Cover image for Associated Pulp and Paper Mills, Burnie (Appm)
Associated Pulp and Paper Mills, Burnie (Appm)
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1936
End Date:
31 Mar 2010
Associated Pulp & Paper Mills Limited (APPM Ltd) was a manufacturer of wood pulp, paper and timber. The company was formed by Gerald Mussen (1872-1960) in Burnie, North West Tasmania, in 1936. APPM had begun development much earlier, with Paper Makers Ltd registered as a company in 1930, and 'Tasmanian Paper P/L' registered in 1927. It was through these companies, and major investment from Amalgamated Zinc, and other Collins House Group (Melbourne) companies, that APPM was able to gain the capital to be established. However the commercial interests of competing investors saw the focus of APPM move away from newsprint to fine paper.
APPW completed the Mill at Burnie in 1937, with staffing, training, and procurement occurring in 1936-38. The first paper making machine was put into operation in 1938. Paper produced from Eucalyptus pulp with the machine was given a special watermark 'U-Clypt'. A second machine was installed in 1939. Demand for paper over the years of WW2 greatly assisted the development and expansion of APPM. Until 1956, APPM was the sole manufacturer of fine paper in Australia. 
While Mussen's aim was to establish a mill that could create fine paper from eucalypts, he was also interested in the welfare of employees and in the development of Burnie. The company included a 'welfare council' which saw an emphasis on investment in employees and local business. APPM Ltd, known locally in Burnie as 'The Pulp', became by the 1950s a major employer in the region. 
APPM Ltd expanded in the 1950s and 60s with the development of and a Particle Board Mill at Wesley Vale. In 1970 APPM purchased its main competitor, a mill at Shoalhaven in NSW, and Wiggins Teape became the largest shareholder in APPM. The change in ownership saw a different approach to workers' rights. This combined with lower profits, led to industrial and financial problems for APPM. Amcor purchased APPM in 1993. In 2000 'PaperlinX' demerged from Amcor, retaining ownership of the Wesley Vale and Burnie Mills. In 2009, PaperlinX (as TasPaper) closed the Wesley Vale mill, and in 2010, closed the Burnie Mill.
Records held by Tasmanian Archives focus on the 1930s to 1970s. APPM records are also held in the University of Melbourne Archives (also 1930s-70s) and the Burnie Regional Museum.
Information Sources:
Edwards, Paul, 2006, 'AP&PM', The Companion to Tasmanian History; Jamieson, Allan, 2011, 'The Pulp: the birth, life and death of an industry'; Spicers company website (accessed 04/2020).; Young, Sally, 2019, Paper Emperors: The rise of Australia's newspaper empires.
Functions Performed:
Tasmanian businesses
Betty Cunningham (NG3590)