THE Kyogle Council in northern NSW has set up a timber industry reference panel to help investors interested in buying local plantations that have been put up for sale by the administrators of Forest Enterprises Australia.
The panel consists of forestry academics, researchers and commercial operators who will be available to provide professional advice and assistance on the condition of the plantations and opportunities for turning them into productive assets.
FEA was placed into voluntary administration in April 2010.
In September this year the administrators and receivers entered into a Binding Co-operation Agreement to sell FEA's various assets comprising about 97,900 ha of freehold land including 46,200 ha of associated hardwood forestry plantation across NSW, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
FEA has more than 40 properties in the Kyogle Council area.
Kyogle Council is looking forward to opportunities to work with any new and existing timber industry players to realise the potential of the FEA plantations.
After a period of rapid development where rural properties were established to plantations, there has been a period of uncertainty, particularly since the global economic crisis.
A considerable resource has been established, and with the recent call for expressions of interest to purchase Forest Enterprises Australia blocks, Council now looks forward to opportunities to work with any new and existing players to ensure ongoing local development of this industry.
It is hoped that this will help further develop the timber industry in the area and lead to local employment, local processing and value adding.