Friday 23 March 2018

State will gain from forestry privatisation

THE current Facebook petition to save Ireland's forests from privatisation, opened recently by the Woodland League , does not promote a balanced argument. For example, the private Swiss firm in question, Helvetia Wealth, has an impressive track record of responsible eco-environmental experience in the forestry industry.

Of course, it is groups with vested interests such as the public sector employees who stand to lose most by privatising Coillte, not the Irish people. The Facebook site ominously warns that "Ireland's forests are to be lost forever".

What drama, indeed. Actually, the Irish forests will remain intact but will be privatised, regulated and taxed by the State. I get annoyed by these false, emotive statements such as "Irish forests are the last refuges of our native flora and fauna". The implication is that Ireland's flora and fauna are under grave threat by privatisation of the forestry industry.

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