Tasmanian Times


FSC and Plantations

Our Common Ground is founded on the belief that the conflict over forests has divided Tasmanians too long. Why has there been so much conflict about forests and is it possible to bring the controversy to an end?

This conflict has primarily occurred because the community has been systematically locked out of the management of Tasmanian forests. This lock-out has been in place since Dr Andrew Lohrey was the Minister for Forests in 1979, some 31 years ago.

Forestry Tasmania does not represent the public interest even though it controls the public forests. For the last 30 years Forestry Tasmania has acted as the agent of industry. The overall administration of the forestry in this time has been a financial-bottom-line-for-companies type management. Little or no consideration has been given to the environment.

The Tasmanian community is heartily sick of this management strategy. For most of those 30 years there has been a continual series of public protests about this kind of forest management. To bring this conflict to an end Our Common Ground must propose and lobby for real community involvement in forest management. How then to achieve this?


Japanese paper manufacturing companies are now demanding that Tasmania provides them with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited woodchips. The standards of FSC are more sympathetic to environmental considerations than the current Australian Forest Standards (AFS) so will this new accreditation system work better or differently from the old? Many seem to believe this will be the case because certification by FSC has been widely seen as the end of native forest logging.

We believe that FSC will not be superior to ASF. FSC will not be superior because it does not matter what constitutes the standards for accreditation if these standards cannot be enforced. ASF standards cannot be enforced and neither can FSC standards. There is a massive enforcement hole in the whole accreditation system when it comes to any dispute. As Australia has no national accreditation standards FSC Australia cannot intervene in any disputes to uphold its standards because these standards are not backed by any state or federal regulation and therefore cannot be enforced in a court of law. Both AFS and FSC accreditation standards are unenforceable by any independent third party, such as the courts. They are equally useless.

What is the experience of FSC on the ground? FSC has been operating in Victorian forestry for about 10 years but it has not managed to protect these forests or open up a space for real community involvement. The Friends of Gippsland Bush say that FSC has been a disaster, with certified companies harvesting scientifically identified HCV forests and destroying listed Cool Temperate rain forests and old growth and fauna corridors. This destruction includes many threatened species. Certified companies have been able to do this because: a) there is no over-sight authority, and b) the FSC standards are unenforceable by any independent third part. This smoke and mirrors system wants to certify Gunns.

Our Common Ground should not endorse any of the current accreditation systems. OCG should only support accreditation if that system is complimented by state or federal regulations that make standards enforceable in courts of law.

The current management structure and approach to forestry in Tasmania has to change. Suggested details of these changes are contained in: ‘Environment Tasmania’, Levelling the Playing Field: Reforming forestry governance in Tasmania, February 2010)

One of the recommendations of that paper needs support. This is the establishment of an independent oversight authority in the form of a Forest Ombudsman Office whose primary concern would be legal but with a focus on the correct application of all forest agreements, plans and notifications (both native and plantations). The Forest Ombudsman’s Office would hold a copy of all agreements, plans and notifications and make these publically available. The Office would also investigate disputes that arose from time to time concerning forest management, and where necessary write reports for Parliament and initiate prosecutions.

In addition, it should be a policy of the State Government to specifically move a Parliamentary motion to announce, each year, the intended annual tonnage for woodchip harvesting. This would allow public debate on the effects of the woodchip industry on transport, road safety, the environment, public health, land clearing policy and related issues.

Further, Treasury should establishing a Forest Restoration Fund as a way of creating jobs and restoring damaged environment.


Tasmania’s plantation area is now approaching 300,000 hectares or 3000 square kilometers. These plantations consist of monocultures which destroy biodiversity. The ‘hardwood’ plantations are mainly of the exotic shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens). In the past these woodlots have required biocide chemicals delivered by aerial and ground spraying – mixtures of pesticides – all of which pose a threat to public health.

The current management strategy for mono-cultural plantations has created the potential for health and environmental problems. These problems have been compounded by the exclusion of local government and the broader community from forest management decisions. These problems are currently ignored by all Departments of the State Government as well as Forestry Tasmania and forest industries.

Our Common Ground should set some community standards for plantations based upon the current negative effects plantations are having on community health and the environment. For example, these standards should include the following points:

– Existing plantations should be free of all pesticide spray;
– New plantations should be free of all pesticide use and should have a mix of native species (devoid of exotics) with a variety of species grown together;
– There should be no management policy or practice intended to destroy or poison native wildlife;
– There should be no new plantations established without local community acceptance or a comprehensive assessment of the ground water uptake; and
– No plantations should grow species that leach toxic poison into waterways and catchments.

In relation to the last point, it has been recently found in laboratory tests that the exotic and selectively bred E.nitens that make up 75% of forestry Tasmania eucalyptus estates can leach toxins into waterways that are harmful to aquatic organisms and human cells.

These toxic plantations will need to be replaced as soon as possible with restoration programs that re-establish native forests. Such programs already operate in a very limited scale in the form of the Restore Skyline Tier example of Pine plantation restoration. Such programs bring great benefits by removing pesticides (and the E nitens toxins) and restoring native species and hence, improving biodiversity, community health, and the health of endangered species. They also generate much valued jobs in local areas where there is always under-employment.

In summary, to overcome the long history of social conflict over forestry we recommend that Our Common Ground:

– should only support FSC if that system has state or federal regulatory backing;
– Work to establishment a Forest Ombudsman Office;
– Support a parliamentary motion on the annual tonnage for the harvesting of woodchips, and a Forest Restoration Fund; and
– In consultation with community groups establish appropriate community standards for all plantations.

Dr Alison Bleaney: break o’day catchment risk group;
Dr Andrew Lohrey: Save Our Sisters;
Bill Manning: Four Mile Creek Ratepayers;
Lesley Nicklason: Friends of the Blue Tier;
Todd Dudley: North East Bioregional Network.

20 March 2010

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


  1. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Also, #65 Huoagogo: I note your reference to Bill Nielsen. I am familiar with a 1993 paper by Wilkinson, Neilson and Edwards ‘Hexazinone use for grass and woody weed control in establishing and long term growth of Pinus radiata plantations’, N.Z. J. For. Sci. Vol 22, pp 12-24.. I presume you are referring to Bill’s silvicultural work and herbicide trialing. I have him listed as Neilson (but not the former state minister).

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  2. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Huoagogo Re 65: Thanks for that comment.

  3. hugoagogo

    May 29, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Well done Barry for continuing to post reasoned, sound and as calm as possible responses, some would say pearls, to the relentlessly proferred pop-silvicultural opinions of those who have clearly never managed commercial forests in Australia. Among these, the most devastating comeback was the spurious dismissal of Baz’s points on the basis of his not being Tasmanian!

    I await with baited (anchovies) breath for what I fear will be a rather slender volume containing the collective silvicultural wisdom of TT acolytes.

    Bill Nielsen eat your heart out!

  4. Susie Zent

    May 28, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I am sorry I have to disagree with Anita Neville’s comments regarding FSC and community consultation in the Strzeleckli Ranges. Our organisation has been monitoring the timber industry’s activities in the Strzelecki Ranges for 15 years, I have been disappointed with Smartwood and Hancock Victorian Plantations ( HVP ) attitude to community and the consultative process.

    Far from being sensitive as claimed by Anita, members of successive audit teams post 2006, have been dismissive, argumentative and at times rude to members of the public, during field trips.

    We were not informed by Smartwood of their intention to audit the HVP estate in 2007 and 2010. We had to approach Smartwood to be involved in these audits. Despite the fact that our organisation was involved in all Smartwood audits of the HVP estate in the Strzelecki Ranges.

    I spoke to the lead auditor this year and expressed my dissatisfaction when informed that there would be no field visits in the Strzeleckis. At no stage did the auditor offer to meet with this dissatisfied community or to visit field sites to explore issues raised by us for the last 10 years. There was a vague reference, to one member of the community, that the Smartwood audit team may visit the area.

    I am glad that the offer to undertake a field trip in the Strzeleckis remains.This community, not just one or two dissatisfied people, would be delighted to show the team, yet again, areas of concern which still have NOT been resolved after 10 years, despite independent scientific reviews, which validate our claims.

    In the meantime sites of National and State conservation significance all identified as high conservation forests, by independent scientific reports ( published and unpublished ) are being destroyed.

    Whilst HVP has held meetings and field trips with stakeholders, it is merely an exercise in PR spin and nothing ever changes. In fact we maintain that since Smartwood certified HVP/GRP operations in 2004 the majority of the on ground operations have regressed.

    We are still observing the same environmentally damaging practices which we have been documenting since 1996 refer to Hancock Watch website logging practices.

    Far from endorsing Smartwood and HVP’s operations, the ASI 2007 report was critical of Smartwood’s performance and judgment in allowing HVP to retain its certified status. I suggest that people read this document and draw their own conclusions.

    Susie Zent
    Secretary Friends of Gippsland Bush Inc. ( FOGB )

  5. Frank Strie, FWM

    May 27, 2010 at 3:49 am

    For #51 and #56
    J A Stevenson is on the right direction, he realises the differnce between trying to be a typical “Big Fat Controller” and the responsible forest and plantation manager.
    Management of ecological processes is what we aim for, not the war with nature.
    Tree plantations may be useful in cleared regions as a nurse crop that will be of help to establish biodiverse, speciesdiverse and permanent multi-aged vegetation again.
    1/3rd of the catchments (not less) should have diverse woody vegetation as a guide.
    Here a suggestion for the futurefrom Europe:
    … Nature-based management started in and around Central Europe as
    a response to forest overexploitation and degradation in fragile mountain
    landscapes. Switzerland was the first country that prohibited clear-cut forest
    management by law in 1902. It was followed by Slovenia in 1948/49. In the
    last half of the century nature-based forestry gained more and more followers
    across Central Europe, and elsewhere in Europe and the World in the last
    Despite declared support for sustainable forest management by European
    societies, nature-based management is endangered by many circumstances.
    One of the reasons is because it is more labour intensive. It is intrinsically
    bound to production of large diameter timber, to which many external benefits
    for the environment and society are linked, yet this represents a major obstacle
    for mechanization and rationalization. Furthermore, many European
    countries are increasingly importing cheep timber from abroad, while protecting
    large forest areas at home.
    However, there are also many tendencies favourable for development of
    nature-based forestry, such as the recurrent energy crises, rising consumption
    of wood, increasing demand for social and protection functions of forests, and
    emphasis on nature conservation.
    Therefore, favourable tendencies should be utilized in appropriate ways,
    while at the same time much effort should be invested in overcoming the developmental
    constraints. In this way, nature-based forestry, which for more than
    two hundred years remained in the shadow of conventional forestry, may for
    the first time in history face an important expansion and development, which
    would significantly raise the quality of life in Europe.
    This volume contains contributions from thirteen experts in the field of
    nature-based forestry, from practising foresters with excellent long-term examples
    of natural multipurpose managed forests to university teachers and researchers.
    The main objectives of the book are to:
    (1) present the historical development of nature-based forestry,
    (2) point out contemporary problems, developmental constraints, and forest threats, (3) draw attention to possible consequences of decreased forest tending and increased non-management,
    (4) discuss the possible answers and solutions, (5) expose the rationality of continual nature-based management of forests and their resources, and
    6) stimulate discussion on solutions and encourage professional and political alliances
    to promote nature-based forest management in Europe and the World.

    Prof. Dr. Jurij Diaci

  6. William Boeder

    May 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Dr Barry Tomkins, seems to me that some of your self-found facts do not meet with the approval of so many others, rather than just myself?

    There must never be the notion that our whole range of woody stemmed self supporting flora is to be made reliant on chemicals and or other such substances?

    The plantation industry certainly does not serve the people of this State, rather it serves only the investment brigade that seek to profit from professional opinions, preferred actions and doctrines.

    Even John Gay has realized that the full-force of his own opinions were lost upon the majority of Tasmanians.

  7. Ambassador

    May 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    “Sending in people equipped with shears, brush cutters and chain saws then becomes a very significant OH&S issue. ” #56 BT

    How is it that BT suddenly discovers OH&S in regrowth pine but blithely ignores the risks of forestry chemicals to forestry workers and the broader community ?

    How is it that dropping spindly post fire regowth is a unbearable OH&S hazard but dropping 60+ ton old growth behemoths booby trapped with countless widow makers is fine?

    And, how is it that dropping 60+ ton old growth behemoths with countless widow makers or thinning operations in any age regrowth is fine but the mere suggestion of selective logging of regrowth forest will have the same operators squealing like stuck pigs about OH&S?

    It’s kind of funny in a … way.

  8. J A Stevenson

    May 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Re; # 56 If these dense stands are left alone they will sort themselves out without any human intervention. 15 to 20 years is all it takes. A plantation mind set prevents one seeing the wood for the trees. Sending in people before the lower branches and suppressed trees have died is an impossible venture. They are all racing for the light and the most vigorous ones will win with very little restriction on speed of annual height growth. When the canopy was died off above head height, brashed inroads can be made to chop off any brambles, if possible, as these will be inclined to race over the leading shoots of the dominant trees, bending them down and distorting them. Radiata pine in common with all softwoods is structural stronger if grown slowly as there will be less soft spring growth compared to hard summer growth in the annual rings.
    Huon pine and Yew are softwoods but very slowly grown. Why aim for a 30 year rotation. The trees do not stop putting on the quantity of timber at that age. Sitka spruce used for the mosquito air plane were old trees. Douglas fir does not mellow into Oregon pine timber until aged.
    Plantations are not forestry or timber production.

  9. Russell

    May 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Re #56
    “Sending in people equipped with shears, brush cutters and chain saws then becomes a very significant OH&S issue. A lot of the sites, including around Canberra, are hilly and infested with other woody weeds, such as blackberry.”

    How do you think they worked until now, Barry? And aren’t blackberries and woody weeds noxious weeds which are supposed to be rid of? More work , Barry?

    Oh yes, that’s right, it’s uneconomic to employ people. Better spray or napalm the (!) lot by air. Who gives a (!) about the community, the environment, or people wanting employment?

  10. Russell

    May 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Re #52
    “We managed before because there were not the population pressures there are today…”

    “However, Tasmania is certainly not overpopulated.”

    Well, which is it, or does that depend on what spin you need to put on it? The big picture Barry, the big picture.

    “You state that you ‘respect only the medical profession in the use of that title’ (Dr). I couldn’t give a stuff personally, but those who work in non-medicinal areas at that level have made huge contributions to human well-being, as you well know.”

    And what exactly has your profession contributed to human well-being? You might want to also address that to the 1000s of Tasmanian foresters and timber workers …

  11. Concerned Resident

    May 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    It seems to me that Dr Barry Tomkins won’t see any other suggestions as valid. My reading of his letters tell me that this state’s forests have been run for many years in the manner he advocates, he has made excuses all the way through why the forests can’t be run in what I see as a sensible manner. Forestry and the state healthwise, with pollution etc, is in a bad way.

  12. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Re # 48: Frank Strie: I suggest that the over-riding factor in thinning natural regeneration, whether it be pine or native species, is safety. Having carried out herbicide trials with colleagues in 2R clearfelled pine sites to control wildlings, I know that densities can be 10,000 stems per hectare or more, and those numbers are well known in the literature. Sending in people equipped with shears, brush cutters and chain saws then becomes a very significant OH&S issue. A lot of the sites, including around Canberra, are hilly and infested with other woody weeds, such as blackberry.

    Such cleaning of regeneration to create a new forest/plantation is also uneconomic.

    Allowing such regeneration to thin naturally will take anything from 60-100 years, and given that these pine areas are intensively managed for 30 year sawlog rotations, that is not an option. It seems to me that yours is a very European approach, where forests have been managed for hundreds of years and where population densities are much higher. In Germany, (your home country I believe), foresters were members of guilds and forestry was long regarded as a noble profession.

    As for mixed plantings, the claims would then be made that these are native forests, not plantations for wood supply.

    It is curious that so many correspondents on this site ignore factors that do not suit their mindset. A classic example is the minds closed to the realities of chemical use in the growing of food, which is on a far greater scale than plantation use.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  13. Anthony Amis

    May 26, 2010 at 11:00 am

    re #49 & #51: The FSC/plantation debate sure has some interesting twists and turns. Now we have serial FSC ‘critic’ Barry Tomkins, thanking an FSC certifier’s public relations ‘consultant’ over an obvious spin piece written to try and gloss over the massive credibility problems that FSC and Hancock have in the Strzelecki Ranges. Is Mr Tomkins now defending FSC or is he keeping his bread buttered by defending Hancock? Is the Smartwood piece a means of keeping the public happy whilst Smartwood try and drum up business in Tasmania and Queensland?

    In terms of Ms Neville’s comments I wonder has she consulted with Hancock’s Public relations firm Porter Novelli who has also been extremely busy with Hancock over the past few years trying to spread the good word about this company. Public Relations is a growth industry.

    Smartwood auditors in regards to Hancock are ultimately paid by Hancock, because Hancock pays Smartwood. How independent is that? I have received some off the record remarks from auditors in the past who now wouldn’t go near Smartwood or Hancock with a 50 foot pole.

    In 2006 auditors more or less recommended that Hancock lose their certificate over rainforest definitions. They were overidden by Smartwood, who were also negotiating a certificate with Maryvale Pulp Mill. This is when the rot set in and this is what has infuriated conservationists working in Gippsland. Effectively they felt sold out by Smartwood who offered so much but ultimately have delivered nothing.

    Smartwood and Hancock’s rainforest definitions still have no scientific credibility. Many Corrective Action Requests have been closed by Smartwood, but the on the ground problems have been getting worse. The ASI audit mentioned by Ms Neville highlighted serious flaws with Smartwood’s performance.

    We still have no protection for the Strzelecki Koala, nor is the company even required by FSC to protect the species, even though Hancock are using images of this species on their websites in the US and Australia to give the impression that they truly care about Koalas. 7000 hectares of koala habitat has been wiped out by the company since 1998 and still no best management practices are in place. Smartwood also have not demanded this.

    If everything is so hunky dory with Smartwood and Hancock, why are there so many disaffected community people complaining about Hancock’s activities? We held a meeting in the small town of Boolara two years ago. A petition was signed with almost 100 signatures complaining about the company and FSC. A copy of this petition was handed to the Smartwood auditor in 2009 but conventiently not mentioned in the 2009 Smartwood audit.

    In terms of this years ‘audit’ strzelecki residents did ask the auditor to visit the Strzeleckis only to be told that his agenda had already been set. Instead of auditing coupes being logged in sites of National Conservation Significance, Smartwood had decided to look at almost ‘non-controversial’pine plantations in North East Victoria.

    The logging in sites of national conservation significance included areas set aside in a rainforest reserve by the previous state conservation minister. This deal unravelled as the company walked out of the deal after claiming vast increases in areas of native forest that they wanted to log. This has also left a bitter taste in Strzelecki Campaigners. What is Ms Neville’s opinion of logging sites of national conservation significance?

    See here for more information:

    Smartwood and Hancock love to claim that there are only one or two disaffected people complaining in the strzeleckis, the image at the top of this page shows a rally where over 100 people attended at College Creek in 2008.

    We are not backing down and Smartwood should know better than to continue to infuriate local stakeholders who have spent many years trying to get an ecological outcome for their region.

  14. J A Stevenson

    May 26, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Re # 51 When trees and most other plants reseed they come up like grass. All one has to do is let them fight it out for as long as it takes. The most vigerous seedlings will win. One cuts pathways through them after the canopy has closed, and the losers and lower branches have died, to remove wolves and others of bad form.

  15. nev rodman

    May 26, 2010 at 7:23 am

    re #36 How are we going to get wood you ask?You cant even get decent firewood nowadays let alone reasonably priced hardwood.
    Forestry Tas has been out of control for years,purely serving the interests of the woodchipping maniacs.

  16. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 26, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Re #50: Actually, my doctorate came after a lot of diligence and effort at a laboratory bench, and much writing and revision.

    We managed before because there were not the population pressures there are today, and given the improvement in general health and longevity, nutrition has had a significant role, along with hygiene and medical improvements.

    I deplore your general lack of respect for those in the scientific professions who have earned the title of Dr. You state that you ‘respect only the medical profession in the use of that title’. I couldn’t give a stuff personally, but those who work in non-medicinal areas at that level have made huge contributions to human well-being, as you well know.

    I haven’t read a more arrogant and disrespectful statement than yours about ‘respect—‘above.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  17. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 26, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Re #48: Frank Strie (you are out of your tree!). Radiata pine regeneration after the fires in Canberra was like hairs on a dog’s back. Are you suggesting that it it would be economic to thin these to some acceptable density? Are you suggesting that somehow there will be a genetic improvement from crop to crop? What then would be the purpose of tree breeding?

    Lindsay – you are a little reluctant to censor the personal attacks on me of the Boeders and Langfields on this site – I hope you will let my opening comment through.

    Thanks – Anita #49 – that puts Amis’ rant into perspective.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

    PS I was remonstrated with a year or so back on this site about not putting Dr before my name – and now Langfield (Dr) apparently takes umbrage at my (professional) use of my title. Linz- what do you suggest??

  18. Russell

    May 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Re #47
    How outrageously pompous and arrogant your replies are to think you know all and to claim the adage ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ is somehow exclusively yours.

    It is certainly an apt adage in your case as your views of ecology, biology and economics are extremely tunnel-visioned, blinkered and inward whereas the majority here look outward to the big picture and use hands-on experience not paper-shuffling theory.

    Oh! And as a primary producer, I grow food crops myself and I have no need for chemicals. Chemicals the likes of that you champion have been in use in only the last few decades. My, my, how did we manage before? Don’t judge others by your own actions, Barry.

    I also respect only the medical profession in the correct and justified use of the title of “Dr.” At least they care and the title being “honorary” is well practised and deserved, whereas yours can be had at a desk.

    I’d suggest you keep your mainland views to yourself regarding Tasmanian matters of which you have little experience and understanding.

    “The last sentence of #32 – some would agree, some would disagree. However, Tasmania is certainly not overpopulated.”

    That’s your opinion. Put it in a thesis. Thesis = An “unproved” statement put forward as a premise in an argument. The truth is the world is overpopulated compared to the remaining of its sustainable resources, but taking everything in total isolation is your forte.

  19. Anita Neville

    May 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    The Rainforest Alliance is an international environment organisation with more than 20 years experience in the development and promotion of standards for sustainably forestry, agriculture and tourism operations. Today our SmartWood Division is the leading not-for-profit auditor/certifying body to the FSC standards. You can read more about our work in forestry here: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/forestry.cfm?id=main.

    We have been the certifying body for Hancock Victoria Plantations operations since 1999. In the period 1999 to date some thirteen different auditors from all levels of the Rainforest Alliance SmartWood division have been involved in assessing HVPs performance against the FSC standard. All have found HVP to be in compliance with the FSC standard and certifiable.

    We have been sensitive and responsive to concerns expressed about HVPs operations in the Gippsland area and specifically the Strezlecki’s region over the last ten years. As a result this area has received more annual field audit time than other parts of the HVP operation which is also covered by the FSC certification.

    For the 2009/10 audit the decision was taken to visit other parts of the HVP operation, including some areas that had not been visited before due to the focus on the Gippsland region. However stakeholders in the Gippsland/Strezlecki region were advised of the audit and invited to take part in stakeholder outreach meetings as part of the annual audit process. Those offers were not responded to, or stakeholders indicated that they could not take part in the planned meetings. The lead auditor involved responded privately during the auditing process to the stakeholders who have raised issues about HVP’s performance in this region. He offered to both meet with the stakeholders indicating concerns and visit field sites to explore these issues further, as necessary. This offer remains.

    It should be said that there is extremely diverse local and regional opinion regarding conservation and forest management in Strzelecki region. HVP interactions have included:
    • Multiple HVP and individual/organizations stakeholder meetings, at times involving Rainforest Alliance SmartWood auditors, many times not;
    • On-site field visits to HVP management areas by observers and stakeholders accompanied by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood auditors, both with and without HVP staff or contractors;
    • The involvement of third party conflict negotiators; and,
    • To this day, continuing action by HVP management, as observed and/or verified by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood auditors.

    We are aware that not all stakeholders are satisfied despite this outreach. As a certifying body our job is to determine whether or not HVP is in compliance with the FSC standard. Our findings conclude that HVP is in compliance with the FSC standards. This view has been reinforced by an Accreditation Services International, the body that accredits or ensures that certifying bodies like the Rainforest Alliance are competent, up to date auditors to the FSC standards. The Rainforest Alliance’s performance in Australia and in relation to the HVP certification has been reviewed by Accreditation Services International (ASI). At no time did ASI find that HVP were not in compliance with the FSC standard.

    Finally one of the key points of concern in relation to the HVP operation achieving FSC certification is differing opinions on what constitutes High Conservation Value Forest. The Rainforest Alliance is aware that FSC Australia is undertaking work to clarify the definitions for High Conservation Value Forest in Australia. We welcome and support such work and look forward to its conclusion.
    Anita Neville
    Communications Advisor, Rainforest Alliance

  20. Frank Strie, FWM

    May 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    #41 B.T.:”Or the re-establishment of clearfelled pine or the 19,000 hectares of pine lost in the Victorian bushfires?”

    My visit to the hills of canberra following the pine planation fires demonstrated how well pines regenerate without one single cent spent on regeneration.
    The silvicultural operations could be managing / continued thinning at the right times, including stock take (data collection) introduction of mixed species according to terrain and soil etc.
    The sad part is that the tax ruling in Aussieland is only accepting area rotation and actual tree planting not natural regeneration and or coppice techniques. This is so sad and wasteful or call it “wackoo” as this fact just demonstrates how narrow minded and ignorant the regime thinking is down here.
    B.T. you are a product of this regime thinking, one day when you retire and someone points the finer details of the art & science compination of caring management (not closing down) of Tree factories and Nature’s water storages… , maybe then you will open up for a new, a better way to do these things for the present and generations to come.
    Tasmania’s tree growers and tree plantation investors had been spoiled and misguided that greed and short term tree cropping is good and sustainable.
    The reason why chemicals are able to compete against other methods is that they are far too cheap and far to loosely monitored down here.

    That’s all for now.

  21. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Re #46: Outrageous mis-statement ‘And your statement should read “the 19,000 hectares of pine which in the main caused the Victorian bushfires…” What evidence is there that the pine plantations caused the fires? – utter rubbish.

    And let me state that I would prefer that sawlogs were always the end product. That doesn’t mean that thinnings shouldn’t be used for chips, treatment/posts etc.

    It is ridiculous to infer that I am ‘intent on diminishing the forestry workforce’. If any groups have diminished the forestry workforce it is those who have opposed the utilisation of native forests. Some 47% of Tasmanian native forests are not available for wood products and the % is even higher here in Victoria.

    Oh, and #46 -are you going to apply the same ‘no chemicals’ criteria’ to food cropping?

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  22. Russell

    May 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Re #41
    “Or the re-establishment of clearfelled pine or the 19,000 hectares of pine lost in the Victorian bushfires?”

    In my opinion, Barry, there shouldn’t be any exotic trees at all in any future plantations to negate the need for chemicals and over-allocations of water, etc.

    And your statement should read “the 19,000 hectares of pine which in the main caused the Victorian bushfires…”

    “…too labour intensive etc…”

    Again, why are you so intent on diminishing the forestry workforce?

    Re #42
    That’s your spin of it. I’m advocating that if you want a product, grow it responsibly with a confirmed market like everyone else.

    “How is this justified in a country with one of the largest forested areas per capita in the world?”

    Not really a good comparison when you compare such a small population country, is it?

    But, some Australian farmlands are only suitable now for trees, endemic trees.

    Clean up your own back yard first. Indonesia, etc., will change their ways when they suffer the environmental outcomes enough that their citizens also revolt. We’d be in a pretty good position by then wouldn’t you think?

  23. J A Stevenson

    May 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Re: # 41 Obviously you are out of your depth. You have the mind set whose only interest is the pulpwood industry. Clear felling , burning and replanting large expanses is all you have been involved with.
    What value now are the thousands of hectares of plantations established as a result of the Ponzi schemes. These have now been largely bought up by Chinese investors for little more than the value of the water rights. 19000 hectares of pine forest must have been established in massive blocks without regard to the possible dangers of fire or disease. Single species of trees or crops are not natural. Biodiversity is essential in all things otherwise disaster will eventually strike.
    The tropical hardwood’s and other valuable timbers of this world have been felled with no thought for the future, to be replaced by the race of the swine for the pulpwood bonanza. Which is similar to the gold at the end of the rainbow. The degradation of forest through clear felling vast areas and the effect on climatic conditions led to the march of the Sahara desert, the denuding of Easter Island and many other disasters. It is easy to ruin land but harder to replace. Queenstown?.
    What is the income from these first and second thinnings of knotty radiata, will not cover the costs if it is possible to sell them at all. I suggest you are out of touch with today’s markets.
    Growing radiata , and other trees at wide spacing allows grazing animals to be kept without having to wait for a market and if there is no market for 25years income is still coming in. I am well aware of spacing in planting. We used to plant at 5ft spacings, often hardwood’s with softwood nurses, which were taken out a regular intervals for fencing stakes followed later by pit props. The hardwoods have no timber value until at least 50 years of age. These markets have largely gone unfortunately. Presuming the little knowledge comment refers to those with the only with pulpwood minds.

  24. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Re #32 & 37: 32 -Your comment re my qualifications – nasty! – playing the man. I have over 50 peer reviewed journal papers in chemistry and forestry, so as far as I am concerned, having written a thesis for my Ph D, I’ve earned the title. I don’t know your qualifications, Russell Langfield – maybe as a medico you take the usual honorary title? (to which I have no objection).

    As for 37 – employment has to be paid for, and the industry – no matter what – must generate a return.

    The last sentence of #32 – some would agree, some would disagree. However, Tasmania is certainly not overpopulated.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  25. William Boeder

    May 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Dr Barry Tomkins, from your comments which are ever so supportive of Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Ltd, you appear to hold the company-line answer to every item and issue of single species plantation s and its specific practices?

    How is it that all this concentrated mono-culture knowledge seems to be yours alone?

    Though you seem proud to wave your flag of ‘all is great’ within the plantation industry, this certainly does not show you to be correct in each of your many viewpoints?

    Were the people to follow your ideas alone, forestry practices would quite likely remain in the same old bog-hole it currently dwells therein?

    If such as yourself with your grossly superior attitude toward plantation mono-cultures is to continue into our futures, might it be better for you to listen to the alternatives given by others of experience.

  26. Details

    May 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    #39 What you seem to be advocating is the conversion of farmland to native forest. This is fine by me. Make sure you call it a plantation though or you may not be able to log it at maturity. Ask Hancocks about this. They reestablished farmland with a E. regnans plantation in Gippsland and did such a good job of encouraging biodiversity in the understorey that Mr Amis (above) and others gave them all sorts of grief when they tried to log it. They now plant pines and E. nitens on such sites. There is no question that these are plantations and so they will be able to log them. The biodiversity benefits may not be as great as reestablishing the locally native E. regnans though. A pity really.

    As for the demand question, yes prices are down but we still import in dollar terms far more than we export. How is this justified in a country with one of the largest forested areas per capita in the world? Cut down to poor peoples forest please, not mine.

  27. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Re #40: And what techniques would these be when trying to establish many thousands of hectares a year (as was the case during the peak years of plantation expansion)? Or the re-establishment of clearfelled pine or the 19,000 hectares of pine lost in the Victorian bushfires? The woody weed problems resulting from these fires are very problematical. All sorts of techniques have been tried, on ex-pasture mainly – weed mats, guards, steam and gas burner sterilization etc, mulching – too labour intensive etc.

    In pine, wide spacing and pruning leads to a sawlog crop. Stocking of around 1200- 1500 stems or sometimes more per hectare leads to self pruning internally (the outer 2-3 rows may be pruned), and first and second thinnings ie. a commercial return, before the final sawlog crop. With very high stockings there may be a non-commercial thinning.

    I am well aware of the pruning regimes. In 1994 I wrote ‘A review of planting densities for State-owned softwood plantations in Victoria’ for the then Victorian Plantations Corporation, which is still in use; it includes 70 references to published material (43 pages plus appendices).

    It seems to me that you should mind the adage that ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  28. J A Stevenson

    May 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Re# 33 Pruning only requires doing once every 6 years when three whorls of branches are removed until a clean, knot free stem of 8 to 10 metres is obtained which is sufficient for most purposes.
    Grasses are the very worse competitors of newly established trees. If you do not know the various techniques used to establish trees under these conditions I will not educate you. Why establishment costs in plantations are vital is because worthless trees are being planted to sell at rock bottom prices.

  29. Russell

    May 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Re #36
    Try growing mixed endemic species plantations.

    In the meantime, what wood needs and what pulp fibre needs? The market isn’t there to justify the onslaught just for the sake of continuation.

    Now is the time for growing, but doing so responsibly. Not much to ask is it?

  30. Anthony Amis

    May 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    In response to Barry Tompkins, I once was a supporter of FSC, as I saw it as the best means of improving plantation/forest management in Victoria, after the State Government of Victoria privatised our plantation base in 1998. For a time, 2004-6, there were some improvements under the FSC system, particularly in Gippsland. However by 2006 the rot set in and it has been a debacle since that date. I never supported FSC in MIS bluegum plantations.

    The rot set in when Smartwood, Hancock’s certifier in Victoria, granted a Chain of Custody Certification for the Maryvale Pulp Mill (makers of Reflex Copy Paper). The Maryvale certification was based entirely on Hancock’s certification, which should have been stripped in 2006, due to Hancock’s rainforest mismanagement (amongst other things). The rainforest mismanagement still has not been sorted out.

    At the same time Maryvale increased their sourcing of native forest timber by 200,000m3/yr, however the native forest content of their requirements was not included under the CoC, effectively meaning Maryvale increased their sourcing from native forest areas, whilst at the same time being allowed to wear the FSC brand.

    We may now agree that FSC is a crock, however we will not agree that FSC is worse than the Australian Forestry Standard, which you apparently favour and which Hancock also has certification from. As an objective observer, i would rate AFS 1/10 and FSC 2/10. Both dismal failures in my view. I also do not share your endorsement of plantation pesticides, including atrazine/simazine etc etc which you have eagerly supported over the years.

  31. Russell

    May 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Re #33
    “Wide spacing requires pruning, otherwise trees develop large branches.”

    Pruning means employment, Barry. Why are you lot so against foresters actually having more work, or as is the case SOME work?

    They are YOUR chemical and over-dense planting practices which have put 1000s out of a job in Tasmania.

  32. Details

    May 25, 2010 at 2:59 am

    #35 As I am sure you know, in a wet eucalypt forest after selective logging the eucalypts do not regenerate due to the low light levels under the retained canopy. Selective logging in these forests is effectively a mining operation – once the best stems are gone there are no new one to replace them until the next wild fire. You are suggesting that we should have no plantations and no logging of wet forests in Australia. How are we going to meet our wood needs or what are you going to replace wood with? Maybe we could log more of our drier forests. These, of course, contain far more endangered species than your average Tasmanian E. regnans forest because most of them were cut down (and not regenerated) for agriculture year ago.

  33. nev rodman

    May 25, 2010 at 1:26 am

    #24 Well technically a wet eucalypt forest needs a fire every 100 to 300 years to regenerate or the eucalypts die and the forest becomes a rain forest,however, the case where wet eucalypt forests which have been logged in previous years and considered by conservationists to be native forests, then disputed by those who wish to clearfell, are examples where selective logging and regeneration exists!You have no doubt heard of this,as this debate is frequently in the media.A bit nit picky Mr hide-behind-plume

  34. Mike Bolan

    May 24, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    #25 That may be true of forests. Forests are multicultures of multiple species and lifeforms, many of which act to protect other species from harm. This is one of the benefits of diversity.

    Plantations are not forests at all. They are monocultures containing many hectares of self similar trees all growing at the same rate.

    They are food to a range of creatures and a vast area of them looks like a real treat for any species that eats or otherwise uses the plantation species.

    The forest industry likes to call plantations ‘forests’ for public relations reasons. Nevertheless, acres of monocultures require significantly more protection that a real forest does.

    Dr Tomkins (#29) comments regarding fencing confirm what many food producers say, adjacency to plantations means animal attacks on vegetables and other greenery because the fencing is inadequate. The animals live in the plantations where there is insufficient food for them, so they pop over to the local farmer to forage their veggies.

    Nice neighbours to have eh?

  35. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 24, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Re #30: Tiresome! Wide spacing requires pruning, otherwise trees develop large branches. As to grasses – they are amongst the MOST competitive weeds in trying to establish any plantation!

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  36. Russell

    May 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Re #29
    “However, the rotation lengths, in terms of human use of timber given today’s population pressures, are far too long to maintain the required volumes, hence the need for fast grown plantations, which use relatively small areas compared to the areas that would be required if all timber was to be sourced from native forests (to which, of course, there are strong objections!).”

    Sorry Barry but your “Dr” title holds no credence here as shown before, so just Barry will do thanks. I believe George Bush Jnr is a Dr.

    But in answer to your statement, I believe the problem is that for far too long we have been taking too much without giving anything back. This is blatantly obvious in forestry practices.

    The other side of the coin is that I believe Governments should be looking towards reducing populations to suit the environment, as Nature intended, and as Nature will eventually see to.

  37. Ambassador

    May 24, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    FSC is the modern equivalent of beads, axes and smallpox contaminated blankets.

    Corporate Conservation is a dag hanging off the arse of Earth Destruction Inc. Conflict becomes the lifeblood.

  38. J A Stevenson

    May 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Radiata can be planted in tubes at wider spacing so that the grass continues to grow and weeds do not get chance to establish. No chemical control is required. Weeds only appear after land mismanagement. Why can not the rotation be extended to 50 years? Rotation lengths for any structural timber except radiata are too short to produce any valuable timber. All that is being produced is a substitute for hemp fibre. No way could these sticks ones sees being hauled about be called timber. What will happen when the Eucalyptus blight reaches Tasmania?

  39. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Re #25: J A Stevenson: I am well aware of the clearwood program (high pruning of Radiata pine) in NZ. However, these plantations again have chemical weed control applied in the first two years, and the rotation is usually about 30 years. The main herbicides in NZ are glyphosate/metsulfuron (knockdown cleanup pre-planting) and terbuthylazine and hexazinone (residual, post-planting).

    As to your statement, ‘Forests have grown for millions of years without the need for pesticides’, true. However, the rotation lengths, in terms of human use of timber given today’s population pressures, are far too long to maintain the required volumes, hence the need for fast grown plantations, which use relatively small areas compared to the areas that would be required if all timber was to be sourced from native forests (to which, of course, there are strong objections!).

    As for fencing – it is far more expensive than using chemicals and in any event, fencing does not prevent insect or bird damage, and fences get broken down.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  40. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Re #18, Anthony Amis: I well remember your unbridled enthusiasm for FSC certification back when HVP, Timbercorp and others were pursuing and obtaining that certification. At the same time, I was attacking the criteria that FSC were applying to chemical use, and I published that peer reviewed material in Australian Forestry in 2004.

    It now seems, Anthony, that we have something in common. You have undergone something of an epiphany where FSC certification is concerned, and have realized that the ’emperor has no clothes’ and I maintain my claims that the FSC chemicals criteria are unscientific, and my objection to the fact that the FSC does not recognize national regulatory authorities.

    I regard the FSC as basically being a blackmailing organization but I recognize at the same time that FSC has been very successful marketing their brand. We may not agree as to our reasons but both of us distrust the FSC.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  41. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Re #20: William Boeder: I put facts, you play the man and don’t address the facts, and you always use overblown rhetoric. Doesn’t impress.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  42. Concerned Resident

    May 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    After going to the link posted by Anthony Amis…I read it with disgust. Is this form of corruption common among the big corporations??? along with their various gov’ts support or lack of gutz to do anything about it. It seems tasmania is not the only state that is having these mafia, standover tactics imposed on them with very little recourse. Also if this is the way the corporations can carry on with the FSC certification, it doesn’t give much credibility to the certification.

  43. J A Stevenson

    May 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Dr D D Tomkins.
    Forests have grown for millions of years without the need for pesticides. If pesticides are required something is terribly wrong with management.
    No planting takes place in the UK without adequate fencing to protect the young plants from damage against harmful animals, ranging in size from rabbits to red deer. The population explosions only occur because the trees are not protected until they get above browsing height. Fencing the areas to be planted would be minor compared to the costs inflicted on the neighbouring farmers who have to control browsing animals coming in from the plantations. Radiata pine, 50years old, would provide superior timber if grown clear of side knots by high pruning and thinning. This technique has been practised in New Zealand for a number of years to benefit grazing pastures. Forests are beautiful places and ideal for recreation, producing valuable timbers without any chemical inputs and disturbance of water catchment or run off. All these things are pay off’s. From tourists, clean air, water and timber. Who pays for the harmful pesticides and chemicals that the scientific doctors of death are releasing on unsuspecting people. To attempt to divert attention from harmful plantation practices by pointing the finger at agriculture will not work. One does not have to do a great deal of research on the benefits of forests compared to mono cultures but of course that does not help your argument. Who benefits from these plantations. Absentee overseas shareholders, no doubt.

  44. Details

    May 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    #21 How do you regenerate a selectively logged wet eucalypt forest with eucalypts? Once you have selected the best logs what will you log next time round, the bent and decayed stems? What are the health and safety implications of selective logging? What are the ecological implications of selecting particular species for logging, particularly given that once a eucalypt is felled in a wet eucalypt forest it will not be replaced by a eucalypt (they do not regenerate under low light conditions – thus the need to open up the canopy for effective regeneration)? How do you extract selectively logged stems from a forest without bulldozing a large number of trees and understorey to get to them?

    What you are suggesting may be appropriate in some forest types but one size does not fit all. No plantations and no logging of wet eucalypt forest. Hmm. I suspect the outcome would be an increase in the importation of Asian rainforest. Good for the economy and good for the environment.

  45. mary

    May 24, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Dr. Barry said ” Do these authors of this ridiculous article think that fruit trees are grown without chemical use? – weed control, insect control, fungal control, vermin control are all necessary. It is the same with all of our food crops.”
    no barry its not…organic food producers manage without any of the above!
    Plantations have been a disaster all round and we can no longer continue to clearfell native forest..the woodchiping of tasmanias forests must end. There are gigantic piles of native forest and plantation chip rotting away on the wharves around tasmania…what is going to happen with this???
    ALL native forest is High Conservation Value for the eco-system services they freely provide….a multi million dollar service including water and soil protection, cabon storage and wildlife habitat. Unless FSC acknowledge this they have missed the point.

  46. William Boeder

    May 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Having read just recently of the huge holdings of Hancocks Australian operations, I found little difference between their operations and methodologies as against Gunns Ltd and Forestry Tasmania?
    Now that Tas Times members have (via the graphic photos in the ‘link provided at #18’ by Anthony Amis,) become further aware of another State government that is as ruinous and guilty toward all the evils that are part and parcel of what appears to be the entire nation-wide forestry industry.

    Disdain, Destruction, Corruption and Stupidity rampant in the highest levels of our government.

    Victoria under the succession of all their State Labor governments for a lengthy number of years, seems to host the same insane forestry policies and practices as does this State of Tasmania?

    Furthermore this is another corporatist outfit that has shown it to be possessed of absolutely nil in the of integrity, nor are they interested in abiding by any and all regulatory requirements set in place for these plunderers?

    How can the Nation of Australia play host to such a lawless plundering and ruinous group of forest raiders, this entire environmentally criminal industry is so staggering to the mind as to what must be the same amount or more of corruptions endemic enjoyed by forestry harvesters everywhere?

    This Hancock tolerant State government of Victoria, (and no doubt the other Australian States represented here,) are seemingly equal in their disdain to protecting our ever-reducing Ancient Forests, Temperate Rain Forests, along with any and all stands of Native Forests in our Australia?

    Clearly by way of this example, we see just who the responsible parties in fact are, toward so much Australian forest degradation and the huge loss of wildlife habitat throughout the timbered regions of our continent?

    Yes to be sure, it is inevitably the corrupt elements alive in each and all our State governments.

    The low intelligence displayed along with such callous disregard by governments collectively, is to be soundly deplored.
    We now all know what lies within the very heart of Australia’s avid government support in destroying our nations futures.

  47. nev rodman

    May 24, 2010 at 10:46 am

    There is no common ground with those who wish to destroy our best native forests,none at all.
    It is war,and until Forestry Tas is reformed and forced to behave in the interests of the majoruity of Tasmanians,Australians and the world community, by ceasing to sacrifice priceless heritage for a dollar,the war will continue.Selective logging should immediately replace clear felling and single species tree farms should be immediately banned in rain forest areas

  48. William Boeder

    May 24, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Dr. Barry Tomkins, your comments well illustrate your eager compliances to the Forestry Overlords!

  49. David Obendorf

    May 24, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Go for it Marko [comment#15]…MONOPOLY is the name of the game….you seem to enjoy a good ol’ game …now be sure to buy up big…all the railways stations, the Utilities and then go for Park Lane and Mayfair.

    The one who dies with the most dollars WINS!!!!!


  50. Anthony Amis

    May 24, 2010 at 2:59 am

    If you want a look at what an FSC future means for Tasmania, look no further than this webpage.


    This page provides links to community monitoring of plantations in Victorian since 1996.

    These forests have been FSC certified since 2004.

    It will provide you links to webpages showing what was occuring pre FSC certification and post FSC certification.

    The same things that were occurring pre FSC are precisely what are happening now. It’s now worse, because the company doing this logging uses the FSC logo to promote it in the market place as being clean and green.

    Plantations that were established unsustainably 30 years ago, get clearfelled and many of the issues that were created 30 years ago when the plantations was first established (sedimentation of waterways, pesticide runoff, native vegetation removal etc etc) simply repeat themselves again. It’s a vicious circle. Logging coupes several hundred hectares in size are not unusual. How is this sustainable and how can logging operations on this scale, sometimes on slopes over 30 degrees and in domestic water supplies ever be given the green thumbs up?

    Warning: Once you are locked into this FSC public relations nightmare you cannot get out, as the grievance mechanism (re: escape clause) is impossible to navigate through and could end up costing community groups many thousands of dollars.

    The certifiers have all the power, are paid for by the company and will not dump a company for doing the wrong thing, because the certifier will lose cash flow.

    FSC does not deal (amonst other things) with unsustainable contract volumes (often signed before FSC certification) or water consumption from fast growing trees. It won’t help you either if you get a dose of hexazinone in your morning tea, or is that terbacil or maybe even simazine (or maybe all three).

    What would you do if a FSC certified 200 hectare plantation is clearfelled and sprayed upstream from where you pump water from?


  51. john hayward

    May 24, 2010 at 12:11 am

    You were close #13, Chad Mulligan, but the truth is even worse.

    Timber Communities Australia is actually a member of the FSC, not in the Astro-turf section where it belongs, but in the Social Chamber.

    After such a smashing success in Tassie, where they have stacked numerous councils with members and supporters, they probably feel they can corrupt anything.


  52. Russell

    May 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    “FSC will not be superior because it does not matter what constitutes the standards for accreditation if these standards cannot be enforced.”

    Then why has Gunns and FT dug their heels in to avoid FSC like the plague?

  53. Mark Wybourne

    May 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    #8. Davo, do you reckon it should be gaol or jail? Does the G sound like a J?

    Now what’s that you were talking about in respect to a war????? I don’t quite understand.

  54. Dr Barry Tomkins

    May 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Re article under Plantations: Puerile nonsense as follows from these points in the article:

    – Existing plantations should be free of all pesticide spray;
    – New plantations should be free of all pesticide use and should have a mix of native species (devoid of exotics) with a variety of species grown together;
    – There should be no management policy or practice intended to destroy or poison native wildlife;
    – There should be no new plantations established without local community acceptance or a comprehensive assessment of the ground water uptake; and
    – No plantations should grow species that leach toxic poison into waterways and catchments.

    What sort of plantation is envisaged? Lack of weed control over the first two years will lead to high mortalities, stunting, poor form. Lack of browsing control – whether it be animal or insect, will lead to the same problems. Slow growth, poor form, reduced stocking- do we go back to 50 plus years rotation for Radiata pine, therefore need much larger areas of plantation to satisfy the demand for KD pine for house framing ie. sawlogs? A newly planted plantation provides a ready food source for browsing animals, and allied to fire protection dams, leads to population explosions. The same effect is seen in native forest logging – I have seen it first hand many times where there has been an explosion of Black Wallabies, in the Strzleckis, on Mt Cole. Forestry has tried electric fences, salt licks, lion and elephant poo, hot chilli paste, all with minimal success.

    Or do these ignorant criteria relate to a vision of purely amenities plantations? Who pays? Have any of these people examined the published research on water use of plantations as opposed to pasture and cropping? If they did, they might be enlightened.

    As for the ‘toxicity’ issue, – yet to be proven, the alleged toxin has not been identified, nor has there been established a proven link to human health problems. (It has occurred to me that if the alleged toxin is ever identified and turns out to be a polypeptide, it may be the basis for a medicinal preparation eg. if it killed human cells when applied in a sterile medium, what are the possibilities?)

    Our Common Ground has no common ground with any sort of tree growing. Do these authors of this ridiculous article think that fruit trees are grown without chemical use? – weed control, insect control, fungal control, vermin control are all necessary. It is the same with all of our food crops.

    Dumb and dumber!

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  55. Chad C Mulligan

    May 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    The FSC will regret letting the Painters and Dockers oops sorry CFMEU in the door.

  56. Frank

    May 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    FSC NEWS for positive change in overseas regions:

    FSC certification helps Indonesian tribes

    Tribesman from the jungles of Indonesian Borneo, once a part of a multi-billion-dollar mafia which ravaged Indonesia’s forests, may soon legally log free from mafia interference and with minimal forest ecosystem damage, thanks to FSC certification. PT Belayan River Timber, which hires tribesman to work at its 97,500 hectare concession near Samarinda on southeastern Borneo, is seeking to have its timber products certified by the FSC as sustainably harvested. Key to its strategy is the adoption of a cable system to pull felled trees from the forest, rather than using bulldozers that cut a four-metre path of destruction wherever they go. Dayak tribesman Hanye Jaang used to cut down trees illegally, but now works for Belayan River Timber and is now free of the powerful mafia bosses known as “cukong” who run Indonesia’s illicit timber industry.
    “I don’t have to play hide-and-seek with the forest police anymore.
    It’s safe doing my job now,” said Jaang in the jungles of East Kalimantan, or Indonesian Borneo.

    Source: AFP

    Dell to use FSC-certified bamboo packaging

    Dell laptops will now be packaged by FSC-certified compostable bamboo from forests in China’s Jiangxi Province – far away from known panda habitats. The bamboo packages will compost and biodegrade at a rate comparable to known compostable materials when added to a hot, active compost pile. An American Society for Testing and Materials D6400 certification confirms that the resulting compost is of good quality and can sustain plant growth. “Developing packaging that is lightweight, strong enough to protect our products in transit, avoids the need to cut down hardwood trees and can return to the ground to sustain new plant growth – those are the kinds of long-term, sustainable solutions we want to provide for our customers,” said Oliver Campbell, Dell’s senior manager of packaging worldwide.
    Source: MarketWatch

    Tetra Pak introduces FSC certified cartons in China

    Tetra Pak’s will introduce FSC-certified aseptic cartons to China starting this July, with the liquid food cartons available in three
    formats: Fino Aseptic, Prisma Aseptic, and Brik Aseptic. It’s expected that Tetra Pak cartons with FSC labels will reach two billion in 2010 in China alone, with a goal of that increasing to 14 billion in 2011.
    Tetra Pak is already supplying FSC-certified cartons in several markets around the globe since its introduction of the world’s first FSC-certified liquid food cartons in the UK in 2007, with the global total number of cartons FSC-certified exceeding 2.3 billion in 2009.
    Hudson Lee, president of Tetra Pak China said, “We’re working hard to support responsible forest management and certification in China, building a convenient platform for consumers to be able to support environmental protection and participate in low-carbon activities”. Since 2006, Tetra Pak has been working with WWF, the China Green Foundation, and the forest authority to promote responsible forest management, to provide support for China’s forests to get certified, and to provide support for the local sustainable forest management system in the country.

    Source: FoodBev

  57. john hayward

    May 23, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    The prerequisite for any functional regulatory system is the installation of a government which supports it.

    At present, both the Forestry Minister and the shadow minister are members or loyal alumni of a virulently anti-conservation lobby group, Timber Communities Australia.

    John Hayward

  58. Frank

    May 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    From the FSC Newsletter:

    TAP Expands FSC Australia Social Chamber

    The FSC Australia Board has approved the membership application of TAP Into a Better Future. TAP is the latest organisation to expand participation in the Social Chamber of FSC Australia. TAP is based in Northern Tasmania and has 1,000 members who are residents and small businesses of the area. It holds fortnightly meetings involving about 150 members concerning the proposed pulp mill and other matters related to forestry, plantations, planning laws, industry and management of natural resources. An application by Travis Wacey, an official of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Forestry and Furnishing Division), to become an individual member in the Social Chamber was also accepted.

    FSC Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, operating with the generosity of members, donors and sponsors.

    FSC Australia
    PO Box 152
    (03) 8636 2661
    Twitter Feed: @FSCaustralia

  59. Garry Stannus

    May 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    This “FSC and Plantations” article suggests that FSC, like AFS, suffers from a lack of enforcement mechanisms such as national accreditation standards, as well as Federal and state regulations – leaving AFS and FSC accreditation standards unenforceable in the courts. Why does FSC need govt standards and regulations? Can it not simply certify companies as complying with FSC standards, and withhold certification in instances where wood products do not comply with FSC standards? Why are national (govt) standards, regulations and court processes necessary?

    A big thank you to these five writers/signatories. It’s an important contribution to the debate.

  60. David Obendorf

    May 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    The serious ecological and public health consequences created on the back of the failed 1996 Tasmanian RFA, 2002 Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement and the collapse of the Managed Investment Scheme plantation companies will be difficult to rectify.

    This was an industry out-of-control and off-its-leash! This veritable pitbull terrier has reeked havoc in the forests and we and Tasmania’s natural ecologies are all now reaping what consequences of that neglect and stupidity.

    If the foresstry players manage to encourage one or two environmental spokespeople to supp with them at the forest roundtable without understanding this history, they will be giving this pitbull its next “GOT OUT OF GAOL FREE” card!

    The industry is in tatters (yet they still want a ‘social licience’ and more hand-outs from governments) and the political protagonists (those that are left to defend these smelly fox holes) are looking for shelter, big time!

    The last thing Tasmania needs is an environmental movement that splinters over the desperation concessions that might be offered by an unsustainable, out-of-control industry on its knees.

    I agree with Phil Parsons “business- as-usual” in our forest is not acceptable.


  61. Mike.Bolan

    May 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    It is apparent that the costs of plantations to the community at large have neither been reported nor studied, nor even acknowledged by forestry interests and governments.

    Costs to the community include:

    * Subsidies paid to transfer ownership of land and forest resources to corporates (e.g. MIS)

    * Design and maintenance of roads and bridges needed to service plantations

    * Water catchment losses and land productivity losses as growing trees use groundwater for transpiration (>2Ml/ha/yr)

    * Crop losses when plantations harbor native animals that access local farms for food

    * Financial losses as plantation operators pay substantially lower rates than other land users

    * Escape corridor losses as plantations grow close to fire evacuation routes

    * Losses of views

    Until these kinds of costs are recognised and quantified, it will remain impossible to understand the real costs/benefits of plantations.

  62. Concerned Resident

    May 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I think this is all a great plan and I am a backer…but while we have dodgy gov’t representation on both sides of the fence, I think it is unfortunately a dream.

  63. Astrid Thomas

    May 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Bleaney, Lohrey, Manning, Nicklason and Dudley,

    Your continued lobbying against Natural Forestry to Government has resulted in greater plantation establishment by Government agencies to ensure the community is still supplied with jobs and resources such as timber and paper.

    Now you are lobbying against plantations and arguing that any plantations should constitute mixed native species with no chemical use. My My that sounds exactly like Natural Forest Management to me!!!!

    You should have thought through the impacts of your actions.

  64. bob hawkins

    May 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Sensible words are all well and good, but we are not dealing with sensible, caring or ethically and morally decent power blocs. If we were, another recommendation might be for a serious program to re-train forestry’s diminishing workforce for employment elsewhere, especially in a green tourism industry that no longer had to put up with the embarrassment of an environment tragically and hugely damaged by obscene and unnecessary forestry activities. — Bob Hawkins

  65. William Boeder

    May 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Well done to these people who prepared this article, though I question the need to continue the sacrifice of our Ancient Forests being fed into any one’s leviathan wood-chipping machinery maws.

    I note the the potential for creating other than ‘bigger and stronger faster harvesting machinery,’ this was the vital inclusion in this well considered and aptly written article,’ that of the creation of many new jobs.’

    Now there really is something to better consider, that of these enlightening prospects spoken of in the above article are certainly not to be found in the present greedy and despised forestry industry practices in Tasmania?

    Tis quite amazing that yes it is these people whom consist of the environmentally aware and also the respected conservation groups, that do speak of the rapid increase of jobs and the need for such as these new jobs in our Tasmania?

    Will the Old Brigade of Forestry Brigands rule the day, will the greedy and self interested yet prohibitively expensive runners crash through the field of fair-minded runners in this race to improve Tasmania’s long term prospects?

    I certainly favor the new clever thinking fair-minded runners as illustrated in this potent article.

  66. phill Parsons

    May 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Clearly the basis of forestry to date, the ‘business as usual’ model is not acceptable as an outcome for the Roundtable process.

    Tinkering at the edges, another subsidy and more of the same with a new label attached will leave all the community division that holds Tasmania back in place.

    Change may take time, but all parties need to recognize and work together to achieve a change in the regulatory environment and the area under protection.

    Such a mix would provide resource security, which the RFA forced onto the community by government did not, and meet community expectations about their living environment and the natural services it provides.

  67. Dave Groves

    May 23, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Nice one……if its a petition signing you are after….you’ve won me.
    Dave Groves

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