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End Forestry Subsidies

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Tags: Subsidies

Forestry Tasmania could be required to shift to a full cost-recovery business model from the 1st of July this year, should a Greens’ motion be passed by the Lower House, Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“Despite loudly stating that Forestry Tasmania’s taxpayer-funded contingency monies will dry up at the end of this financial year, the Liberal government has refused to rule out other forms of public largesse going into propping up the industry,” Mr Booth said.

“The Greens want to see the forestry industry make a full transition off the public purse and into a sustainable business model which sees royalty rates charged that reflect both the true costs and a commercial margin.”

“If the Hodgman government is genuine about removing public subsidies for forestry, and having an industry which stands on its own two feet, then they shouldn’t have any problem voting in support of the Greens’ motion which would require Forestry Tasmania to move to a full cost-recovery business model by the 1st of July this year,” Mr Booth said.

Text of motion tabled by Greens Leader Kim Booth MP today:

  1. Notes that:

(a)  significant public subsidies have been provided to Forestry Tasmania over many years;

(b) Despite recent public statements made by the Hodgman Liberal government ruling out further public subsidies to Forestry Tasmania, further clarification over the following has not been provided:

(i) Whether the letter of comfort provided to Forestry Tasmania by a previous Treasurer has been revoked, and if not whether the current Treasurer intends to revoke it;

(ii) Whether Forestry Tasmania will no longer be able to borrow money from the Crown of any other lender;

(iii) Whether the Government will rule out forgiving Forestry Tasmania debts including unfunded superannuation liability, or transfer assets from other GBEs and state-owned companies;

(c) Further notes the intention of the Hodgman Liberal Government to allow logging of minor species timbers in conservation areas;

(2) Agrees that:

  1. The government is to ensure that all forestry logging and harvesting operations, including of minor species timber,  is to be done on a full cost-recovery basis, and that royalty rates are charged to the recipients that  reflect both the cost and a commercial margin; and

  2. Forestry Tasmania is to shift to a full cost-recovery business model on the removal of taxpayer subsidies, from 1 July 2014.