Image for The Premier meets the people

VARIOUS:  Mr Bartlett, Mr Bartlett
MR BARTLETT:  Yeh, I’ll come and have a chat with you
U/K:  Good, that’s lovely
MR BARTLETT:  Please don’t take a photo of [his son].
GARRY:  Okay.
MR BARTLETT:  Thanks.  Hello how are you, [I’m] David
SUSIE:  I’m Labor person, through and through, but I just want you to listen to us.
MR BARTLETT:  Sure.  Well, I’m here to listen.  How are you?
U/K:  Good for you.  [polite, not ironic]
MR BARTLETT:  You’re doing well ... cold out on a cold night

U/K:  yes we are [friendly]

MR BARTLETT:  and you’ve waited quite a while as well
SUSIE:  we’ve waited because

FAIRLEY:  it shows the passion of our purpose

SUSIE:  you know me, I’ve been in the Labor Party for forty years,
SUSIE:  and I love Tasmania
SUSIE:  and we want you to do the right thing for Tasmania, and the pulp mill
is not good here

Minders hover in the background



FAIRLEY:  we want a simple…
MR BARTLETT:  Is there any, can I ask you a question, is there any circumstances under which a pulp mill, you know, if you think about it, if it was totally, um, chlorine free, if it was closed loop, if it was in another place, I’m just saying
I’m trying to ask you, is there a scenario and it was obviously all plantation fed and accredited by FSC, is there a circumstance under which you would say “No, that’s a reasonable project”  ?  Would you object or not? I just, I’m interested in

FAIRLEY:  Well personally, I would say no
MR BARTLETT:  Right, okay
FAIRLEY:  for other reasons as well
FAIRLEY:  Um, I don’t think it’s appropriate that we should have a pulp of that, of any size, if one was built, it could be the beginning of a lot more being, um, like that could just be the catalyst for further pulp mill and I don’t think that, I think Tasmania’s a small, it is a small place that is much more suited to small industry
SUSIE:  Niche, niche industry
FAIRLEY:  and – niche industry – and if – the thing about, when you have a big industry like a pulp mill and it’s not actually in the long run going to employ a lot of people it will only in the ... would, it would , not it will, it would in the construction, but the thing is that if ever, when the market goes down and it, and it gets um becomes a, a ‘no-no’, it’s not wor…, it’s not operating, you’ve got to find places for those people, we’ve found in many of the other industries have got to find work, now while Tasmania sticks to small industry, niche industry and, and export our…
MR BARTLETT:  Look, look can I say, I’ll always want to find common ground and can I say I don’t disagree with you on small ... so I’ve created a portfolio of Innovation, Science and Technology myself
U/K:  Yeh, yeh [polite]
MR BARTLETT:  and I do believe that Tasmania’s future’s about an investment in innovation, and in science and research, technology based industry, I agree with all of that
MR BARTLETT:  Is there anyone else here, like would ... that there are circumstances under which a pulp mill would be a reasonable thing?
LEE?:  Sure [inaudible] set of circumstances [inaudible] I could see a possibility, perhaps it would be possible to have a pulp mill
GARRY:  but the Tamar valley
LEE?:  the Tamar Valley [general hubbub]

MR BARTLETT:  so obviously, the place is very important?
LEE?:  Critical.
CHRIS:  Oh, it’s critical.

SUSIE:  and with the MIS schemes there has been a vast amount of good arable land taken over by plantations

MR BARTLETT:  Yeh.  In lots of ways I don’t disagree and I’ve got to tell ya this
SUSIE:  Clearfelling of ...
MR BARTLETT:  in my first day as Premier I introduced the Prime Agricultural Land new state policy that ruled out, that ruled out tree plantations on

FAIRLEY:  We don’t need any more plantations
MR BARTLETT:  grades four, five and six land
U/K:  yeh
U/K:  One, two and three
MR BARTLETT:  1,2 and 3 lands, sorry what’d I say?
ah, so I have made some moves in that direction

ESTELLE:  that clearfelling of ... specially the Launceston catchment is very important,
that’s where

MR BARTLETT:  Well look, can I also say there’s some, there, obviously you are people who watch politics closely and there’s some really interesting times in politics,
there’s new times and I’m very excited about it.  It’s some interesting times where I think there’s some opportunities to think differently about it
FAIRLEA:  Yeh, yeh.
MR BARTLETT:  and there’s a group, there is some good groups of people and some good conversations about thinking differently about trees, about forestry
U/K:  [inaudible]
MR BARTLETT:  I agree with you totally
U/K:  Not just like, ahm, combatitive like Kim and them, but
MR BARTLETT:  Agree totally
SUSIE:  but [inaudible] people [inaudible] together because all of us [inaudible] Tasmania

LEE?  Are you going to talk to the community as opposed to vested interest, who call themselves the community?
MR BARTLETT:  Yes, I understand what you’re saying there and I know
LEE?:  This is the community of the Tamar Valley
MR BARTLETT:  Yeh, I know and I do understand what you’re saying there.  One of my, you gotta understand, one of my challenges always will be that as Premier you almost have to deal with peak bodies, or repre…, constituent bodies, very difficult to talk to every in, every one of five hundred thousand individuals, and ah, and I know
when I look at what we’re doing at the moment and I think, in terms of the government and cabinet it’s working very well.  I know Nick has his challenges, on his side, to convince people he’s doing the right thing and I have my challenges on my side [inaudible] doing the right thing.

SUSIE:  I want you to do something really good.
MR BARTLETT:  Yeh, and, and when it comes to the conversation about trees, I, you know, I read Tasmanian Times and I read other bits and pieces and I see that I’m, that actually I could, um if you like, if you, if you, you know, take a whole view of it,
sides, and I don’t think there necessarily is, but on the one, the timber side, I think there’s a lotta more united voice at the moment about wanting to move forward, wanting to change things, wanting to involve the environmental NGOs and I, I do actually see, when I see the politics which I don’t understand [inaudible] my side of politics but anyway I see there’s a fair few scoops opening up and I think that’s a dangerous thing because, if, if we’re ever to resolve this debate, there will be compromises, there won’t there won’t be a perfect world, it won’t be that no trees are ever chopped down in Tasmania

FAIRLEY:  Nobody has ever asked that that should be the case
MR BARTLETT:  Well, well, I have heard, I don’t, I’m not accusing any of you, no,

FAIRLEY:  No, we’ve got to be realistic
MR BARTLETT:  I have heard people say that and that’s a you know, we need to find a middle ground that is a sensible middle ground that also, um, sets us up for the future and gives people lives and gives people economic opportunity as well.
FAIRLEY:  But there’s, there’re not the jobs in, ah,  forestry as there used to be
MR BARTLETT:  No you’re dead right about that
FAIRLEY:  And that’s, so that when
MR BARTLETT:  You’re dead right about that
FAIRLEY:  Exactly, so
MR BARTLETT:  And I don’t think there ever will be again
FAIRLEY:  No, no.
MR BARTLETT:  What there will be though, is opportunity to have a ... I don’t think broad-scale plantations, but I think on farms, small-scale eucalypts or native-forest based, but, not that, but plantation grown, and I also think, you know I get very disturbed when I hear people in the environmental movement saying that we should never cut down any specialty timbers again, because what’s gonna feed close to five… 
FAIRLEY:  [undecipherable hubbub]
MR BARTLETT:  I know your people as well
MR BARTLETT:  What I, all I’m saying to you is that this is a very um challenging debate with many many views and what I’m
FAIRLEY:  And it’s gotta be better controlled
MR BARTLETT:  endeavouring to do at the moment is create a environment in which people can come together and have a conversation about it,
FAIRLEY:  Yes, good
MR BARTLETT:  Share views, well we are doing that.  We are doing that.  Most definitely.

ESTELLE:  You need that, not just the two, like the environmentalists and the loggers, you need the in-betweens
MR BARTLETT:  the community,
CHRIS:  you need the rest of the people
ESTELLE:  and then it’s not adversarial, if you’ve got three people it’s not adversarial.  It’s not as bad, is it?  If you think about it.  It’s not
ESTELLE:  it’s not us and them, it’s sort of we
MR BARTLETT:  anyway, I’ve gotta go and see my mum, she lives up in [...]  She’s cooked me a beautiful stew, so I’m going home
FAIRLEY:  Can we come along too? [pleasant joke, general laughter]
CHRIS:  Have a very pleasant evening
FAIRLEY:  and thank you for stoppiing
MR BARTLETT:  [inaudible] out of the cold now
FAIRLEY:  thank you very much

U/K:  Whose is the camera?
U/K:  That’s Garry’s
U/K:  Garry’s.

Rick Pilkington blog, HERE