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


Our experience of a land grab

Claire & Charles Gilmour

Come and take a look at the real face of the forest industry in Tasmania, because from where we’re standing and what we can see, there certainly ain’t no world class standards in front of us yet.

Glad to hear your spot on comments Vica. (Florentine: the land grab) Let us tell you about coupe CF017A, an example of a land grab. Originally it was destined to be 22ha.

Because of our insistence that Forestry Tasmania comply with the Forest Practices Code, that coupe was reduced to 9.5 ha.
The financial circumstances of that coupe are as follows:

a. Forestry Tasmania received $12 per tonne @ 1000 tonnes = $12,000 which obviously allowed for roads, bridges, surveys etc. The logging contractor divulged the 1000 tonnes over a beer.

b. The contractor received $40,000. That figure employed 4 men x 4 machines over 2 weeks plus log truck cartage. A very meager return.

c. Coincidentally but not historically, Gunns Ltd were the owners of the coupe. They received $86,000. But their risk was only to put in through the chip mill once it was received at Burnie.

There were very few saw logs on the coupe, though lots of habitat trees. The creek crossing they built collapsed 3 times, apparently due to them being unaware of how much water came down the creeks in the area? Sure that would have been a lot of comfort to anyone who had been on the road when it collapsed! In the end Forestry said they only logged the coupe to recoup the money for the creek crossing. The crossing incidentally led only to this one very, very small coupe.

Initially Forestry told us they would be silting up our creek because of their operations. And wanted to know if we took household water off the creek. Which is why we went and had a look at their operations, then insisted they do it to the letter of the law, as we where appalled at the trashed buffers around the class 3 and 4 streams in the surrounding area.

Forestry told us it had cost them a fortune to get the specialists in. Specialists that they say in their glossy literature look at every coupe. Specialists we had to push for. We also had to spend significant money, as they apparently, even though they had been logging in the area for two years, they didn’t know Giant Freshwater Lobsters where in the creeks in our area??? So we had to prove that. Well well, we not only have a very healthy population with over 40 tagged including the biggest Giant Freshwater Lobster currently tagged, but also the best site for breeding in Tasmania! As documented by the Lobster Recovery Team specialist, Todd Walsh. Good reason to protect the creeks in the area. We also had to commission our own bird specialist; we have 9 out of the 14 rarest or endangered bird species in Tasmania, including the Grey Goshawk and Wedge Tailed Eagle, including their nests in our area.

In the end they sent us a letter accusing us of costing the industry $200,000. Is this how much it really costs to properly look at coupes. They certainly couldn’t be including the loss of profit from adhering to buffers could they? Is it fair to try and intimidate us when in fact they where only ever allowed to log 9.5 ha? And why would they spend so much money, so much time, so much effort, for 9.5 ha? Because now they have invested money on the coupe it is theirs to do with what they want. The public doesn’t even have access to the scraps. Scraps that would help support many businesses.

The contractor was pushed to the limit working well into the night, loading logs at midnight. Is this Work Place Safety? And is this a long term industry or are they trying to get it over and done with as quickly as possible?

The 9.5 ha has lain for nigh on 2 years as a trashed site. Forestry decided it would native species aerial sow, and we requested no 1080, and no burn as they could not give us any guarantees on fire protection. At the end of the day and although Brian Green did assist, to protect our view, the creek and potential landslip, this coupe remains a bombshell. They have yet to aerial sow. We have asked repeatedly for their fire plan and management in the event of a fire in the area, to no avail. Why did we have to get Brain Green in if they are such good neighbours? I’m sure some of you can figure it out.

To add insult to injury Forestry told us they where in their rights to come onto our land and get any of their trees which fell on to ours. Obviously trashing our property in the process. Well what do you say to that? It went something like this “over my dead body, and talk to my lawyer”. They backed down when we said we would sue if they damaged a single tree on our property. Why are they so unfair, so greedy, so intimidating? We are one of many in the same boat. Why?

We would like to know how much land really is protected in reserves and buffers, because up here (far N/W) they take all the trees from the buffers and trash the streams. When you add all those up, what they in reality have protected is far less than what they say.

Come and take a look at the real face of the forest industry in Tasmania, because from where we’re standing and what we can see, there certainly ain’t no world class standards in front of us yet.

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  1. mjf

    July 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    #4. Try to include floppo in next instalment.

    Thats my favourite.

  2. William Boeder

    July 23, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Just how long have Forestry Tasmania ruled upon all that of which is critical to the safety and security of those persons whom have had the unfortunate experience of dwelling adjacent to areas that F/T have chosen to harvest then trash and burn?

    From the detailed reports of those brave souls willing to speak out against such outrageous conducts at the hands of the bullying element known to operate in under this GBE of F/T, this GBE that is supposed to be the guardian of our forests?

    Yet this GBE seems to operate with out all the constraints and disciplines as thrust upon all other sector of industries in Tasmania?

    The State government of our State of Tasmania are seen as to be so deeply complicit in their feigning ignorance’s to these the worst types of ravages upon areas of their own selection (F/T) in which to embark their dread-nought machines upon for the benefit of some sinister connived wood supply agreement to Gunns Ltd.

    I have much to add to this matter in the course of tomorrow’s new day.

  3. Jason Lovell

    February 27, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Re: no #2,



  4. Mark

    February 26, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    No it wasn’t.

  5. Jason Lovell

    February 26, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    The experiences detailed above by Mr and Mrs Gilmour are typical for those unfortunate Tasmanians who live in rural areas near forestry zones or coupes.

    I don’t know Charles and Claire and have never met them, but as a rural bloke myself I regularly hear some or all of the complaints listed above, from those who are unfortunate enough to have forestry (or their operations) as neighbours.

    It beggars belief that the clowns in the Forestry PR tent regularly claim “world’s best practice” in respect of the way they do business, when in fact the “practices” they refer to are written only – as Mr and Mrs Gilmour point out above, it takes a pesky neighbour (usually concerned about their own water supply) to MAKE forestry abide by their own Forest Practices Code.

    No pesky neighbours = little or no commitment from Forestry to their own Forest Practices Code.

    I hope Claire and Charles continue to focus attention on the way “world’s best practice” actually works in Tasmania’s forests, behind exclusion zones and away from the prying eyes of the media – firsthand accounts from people living next door are one of the best (and only) ways to highlight the travesty of forestry in Tasmania today.

    Jason Lovell

    PS I note the complete absence of the usual pro-forestry brigade on this thread and wonder why. Not surprising is it – the reality of this appalling regime is exposed by neighbours who care and the response is … silence.
    Typical really.
    They only debate when they know they can introduce an(y) element of doubt, a right-wing denialists tactic that was coincidentally exposed in a fantastic Four Corners program aired on ABCTV this week. [“The Denial Machine, “http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/]

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