LAW firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques has acted on the newly announced sale of a 99 year lease of 35,000 acres of timber plantations for $603 million, a price above initial expectations.
Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser yesterday announced the sale of the licence for Forestry Plantations Queensland, which manages state-owned timber plantations.
Fraser said the Government has greater priorities than operating a timber business.
“The Government should be investing in schools and hospitals, not funding a timber business that supports other big businesses,” he said.
“By reaching agreement on a price of $603 million … this is great news for Queensland taxpayers.”
It is the first of five commercial businesses to be sold or leased to the private sector, Fraser said, in the Government’s latest bid to reform the state balance sheet and bolster the economy.
Mallesons acted as the legal adviser for Hancock and Goldman Sachs JBWere acted as financial adviser.
The Mallesons team was led by partners Robert Jackson, Susan Hilliard and Brian Murphy.
Fraser said that the Government remains committed to the South-East Queensland Forestry Agreement, including ensuring that the 20,000 hectares of hardwood plantations are established by 2025.
Fraser said this was a major milestone in the Government’s economic reform agenda.
“Only by making the tough decisions and having the courage to implement them, can you build a stronger economy,” he said.