Bearing witness to the immediate impact of Forestry Tasmania’s massive over-allocation of resource( The Report Lab-Lib would rather you did not see and The Rogue Agency ) is Golden Valley landowner John Powell. Here is his account of ‘World’s Best Practice’
The story so far …
On 29 April 2010 a FT employee arrived uninvited on my property to conduct a Wedge Tailed Eagle survey and announced that they planned to log the neighbouring Coupe BA388D and expressed surprise that I had not previously been advised.
Some 6 days later I received a letter formally advising of their intent. After some email exchanges FT Mersey District finally provided me with the FPP for the coupe.
Over the intervening period until now there have been considerable exchanges between myself, FT and the CFPO relating to breaches of the Forestry Practices Code pertaining to that coupe which range from visual impacts, effect on threatened species (e.g. Tasmanian Devils free of FTD), potential silt flows in to the adjoining Liffey River Valley, impact on European and Indigenous Heritage, and other factors.
This debate resulted in a question to Minister Green from Kim Booth on 23 November 2011 and a personal meeting with the Minister on the same day wherein I outlined my concerns over the actions of FT and the CFPO which “did not constitute World’s Best Practices” as asserted by the Minister in his answer to the question from Mr Booth.
The Minister promised he would “look into the matter”.
On 20 February 2012 - some 90 days after my meeting with him - I received a formal response from the Minister wherein he stated “I am satisfied that due process has been followed by Forestry Tasmania and the Forest Practices Authority”.
On 4 January 2012, I received a letter from FT indicating that were…. “to conduct forest practices related to Roading, Harvesting and Reforestation…on forest coupe BA388D”.
The Roading activity commenced on 10 February 2012 and was effectively completed at the end of February.
It is of considerable interest that both the notification from FT of their intent to conduct forest practices, and the physical commencement of the Roading activities, occurred BEFORE I received the Minister’s response.
FT and the FPA were fully aware of my approach to the Minister in November 2011, so their collective actions may only be assumed as deliberate contempt of the Minister’s role as the Responsible Minister for Forests, and/or an attempt to circumvent any, albeit unlikely, direction from the Minister to cease all future activities on Coupe BA388D.
Without wishing to be provocative it does tend to reinforce the commentary of many that FT is a “Rogue Agency” who takes orders from nobody!
On 1March 2012 I received an email from FT which made a number of assertions.
On 22 March I responded to each of those assertions. The original email and my commentary are detailed in part below:-
1. The harvesting prescription for BA388D is Selective Logging which is stated on the forest practices plan cover page and detailed in Section C6. BA388D is not being clearfelled.
While the words “Selective Logging ” may be contained on the front page, if you bother to examine the map of the proposed logging (which neither you or the Minister has chosen to peruse) it defines that there will be only limited “refuge areas” (maybe four), and exclusion of the Myrtlebank Rainforest, and limited exclusion from the European and Indigenous Heritage Areas. Of course the rest of the area, will be clear felled and decimated…just like the logging access road demonstrates = see coupe map attached.
Oh and by the way you are already able to see the evidence of the logging road at circa 860 metres elevation from the Projection Bluff lookout and as the Coupe logging goes down to 790 metres my artistic representation of the visual tragedy that will be seen by all tourists heading towards Deloraine from the Great Lake will be close to the truth. This representation has previously been sent to FT, the Minister, the CFPO etc etc and ignored.
2. Road construction work has finished at BA388D.
Please explain then why there is no completion of the “landing area”. The roading is to a standard that Greg Hall would seek for Highland Lakes Road ……… including substantive run-off channels and piping, that would only ensure that silt from this largely sandstone escarpment area will immediately, and without challenge, find its way directly to the Liffey Falls catchment ......... see photos attached.
3. Forest products from BA388D will be delivered to a range of Forestry Tasmania’s customers depending on demand and price in order to fulfill contractual commitments.
In other words you have no customer and no contracts for this essentially chip only product. The coupe was dedicated to Gunns up until their departure from Native Forest logging in late 2011(should read 2010), and since their demise it has been in limbo, and you are only proceeding with this activity because of your innate culture to destroy anything that exists, particularly if there is any evidence of conservation values = in this case European and Indigenous!
This is 70% plus chip territory, and maybe 20% peeler. Please provide me with a Business Case that explains that you can expend circa $50,000 plus for your logging access road construction, and then sell some undersized logs for chip, and be economically, socially and environmentally responsible.
I attach a couple of photographs of your “Forest products”, and it beggars belief that you propose to continue with destroying some 20 year old regrowth from the “Helsham Thinning ” experience of 1991, just to demonstrate that you have a failed Business Model.
4. At this stage I am not able to confirm when harvesting and log truck movements will commence. I will let you know.
I repeat above = you have no customer and no contracts, unless of course you able to immediately disclose your intents. Please provide details of the economics of this activity e.g. total operational costs plus FT Management Overheads (including Executive and Board allocations) minus total cash inputs and receipts equals ???
Betcha it will be negative HUH?
5. “Seeded Plantations” is not a term used by Forestry Tasmania.
..... this is a total untruth as evidenced by the …… disclosure to me of a document attributed to FT which clearly demonstrates that FT has attempted in the past to use this phrase to try to disguise to Japanese customers that Ta Ann products were in fact derived from Native Forests and not plantations.
This document states, inter alia, that :-
This is one of the issues that was a key one in relation to the concerns that the Japanese woodchip customers had. The woodchip customers had a preference for plantations, and so FT attempted to ‘re-brand’ ‘regrowth’ forests to ‘seeded plantations’ to keep getting the forests accepted into the supply chain. i.e. we don’t use native forests, we just use plantations and ‘seeded plantations’
How are you at FT, the FT Board, and the Minister, and indeed the Premier, able to……… pretend that you have done otherwise?
6. Forestry Tasmania is not aware of burrowing crayfish requiring any particular consideration or prescriptions at BA388D.
And you had no proscriptions for Facial Tumour Disease Free Devils, Spotted Quolls and Green and Gold Frogs either. And they exist on the Coupe and your desk bound Values Atlas scientists are just that = desk bound!
Are the attached photographs of a Burrowing Crayfish Portal and Claw of any interest….......?
I note this commentary from the CFPO in response to a query about the Forestry Practices Code:-
All forest practices require a forest practices plan (FPP) that takes into account threatened species and communities. Any proposed clearance and conversion of a threatened native vegetation community or removal of trees from land inhabited by threatened species, require a certified forest practices plan.
Well of course there is a “certified” FPP for Coupe BA388D, it just overlooks facts, is “expansive with the truth”, is based on desktop studies, and ignores the context of the European and Indigenous Heritage values of the coupe.
To be continued………………and it is now.
On 23 March a big white rabbit pulled an even bigger Never Ending Story from a hat. The IGA clearly states the following….
• Some obvious ‘clusters’ or ‘themes’ were adopted to assess the heritage values and significance along the northern boundary of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Many of the ENGO-proposed reserves adjoining or adjacent to the northern boundary proved to contain significant conservation values, which made important contributions to the values and/or integrity of the TWWHA. That is, they are of World Heritage significance. The net result of the assessment of the lands below the cliffs of the Great Western Tiers is a shift in the northern boundary of the TWWHA from the plateau to below the escarpment—although some related precedents already exist. Most of the proposed additions below the escarpment are obvious.
It also states….
Significant information has also been provided in relation to important Aboriginal cultural sites, including for significant sites not currently protected in the TWWHA, which require full formal assessment.
And then the coup de gras….
This is in the Liffey Falls Area. FID 109 is of local significance only and 108 is forested and drains directly into the TWWHA and would contribute to the integrity of the TWWHA (catchment protection). FID 110 is of at least national significance and, if considered in conjunction with the adjoining Great Western Tiers Conservation Area, would contribute to the integrity of the TWWHA.
If I read it correctly FID 108 is in fact BA388D and is clearly recognized as being of Heritage value (connectivity with the TTTWHA and for sanctity of the catchment for the abutting Liffey Falls WHA) and the white rabbit has recommended it be included in the TWWHA.
Accordingly I would suggest that Ministers Burke and Green immediately direct Forestry Tasmania to desist their activities and replace the WHA sign that they removed in June 2010!
The Mad Hatter suggests that on a reasonable basis he will be able to creatively account to carry forward these actual and deemed losses against future profits and opines that this might be the best financial outcome for FT in many years.
He is still laughing!!!!
By the way the canary in the mine is still singing Bronwyn!!”
To be continued …
Drainage channel/pipe on logging access
Silt drainage DIRECTLY to the Liffey Falls
Burrowing Crayfish Portal
Remnant crayfish claw and portal
“Gigantic” peeler log on pile
“Gigantic” peelers in full view
• The original story on Tasmanian Times: Forestry Tasmania’s arraogant trashing of Aboriginal and Settler history