New Forests swoop on failed plantation assets in south-west

A BUYER has snapped up the last swathes of south-west timber plantation land formerly owned by the failed MIS giant Great Southern Plantations. 

Timberland investment manager New Forests finalised the purchase yesterday of up to 80,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantation — much of it in south-west Victoria. 

Great Southern Group, a management investment scheme with huge plantations in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, collapsed in 2009 owing more than 40,000 investors up to $4 billion.  

While optimistic about the sale, New Forests managing director David Brand said the industry was still struggling with exports and the high Australian dollar. 

“New Forests looks to continue developing markets for the timber, with initial sales to existing Japanese clients as well as new clients in China and India,” Mr Brand said. 

“We will also focus on market development for veneer logs, as well as exploring opportunities for domestic energy, bio-fuels or other processing.”  

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