Tasmanian Times


Tasmania, I wish you well … Goodbye

#7. Strange, that, seeing that the Meander Valley Council unanimously passed a series of amendments to the PAL Act during their last sitting in April!

Oh well, you can now have the field to yourself now as today I am off to France where toxic chemicals are banned and they have learned to appreciate and conserve their forests.

I have had a long battle on the behalf of the environment in the time that I have lived in Tasmania, with a fair amount of success considering that I one of a few against Goliath. The term ‘Gunnerment’ can be attributed to me and I was the prime mover in organising the attack on the ANZ to stop them investing in Gunns pulpmill. I have also supported many activists in their fight against the forestry behemoth, with both encouragement and finance and have hopefully, through this site and others, raised the awareness of the terrible destruction of our precious landscape by the likes of Gunns, the MIS Companies, Forestry and our complicit government. During my time I have petitioned the Federal Ministers, the Governor and even Prince Charles as titular head of the Crown Land. However, now at the age of 74 I have decided that enough is enough, and I am retiring to a less stressful life in France where I can pursue my other more fulfilling cultural activities of writing, painting and photography without the constant impingement of forestry issues and log trucks.

Tasmania, I wish you well and may your perseverence and small slings and arrows finally kill the Goliath that dominates the life here. I hope NEVER to see that a pulp mill is to be erected and I hope sincerely that some day those in charge may come to their senses and try to conserve and preserve the remnants of those wonderful assets that they have been endowed with and that future generations may still be left with something to behold and marvel at.

It is with a great degree of sadness that I leave but I cannot allow the destruction I daily witness to impinge further on my chosen path.

Thanks for everything.

This comment first appeared on the thread, Georgina v Goliath (HERE)

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


  1. Garry Stannus

    July 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is forever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
    A body of England’s, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
    And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

    Rupert Brooke

  2. George Harris aka woodworker

    May 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Well, I did try to add a comment, Gerry. On three occasions, in fact. All three were discarded in their entirety.
    I complained to Linz, and he explained how it was the more rigorous enforcement of the code. Pity. I thought what I wrote was quite witty.
    I explained how I was even prepared to drive you to the airport or ferry terminal myself, just so that I could be assured you were actually going. I even went on to say that I could suggest a couple of names of suitable candidates you could take with you as travelling companions. This was in addition to my observations freely offered on the value I ascribe to the contributions you have made over the duration. Never mind, but I would just like you to know that your departure did come to my attention, and I did want to express an opinion on it. Cheers, the persistent and relentless woodworker.

  3. OSW Forester in NSW

    May 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I’m a little bit surprised to find an expert such as yourself not realising that all those ‘natural’ French forests are actually managed; it is hard to find a patch of land anywhere in europe that hasn’t seen some kind of human intervention in the past ten thousand years! Having said this, the Tasmanian view of forestry is very narrow on a world scale; it is almost insulting to hear FT trying to pass off the Canadian ‘clear fell with retention’ system as continuous cover forestry! You should observe the systems in France (and hop over the border into Germany), many of which have evolved over the past couple of hundred years. There really are alternatives out there that are significantly better for the planet whilst still allowing man a supply of this renewable resource. We just need a few good people to bring them back to Australia! Bon Voyage!

  4. Garry Stannus

    May 4, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    A ton santé

  5. Gus

    May 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Re #25 – Many species, many places, many purposes. You may find some instructive ones to start with just by following the link below.


    Re #26 – Not all that is Tasmanian Blue Gum. It is easy to find over 50 eucalypt species in Iberia just exploring a part of it. Been there, done that. A good number of them are of Tasmanian ancestry. I guess we have tried to grow as diverse Australian monocultures as possible since the days of Charles Darwin. Even before modern forestry science was born. And much earlier than environmentalism was ever invented. The French have been for at least 50 extra years, thanks to the will of Bonaparte. But, being precise, their hectares are neither regular E. gunnii nor in the same one catchment.

  6. hugoagogo

    May 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I took a lot from you Gerry, but I’ll pass on the moral compass.

    Also, I ought to revise the Iberian area planted to Tasmanian Blue Gum to ~1.3 million ha based on another look at Gus’ terrific map.

    And only 7000 ha of E. gunnii in France, but most of it is in one catchment. Cider literally pours out of the springs!

  7. J A Stevenson

    May 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Crf, I have no idea. Two Australian friends were in Spain, Portugal and France and they said they saw Blue Eucalyptus plantations all over the place. Having said that, I know nothing what so ever about Eucalyptus, as others on these pages will have noticed. I did plant some Eucalyptus gunnii at Read Hall near Burnley during the winter 1951/52. I heard they were growing at a tremendous rate but the winter of 1963 stopped them. Dead. A hillside in Cornwall near the sea had rows of gunnii, kept as bushes and cut regularly, sent to London by rail for floral decorations. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to which species of Eucalyptus, under 50 years of age, is suitable for any purpose, other than above and pulpwood.
    I hope I will never be too old to learn.
    Barnaby/Gerry. 74, thet nowt but a lad.

  8. sabina01

    May 3, 2010 at 12:08 am


    Best of luck in your new home.

    Thanks so much for your humour, insight, sentence structure, vocabulary, independent thought, witticisms, verve, leadership, moral compass. None of that alters by being in France. You will be much missed but as others have already said, we’d still love to hear from you.

    Best regards


  9. John hayward

    May 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    The corruption and crass stupidity that drove you out of Tas will eventually follow you to France, unfortunately. Tassie is simply the vanguard of a global environmental and social entropy.

    John Hayward

  10. Gus

    May 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Re #17, Hugo, I am very sorry to report that the main monoculture in Iberia may easily be happening on man made landscapes based on native oaks, producing a landscape not so dissimilar to open eucalypt woodland.

    Some 3.2 million hectares of sustainably managed Dehesa exist in Spain, result of centuries of traditional exploitation of natural resources, tree cover clearing, animal production and hunting. Source of Jamon Iberico, cork, and other amenities. And fairly regarded as a “natural paradise”.

    Then you can also find sustainable intensive native and foreign tree-based monocultures:

    – Oranges and lemons (300,000 hectares)
    – Other fruit trees (1.2 million hectares)
    – Olive trees (2.5 million hectares)

    Not to mention the always interesting 6 million hectares of cereal monoculture.

    Compared to that, all the very nice eucalypt plantations (less than 2% of available land), demanding much less inputs of fertilizer or agrochemicals per hectare and production cycle, and less impacting for being non annual crops… are not but yet another small piece of the puzzle.



  11. Charles and Claire Gilmour

    May 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Never realised you were so darn old! Time out for sure. Without even having met you, you taught us a lot. And we sincerely thank you for that. Always on the ball, simply put and easy to understand … hope your comments continue here and there. You left a big ‘considered’ footprint, hope to continue in your footsteps… cheers and goodluck.
    Charles and Claire

  12. Philip Lowe

    May 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I was brung up in industrial Manchester in the 1940’s and 50’s.I have to smile at the complaints about enviroment here.One of our playgrounds was hillocks of lime.We used to throw bits of broken asbestos at each other.Chemical and dye works used to occasionally coat everything with coloured powder.Power stations,gas works,coal mines,canals.
    It was great,and in the canals there were many, many leeches and frogs.We used to swim in the canals in summer.Later I lost all my hair and suffered some rare skin diseases,but we were happy.

  13. Russell

    May 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Hope to see your posts continue online, Gerry.

    Bon voyage.

  14. Pete Godfrey

    May 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Crf there may not be a PAL act but the policy is rammed down the throats of every council in Tasmania to implement, so it may as well be an act. The Plantation Allocated Land Policy is an insipid piece of legislation drafted by the plantation industry that is still converting native forest to plantations in Tasmania as you well know.

  15. hugoagogo

    May 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    GM, fortunately you can access the net over there, so feel free to continue posting under your inventive nom de clavier.

    France is a big place, but be warned, you might become aware that the Frogs are particularly fond of monoculture eucalypts, from Tasmania, including:

    Genetically selected Eucalyptus (wait for it…) gunnii in monoculture plantations for cut foliage and timber…

    …while in the Iberian peninsula the main monoculture crop is the 700,000 ha of Tasmanian bluegum, and most of them love it.

    Check out Gus’ Euro-eucalyptus website. It’s very informative!


  16. crf

    May 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Stevenson (#8), how much Eucalyptus nitens in your expert knowledge do you think he’ll find in the EU? Hint, the answer is close to zero hectares.

  17. a bit straighter

    May 2, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    crudeness? crf, maybe gerry can alert us when he sees the massive mushroom clouds of toxic smoke, eh?

  18. P Burns

    May 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Barnaby/Gerry, this is the internet, it doesn’t stop at Bass Strait, it goes on and on and on all the way to France. If you get lonely just look us up.

  19. Ian Rist

    May 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    P.S Gerry will you please photograph a Red fox in France and send it to Tassie so everyone knows what they really look like…preferably in winter when they have those magnificent coats and bushes.
    The French have long regarded the fox as a good fellow, so much so he is regarded as the clever underdog that symbolizes the medieval peasants struggle against tyranny.

  20. Ian Rist

    May 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    You are a legend Gerry, your contributions and especially your humour will be missed.

  21. 6clegs

    May 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Totally understand the need to get out of this state/or away from the battlefield.

    I’ve not been a regular TTer for long, but have certainly learned to look for “gerry manders” posts!

    Please do enjoy a glass of pastis for me. (wish i could find it here without it costing a small fortune 🙁 )

    Cheers, and bon voyage!

    P.S You fortunate devil – please, if you happen to be anywhere near le Tour during June? then *please* send a report! :]

  22. Concerned Resident

    May 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Your inspirational input will be missed greatly.
    We will keep up the fight against the Gunnerment to preserve our native forests. We will also keep fight against the proposed polluting pulp mill in our valley. It is amazing how greed (forestry) can ruin so many peoples lives and their right to be able to breathe clean air and also lead to the devastation of our native wildlife and their habitats, with gov’t approval. Hopefully, you will still have input into TT.

  23. J A Stevenson

    May 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Barnaby/Gerry. Perhaps you can report from France how far the Nitens blight has spread in France, Spain, Portugal or anywhere else in the EU. The Tasmanian minnow, attempting to swim in the pulpwood pool, is out of it’s depth. Perhaps you can convince the Europians of the folly of the Nitens holy grail.

  24. Bazzabee

    May 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I now think I have heard everything a Tasmanian environmentalist is choosing nuclear powered France over Tasmania as someone who knows France well I find this story nothing short of hilarious do beware the log trucks carrying French oak there are everywhere you might also need to look up French law and become familiar with the local Flic they are not nearly as nice, pleasant and happy to help as dear old Tasmanian Police. have to stop now my eyes are watering from laughing, Bon Voyage.

  25. pilko

    May 2, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Oh come on Gerry, you are just sick of the tassie plonk. Have a glass of the french red for me.
    All the best.

  26. roger

    May 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    be strange but don’t be a stranger! Good luck ya mad bastard.

  27. Peter Tucker

    May 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    France, eh.

    Make sure your not anywhere down wind of this, not without a peg on your nose, anyway.


  28. John Biggs

    May 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Goodbye, Barnaby/Gerry. I’ll miss your passionate but wise contributions on TT, and your representations to unheeding authorities for a better Tasmania. Please continue to contribute to TT: tell us about environmental issues in France and whatever you think will interest TTers.

  29. William Boeder

    May 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Farewell you mighty emblem of honesty and faith, you have given your all to aid Tasmania in its fight for honest government and a clear clean pathway to our futures.
    A pox be cast upon all the cringing cowards in Tasmanian government and elsewhere whom have kept their silence and allowed corporate avarice and contempt to the people, to so dictate its order for the mass destruction to much of our Forested realms.
    Gone but ye be never forgotten.

    Vale good friend.

    William Boeder.

  30. crf

    May 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    How many times do you have to be told Gerry Mander, there is no such thing as a PAL Act.

    If you don’t like forestry and log trucks you will need to be careful where you go in France. I have stood in extensive Pinus pinaster plantations in coastal Bordeaux and marvelled at the crudeness of their forest operations compared to Australia’s. All I can say is ‘welcome to the real world’.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Receive Our Weekly Tas Roundup

Copyright © Tasmanian Times. Site by Pixel Key

To Top