Plantation assets sale a bad deal for taxpayers
Government received significantly less than the trees are worth
Minister refuses to answer basic questions about the deal
The Liberal Government has signed taxpayers up to a dud deal by privatising Tasmania’s plantation timber assets for significantly less than what they’re worth.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said it’s clear the Minister is embarrassed over the botched sale process.
“Guy Barnett made arguably the biggest forestry announcement of the last three and a half years at 6am in the morning on Facebook,” Ms White said.
“In Parliament he provided absolutely no detail on the conditions of the sale and refused to answer questions over the value of the deal.
“And it’s clear the Minister knows it too because he’s gone into hiding. If Guy Barnett was proud of the deal he’d be out selling it, instead of the Health Minister.
“It shouldn’t take a fire sale of forestry assets to make the Government invest more in the health system.
“A $15 million dollar investment would be welcome, but it’s nothing compared to the $210 million cut by the Liberals in their first budget.
“Just think about how much could have been invested in health if the Liberals had achieved what the plantations were actually worth.”
Shadow Resources Minister David Llewellyn said today’s announcement was extremely underwhelming.
“The plantation assets cost at least $90 million to establish, so it’s clear the Government is signing up Tasmanians to a significant loss,” Mr Llewellyn said.
“If the Government achieved the same sale price as KordaMentha did when it sold Gunns’ assets, it would have received around $190 million for the plantations.
“Whichever way you look at it, it’s a dud deal for taxpayers.”