A photo from the recent 2013 annual report for Ta Ann Holdings Berhad (sic), Ta Ann Tasmania’s ultimate holding company. Is that a Heriots Point pinot?
STRUGGLING timber company Ta Ann Tasmania bought $136,800 worth of wine from its executive director Evan Rolley in 2013 — the same year that the company received $20.3 million under the Tasmanian Forests Agreement.
The federal government payment came after Ta Ann surrendered 108,000 cubic metres of peeler billets from its contracted 265,000 cubic metres.
The annual report shows the company would have recorded a $12 million loss in 2013 but for the federal government compensation payment.
In November 2012 Mr Rolley described the company as being on a “knife edge’’ and threatened that the company could shut its Tasmanian operations because of parliamentary delays in the signing of the forest agreement.
The Malaysian-owned company’s Tasmanian subsidiary bought the wine from Mr Rolley’s Heriots Point Wines vineyard at Castle Forbes Bay, south of Hobart.
Mr Rolley said the wine sale was completely separate to the terms of his employment contract.
He denied a suggestion from the Sunday Tasmanian that the purchase was akin to a success fee.
Ta Ann Tasmania general manager Robert Yong said the company purchased the wine quite appropriately and arranged a special company labelled bottling.
• John Hawkins: In the Spring 2008 issue of TREE Line, Download here ...
... there is an article “Private Forests Tasmania” :
This article describes the setting up, the timber requirements, the log supply agreements and the costs to Ta Ann of this apparently loss making project, in the words of Ta Ann.
It would appear that by 2008 the Smithton Mill at a cost of $35 million had a design capacity to process 150,000 cubic metres of hardwood logs p/a, to be sourced from private forests in the NW using two peeling lines; with plans to increase to 200,000 cubic metres with the installation of a third line once sustainable supplies became available.
Rolley had given, yes given, Ta Ann two contracts of access to FT forests for a total of 265,000 cu metres p/a for 20 years when he was head of FT.
The new Harriss $7.5 million pays presumably for the third peeler line ... but begs the question as to the location of the extra required timber?
Are those supplies now available to feed this third peeler line?
If so, from where ... and will they include the surrendered volumes for which Ta Ann has been paid $26 million under the about-to-be ripped up TFA.
Presumably Minister Harriss knows the answers; perhaps he could peel or roll back the curtains before ripping them down.
It is not his money. It is our money and we are bearing the pain as the profits are seemingly taken to Sarawak.
• John Young, Mercury: Story needs a happy ending BEFORE we tear up the Tasmanian Forests Agreement there are questions to be answered. These have been asked repeatedly by organisations not invited to the forest peace talks. They are: 1. HAS an audit of the Specialty Craft and Timber Zones been done to assess the annual quantity of specialty timbers that can be extracted on a sustainable basis? 2. WHAT harvesting methods will be used in those areas — clear-felling, patch-felling, cable logging or single-stem extraction? 3. WHAT was the agreed definition of the word “sustainable”? With these questions hanging in the air, I fear returning to World Heritage Areas for timber production would lead rapidly to resumption of clear-felling, burning “residue” and replacing the wet mixed forests with a eucalypt monoculture focused on woodchip production. In Tasmania’s mixed wet forest, ecological structure is vital to the retention of quality. The virtues of celery top pine, for example — strength, dimensional stability, durability — arise from its ecological neighbourhood. • Mercury here
• PB, in Comments: The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund recently divested and excluded Ta Ann from its investment portfolio based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage resulting from its logging practices in Sarawak. Rolley’s position with Van Diemen’s Land Company is also relevant as this company is currently seeking environmental approval to clear 1,818 hectares of native vegetation to expand 10 current dairy operations, convert 2 beef farms to dairy units and develop 2 new dairies. The former Minister for Energy and Resources, Bryan Green, helpfully assisted VDLC by unilaterally scrapping (without public consultation) the 40 hectares annual clearance limit specified within the provisions of Tasmania’s Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate. In view of all the above I consider that the $33.5 million gifted to Ta Ann through the TFA is a gross misappropriation of public funds and Evan Rolley’s role should be subject to a fully independent inquiry.
• Sarawak Report: What In The Devil’s Going On In Tasmania? The Australian Government has just given a foreign-owned company yet another in a series of huge subsidies to cut down the Tasmanian forest. Sarawak-based Ta Ann has received a $7.5million hand-out, making almost $45million in total over the past 7 years, even though the Malaysian company can’t seem to turn a profit on the business. So, what is the next thing we see? Well, the next thing we see is $136,000 dollars of the Ta Ann budget disappearing into a lump-sum purchase of home grown wine, produced by Ta Ann’s own local Chief Executive – one Evan Rolley, formerly of the Tasmanian Forestry Department! The Muslim Chairman and majority shareholder of Ta Ann, Taib’s cousin and nominee Hamed Sepawi, was recently happy to be photographed glugging down the plonk, or something similar (see above) in the company of Japanese customers. According to local reports, Ta Ann purchased an estimated 300 cases of their Chief Executive’s own wine at $35 a bottle.