Gunns site sold, but not to Dorset group

GUNNS Ltd receivers KordaMentha confirmed yesterday that the company's former Ling Siding integrated timber processing facility site at Scottsdale had been sold to an unidentified bidder.

KordaMentha spokesman Michael Smith said he could not disclose the successful applicant or the price paid for the 34-hectare site.

However, Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis said it was not the Dorset Renewable Industries group chaired by David Hamilton, despite the Coalition's pre-election pledge to grant the group $2.8 million to help it buy the treatment plant and sheds.

KordaMentha agreed to delay selling the site in July to give the community group more time to secure funds.

Expressions of interest closed in early August and Stronach Timber Industries was also believed to be interested.

``In the last few days we've been sifting through last bids and we narrowed it down to two final bids,'' Mr Smith said.

``Both of them had conditions and we wanted an unconditional sale because we were hearing what the local council and the EPA were saying about the need to sell it to address some environmental issues.

``One of the final two bidders responded by removing the conditions and the other one was not in a position to do that so we signed a contract for an unconditional sale with the successful bidder.

``It is another step in a long process in disposing of the Gunns' assets and clearing some of the debt and it has been a pretty complex assignment.''

Cr Jarvis said he hoped the new owner would use the site to generate economic activity in the region.

``As a community we have been well aware that the Dorset Renewable Industries Group were certainly out there in the public saying they wanted the site.

``We don't want the site to be knocked down for scrap metal, we want to see it being worked and usable and create employment,'' Cr Jarvis said

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