Grafton timber identity, Brinos Notaras, by dedicating a memorial rest area in his name.

Mr Macdonald unveiled a plaque beside the Pacific Highway near Grafton in memory of Mr Notaras, who was killed in a car accident at Woolgoolga in August 2005.

“This memorial is a fitting tribute to Brinos Notaras, who made an enormous contribution to the timber industry of this State,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Brinos fought for a strong, viable timber industry, and he was well-regarded as an innovator in value-adding, using new technology and marketing.

“He was the president of the Forest Products Association from 1987 to 1990 and for many years was the chairman of the Richmond, Tweed, Clarence Branch.

“He and his brother Spiro, who has arranged the memorial, were instrumental in developing overseas markets for spotted gum, particularly into Japan, and of plantation flooded gum into Sweden.

“Brinos recognised that smaller log diameters would be the future of the industry, and this has been borne out by the advent of hardwood plantations, particularly on the North Coast.”

Today the timber industry on the North Coast is valued at approximately $750 million a year and employs about 1300 people directly in timber harvesting and haulage.

The rest area includes barbecue shelters and a bobtail once used in the timber industry around Grafton.

The site will continue to be maintained by the Roads and Traffic Authority.