News

Forestry deal hits council budget

Mayor Ron Dyne.
Mayor Ron Dyne. Renee Pilcher

A DEAL struck between the former Queensland government and a US-based timber company has left a hole in the Gympie Regional Council budget, and local ratepayers to foot the bill.

Hancock Queensland Plantations paid $603 million for a 99-year lease over 204,000ha of Queensland plantation pine forests in 2010, including forestry at Imbil, Toolara and Gallangowan, near Manumbar.

Under the agreement, the Queensland Government retains ownership of the underlying land held under the licence.

AS a State Government asset, that forestry land was never subject to council rates, and when the licence to manage, harvest and regrow the timber was signed over to HQPlantations, that same exemption was applied, despite a submission against it from GRC.

Crown land accounts for 43% of the 698,000ha Gympie region, Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne said. Taking that much of the region out of the rates equation impacts on rates that have to be paid on the other 57%, he said.

Cr Dyne said the situation was also unfair to farmers who leased crown land but must pay rates. It is also unfair on the council coffers, which must fund timber road maintenance for the logging trucks.

But Member for Gympie David Gibson says almost 82,000ha of the region's 106,220ha State forest are managed by HQPlantations.

"The total area of State forest and protected area estate is 212,360ha, or 31% of the Gympie Regional Council area," Mr Gibson said.

"There are approximately 9700ha of plantations outside of the plantation licence area (i.e. on freehold land) in the GRC area that are managed by HQPlantations Pty Ltd for which rates are paid to the council," he said.

Mr Gibson said the Gympie region included three of Queensland's largest softwood processors, which drew log timber resources from the plantation licence area.

"These include the Laminex Group, Carter Holt Harvey Pinepanels and Superior Wood (formerly Hyne) at Imbil and Melawondi," he said.

"DAFF estimates that the forest growing and first-round primary processing sectors of the Queensland forest industry contribute about $500 million to Queensland's economy each year."

Gympie Times

Topics:  budget, gympie regional council, queensland government, timber




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Having battled PND four times, Mel says the secret is sleep

'I just thought, don’t all mothers get no sleep?’

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Together we're united for 6.8m regional Australians

Fairgo for regional australia.

Open letter to Malcolm Turnbull and bill Shorten

Wide Bay candidates: Why you should vote for me

Here's why you should vote for each of Wide bay's candidates

Entertainment around the Gympie region this week

What's on in the Gympie region this weekend?

Latest deals and offers

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Concern over Smerdon Rd high-density development

Mick Curran talks about the community's concern over the project which was approved...

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward