Saturday, 27 May 2006

Plantations: An accountant's view

I’ve never been a fan of MISs, initially because I’ve never seen any investor make a respectable return, but in the last few years because of the associated negative impact on our community. After considerable reflection I think the current proposed arrangements announced at budget time give us a chance to move on.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

Consultation on taxation of plantation forestry

I am writing in response to the invitation to comment on the proposed forestry arrangements attached to the press release of the Assistant Treasurer on 9thMay 2006. ( reproduced below).

It’s a little disappointing that the Government didn’t release a copy of the review submitted to Government and referred to in the Minister’s press release. It would make the whole review process a little more transparent if we could see a copy of the review findings. The review was not simply about MIS schemes, it was supposed to cover much wider issues including whether the current tax regime impeded longer rotation sawlog crops. What happened to that part of the review? Or is it covered in the proposed arrangement to develop standards for best practice in forestry, regional planning, land use and natural resource planning? Sounds awfully like a motherhood statement. One can only agree that best practice is a good idea, but are sawlog crops going to be encouraged or will they just have to take pot luck behind the short term aspirations of most MIS plantation investors and hell, why not just let the market sort it out. Maybe that is the best solution, so long as MIS investors aren’t provided with too many tax breaks unavailable to others.