Western Australia Minister for Forestry Terry Redman
Back To Core Business For Forest Products Commission
Victor P Taffa
The Forest Products Commission (FPC) will take on a redefined role and return to focusing on its core business of supplying wood to the forestry industry.
As part of this redefinition, a taskforce has been established to look at the possibility of a sale of the fee-for-service and sharefarming division of the FPC to the private sector.
It was expected the taskforce would report back within the next two months.
Western Australia Minister for Forestry Terry Redman said the State Government was keen to look at ways to exit the current role it played in the areas of planting trees for carbon off-sets and investing in sharefarming by growing trees on farms for the purposes of harvesting.
“Recent years have seen the private sector invest more and more in these areas. For this reason, the Government will be exploring ways it can transfer this work to the private sector and focus on its core role of supplying native hardwood, pine and sandalwood to our forest industries.” Mr. Redman said.
“The sectors have now matured to a point where private companies are creating plantations on private land. It is inappropriate to have Government competing against private sector in this area.”
“With respect to sharefarming, much more can be achieved by changing the Government’s role from direct investor on a small scale to a support agency that can provide advice, research and practical assistance to private sector projects of a larger scale.” Mr. Redman said.
“As we move forward with the investigation of a sale, consultation will occur with various groups including other Government departments, FPC staff and the private sector.”
“Approximately 90 FPC staff is involved in these areas and has a huge wealth of resources and knowledge that could be very attractive to private investors. A sale option will be thoroughly investigated as an alternative to redeployments or voluntary redundancies.” Mr. Redman said.
Obligations to investors and landowners will be met regardless of any sale or restructure to FPC.