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Treasurer agrees to forestry talks

The Don’t Privatise SA Forests Campaign has made some headway, with the State Treasury
agreeing to meet to discuss the issue. Tomorrow (Tuesday), 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
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.