Forests sold

THE State Government has entered an agreement to sell the forward rotations of South East plantations to a consortium led by The Campbell Group, LLC, representing a number of investors, including Australia’s Future Fund.

Treasurer Jack Snelling visited Mount Gambier today to announce the deal, despite unprecedented protests in recent years against the sale proposal, which prompted a massive community campaign in the region.

He said the sale process had generated strong interest from a range of experienced, high-quality forestry investors from around the world.

“TCG put forward the best proposal – which included a very strong price - that included meeting all of the conditions of sale which were developed by the South East Forestry Industry Roundtable and endorsed by the government in March,” Mr Snelling said.

TCG is one of the world’s largest timber investment managers and currently manages over 3 million acres of timberland assets.

TCG president and chairman John Gilleland said TCG was committed to the local industry and looking forward to working with local customers, suppliers and the high quality management team at ForestrySA.

“We are very pleased to have secured the rights to manage what is one of the highest quality timber plantations in Australasia,” Mr Gilleland said.

Mr Snelling said the sale was a strong vote of support in the long-term viability of the local industry.

“Government is committed to working with TCG and local industry participants to further enhance investment and employment in the region,” he said.

“It is pleasing that we have come to a set of conditions that will protect the long-term future of the industry in the South East and that TCG have agreed to those conditions.

“This forward sale will allow the Government to invest taxpayers money into key areas such as roads, hospitals, police and schools.”

Completion of the sale will occur later this year.

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