Gunns hope on trading restart

TIMBER company Gunns hopes to resume share trading by the end of the week.

That would indicate that the company will know the size of the proposed state government payout to compensate for Gunns pulling out of native forest harvesting by then.

Both Gunns and the government remained tight- lipped yesterday about whether they had already talked about a possible payout figure.

Premier Lara Giddings said last weekend after signing the intergovernmental agreement on forests with Prime Minister Julia Gillard that she expected a decision on the proposed Gunns payout this week.

But Ms Giddings is on leave and not expected back on duty until at least the weekend.

Acting Premier Bryan Green said that the matter of the payout was a "very complex issue".

"We are still working through it," he said.

A Gunns spokesman refused to confirm whether there had been talks between the two parties already this week.

But it is understood that the company expects to be trading again by the end of the week.

Gunns requested an extension of its trading halt at the start of this week because the matter of its payout had not been mentioned in the forest agreement signed by Ms Gillard and Ms Giddings.

The company told the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday that it was still unclear how it was affected by the agreement but expected talks with the government soon which would clarify its position.