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  1. The comment that astonished me from that Landline program on MIS was the one made by the CEO of Great Southern, Mr Cameron Rhodes where he said - in response to a question on investors using MIS principally for tax minimisation and notfor long-term gains - ‘why would you invest $1 to get 46 cents of tax dededuction, you might as well give it to a Charity and get a tax deduction…but you won’t create wealth’.

    That said it all for me. It isn’t about ‘common’ wealth, only personal wealth.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  07/03/07  at  06:50 AM
  2. According to CSIRO figures, 1 ha of plantation trees use 1.5 Ml/yr over and above agricultural cropping. That’s 1.5 million litres for each hectare per year.

    2020 Vision for Australia calls for 3 million ha of plantation by 2020, or 3 million x 1.5 million litres per year, of 4.5 tera litres. This is about 20% of all of Australia’s water use and the plantation people don’t pay for that water.

    The federal government has created an open ended scheme for tree plantations that is sucking up our money (for tax deductions) and our water (worth around $1 per kilolitre = $4.5 billion for the 2020 amount). Last year we paid about $1.5 billion for MIS forestry. As it turns out, if we include water in the calculation, we invested much more than we gained in growth of GDP.

    From a government policy viewpoint, we have to ask how smart and sustainable that really is.

    Can Australia really afford more of this?

    Posted by Mike Bolan  on  07/03/07  at  02:59 PM
  3. Woodchipping is a high volume low profit business that has huge countries like Russia and Brazil flooding markets with low cost products. It’s not a business that Tassie is positioned to compete in so we have to prop the whole thing up with subsidies and cut workers and contractors payments in order to offer our chips at world prices and still show profits to our favoured industry.

    So we must all tolerate the poisons in the water, the wrecked scenery, the diminished water supplies, the ruined roads, the depleted rural towns and the constant abuse from the logging industry because they say so.

    That’s gotta be good enough for anyone.

    Posted by The Commentator  on  09/03/07  at  07:48 AM
  4. Interesting to see some Launceston City Council aldermen discussing Launceston’s water supply and suggesting more dams, water tanks etc.
    Fortunately Launceston residents aren’t stupid.  How can they talk about a water crisis when the majority of the council supports a pulp mill which extracts 3 million litres of water an hour out of Trevallyn Dam which is more than the current domestic use in Launceston and the Tamar Valley.  If there is a water crisis in the North Esk catchment then the cheapest and most efficient option is to draw more drinking water from the dam and forget about the pulp mill which has a heap of other risks anyway.
    Some of them need to take a drive around the back roads near Blessington , Upper Blessington, Mathinna, Upper Esk and Ringarooma and see the devastation and the trashing of our catchments including the cable logging of steep slopes.

    Posted by David Mohr  on  12/03/07  at  07:17 AM
  5. More dams, eh?

    Isn’t that like finding there’s not enough money in your wallet, so you go out and get more wallets?

    But then, you did say Launceston aldermen.

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  12/03/07  at  04:05 PM
  6. Chips and pulp are high volume, low margin businesses. The only way to make money is to reduce costs and increase volumes. In Tasmanian terms this means mega subsidies and free trees - as many of them as wanted. Volume and cost reductions are the ONLY option that they have to build their business.

    Until we find some other ways for these same people to make money and feed their families, it’s hard to see how anyone is going to change the situation although Gunns could shift to a high value, high margin offering.

    But look at Gunns. They just don’t have the management, technological or strategic wherewithal to change their main line of business. Their big strength is their ability to get what they want out of governments at all levels. They’re great at that and it shows in the balance sheets.

    But now there’s a conflict between the source of the tax money (the taxpayers) and the risks posed to those taxpayers and businesses.

    For example, under the RPDC kraft mill guidelines, the regulator won’t act until at least 2 years of odours are experienced…TWO YEARS…before they’ll even make a phone call!

    Why would anyone think that the public wants to PAY to have their worlds made worse by foul smells.

    It’s trying to use public money to make our lives worse that’s the nub of the problem! It would be relatively easy for Gunns to slide into a compatible high value/high margin business - but they are as limited as their thinking.

    Posted by Richard Barton  on  12/03/07  at  06:47 PM
  7. According to the Examiner 8/3, Gunns Ltd CEO John Gay says that ‘the Longreach proposal is hanging on thin threads and it has all to do with negativity about the project; it has gone too far to redeem it’
    In the Gunns Half Yearly Report to shareholders. “The Company is confident the necessary government approvals will be obtained within a timeframe which maintains the commercial value of the project”

    Posted by David Mohr  on  13/03/07  at  07:07 AM

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