South Australia Shadow Minister for Forestry Adrian Pederick
Sale Of Forests To Continue Despite Costing Government Millions
Victor P Taffa
The Weatherill Labor Government will cost the State money whilst it continues with the planned forward sale of three ForestrySA timber rotations.
Minister for Forests Gail Gago confirmed in Budget Estimates the planned forward sale of three ForestrySA timber rotations will go ahead despite a $3.8 Million cost to Government in the 2012-13 budget down $42 Million from the 2011-12 Budget.
“The whole aim of the forward sale was to make the Government money not cost it!” Shadow Minister for Forestry Adrian Pederick said.
“It will cost the government millions this year due to the announcement of the sale, yet the Weatherill Labor Government is more than happy to leak money.”
Following the Rann Government’s announcement of the planned forward sale, Forestry SA contributed $44.7 Million to Government in 2009-10. Based on this figure, if the Government decided to keep in its possession the three rotations up for grabs, totalling 111 years of timber rotations, Forestry SA would have contributed close to $5 Billion to the State’s bottom line.
“This is in marked contrast to the 2012-13 budget which shows ForestrySA would cost the Government $422 Million over the 111 years!” Mr. Pederick said.
“There is no escaping the reality that the Government itself blames the reduction in ForestrySA’s contributions from 2012-13 on the planned forward sale of forest rotations.”
Following Budget Estimates, the Weatherill Labor Government are still unclear of what undertaking the government will make given its community service obligation. Minister Gago was unable to explain what role the government will play once the forward sale is completed, including management of the local fire service.
“The planned forward sale is a complete and utter farce the Weatherill Labor Government needs to face up to reality like it did with the Cadell Ferry and call off the sale.” Mr. Pederick said.