Tasmanian Times

Economy

Obscene love affair …

The ads to which you refer, Karl, the Our Common Ground promotion of the forest industry, look like a preview for a re-run of the creepy American TV series of the 60’s/70’s The Twilight Zone. Later productions were introduced by Alfred Hitchcock who put on his scariest voice for the occasion.

The ads should have been run past someone with a working Crap Meter before they were aired. The needle would have gone right off the dial.

Did the architects of these OCG ads decide to model them on the equally creepy Forestry Tasmania ads with which most people confuse them?

I’ve asked the question before in relation to many of the bizarre events unleashed by the pulp mill shit storm: What the hell is going on?

The profoundly obscene public love affair with mono-culture tree plantations (pulp mill feedstock in the main) by governments, former MIS companies most of which themselves have disappeared into the twilight zone, and now, apparently, by cashed up ‘enviro’ group/‘enviro’-corporates, has an alarming side-effect to which Tasmania is particularly exposed – foreign take over of our resources of land, forest and water. More of that in a minute.

In reference to the ‘enviro’ groups, their messages of late are, at one end of the scale, profusely incoherent, and at the other, an utter betrayal of rural communities throughout southern Australia.

As many have been warning for some time, the gross mismanagement of our forest, land and water resources in Tasmania has exposed this island to foreign ownership.

Here is some of the latest.

Tamar Tree Farms. This is a partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd and Tokyo Electric Power Company. The Tamar Tree farms Joint Venture aims to establish 1700 hectares of plantations per annum on a mixture of freehold, State forest and private property in the north-east of the state. The objective of the adventure is to supply woodchips from an estate of 25,500 hectares. Forecasts estimate 500,000 tonnes of wood to be available annually from 2012, for use, one presumes by Mitsubishi Paper, but that may be a false assumption.

Plantation Platform of Tasmania (PPT). This is a partnership with Forestry Tasmania, Daio Papaer, Kawasho International, Nakabayashi, Nissan, Nikei BP, Kobunsha and NBS Ricoh. PPT aims to create 7,500 hectares of eucalypt plantations in NE Tasmania over 15 years. The plantation timber will be used for woodchip production and processed in Japan by Daio Paper.

For the starry eyed exponents of the Hampshire pulp mill option, it should be well known by now that the home-grown plantations at Hampshire are not available for a home-grown ‘acceptable’ pulp mill located at Hampshire because they are wholly or almost wholly locked up in Japanese Joint Ventures.

Furthermore, there is no shortage of pundits pointing to the degree to which Gunns is exposed to a fire sale of resources or outright foreign ownership. One suspects that foreign financiers have not been interested in investing in the proposed pulp mill because it is unprofitable (without massive tax payer subsidies and on-going guarantees of the sort that only governments can make) and that is without considering community opposition and lack of social license.

The unanswered question is: have governments given or about to give those guarantees? Back to the OCG advertisements. At face value the ads promote tree plantations. The various groups involved in the promotion (Our Common Ground, Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania – there may be others) have set themselves up as the community voice. Have they informed themselves what the community thinks before presuming to speak as the community voice?

This comment appears on this Karl cartoon HERE. Comment HERE

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