Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Forestry Tasmania’s new boss

In response to advertisements placed in last weekend’s Newspapers, 20th June 2006

TIMBER WORKERS FOR FORESTS Inc. welcomes the impending resignation of Forestry Tasmania’s Managing Director.
President of TWFF Inc.

Frank Strie today welcomed reports that Evan Rolley would be retiring from his position as Managing Director of Forestry Tasmania at the end of the year.

Mr. Strie said that the Government of Tasmania and the Board of Forestry Tasmania now had an opportunity to change the direction of the state-owned business enterprise from being a bulk supplier of predominantly high volume — low value products,(due to the legislated requirement to provide 300,000 m3 high quality logs), to the active management of the public forest land for high value forest production which returned the highest possible value to the people of Tasmania.

Calling for the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr. Strie said that only a person drawn from a new gene pool of international foresters would provide for positive, responsible forest value management, welcomed and respected by the island’s community.

Whilst reports had indicated that the position would also be advertised outside Australia, in New Zealand and South Africa, this would most likely not result in the leadership that Tasmania’s multiple use forests deserve.

”As the timber and wood fibre industries in New Zealand and South Africa are based almost exclusively on cropping of artificial monoculture Eucalypt and Pine tree plantations, such limited advertisements will only result in enquiries from people whose education, training and market focus is locked into straight rows and short rotation commodities”, Mr Strie

By contrast, in Tasmania public forestry operations are predominantly conducted in natural forests. There is also a need for restoration of degraded forests from mismanagement in the past.

”I would suggest that a refocus of forestry in Tasmania could bring about real success by integration of management for all forest values, in line with the community’s social, environmental and commercial expectations.

To find a person with a holistic understanding and such management skills it would seem appropriate to advertise the position via the Universities in Austria, Canada, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland. ” said Mr Strie.

“Here is the one opportunity to turn the direction of the Tasmanian forest industry away from being a simplistic bulk supplier with long term bulk contracts.”

”Here is the one opportunity to turn away from large scale landscape and catchment conversion for even aged tree crops of young regrowth and monoculture plantations, and their associated problems, to an industry which encourages an holistic approach to a timber industry of which all Tasmanians can be proud.

Such an industry requires a leader who understands that we have to live within the natural limits of this small island” Mr Strie said.

Frank Strie
Timber Workers for Forests Inc.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. super annoyed

    June 22, 2006 at 7:36 am

    Thanks Frank – enlightening story and supports other behind-the-scenes goings-on currently related to certain large monopolies defending their interests in Tasmania. I would agree that these monopolies are not good for the State. I was just pointing out at another thread, as you do, that these situations are very hard for external players to break into. I would not think that a Liberal government would do any different however, nor FT as a GBE. It is that strange mix of big business, financial interest and island economies. It would be naive in the extreme to think that back-room deals are not going on here, as they do in every government and most councils.

    But that is not to say that I am opposed to industrial forestry or that I dont think that the regulatory environment is as good as it can be in Tasmania. I would also suggest that FT is probably doing an OK job in most of its areas of activity.

    However, business monopolies are unhealthy, as is the expectation that a GBE will make big profits.

    Kim Booth’s ridiculous second last paragraph is also a further example of why the Greens fail to understand that the political game is about winning hearts and minds, not just whining.

  2. Frank Strie

    June 22, 2006 at 6:25 am

    SA (who ever you are),

    You mentioned ‘potential investors’ for (big), “proper” sawmills-

    Here I can tell you and all about a special case

    I think the story goes like this:

    It all began ca.18 years ago (ca.1988) in a Brisbane Hotel – Qld., …

    The Tasmanian Development Authority TDA had organised a promotion event to bring potential investors from Queensland to Tasmania.

    Yes, there would have been a nice atmosphere that day, and friendly conversations with Alvin Corbet, a 4th generation sawmiller, he got interested to make a trip down to Tassie.

    Eventually, Al’s family company (ASIA PACIFIC RESOURCES PTY LTD ) invested big dollars down here.
    They purchased a house, then they build two sawmills, yes 2 modern flitch-saw-mills, one near Wynyard, NW Tasmania and one at Bridgewater on the Derwent River.

    They intended to ad value to the so called better “pulpwood logs”.

    They intended to create meaningful employment, but (as it would have happened on other Islands before), such “intruders” got “burned” and they could simply not succeed.
    To keep the story simple and brief, they thought to get a guaranteed timber allocation but sadly eventually they ended in the court room with Forestry Tasmania, the public’s forest manager, … ASIA PACIFIC RESOURCES PTY LTD v FORESTRY TASMANIA

    And yes, you may have guessed it, FT won the court case, legally they did not need to supply the company any timber, as these logs where needed by someone else…

    Apparently FT claimed they had bend over backwards to support Mr. Corbet.

    Consequently the Corbet family ended up with, what we could call a “White Elephant”,…
    Yes, you read this correctly, at Calder Road just south west of Wynyard there is a sawmill, a big one, just like you suggested SA, it is still there,

    But, despite it was brand new, it was never in use!

    Alvin Corbet, that 4th generation Sawmiller from Gympie “burned his hands”, he and his family lost heaps, right here in Tasmania.

    I am sure, Al could ‘sing the song’ of how his trust and his families personal commitment had been misused and trampled on by some of the “world’s best practice experts” in Hobart.
    Here are 2 links that should work:
    Al Corbet: cached link will highlight the text so it is easy to find:

    1. Hansard recording Senator S. Murphy, Tasmania, debate about forests and waste:

    2. Here the court case:
    Possibly one day some of you readers will understand why so many people getting frustrated and cynical about all the spin, about honesty and trust down here!

    I think it’s a shame, but… here we are again.

    Oh, just before I forget to mention, despite all the above, just to confirm, the promotion continues, public money helps to promote the potential for mainland investors via the internet:

    “Invest in the Forestry and Timber Industry”
    ‘A few large private companies and Forestry Tasmania, a government …
    producing high-grade softwood timber products for Tasmanian and interstate markets. ɉ۪ http://www.northerntasmania.info/invest/forestry.html

  3. Kim Booth

    June 22, 2006 at 6:22 am


    Kim Booth
    Wednesday, 21 JUNE 2006


    As Labor Fails to Rule Out Forest Furnace Announcement

    The Tasmanian Greens today raised concerns in Parliament that an announcement by the government was imminent on the construction of a high value conservation forest fuelled furnace to generate electricity based at the Southwood site, which would decimate high value conservation forests that government departments have previously stated should be part of the World Heritage Area.

    Greens Shadow Energy spokesperson, Kim Booth MHA pointed out that the Energy Minister’s refusal to answer whether the power station at the Southwood site would be built in conjunction with N.P. Biomass or Ta Aan was imminent should not be considered as a government denial.

    “I clearly asked the Energy Minister whether there was a government announcement we could expect regarding the construction of the wood-fired power station at Southwood, and although Minister Llewellyn said that he personally was not intending to announce anything he very carefully avoided ruling out a government announcement,” Mr Booth said.

    “In fact the Minister’s prevarication indicates that not only is the project about to be announced but that the government is hiding the truth from the public.”

    “This antediluvian project is a disgraceful act of vandalism.”

    “All other states have ruled out the burning of native forests to generate electricity on the grounds that such activity constitutes an environmental travesty.”

    “Now that the international community has voted with its feet and walked away from old growth woodchips the Lennon government is resorting to burning them in a furnace.”

    “Hydro Tasmania have previously stated that it would not be financially viable to generate power from native forests so it begs the question as to why this project is proceeding.”

    “The only conclusion is that the government will be giving the wood away simply to ensure that they destroy these forests for ever and deny a more enlightened generation the opportunity to preserve these mighty forests.”

    “The Lennon government is sending our forests and reputation up in smoke,” Mr Booth said.

  4. paul geard

    June 20, 2006 at 9:01 am

    DAVE,you and i both know the forestry chief position will be filled by a gunns yes man.

    crud, beaconsfield.

  5. Helen Tait

    June 20, 2006 at 8:05 am

    “Such an industry requires a leader who understands that we have to live within the natural limits of this small island” Mr Strie said.”


    I am recalling what Mr Rolley has led Tasmanian forests to with his statements in the 1980s around understanding that “facadism” is essential and sufficient to keep the forest practices sound and the island people happy!!!!!!

  6. Dave Groves

    June 20, 2006 at 4:03 am

    I agree most strongly with Frank Strie.

    Yes, here is a golden opportunity to stop the carnage and turn this industry from third world to world leader and make Tasmania shine like the true jewel that it is.

    As the somewhat timely retirement of Evan Rolley from FT takes place, the Examiner reports a staggeringly pathetic $1 million forecast return to the Tasmanian public for our forest asset.

    What’s next?

    Will we have to pay to give our forests away?

    It seems like it is now or never.

    We need someone who has an awesome track record, please not a “jobs for the boys shoe in”.

Leave a Reply

To Top