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  1. The Report post the 2006 trip could also be a good read. There is no a shred of evidence one way or another in his comments and the one clear fact ‘sustainable forests’ appears to be denied by the report the Liberals leaked.

    I doubt if there will be an inquiry leaving Harriss tainted and generating questions about the behaviour of others associated with or defending Ta Ann.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  21/03/12  at  05:16 AM
  2. Just to reiterate these claims by Paul Harriss’ are lies.  Forestry is NOT the state’s fundamental economic driver.  And it only employs 2% of Tasmanians, down from 3% a few years back.
    Yet Harriss is claiming 10% 

    Does he really believe these statements?  Can an elected member of the Legislative Council be so misinformed?  Does this explain his slavish support of forestry?  Or is he simply being wildly inaccurate for a purpose of deceiving the readership.

    I find these ties to a company with documented environmental and human rights violations deeply disturbing.

    Posted by Anne Cadwallader  on  21/03/12  at  05:44 AM
  3. Once upon a time, about 20 000 years ago, when Tasmania was still pristine, the Aborigines entered these shores. They lived here from before the time that the ‘intelligent species’, Homo Sapiens had even evolved. They were here before the reputed time of Adam and Eve. There were here before the pyramids. They were here before the Roman and Greek Empires. They were here before the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ and the ‘Age of Discovery’ and before the British Empire.

    In all that time they did no damage to the environment, the forests, the indigenous flora and fauna and they lived in harmony with Nature. After 20 000 years Tasmania was virtually as pure and pristine as when they first discovered it.

    Then came the white settlers. A motley crew of criminals and soldiers invaded and claimed the land for their own. In the brief 250 years since, they have destroyed by fire and chainsaw huge tracts of this primeval forest, massacered native habitat and largely substituted a green desert of plantations. Almost all endemic native fauna has been subjected to systematic poisoning, hunting or loss of breeding habitat to such an extent that with few exceptions, most are either highly endangered or extinct.

    And that process included the majority of the original inhabitants as well.

    This has been an accelerating process, especially over the last 90 years, and yet it is considered to be ‘progress’.

    One of the largest contributors being Forestry Tasmania, with its clearfell, slash and burn techniques which turn these magnificent forests into cheap woodchips. There is no end in sight and they fight tooth and nail to be able continue this process, despite the declining world demand for their products.

    In fact, they are very proud of their achievements and boast ;-  “For 90 years, we have managed state forests on behalf of the people of Tasmania, and over that time we have developed the skills, expertise and forest research capability that are now much sought after by established and developing forestry companies around the world.” ….Bob Gordon.

    Alongside this, in 2009 we read:-  “Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency, said Tasmania Minister for Energy and Resources David Llewellyn visited Sarawak, on Borneo Island, in February at the invitation of Ta Ann Group, a timber company with interests in palm oil plantations.”

    Then there is that other enterprise, Hydro Tasmania, which has dammed our rivers, flooded our landscape and destroyed our original lakes. Our latest crop of MPs is still spreading this gospel in Sarawak and signing up lucrative contracts to spread our expertise over there.

    As a result, the indigenous flora and fauna, the rivers and landscape and the native populations who have dwelt there for thousands of years are suffering exactly the same fate as those of Tasmania.

    And all these people think that this is a job well done, as they smile and pose for their photographs and the shake the hands of their new benefactors as they accept their thirty pieces of silver.

    Barnaby Drake

    Posted by Barnaby Drake  on  21/03/12  at  06:00 AM
  4. Mr Harriss, if you have accepted gifts from Ta Ann then ethically you should be standing aside from any decision making in relation to Forestry.

    Whether you like the Tasmanian Times or not, the traditional media is losing credibility being seen as the mouth piece for vested interests. People of all types of political persuasion are able to contribute their views on TT. Electronic newpapers, journals and blogs are gaining popularity; a good antedote to the spin that comes from politicians. TT provides the real views of people; whether those views are right or wrong, they are sincere views and should be protected and encouraged.

    Posted by Keith Antonysen  on  21/03/12  at  06:20 AM
  5. “They [Tasmanian native forest] are only being destroyed if you chop down trees in the native forest and never replace them.  That is destruction.  But they are just another crop.” - Mr Paul Harriss, MLC for Huon.

    Mr Harriss’ comment is a fundamental belief of many in Tasmania - Native forests can be regrown; they are ‘just another crop’.

    Unless and until the HVEC, ET, TWS and ACF can convince Mr Harriss and others that in the 21st Century those timber ‘crops’ are not to be found in native forests, they are found the more than 300,000 hectares of tree plantations (monocultures) that have been developed through the forest converions of the MIS incentives in Tasmania since the signing of the RFA in 1996. 

    If these eNGOs cannot do that then this 30-year forest war will continue. The eNGOs have successfully filled up the forestry cabal’s saddlebags with new Canberra-gold and not a tree protected! Mr Oakeshott’s amendment to allow carbon off-sets through the burning of native forest for ‘green energy’ was defeated in the House of Reps but the power of forestry industry in still strong.

    As Harriss says: Ta Ann is ‘the new Gunns’, and with 265,000 tonnes of timber contracted to them until ?2023, the battle lines are still there!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  21/03/12  at  07:36 AM
  6. Paul Harriss is doing one of two things: either he has chosen not to do his homework or he is incredibly naïve. In my years of travelling and working in East Asia and the Western Pacific, from the late 1950s to the turn of the century, I observed enough to persuade me that Malaysia (East and West), Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia are police/military states with a veneer of highly controlled “democracy”; and that their citizens live in constant fear of being caught making even a political statement. I also became aware that Malaysian logging interests were raping and pillaging their way through the forests of New Guinea and Melanesian islands further out into the Pacific throughout much of the second half of the 20th century. They were able to gain access to virgin native forests through the time-worn tradition of paying bribes to corrupt government people in high places, people ready to sell their nations short in return for instant self gain. I know that indigenous societies throughout Melanesia have suffered tragic social and cultural dislocation as a result of foreign corporate activities (not that colonial Australian administrations and business interests didn’t do their fair share of raping and pillaging of their Pacific territories through most of the 20th century). Though I have not travelled in either Asia or the Pacific for more than a decade, it would be naïve of me to believe that anything much has changed. Nor do I believe that the likes of Ta Ann have undergone Damascus epiphanies. There is, of course, the possibility that Pacific nations are no longer the soft touch Tasmania has allowed itself to be — which perhaps explains why Ta Ann was so ready to come here. — Bob Hawkins

    Posted by bob hawkins  on  21/03/12  at  07:55 AM
  7. Harriss is destined to have a career outside politics as a stand up comedian. One could regard his performances in Parliament over the years as his apprenticeship. Remember him adopting the persona of Mr Grain Of Rice, a cringe inducing performance surpassing Norman Gunston in full flight.

    Or am I confusing Harriss with Parkinson here? Perhaps Parkinson was a comic character developed by Harriss? Or vice versa? Don Wing could clarify this. He was President of the Legislative Council at the time and when the Harriss/Parkinson character jumped to his/its feet to expound the thesis that the total output of dioxins expected from the pulp mill, over its lifetime, was less than the size of grain of rice,  Wing responded by calling him/it a fool.

    My only regret is that luminaries like Harriss have utterly destroyed the possibility of satire in this state. Documentary leaves satire for dead in Tasmania.

    Posted by Bob McMahon  on  21/03/12  at  08:26 AM
  8. The World Wildlife Fund disagrees with Harriss on orangutan habitat. “We now know that this gentle ape can survive only in lowlands”. How does Paul Harriss explain the fact Sarawak has only 1300 orangutans while Sabah has 11000 even though Sabah is about half the size of Sarawak? Paul Harriss must come clean with his electorate on what happened to the Sarawak orangutans.

    Posted by Karl Stevens  on  21/03/12  at  09:18 AM
  9. Re #3, you seem to be suggesting that aborigines are a different species to the European variety of human! And you seem to be suggesting that we have evolved into our present form (from what?) sometime in the last 20,000 years. I assume I’m misunderstanding you!

    Posted by Doug Nichols  on  21/03/12  at  09:35 AM
  10. Loud growls from the squirearchy: it’s definitely a them or us mindset.

    Posted by Mike Adams  on  21/03/12  at  09:50 AM
  11. I normally have a lot of time for you Barnaby Drake but what you say here is - wrong.

    “the Aborigines entered these shores. They lived here from before the time that the ‘intelligent species’, Homo Sapiens had even evolved. “

    No, just no.

    The Aborigines ARE Homo Sapiens, they are not a seperate species!

    Posted by Rob  on  21/03/12  at  11:08 AM
  12. re #3 Dear BD please purchase following . Your comment by implication suggests that aboriginal people did not alter /modify floristic structures . This is just wrong ;their use of fire was sophisticated and it did alter the landscape #11 has corrected your statement re Homo sapiens .

    Posted by Jack lumber  on  21/03/12  at  12:16 PM
  13. Coincidentally with this story of P. Harriss rubbishing TT, I was reading the “Weekend Australian”‘s report on the Wivenhoe dam coverup.

    From the Inquirer section, p.14, March 17-18:

    “Contributing to the prospect of it staying buried was reluctance in the media to rigorously test and check what had happened in the flood.  Many journalists and their outlets dismissed the alternative narrative in “The Australian”, and were scornful of the work and calculations .....”

    “...Yet most journalists concentrated their efforts instead on human interest angles arising from those who were flooded, instead of how it happened.

    If journalist had spent more time being sceptical, the truth could have emerged much sooner…”

    ” The lack of rigour by journalists dovetailed with a quietly effective campaign of spin and misinformation by SEQWater to discredit “The Australian”‘s work until the breakthrough that Craigie provided.”

    Sounds very familiar!

    Author Hedley Thomas finishes his story:

    “It should also be a reminder that the experts get it wrong, self-interested parties lie, and the media’s role in challenging the spin,and highlighting wrongdoing, is as vital as ever.”

    Go, you good man Linz!

    Posted by John Maddock  on  21/03/12  at  12:54 PM
  14. Mike Adams at #10 gets it right - “Loud growls from the squirearchy: it’s definitely a them or us mindset”.

    Squirocracy is all Paul Harriss is - one of those upper-crust colonialist leftovers who have managed to maintain their positions in the corridors of power through support for those with money and - now that voting has become universal - through effective brainwashing courtesy of their media allies and resultant public apathy. Unfortunately the squirocracy seems to be as powerful as ever.

    Virtually all our politicians are the same (with perhaps the deletion of the upper-crust and replacement with machine-hack in some instances).

    None of these people will ever be logical, inquiring, essentially truthful, or compassionate. They are also policy-free. Their careers revolve around sucking up to the right people - and anything of wide public benefit they ever get involved in happens through being scared they might lose a substantial number of votes. Things have to get pretty bad before it comes to that.

    They’ll babble about “sustainable forestry” and the supposed location of oil palm plantations, and who in politics is a fruit loop, and which letter-writers are “venomous”, but always in a way that sticks to the pre-ordained script. Never any question of analysing anyone’s claims objectively, since the result might cause a crack in the perfect edifice of their lovely status quo.

    Quasi-believable stories about what one did or didn’t see in Malaysia are a dime a dozen. Easily manufactured for the floor of the House where one’s colleagues can nod sagely, or if the mood takes them, make a little joke.

    It’s definitely them and us. You can’t talk sense to “them”. If I were an optimist I’d say that somehow, eventually, “them” have to be brought down.

    Posted by Neil Smith  on  21/03/12  at  01:03 PM
  15. Irrespective of the Paul Harriss rant printed in Tasmania Times he will find himself unable to alter the record of conducts of his past and recent expeditions to visit the Ta Ann hierarchy.

    Then this elected official refers to the Tasmanian Times as the garbage media component to what goes on here in Tasmania?

    Yet this same man has now verily chosen this news medium to attempt to defend mimself and his overseas escapades, then to go on to portray himself as a Tasmanian Ambassador of goodwill and integrity?

    Fair suck of the sauce bottle here Mr Phillip Andrew Harriss MLC, too often you will find much in the way of truth and fact published on Tasmanian Times, “much of what the muzzled Tasmania media is far too timid to print lest it causes some form of dyspepsia or other bodily discomfitures among you and your self elected cabal of self-same thinking colleagues.”

    (Please note: I do not refer here to each and all of your legislative chamber colleagues, for there are among the MLCs serving Tasmania, those possessed of a far higher rigid and devout level of integrity than you Mr Phillip Andrew Harriss MLC whom by yourself have so embarrassingly displayed.)

    The old belief of where there is smoke etc, is a belief so very difficult to prove otherwise.

    Lift your game Kind Sir, for you are indeed an expendable person in the eyes of and toward your present electorate!

    Posted by William Boeder  on  21/03/12  at  01:05 PM
  16. Bob McMahon 7. I just watched the member for Huon on the Johnny Carson show. He’s going to get a lot of bookings for the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

    Posted by Karl Stevens  on  21/03/12  at  01:41 PM
  17. “‘Questionable’ is the word, you are right. That is what they do. So then they say that, by connection, Ta Ann’s operations in Tasmania are also questionable. They then say the chief minister in Sarawak is corrupt. Well, there are elections over there, I do not see any uprising to get the bloke out of the place. I have never met him but these are the allegations”. (Huon MLC Paul Harriss, Legislative Council Hansard, 14-3-2012)

    MLC Paul Harriss’ offhand dismissal of allegations of corruption against the Sarawak Chief Minister (CM) is the most significant aspect of the Huon MLC’s coward’s castle rant.

    MLC Paul Harriss’ comments should be of concern to every Tasmanian including those in his electorate who care about democracy, justice and human rights. Mr Harriss’ comments also put him at odds with many of Australia’s closest allies and the wider global community on the issue of corruption and the Sarawak Chief Minister.

    Malaysia itself (of which Sarawak is the largest state) recently (2010) scored its lowest ever score in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. Malaysia plunged to a ‘serious corruption’ rating with an index score of 4.4/10, with 0 being highly corrupt and 10 being very clean.

    Leaked U.S cables (wikileaks) show that the U.S govt regard the Sarawak Chief Minister as ‘highly corrupt’ and the Sarawak state govt as “highly corrupt in the hands of the Chief Minister”.  Wikileaks also showed the U.S govt recognises that Chief Minister Taib and his relatives are widely thought to extract a percentage from most major commercial contracts - including those for logging - awarded in Sarawak.

    On human rights Wikileaks showed that…...The US embassy also informed itself on the plight of Sarawak’s indigenous people. It was told by commissioners of Malaysia’s government-funded national human rights commission, SUHAKAM, that the government largely ignores SUHAKAM’s recommendations ‘to safeguard the rights of the state’s most vulnerable citizens’.

    Then there is Mr Harriss’s suggestion that Sarawak citizens have elections if they want to deal with the Chief Minister, or the opportunity for an ‘uprising’ to deal with the powerful Taib regime. Mr Harriss’ blissfully - and dare I say wilfully - naïve suggestion so easily rolls of the tongue from the relative safety of Tasmania.

    The recent Sarawak election (as with previous Sarawak elections) was widely labelled as giant exercise in pork barrelling. The Malaysian Government (same party as CM Taib’s state govt) poured millions into Sarawak as a form of ‘gratitude’ to Chief Minister Taib’s Sarawak state government for delivering the seats to secure the ruling party a majority at the Federal level.

    Chief Minister Taib’s government spent nearly $2Bn Ringit Malaysian (RM) in Sarawak leading up to the last election and also blatantly exceeded election campaign spending regulations. Leading up the 2011 election it was revealed Sarawak village heads received RM6,000 while the villagers were given RM2,000.

    World renowned pro-democracy activist/politician Anwar Ibrahim who has been jailed & tortured for leading an ‘uprising’ against the powerful Malaysian ruling elite claimed the 2011 Sarawak election saw electoral fraud with pro-democracy activists stopped from entering Sarawak to observe the elections. But what would this globally recognised and decorated defender of justice and human rights in Malaysia know……right Mr Harriss?

    Perhaps Mr Harriss could dedicate his next trip to paying a visit and learning about Sarawak from Anwar Ibrahim or perhaps Mr Harriss would prefer, along with using the Tasmanian Parliament to forever record his indifference to one of the world most corrupt regimes, use cowards castle to tell us why Anwar Ibrahim, the U.S govt and wider global community are wrong about the Chief Minister of Sarawak?

    The word rogue has been bandied about a lot lately in relation to the Tasmanian logging industry.

    There is no doubt that the logging industry, including Malaysia’s is widely regarded as one of the most corrupt industries on the planet. Such a claim can be supported by decades of evidence.

    To my mind the Huon MLC’s off hand dismissal of allegations of corruption against the Sarawak Chief Minister is rogue behaviour and puts him out on the fringes in terms of the global view of the Taib regime. But this is nothing new in for the Tasmanian Parliament.

    First published on Rick Pilkington’s blog, Tasmanian Politics and Other Stuff here:

    Posted by Rick Pilkington  on  21/03/12  at  02:28 PM
  18. Harriss’ fact-finding trips to Sarawak seem to have proven very enriching in a cultural as well pecuniary sense.

    The recent proposals by a number of Tas Inc spokesmen to outlaw criticism of Tasmania’s forestry freebooters has very much the flavour of a legislative dish picked up in one of the gamiest regimes in S.E. Asia.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john hayward  on  21/03/12  at  03:46 PM
  19. Private forest growers are only “forgotten” in the forestry wars because the TFGA is in total lock-step with Forestry Tasmania and the major industry players. They have no independent profile or voice whatsoever. For Jan Davis to demand that the commercial interests of private forest growers are EXACTLY THE SAME as those of FT and the major industry players is just nonsense. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Politically it is also a dangerous position to take, as Ms. Davis makes perfectly clear. Private forest growers are forgotten and invisible because they insist on being that way. Instead of being a blind puppet and mouth-piece for the major industry players, private forest growers should adopt a more independent voice. Their interests are different. They are commercially focused, and they do make a substantial contribution to the State economy.

    Change in the forest industry is inevitable. Private forest growers need to help direct the change and see the opportunities, not adopt a negative reactive approach. That way lies danger and irrelevance, and invisibility.

    Posted by Dr Gordon Bradbury  on  21/03/12  at  04:02 PM
  20. Pilko, thanks for your exposure of these critical connections. The next step perhaps for the ‘brokerage’ of Mr Harris could be the 13 dams the Malaysian authority wants to build. I have read the family running the authority has the sole concession for concrete in that country. It may well be that the Tassie hydro are in it up to the hilt, not only commissioning the first dam but assisting in all the others as well. The Ta Ann connection may only be the start. I am reminded of Mr Groves current ‘toon. ‘I’ll trade yuh 2 and a half mills for 5 dams’. Hydro seems to be remaining silent regarding their involvement in Malaysia. Haven’t heard any public statements? Perhaps Mr Harris knows more than he lets on?
    Another job for our investigative print media!

    Posted by russell  on  21/03/12  at  04:04 PM
  21. William at #15 ... I agree. 

    [“he will find himself unable to alter the record of conducts of his past and recent expeditions to visit the Ta Ann hierarchy”]


    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  21/03/12  at  05:53 PM
  22. Methinks the honourable member doth protest too much.

    Posted by Gary  on  21/03/12  at  06:38 PM
  23. “An agreement no one agrees on: Tasmanian forest solution in crisis” has been published on The Conversation. Here is the link:

    Posted by Bev  on  21/03/12  at  06:51 PM
  24. Unfortunately private forest owners are assisted by PFT and thus caught in the FT paradigm of low value low processing exports. Stepping away from that would require deliberation and long term investment.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  21/03/12  at  07:15 PM
  25. Integrity the order of the day
    By Karim Raslan

    Malaysia election: PM admits two-thirds majority will be tough ...

    Posted by Russell  on  21/03/12  at  07:28 PM
  26. The Hansard link above doesn’t work. Also, what does “Previous HitTasmanianNext Hit Times” actually mean? I can see its about Tasmanian Times but what is the ‘previous hit’ stuff about? Please enlighten me somebody?

    Ed: Poor harrissed ed didn’t have time to take out the commands ... in a search for Tasmanian Times h\Hansard left in Previous hit, Next hit… blame Hansard

    Posted by Karl Stevens  on  21/03/12  at  07:34 PM
  27. Years ago, at some anti pulp mill rally or other, I said that Tasmanian politicians, instead of choosing a country like Switzerland as an economic model, chose Borneo instead. How right I was.

    Posted by Bob McMahon  on  21/03/12  at  07:53 PM
  28. #9, #11 & #12 - You seem to have latched on to a couple of brief sentences to discredit Barnaby Drake. I’ve read thousands of words from Barnaby on Tasmanian Times. They have been full of respect for enlightened people, for social and environmental integrity.  Barnaby’s insight has been inspiring for me. Only people defending bulk resource exploitation have generally attempted to discredit his arguments.

    To me, in Comment #3, Barnaby appears to be highlighting the powerful harmony with nature shown by indigenous Tasmanians. Next to their level of adaptation, so-called advances elsewhere look fraught. So, I think Barnaby put words like intelligent, progress and Age of Enlightenment into inverted commas to emphasise the ironies of esteemed western developments.

    I think it is devious to pull one or two lines out of context. Reading on to the end of the paragraph criticised reveals a deep respect for indigenous people.

    Paul Harris uses a rich description that fits in an unintended way:


    Isn’t that a description for the mainstream media that applaud Tasmania’s final resource plunder as it reaches its farcical, self-destructive limits? If we’re talking slash, burn and chip, the media certainly play a pro-active role.

    Our mainstream media enable “what happens here”.

    Posted by Bob Kendra  on  21/03/12  at  08:22 PM
  29. I was rather taken by Mr Harriss’ remark, referring to Bob Brown, “Well, for the 80 per cent of people he talks to, maybe it is so.” This was said in the context of the Legislative Council and his trip to Sarawak. Perhaps it is Mr Harriss himself who also needs to broaden his circle beyond Mr Dean, Ms Rattray, Mr Hall and Mr Wilkinson. I suppose this is irony like not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    Posted by Mark  on  21/03/12  at  08:40 PM
  30. Thank you John Maddock [comment #13] - the cover up and put down of investigative journos happens time and time again!

    Methinks Tassie’s 11-year fox saga needs a few reporters like Hedley Thomas.

    Our mainstream journos locally just lazily suck on the State Government’s tit of the daily stream of press releases and do very little investigation of their spin. Makes for an easy life as a Tassie journo and you get to be put on the Government’s most favoured ‘lunch list’ for the ‘exclusive’ stories!

    Welcome to Taz-mania!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  21/03/12  at  09:37 PM
  31. Comments 9 and 11.

    Coming back to the fray, let me restate that this is NOT a racial comment but more one of fact. Definitions seem have changed recently for socio-political reasons.

    It may be that there is a common root as is suggested by the following article, but over the milennia they have developed differently into two entities. Cro-Magnon Man and Neanderthal.

    It is like saying that a lion is the same as a domestic pussycat. They are obviously not the same despite sharing a common ancestry.


    All people today are classified as Homo sapiens.  Our species of humans first began to evolve nearly 200,000 years ago in association with technologies not unlike those of the early Neandertals.  It is now clear that early Homo sapiens, or modern humans, did not come after the Neandertals but were their contemporaries.  However, it is likely that both modern humans and Neandertals descended from Homo heidelbergensis.

    Compared to the Neandertals and other late archaic humans, modern humans generally have more delicate skeletons.  Their skulls are more rounded and their brow ridges generally protrude much less.  They rarely have the occipital buns found on the back of Neandertal skulls.  They also have relatively high foreheads and pointed chins. 
      Neandertal     modern Homo sapiens  

    The first fossils of early modern humans to be identified were found in 1868 at the 27,000-23,000 year old Cro-Magnon rock shelter site near the village of Les Eyzies in southwestern France.  They were subsequently named the Cro-Magnon people.  They were very similar in appearance to modern Europeans.  Males were 5 feet 4 inches to 6 feet tall (1.6-1.8 m.)  That was 4-12 inches (10-31 cm.) taller than Neandertals.  Their skeletons and musculature generally were less massive than the Neandertals.  The Cro-Magnon had broad, small faces with pointed chins and high foreheads.  Their cranial capacities were up to 1590 cm3, which is relatively large even for people today.

    A long and detailed report with illustrations

    Posted by Barnaby Drake  on  22/03/12  at  12:45 AM
  32. Power of the human mind.

    The theories I propounded were based purely on my own observation and deductive logic, but with the certaintity in my own mind of a Eureka moment.

    Here is actual scientific corroboration for those who will only accept facts from others.


    (Quotations - source at the base.)

    Alan Thorne of the Australian National University believes that Australian aborigines share key skeletal and dental traits with pre-modern people who inhabited Indonesia at least 100,000 years ago. The implication is that there was no replacement by modern humans from Africa 60,000-40,000 years ago. However, the evidence does not rule out gene flow from African populations to Europe and Asia at that time and before. David Frayer, of the University of Kansas, believes that a number of European fossils from the last 50,000 years have characteristics that are the result of archaic and modern humans interbreeding.

    It is apparent that both the complete replacement and the regional continuity models have difficulty accounting for all of the fossil and genetic data. What has emerged is a new hypothesis known as the assimilation (or partial replacement) model. It takes a middle ground and incorporates both of the old models. Gunter Brauer, of the University of Hamburg in Germany, proposes that the first modern humans did evolve in Africa, but when they migrated into other regions they did not simply replace existing human populations. Rather, they interbred to a limited degree with late archaic humans resulting in hybrid populations. In Europe, for instance, the first modern humans appear in the archaeological record rather suddenly around 45-40,000 years ago. The abruptness of the appearance of these Cro-Magnon people could be explained by their migrating into the region from Africa via an eastern Mediterranean coastal route. They apparently shared Europe with Neandertals for another 12,000 years or more. During this long time period, it is argued that interbreeding occurred and that the partially hybridized predominantly Cro-Magnon population ultimately became modern Europeans. In 2003, a discovery was made in a Romanian cave named Peştera cu Oase that supports this hypothesis. It was a partial skeleton of a 15-16 year old male Homo sapiens who lived about 30,000 years ago or a bit earlier. He had a mix of old and new anatomical features. The skull had characteristics of both modern and archaic humans. This could be explained as the result of interbreeding with Neandertals.


    Posted by Barnaby Drake  on  22/03/12  at  02:29 AM
  33. #32 Dear BD will you confirm you accept that the aboriginal people have been mangaging and modifying forests /woodlands for some time . I ask this becuase i am hoping we can at least agree that modification of forests is what we as people do . Where we have to come to an agreement on is the extent and type of modification or management . Again i ask this to se if you fall in the “do nothing camp regarding forests and we become a big NP ” or someone who want to debate how our forests are managed and used as i have a firm opinion that the forests have many values including utility . For the record I too do respect what you write but sometimes ( like we all do ) you seem to get angry and claims of inappropriate behaviour ( i am trying to use spell check and a thesaurus to avoid the corruption thingy )

    Posted by jack lumber  on  22/03/12  at  07:46 AM
  34. Dear ed I am disappointed on the headline associated with the leaked document . I have finally read said leaked doc and I believe that the report says supply can be met and then there has been some scenarios re “headroom ” and plantations . The final and offical report is too be released soon we have been lead to believe and lets see what the verification panel says in total . Lets leave the sensational headlines to those papers that come from ” Fleet street ”

    Posted by jack lumber  on  22/03/12  at  07:54 AM
  35. Even the advent of the agricultural revolution was torpid in relation to the speed of harvest clear fell and burn of the Tasmanian forest industry run by the government’s own business enterprise.

    In my mind’s eye I am trying to envisage as much damage having ever being done and at such a rate by firestick burning of early civilisations to create grass plains even if combined with combustible occasions of lightning strike.

    I cannot image 254 intense fire burns per year, every year for ... how many years?

    Posted by John Wade  on  22/03/12  at  08:36 AM
  36. How gratifying it must be to our esteemed Tasmanian Times editor to know that THEY ALL READ IT! And can be stung by the truths that emerge here. Otherwise, why would they bother to try and besmirch…........more power to you, Linz!

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  22/03/12  at  08:38 AM
  37. 33.#32 Dear BD will you confirm you accept that the aboriginal people have been mangaging and modifying forests /woodlands for some time. Jack Lumber.

    This would depend on your definition of management. 40 000 years ago that would have had a very different connotation.

    The Aboriginal beliefs of ‘Dreamtime’ allows them to deify natural things and put a value on them that is not present in current practices. For instance, all rivers were created by ‘Waggles’ or giant serpents and the river bed is the original pathway that these creatures took across the land. Because of this religious significance, they would take care not to disrupt this course and would preserve it. The same with trees etc. They were actually all conservationists.

    Unfortunately the last part of my previous entry disappearred into the the aether in transmission and is now missing. I have no actual record of the words, but genrally the gist was this.

    The original points I was making were pro-Aboriginal stating that these people had ‘managed’ the forests for 40 000 years and had done no intentional measurable damage to the ecosystems or nature of the them. Occasional escaped fire, possibly, and beyond their control to extinguish it. Grasslands were managed differently and for other reason. These were controlled by fire, a practice that is now seized upon by Forestry to justify their own burning activities - but not in the same place or for the same reasons. It is totally dissimilar in intent and motive. They are simply using this distortion of fact to justify their own inappropriate actions and give in an attempt to give them legitimacy by trying to associate it with the original Aborigine culture.

    I went on to say that as an approach, the Aborigines showed superior intelligence and experience to the late-comers as they realised that their living was dependent on preserving their means of life, and not destroyimng it for the currrent God - money.

    However, in modern times with exploding populations and needs, obviously some differences in management are needed. However, it seems very foolish to destroy the very asset on which life depends for the future by clearfell, slash and burn. An attitude I am totally against

    Back to the migration aspect, the above article vindicates my thinking exactly. Cro-Magnon man arrived in Europe to meet up with the established Neandertal population between 45 000 and 40 000 years ago. By this time the Neandertals had spread out into Asia and crossed to Australia at almost exactly the same time that Cro-magnon man arriverd in Europe, so they were of pure Neandertal descent!

    Since that time however, there is evidence of a later colonisation from Asia, by possibly another partially corrupted strain, There are cave paintings in the North of Western Australia showing advanced techniques, unfortunately largely being destroyed by commercal collectors. Currently they are all protected, but being in such remote areas the plunder seems to be continuing.

    These people most probably interbred somewhat with the original inhabitants and added to their DNA strain and altering some of the original Neandertal markers. Also over this period of 40 000 years, there would also be a tendency for naturally change as well.

    And all this was originally from pure deductive logic on my part.

    ‘Ah, those little grey cells.’

    Barnaby Drake

    Posted by Barnaby Drake  on  22/03/12  at  08:58 AM
  38. Lumber Jack. Having reread you last post I really do object to statements like this:-

    ‘Again i ask this to se if
    you fall in the “do nothing camp regarding forests and we become a big NP “

    More insidious questions and no answers to anything from yourself. I feel your only intention is to try to discredit me, and not to involve yourself in any proper discussion or research. But maybe that is your brief?

    The implication of that statement is that I am just a strawman with no original positive suggestion about Forestry or the future of the forests.  And I am SICK of it. (Caps intentional.)

    Just last week I had an article published here on TT under the title of ‘My Tree’. Go and have a good look and then come and tell me my contributions are not positive.

    Also appearing is my photograph of a South African pyrolysis plant for dealing with wood waste from both forests and sawmills with accompanying write up in one of the lead articles.

    And that is just two in two weeks of many over the last couple of years.

    I would like you to point to ANY such articles by yourself so that the readers can put an ACTUAL value on your contributions.

    And by the way, you also misinterpret the ‘shouting’ aspect of capitals. Shouting refers to entire texts or large parts thereof in CAPITALS. They can also used to emphasise a point in the absence of a way to transmit ‘Strong’ or ‘Italic’ when submitting comments to TT without the use of HTML, so your hearing should be safe!

    I await your ANSWERS, but not further questions.

    Thank you!

    Barnaby Drake

    Posted by Barnaby Drake  on  22/03/12  at  09:34 AM
  39. Re #28, I wasn’t trying to discredit Barnaby Drake when I wrote #9. I’ve never met the man and usually agree with the comments he writes, so I was careful with my words, as a re-reading of #9 will show.

    However, I stand by my comments in #9 as a fair response to #3. For…

    In #3 he said this:

    “They [Tasmanian aborigines] lived here from before the time that the ‘intelligent species’, Homo Sapiens had even evolved.”

    Whereas in #31 he says this:

    “All people today are classified as Homo sapiens.”

    Now forgive me if I’m missing something, but those look like 100% contradictory statements to me. I didn’t seriously believe Barnaby could have been claiming that aborigines are some form of early human species that we Europeans have out-evolved, but it is easy to infer that from reading the first statement. (Although he does, of course, go on to point out that we are the ones who are messing our nest - I have no quarrel with any of that.)

    Indigenous Europeans were separated from indigenous Australians by tens of thousands of years. That’s enough time for a few differences to emerge, and then there were some interbreeding opportunities in Europe (with Neanderthals who lived on until about 30,000 years ago) that will have created some further differences, but nevertheless the time apart is not much in the scheme of things and I would suggest that the statement in #31 makes a great deal more sense than the one in #3.

    Posted by Doug Nichols  on  22/03/12  at  02:46 PM
  40. #39. Point taken.

    It was devoloping thoughts in the process of writing - late at night. I mistakenly used the term ‘Homo Sapiens’ rather the more apposite ‘Cro-Magnon Man’ which gives a little more credibilty?

    Posted by Barnaby Drake  on  22/03/12  at  04:04 PM
  41. Doug Nichols, you are missing something. Kindly get back on thread. What do you think of a member of our legco ‘semi officially?’ supporting a corruptly run country and bagging TT as being garbage? What implications are there for Tas industry becoming more entwined with that regime? Pls have your early race debate elsewhere. I know you are not a professional trollster, as for example lumberjack appears to be proving to be. There is a wealth of unexplored implication in the series of articles provided by the editors w/o running off at a very loose tangent. Re read the articles for inspiration if needs be. Or write an article on a new topic.

    Posted by russell  on  22/03/12  at  04:48 PM
  42. This debate about Paul Harriss brings into stark relief the role and function of the Legislative Council. On a 6 year election rotation most people have no idea who is their LegCo representative. Many LegCo representatives are re-elected with little competition or sometimes unopposed. As a ‘house of review’ they have been very vocal lately ( independents all - yeah right) about their opposition to the current form of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Forestry.  If they are truly a house of review surely they are jumping in before their mandate? Most people I speak to have no idea who or what the LegCo comprises. They confuse it with Federal Senate representation. Time for a review of the LegCo? Time to call for better representation perhaps?  It might make up for those places we lost when the House of Assembly was down-sized.

    The LegCo cost the Tasmanian taxpayers $5,985.000 last financial year ( the budget was $5,672,000).
    Is this value for our dollars. I ask people to think deeply and debate this. $5,000,000 is a lot of money for a house of review that slips under the radar most of the time.

    Here is the link to the latest LegCo financial report - it’s hard to find.

    Posted by Carol Rea  on  22/03/12  at  11:37 PM
  43. #42 Carol Rea:  Well done and apposite!

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  23/03/12  at  06:17 AM
  44. Carol Rea 42. I think you are talking about ‘the junk parliament component’ of ‘what happens around here’ in Tasmania’. While you are on the cost of ‘junk parliament’ do you know how much the IGA has cost to date?

    Posted by Karl Stevens  on  23/03/12  at  07:06 AM
  45. #Carol you’ve got even less chance of having the Leg Co. abolished than u have of getting the undemocratic IGA through.

    Is this the ENGO’s next strategy? To attack and therefore antagonise the Upper House?

    Yeah thats sure to change their minds.

    What sweeteners do the ENGO’s have left to offer?

    Maybe more secret assurances on the pulp mill? It wouldnt surprise me.

    Posted by pilko  on  23/03/12  at  08:12 AM
  46. No amount of present past or former numbers of Aboriginal people traditionally burning grasslands and patches of smally scrubby foliage could do anywhere near the volume of harms as has been committed in this State by Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Ltd.

    Lighting so many burns as planned by Forestry Tasmania this year is once again acting against the health and interests of the people in Tasmania.
    If let completely loose from government regulation, F/T would torch our whole State?
    Such ridiculous logic is simply “par for the course” from the environmental wrecking team headed by the Executive Board at Forestry Tasmania.

    Posted by William Boeder  on  23/03/12  at  08:56 AM
  47. Some interesting review of the situation in tropical regions with indicators and background data as well as impact on wildlife etc:

    This discussion paper indicates what happened and why Tasmania’s forest get mined for low priced peeler logs.

    The peeler industry was supposed to be about a by-product of a mature sawlog and high quality (sliced veneer) driven industry scenario.
    The IGA seems to provide now the downgrade of forest management for Peeler Billets as the final top product…
    Talk about sustainable resource management!
    The IGA is not only undemocratic, it is unsustainable deal making and short lived gambling satisfaction.
    NO FSC - NO Trust - NO Solution
    The Hobart and Canberra Elite may believe they know what is best for Tasmania, but the reality is they have not learned from positive triple bottom line approaches, here it it just more of the same old same old trade off.

    Posted by Frank Strie  on  23/03/12  at  09:31 AM
  48. dear BD no not trying to discredit anyone just clarifying points or arguments made .“Strawman “and inferences that i am part of a grand plan gives way to must credit to you and me . Hope you can make the distinction re points and a person . As to you publishing on TT noted but not aware of any requirement that anyone has to make submissions nor am i looking for anyone to value what i say ,People will make thier own minds up but many contributors just like banging on and blame FT/Gunns? etc for everything - it does become counter productive Didn’t know this was a popularity contest not a citation index competition ( I am being generous here as i will allow people to self quote on non peer reviewed articles ) .  I have in fact been published and peer reviewed so i am confident in my understanding of things .  So now that we have stopped getting all “hairy chested ” > Your contributions though are noted but I take OFFENCE ( delib caps) at people claiming corruption if there is something they don’t agree with . I decided to join into TT to see if we could have some debates so lets have it or just ignore my post . I wont ignore yours though
    #46 dear WB case in point - so you do agree that people for a long time have modified the environment . Yes or No question and then you have to add the usual dish on FT/Gunns - boring , predictable and the reference to torching the whole state is just crazy . Next time there is a bushfire event please make sure you thank TFS , PandW ,the skilled people of FT and contractors who who protect forests and people and their assets

    Posted by jack lumber  on  23/03/12  at  10:12 AM
  49. #40 - No.

    One species did not split geographically and then evolve into a different but the same species.  Evolution does not work like that.

    Every body on this planet is the species Homo Sapien Sapien.  Any geographical split occurred after we ALL became Homo Sapiens.

    Posted by Rob  on  23/03/12  at  10:30 AM
  50. Well gee Bob Kendra #28, when someone makes the absolutely ridiculous and stupid statement that aboriginals are a seperate species to Homo Sapiens - what do you expect is going to happen?  We argue they are wrong, otherwise this web site will truly earn the derision it gets from some sectors.

    Posted by Ron  on  23/03/12  at  10:37 AM
  51. #41, russell. Sorry, yes, I was aware I was totally off-thread. But I wasn’t the only one reacting to the rather surprising statements in #3.

    As for commenting on the thread itself, I fail to see how anyone can take a look at Sarawak and not see an environmental catastrophe driven by destructive logging of old-growth forest. The attempt at a positive spin on the Orangutan situation was particularly cynical.

    I don’t, however, subscribe strongly to the “indigenous people lived in harmony with nature” argument. There is good evidence that the extinction of many large animal species followed the arrival of humans in many parts of the world. The Easter Island indigenous population crashed after their island environment changed so much, most likely of their own doing, that it could no longer support them - a lesson that we would do well to heed. The Maoris drove numerous iconic bird species to extinction across New Zealand in only a few hundred years. The Tasmanian environment remained relatively pristine because the aboriginal population was very small and they lacked the technology to do much except alter the landscape using fire. If early explorers had given them a box of chainsaws we might have arrived to find a different situation :-) What’s different today is not human nature, but technology allowing greed to run unchecked and an obsession with continued economic growth.

    Posted by Doug Nichols  on  23/03/12  at  11:13 AM
  52. Thanks Mr Nichols, you do raise valid points which I acknowledge. History and pre history are fascinating in their own right. Apologies for my shortness in raising the ‘off topic’ with you.

    I struggle to understand how ‘authority’ in Tas seems to want to keep us in blissfull? ignorance as against fully informing us. Either that or they are just misrepresenting, to our faces in their presentations. Dumbing down as a tactic?

    I am concerned that some members of our Legco could be ‘freely’ led, going down this path of possible collusion with corrupted governance.

    My own off topic; our shiny new Minister of Foreign Affairs is making noises about the ‘Malaysian solution’ for ‘boat people’. It seems we now have mills, dams and now people solutions tied up with the money men of Malaysia. I despair for the values of Australia ‘going forward’!

    Values of humanity seem to be overtaken by the almighty dollar by those in so called authority and with acquiescence of the mainstream media, including ‘our’ ABC, in questioning these things.

    Then to have the likes of Mr Harriss, after his no doubt luxurious Malay sojourns, to seek to denigrate TT as some sort of garbage is just too much. The double standards get me every time.

    Thankfully TT allows us to explore beyond mere politically postured appearance.

    Malaysian social media is waking up to corrupt processes there now and we should keep track of our end, as we are able to find out.

    I am mindful of the American view via Wikileaks of Malaysian governance. The more Mr Harriss has to do with it, the more risky becomes the appearance of him becoming tainted. His motives may then become more obscure to the observer.

    How many years will Ta Ann be allowed to operate in Tasmania in a Tas taxpayer subsidized, yet profitless making fashion? It stinks.

    No amount of denigration of TT by Mr Harriss will resolve that problem for him. Raise those good ole double standards high Mr Harriss, let us all see them!

    Does Mr Harriss already have the appearance of NOT being independent, particularly in ‘dealings’ with Ta Ann in Tasmania and Malaysia? Not to mention the Hydro? Still silent there?

    Politicians working in a transparent manner will always win with voters, rather than with half truths and obfuscation which only creates doubt and suspicion. That is, if they have nothing to hide from us or of letting us know about.

    Posted by russell  on  23/03/12  at  05:09 PM
  53. So who do we have left in this State whom might be able to rein in the outrageous conducts of the State’s LIb/Lab ministers?

    No point asking Glenn Appleyard who is now the State’s Economic Regulator, he appears to be far too busy helping Aurora to slam the people with their proposed raising of the electricity supply costs or access costs, no matter its just another unwarranted slug upon the people?
    Then this same hyper-Economical Regulator is also involved with the Water Corporations in our State, overseeing their newly proposed cost increases to be dumped upon the domestic householders, (this is despite the abundant rainfalls in Tasmania during this past 2 years.)Its not as though these shysters have to manufacture our water as it just dumps itself upon most of Tasmania
    Now who’s left of our State Authorities, maybe our Police Commissioner Darren Hine could have a bit of a look at the way Tasmania’s Lib/Labs are conducting themselves?
    Failing that perhaps our DPP might be able to get our pollies to pick up their game?

    The last possible resort open to the people seeking some sort of justice in this matter would be to engage in a citizens arrest, but then we would soon be tossed into the can for touching any of these protected free-loaders?

    I give up, do any attendees to this Forum have any ideas, how about you hugoagogo, you seem tobe a man of exceptional talent and perception?

    Posted by William Boeder  on  24/03/12  at  12:10 AM
  54. #53 I’ve not made those claims, but if that’s how it seems to you then it’s more likely my actual skills comprise being both blessed with the Blarney and a convincing con to boot.

    Sadly it seems I am unendowed with any unusually keen capacity for perception, because even after my forensic analysis of post #53 I haven’t got a clue what your question is.

    Posted by hugoagogo  on  24/03/12  at  11:16 AM
  55. Jack Lumber at #34: 

    Well the report’s out now,  Our forests over-committed 2:1. 

    Would you like to revisit your comment?

    Posted by Garry Stannus  on  28/03/12  at  08:58 PM





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