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City of Mount Gambier Press Release: Treasurer agrees to forestry talks

On Tuesday 1st March 2011, the three Mayors of the Lower South East councils will meet with the newly‐appointed Treasurer Jack Snelling in Adelaide to express, on behalf of the community, their extreme concern about the Government’s proposal to forward sell ForestrySA harvests. City of Mount Gambier Mayor Steven Perryman says the invitation to meet with the Treasurer is
a welcome sign after four months of heavy campaigning. “All along, we’ve been asking the State Government to listen to our concerns, as the potential sale of our assets will be catastrophic for our region, so it is pleasing to be granted an audience with the Treasurer,” he said. “In addition to outlining the costs of such a sale, we also have lots of questions to ask ‐ and we have entire communities waiting for answers.”
Some of these questions were outlined in an open letter which was delivered to Premier Mike Rann in late January.
“To assist our community and the State to better understand exactly what the Government proposed, we would like an accurate description of the asset that is being considered for sale, the timing of a proposed sale process, predicted asset returns and what it would mean for the State’s credit rating,” explains Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage.
“There are also questions surrounding the process applied to the Regional Impact Statement, future liabilities arising from carbon and water policy, forest re‐establishment and a reduction in timber availability,” adds Wattle Range Mayor Peter Gandolfi. “In the South East, there is no
bigger player than the timber industry and there is a lot at stake, so we really need some answers.”
While community leaders continue to stand united in the fight to stop any forward sale, some of the South East’s most high profile business leaders have also thrown their support behind the campaign, along with scores of individuals.
“We are incredibly proud of the strength and determination of local communities during this campaign, and we are hopeful that we can return to the region on Tuesday evening with more information about the overall situation,” says Mayor Perryman.
For further details contact any of the undersigned Mayors.
Steve PERRYMAN, Mayor, City of Mount Gambier: 0428 212 507
Richard SAGE, Mayor, District Council of Grant: 0428 388 084
Peter GANDOLFI, Mayor, Wattle Range Council: 0419 155 447