Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — My question is for the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development. Now that the Andrews Labor government has completed its nationalisation of the Heyfield mill, could the minister confirm that the state government is providing loans to the new co-owners, members of the pre-existing management team, to enable their purchase of shares in the mill, and can the minister confirm the value of these loans?
Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) — Minister Noonan and I have already confirmed that there are no loans that are made available as part of the arrangements for the purchase of the mill at Heyfield.
As Ms Dunn, I imagine, knows, we have also indicated that the basis of the purchase and the structure within, in terms of management share, are matters that are and will remain commercial-in-confidence.
Ms DUNN (Eastern Metropolitan) — I thank the minister for her answer. Could the minister confirm that the state government has taken responsibility for debt liabilities of Australian Sustainable Hardwoods and confirm the value of that debt?
Ms Pulford — On a point of order, perhaps, President, as I indicated to the house yesterday and as the government indicated in a media release last Friday, the arrangements governing the management of the mill and the structure for the new company are now a matter that is the responsibility of the Minister for Industry and Employment. As the Minister for Agriculture, my responsibility is the regulation of the timber industry and support for the timber industry. I seek your guidance on this question.
The PRESIDENT — I could take that as a point of order, and it does have some substance as a point of order, but it also, I would have thought, completed an answer, so from that point of view I think that the answer is discharged as much as any point of order on this occasion.