Saturday, 7 February 2009

A response to Great Southern

There was disturbing unreality about Great Southern’s Mr Ikin reply (Your Say January 30th) to my letter on land tax in general and GSL’s Temma property in particular.

Mr Ikin is still reading from an old copy of GSL’s psalm book.

GSL reported on their website in October 2008 that “extensive areas of this plantation have failed and the majority of the failed areas are yet to be replanted……..approximately 36 hectares of this area will not be replanted.”

This differs from Mr Ikin’s assertion that only 14 hectares failed and it has all been replanted.

GSL has also allowed its cattle to graze the property inflicting great damage to the seedlings already battling to survive adverse conditions.

The business of tree growing is being carried on at Temma by 2,400 Woodlot owners.

Has GSL informed them that according to the ATO Ruling which governs MIS schemes that “…. in the event of partial or total destruction of an investor's leased area, the investor's share of gross proceeds from the sale of the pooled timber would reflect the investor's reduced holdings “?

There are some investors whose Woodlots have failed completely. Other Woodlots have suffered partial destruction. GSL are keen to suppress the truth.

If the ATO were to deny deductions for MIS investors on the basis that GSL hadn’t complied with all the constituent agreements entered into with investors and OK’d by the ATO, then all hell would break loose.

Not to mention the State Revenue Office determining that there is no reasonable expectation of profit at Temma, hence the primary producer land tax exemption does not apply - unless Mr Llewellyn turns a blind eye to their Private Timber Reserve application.

Mr Ikin is keen to point to the achievement of GSL planting 10,000 hectares of plantations in Tasmania over the last 3 years.

That’s a tax subsidy of $40m.

Few farmers of my acquaintance regard this as money well spent. Just another example of the excesses of the last few years.

(Published in Tasmanian Country 6th February 2009)



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