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Christine Milne had this to say in the Senate over Federal Forestry Agreements with Tasmania’s FT:


“This was an agreement{2005} negotiated under the former Prime Minister, John Howard. Grants were paid between 2005 and 2010. It cost the Australian people $252.2 million given to Tasmania. Part of that money went to forest contractors and people working in the industry but a substantial amount went to Forestry Tasmania—$145.7 million. It was paid up-front by the Commonwealth. It was paid for a number of reasons but a large proportion of it was to establish plantations in Tasmania, and the whole idea of this process was to get out of native forest logging.
That money has virtually been wasted, because we now have a situation where the Auditor-General in Tasmania has had a look at it and said that Forestry Tasmania has been using money that was paid by the Commonwealth up-front for its operating expenses, for its cash flow. In fact, the Auditor-General pointed out that, in the event that that did not occur, Forestry Tasmania would have been in dire straits. The Auditor in Tasmania has said that they have concerns over Forestry Tasmania’s longer term liquidity.


So when you look at that Commonwealth money that went into Forestry Tasmania—they received $145.7 million. In that time frame, Forestry Tasmania has only paid $3.7 million in dividends, $3.5 million in tax; a total of $7.2 million which represents a cost to the community of $138.5 million over five years. That is how much the Australian community, the taxpayer, is out of pocket to Forestry Tasmania for in that time.


And it is not the first time. When I was in the Tasmanian parliament, $272 million of the Tasmanian forestry commission debt was transferred to the general state debt when the commission was corporatized in 1990. So they were in debt then—$272 million—and it was forgiven. They moved it off their balance sheet onto the cost of the consolidated fund, and Forestry Tasmania as a corporation started in the black, thanks to the taxpayer.


They have managed to get themselves right back into a hideous amount of debt, to the point where—and I am not sure if the minister is even aware of this—in the financial statements it was noticed that Forestry Tasmania is currently in breach of a lending covenant related to its debt to capital leverage ratio.”


This, the rogue Tasmanian sheltered workshop for mates of the Lib/Lab Governments,  has transferred at enormous cost a free public asset to Private Enterprise so as to cost  - to paraphrase the immortal words of Lennon “every person on the island more than $870” (and we do not even have a Pulp Mill to only possibly redress the balance).


Under the IGA another large sum of money will go to prop up this mendicant company.


It is wrong - plain wrong - but this is your corrupt Tasmania as FT only operates thanks to State Government guarantees, which will be called upon.


Gordon should be sacked and the likes of Rolley and Dreilsma should be removed from their retirement cosy board seats in other GBEs and brought promptly to account (for FT’s past performance) when Green is forced to resign.


Where are you Hodgman?. You are in Opposition and we pay you to oppose.

Oppose then ... you might get elected!