John Stapleton Australian
CATTLE farmer Neil Graham can see the landscape changing around him as his neighbours sell their properties for plantations, unable to compete against the Rudd Government’s generous tax concessions for forestry companies. The passing of legislation by the Government last year to provide tax concessions to spur the planting of carbon-sink forests has created disquiet in many farming communities, including around Mr Graham’s picturesque cattle property at Dairy Plains in the Meander Valley of northern Tasmania. It has also forged unusual political alliances, with the Greens and Nationals combining to condemn the climate change initiatives. “I’m angry,” Mr Graham said. “We’re seeing rural communities lost, schools and services closed down. Read more here

Mike Bolan Earlier on Tasmanian Times
It has been reported that the federal government, with support from the liberal opposition, has now passed laws to establish a 39 million hectare tree plantation estate around Australia starting in 2013 or so (1). This is a centrally inspired plan, Soviet in its totality, supported by the likes of ABARE, all of which is shaped by government departments with objectives of industry competitiveness. These departments have no commitment to a wider public good, or to support communities, or indeed to support taxpayers, not even Australia. The principle seems to be ‘what’s good for industry must be good for Australia’. When government departments have objectives that do not include communities and taxpayers and that focus on industry, we cannot be surprised when the results harm communities. Their needs have been entirely left out of consideration. Read more here