Economics of Logging

VicForests' dividend - the truth!

Friday, November 13, 2015

invoice to VicForests from the Victorian public 2015

View invoice (PDF) here

Opening VicForests 2014 - 2015 Annual Report, the corporation's chairman, Gordon Davies, makes the proud assertion that "These results have enabled us to pay increasing dividends to the Government, providing a financial return to the people of Victoria in addition to all of the social benefits the native timber industry provides". This is reinforced by a similar claim in the CEO's Report, "Our ongoing positive financial position has enabled us to pay dividends to our shareholder, the Treasurer - $250,000 based on the 2012-13 results, $765,000 on the 2013-14 results and a proposed $1.5 million based on this year’s results". 

In case anybody has missed it, "Payment of a dividend of $765,000 based on 2013-14 results", is reiterated as a 'Highlight' of the Annual Report. 

These misleading claims appear to be deliberately repeated in order to imply that a dividend was paid during the reporting year.

VicForests – 11 years of loss-loss

Friday, November 13, 2015

 

VicForests is crowing that this 2014/15 year, it made a profit of $4.68 million.

And for the first time in eight years, a dividend of $765 000 was paid to the people of Victoria via the Treasurer and VicForests is still thinking about paying last year’s owed dividend of $1.5 million. Whether we’ll see it is another thing. On a backlogged debt of $60 million, it’s a start. VicForests claims it’s paid a return to Victorian’s of $5 million (in 2006 and 2007). $5 million represents a very small recompense to the state for $871 million worth of publicly owned wood pulp and timber from our native forests.

VicForests plans EG forests as industrial furnace fuel

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Big River East GippslandA leaked three-year business plan of VicForests reveals multi-million dollar taxpayer losses among other startling revelations. East Gippsland is mentioned as the most uneconomic region having made losses of $5.5 million p.a. for years. This region supports the most exquisite and wildlife rich forests in SE Australia - that have been clearfelled to sell as ‘waste’ – and we are paying them to carry out this destruction. But that’s not the worst of it.

VicForests must go

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tax-payer sponsored environmental demolition must end and VicForests must be relegated to history, is the message Environment East Gippsland is sending to the Victorian Government after the exposé that $5.5 million “Community Service Obligation” is funding public forest destruction annually in the region.

“Environment groups are feeling vindicated across the state after decades of highlighting this fact and denial by VicForests”, said Jill Redwood of EEG. “We have to thank the whistle-blower within VicForests for helping uncover the scandal”.

The government’s own tax-dodger

Friday, April 10, 2015

It is not only hi-tech internationals like Microsoft, Google and Apple that are rorting the tax system to minimise declared profits and therefore pay less tax.

Low-tech, state-owned native forest logging corporation, VicForests, has been at it for years. Since  2007 VicForests has posted total revenues of almost $1 billion raised from the sale of public wood-chips and timber.. Two-thirds of this is paid to a small number of loggers and hauliers  and the balance is spent on running VicForests, including the CEO's wage of over $300,000 per annum, about the same as the Premier's.

Creative accounting – VicForests style

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Paper profits for political appearances

VicForests Annual Report for 2014 is now available here and they are claiming a profit of $3.4 million this year, but this claimed profit is a mirage, created for political reasons.

$2.6m seems to have been generated (on paper at least) by re-valuing "forestry assets", see Note 3c, p.42

Another $1.1m is gained in reduced Road access fees (payable to DEPI/DELWP). Given the volume of timber carted is almost identical to the previous year, it is not clear why this fee would be reduced. Possibly to help a loss making government entity look healthy and profitable.

Gas prices could kill off Australian Paper

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Australian Paper which manufactures REFLEX paper from the Central Highland ash forests, is Victoria’s major user of natural gas. The price of gas is set to rise astronomically Australian Paper Mill chip pilesdue to increased sales offshore. This will be a serious financial burden for this Nippon owned pulp and paper mill. As a result it is pleading for government intervention (more subsidies?) to help it adapt to the price increases.

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