Tasmanian Times


Logging Mt Arthur: Don’t miss this meeting


How comfortable are you

– with forestry operations 100 metres above the intake of your water supply?

– coming face to face with a loaded log truck as it descends Mount Arthur Rd (singlelane, dirt, steep, blind corners)??

Commencement of operations at 186 Mountain Rd is imminent!!!

Please attend the meeting of the Launceston City Council on Feb. 1 at 1:00pm to give support to the following motion by Alderman Jeremy Ball:

(All concerned residents who are able to should make every effort to attend, as a packed council chamber is a sure way of showing Council the level of community concern.)

Notice of Motion
That in view of the potential negative impacts on Lilydale from proposed clear felling and plantation establishment in the Lilydale water catchment at 186 Mountain Rd
Lilydale, including,

* negative impacts on water quality and quantity,
* heavy vehicle impacts on road safety and infrastructure,
* health impacts of chemical spraying
* and loss of scenic amenity

and in view of the fact that under Launceston’s Planning Scheme the proposed coupe falls within a Water Catchment Protection Area, a Scenic Protection Zone and is in an Area of Regional Significance;
that council opposes the commencement of the forestry operation at 186 Mountain Rd until such time as the following actions are carried out,

1. A comprehensive, independent hydrological assessment by a person qualified in forest hydrology, analysing the short and long term impacts on Lilydale’s water supply, from clear felling and plantation establishment. (The community is willing to fund 50% of the cost of the study with the remainder to be funded by LCC and Ben Lomond Water. If BLW refuse to be involved then LCC to fund the balance)

2. An expert opinion to be sort on the impacts on downstream water quality from forestry operations and specifically an assessment of the coupe for impacts of sheet erosion contributing to water turbidity and siltation.

3. A list of all herbicides and pesticides to be used, and amounts to be used per annum, over the course of forestry operations in the area, as well as the method of application of these chemicals, to assist in determining the health risks to residents downstream from the coupe.
Jeremy Ball

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


  1. Russell

    February 5, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Re #19
    Ok Mary, seeing you’re the only on who has a clue, now can you tell us who is logging Mt Arthur?

  2. mary

    February 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

    #14 again demonstrating that you don’t have a clue. There are several other forest companies that do undertake conversion still in Tasmania. But then that doesn’t sit well with theconspiracy theories.

  3. Russell

    February 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    In my experience with various Ombudsmen, they seem set up to channel all the criticisms and complaints in order to deflect them away from the responsible Departments and Ministers and bury them in a diplomatic whitewash. The most recent being with the Energy Ombudsman of Tasmania who chose to back Aurora’s flawed and deceitful view of a potentially dangerous and fatal situation rather than his own eyes which saw the actuality first hand.

    I would like “independent review bodies” to be just that, independent; from government, from industry and from stakeholders with a financial interest.

    These review bodies should also include open and unrestricted public and peer input.

  4. Karen

    February 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    RE FSC #4 and #15

    How effective is the Forest Stewardship Council – Australia?


    The reason I ask is, one organisation that seems to be noticeably absent in Australia is a properly functioning, independent forestry practices tribunal that welcomes, audits and provides satisfactory dispute resolution processes for the public.

    The Australian government supports an increase of wood harvesting enterprises in the country, and the effects of it on communities are vast, yet there does not seem to be a properly functioning, independent tribunal for the forestry industry, such as, for example, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsmen.

    Organisations such as the FSC-Australia exist, as well as the FPA Tasmania, for example, but their activity seems focused on the administration of forestry certification and harvesting permits, rather than acting as an open body dedicated to satisfactory public dispute resolution.

    At present it seems that accepting public complaints is almost discouraged because access to this process through these bodies is not at all straightforward or transparent, and perhaps it should be.

    The absence of such a body is significant, because how is FSC going to stand up over the long term if there is no dedicated organisation to handle and audit public concerns about forestry practices?

    Without a consistent means of both fair resolution and accountability by harvesting companies, members of the public are left perpetually in anguish.

    Without it, there could be a perpetuation of the “Lock Out and Control” forestry management policies that communities suffer with now.

    I am not writing this as a verifiable “definition”, but simply as a general observation. Other observations contributing to any advice on this are welcome.

  5. Mike Adams

    February 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    #13. Karen, to have any chance of winning a decision against a government department one has to:
    a) do one’s homework and have statistics and photographs to back up one’s position.
    b) have depositions from the major players who are against the decision. (In our case telling evidence from school bus drivers.)
    c) Engage MPs who are prepared to make a stand in parliament.(And ensure they have the evidence and photos.)
    d) Get the local council onside plus any other community organisations, especially those with standing and some clout. In our case the RACT and a local doctor.

    And after all that be prepared to compromise, even though that goes against the strongly felt concerns of some of your supporters.

    The above are all part of the Dilston Safety Committee’s campaign to get safe junctions for the Dilston By Pass.

    It wasn’t easy and it took a very long time.

    I agree, it shouldn’t have to be like that…

  6. Frank Strie, as the President of TWFF

    February 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

    RE #4:
    Overview of the FSC Principles and Criteria
    Principle 1.
    Compliance with all applicable laws and international treaties

    Principle 2.
    Demonstrated and uncontested, clearly defined, long–term land tenure and use rights

    Principle 3.
    Recognition and respect of indigenous peoples’ rights

    Principle 4.
    Maintenance or enhancement of long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities and respect of worker’s rights in compliance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions

    Principle 5.
    Equitable use and sharing of benefits derived from the forest

    Principle 6.
    Reduction of environmental impact of logging activities and maintenance of the ecological functions and integrity of the forest

    Principle 7.
    Appropriate and continuously updated management plan

    Principle 8.
    Appropriate monitoring and assessment activities to assess the condition of the forest, management activities and their social and environmental impacts

    Principle 9.
    Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) defined as environmental and social values that are considered to be of outstanding significance or critical importance

    Principle 10.
    In addition to compliance with all of the above, plantations must contribute to reduce the pressures on and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests.

    More here: http://www.fsc.org/pc.html

    What changes do FSC rules require foresters to make?

    The FSC Principles and Criteria describe how the forests have to be managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations. They include managerial aspects as well as environmental and social requirements. FSC rules are the strictest and FSC’s social and environmental requirements the highest.

    The 10 principles and 56 associated criteria form the basis for all FSC forest management standards. Based on this core document, FSC has developed further rules (called policies or standards) that define and explain certain requirements stipulated in the 10 Principles and Criteria.

    Here is a summary of some of the points the FSC Principles and Criteria require. Many of the points listed below will appear almost basic – but in many places, even these basic requirements are not fulfilled. This is where FSC can have the biggest positive impact.

    • Prohibit conversion of forests or any other natural habitat
    • Respect of international workers rights
    • Prohibition of use of hazardous chemicals
    • Respect of Human Rights with particular attention to indigenous peoples
    • No corruption – follow all applicable laws
    • Identification and appropriate management of areas that need special protection (e.g. cultural or sacred sites, habitat of endangered animals or plants)

    More info about the FSC Principles and Criteria

  7. Russell

    February 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Re #10
    Well maybe you should consider telling us if you know any better or not?

    From all previous experience it would be extremely unlikely that any other operation would act in this way.

  8. Karen

    February 1, 2010 at 3:28 am

    The cycle of poor community inclusion policy in Tassie:

    1. Community learns of a poor management decision or action and raises concern.

    2. Authorities managing the decision ignore both.

    3. Community stakeholders must ramp up their concern to the point of distressed public outrage.

    4. Eventually authorities view their own community stakeholders as threats, and further resist improving their systems for better outcomes.

    5. Community loses trust in the management system.

  9. alison bleaney

    February 1, 2010 at 2:19 am

    will organise web link for water brochure with ET

  10. Estelle Ross

    January 31, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I attended the Launceston City Council meeting this afternoon concerning the proposed logging of an area of hillside near Lilydale. Naturally, due to its close proximity to the source of Lilydale’s water supply and the probable deleterious environmental impact of the scheme the locals are against it, as is the Launceston City Council but under the provisions of the Tasmanian Forest Practices Act 1985 the landowner does not require local government approval to undertake forestry operations. The state government is constantly whittling away the control that councils have over local issues? This has to stop. With the Tasmanian state election looming we need to elect people of integrity who will have the courage to repeal these iniquitous laws and return to councils their right to evaluate local issues.

  11. Gerry Mander

    January 31, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    – with forestry operations 100 metres above the intake of your water supply.

    The PAL Act required a 300 metre set-back from property boundaries to allow for chemical spray drift as the spray was considered toxic.

    Interesting, to say the least!

  12. Gerry Mander

    January 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    It will be very interesting to see that if this coupe IS logged, what will replace the native forest? Despite the fact that both Forestry and Gunns both state that they have stopped converting native forest to e.nitens plantations since 2007, there is no evidence of this from other coupes. If native forest is replaced with native forest, there is no need to spray in this sensitive water catchment.

    Maybe someone should tip off Mitsibishi Paper about this?

  13. Ferdie Bond

    January 31, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Alison,#6, does Environment Tasmania have copies of that brochure available for reading online, via their website?

  14. alison bleaney

    January 31, 2010 at 12:00 am

    We must protect our drinking water catchments from pollution. It is a very simple issue and has to happen.
    Please make sure you all see our water brochure – the risks of pesticide and other toxic pollutants in our drinking water. (Environment Tasmania have copies)
    It is also an election issue – why vote for those that allow this un-ethical practice?

  15. pilko

    January 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Everyone and anyone who cares about the impacts of the Tasmanian logging industry on Local communities should get along to the council meeting.
    I am quite simply in awe of this mob.
    The Lilydale Protection group are Northern Tasmanias grass community organisation par excellence.
    LPG are professional, focussed, mature and understand the importance of working with other groups and individuals that can help them get the job done. I have no doubt they will win this round.

  16. Mike Adams

    January 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Forest Practices Authority says that all conditions have been met by the applicant.
    High time that the criteria by which the FPA judges applications to be revised.
    Yet another dinosaur remnant of forestry practices in Tasmania. If FSC is now to be the norm then community input should be part of it.
    What is proposed by the applicant and the FPA should be opposed by anyone with concerns about our environment and health, not just the people of Lilydale.
    Let’s show the aldermen of the L.C.C. just how much this motion of Alderman Ball is supported. And let’s see who speaks against it.

  17. John Alford

    January 29, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Apart from being a Lilydale resident who drinks this water, in the broader context this issue must put government on notice that we, the community, will not continue to sit by and allow these insidious forestry laws ride roughshod over people’s rights to clean drinking water; free of contamination, whether it be dirt from logging operations or pesticides from the spraying of the plantations. Yes, Frank and Jeremy, it’s time to stand up on this one; if we can’t protect our water catchments, then we are stuffed.

  18. Bob

    January 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Who is the applicant and landowner to the plan for the proposed forest operation ? How come they haven’t been named ?

  19. Russell

    January 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    This should be an election issue (and probably a class action) for the residents of Launceston who will be drinking this water.

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