Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food
Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
Question 589: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to dispose of the harvesting rights of Coillte as part of the programme for Government State asset disposal programme. [8454/12]
Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
No decision has been taken by the Government in relation to the potential sale of Coillte.
To assist in its examination of options for the possible disposal of State assets, the Government requested the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, in consultation with relevant line Departments and NewERA, to consider a number of possible State assets for disposal. In addition, they will advise the Government in relation to the appropriate valuations to be placed on the assets in question, the most appropriate method of disposal, likely timeframe and economic impact of any such disposal, in order to inform any decisions that the Government may wish to make in this regard. Coillte has been included in that valuation exercise.
In relation to the issue of harvesting rights, as I have previously mentioned, one of the suggested ideas is that a crop, or asset, could be sold through harvesting rights for the next 30 or 50 years, depending on how much value the State wishes to maximise. At the end of the process, the land would revert to the State, with a requirement in place for reafforestation. While the sale of harvesting rights is an option, I want to reiterate that no decision has been made on the sale of Coillte as a company or in terms of forest assets. The large-scale sale of Coillte land is not an option.