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: the graphic truth

Paul Oosting

For the first time Tasmania’s clearfell future is exposed by new internet technology …


A SOFTWARE program providing a unique combination of the global satellite imagery program Google Earth and Forestry Tasmania’s logging plans, mapping and coupe details gives a bird’s eye view of the logging year ahead. Google Earth, with the new Forestry Tasmania logging plans for 2006/2007 gives a virtual tour of habitat loss, water degradation and climate change logging.

For the first time, people the world over can access the virtual reality of proposed logging in Tasmania via the internet. Technological developments now give us previously unseen viewpoints, and linking these to Forestry Tasmania’s website provides alarmingly graphic illustrations of the scale of woodchip driven landscape change in Tasmania.

These images highlight the close proximity of logging operations to The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. They also clearly show industrial scale logging and landclearing across the state, especially in the proposed wood supply zone for Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill.

While studies show that logging and landclearing are having a detrimental impact on biodiversity values, water catchments and climate change, it is difficult for the public to get beyond locked forestry gates for a true understanding of the scale of the issue. This new technology helps unlock those gates.

This program provides people all over the world the chance to see Tasmanian logging practices for themselves. Concerned public, overseas customers and international forest certifiers can take a virtual tour of what is happening in Tasmania’s forests.

The Google Earth program also has a graphic fly-over which instantly transports the user from Gunns’ export woodchip facilities in Tasmania to the factories of their Japanese customers.

The trip from a Tasmanian woodchip mill to the yards of Japanese paper makers highlights the reality of the export woodchip industry. Huge piles of Tasmanian native forests lay piled on wharves awaiting export or processing. This flyover is accessed by clicking on the pop-up box on Gunns woodchip mill at Longreach.

The program is available for public access The Wilderness Society’s website, www.wilderness.org.au

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  1. Paul Oosting

    December 4, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Geoff Rollins,

    The purpose of the overlays for Google Earth are for them to be used in Google Earth. This can be done by clicking on the weblinks at:

    I highly recommend that people take the time to view the logging planned, for one year, for themselves.

    Paul Oosting

  2. Steve Webber

    December 4, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    I recently returned from a trip to Queensland, with the flight travelling down the East Coast.

    The devastation is obvious. “Don’t worry” say the spin doctors from Timber Communities and Forestry Tas. We will replant and it will grow back. Trouble is that is takes 300-400 years to replace what was clearfelled in a few weeks.

    You might grow a crop of trees in 20-25 years, but despite the spin a crop of trees is not a forest. No birds, no insects, no animals, no undergrowth, no variety, are allowed coexist with a crop. Just visit the Airwalk to see what I mean. The only diversity there is one sad old huon pine.

  3. Tomas

    December 4, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    This kind of flawed methodology is cringe-worthy. I say, make those dots bigger!!

  4. Minnie Bannister

    December 4, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    Dear Geoff Rollins you are a bigger dill than my Henry. If you had bothered to use Google Earth you would find that as you zoom in and out the placemarkers stay the same size. I found the outlines of the logging areas to be very accurate, have a look at your favourite bit of tassie.

  5. Chris

    December 4, 2006 at 10:05 am

    I have added this article and Ben’s tarkine.net site to the “News Watch” page of Where Light Meets Dark (www.wherelightmeetsdark.com), under “Local action for conservation”.

    Consider contacting GetUp! (http://www.getup.org.au) and asking them to petition for stronger political pressure to conserve Tasmania’s old growth forests.

  6. Geoff Rollins

    December 4, 2006 at 8:45 am

    If you take a satellite image of Tasmania and mark a series of forestry operations using dots about the size of Hobart (by scale with the image), it sort of distorts the reality somewhat, doesn’t it. If those dots were to scale, the perspective would be much different and perhaps not worthy of publishing.

  7. Ben C

    December 3, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    You might also like to take a look at my attempt from May 2006 using Google maps. It has the benefit of not needing to download anything. I didn’t have time to convert all the coordinates statewide from their website, and concentrated on the Tarkine region. While this area has again taken a low profile in the media after the CFA, its still being eaten away at.


  8. andrew

    December 3, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Place an overlay of a Devil Facial Tumour Disease occurance map on top of the FT Clearfell Operation map. DOH!!

  9. crud

    December 3, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    IT just shows you how far these TROGLADYTES of industry are doing to our earth,lets hope thier species die out soon.water is fast becoming scarce in tazzie yet the trogs want to give it away to a dodgy pulp mill while every one else will be restricted.it is time to put a stop to this by any means .have a nice day,crud.

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