The ministerial statement on the future of Forestry Tasmania today was a de facto announcement of the appointment of an Administrator.
Expressions of interest are to be invited for some of FT’s assets, mainly the hardwood plantations, which hopefully will be enough to cover the costs of Administration.
FT will then almost certainly be wound up.
I was going to write my own response to Wednesdays announcements by Resources Minister Paul Harriss but John Lawrence beat me to it and with much greater depth and understanding.
Thank you John. And I fully agree with his analysis.
Please read John Lawrence’s analysis and response to yesterdays announcements.
Remember that Forestry Tasmania is the largest grower/supplier of Tasmanian blackwood timber to the market. When FT goes the blackwood industry will have some tough times adjusting.
I will leave you with John’s closing statement:
Minister Harriss hasn’t produced a plan. Rather a plea. Help me.
After all the talk about growing the industry when the figures suggested growing the industry will grow the losses has left him with the credibility of miracle cancer survivor Belle Gibson and the strategic smarts of Colonel Custer.
One good reason for maintaining FT for a while longer is that sale of assets will be more easily effected by a GBE.
When Minister Harriss talks about finding a way to fund a transition, he is referring to the transition from Administration to Liquidation.
Nothing else is likely at this stage.
PS. This is not to say it will be the end of the forest industry. Quite the opposite.
I believe the best option now available is to recognise that the future of the industry is with private forest growers and farmers. It already is! Most wood now grown and sold in Australia comes from private forest growers. This is even now true in Tasmania. The future is already here.
The sooner we move on and get the conflict and politics out of the industry the better it will be for everyone, including blackwood growers.