FORESTRY Tasmania hangs in the balance, with its chairman telling staff the company’s immediate future is entirely in the government’s hands.
In an email sent to Forestry Tasmania staff yesterday, chairman Bob Annells responded to mounting concerns that the cash-strapped company may be dissolved and folded into a government department.
Mr Annells told staff that Forestry Tasmania was actively involved in a review testing a range of alternative options for the future management of the state’s forestry assets.
‘‘The review is also considering more broadly alternative future roles of government in the Tasmanian forest industry,’’ Mr Annells said in the email seen by The Examiner.
‘‘Ultimately, any final decision will rest with government.
‘‘You can be assured that Forestry Tasmania’s value ... will continue to be advocated very strongly by senior management and the board.’’
Resources Minister Paul Harriss refused to comment on the email, with a spokesman instead referring to comments he made in Parliament earlier this week.
‘‘It is not appropriate to comment or speculate on what that review may or may not include,’’ Mr Harriss said on Wednesday.
‘‘The government will respond publicly to the recommendations it contains.’’
Pressure is building on Mr Harriss to rule out winding up the government-owned forestry company.
Labor leader Bryan Green again pressed the minister in Parliament yesterday to outline how Forestry Tasmania would remain solvent after a $30 million equity transfer from TasNetworks dried up.
‘‘Everything now points towards a major change of direction from the Liberal government when it comes to Forestry Tasmania,’’ Mr Green said.
‘‘The hard-working people at FT need immediate answers.’’
The review’s final report is expected at the end of this month.
However, Mr Annells told staff it was unclear when any decisions or outcomes might be announced.