Forestry Minister, Paul Harriss, must disclose whether his in-house review of Forestry Tasmania is considering the sale of any of the GBE’s assets, and rule out further public subsidies in the forthcoming state budget to continue propping it up, Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“Minister Harriss’ failure deliver on his own Forestry Tasmania’s review’s deadline once again exposes his lack of any coherent forest industry plan,” Mr Booth said.
“The Greens warned at the time that the Harriss review into Forestry Tasmania would only entrench further uncertainty for workers, and waste valuable time and resources. The fact he cannot meet his own end of March deadline proves this point.”
“A comprehensive and independent review of Forestry Tasmania was conducted by URS Deloittes during the last government, which cost thousands of dollars, mapped out options to restructure the GBE, but this has been ignored by the Minister.”
“The only feasible option for Forestry Tasmania is the immediate transition to a full cost recovery business model, and the Minister has never provided a plausible reason for the government’s refusal to go down this path.”
“Clearly the Minister intends to ignore objective advice, and instead wants an in-house review to tell him what he wants to hear no matter how long that takes.”
“Minister Harriss has failed to meet his own deadline, he has broken the Liberals’ election promise to end public subsidies to Forestry Tasmania and he has failed to demonstrate his promised plan to ‘grow the industry’.”
“Instead we have TasNetworks being bled for a $30 million equity injection, additional to a Treasurer’s Letter of comfort for Forestry Tasmania, and still there appears no end in sight of the umbilical cord stretching between this GBE and the taxpayer.”
“Mr Harriss must commit to there being no further public subsidies to prop up this failing GBE in the May State Budget, and also disclose whether his review canvases the sale of any of the GBE’s assets,” Mr Booth said.