Image for Bryan, the Lynch Mob and the softening-up process ...

A response to: Greens just want the end of special favours which was A response to: Buyback: Let the market sort it out

Get with the program pleads Tom.

No thanks, I’m off the Kool Aid.

Tom you avoided most of the issues.

Mr Booth’s original analogy with the fishing industry using ‘license’ and ‘quota’ interchangeably when the terms have quite precise and separate meanings, demonstrated an inadequate understanding that surely must be a prerequisite to any new policy.

Please explain exactly what is being repurchased? You may also wish to address Garry Stannus’ comments on a similar thread re the wood supply agreements.

Please explain who are the other parties to the agreement? Obviously FT, but the Crown? Is the Crown bound by every contractual arrangement entered into by FT?

We are approaching a watershed time with both Gunns and FT needing to publicly confirm their solvency status in the next month or so. Tom you haven’t given sufficient weight to this fact.

I’m not sure whether you can follow a set of financials, but in the case of FT try the Auditor General’s report instead. FT’s last 2 Corporate Plans have fallen disastrously short of expectations and the rug has just been pulled from a possible profit share arrangement with Aprin, so the 2011 Plan must be looking pretty sick.

The first task is to restructure FT, let’s get the foundations right. For a while the 300,000 tonne sawlog requirement has distorted the industry. But right now it’s not a problem, certainly not the biggest problem.

Tom if you have time, have a detailed look at the last set of financials for Gunns and all the subsequent ASX announcements and then tell me how solvent they are. Why give them money? What chance is there that Gunns will sell their entitlements to another buyer for any significant sum? You must be joking. Even if the rights can be assigned, the other party to the deal is FT which is insolvent and will inevitably have to be wound up or seriously restructured, so anyone conducting due diligence on the deal would shy away unless they got cast iron guarantees from the Government which it isn’t necessarily obliged to do. So why the haste to give Gunns money?

Tom you didn’t tell us who the hell is a Probity Auditor. Just read off the autocue even if you don’t understand it.

If it’s taken the roundtable 18 months to reach its current state of inconclusion what odds everyone agreeing on a person to arbitrate on the value of some legal entitlement? And then accepting the decision?

I don’t know whether you follow the news Tom but the value placed by 2 interested parties in an East Coast chip mill recently varied by 60%.

It seems judging by what Bryan Green said the other day about a Federal bailout being imminent that the Greens are trying to soften everyone preparatory to Gunns getting a handout.

If Bryan was really interested in restructuring the industry don’t you think he would have moved a little earlier with his Strategic Review especially seeing as the main players are insolvent and probably have been for a while?

Bryan knows that he and his mates O’Connor and McLean have led their loyal long suffering fluoro vested foot soldiers up a dry gulch and the only way they can distance themselves from a baying lynch mob is if a bucket of money can be produced, which will have to be split with Gunns ideally with the cooperation of the Greens and the ENGOs.

Enter Tom and his ‘program’.

It’s all a bit Jonestown for me.

Senator for Tasmania

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science

20 July, 2011

Forest talks turn to a farce

Bryan Green’s revelation that the Tasmanian government has rejected an offer from the Commonwealth for the forest negotiations confirms this process is now a high farce.
Descriptions of the negotiations as a ‘peace process’ have proved to be nothing but misty-eyed drivel, Coalition Forestry spokesman Richard Colbeck said.

“There is no agreement and, even if there was, several key elements of the draft document have already been breached by the environment movement.

“And in the face of all this - and the fact that no industry player has signed the so called Melbourne document - the State and Commonwealth governments blunder on.

“Given there is no deal, what are they funding?

“Timber Communities Australia has made a conscious decision not to sign, and Tasmanian saw milling businesses have not signed, so why is the Commonwealth offering money to Tasmania?

“Despite the months of negotiations there is no peace in our forests,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Protestors now run xenophobic attacks on industry players.

“Just as they have done on every other occasion, the Greens and environment groups have walked out of the negotiations in order to claim they are not party to any agreement and so they can continue to protest.

“It is a repeated tactic, and the industry and the general public are frustrated that these groups are never held accountable for their actions.

“It was agreed that the Triabunna wood chip mill would continue to operate, yet that property is now in the hands of multi-millionaire greenies who bought the mill so they could shut it down.

“The Greens and environment groups have delivered nothing to the negotiation process.

“Yet they have had all the wins, at the expense of the industry’s losses.

“When David Bartlett started this process the industry in Tasmania was not in crisis but it is now, courtesy of this bungled Labor process.

“The Labor-Green Government can add Tasmania’s forest industry to its growing list of stuff-ups,” Senator Colbeck said.