Tasmanian Times



The Tasmanian Greens today released their Forest Transition Strategy 2010 (FTS) which will create more jobs and wealth in the Tasmanian timber industry, while protecting world-renowned high conservation value forests.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that the Greens’ FTS will heal community wounds caused by decades of division on forest policy, and will result in a timber industry that every Tasmanian can be proud of.

Mr McKim also said that the Greens’ FTS will create 542 more jobs in the timber industry within five years by using timber more efficiently, retooling sawmills to achieve higher recovery rates, and managing the plantation estate to deliver more high grade sawlogs.

“The Greens have a sensible plan to create more timber jobs, save our magnificent high conservation value forests, and deliver a timber industry that each and every Tasmanian can be proud of.”

“This not only can be done, it must be done for our forests, our timber workers, and for Tasmania’s future.”

“For too long Tasmania’s magnificent high conservation value forests have been desecrated for woodchips, for too long the plight of forest workers has been ignored, and for too long our people have been divided by this debate. The Greens stand ready to deliver a solution.”

“Labor and Liberal have buried their heads in the sand for far too long, and it is the forest workers who are bearing the brunt. The industry must be restructured so that it can provide sustainable jobs, meet the expectations of international markets, and operate in a way that respects Tasmania’s high conservation value forests.”

“The Greens’ Forest Transition Strategy delivers a sustainable future for our forests, Tasmania’s timber industry, and the workers and families that rely on it for support.”

“Assistance will be provided to any timber industry workers who are already doing in tough through no fault of their own, including vocational training, wage subsidies, relocation costs, and income support.”

Download: Tasmania’s Forests: The Way Forward – A Forest Transition Strategy to Protect Forests and Create Sustainable Jobs, launched by Nick McKim MP, March 2010:

Nick McKim MP Greens Leader Kim Booth MP Greens Forests spokesperson

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


  1. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    An old one, but appropriate in this case: How do you keep a d******* in suspense?
    A: I’ll tell you later…

  2. Gerry Mander

    March 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Re #30. Typical politicians reply. Avoid the question and reply to something else. But then, George Harris IS a politician and demonstrates just exactly how tied the Labour perty is to Forestry and Gunns.

    Here is a disasterous and highly destructive policy that will decimate the remainder of our Old Growth forest disguised as a benefit for Tasmania due to the miniscule amount of timber harvested for fine timber workers.

    In the last twenty years, they have destroyed enough fine timbers to keep the industry supplied for about a thousand years – and they want to perpetuate this policy.


  3. Russell

    March 11, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Re #30
    Absolute nonsense. The only barrow you’ve ever pushed is FT’s and Gunns’.

    Now how about a simple answer once and for all, woody?

    Who you get your wood from and how much you pay?

  4. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 11, 2010 at 2:38 am

    For the benefit of others who may have read #23, yes, I am pushing the forestry report: New Special Timbers Zone to deliver resource security. I have been encouraging better management of our forests containing Special Timbers, and proper recognition of the Special Timbers sector, and I see this as a good step in the right direction. I am fully supportive of the training packages for forestry field workers and participants in the harvesting sector, and I see the setting aside of appropriate areas for Special Timbers management as being crucial for the long-term survival of those who engage in arts-based design and manufacture using Special Timbers, and whose work is an iconic aspect of the Tasmanian tourism industry and economy.
    It is for other readers that I write this. [comment deleted]

  5. Russell

    March 10, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Re #26
    The roads are already there, if Gunns haven’t trashed them as they did on the way out last year on the East Coast. You should get out of your office once in a while and take a drive.

    Timber workers extracted plenty of selectively fallen trees quite efficiently long before any of the modern forest eating machines came along, so I think they’ll do ok now with the use of these.

    At least they’ll have sustainable and respectable jobs.

    The lack of demand worldwide for paper and the cheap overseas opposition supply are the reasons for the paper industry’s demise, not the drying up of woodchip supply fodder.

  6. john hawkins

    March 9, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    There can only be one policy for political parties to announce or consider before the State Election for Gunns, FEA, Great Southern and Timbercorp will all soon be in liquidation.
    That is who and how are we going to clean up the resulting disaster?
    He she will have to be a lot cleverer than Abetz, Hodgman, Gray, Bartlett, Amos, Gay or Chipman! thinks—put together.

  7. William Boeder

    March 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    TO read the Greens new forestry policy and then to compare it with the shambolic timber industry as it practiced today, I find it quite difficult to understand the how and why of the number of, then the salaries of, so many backward thinking Bozo’s in the executive structure of Forestry Tasmania?
    Talk about shooting themselves in the foot, won’t be long and F/T will be claiming credit for some of the Tasmanian Greens newly introduced practices and strategies?

    My personal wish is that the so-called heroes of the timber industry today, will by and by soon find themselves waiting in the queues of people heading in to Centrlink.
    Just imagine this new Tasmania without its Bully-Boys of the present forestry mafiosa, the constant release of misleading statements, the cover-ups of the carnage and ruin struck upon our Ancient Forests, the increase in the numbers of individuals gaining work in the new intelligent timber industry.
    Then finally the facts will be on the table to show us all of just how wilfully neglectful and defective was the forestry practices of 2010 and all the preceding years.

  8. Brian

    March 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Dear Rita

    Agreed…. even I could have written the Greens 2010 forest policy.Just change the date. You could see it coming a long way off…”low volume, high value…protect high conservation value forests”. Less logs, more jobs…. get real ! Where’s the economic impact analysis, every thing is historical, no values projected.

    Can’t wait for someone to build 1km of forest road to access single tree selection silviculture. One thing is for sure, consumers couldn’t afford the end product.

    Time to recycle this paper until the next election where I guess they’ll try again !

  9. Russell

    March 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Re #22
    Don’t worry Rita, you are STILL the best in the form of copy and paste we have seen to date.

    Your title is safe.

  10. Mark

    March 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I’ll be more blunt. After the hype of the election then FEA, Gunns et al will have to stand in their own solvency and the current workers can stand in line for the dole or Newstart. Personally, I don’t really care about any of the policies. Stop logging old growth forests.

  11. Gerry Mander

    March 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I see that on this thread and on others, woodworker (George Harris) is pushing the forestry report ‘new-special-timbers-zone-to-deliver-resource-security’.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that George Harris may be one of the authors or a contributor to this report?

    Any confirmation from the man himself?

  12. Rita Skeeter

    March 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I thought it was only award winning journos who had mastered the craft of copy and paste until I read this policy and compared it to the forest transition strategy released for the 2004 Federal Election:
    2004 Policy

    Environmental – To end logging in Tasmania’s high conservation value forests, create new reserves protecting our awe-inspiring, globally significant forests and other conservation measures to protect biodiversity, water and landscapes across the range of land tenures.

    2010 Policy

    Environmental – To end logging in Tasmania’s high conservation value forests, create new reserves protecting our awe-inspiring, globally significant forests and other conservation measures to protect biodiversity, water and landscapes across the range of land tenures.

    It even has the same Map!!! Perhaps the only thing new and innovative about this policy is its recycled, and that Our Common Ground Spokesperson has gone through the figures of the 2004 effort and reduced the employment to be created by closing dowewn the industry by a few thousand.

    Will the media’s investigative/ political journalist be able to point out that this isjust the 2004 policy.

  13. Dave

    March 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Having seen the new map on page 9 of the Greens new policy I for one bet the Libs are pleased because there looks to be just about enough room to drive a six lane, room for expansion, highway between the new national parks , protected forest and the world heritage area. Does this prove once and for all that the greens are looking to form a Green-Lib road to no where government?

    The sad news for both parties is that both the Liberal road to oblivion and the Greens look but don’t touch the trees policies both rely almost totally upon Commonwealth funding which thank ‘dog’ they won’t ever get.

  14. Russell

    March 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Re #9
    It wasn’t the Greens who sold us out to the forest industry for years only to see its demise, woody.

    Where’s Timbercorp, Great Southern, FEA now? Who, apart from the paper shufflers and schemers/scammers in the timber industry, is working at the moment?

    Wake up woody, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    By the way woody, you still haven’t told us who you get your wood from and how much you pay.

    Re #11
    Where has the Labor or Liberal Parties ever tried to unite Tasmania?

    And this, “All using someone elses capital, without any resource security.”

    Sounds like Gunns to me, not bullshit.

  15. Dave Groves

    March 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Well Desmond…#11….mate if you think the current forest industry is a winner, you go right ahead and climb aboard.

    Fortunately, I don’t have money invested in equipment, companies, or infrastructure (aside from the subsidies we taxpayers dole out) in the forest industry.

    There is only one “big” (?) player left in the industry in Tassie, and unless you flip the share price graph upside down, it doesn’t look real flash for them.

    Perhaps you could organise a whip round to help fund the pulp mill….or keep flogging the Liblab horse?

    I don’t have all the answers, but from where I sit, there are plenty of good folk who have invested in this industry, who are well on their way down the gurgler, and with the government and the unions sidling up to Howard’s disaster, and now Liblab as twins on their future, it seems one more little push, and they’re gone.

    Oooh yeah baby

  16. William Boeder

    March 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Seems to me that the only persons whining and decrying the Greens forestry policy are those on fat salaries in Forestry Tasmania and some few of their entrenched die-hard loyalists, the type that cling to the storm-torn ship as it descends into the deep black darkness of oblivion.
    Not even a public whimper from the corporate greedster known to us all as Gunns Ltd?
    Let Tasmania get back to an honest open and transparent forestry industry under the Tasmanian Greens policy and proposals.

  17. Brenda Rosser

    March 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Spot the difference in policy with LibLab:

    Wood supply to the ‘forest’ industry. No change. But ‘sometime in the future’ the access to native forests will decrease.

    5.1 Wood supply substitution
    Under the Greens’ Forest Transition Strategy there will be as much wood available to the timber industry into the future as there is now. Although the availability of native forest timber, particularly from mature forests, will decrease due to the reserve proposal outlined in Section 1, this will be more than compensated for by more efcient use of available native forest timber and the forecast massive expansion in the availability of plantation timber….

    450,000 hectares of native forest on public land will still be available to the ‘timber’ industry. Clearfelling will be moved to less contentious areas of native forest.

    Immediate substitution of mature forest timber sawlogs with regrowth logs from non-contentious areas. Approximately 450,000 hectares of regrowth production forest on public land will still be available to the timber industry.

    The exploitation of Tasmania’s ‘specialty timbers’ [blackwood, sassafras, huon pine etc] will increase.

    The specialty timber sector has potential for expansion if given the right management framework. Ample supplies of timber for Tasmanian workers will be maintained under revised Specialty Timber Zones enabling current production to be expanded (Section 5.2).

  18. Brenda Rosser

    March 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Policy of the bright green plastic party:

    “Existing [vast monoculture] plantations
    [owned by a small number of foreign investors, mostly]
    used to expand domestic processing
    [largely owned by a small number of foreign investors]
    and produce a range of products
    [that are generally disposable and easily replaced].
    Large volumes [so large there’s little room left for many forms of life and living]
    coming online allow significant jobs
    [low paid with little self respect embedded within them]
    and wealth creation [monetary profits and impoverishment in the spiritual, cultural and ecological sphere].”

    [In some manner, that is not spelt out]
    the ‘Greens’ will put “Wood production on an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable footing.”
    Just like the original Regional Forest Agreement promised.

    Just say the words.
    Say “environmentally,
    socially and
    economically sustainable”

    It wins votes.

  19. Peter Whish-Wilson

    March 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    5# Desmond: “Market forces and commercial agreements for private investment will determine this, not Green Government policy”.

    Are you arguing that current forestry operations and investment are/should be independent of existing government policies??? If so, how do you account for billions of dollars in MIS scheme tax breaks, low stumpage fees for native forest timber hidden for years under secret government “commercial in confidence” agreements, hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies and guarantees outlined under the RFA ..and the rest !

    Isn’t a Government Body (Forestry Tasmania) a joint venture partner in the commercial timber Industry in Tasmania ??

    A governments role (amongst many)is to provide incentives for efficient private investment, why shouldn’t Green Party ideas and policies be explored by the Timber Industry, Forestry Tasmania and private investors with an open mind ?

    Is it just because of the word “Green”?.

    Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Candidate for Bass

  20. crf

    March 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    The amount of plantation hardwood they claim will become available is more than the Tamar pulp mill will need. So, why do they still not accept that the mill will not process wood from old growth forests. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  21. Gerry Mander

    March 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    #9. Compare the maps in the Special Timbers Strategy, with the map on page 9 of the Greens policy document.

    The worms are crawling out of the woodwork.

    The map and area that woodworker quotes is nothing more than the next clearfell map of 100,000 hectares of old growth forest. To say or imply that all this area is for the fine timber trade is a blatant and outright lie. It is not. It is designed to maintain forestry profits from the woodchip trade with a paltry 0.5 percent diverted into fine timbers.

    In his entire working life, I doubt whether woodworker has used as much timber as contained in five mature trees, and that is erring on the very generous side. We do not have an IKEA in Tasmania, or any other MAJOR fine timber user that could possibly use 100 000 hectares worth in under a thousand years!

    The Greens do not need to issue a map of where they would selectively log for fine timbers, as this is a minor disturbance to the forests and can be anywhere where there is old timber outside the reserves. All the fine timbers that you note, if not chipped, are regularly burnt on the ground, and to such an extent, that at least two fine furniture manufactures that I personally know complain of the difficulty of obtaining the wood that they require as either forestry will not release it to them, will not allow them to collect it from the debris to be burnt in the clearfell coupes or charge more for it than they can buy it from the mainland.

    No, woodworker, this is just another ploy so the executive fat cats in Forestry can continue to feed of the public purse and mine the natural assets of all Tasmanians. They are worried for their future if the Greens get in, and rightly so, to my mind. Too long have they pillaged and plundered [minor edit] and charged us massively for the privilege. Hopefully time is running out, and hopefully it will happen before the LibLab alliance can carry out their new destructive plans of feeding the rest of our precious forests through the chipmill for the benefit of their mates and their offshore investors.

    At the current rate, a couple of tonnes of fine furniture also generates four and a half million tonnes of woodchips. (See Gunns and Forestry annual reports for details)

    Enough is enough. Time to remove the snouts from the trough!

  22. Pete Godfrey

    March 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

    So we have a choice, an industry that is on its knees despite over a Billion Dollars of subsidies from the public.
    Or trying to go the way of the rest of the developed world and caring for the resources and managing the forests in a truly sustainable way for high quality timber production.
    As far as special species timbers go, the industry are now trying to clear as much of these areas as possible so that they won’t have to preserve them. One only has to travel to the Tarkine, Florentine, Mt Wedge or any where else that rainforest grows to see it being cut down as fast as they can.
    The FFIC Old Forestry on Steroids Policy requires $4 billion in private investment for it to work to finally clear all our forests by 2020.
    To scream and whinge about a $100million to move the industry into the first world is a joke.
    I agree with Dave, get a job putting log trucks back on their wheels.

  23. Desmond

    March 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    #10 – typical Dave Groves response. Where in the Greens 2004 Transition Strategy, sorry 2010, does it “try to unite community”. It’s all about proposed Govt policy using private resource. All using someone elses capital, without any resource security. Unrealistic bullshit !

  24. Dave Groves

    March 9, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Well, for those who bag out the Greens policy, just toddle on your merry way hooked to the Liblab machine, grab yourself some Gunns shares, buy a log truck, and reap the rewards, from the sustainable forest industry, that the Liblabs and big business have formulated, and run so successfully for all these years.

    Better still, grab a job in the forest industry somewhere….I’m sure there are heaps of “jobs” out there, perhaps burning swathes of celery top, or feeding native wildlife 1080, perhaps a job flipping log trucks back up the right way?

    I’m no fan of everything the Greens do, but at least they are trying to unite community and not chop it into little pieces.

    Roll on minority government.

  25. George Harris aka woodworker

    March 9, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Under the name of their leader, Nick McKim, the Greens have released what is described as a policy initiative, entitled the Forest Transition Strategy 2010.
    However, it contains a basic and fundamental contradiction, and is a confidence trick on the electorate. They claim it supports and makes provision for the Special Timbers industry, and those who work in it, and they claim it establishes Special Timbers Zones, but do not map or identify them. Instead, they identify and map areas of extension to the World Heritage Area, Areas Protected from Logging, and Proposed New National Parks, but these include the areas identified in the Special Timbers Strategy recently released by Forestry Tasmania as the extent of virtually all of the actual Special Timbers remaining outside the existing reserve system!
    (see http://www.forestrytas.com.au/news/2010/02/new-special-timbers-zone-to-deliver-resource-security)
    Who do they think they are fooling? Surely no one is going to fall for this! Do they think even their own supporters are that stupid?
    While they finally acknowledge the importance and significance of Special Timbers, they should realise you can’t harvest them where they don’t grow!
    Compare the maps in the Special Timbers Strategy, (page 17, and pages 38 – 41, on the link I quote), with the map on page 9 of the Greens policy document.

  26. phill PARSONS is beyond salvation

    March 9, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Good grief a comprehensive strategy to transit to a modern industry based on high value competative product in market growth areas.

    A message.

    No wonder it is getting stick as it exposes the failure of the strategy to date.

  27. Russell

    March 9, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Re #3
    And guess who, as the mayor of Meander Valley Council, (against much local community opposition) wholeheartedly backed the PAL legislation and is running as a Liberal candidate in the coming election?

    Mark Shelton.

  28. Brian

    March 8, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    2010 Green Forest Policy…. a dust off of 2004 an unsuccessful policy position – “Tasmania’s Forests: The Way Forward 2004’”

    How innovative !!

  29. Desmond

    March 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Figure 5 shows the revenue to FT from Forest sales. Notice this is all historical. Where are the projected earnings from this proposed Forest Policy?

    Section 6.1 shows only 14% of the State’s hardwood plantation is “owned” by FT. So where is the projected earnings going to go for the said “4.0Mt” by 2020. Sounds like to private growers to me. To the investors who had vision with an intended market.

    Green low volume, high value strategy for NF wood products is unsustainable and is fatally flawed.

    Where in the Green’s charter can it dictate to private growers to which market it can sell. Market forces and commercial agreements for private investment will determine this, not Green Government policy.

    By the way, where is all the capital investment coming from as stated in Table 4. If the capital projects were so good, these investments would be ready to go. No “private” investment, no jobs.

  30. David Mohr

    March 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Barry Chipman – “Their (The Greens) policy is just left in the dark ages!!”

  31. Gerry Mander

    March 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Part of Bob Loone’s Newsletter – Deputy Mayor of Meander Valley.

    In Meander Valley Municipality alone over 15,000ha of highly productive farmland (75 farms @ 200ha or 500acre) is now owned by pulp (not forestry) plantation corporations. This is causing the economy of Meander Valley to lose out on over $30,000,000 ($30M) per year income and about 265 jobs after allowing for the few plantation jobs.


    Note. There are 29 council areas in Tasmania. These figures extrapolated at a mere 50% of Meander’s figures across the remaining 28 councils + Meander Valley gives a cost to the community of $450 million and a loss of 4100+ jobs. Add to that the health and infrastructure costs caused by these plantations and you have a very sorry picture.

    I think it needs a little more exposure.

  32. Dave Groves

    March 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Great initiative, now you just need to get it to the masses…..

  33. Garry Stannus

    March 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    This policy is looks exciting and timely. I’m looking forward to a good, thorough read of it.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Receive Our Weekly Tas Roundup

Copyright © Tasmanian Times. Site by Pixel Key

To Top