I am a Tasmanian-born and educated professional person who returned recently to Tasmania to spend a few days in the Chudleigh Valley. At first sight, the countryside looks glorious this year, with emerald-green grass, hedge rows in full bloom, and the dark blue of the bush extending up to the ridge lines of the Tiers.
However, upon closer scrutiny, there is a blight spreading across this paradise as one observes a considerable number of scarred bald patches on the landscape, resulting from logging of old growth forests and plantations of new growth trees permanently denuded of any undergrowth.
Many of these depredations into the natural bushland are quite visible from the Mole Creek Road which purports to be a tourist route (not that hiding logging activity in any way exonerates it) and many of the logged coupes must be pathetically small in commercial terms, but significant nonetheless for their long term spoliation of the environment.
It seems inevitable that even if the present level of logging activity continues within the finite resources of native forests, the appearance and ecology of large parts of Tasmania will be degraded and desecrated forever.
Under these circumstances, I find the official tourist campaigns to promote the State as one of the last places on earth with a pure, clean environment extraordinarily hypocritical and the government’s condoning of logging such areas as breathtakingly opportunistic and short sighted.
Elizabeth Ellis OAM
10 November 2009
Picture: Rob Blakers