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Competitive Neutrality in Forestry

Research paper

This research paper was released on 22 May 2001. It outlines progress in implementing competitive neutrality in forestry and discusses some related issues.

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Competitive Neutrality in Forestry outlines the States and Territories' application of competitive neutrality (CN) principles to their forestry operations and considers the implications of CN for log pricing.

The research paper by the Commonwealth Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office, within the Productivity Commission, finds that CN implementation varies between jurisdictions and encompasses some differences in approach.

Commissioner Mike Woods said that 'the implementation of competitive neutrality is requiring State forestry agencies to adopt a more commercial focus in their business activities. This should help reduce the likelihood of logs harvested from native forests being priced below cost'.

In practice, it can be difficult to assess the appropriate cost base for the commercial operations of forest agencies and, hence, to identify the underlying cost of logs. The paper finds that, in these circumstances, the use of residual values - derived by subtracting harvesting, transport and processing costs from prevailing international prices of processed wood products - can be a useful alternative way of getting a 'fix' on the full market value of logs.

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02 6240 3330

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