Further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, NewERA, Coillte, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my Department have worked to examine the financial and other implications of developing the potential of Coillte’s forest assets. This process includes the consideration of the legal position with regard any potential sale of harvesting rights.
The process is at an advanced stage and, aside from the valuation of the forestry assets, a number of issues are being considered in relation to the possible harvesting rights concession. These include, inter alia, the possible impact on the timber industry, public access to recreational land, environmental and social impacts and consequential implications for the company. This whole process is a very complex one and it is not possible at this stage to pre-empt the outcome of the analysis. As I have said previously, the Government will proceed with caution in relation to this matter and no final decision has been taken, as yet. The outcome of the overall analysis will be considered by the Government upon its completion.