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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has written to urge the Integrity Commission to use its powers to finally get to the bottom of the financial collapse of Forestry Tasmania.

The Integrity Commission Act allows the Board of the Integrity Commission to conduct an investigation in relation to misconduct and for the Board to recommend to the Premier a Commission of Inquiry be established.

• Download a copy of Mr Wilkie’s letter to the Integrity Commission and his speech last week in Federal Parliament calling for a Commission of Inquiry into Forestry Tasmania:

Integrity_Commission_should_act_on_FT.pdf

• Isla MacGregor in Comments: Congratulations Andrew. Tasmanians who have battled for decades for a proper anti corruption commission in Tasmania will be watching carefully the response from the TIC to your request for an independent investigation. The time has come for Tasmania’s so-called anti-corruption watchdog to be put to the test over a matter very much in the public interest.  If the TIC fails this test, Tasmanian taxpayers should be sending a very loud and clear message to the Government that this agency must be closed down forthwith.

• PB in Comments: In my view, the Tasmanian Integrity Commission (TIC) is the last organisation which should be entrusted to carry out such an investigation having previously dismissed substantive complaints regarding misconduct on forestry related matters including: 1.  the shonky pulp mill assessment process ...

Paul Harriss, Will Hodgman: McKay Timber expansion a sign of further confidence … “The Government is unflinching in its support of the Forest Industry and we have already secured 50 jobs through the Government’s changes to the Sawmill Assistance Program to keep mills open and Tasmanians in work. …

MEANWHILE ... another spectacular failure ... ?

Mercury: Closure fears for failed Maydena tourism development Eagles Eyrie

• Clive Stott in Comments From the Integrity Commission website ... It is one of the three primary objectives of the Integrity Commission to: Enhance public confidence that misconduct by public officers will be appropriately investigated and dealt with. And, One of the key objectives of the Commission is to enhance public confidence that misconduct in the public sector will be dealt with appropriately, because the commission undertakes its functions on the basis of facts and evidence - DIANE MERRYFULL, Integrity Commission, chief executive officer, Examiner letters May 23 2015 The key words here are: Misconduct, public officers, public sector, its function, appropriately investigated, facts and evidence, dealt with, dealt with appropriately.

Pete Godfrey in Comments HERE: … I seem to recall that Mckay investments closed down the St Helens Sawmill after they took the $2.75 million sawlog quota buyback. So what is all this crowing about saving 10 jobs. It may seem like nitpicking but somehow it is worth saving 10 jobs in the forest industry but getting rid of nearly 800 public servants and 180 teachers is necessary. Go figure …

• Robin Charles Halton, in Comments: Eventually forestry will have to be scrutinised more closely!  The Ta Ann issue concerns me personally as I did not simply work for FT for over 30 years of service to see our younger wet forests regrowth end up in a foreign owned laminate peeling plant.  At some stage prior to 2026/27 both the surviving native forest sawmillers and Ta Ann will need to be reassessed for resource security prior to renewal of contracts. In the case of Ta Ann their value to the States economy needs evaluating, the promise to construct a value adding ply manufacturing plant in the State as promised by Evan Rolley on signing the TFA plus the $26M government pay back for resource allocation forfeiture was seen as a positive sign for the value adding opportunity to occur as well as being aware of the true resource availability at hand. In a way silver service to Ta Ann, we need their response. Again I state Forest Minister Harriss should be more open about the forest industry. The other days budget session with the MLC’s was a perilous journey for the Minister who should have been more upbeat with his responsibilities instead he acted like a trapped idiot. Like myself many forestry staff present and past would expect more from a Minister who is responsible to oversee the best for our State Forests, in particular protection of our younger regrowth WPZ’s.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Andrew Wilkie: Time for a Royal Commission into Forestry Tasmania

• Clive Stott, http://www.cleanairtas.com: A better use for ‘Comfort Money’ ...

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