The Premier must guarantee that his government will not interfere in the marketplace and rule out any public subsidisation of any new woodchip export facility, Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“If private forest operators are calling for another woodchip or forestry residue facility to be established then it is up to the private sector to fund it,” Mr Booth said.
“Even should the Premier accept the Triabunna Committee Chair’s Interim Report recommendation to not compulsorily acquire the Triabunna mill site, which the Premier has yet to publicly accept, there is no justification for taxpayers’ money to be wasted on an alternative facility.”
“It is because of decades of government interference in the marketplace that has distorted the forestry sector and made it so reliant on bleeding the public purse.”
“The Greens do not believe there is a viable woodchip export market, especially not from native forest logging, given this is why Gunns Ltd mothballed the Triabunna Mill site in the first place, and it needs to be clear that if the private sector believes otherwise then it is the private sector which must wear the risk, not the taxpayer.”
“Premier Hodgman needs to rule out any public monies or in kind support, to be provided to the development and/or operation of any new woodchip export facility, whether based in the south or elsewhere in the state,” Mr Booth said.