Our Story

our-story

McKay Timber

Our business started from humble beginnings in 1947 and in 2017 McKay Timber will celebrate it’s 70th anniversary.


Alexander McKay (Alec) started working in the timber industry in 1931 at the age of 17 at H.Jones and Co and in 1939 moved to Crisp and Gunn as the timber purchaser. In 1947 he decided to create his own timber milling business W.A McKay, with a sawmilling operation at Mary’s Hope Road in Rosetta. In 1950 the business and sawmill moved from Rosetta to its current location at Wrights Avenue Glenorchy. During this period Alec also established Southern Hardwoods Pty Ltd as a branch of Kiln Dried Hardwoods Pty Ltd on the adjacent land at Glenorchy and on the 27th June 1957,W.A McKay Pty Ltd was incorporated.


In 1960 Alec’s son Bernard McKay commenced work in the business and then in 1969 Alec relinquished the day to day control of business to Bernard who was appointed manager of W.A McKay Pty Ltd. It was at this time that the company actively determined to develop its role insupplying the local southern Tasmanian market.


In 1970 the company built a new office complex at the Glenorchy site in the same location it stands today. In 1971 a consortium of Tasmanian Timber Companies including W.A McKay Pty Ltd purchased the business of Chestermans and W.A McKay Pty Ltd took over the operations of the Chestermans mill at Buckland. 1975 saw the first steps of the upgrade and diversification of the Glenorchy site with the installation of a timber drying kiln and reconditioner. The expansion continued when in 1978 the business purchased H .T Russell & Sons sawmill at Swansea and then in 1981 the company purchased the Spring Bay Timber Company at Triabunna .


In 1984 W.A McKay Pty Ltd purchased the property adjoining the Glenorchy mill that was owned by Southern Hardwoods including the purchase of their planing mill. This gave the company a total holding of 27 acres of land in Glenorchy. The expansion and diversification continued when the company established the roof truss plant in 1986.


In 1987 Bernard’s son Brett McKay started with the company and now holds the position of General Manager.


1990 was a very significant year for the company. McKay Investments Pty Ltd; owned by Bernard and Elizabeth McKay purchased the business from the W.A McKay family and started trading as McKay Timber.


McKay Timber is continuing the expansion program with the purchase of Hume & Kerrision Timber business at Launceston and St Helens in 2003 and the purchase of Clennett Timber at Moonah and Bridgewater in 2007. McKay Timber is now the third largest hardwood processing company inTasmania, is currently operating at three locations around the state, and employs in excess of 100 people.

McKay Timber is 100% Tasmanian, proudly family owned and operated.