Tasmanian Times

Economy

CFMEU quits forest council ‘sideshow’

THE forestry union has pulled out of the Forests and Forest Industry Council of Tasmania, slamming it as a “sideshow”.

The forestry and furnishing products division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said the decision reflected frustration at the council’s ineffectiveness.

“It’s no secret that the union has had concerns about the council’s effectiveness for some time,” division national secretary Michael O’Connor said.

“They released an industry plan recently which we regard as not dealing with the real issues facing the industry.

“The [council] is unfortunately becoming a sideshow.”

In February, the council launched a plan it said could make the industry worth $4 billion a year and create 2000 jobs by 2020.

The New Forest Industry Plan required $2.1 billion in private investment.

It did not include Gunns Ltd’s proposed $2.5 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill.

Read more HERE

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. sabina01

    May 3, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I can’t imagine that the rest of the Council are too bothered about not having their charming presence at the meetings.

  2. Frank Strie, as the President of TWFF

    May 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Regarding the CFMEU’s typical way of doing business can also be seen here:

    The Fifth Estate – Sustainable Property News

    http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/7904

    Timber wars: Bullies win as industry and union force Green Star changes

    By Lynne Blundell

    30 November 2009 – There has been a battle going on. It is a battle between sections of the forestry industry and the Green Building Council of Australia and so far it has taken place behind closed doors. But it is gathering pace and the big guns have been called in – politicians at the highest level, both state and federal. They have been called upon by the timber industry to pull the GBCA into line – and they have heeded the call. …

    “… The crux of the battle is that the forestry industry, and the sector’s union, the CFMEU, takes exception to the GBCA’s accreditation framework for timber used in commercial buildings. To get credits for timber in its materials assessment section the GBCA until recently required that timber come from forests operating under the international certification scheme, the Forest Stewardship Council or that it be recycled timber. …
    In the lead up to this meeting CFMEU Forestry and Furnishing Product Division National Secretary, Michael O’Connor, said the union was planning to make the issue a crucial one in upcoming state elections if state ministers didn’t deliver the required result.

    Mr O’Connor said the GBCA’s refusal to recognise Australian forestry certification meant timber had to be sourced from overseas from countries where illegal and unsustainable logging had occurred.

    “Domestic timber that is harvested according to sustainable world’s best practice must be able to compete with overseas products.

    “If we have to we will put pressure on state governments in ‘timber seats’ at upcoming elections, if our communities do not get co-operation on this most basic of issues.”…

    But why the different forestry certification schemes and what do they mean? There are two international forestry management schemes – the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Program for Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC). They are vastly different in their philosophical underpinnings.

    The FSC, according to Andrew Walker-Morison was developed in the early 90s out of a desire to reassure the community and purchasers about the sustainability of the product. It is supported by environmentalists and non- government organisations globally and has a set of global principles and criteria which determine and inform individual standards for regions and countries.

    The PEFC was developed in the late 90s and is driven more by forestry and government interests; it recognises standards set by individual countries, such as the Australian Forestry Standard.

    “In Australia there were people who wanted to set up under the FSC because the standards are very high but government and forestry interests quickly set up the Australian Forestry Standard which was subsequently recognised by the PEFC.

    While by no means a perfect system, said Mr Walker-Morison, the FSC has strict requirements that must satisfy stakeholders at three levels – economic, environmental and social. In Australia there is only an interim FSC standard operating at this stage.

    “The FSC scheme is quite revolutionary. Previously governments had developed the standard but this is an independent scheme that must protect the interests of all stakeholders – government, milling companies, loggers, indigenous communities and environmentalists. And it has proved successful in putting to bed long running conflict and entrenched positions of loggers and environmentalists.” …
    “Because the FSC scheme is consensus based the different parties have to come to agreement in the end. Until they do nobody makes a dollar. That is a very powerful way of ending conflict.

    “What dismays me in Australia is that efforts to deliver that sort of process here are being undermined.

    “The Green Building Council is driving change in the supply chain. It is not about preserving current standards but about pushing for higher ones. And it is not about loggers versus greenies but about getting outcomes for future generations,” said Mr Walker-Morison. …

    ====================
    The influence of the CFMEU can only go so far and only for a limited time; Michael O’Connor may have had years of success with this approach, however it does not reach the international paper companies and timber trading businesses thus he will become a yesterday’s man as soon as the small AUSTRALIAN timber and woodchip and pulp export industry run out of demand…
    Time will tell – like it or not

  3. Factfinder

    May 2, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Noticed here: http://tools.themercury.com.au/yoursay/comment_all.php:
    This is the same CFMEU that laughed down Latham’s offer of the most generous and realistic restructuring package that their members will ever see and then came out in support of John Howard who all the while had WorkChoices tucked in his back pocket.This is the same union that supports the world’s most deceitfully enforced pulp mill, thinks that logging and burning 400-year-old ecosystems and decimating the water table is a sustainable activity, and constantly campaigns against their own members’ interests for the benefit of a select overpaid few.Ineffective & refusing to deal with the real issues? Irony much?

    Posted by: Roger Hanney of sydney 9:51am today

  4. hugoagogo

    May 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    re: attached photo; wow, a Single Rider!

    Sure to inflame the passions in various ways, can you provide the date and location the exposure was made?

  5. roger

    May 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    This is the same CFMEU that laughed down Latham’s offer of the most generous and realistic restructuring package that their members will ever see and then came out in support of John Howard who all the while had WorkChoices tucked in his back pocket.

    Ineffective & refucing to deal with the real issues? Irony much?

  6. salamander

    May 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Three cheers for common sense. At least there are some in the forestry industry who can see the inherent failure in ignoring facts.

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