Saturday, 3 March 2007

How will the fairytale end?

"Jarvis Cocker" on Tasmanian Times has an exciting farytale for us. There's also been a lot of effort from the government to prop up Auspine over the last couple of weeks. Now, you would have to wonder if people understand that any public money spent to assist Auspine is public subsidy of the forest industry. That is, profits made by private companies are being propped up by our money. Furthermore, a resource which is uneconomic to harvest will be made "economic" with the expenditure of our money. Which of course doesn't actually make it "economic" to harvest it. FEA have already flagged a potential issue in the way the government is falling over itself to buy the good graces of the people of Scottsdale, who, if Jarvis is right, have been led up the garden path by Mr Jakab. (However lets not forget that Mr Jakab isn't all that popular with the Piranha Bros cabal.) I wonder if FEA were offered the Strahan or King Island logs and at what price?
An interesting exercise would be to actually identify all the costs, benefits and risks of the Tasmanian forest industry, in its current structure, and see whether there's a net benefit to the state. Included in the costs would need to be all the subsidies and intangible costs which are generally ignored.
And I'm still interested to find out where Gunns are going to source the 280,000 tonnes of softwood they need for the pulpmill.

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