Buyer found for Gunns sawmills

Receivers of collapsed Tasmanian timber company Gunns have secured a buyer for some assets, securing the jobs of 380 workers in four states.

Sydney-based New Forests will buy Gunns's hardwood sawmills at Tarpeena in South Australia and Bell Bay in Tasmania.

It has also agreed to buy warehouses in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

New Forests managing director David Brand says the forestry industry has a stable future.

"We really are looking for relatively stable, long-term investments," he said.

Forestry unionist Jane Calvert says the announcement ends months of uncertainty.

"Leading into Christmas, no worker wants to hear their job is precarious or shaky or not going to be there." Spokesman for Gunns receivers Michael Smith says there are other benefits.

"It's a little bit of a good news for secured creditors." Gunns collapsed in September with debts of half a billion dollars.

Mr Smith says there is no decision yet on the future of its other assets, including plantations and its proposed pulp mill.

Gunns' creditors will meet again next month.

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