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


‘Bulldozer’ Bartlett

Cassy O’Connor Greens MR
The Tasmanian Greens today condemned the Bartlett Government for ignoring the economic needs of the wider Tarkine region in order to appease Forestry Tasmania and pander to a narrow constituency by seeking to create a wedge issue in Braddon in the lead up to the 2010 State Election.

Tarkine National Park Will Deliver Sustainable Economic Growth – Forestry Tas’s Loop Road Will Not
Cassy O’Connor MP
Greens Shadow Parks, Heritage and Tourism Spokesperson
Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Tasmanian Greens today condemned the Bartlett Government for ignoring the economic needs of the wider Tarkine region in order to appease Forestry Tasmania and pander to a narrow constituency by seeking to create a wedge issue in Braddon in the lead up to the 2010 State Election.

Greens Shadow Parks, Heritage and Tourism spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said the Premier is putting at risk the long-term sustainable growth of the North-West and West Coast regions in his clear determination to divide the community, yet again, over environmental issues in Tasmania.

The Greens’ released an alternative Tarkine National Park Proposal in December 2008, which demonstrated employment and business benefits for the broader West Coast region. (see electronic attachment).

“Make no mistake; this is all about the Lennonesque Bartlett Government’s desperate determination to hold a seat in Braddon where it has three fundamentally dud local members in Bryan Green, Steve Kons and Brenton Best,” Ms O’Connor said.

“How is it the government can afford $23 million for Forestry’s road, but apparently cannot afford a new hospital which will benefit all Tasmanians?”

“Any government that was genuine in its commitment to Braddon would declare a Tarkine National Park and market it nationally and internationally as a unique wilderness visitor destination.”

“Today’s announcement is an outright rejection of the Cradle Coast Authority’s Tarkine Tourism Development Strategy which forecasts that in nine years the Tarkine could inject $58 million in localised tourism spending a year, and support 1100 local jobs.”

“The Strategy makes it clear that these benefits will only flow if a Tarkine brand is developed and marketed, and if visitor enjoyment of a true wilderness experience is assured. A Tarkine National Park would help to ensure these economic benefits flowed throughout the region. The Bartlett Government’s destructive and divisive Loop Road will not.”

“Regional communities from Strahan, Zeehan and Waratah, through to Stanley and Wynyard as well as smaller local tourism operators are left off the Forestry Tasmania $23 million loop road map.”

“Braddon is the second most disadvantaged electorate in the nation in terms of social and educational outcomes for its people, yet the Premier refuses to declare a Tarkine National Park and in the process puts at risk 1100 future jobs across the broader west coast community. He is putting politics before people.”

“Bulldozer Bartlett’s modus operandi in Braddon would make Paul Lennon proud,” Ms O’Connor said.

ATTACHED: Tasmanian Greens’ Tarkine National Park Proposal 2008.

Cassy O’Connor MP
Greens Shadow Parks, Heritage and Tourism Spokesperson
Thursday, 5 February 2009
The Tasmanian Greens today accused the Premier of using $23 million taxpayer dollars to prop up the ailing fortunes of Forestry Tasmania’s Dismal Swamp and Phantom Valley tourist ventures, at the expense of long-term sustainable economic growth for communities in the Tarkine region.

Greens Shadow Parks, Heritage and Tourism spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said it is clear Dismal Swamp is a dismal failure as a tourist attraction, a key reason Forestry Tasmania pushed so hard for its loop road which would – conveniently – lead visitors past both Dismal Swamp and the proposed Phantom Valley tourism ventures.

“Dismal Swamp is a near total failure as a tourist attraction. Having posted a $38 million loss last year, Forestry Tasmania will be haemorrhaging money both through falling woodchip royalty revenues and lousy tourist ventures,” Ms O’Connor said.

“David Bartlett is clearly putting Forestry Tasmania’s ailing financial fortunes and cheap, short-term politics ahead of the economic wellbeing of towns like Strahan, Queenstown, Waratah, Rosebery and Savage River.”

“In opposing the establishment of a Tarkine National Park that would generate long-term sustainable income and jobs for the region, the Premier is also rejecting the Cradle Coast’s Tarkine Tourism Strategy with its emphasis on building a unique wilderness brand to draw national and international visitors.”

“The Strategy makes it clear a genuine Tarkine brand could deliver $58 million in localised income in a year, and 1100 long-term jobs. That is what the Premier is opposing – real jobs and income for the NW and West Coast.”

“This is the same Premier who said he wanted to heal the divisions in Tasmania, yet he has chosen to unstrategically, misuse public funding to support a divisive, destructive road through the largest unbroken tract of rainforest in Australia.”

“The Bartlett Government has ignored common sense, sound economics and the chorus of objections to Forestry’s loop road from local tourist operators and key local government figures. It appears set to condemn the voters of Braddon to a flurry of porkbarrelling, while simultaneously treating their long-term interest with contempt,” Ms O’Connor said.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. David Leigh

    February 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Beautifully encapsulated Barnaby, the stats too are quite impressive. If only we could mobilise the 35 against the one, get every Tasmanian who cares about our own and our children’s future to march, that would be a record.
    There are records being broken everywhere now. Record cold and snow events in the northern hemisphere, record floods in Queensland, record temperatures and fire events in the south-east of Australia and record deaths attributed to those record fires and extreme temperatures.
    The collapse of the Arctic ice and the mythical 2050 date, on which all government assessments on climate cahnge are based was surpassed in 2008. The oceans are acidifying at a far great rate than ever thought possible. It is time to join the dots people, stop felling the trees for paper and start planting native forests for our future, because from where I’m standing it looks pretty short.


  2. Paul de Burgh-Day

    February 8, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Barnaby [24]
    Beautifully written! Words like this can only come from the heart – indeed, from the soul.
    I pray that from catastrophic economic collapse of the capitalist order, we see a very new paradigm that values these truths.
    The price of this gigantic shift will be catastrophic – but this planet is stuffed without it.
    The troglodytes will never see it – but they are doomed!

  3. Gerry Mander

    February 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    “Please Daddy, what is a forest?”

    From the forestry’s point of view, if you are inside looking out, the view is very different from those who are outside looking in. From inside forestry, they see timber, money and jobs. If they are outside, they see things of wonder and amazement. They see ancient trees that are whole ecosystems in themselves. They see wildlife and their habitats. They see the results of thousands of years of untouched beauty and the interaction of Nature with her creations. They see our heritage and our future. The insiders only see this as a nuisance standing between them and their objectives of tuning it into cash.

    Each side believes that they own these forests and see the other side as the enemy. The insiders think that by owning it, they can destroy it, while the outsiders see it as something to be preserved forever.

    The outsiders outnumber the insiders by a factor of 35 to 1, but despite this, they have little or no influence over what happens to these forests. They are powerless to stop the plunder and burning, and all under the myth that they are ‘good for Tasmania’.

    We are told that there are varying amounts held in reserves ‘that will never be logged’, but even there one wonders. Officially there are 197 000 hectares, and this amount as a total of old growth varies between 12% to 47%, depending on who is doing the calculation and what it is being compared with.

    Tasmania is the smallest state in Australia and these cool temperate rainforests, with trees reaching as high as ninety metres are unique in the WORLD. Tasmania holds it all, yet we continue to erode and destroy it, exporting it as low-value wood chips. The figures quoted in reserves pale into insignificance if you consider it in the context of the rest of Australia. The protected area is only a fraction of 1% when compared to the land mass of the whole country. But why leave it there? Much of what is destined to be destroyed has been classified as being of ‘world heritage class’, yet the Tasmanian and federal government resists the call to declare it as such. Note that word, ‘heritage’. It is not applicable to the resulting newsprint and ashes!

    One huge, monopolistic timber giant wants it all, and a complicit government ignores the majority voice to fall in line with their commercial demands. They want it for a short-term profit, and are prepared to destroy everything for that end. But these forests do not just belong to the people of Tasmania, nor indeed the people of Australia, but to some extent, they belong to the entire world. They are a privilege and are irreplaceable. Once gone, they are gone forever and the world will be the poorer for their loss.

    The defence of these magnificent forests is left in the hands of a few valiant protestors, who risk physical assault, arrest, vilification, heavy fines and even jail. Some things are worth more than money and these are the lone voices of the outsiders who see the beauty and value of these timeless woodlands and are prepared to put their own bodies and future on line to protect them from the march of the chainsaw.

    They are looking to our future and our children’s future, so that some day a little later, no child will have to ask, “Please Daddy, what is a forest?”

    Barnaby Drake

  4. Gerry Mander

    February 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Just why is this considered to be Forestry’s road and not the Tourism Authorities road?

  5. Paul de Burgh-Day

    February 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    How is this mining project traveling now?
    They mine magnetite, a low grade ore (also in WA).
    Take a look at
    from last September – before the penny had dropped on the collapse of the minerals boom. Worth reading, just to refresh on how Savage River passed from ABM – who, based upon this report, are still the major shareholder.
    I have memories that behind Grange is one of the more odious global miners – a Canadian if my memory is correct.

  6. Charles and Claire Gilmour

    February 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

    “Loop road may face trouble in the pipeline”
    The Advocate, Saturday, February 7, 2009
    By Chris Pippos

    “FORESTRY Tasmania has gone to ground over claims indemnity and other issues surrounding an iron ore slurry pipeline may hinder the Bartlett Government’s $23 million Tarkine loop road.

    It is understood Savage river Mine owner, Grange Resources Tasmania (formerly Australian Bulk Minerals – ABM), has not been consulted for more than a year about the impact the sealed road will have on its pipeline, which carries slurry from the mine to Port Latta.

    It was reported in 2003 that ABM wanted $75 million ($15 million up-front) for any damage to its pipeline, following moves to log parts of the Tarkine now to be used for the loop road.

    The Tarkine National Coalition said there are still serious issues unresolved between the company and Forestry Tasmania, which refused to comment yesterday, handballing inquiries to the government.

    Grange Resources also declined to comment, although it is understood it has concerns that FT has not discussed the pipeline issue or consulted it following a presentation 18 months ago.

    Economic Development Minister Michael Aird said yesterday FT representatives met with ABM in October 2007 “to discuss the proposed use of sections of the pipeline road should the Tarkine road project proceed”.

    At that meeting the company was assured FT “would work closely with them to ensure there would be minimal impact on the company’s operations and that all efforts would be made to protect the pipeline should the final road route impact on their operations”, Mr Aird said.

    The government would not be drawn yesterday on whether any taxpayer money would be spent on covering against any potential damage to the pipeline.

    Greens MP Cassey O’Connor said the pipeline issue will become central to the Tarkine controversy, adding the company was ‘entirely within their rights” to protect their asset.

    Grange Resources has a mining lease on state forest and does not own the land on which the pipeline is situated.”

  7. emily

    February 7, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Brenton, we know you were being sardonic 😉

  8. David Leigh

    February 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Absolute stupidity, from a government incapable of any kind of original thought. We are sitting on resource so precious the world is envious. We are well placed to lead the world in sustainabitity, in marketing a new way of living within the environment and working with it.

    There are so many ways to make paper, plastics, even fuel and provide commodities (if we really have to go that route). As usual, Tasmania is 10 hours ahead and 50 years behind the thinking world. We are in a perfect position to create so many real jobs, satisfying work, not the mindless ‘rip it out’ mentality of the last two centuries. What idiots our children would have thought we were, had they survived the mess this generation created.

    One of the last frontiers is about to be invaded in a full on assault and all in the name of clean green eco tourism. Premier Bartlett must think all Tasmanians are as stupid as he is idf he thinks we will swallow that one.


  9. Brenton Head

    February 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Luke and Emily, I was being facetious and cynical when I made the comments about Bartlett!!!!! Wow everyone is really sensitive down in Tassie at the moment and I cannot blame you for that at all!!!!! You have many friends and supporters on the mainland who love the the Tasmanian forests and environment!!!!!

  10. emily

    February 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    @#8……”..pretty faced, Boy Wonder…” Brenton, you need glasses poppet!

  11. Mike Bolan

    February 6, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    What’s really sad is that the ALP and its various apparatchiks honestly believe that they can somehow mediate between nature and lobby groups.

    While people like Cassie are raising the alert flag and pointing to the need for care and sensible consideration, the ALP is making ‘deals’ to satisfy interest groups. They see environmental defenders as obstacles to be overcome, like seeing the canary in the coal mine as an unecessary burden.

    It is the power fantasy of ALP heavyweights that is creating so many problems. It doesn’t matter if it’s Bartlett, Lennon, Parkinson, Aird, whoever, they all believe they can mediate between the competing interests of nature and lobbyists.

    It’s the ALP union interests versus capital interests battle writ upon the natural world.

    They don’t realise that nature is the law of the land – not them.

    David Bartlett needs to sit on the waterfront and negotiate with the tide to keep his feet dry.

  12. kim carsons

    February 6, 2009 at 10:40 am

    there a certain minimum weight requirements for a bridge to be built, and of course the minimum allows just enough weight and width for a log truck to roll over!

    More wolves disguised as sheep, or, perhaps, wolves under the misaprehension that that are SHEEP, doing what the rest of flock wants them to do

  13. Mike Adams

    February 6, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Premier Bartlett was offered a helicopter flight over the Tarkine by the tourism group. He declined.
    He then flew over in a helicopter with Mr Bob Gordon.
    He now talks of opening up the area for tourism.
    He doesn’t mention logging.

  14. Alex Wadsley

    February 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    One of the fundamental questions here is is this a logging road in disguise, paid for by another state government subisdy.

    If one wanted to ensure that the road and bridges were going to be for tourists and not to support logging, one would want the bridges and new road sections to be engineered to have weight limits of only 10 tons or so.

    This should make the road construction slightly cheaper but also ensure they were of no use to log trucks.

  15. Dave Groves

    February 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I believe we need access to various areas of Tasmania, some sensitive, for the general public to enjoy.

    These areas, like the Tarkine will be marched into regardless as time goes by and our population grows and people seek places of beauty and solitude to make their connection with nature.

    To protect these areas and make them viable as tourist destinations and places of continuing virtue they need to be properly managed.
    I believe the Tarkine has been an area that has been steamrolled by avoiding proper process and planning regardless of the legalities.

    Of course some areas should not be accessible to vehicles and pedestrian access strictly controlled.

    Once again this all comes back to correct management.

    One need only look at an access road recently highlighted in the Upper Florentine Valley. Although apparently planned for many years through “legitimate” management and passing “legal” requirements, the road was basically a “lets point the dozer into the bush and see what happens” type affair.

    Absolutely disgraceful.

    It seems that this paradigm is concreted into both planning and process in Tasmania and unless we can find people who are visionaries and not blinkered in darkness to lead and unite our state, we stand as a nation and more importantly as a planet, to lose so much.

    There was an American Indian race that never made a decision in haste.
    They had to be sure that whatever was decided would make things better seven generations forward. If there was any doubt, then it never happened.

    In Tasmania, if there is a quick dollar to be made from an activity regardless of any effect, then it will be done.

    I would have loved to have seen the King River before mining.

    I would have loved to have walked the sand of Lake Pedder.

    I would love to have walked amongst the cool temperate rainforests of Tasmania.

    Will my grandchildren utter similar words in years to come or will this generation be able to stop the rogues who rule the roost and carve relentlessly through iconic forest wilderness to make a few “King River” vandals so rich only to see them vanish when nothing more can be taken and all that remains is a mess for future generations to clean up?

    The show continues……

  16. Paul de Burgh-Day

    February 5, 2009 at 2:11 am

    May the global collapse lead to ever reducing woodchip exports!
    Can’t sell the chips – gee – maybe they need less forest.
    Better still, maybe Gunns are seriously on the ropes.
    How can this soulless monster survive the global collapse?
    Any day now, their bankers are going to have to pull the plug.
    Hows about the funds that came up with a whole lot more money – and are now way behind the 8 ball?
    Just believe guys and gals that they are buggered. Just think it, just dream it, with a passion like you’ve never felt before!

  17. Luke Vanzino

    February 5, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Re: post #8

    Boy Wonder…more like Boy Blunder!

  18. Paul OHalloran

    February 5, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Great words Cassie and spot on. This road strikes at the heart of this magnificent region.
    Anyone who believes David Bartlett when he says the Tarkine “Tourist” loop road is truly a tourist road should consider the following.
    Why is it being promoted by Forestry Tasmania?
    Have a look on GoogleEarth to see the forty eight coupes to be clearfelled in the Tarkine in the next three years and
    See how a bridge at Hilders Crossing across the Arthur River cuts a huge amount of time to take logs from the Tarkine to Gunn’s Hampshire woodchip mill or to Gunn’s proposed pulp mill on the Tamar.
    Why are we spending $23m of taxpayers money on such a scandalous proposal?
    This is a logging road pure and simple, probably designed to destroy any chance of the area becoming an iconic national park to rival the worlds best. It is also an attempt to provide a wedge issue in Braddon so that the Braddon bad boys have a chance of re-election in 2010.
    FT has logged much of the area further to the west towards Smithton and have transported the forests using the now destroyed Tayatea bridge. This new road and bridge provides access to unlogged forests just to the west of the Arthur River.
    I grew up very close to Hilders Crossing and drew inspiration from these beautiful rainforests with their Tasmanian Devils, huge man ferns, burrowing crayfish, quolls, freshwater lobsters and no doubt species not yet described. The farm that I grew up on at Meunna and all the others in the Meunna area have been converted to plantations, as has most of the rainforest to the east of the Arthur River. This road and bridge will be the final deathnell for this magnificent area.
    I urge all readers to take a trip to Hilders Crossing, stand there and look west across the Arthur River to see what is at stake. Better still, walk across the river if it is low enough and enjoy the blackwood stands on the other side. It is only a short 45 minute stroll along the proposed road route to a beautiful picnic at the Lyons River.
    The proposal is madness thought up by greedy and selfish mad men. I do not want have to say to my grandchildren that I stood by and let this vandalism take place and will do everything in my power to stop it.

  19. Brenton Head

    February 5, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Dave Bartlett, the pretty-faced, Boy Wonder, Labor Premier of Tasmania!!!!!

  20. Gerry Mander

    February 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I have a feeling that the ‘Tarkine Brand’ will be on every breakfast table in Australia – after they have built their access road and pulped the lot!

  21. Alex Wadsley

    February 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Is this actually an either/or problem?

    I suspect that the ‘prize’ that both the National Park proposal and the loop road proposal are seeking to achieve, 1100 jobs, $58 million etc are the same.

    The National Park is about maximising the brand value (including protection) of natural values associated with the Tarkine, while the loop road is about access and packaging the experience into the potential tourists travel itinery.

    The Tarkine National Park is a good idea, a new park and a loop road need not be in conflict, and to create the 1100 jobs we may actually need both.

  22. John Biggs

    February 4, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Yes indeed, Bartlett is clearly heading in the Lennon nonconsultative we-know-best direction. The litmus test of Tasmanian politics is environmental issues, and here he is possibly worse than his abhorrent predecessor, because he hides where his tell-tale footprints are taking him and us with soothingly transparent words in opaque sentences that I am afraid fool people in a way Lennon never could. In December 2008, Tasmanian Conservationist reported that Bartlett has “held no direct discussions with conservation organisations over any significant environmental issue that concerns the state. The so-called open and consultative Premier deals with us in pretty much the same way as his famously non-consultative predecessor.”

    Since then he has dismissed the ANU Report on carbon sequestration as “bullshit”, plumbed the depths of fatuity – and mendacity – in saying that the Report commissioned by Clarence Council said the Walker Ralphs Bay development would mitigate the effects of climate change when it said no such thing – although the Cardno report said something like this but then they were paid by Walker – and now as Cassy points out, he has chosen the most divisive option for the Tarkine. However I’m not sure I agree that he chose this option as an electoral ploy for Braddon – as she argues herself, most benefits for Braddon voters come from tourism in the Tarkine, not logging. I think it is simply that he is under orders from FT and the powerbrokers in the timber industry. This can’t go on – except that it will, until we can get rid of the whole corrupt Labor machine.

  23. Barry Brannan

    February 4, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Catchy slogan! It deserves to stick.

  24. Charles and Claire Gilmour

    February 3, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Oh joy oh joy, we’ve got Bartlett to lead the bad boys club in Braddon! That’s rather telling isn’t it – Bartlett championing the likes of Mr Kon and Mr brain freeze! Fair dinkum I thought this next election was going be serious, not a continuous joke.

  25. Bushranger

    February 3, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you Cassy O’Connor MR, for pointing out the sad reality of the Premier’s bulldozer thinking.
    Little hope is left now, this after less than one year of David Bartlett’s takeover as Premier.
    Actually, it’s an absolute disgrace, proof of Bartlett’s ignorant policies, despite of all the available scientific information, the global climate and global economic warnings.

    Bartlett is not listening or realising the need for fundamental changes in ecosystem management. This road is complete madness; his so called balanced trade off deal is just as pointless.
    Instead of using the opportunity of fresh leadership with intelligent, well informed quality management on our unique Island, Bartlett is a disappointment of great proportion.
    Our children’s children will be reminded about the arrogance and total stupidness that have wasted massive amounts of energy, forests, catchments, trust and motivation for a positive future. It is depressing actually when we look at the kind and clever words from last year, the slick, smooth, cunning, crafty and sly word smithing.
    He will go down in history as the education minister that refused to learn himself, a man who told our school children how important good education and training is, at the same time grinning and spinning the destructive practices announced today.
    We shall remember him…!
    Wake up David Bartlett, listen for ones, the protests and demonstrations against this dumb, outdated project, will damage our Tasmania Brand right around the world, it will be damaging to you and the future of our state. Give up supporting the greedy.

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