Qld dudded with forestry sales
QUEENSLAND taxpayers have been dudded with the sale of major forestry assets, including in the Gympie Region.
That is the view of ex-Gympie resident, private forestry advocate and environmental academic, Gary Bacon.
Prof Bacon, who is adjunct professor with Griffith University’s Environmental Futures Centre, said the state’s forestry assets appear to be going at bargain basement prices.
And, better than most fire sales, he said the assets have been sold for less than half their true value.
He was commenting on the government’s announcement of the big asset sale program, which has alienated public service unions and members, including many senior ALP supporters.
He said the government in May announced the sale of a 99-year lease on Forestry Plantations Queensland freehold property to the North American based Hancock Timber Resource Group.
While the land will remain in government hands, the right to grow and harvest trees on it is worth an estimated $1370 million, according to Prof Bacon.
The sale price to Hancock was $603 million, he said.
The sale affects around 35,000ha of freehold forestry, about 10 per cent of the total estate.
The Hancock Timber Resource Group manages timberlands worth about $8.5 billion across the United State, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Near-Gympie assets involved include Toolara and Tuan forestry areas.