South Australia set to announce conditions for south-east forestry asset sale
March 22, 2012
– South Australia has reached agreement on conditions for its controversial south-east forestry sale, with an announcement due Friday, ABC News reports on March 23.
Expressions of interest in the forestry asset closed earlier this year, and in a statement issued on Feb. 1, South Australian Treasurer Jack Snelling said there had been “strong interest from reputable timberland organizations and investors.”
Snelling was due to announce the conditions at Mount Gambier on March 23. The minister said the state government had worked with the South-East Forestry Industry Roundtable to ensure protection of the regional economy and jobs, ABC News reported.
The minister said the roundtable was “satisfied that these conditions will give the protection and the reassurance that families in the south-east need," and that the sale of the forward harvest would not have an adverse effect on the regional economy.
Since the plan first came to light almost a year ago, there has been much protest about the forward sale of timber assets. The South Australian government only formally announced last November the plan to put up to three rotations of its 81,000-ha. Green Triangle softwood plantation estate up for sale, Ninemsn reported Nov. 14, 2011.
According to conditions of the sale, expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, South Australia will retain ownership of the land along with water and carbon rights, and the buyer will receive rights to manage, harvest and re-grow the plantation for at least two rotations and possibly a third, according to Ninemsn.
The primary sources of this article are ABC News, Sydney, Australia, March 23, 2012 and Industry Intelligence archives.