Image for Buyback: Let the market sort it out. Why should we fork out any money?

Who said “the funds received from Government have been compensation for loss of productive assets not operating subsidies”?

A. Joe Goebbels?

B. Bob Gordon?

C. Kim Booth?

D. Tony Abbott?

Not Kim, but Bob Gordon.

Who said “the purchase of an asset at an established commercial market price is a legitimate buy-back process which does not equate compensation”.

No it wasn’t Tony, it was Kim Booth.

Confused?

Count me in.

Call it what you will, they’re Government handouts.

Kim Booth has muddied the waters with his confusion between a quota and a license. Or maybe Gunns only has certain contractual rights? Who knows? Does Kim’s speechwriter? Please tell.

There is further confusion caused by the implicit acceptance by Kim Booth of Gunns’ mantra that its exit from native forests is “for commercial reasons”.

Gunns is insolvent and needs to cease its loss making activities and put all its assets up for sale so that it is able to sign the solvency declaration in a month’s time. The sawn timber showed a loss in the latest financials.

Can’t you read Kim?

If a taxi owner becomes insolvent is the Government obliged to purchase the taxi license?

If the rights to native forests have any value and they are capable of being sold or assigned to another party, then let Voluntary Liquidator Greg L’Estrange put them up for sale like everything else on his books. Alec Marr may wish to add to his portfolio.

Why should we fork out any money?

The Government policy makers have been so awfully remiss for so long, it’s a little late in the day for another piecemeal intervention on behalf of Gunns.

The Government should save any cash to pay contractors in cases where its wholly owned subsidiary FT has breached contractual arrangements with contractors, pausing only to sack the Board before assisting other contractors in legal action against Gunns for similar breaches.

Who the hell is “a qualified Probity Auditor” anyway? Never heard of such a person.

Let the market sort it out. It won’t take much longer.

Gunns Share Price, HERE

• Environment groups support timber workers’ call to governments

Environment groups today supported the calls of timber workers and contractors for state and federal governments to end months of inaction and urgently implement outcomes offered by the Statement of Principles agreement.

“We share the frustration of timber workers and recognise the industry crisis is hurting workers and their families,” said Lindsay Hesketh, spokesperson from the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“We endorse the call for state and federal governments to support the Statement of Principles agreement in full and look to the governments to provide the required funding and policy commitments as a matter of urgency,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, spokesperson from Environment Tasmania.

“The Statement of Principles offers governments the best opportunity to deal with the timber industry crisis by protecting unique and important native forests, supporting struggling timber workers and planning for a new, sustainable timber industry that offers secure jobs,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

ABC Online report: Forest contractors investigate class action

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK

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

M E D I A R E L E A S E
19 July 2011

Gillard ignores forest industry

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ignored and insulted Tasmania’s forest industry on the same day it is rallying on Parliament House’s lawns to fight for its future.

Ms Gillard told ABC local radio this morning that Federal Labor was engaging with the union and the environmental stakeholders over the forestry Statement of Principles, but the Prime Minister failed - not once but twice - during the interview to mention the industry.

“What a slap in the face for the forest industry businesses,” Senator Colbeck said.

“The Statement of Principles process is suppose to give equal voice to all stakeholders – which include Timber Communities Australia, the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, Tasmanian Country Sawmillers’ Association, the National Association of Forestry, and the Australian and Tasmanian Forest Contractors Associations.

“It shows how prejudiced and disengaged Ms Gillard is when the only stakeholders she can name are the union and the environment groups,

“Ms Gillard let slide a perfect opportunity to voice her support for Tasmania’s forest industry and to give hope to the many businesses, contractors and families who are facing very uncertain futures.

“Despite her insistence that she is engaged with this process, Ms Gillard gave no sign she understands Tasmania’s forest industry and the significant challenges at hand.

“Ms Gillard had nothing to say on the core issue of native forest logging.

“As highlighted just recently with the exclusion of native forest biomass from renewable energy certificates, it looks increasingly like Labor’s policy on forestry is being driven by the Greens,” Senator Colbeck said.

SUPPORT FOR FORESTS STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
Federal-State Implementation Plan Needed

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader
Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Tasmanian Greens today reiterated their support for the Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles process, saying they support calls made by unions, environment groups, forestry workers and contractors for Commonwealth and State governments to commit to meeting the conservation and industry restructure goals.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said the Statement of Principles provides a historic opportunity to protect high conservation value forests, restructure the forest industry, and provide assistance to employees and contractors.

Mr McKim said that the Greens would continue to work constructively to deliver on the Statement of Principles.

“An agreement on the Statement of Principles forged by now needs to be delivered by State and Federal governments, and the Greens will continue to work constructively towards this end,” Mr McKim said.

“The Greens pledge to continue to work to deliver this once in a generation opportunity to protect our unique high conservation value forests while delivering a timber industry all Tasmanians can be proud of, and continue the transition of Tasmania’s economy.”

“We have long been on the public record supporting a fair and equitable exit package to assist Tasmanian forest contractors who are facing financial ruin through no fault of their own.”

“We were the only Party to take to the 2010 State election a specific Buyouts Not Bailouts: Delivering a Fair Exit Package for Tasmanian Forest Contractors policy, launched by Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP, to provide for a dignified exit from the industry for contractors facing financial ruin.”

“Doing nothing is not an option. Market forces are driving change and Tasmania needs the Statement of Principles delivered to ensure a structured transition for the forest industry rather than leaving workers and communities exposed to the ravages of global markets,” Mr McKim said.