Tasmanian Times


Forest protest legal threat

Damien Brown Mercury

FORESTRY Tasmania is considering legal action against protesters in the state’s southern forests. It will be the first time the Tasmanian government business has pursued recovery of lost production costs since its high-profile failure to do so against Weld Angel Allana Beltran in February. Police Minister Jim Cox warned that a “lot has been learned” since the Weld Angel court case. The threat comes as protests in the Styx Valley intensified yesterday. Forestry Tasmania corporate relations manager Ken Jeffreys said there had been no protests for weeks because protesters knew their chances of getting coverage during the Olympics were slim. Read more here

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  1. Dismord

    August 27, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    “What kind of democracy is it that demonstrates this type of behaviour?” Posted by Maddie
    Where did you get the strange idea this is a democracy?

  2. Mike Adams

    August 27, 2008 at 6:54 am

    ‘The requirement of regeneration of native forest is mandatory.’
    I don’t recall seeing serried ranks of eucalyptus nitens growing wild. Hardly ‘native forest’.
    A friend visited Tasmania and went back to his family farm in the North East: ‘It was a good farm and produced a lot. All gone: just plantations.’

  3. Maddie

    August 26, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Woodworker: Part of your propaganda message – “plantation establishment taking back redundant low grade grazing land”. That’s not what I saw happening in the north west of the State. In fact, good, fertile dairy farming and cropping properties – and – a biodynamic farm, all went under plantations. The attendant practices for the establishment and growth of plantations are abhorrent too, as Dave describes above – and that’s not hearsay – I saw it, lived it, and hated it.

    On the subject of our native forests and the fearless protesters who continue their efforts to halt (or slow down) their destruction, I say to them: More power to you!! Of course you have a right to protest against what you and many other concerned citizens see as vandalism of our natural world to profit a greedy minority. I think it is an absolute disgrace that environmentalists are now being subjected to intimidation – how low can these forestry fiends go? What kind of democracy is it that demonstrates this type of behaviour?

  4. Valleywatcher

    August 26, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Woodworker, what lonely little planet are you on?You allude to plantation establishment on “low-grade grazing land” – this is precisely where plantation establishment is NOT happening – the weeds don’t grow fast enough on that kind of land. Gunns own MIS plantation establishment prospectus states in black and white that they target the ‘best land in high rainfall areas’ for plantations, and with the skewed nature of MIS, normal farmers who might want the land are priced out of the equation.

    No, my friend, plantation establishment has been going on apace on some of our best food-producing land in high rainfall areas – already an alarming amount of this land is lost to euc. nitens plantations. You only need to look at vast areas of the NE and the NW to see that this is absolutely true.

    I have seen a very graphic map overlay of where plantations are, and where the best agricultural land is – the concurrence is staggering. Pull yer head out it, Woodworker, and GO AND HAVE A GOOD LOOK FOR YOURSELF.

  5. Dave Groves

    August 26, 2008 at 7:35 am

    From The Mercury comes the quote,
    “Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association executive officer Ferdie Kroon said private operators were doing it tough amid spiraling production costs and uncertainty over export markets.
    “And every day that we are stopped from working like this current action, we lose $10,000 a day and that is not only families but also the rural communities where they come from,” Mr Kroon said……

    Ah yes, a familiar tune on a tired fiddle while Gunns is still losing a million dollars a day those who continue to flog the dead horse bleat loudly.

    Perhaps they could cast their minds back to the heady Howard hugger days when Latham’s $800 million restructure package went begging as the union slipped under the covers with the makers of dodgy deals.

    Now it is time to push the blame for their woes onto those who make nothing from the forest….not one cent.
    Shame on the vested interests, the money men who see only dollars.

    People who care for Tasmania’s iconic forests, the last tracts of cool temperate rainforest on the planet, home to the tallest flowering plants on earth are not evil saboteurs or media manipulators.

    Forestry chiefs and vested interests make plenty of money from the clearfell of our native forests and the death of our native wildlife by deliberate poisoning, but what is the return to the people of Tasmania for their actions?

    No income, denuded landscape, rotting carcasses, silted rivers and streams, loss of habitat and waste beyond imagination.

    Who is to blame for the actions of our forest industry leaders?

    Green tainted tree huggers who give their time energy and courage to stop the relentless onslaught of ever intensifying land clearing by a few greedy men who by self admission are finding it harder to make their fortune from the pillage of the people’s forests despite being gifted more taxpayer funded subsidies than you could poke a stick at.

    Greed is the downfall of this industry.

    It has been switched to self destruct mode by those with their blinkered paradigms and weasel words sent flying from spin machines running at warp speed.

    May the show roll on down oblivion road.

  6. George Harris aka woodworker

    August 26, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Tasmania has over a billion tonnes of biomass standing as living trees. The annual harvest of 5 or 6 million tons of timber, whether saw log, pulp wood, or firewood is a mere fraction of that total. Furthermore, as it is a requirement that re-generation of native forest is mandatory, the net result is no loss of either biomass, or biodiversity, and, in fact, with plantation establishment taking back redundant low grade grazing land, the biomass in the form of trees is actually increasing, despite the quantity taken in the annual timber harvest. So where does this leave the credibility and the high moral ground of the protesters? Shattered! Especially when seen in the context of costing the contractors and their workers enormously, when they meet every legal and operational requirements placed upon them. It is about time the police acted to protect people in the legal pursuit of their business, and against the innappropriate actions of the protest industry, which is a multi-million dollar phoenomenon funded by extracting donations from the susceptible.
    There remains a fundamental need for quality timber, both Eucalypt saw log, and Special Timbers for artists, furniture designers, boat builders, wood turners and musical instrament makers, and this is the very area that supplies it. Sure, timber of less than saw log quality is also retrieved and chipped, but this contributes to the economic viability of the exercise, including funding the access roads.
    These people should be delt with. The RFA has nine years left to run, and forestry will be negotiated to continue well beyond that. The political reality surrounding the question of amending forest policy has retreated significantly from where it was in 2004. Get used to it. As for the exaggerated claims about the quantity of CO2 released through logging, what a load of rubbish!

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