Tasmanian Times

Environment

Mr Howard and plantations

ABC Online

Mr Howard is likely to face a protest in Ulverstone by farmers concerned about federal tax breaks for plantation companies and unions are planning small rallies against the Government’s new industrial laws.

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Margaretta Pos on Crikey, Thursday, Aug 24 …

Abetz spitting chips over King Island tree farm ban

Gorgeous cream, cheese, yoghurt and beef are more important to King Islanders in Bass Strait than woodchips. And in a Tasmanian first, the King Island Council has removed forestry from its planning scheme as an acceptable agricultural use, an amendment now approved by the Resource Planning and Development Commission.

King Island Council general manager Andrew Wardlaw told Crikey this morning that there’s also a moratorium on any further clearing of vegetation on the island for pasture. “People want to protect what they’ve got on the island,” he said.

But Federal Forestry Minister Eric Abetz is spitting chips over the decision to ban tree farms, telling ABC Local Radio plantations create new jobs and revitalise rural communities despite farmers’ claims to the contrary. He says Australia has to make a decision: “We either import timber … or we grow our own.”

Back on July 13th, Eric planted the 100 millionth tree for Great Southern Plantations Ltd on a commercial hardwood plantation near Albany in WA. Eric was extolling exports then: “Once harvested, 100 million trees will result in the production of 10 million bone dry tonnes of woodchip — all of which is destined to be exported to south-east Asia.”

Great Southern Plantations is part of the Great Southern Group, an agribusiness investment manager, which also has interests in beef, wine grapes and organic olives. It’s gobbled up land for tree farms in recent times, stretching from WA to the Tiwi Islands to King Island.

Plantations are big business, not least because investments are 100% tax deductible in the year in which they are made.

Crikey rang Great Southern public relations manager David Ikin’s office in Perth this morning to find out what the company intended to do with its large holdings on King Island, given the RPDC ruling against tree farms. We left a message asking him to ring back. OK, there’s a time difference, but no luck yet.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. buy strattera

    December 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    this is a cool news. Thank you.

  2. William Boeder

    March 25, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Such is the evil portent in the name of Eric Abetz that most people recoil in disgust, on either seeing or even the hearing that name.

    This particular outspoken Liberal Senator has been misleading the people of Tasmania now for many years.

    In my mind, the name Abetz spells destruction of all that is good and wholesome in Tasmania.

    How do the people of Tasmania rid the State of this obnoxious ranting curse upon our society?

  3. Lies

    August 25, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    “Abetz spitting chips over King Island tree farm ban..”

    Actually it’s quite the opposite. Abetz and his corporate mates have successfully turned Tasmania into a monocultural tree plantation state.

    Eucalypt Nitens are now THE defining feature of Tassie’s now very boring landscape. It’s way too late for the dimwitted farmers to take action now.

  4. Deep Throat

    August 25, 2006 at 10:06 am

    Whew..it’s getting hot here in Gunns HQ. Our guys along with PL and ER are up in China trying to do a deal. It’s getting close we reckon…if not already done.

    We’re thinking sell the company to the Chinese and everyone gets extra rich…well everyone in on the deal that is. The share price has already gone for a lift, probably the Chinese making a bulk buy.

    Our guys reckon that 800 mil is pretty cheap for a 20 year forest supply guarantee at rock bottom prices plus nearly 20% of Tassie’s farmland with much more to come with our MIS scheme in full swing. It’s gonna be gravy all the way I reckon, if the boys have pulled it off…and why not? It’s a great deal. Unless the little buggers rip us off of course…still even then most will do OK.

    Doubt whether they’ll say much about it next week but thanks to the feds for making it all possible I guess.

    TTFN

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