State rescue package for forestry firm
BY RACHEL WILLIAMS BUSINESS REPORTER
04 Mar, 2010 08:52 AM
A GOVERNMENT rescue package is being developed to assist Forest Enterprises Australia in the same way as a $12 million low-interest loan saved King Island’s abattoir from closure last year.
Premier David Bartlett yesterday said discussions were centring on all the “usual things” that governments could offer to save more than 200 jobs, which remain in limbo while the Launceston timber company attempts to renegotiate a $216 million bank loan.
Opposition treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein yesterday confirmed he had received a preliminary briefing from the Department of Economic Development and was awaiting a further briefing this week.
The Liberals would need to sign-off on any financial assistance under caretaker conventions.
“I would hope that a package could be agreed to to allow FEA to survive financially,” Mr Gutwein said.
FEA chief executive Andrew White yesterday released a statement to say that FEA remained in discussions with its financiers over its restructuring plan and financing arrangements.
A restructure plan was refused last week and its securities were suspended.