Tasmanian Times



A bid by a local developer to have a private timber reserve on the foothills of Mt Wellington has raised concerns for the Greens on Hobart City Council.

Greens Alderman and Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet said she was incredibly surprised when she heard of the application. “The Forest Practices Board will be considering whether or not 60.6 hectares of land is suitable for logging, clearing then becoming a plantation. This is on the doorstep of Mt Wellington Park, and in the backyard of Lenah Valley residents.”

According to the report (Development & Environmental Services Agenda,
18/01/10) for the Council meeting on Monday*, the land is visible from the pinnacle of Mt Wellington, which receives over 300, 000 visitors per year.
Ald Burnet said, “Potentially this could have a serious impact on tourism, but it is the implications for local residents that should be considered, and not least of all the local environment and water catchment.

“The land up for logging is habitat for endangered species such as the Mangana beetle and Fairy lantern, and has high biodiversity value. It is also subject to various forms of erosion, is steep in areas, and does not have the infrastructure to support the machinery required for logging operations.

“One major area of concern for me is any possible disturbance to the Brushy Creek Rivulet, which flows into the New Town Rivulet catchment.”

Under the current Planning Scheme “forestry” is an undefined use and therefore discretionary, whilst the new Draft City of Hobart Planning Scheme
2009 prohibits forestry within that zone of Hobart.

“There is a discrepancy between the old and the new giving this developer the window of opportunity to put in such a proposal.” I am not hearing that this is what people want in their suburbs, and I am certainly not expecting that they will want to see this industrial practice marring the beautiful vistas from Mt Wellington”, Ald Burnet said.

Lenah Valley resident and fellow Greens candidate for Denison, Kartika Franks was shocked at the prospect of logging operations in her suburb. “I can’t believe that this would even be considered in Hobart and I do not believe forestry is an appropriate activity for Lenah Valley. What does this represent on the boundary of Wellington Park, so close to our beautiful Mt Wellington?” Ms Franks said.

*On Monday evening the Full Council will consider endorsing a letter already sent by the General Manager opposing the application.

W: www.helenburnet.com.au
Helen Burnet Greens Alderman & Deputy Lord Mayor Hobart City Council

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


  1. john Hayward

    January 24, 2010 at 12:11 am

    What a mighty monument to the corruption and crassness of the LibLabs! Look upon their works and despair, Ozy!

    John Hayward

  2. Gerry Mander

    January 24, 2010 at 12:01 am

    #14. Very doubtful if Gunns will be able to build a mill in the South, even if the Tamar Valley mill were a success. Firstly they have to find the finance in a world that has reached saturation point in woodchip production, and secondly, they can’t even find enough plantation timber to run this mill. Anything else used as a feedstock would not find a customer and have the world up in arms as well.

    They will need all the plantation timber thay can get from the South to run the mill in the North.

  3. Helen Burnet

    January 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks Pete Godfrey – you are right in your correction – this is a private timber reserve and all that goes with it, and not a forest reserve.
    And Gerry M, if this is accepted by the Forest Practices Board, it is my understanding that the Council would have no say over the land in perpetuity, PAL or no PAL.

    (Ed: Correction to MR has been made)

  4. Gerry Mander

    January 23, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    The idea I advanced on another thread of turning Private Timber reserves (PTR) into Private Carbon Reserves (PCR) might just save the day … and the timber … and the view … and the atmosphere …and the tourism!?

    Maybe worth investigating and pushing a little?

  5. David Mohr

    January 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I am against this logging but can somebody tell us how the Hobart City Council will have any more power to stop it than any other council in Tasmania. Can anybody stop it? How can Private Timber Reserves be rejected?

  6. Dave Groves

    January 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Clearfell forestry is clearly visible from places like Tahune, Mt Roland, Mt Barrow, Mt Arthur, Ben Lomond, Port Arthur….in fact the trick is to find somewhere where the chainsaws have not turned our iconic native forest into bare earth.

    The only way a tourist could avoid the rape of our forests is to take a bus trip round Tasmania with their eyes closed, but not in upcoming autumn, because they would be able to smell our forests burning.

    Why this coupe should be exempt from the plunderers has me baffled.

  7. Gerry Mander

    January 23, 2010 at 12:23 am

    As the majority of Tasmanian voters live in the Hobart area, maybe this is a good idea. A wake-up call to what is happening all over Tasmania. Maybe it needs something like this to bring it home to the town dwellers just what is actually happening to their country and the need to do something about it, instead of just jeering at the protestors.

    Maybe someone will even start to ask their MPs a couple of awkward questions about the taboo subject before they get automatically re-elected.

    Under the PAL Act (now defunct) even the Council would have no say in the matter, as this was a ‘Permitted’ category and bypassed all planning laws. All they could do would be to complain about the decreasing rates revenue and the increase in toxins in the water supply and see if they could get it past the deaf ears of government.

    Welcome to OUR world!

  8. Pete Godfrey

    January 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Just a small correction the article mentions a “Private Forest Reserve” a private forest reserve is set up to reserve the forest on that land.
    I belive that the correct term in this case for land that is planned to be converted from native forest to plantation is ” Private Timber Reserve”
    Second problem.
    Who will be the customer for the plantation trees?
    If Gunns manages to get FSC certification then they will not be able to use timber from plantations that are on converted native forest land. So the developer may not have a market at all for the logs they grow.

  9. llareggub

    January 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Bring it on !!!

  10. Philip Lowe

    January 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Not in who’s backyard?????????????????

  11. helen

    January 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Give up now, as many residents who now live next to plantations know, you have no hope in hell of stopping logging if they want to. Ask the residents of lilydale who will be having a plantation 100m from their drinking water catchment uptake. The whole government with its boards and legislation is so pro forestry you can do nothing to stop them with. Not even the courts will help even if you have the $$$$.

  12. pilko

    January 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Just let them try that on. There are too many friends of this mountain to let that happen.
    We will fill busloads from the north to blockade any attempts to touch Mt Wellington.

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