News

More than 150 hectares replanted in Bundaleer Forest

Thursday 7 July 2016

An operation to return 150 hectares of the Bundaleer Forest to pine has been completed.


About 80 per cent of ForestrySA's Mid North commercial plantation estate was destroyed by separate bushfires at Bundaleer and Wirrabara in 2013 and 2014.

The fire left thousands of pine and native trees unstable and a risk to the public and much of the forest remained closed.

The 150 hectare Bundaleer replant - or 200,000 seedlings - was recently completed by crews and well known Mid North native forest locations The Range and Spaniards Gully are now open.

The Wirrabara Picnic Ground, Ippinitchie Campground, King Tree Paddock and the "A" Plantation are also open.

The State Government is currently looking into different ways to develop other land in the Mid-North forests region. There are a range of options under consideration and the main goal is to create local jobs.

A decision on the future direction of the forests, including the finalisation of agreements for the first tranche of successful proposals, will be made by the end of September.

Background

During August 2015, as part of the Mid North Forests Future Strategy, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia led the Request for Expressions of Interest process. More than 40 EOI proposals were received.

From January to March this year, the Government conducted the Mid North Forests Request for Proposal and about 40 binding proposals were received.

An inter-agency committee is overseeing the consideration of the proposals - the majority of which are complex and it is important appropriate time is taken to consider them.

The Government will keep respondents and the community informed during the assessment process.

Quotes attributable to Forests Minister Leon Bignell

The State Government had no choice but to close affected forest areas and ask visitors to keep clear of burnt and hazardous areas within the forest reserve, as clean-up and recovery operations continued.

Now, after more than two years, it is really pleasing we are now able to reopen two more of our popular forest areas for members of the public to enjoy. The Wirrabara Forest has always been popular with visitors and locals and we will restore further access as soon as safety allows.

The decision on the future of the forests has taken longer than expected. Having sat down with government officers in the past few weeks to go through the 32 proposals I can see the reason for the amount of time being spent on this issue.

They face a very complex job of weighing up the merits of individual applications as well as trying to overlay them with other competing bids that would turn out to be complementary.

They will only get one chance to get this right and I'm convinced they have given great thought to achieving the best community and economic results for the region.

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Media Contacts

Kate Husband - Communications Manager, Primary Industries
Email: Kate.Husband@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0423 296 579

Celia Brissenden - Communications Manager, Regional Development
Email: celia.brissenden@sa.gov.au


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