Vote on Gunns future delayed

Administrators for the collapsed Tasmanian timber giant Gunns have won a court order delaying a vote on the future of the company.

Gunns creditors were due to vote today on whether to liquidate the 130-year-old company.

Late yesterday, the Victorian Supreme Court granted administrators PPB Advisory a one-month extension.

Gunns went into receivership in September with debts of more than $500 million.

Receivers Korda Mentha, representing Gunns' biggest creditors including ANZ Bank, wanted the meeting to go ahead.

Spokesman Mike Smith says the value of Gunns' assets, including its proposed pulp mill, would have been made clear at the meeting.

Mr Smith says Korda Mentha is keen to begin the sale process.

"The second meeting of creditors may have brought some more clarity to some of those assets and allowed a clear path to be able to set up a strategy to for selling those assets," he said.

"But having said that, the delay is one more month, we just need to work around those new timelines." The administrators say the extension gives them more time to sell some of Gunns' plantation schemes.

But contractors are frustrated.

Ulverstone haulage contractor Ross Woodhouse is one of four north-west contractors owed a total of $1 million.

"I think people just need to be able to move forward and get on with their lives," he said.

"The more of the delays they have, the worse it is for other people to try and move on and, perhaps, for even Gunns to even sell their business and hopefully it can be sorted and settled." But Les Walkden, who is owed $3.7 million, says the delay could be to creditors' advantage.

"It's a fairly big mess I would suggest, four weeks may help them sell some assets...but I think we need to be patient." Tasmania's peak farming body says farmers are stressed by the delay.

The Tasmanian Framers and Graziers Association's Jan Davis says the delay is frustrating farmers.

"Every delay is a distressing thing for the farmers that are involved," she said.

"Some of these farmers, their only source of income has been Gunns' leases and the longer this gets put off, the less they can draw a line under it and move on."

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