Hardwood Plantation Portal
Who can I go to for advice in relation to the management of plantations on my land
PFT solicited capability statements and contact details for businesses in Tasmania providing forest management activities for forest owners. The statements are provided to assist property and forest owners, and does not constitute any form of endorsement or recommendation by PFT of these organisations.
Technical Forest Services Pty Ltd -CLICK HERE for additional information and contact details
TAS Land and Forest - CLICK HERE for additional information and contact details
SFM Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd - CLICK HERE for additional information and contact details
AKS Forest Solutions Pty Ltd - CLICK HERE for additional information and contact details
Forico Pty Limited - CLICK HERE for additional information and contact details
Pentarch Forestry Services (Tas) Pty Ltd - CLICK HERE for additional information and contact details
Review of Tasmania's Private Hardwood Plantation Estate
In late 2013 the Tasmanian Government established a Panel to investigate and report on the existing Tasmanian privately-owned hardwood plantation estate and the best ways to enhance its value to landowners and the Tasmanian community.
The Panel was chaired by Martin Ferguson AO, the former Federal Minister for Resources and Energy. Other Panel members were Tom Fisk (CEO Private Forests Tasmania), Jan Davis (CEO Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association) and Norm McIlfatrick (Secretary, Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources).
The Panel provided a report to the then Minister for Energy and Resources, Hon Bryan Green MP.
Review of the Tasmanian Private Hardwood Plantation Estate 2013 (PDF 956KB)
Review of the Tasmanian Private Hardwood Plantation Estate 2013 (WORD 3MB)
Terms of Reference (PDF 227KB)
Terms of Reference (WORD 2MB)
Letter from Martin Ferguson to Forum Participants - Feb 2014
Letter from Tom Fisk advising Forum Participants of Plantation Portal availability
Lands Titles Office advice in relation to Forestry Right removal
Lands Titles Office Forestry Rights Information (PDF228KB)
Lands Titles Office Forestry Rights Information (WORD 21KB)
Insurance for MIS plantations on your land
During the public forums landowners with MIS plantations on their land via lease and forestry right arrangements (landlords) expressed concern that, although they were likely to ultimately receive title to the plantation after the various court and sale processes had run their course, they believed they were currently unable to insure the asset until the uncertainty about ownership status had been resolved.
Landowners were also uncertain if they could insure for potential clean-up costs if the plantation on their land (that they don’t own) is burnt and the plantation is not otherwise insured. It is highly likely that any other potential interest in a MIS plantation (e.g. responsible entity and woodlot investors) would rapidly disappear on its loss to fire, leaving the landlord with the clean-up problem.
Private Forests Tasmania has now asked a number of insurers experienced in forestry to provide advice on whether a landowner could insure under the two scenario’s outlined above. Not surprisingly, early discussions have revealed that insurance is not a straight forward proposition given the uncertainty over title to the trees. However, we have been advised it may possible and it is being actively investigated by the insurers.
November 2015 Update: As administrators/liquidators continue to wind-up the insolvent MIS entities such as FEA and Gunns, many landowners who had leased land to these companies are now acquiring freehold title to the plantations on their land. Although often acquired for a ‘peppercorn’, these timber assets may now have significant value and owners are reminded that plantation insurance is readily available. It is advisable to consider plantation insurance before we enter the fire season as insurers may place embargoes on writing new policies while there are active fires.
We know that the two brokers listed below are active in the plantation insurance area but there may be others. Your own insurance broker may be able to help you. The mention of any broker does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by PFT.
17th November 2015 Update: Mr Michael Burns from Coverforce, an Australian insurance broker, works together with a leading Australian forestry insurer to arrange plantation timber insurance to a number of plantation owners.
Coverforce can seek plantation timber insurance quotations for landowners who own the plantations on their properties as well as seeking plantation timber insurance quotations for MIS plantations where the ownership of the trees is still awaiting resolution.
Coverforce can seek plantation timber insurance quotations covering a number of risks including fire, malicious acts, impact, windstorm and hail together with additional benefits comprising of removal of debris, plantation infrastructure (i.e. fencing), replanting costs and claims preparation costs.
Coverforce can also seek Public Liability insurance quotations for the purpose of protecting plantation owners for their legal liability to third parties to pay compensation in respect of personal injury and/or property damage occurring in relation to their activities (regarding the ownership of the plantations).
Coverforce are also an endorsed broker of the Australian Forest Growers (AFG).
See www.coverforce.com.au/forests for more information or Michael Burns can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0409 822 379.
27th March 2014 Update: Advice has been received from Mr Darryl Hawke from Insurance Facilitators Pty Ltd, an experienced Australian plantation insurer, about some of the risk they could insure:
Landowners who were leasing land to now insolvent MIS companies could insure their interest in the trees on their land for the monies owed. They could also insure the tree crop for its current value, even with the ownership of the trees still uncertain; and
Landowners could insure for the cost of removal of debris only if the trees burn to the ground and this is likely in the region of $750/ha. Insurers would not pay for land preparation, fertiliser or sowing to pasture.
Any landowners wanting to follow up on this advice should phone Darryl on 0429 929 209 or email him at email@example.com. He is a plantation owner in his own right and consequently has a good understanding of the issues.
3rd April 2014 Update: Advice has been received from another plantation insurer, who wishes to remain anonymous, that their underwriter is 'not currently prepared to quote due to the issues surrounding the insurable interest in the plantations' and their assessment of 'fire maintenance issues'.
Please reqularly check this page. We will update it as new information comes to hand
Keeping in touch with the Gunns liquidation process
Information from the Liquidators of Gunns, PPB Advisory
Many documents connected to the various legal proceedings related to liquidation are available on the website of the legal firm, Arnold Bloch Liebler. See link below.
Arnold Bloch Liebler
TFGA Landowner Updates
To keep in touch with TFGA landowner updates and communications in relation to the hardwood plantation issues follow this link
Tasmanian Farmer & Graziers - Private Forestry
Revocation of Private Timber Reserves (PTR's)
Landowners who have leased land to MIS plantation companies are now sometimes asked to sign documents to revoke the PTR declared on the land. In this circumstance, even though the PTR may have been a requirement of the MIS company, once declared it belongs with the land title (and hence the landowner). Therefore, a decision to revoke or not lies completely with the landowner. It should only be done if it suits the landowner. PFT can provide impartial advice to landlords who have been asked to facilitate the revocation of a PTR on their plantation land.
Advisory on Requests to Revoke PTR's (PDF 416KB)