Forestry estate sold at `basement’ price

ROCK BOTTOM PRICES: Forestry expert Dr Jerry Leech says the estate was sold $500m below its value. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO

A MOUNT Gambier forestry industry expert has claimed the region’s softwood forestry estate was sold for a whopping $500m below its value.

Dr Jerry Leech – who has been a leading critic of the sale process – said yesterday the $670m sale price was simply a “bad deal” for the state.

“The State Government gave the lease of the land away for nothing for 105 years, which was worth around $500m,” Dr Leech said.

“What Treasurer Tom Koustantonis is saying about how it was a good deal is

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