Conditions recommended by South-East industry and community leaders to protect the long-term future of the region’s forestry industry will be incorporated in the contract of the forward sale of the forest rotations of the Green Triangle, according to the South Australian Government.
In Mount Gambier, Treasurer Jack Snelling said he had taken advice from the South East Forestry Industry Roundtable and released the conditions for the forward sale to be included in an Information Memorandum sent to interested bidders.
“In May last year the Government appointed the roundtable so the local community could advise us on what they believed needed to be done to ensure the South-East had a long-term viable forestry industry,” Mr Snelling said.
“As I have promised, the roundtable recommendations and my response to those recommendations will be made public at this stage of the sale process and I am pleased that we have reached a consensus with the roundtable.
“The people of the South-East can feel secure that jobs are now protected and their futures in the forestry industry will continue to thrive.”
Mr Snelling said the roundtable had provided advice to the Treasurer on specific conditions of the sale.
To keep the integrity of the standard of forest product coming out of the region, the new purchaser will need to achieve a minimum area weighted average clear fell age of between 32 and 35 years for the first rotation period which will be at least 32 years. That length is consistent with the policies currently adopted by Forestry SA, according to Mr Snelling.
To guarantee a future local timber industry, the new purchaser will need to ensure there is a commitment to match Forestry SA’s current level of planned viable domestic supply.
Mr Snelling said exports will be met through current Forestry SA processes for uncontracted sawlog sales where local sawmillers are able to compete with exporters on price and other commercial terms to secure supply.
Other conditions such as reporting requirements and replanting obligations are available at Mr Snelling’s website (see below).
Roundtable Chairman Trevor Smith said he was satisfied that the roundtable recommendations had been responded to appropriately by the Treasurer and would be included in the conditions of sale.
“After months of liaising with the South East, we have come to an acceptable agreement where our concerns have been considered and evaluated as part of the development of these conditions of sale,” Mr Smith said.
“We are confident that the forestry industry will remain sustainable in the South East.”
Mr Snelling said the Government will release a request for indicative bids to respondents shortlisted from an earlier call for Expressions of Interest (EOI). The Information Memorandum – a commercial document – will only be forwarded to bidders shortlisted from the EOI stage.
The forward sale process is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
Correspondence from the roundtable and responses from the Treasurer can be accessed by visiting www.treasury.sa.gov.au