Tasmanian Times

Bob Burton

Lennon: Peace push ‘breakthrough’; mill will be built in Tamar Valley. Biomass row.

Five months of preliminary talks between environmentalists and the forestry industry to end 30 years of conflict in Tasmania’s native forests have stalled with fears major players may walk away from negotiations.

Mr Lennon was called into the fray by the National Association of Forest Industries to prevent splits emerging within industry ranks.

One industry figure said Mr Lennon, who quit politics and the top job two years ago, had respect from every quarter of the forestry industry and he is also known for his pragmatic approach to politics and negotiations.

“He was brought in to bang heads together and make some people see sense,” he said.

Mr Lennon said his role was to keep groups representing forestry working towards a common outcome, including the CFMEU, the Forest Contractors Association, NAFI and Timber Communities Australia.

Key planks of the deal Mr Lennon has been called in to broker include:

Acknowledgement that more high conservation forests such as the Tarkine, Styx, Florentine and Weld will be exempt from logging. A return pledge by environmentalists to end all forest protests. Agreement that some areas of native forest regrowth can be part of a sustainable forestry industry, driven by high value sawlog production. Agreement that the Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar valley can go ahead without protests.

Mr Lennon is believed to have told the industry that unless it could agree to the peace pact principles by this weekend, there was a possibility either the state or federal government would step in and impose a solution.

The State Government is concerned that when the $177 million Brighton Bypass and $79 million Brighton transport hub are completed, there will be no major infrastructure project offering construction jobs in the state.

Swift construction of the Gunns pulp mill, which will now use only plantation timber, is considered imperative by the Government to keep the economy moving.

Sue Neales’ full Mercury story, HERE

Matthew Denholm, The Australian: Industry drops opposition to Tasmanian forest deal

A BREAKTHROUGH in forest “peace talks” in Tasmania will be announced later today, with a key industry group dropping its opposition to a deal.

The Australian can reveal that the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, which had opposed elements of the “principles” agreement with conservation groups, will soon announce it can support the deal to resolve the 30-year conflict subject to minor changes.

The breakthrough, which means the deal is likely to be signed within days, came after the involvement of former premier Paul Lennon and a guarantee provided in writing from current Premier David Bartlett that any interim agreement would not automatically threaten current wood supply agreements.

“This is historic – it’s the first time that the industry and environment groups have been able to agree about a pathway forward,” said FIAT chief executive Terry Edwards.

The final barrier to the FIAT board backing the deal earlier today was removed when Premier David Bartlett provided a written guarantee that it did not mean that current wood supply agreements would automatically lapse.

FIAT’s agreement removes the last barrier to the signing of the principles agreement, which includes a moratorium on the logging of high conservation value forests to apply within three months and eventual agreement on shifting the industry from native forests to plantations.

Any final agreement will have national ramifications, most likely leading to the phase out of native forest logging nationally.

Mr Edwards said he was aware that green groups, including The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation, were comfortable with the changes proposed by FIAT.

He expected the principles agreement to be signed within days.

Read more HERE

Environment groups remain committed to a new way for Tasmania’s forests

Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation today reconfirmed their unified support for a sustainable timber industry that secures jobs and creates new economic opportunities.

Environment groups have agreed that a pulp mill could be part of the state’s economic future but the current Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal is unacceptable.

“The Tamar Valley pulp mill consultation process was flawed from the outset. Environment groups wish to see a sustainable timber industry develop in Tasmania, but it cannot be based on the mistakes of the past,” said Paul Oosting, the Wilderness Society.

The environment groups have been negotiating in good faith with the timber industry to bring about an end to long running disputes over forestry in Tasmania. The environment groups remain committed to an end to logging of valuable native forests to ensure the state’s natural heritage is safeguarded for all Tasmanians to enjoy and for tourists to continue to visit.

“These negotiations provide the opportunity for a new way of managing and protecting our state’s natural heritage. This is essential to secure jobs and the environment.” added Dr Phill Pullinger from Environment Tasmania.

There has been some misreporting of the content of the forests talks with some people seeking to misinterpret the nature and content of the talks, but environment groups remain committed to concluding the discussions that have occurred in good faith.

Forest peace talks – Clarification on Biomass
Media Release 8 Oct 2010

Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation have worked with timber community, union and forest industry representatives to develop a Statement of Principles through six months of forestry talks.

These principles have been achieved through good faith negotiations, including the development of a clause on burning forest biomass for power. Environment groups have reconfirmed that they will be seeking to implement this clause as written.

The Age, Saturday:
Forest talks stumble close to the finish line
Andrew Darby
October 9, 2010

TASMANIA’S long forest peace talks have hit a hurdle, tantalisingly close to an agreement to end the decades-old conflict.

The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania said yesterday after ”extremely difficult” discussions, it had agreed to a statement of principles as the basis for a long-term solution.

The principles, also backed by the National Association of Forest Industries, would see loggers quit contentious old-growth forests, but guaranteed a timber supply for years to come.

However, the two industry bodies ruled out acceptance of a clause in the draft agreement that limited the use of timber as biomass fuel.

They said the clause was inconsistent with federal law permitting biomass burning as part of the Renewable Energy Certificates scheme.

Their rejection of the clause, after arduous negotiations to insert it, is believed to have angered green groups determined to see wood burning for fuel tightly limited to plantation and sawmilling residues.

The Australian Conservation Foundation, the Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania reconfirmed in a statement that, after six months of talks, they wanted the clause to stand ”as written”.

Read more HERE

Don’t pulp mill, says Lennon

SUE NEALES | October 10, 2010 07.55am

FORMER Tasmanian premier Paul Lennon has warned Tasmania it will never get a pulp mill unless Gunns’ $1.5 billion project in the Tamar Valley goes ahead.

Mr Lennon said yesterday he remained confident a pulp mill would be built at Long Reach, north of Launceston.

His comments come despite a green light for the controversial mill in the Tamar Valley not being part of a forest peace pact now under tense negotiation between environment groups and the forestry industry.

But the preliminary deal includes acknowledgement by environmentalists that a pulp mill “in principle” is a future part of a new-look forestry industry based on plantation-only timber.

Environment groups including Environment Tasmania, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness Society have agreed “a” pulp mill could be part of the state’s economic future.

But Mr Lennon, who is now acting as a facilitator representing forestry workers, unions, contractors and companies in the secret talks, believes Gunns’ Tamar Valley mill is the only mill with any chance of success.

“This agreement is not about the [Gunns] pulp mill it’s not helpful at all when [involved parties] keep saying it is,” Mr Lennon said.

“Yes, we [the forest industry sector] have been discussing the [Gunns] pulp mill project, but it’s a separate issue that will be discussed at separate forums, not as part of this agreement.”

But Mr Lennon, who pushed special approval laws for the Gunns pulp mill through Parliament when premier in 2007, is adamant the Tamar Valley project will go ahead.

Read the full story HERE

Fears forest deal in ruins

SUE NEALES | October 10, 2010 12.01am

FEARS are growing the forestry peace plan negotiated in secret in the past six months by green groups, timber companies and forest workers is facing last-minute ruin.

Environmentalists were yesterday furious the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania had made its signing of the agreement’s set of basic principles conditional on inserting two new 11th-hour conditions.

Wilderness Society forests campaigner Vica Bayley branded the tactic as against the “spirit of the process”.

FIAT chief executive Terry Edwards said on Friday his industry organisation had inserted two new pre-conditions into the contract.

Without these conditions, Mr Edwards said his members would not agree to sign the deal and would walk away from any peace plan designed to end three decades of war between environmentalists and logging companies in Tasmania’s towering ancient forests.

The two new conditions insist all existing wood-supply agreements covering access to publicly owned native forests managed by Forestry Tasmania by timber companies and contractors be honoured, and that the use of forest and sawmill waste residues or “biomass” previously called woodchips be allowed to produce renewable energy.

Read the full article HERE

Media Statement from parties to the Forestry Peace Talks
10 Oct 2010

Representatives of environmental NGOs and timber industry bodies continue to be engaged in peace talks over forests and the future of the timber industry. The talks are nearing completion. All parties committed to the talks have expressed optimism and confidence in their progress as the best means forward.

Phill Pullinger, Environment Tasmania
Paul Oosting, The Wilderness Society
Lindsay Hesketh, Australian Conservation Foundation

Meanwhile, Bob Burton:


The Wilderness Society has published a new online mapping tool to allow anyone to view details of logging coupes that have been proposed in areas considered by environmental groups as being of high conservation value.

Zoom in on a region, click any one of the numerous little red markers and up pops an Acrobat file showing the plan of the proposed logging area.

The interactive map has been developed by Hobart programmer John Middendorf of Lynx Geosystems.

Dave Groves: HERE

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


  1. Observer

    October 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    #87. What a very stupid and typical reply – and very personal. I’m surprised it got past the Ed!

  2. hugoagogo

    October 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm


  3. Russell

    October 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Re #87
    On the contrary, Michael, my methods (which have been reflected by so many posters before) just point out the way that the forestry industry could do things better, but they chose not to and hence you have failing businesses.

    And you really did display what a gutter poster you are with that last pathetic comment, didn’t you?

  4. Michael

    October 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    #86 – Hah! Caught out Langfield! No mention of operational forestry matters there!

    “I have more customers than I can handle.” – Busy on the street corner, eh?

  5. Russell

    October 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Re *4
    Put it this way, Michael.

    I haven’t destroyed valuable resources for the lowest return.

    I haven’t poisoned the land, water and air quality conducting my business.

    I haven’t pissed my neighbours and thousands of other Tasmanian residents off with my pigheaded arrogance.

    I haven’t bludged billions of public dollars and subsidies for the last 3 or 4 decades.

    I haven’t made laws which deny the rights of others.

    I haven’t bought up businesses just to have them shut down putting thousands of people out of work.

    I have more customers than I can handle.

  6. Russell

    October 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Re #83
    I lived in the NT for over a decade. I’m not having a go but ‘visiting’ a place once doesn’t give you the information to form a considered argument. You must live there through all the seasons once to understand even a little bit.

    As I stated, the fires would have happened over hundreds if not thousands of years due to the incredible frequency of lightning anyway.

    The Indigenous Australians there studied it, and consequent the burn patterns, and then used it to lessen the damage of high fuel-load burns and also as a farming tool, BUT it would have happened naturally anyway. I think these areas, known as dry open forest, that you saw would have been less vegetated before they conducted their burns.

    You are right to point out that other areas of wet monsoon forest, etc. do not have this same burning regime so they leave them alone, unlike FT down here who think burning wet forest is a good thing.

    Go up to Kakadu during the wet season and you will see a different landscape.

  7. Michael

    October 14, 2010 at 11:31 am

    #77 – Really? I did what you said, and found no comments from yourself that demonstrated an understanding of operational forestry matters.

    Perhaps you can direct me to the comment you are refering to?

  8. max

    October 14, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Re # 80 I have only had one visit to Kakadu and on the long drive to Jabiru we drove through constant smoke,fire and stunted blackened trees and there were signs that said, there is no need to report fires as they were possible started by rangers. I know that burning is the practice and it is necessary, but this country has been shaped by the native use of fire as a form of farming, they wanted open country and grasses for animals. There is also good areas of dense rain forest that doesn’t burn. My point at 78 was once you start to burn forests you lose tree cover change the ecology and it becomes necessary to burn or nature will do it for you just as it does at Kakadu. The Tasmanian Aborigines used fire as a tool and as a result the white settlers had a lot of open country, but I have no wish to see Tasmania looking like a burnt Kakadu every year.

  9. abcanon

    October 14, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Robin Halton #73 – Energy from biomass is the new mega putsch to keep those industry wheels turning. You will falsely claim net carbon positives and expect renewable energy certificates, yet, however you spin it organic matter still goes up in smoke (by millions of tonnes per your expectations). How much industry newspeak will it take to turn logic on its head again? How much proof will you need from those adversely affected by the new Big Smoke?

  10. abcanon

    October 14, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Robin Halton #76 – Clear fell and high intensity ‘regeneration’ burns are lazy, greedy forest conversion practices with harmful impacts. Your tired message might be spun by press release, but some people here know their forests (yes, their forests too) and advocate silviculture beyond crash-through Tasmanian techniques. Read Frank Strie, for instance. Read my comment number 104 in ‘The Smoking Gun – 2’ for a community take on your version of ‘regeneration’. I’m sure you will try to challenge the observations of a non-vested interest by using familiar Tas Forestry wisdom.

  11. Russell

    October 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Re #78
    Just a clarification regarding fire regimes and practices in Kakadu, and the Northern Territory in general.

    Each dry season, including the build-ups either side, fires are an inevitable annual natural occurrence with or without man’s intervention. The plants and animals have evolved naturally to benefit from it and be protected from it.

    Indigenous Australians have studied the fires at all times of the year for thousands of years and learned when and where is the best time for safety and promoting new life in both plants and animals, therefore have used it SUSTAINABLY to all’s benefit. Otherwise, lightning will do it anyway.

    Hardly any smoke is produced because the fuel is DRY and the fires are so cool burning that you can walk through them (except where introduced grasses are concerned).

    Darwin is one of the most lightning struck major cities on the planet because of the conducive (or should that be conductive?) weather conditions and its high haematite soil content.

  12. Gary

    October 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    re #76, nah, none of that was as funny as #73. That post was more an advertisement than a documentary.

  13. max

    October 13, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Re # 76  
    In low- medium altitude wet sclerophyll eucalypt( E.obliqua, E regnans) forest following clear felling, High Intensity burning and aerial reseeding is a long established practice that successfully regenerates a new forest.
    But at what cost, if good saw logs are what the new forest is all about then 90 plus years will pass before this forest is once again a working forest. This type of forest management offers no future for any forest worker, this is not forest management it is forest exploitation.
    Extended cooperative Low Intensity Fuel Reduction burning of larger scale areas on a regular basis is required to reduce the damaging effects of wildfire on forest estate, at the same time making access and protection safer for country towns, rural communities and reserves is a load of bull. Regular fuel reduction burns become just that, as burns foster the growth of grasses sags and other highly inflammables and we will have the situation where these burns will have to be carried out every year, the whole of Tasmania will be uninhabitable because of smoke. Don’t take my word for it, go to Kakadu where this is general practice or go to any area where lives have been lost, where houses have been lost and the areas are predominately farm and open bushland.

  14. Russell

    October 13, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Re #76
    Yes I do. Type my name in the search box and read.

    The rest of your spiel is just the same old same old forestry spruik. We’ve heard it all before Robin. You’re sounding just like a broken record.

    And actually, the “Victorian holocaust” was a direct result of your explosive plantations.

    Off to your meeting Robin, all dozen or so of you.

  15. Robin Halton

    October 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Re # 74
    What is your contribution to the general debate, do you have any knowledge of operational forestry matters?
    Some of the facts are :
    FT as a GBE has mixed blessings, however it does not need to remain as such but MUST stay in public hands with responsible accountability for its forest management practices on maintaining State Forest.

    In low- medium altitude wet sclerophyll eucalypt( E.obliqua, E regnans) forest following clear felling, High Intensity burning and aerial reseeding is a long established practice that successfully regenerates a new forest.

    FT is recognised as having the best equipped and trained fire fighting force in Tasmania for effective fire control of forest areas as well as cooperative management strategies with TFS, PWS and Gunns along with landowners.
    Since the Victorian holocaust FT’s involvement is CRUCIAL for a higher awareness of preparedness for rapid response to the spread of wildfire when extreme fire weather alerts are forecasted.
    Extended cooperative Low Intensity Fuel Reduction burning of larger scale areas on a regular basis is required to reduce the damaging effects of wildfire on forest estate, at the same time making access and protection safer for country towns, rural communities and reserves.

  16. Gary

    October 13, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I had to read the last sentence of #73 several times. I love a good comedy.

  17. Russell

    October 12, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Re #73
    What an absolute crock of shit!

    Are Paul Lennon and John Gay going to be guest speakers?

  18. Robin Halton

    October 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    For those that wish to be better informed about the importance of our Forest Industry there is now an opportunity to attend a BIOMASS ENERGY PUBLIC FORUM to be held on Wednesday October 20th 2010 at the Old Woolstore Theatrette, Macquarie Street, Hobart 12:30 – 1:45pm.
    For further information visit: http://www.newforestindustry.com
    What we should support is a restructured forest industry and not an emotionally charged vendetta against anything and everything forestry related. Political mistakes and interference have been made with forestry issues giving the public an impression that the industry is extreme in the way its operates. It is absolutely important that Tasmania’s public forests continue to be managed by Forestry Tasmania in a businesslike manner with proven silvicultural management and extended power and broader operational strategies to protect our forest estate from invasion from wildfire.

  19. max

    October 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    62 # Michael as of 2006 only 5,000 hectares of plantation had been established on class 1-3 agricultural land in Tasmania. 5,000 hectares, 12,350 acres, from the food bowl of Australia concept. Is there this much good agricultural land in the proposed midland food bowl? I think not.

  20. Russell

    October 11, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Re #66
    Ummm, please explain your lalaland comment.

  21. Observer

    October 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

    #69. Thought you might say that. Just wanted proof that Tasmania alone is not sufficient to supply the needs of a pulpmill that is going to produce 1.1 million tonnes of pulp without having the additional cost of sea freight to bring the woodchips/trees in.

    Makes it look a bit uncompetitive when there are foreign mills standing in the middle of plantations that are larger than the total land mass of Tasmania and their labour costs are only 50% of what we pay here.

    However, live on in your cloud cuckoo land. The writing’s on the wall, mate!

  22. Michael

    October 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    #67 – Oh dear, you fail again, not surprisingly. Gunns manages plantations in all Australian states…

  23. Jon Sumby

    October 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Carbon-Storing Forests, Farms May Compete for Australian Land, Study Says
    By Ben Sharples – Oct 11, 2010

    Carbon-storing forests may compete with agriculture for land in Australia, the world’s fourth- largest exporter of wheat, if the nation introduces emissions trading, according to a research report.

    “Large areas of land could become more profitable” as sites for plantations to absorb greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the price at which carbon trades, the Australian Farm Institute said today.
    A cap-and-trade system “would potentially generate new competition for agricultural land.”

    Australia in April shelved climate change laws until after 2012 amid lawmaker opposition and a lack of action by other countries. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has established a multi party committee to study options for introducing a price on carbon in a country where coal accounts for more than 80 percent of power production. The group met for the first time last week.

    Carbon Conscious Ltd., an Australian company that plants gum-trees to absorb greenhouse gas emissions, has been hired by BP Plc, Origin Energy Ltd. and Wesfarmers Insurance to establish plantations on less-arable farmland. Melbourne-based competitor CO2 Group Ltd. has similar accords with Inpex Corp. and Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

    The mallee eucalypt trees that Carbon Conscious plants, absorb and store emissions in their leaves, twigs and roots, and generate permits tradable under the pollution reduction laws Australia has now delayed. About five trees are needed to absorb 1 metric ton of carbon, according to the company.

    The Australian Farm Institute commissioned GHD Hassall to compile the report, titled ‘The Implications of Greenhouse Mitigation Policies on the Demand for Agricultural Land.’

    From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-10/carbon-storing-forests-farms-may-compete-for-australian-land-study-says.html

  24. Observer

    October 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    #62. ‘#57 – Tasmania’s plantation estate is currently 309,000 hectares. Not440,000… Furthermore, as of 2006 only 5,000 hectares of plantation hadbeen established on class 1-3 agricultural land in Tasmania.’ Michael department.

    In their press releases, Gunns alone states that they manage over 300 000 hectares of plantations!

  25. MArk Wybourne

    October 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    RE 65. What a totally weird thing to state. Are you still poopy about Armistead or something. Build bridge (but please use renewable materials).

  26. Russell

    October 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Re #62
    Tree plantations SHOULDN’T EVEN BE ALLOWED on Class 1-3 AGRICULTURAL FOOD PRODUCTION land. Even the river flats of the vast Armitstead ‘agricultural’ property were planted with the tree-weeds.

    More pathetic excuses for wrongdoings by forestry …

  27. William Boeder

    October 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I refer to these individuals mjf, crf, Mark Wybourne, Mark Poynter and all the other pro-forestry people, whom prefer scenarios that present their opinions as superior, to the common-sense reality comments of so many other Tasmanians.

    Try and think which (2) forestry entities are the reason for all the disputes that fill our daily media pages?
    Then determine if it is the environment concerned or indeed the conservation groups, that have been high-lording over their non-sustainable logging practices, the trashed Native Forest burn-offs, the aerial spraying saturation’s, the increased silt-age in rivers, the false and proven statements regarding conversion of native Forests to plantations?

    To constantly see you lot acting as a group in pushing your statements onto the people and media, really does show who are responsible for any and all environmentally damaging and dangerous inflictions to the people of this State.
    Forestry, is the cause creating so much division in our communities and has now become the major ruinous problem in this State?

    Then as we see again and again, your over-promoted media grabbing people still begging for more freedom to continue their destructive purposes while still begging for more taxpayer funds, so to continue this wanton ruinous purpose you wrongfully describe as an industry?

    When I was a lad, this sort of contrived bullshit would never have been accepted for anything other than what it truly is?
    Now, it is still bullshit, but with smoke and mirrors added for effect.

    Your so called “industry” is a contrived word that actually presents as a descriptive word to refer to the plunder slaughter and devastated ruin you leave in your wake.

  28. Simon Warriner

    October 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Mark Wybourne #54

    Mark, if the leadership in the woodchip industry were in any way competent they would not have found themselves in the position of having to negotiate with the unrepresentative environmentalist representatives.

    Their past behaviour would have addressed the issues being raised in a way that gained the industry wide public support and relegated the environmentalists to irrelevance. That the negotiations will have no legitimacy with anyone beyond industry supporters and ENGO participants is further demonstration of incompetence. Bringing in the busted sav only serves to reinforce the perception that they are a farce, aimed only at generating favourable perceptions. Until we see a repeal of the PMAA and all the other legislation that keeps this parasitic industry afloat peace will prove an elusive objective.

    Sorry, but the woodchip industry needs baptising in a sea of truth and transparency, preferably twice down, once up.

    Rinsing it in the crock of shit that is the Round table negotiations wont quite do it.

    A royal commision just might.

  29. Michael

    October 10, 2010 at 11:57 am

    #57 – Tasmania’s plantation estate is currently 309,000 hectares. Not 440,000… Furthermore, as of 2006 only 5,000 hectares of plantation had been established on class 1-3 agricultural land in Tasmania.

    Once again, nothing but misleading, factless, scaremongering propaganda from yourself, John.

  30. Observer

    October 10, 2010 at 9:25 am

    #54. ‘Although I have to admit that if that large lettuce farm by Richmond is indicative of how the land will be managed, then give me plantation forestry any day – almost zero chemicals and excellent for water quality.’ Mark Wybourne

    Here I am on the side of the bunnies. I have never overly fancied a diet of wood chips, even without dressing!

  31. salamander

    October 10, 2010 at 3:14 am

    #54 I have had a long conversation with a scientist who knows a great deal more about our soils than most (certainly than Bartlett who failed to respond to the submission handed to him personally on the subject). Science proves that the Midlands will NEVER be a food bowl, no matter how much water is piped in. The soil is totally unsuitable. However, there is much good soil elsewhere – currently being turned into plantations!

    It is time Labour started to pay attention to the people who DO know what they are talking about. Some of them are actually intelligent, more than can be said for most of our politicians.

  32. Mike Bolan

    October 10, 2010 at 2:24 am

    #50 Mark, do you really believe that a couple of charities filled with eager young conservationists are responsible for the demise of the Tasmanian forestry industry?

    What about Gunns mammoth debts?

    What about their requirement to borrow an extra couple billion without a due diligence study?

    What about trying to sell a high volume, low value global commodity from a high cost location like Tasmania?

    Did these same conservationists also drive Great Southern, FEA and TimberCorp into bankruptcy?

    If you believe that sort of thing, you are taking naïveté to new levels.

    Blaming others for your own mistakes is a recipe for powerlessness and dependence. Doing that over the years has led you into deep trouble.

  33. Luca Vanzino

    October 10, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Mark Wybourne at # 50 wrote:

    “Just wait until the pressure comes on the State to provide more food for the nation – in the midlands. It will be a hoot.”

    It certainly will be a hoot.

    Mark, I suggest you avail your self of the latent salinity problems that exist in the Midlands.

    Food Bowl? Not likely!

  34. john Hayward

    October 10, 2010 at 12:32 am

    The problem, Mark Wybourne, is that when the time comes to establish food crops in the arid Midlands, someone will ask why woodchip plantations are occupying more than 440,000 ha of well watered freehold land elsewhere in long-term easements.

    John Hayward

  35. Steve

    October 10, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Re 54; ” Sole causers of the said demise”? C’mon Mark, you’ll have to do better than that!

  36. Karl Stevens

    October 9, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Mike Cassidy 48. The fix’ for this problem is equal to half a million Tasmanians paying Gunns $1200 each.

    Why should we pay our hard-earned to a company that has already removed our democratic rights? Gunns CEO is already on $1 million a year with another $1 million in bonuses. This is not Enron, this is Lehman Brothers, Tasmanian style.

    Christopher Purcell 50. I think the ENGO’s are in a ‘symbiotic’ relationship with the wood chip industry. This is the second time in one year they have saved Gunns from bankruptcy.

  37. Mark Wybourne

    October 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Re 50: Maybe it because they realise that they are the sole causers of the said demise, and it freaks them out.

    Obviously it also so they can lock up more of a well managed and sustainable resource from being managed for economic benefit. The rule for them is to crow about an agreement that will resolve all issues, and then approximately 2 years later come back and say that more needs to be locked up, as they have new information that they did not possess before.

    Just wait until the pressure comes on the State to provide more food for the nation – in the midlands. It will be a hoot. Although I have to admit that if that large lettuce farm by Richmond is indicative of how the land will be managed, then give me plantation forestry any day – almost zero chemicals and excellent for water quality.

  38. John Middendorf

    October 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm


    I updated the HCV map, so now you can search by Coupe number. This might help those who would want to follow the comments, for example, of Charles and Claire Gilmour, who referenced some coupe numbers in their comments above (though there was one typo, the Coupe they refer to as CH0013F should be CH013F, I believe).

    Here’s the link again: http://www.lynxgeos.com/TasHCVmap.

    You should see the “search by coupe” box on top. If you previously viewed the map, you might need to “clear your browser’s cache” to see the new version, depending on your web browser (your web browser might be caching the old version).

  39. max

    October 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    As others have said, the trees cost nothing,the government is too stupid to make a profit on something that God gave them and the companies who have been on selling the wood chips, because that’s what it is all about have not given a return to us the owners of the forests,but instead we have been asked to continually prop up this disaster. While all this has been going on food processors have left the state, a carpet factory is going, the army ration packs that were once made at Scottsdale are now made in New Zealand and the list goes on. We have an incompetent government failing to run a small state like Tasmania, 500,000 people, any worth while business manager could run this state in his spare time. This incompetent government want to send good money after bad by backing a pulp mill that will always need tax payers money to subsidise it and are willing to let it be built in the Tamar Valley where all the existing profit making businesses will be driven out, good one LibLabs.

  40. William Boeder

    October 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    My thoughts on this entire manipulated outcome to the round table talks, is that there is no true moral or economic authority in this State, whom would willingly apply their name or sign off to this evil connivance outcome?

    How is it that the people of Tasmania are forever rolled by the very Labor government persons whom put themselves forward to represent the people?

    All of this sinister activity as apparent seems to carry the consent of this State’s ‘presumed politically neutral’ State Governor?

    Twas interesting to hear this notable man make his claim that this State is free from corruption?

  41. Christopher Purcell

    October 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve never understood why the ENGO’s are participating in these talks, when all they have to do is sit back & wait for the inevitable, imminent collapse of the Tasmanian wood chip (forestry) industry. Can anyone explain?

  42. Mike Bolan

    October 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    One key issue here is that mechanisms to protect the interests of the public are being ignored, indeed the secret negotiations are following the same flawed methods that approved the pulp mill.

    1) Public participation – the RPDC process was dumped by the Lennon government, thereby excluding members of the public from declaring their interests and attempting to alert authorities to potential impacts upon them, their investments, their lifestyles or their futures. The ’roundtable’ process has no public involvement.

    2) Due process – the relatively independent RPDC process was open and transparent, and the public had particular and defined rights. When Gunns was about to be notified that it was in breach of RPDC requirements, the Lennon government created a whole new process to ‘approve’ the mill. The new process simply ignored socio-economic and other factors of importance to the community. The ’roundtable’ process is being made up as it goes along, with Lennon himself now being brought in to support the very project that led to his timely political demise. The public have no particular or defined rights.

    3) Independent assessment – The RPDC used independent assessors like the CSIRO and BecaAmec to advise on impacts to help avoid bias and conflicts of interest. The Lennon government’s new process involved taxpayers funding a pulp mill supplier (SwecoPic associated with the consortium that would profit from Gunns proposal) to approve the project. The roundtable process is dominated by the forest industry which stands to gain hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by ‘recommending’ a land and water use that is entirely in their own interests.

    In management terms those distortions negate the validity of any process that allows ‘negotiation’ of public resources by groups who not only do not own those resources, but also stand to profit from them.

    The lack of those conventional protections for impacted communities indicates severe risks to all concerned.

  43. Mike Cassidy

    October 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Tasmania’s forestry Enron?

    So the forest industry that long claimed to be sustainable is now collapsing. In stark contrast, forest industries in other countries are doing very well.

    The Tasmanian problems are apparently so bad that the asking price to fix it is between $600 million and a billion dollars.

    Industry ‘leaders’ are angling for an average of a quarter of a million dollars per forestry worker from the pocket of taxpayers?

    Is this a massive fraud on taxpayers caused by incompetence or worse by industry leaders? Shades of Enron.

    The industry should not get one cent before a thorough external investigation is completed and the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars already given are satisfactorily accounted for.

    Nothing less will do!

  44. john Hayward

    October 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Because they ape so much of the terminology and structure of real parliamentary democracies, you sometimes forget how extravagantly corrupt Tasmania is.

    Why is Tas the only part of the developed world seeking to stake everything on an industry dominated by the huge plantations, fast tree growth, and cheap labour of the developing world?

    Why has the Tas government never had a cost/benefit analysis of an industry that will severely damage two resources worth far more economically than wood pulp – water catchments and tourism?

    The involvement of the Tas government does not alter the fundamental nature of theft by deception.

    John Hayward

  45. Observer

    October 9, 2010 at 10:21 am

    The truth is there are just far too many cooks.

    Between them the echelons of Forestry have cost the taxpayer in Tasmania $767Million over the last ten years in identifiable direct subsidies.

    We also have one megalithic company which is currently in debt to roughly the same amount and between these two entities, they reckon that only they can provide a future for Tasmania. Against the trend of ever decreasing employment, they offer ‘Jobs!’ albeit, mostly temporary ones and largely sourced outside Tasmania. The panacea – the sticking plaster on a gaping wound.

    Then there are all the other bits that the taxpayer has been forced to pay due to a complicit governments fawning over these two entities. Roads and infrastructure, pipelines, publicity, ‘education’ buses, trips abroad at public expense and a sprawling support group of bureaucrats, spin doctors and ‘advisors’ on inflated salaries.

    Meanwhile, the real forestry workers are the first to suffer, with lay-offs, mill closures and contract rates that barely support them. Again, we the taxpayers are called upon to support them in times of stress, but the upper echelons still draw their huge salaries unimpeded by the economic downturns and continue to refuse bailout packages for them that could impinge on their own viability.

    And what an excellent return from our assets they have given us, which came free of cost to these two entities, as all they had to do was to cut them down, transport them and sell them for whatever price they could manage. And yet their ineptitude is such that they have managed to make a mind-boggling loss totalling one and a half billion dollars between them, and have passed on to every man woman and child in Tasmania a bill for over $3 000 each!

    Please prevent them from ever offering to save us again. We can’t afford it!

  46. Russell

    October 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Re #40
    Don’t be fooled, Anne. The TWS, ET and ACF are in it up to their necks.

    The outcome for them, if this disaster ever sees light, will be their donations and membership will disappear quicker than the Democrats and so will every Green seat in the country for quietly sitting on the sidelines. Don’t forget Bob Brown founded TWS.

  47. abcanon

    October 9, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Bob McMahon #41: “While TWS might say ‘we didn’t mean the Tamar Valley pulp mill’ the industry will selectively quote them in public and call them suckers in private and in public too perhaps.”

    Bob, I have to agree.

    I wish you were right, Anne Layton-Bennett. Do you seriously think that anyone, government, industry or press will take those earnest ENGO qualifications seriously when talks are wrapped? You’ve got to be joking, Anne.

    Who will care that TWS has said that it “MAY support (a) pulp mill in Tasmania, BUT it would need to be independently and stringently assessed”. – Not those with power.

    Ann, I appreciate your faith in human nature. Flattery and charm flow when predators have spoils in their sites. – Just wait until the industry gets the nod that it is looking for.

    Looks like Gunns and the mates got nearly everything they wanted from these secretive talks. The ENGOs must have been accepted as able to be influenced and duped by the industry. Now that things are shaping up nicely for the industry, so-called informal talks have taken on legal status. Karl Stevens, Mike Bolan, John Hayward, Bob McMahon, Mike Adams, Russell Langfield and others can’t all be alarmists or conspiracy theorists.

    This is my reading: huge new subsidies for mono-culture plantations, power from forest biomass, defacto approval for The Mill, continuing wood supply agreement, and vague, long-term, hollow assurances of partially shifting from native forest. Not forgetting Renewable Energy Certificates for burning green wood.

    The industry is laughing. It has scored even more than it could have hoped. Big Red has banged heads. ‘Social licence’ will be claimed. The Gunnsaminer can hardly contain its glee. My God, what a black day for this poor island and its people!

    – And what the heck are the Greens up to? – They are all but silent. They will never get my vote again if they call this travesty a fair agreement.

    ENGOs – get out NOW before you seal our destiny!

    Greens – get your heads out of the sawdust!

  48. William Boeder

    October 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    So now we see the pro-forestry push are sniggering among themselves, happy with the way that the people of Tasmania have been again “done over” by the likes of the stand-over-lords and the most reviled Tasmanian Premier in modern times?

    To read that this State’s Governor claims that he believes there are no corruption concerns in this State, belies the intelligence levels that must be intrinsically inherent in the chosen individual.

    There is a history of court cases in the past that have dealt with issues of criminality within the forestry industry, be it toward actual employed persons and or toward persons with enormous influences and or persons who have held huge financial returns or even ‘sui generis’ involvement in said industry?

    Now would be a good time to access the entire details concerning the Edmund Rouse Affair, then to note all the legal representatives involved in that highly contentious case?

  49. abcanon

    October 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Back to the future or onwards to the filthy past? That is the only question concerning the slimy brown outcome of the secret forest dealings.

    People caring about their children’s future should have stood up against these one-way talks months ago.

    Gunnsaminer is already celebrating: Landmark Deal. Just One Hurdle. Read all about it, right across the front page.

    Pity about that dark brown hurdle: burning green forests for power. (Should I say, industry ‘waste’). Remember how woodchips were going to use up waste from a sawlog-driven industry? (Oh, that is still happening, so the industry says).

    That’s how the whole smash and grab started forty years ago. That’s right back where these filthy talks have landed us today. Knock it down. Wheel it out, then burn it. And give us a Renewable Energy Certificate! I kid you not! It could only happen where definitions are turned on their head, newspapers applaud and public broadcasters nod with discreet approval.

    The six groups representing the industry picked their patsies well. They knew that TWS, ET and ACF could be bought off for a vague long-term promise of leaving a little native forest intact. What power would the patsies have to reject ‘a pulp mill’ once the industry promised to rejig to feed that filthy chlorine factory? They wheeled in a defeated ex-Premier and author of reviled legislation to take us all right back to a future decades old. Make no mistake about it. These talks have been the most pernicious tactic since Section 11 of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act.

    It’s time that people with an ounce of care for the environment and our way of life demanded a STOP!

    Pull out of a one-sided massacre! Call a patsie a patsie! A stooge is a stooge! Demand accountability from those who have sold us down the river with the ever-increasing long reach of a rapacious industry!

  50. Bob McMahon

    October 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    We’ve been waiting for the figure and finally it’s out. $650 million is what is required for the industry to ‘restructure’. What a surprise – coincidentally it just happens to be approx the Gunns’ book debt. Does anyone doubt that Gunns is going to get a motza out of this?

    The secret roundtable was always ever about developing, from the industry perspective, a mechanism for the transference of public money into the hands of the favoured few in the industry. It is a classic case of disaster capitalism at work. Thus the presence of Michael O’Connor of the CFMEU and Jim Adams of FIAT at the table to guarantee the flow of fed money in the right direction.

    The ENGO’s have their part to play which might explain why so much of what has been said by TWS and their front group Our Common Ground to plug plantation forestry, including a very expensive TV advertising campaign, could easily have been scripted by the MIS plantation lobby of the forest industry itself. Some have even suggested the plantation advertising campaign was paid for by the industry. The ENGO’s might think of themselves as instigators of the ’roundtable’ but they might just be the Lee Harvey Oswalds in all this. Not the manipulators after all but the manipulated. The test will come when the industry claims a social license for a pulp mill in Tasmania, to which they already have an ‘in principle’ agreement (as trade off for some, as yet unspecified, forest protection) from the ENGO’s. While TWS might say ‘we didn’t mean the Tamar Valley pulp mill’ the industry will selectively quote them in public and call them suckers in private and in public too perhaps.

    I cannot understand TWS giving ‘in principle’ agreement for A pulp mill. Not THE pulp mill but A pulp mill (it’s a fine distinction that will be lost once the love-in is concluded). Wasn’t it TWS who commissioned Naomi Edwards to produce a paper on the viability of a pulp industry in Tasmania? Her paper warned that going down the pulp path would be an economic disaster for Tasmania, tying Tasmania’s future to an industry that has no future except in the Third World. Don’t the Wildos, their front groups and fellow travellers, even read their own bloody stuff?

    What role does the the Wilderness Society, their front groups and their fellow travellers play in this soap opera? They will achieve part of their agenda for the time being (i.e. out of native forest logging) but at what cost and to whom? I suggest the Greens, who are araldited to TWS on forestry matters, are looking like a particularly large and convenient target for public odium. If I was still a member of the Greens I would be wanting to do something about it.

  51. Anne Layton-Bennett

    October 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Just goes to show the power words can wield. How their position in a sentence can be so crucial. And how media releases, when subjected to such levels of forensic dissection, can be inadvertently or deliberately, distorted and/or misunderstood.

    OK, so perhaps the use, and placement, of the word ‘current’ in this media release was ill-advised, but anyone doubting TWS position on Gunns’ monstrous mill proposal, after six long and committed years of fighting it, cannot really be serious.

    TWS – and all the other ENGOs – have never wavered in their consistent and steadfast opposition to the Tamar Valley mill proposal, and they haven’t done so now. Nor will they.

    Admittedly, and in the spirit of some pragmatic and necessary compromise they have also said they MAY support a pulp mill in Tasmania, BUT it would need to be independently and stringently assessed. A process, as we know, that became instantly and glaringly absent from the current proposal when Lennon intervened with the appalling PMAA.

    Some media articles are deliberately crafted for maximum provocation. They are designed to sell newspapers after all. Don’t be fooled.

  52. Mike Bolan

    October 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I oppose NGOs making decisions about how public resources are to be deployed. The reason is that the impacts of a mill will be felt by communities all over Northern Tasmania, and I believe those communities are entitled to set the standard for any operation to be established into their midst.

    The core problem with the pulp mill proposal is that it is a displacement activity – it displaces other established businesses and activities.

    Plantations displace food production at a time when drought is decimating production in the MDB, and food prices are set to soar (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw-act/going-upward-but-not-onward-food-price-rises-the-knockout-blow/story-e6freuzi-1225936179182).

    Plantations already consume more water than all other land uses in Australia and I believe there are no legitimate excuses for the expansion, or even retention, of such a low productivity activity as pulp wood production.

    A pulp mill will displace residents, organic growers, restaurants, retirement options and otherwise destroy the futures of many, regardless of where it is located. Tamar residents are likely to lose massively as property and business values are sunk by an industrial behemoth.

    A world scale mill will have world scale impacts on a tiny ‘heritage’ island upon which there will be little escape from the log trucks, foul stench, fogs and effluents, or the political favours given to wood chippers.

    All of these concerns have been concealed because neither the forest industry, Gunns, nor any level of government, has conducted an impartial study of the impacts and costs of the proposal to communities around Tasmania.

    Decision ignorance and avoidance of accountability have both been enshrined in the outrageous PMAA, the ground having been prepared by the egregious trashing of due process when the Lennon government accepted that a private operator could withdraw from a legally required planning process.

    The undead Thuggo’s reanimation into the roundtable process is surely a signal that anyone who participates is likely to be tainted.

  53. Tipster

    October 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    From the Australian (1) “Mr Bartlett gave FIAT a written assurance that existing wood supply contracts would not automatically lapse with the signing of the deal.”

    KEY QUESTION: Does that include the Wood Supply Agreement with Gunns?

    “As well, green groups would support plantation-based timber processing, including a pulp mill – although not necessarily the current proposal by Gunns for a mill near Launceston.”

    There’s the ‘get out’ clause.

    What’s happening here is that 4 NGOs (3 of them TWS controlled) are acting as if they represented the community, using our taxes to pay for their ‘negotiations’ and also deciding how they should be spent.

    “Both sides support an immediate government-funded package to allow up to 60 per cent of forest contractors to quit the industry.”

    TWS and ACF have become the ‘go to’ organisations for any environmental/social approvals. They have morphed into subsidised political organisations.

    Community objections to whatever are the final outcomes, will be opposed by not only by government, forestry and various ‘investors’, but also by these tax exempted ‘charities’.

    Welcome to the hall of mirrors.

    (1) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/loggers-greens-bury-axe-on-native-forests/story-fn59niix-1225936251390

  54. salamander

    October 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Big Red is the biggest reason we are still having this fight over our forests: having him touted as providing the solution is an insult to our intelligence.

    Though I do doubt the intelligence of some: TWS has stated, repeatedly and frequently, that they do not and never will support the Tamar Valley pulp mill, there is no question of any ‘trade-off’ and never has been. But I will also protest forever about the pulp mill, and the processes instituted by Lennon, that forced this issue on our community, forests, wildlife, and environment.

    He will be forever reviled for what he has done, no accolades are deserved.

  55. Justa Bloke

    October 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    MJF (#24) I have been and no doubt shall again. But I can have more impact in the place where I vote, shop and have a larger network.

  56. Karl Stevens

    October 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    If David Bartlett wanted ‘politics taken out of the process’ then why did he agree to FIAT’s demands that ‘contacts and statutory obligations will be protected’? Why did he call ‘finish time’ on the talks? Why was ex-Premier Lennon involved? Obviously David Bartlett mislead Tasmania yet again when he said politics would be taken out of the process.

  57. John Maddock

    October 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    You must buy the Merc today (Sat 9/10/10).

    On p.3 there is a report of the (almost done) Peace in Our Time forestry
    deal, with the headline “Historic deal on the table”. Beside it is an ad
    for an outdoor table setting, the text of which says (I kid you not) “Its
    a whitewash”

    You have to give thanks for an editor with some intelligence!


  58. Russell

    October 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

    The other glaringly obvious WRONG, obscenity and absurdity in EX-Premier Lennon’s involvement and the pro-forestry mob’s delight in his emergence is that he fell on his own sword because he as “MR. 17%” had NO SOCIAL LICENCE himself and he earned this title purely because of his totally immoral support of pulp mill.

    These talks are an absolute joke, a farce , a binge-drinking time-wasting piss-up for ‘the boys.’ You may as well have it fully represented by just the Gunns Board and piss the rest of them off home.

    There will be no Tamar Valley Pulp Mill

  59. Mike Adams

    October 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

    And if the Greens aren’t bearing in mind the fate of the Democrats after they accepted the GST , I’d be surprised.

  60. Karl Stevens

    October 8, 2010 at 1:42 am

    So the only reason the ‘environmentalists’ were in the talks were because the ‘loggers’ can’t make google earth maps? Only in Tasmania eh?

  61. abcanon

    October 8, 2010 at 1:39 am

    ATTENTION ENGOs! WALK OUT of these godforsaken talks! Lest you be remembered for your legacy! Please note well the following quotes from this forum! Mike Adams, John Hayward, Russell Langfield and Tipster don’t mince words. They call a spade a spade. This is an eleventh-hour plea to ENGOs… Read on PLEASE!

    Part of the deal is a ‘get out’ clause for the NGOs in which they agree to a pulp mill on the proviso that it is environmentally friendly etc. Everyone shakes hands in good faith and pops the bubbly. Later the government reveals (after due consideration, scientific studies and so forth) that LongReach is the perfect spot. Abracadabra.

    Posted by Tipster

    The ‘current’ Tamar Valley pulp mill? … What other pulp mill in the Tamar Valley would the High Contracting Parties accept?

    Posted by Mike Adams

    If TWS and Co are looking after anything but their own political ambitions, they would have walked out months ago.

    Posted by John Hayward

    TWS and ET have no say in whether Gunns gets any social licence. They do not represent the community and they don’t even represent their own membership.

    No social license = no FSC = no pulp mill.

    Posted by Russell Langfield

    The Tamar Valley community will hold ENGOs to account for their role. The people of Tasmania, likewise, in time.

    – abcanon

  62. Mike Adams

    October 8, 2010 at 12:04 am

    And in case the forestry mob haven’t noticed, TAP is a member of the FSC. And we’re not going to grant a social licence any time soon.

    Best for Wildos and ET (and the state government!) to walk away and let the market sort the industry out.
    And why on earth the proposed Tamar pulp mill wasn’t discussed from the outset, given its crucial role in maintaining the status quo, a lot of people are wondering. One suspects that the environmental negotiators were operating in good faith and being nice. Far too nice.
    And Michael, (No 23) the recent pre-assessment of Gunns’ application found the investigators in agreement that the pulp mill and Gunns behaviours were central to the social licence. And this was reinforced when a Gunns employee remained in the meeting after all Gunns people were asked to leave.

  63. Russell

    October 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Sorry guys. TWS and ET have no say in whether Gunns gets any social licence. They do not represent the community and they don’t even represent their own membership.

    No social license = no FSC = no pulp mill.

  64. glennis sleurink

    October 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    No one can go to court for reparation against anything to do with the mill because of Section 11 but what about a class action by all those in the Tamar Valley whose lives have been affected for almost 7 years, maybe to be heard in another State? Would that rattle a few cages?

  65. Mike Adams

    October 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    The ‘current’ Tamar Valley pulp mill? Thanks to Garry for the query. What other pulp mill in the Tamar Valley would the High Contracting Parties accept? And what other behind the scenes deals have been set up with FIAT, unions, Gunns and Federal Labor.

    I’ve E-mailed Adam Bandt to see if he would join Andrew Wilkie in calling for the federal permits to be revoked. No answer, so far. I used not to be a conspiracy theorist. But that was over six years ago…

  66. john Hayward

    October 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    The remark by the forest industry figure quoted above continues to reverberate, that Lennon “had respect from every quarter of the forest industry”.

    Try to imagine such a culture, while remaining anthropocentric.

    John Hayward

  67. mjf

    October 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    #22. Hey justa bloke, you could actually become an activist in another country.

  68. Michael

    October 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Hahaha, I laugh at all the people that think the mill needs a social licence…

    Delusions, FSC is only for forest practices, people! Jeez, how uninformed is this lot…

  69. Justa Bloke

    October 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    The real problem is not the old growth forests, not the pulp mill, not clear-felling, not even plantations.

    Of course all of these are part of the problem, but tackling any one of them, or even any combination of them, misses the crucial point.

    The real problem is the use of Tasmania’s air, water and soil to produce pulp for paper. We must do all we can to ensure that this industry is wiped out. Likewise, we should support activists in other countries who are campaigning against the same industry.

  70. john Hayward

    October 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Where else but Tasmania would a government openly trot out the likes of Thuggo to make “some people see sense” in the Roundtable charade?

    Unfortunately, this is one victory that the industry can’t simply purchase …

    Thuggo’s threat that a Roundtable breakdown would pass the decision to the state or federal governments, neither of whom can decree FSC certification, acknowledges that the loggers alone are dependent on an agreement to achieve their ends.

    If TWS and Co are looking after anything but their own political ambitions, they would have walked out months ago.

    John Hayward

  71. David Mohr

    October 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I know that they won’t all be clearfell but the number of coupes in the North East is amazing. Do we still have to clear fell steep slopes in our catchments?

  72. Tipster

    October 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    !4 Judith, you are right about what the NGOs are saying.

    The question that should concern everyone is what are they doing?

    Part of the deal is a ‘get out’ clause for the NGOs in which they agree to a pulp mill on the proviso that it is environmentally friendly etc.

    Everyone shakes hands in good faith and pops the bubbly. Later the government reveals (after due consideration, scientific studies and so forth) that LongReach is the perfect spot.


  73. Garry Stannus

    October 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Looks like I’d better read what Sue Neales said…

  74. Question Authority

    October 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Re #7 I recognize your reference to “entrenched thuggish culture”. The Tamar pulp mill was stillborn at its attempted birth. The roles of Lennon, Hornsey and co with the RPDC/PMAA has never really been fully explained. Particularly as it relates to abuse of the powers of a position; or not. Whether as elected politicians or as public employees, (politically appointed or merit selected; or not).

    The Tasmanian Integrity Commission (TIC) would do well to forensically investigate this issue and report to the community at large. If government and the TIC wish to demonstrate its true worth to Tasmanians, this would be a THRESHOLD ISSUE. An opportunity for the TIC to demonstrate transparency and independence, which incidently, is exactly what the current Premier espouses. I wonder what the current TIC job list is working on and finds most urgent? Confidentiality notwithstanding, will they provide an update for us as to their most urgent tasks at hand?

    To agree to the Tamar mill now would be an endorsement and acceptance of what went on then. If it was not correct then, how can it be correct now? What next? A clause in every piece of legislation proclaiming “no rights” from now on?

    If the TIC, after enquiries, chooses not to advise the public, then the Australian Federal Police Fraud Investigation unit should be tasked to assist the TIC; if not, then a Royal Commission into governance in this Sate should be commenced and let them advise the Tasmanian Integrity Commission and the public!

    I was appalled to hear the Governor raise the issue of corruption in this State as a non issue. So poorly informed for him, so sadly consequential for us! Go to it TIC!?

  75. Tony Saddington

    October 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    The article written by Sue Neales appears to have been spawned by a TCA ‘wish list’.

    The TCA, I would expect, leaked the report to generate ‘heat’.

    What the TCA wants and the Wildo’s position can be viewed on the ABC’s website;


  76. Charles and Claire Gilmour

    October 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Terrific interactive map, unfortunately, surprise surprise, relying on FT information means accuracy can be compromised. Not quite sure how Forestry Tasmania so quickly ‘proposes’ to log coupes which have already been logged and burnt in recent years, (confirmed as burnt in writing from FT). One such example … see Coupe CF013C -already trashed and photos of it’s burning on 16 April 2010 here:-

    It’s a pity the google earth map wasn’t a bit more up to date, as there are many coupes which have been clearfelled which are not shown as yet.

    Taking a very quick look, I can see some other FT 3 year plan ‘proposed’ coupes have already been confirmed by FT as ‘regeneration’ burnt in autumn this year and therefore have already been logged. These include:


    No doubt there are others, but it will take a bit of time to cross reference them.

    Could we be so bold to request that any agreement includes FT supplying such an interactive map that includes plantations on public land, what sort of plantations they are ie nitens etc, and when, how, size of areas burnt and poisoned, the water catchment number and a freely linked FPP? Could we go a step even further and have FT keep a publicly available list of any questionable, contentious, dubious info coupes which members of the public have raised, which are then included in any on the ground auditing?

    Sorry not to take FT’s word as gospel, but when you are given, not only very obviously questionable FT data, but the state minister for forests AND FT look you in the eye and say they will deny the truth … well … trust is a very fragile thing.

  77. Judith King

    October 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    “9/11/2008: Former Premier Paul Lennon, in an interview with the Examiner, admits that mistakes were made including the choice of Longreach (which this site has always said was a huge mistake) and also the way the pulp mill task force was run.”

    This was a major admission by Paul Lennon. It cannot be retracted no matter how hard he tries.

    Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and ACF are all saying the Tamar Valley proposal is a NO GO and NO WAY. The people of Tamar Valley and wider Tasmania have said no to the proposed Gunns’ mill and will continue to do so.

    Sue Neales is being creative to provoke a response in what must be a slow news week for her.

  78. Very concerned

    October 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I am with you Brian, I am not represented and will not have my right to protest taken away or diminished by agreements made by others.

    I am very concerned that the southern groups are potentially selling the north out by locking the region into plantation madness.

    They just had to bring old bluey back to kick heads.

  79. JoBlow

    October 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm


    I will also attend anti-mill protests and will financially support those who make more “vigorous” efforts.

  80. Tipster

    October 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Read ’em and weep people – you read it here first.

    “Agreement that the Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar valley can go ahead without protests.”

    “Swift construction of the Gunns pulp mill…is considered imperative by the Government to keep the economy moving.”

    Approving a mill would be a severe kick in the guts for environmentalists credibility. But you have to do what you have to do.

    Folks with memories will recall that TWS has pushed the global forest industry line ‘out of the forests and into plantations’ for decades.

    Trouble has been those forest industry people who need forest products to survive – you know – real timbers that take 50+ years to mature. Can’t get that from pulp plantations and they know it.

    Barty has urged the round table talks to complete. We’ve wheedled, we’ve cajoled, we’ve threatened and we’ve thrown money. The horse still appears to be dead. So now it’s peacemaker Paulie complete with crash cart to resuscitate the thing.

    Get the forest industry players to line up and take their medicine for the greater glory of Gunns and the vulture capitalists who’ve bought in.

    What no-one can say is that as soon as Gunns gets their money from the feds, and the mill is safely on track, then the forests will be open slather again. The NGOs are powerless to stop it…still this bunch will have moved on to greater glory by then.

    The driving force is no longer just Gunns – it’s now the State and Federal government – all of Labor in fact – plus a mess of finance that has bought into the entire tragedy at less than 0.30c per share.

    Just $8,000 per taxpayer in Tassie gets a couple billion into Gunns hands and creates jobs, jobs, jobs.


  81. estelle

    October 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    The comment that the State Govt will have no future infrastructure jobs lined up once the Brighton By-Pass and Hub are completed is incredibly short sighted of them. What about the Musselroe wind farm and the one proposed in the Central Highlands? Surely upgrades to the railway network would be job intensive and there are kilometres of roads which need fixing without delay.

  82. Estelle

    October 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I for one will NEVER stop protesting against this appalling pulp mill proposal. How dare they even suggest that we cannot protest -whatever happened to freedom of speech? Why can the forestry industry not just accept that their days are over. New clean green industries are the way to go.

  83. Anne Layton-Bennett

    October 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Last year, in an Examiner feature article, Paul Lennon admitted the Tamar Valley is the wrong location for a pulp mill.

    It still is, as the 100,000+ people who live there have been saying for years. They will continue to say it. This pulp mill will NEVER, EVER, be accepted in the valley. And every level of government needs to understand that. So do any prospective investors in this doomed and ill-conceived project.

    The proposed mill is a fatally flawed and bad project. For every kind of reason imaginable. Geologically, this mill will be a killer. All those foul gas emissions will further exacerbate the incidence of respiratory diseases caused by the existing inversion layer. Hundreds more log trucks on the roads will result in more road accidents and deaths. Road safety will also be an issue with trucks carrying toxic chemicals to the mill. Effluent being spewed into Bass Strait will cause untold harm to the marine environment, and risk our profitable fishing and tourism industries.

    I could go on. The reasons why this mill will be a disaster for the Tamar Valley, and a disaster for Tasmania, are many, varied, and endless.

    The forest industry does not need the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill to remain viable and sustainable. It needs to think smarter and be more ecologically sensible as it moves towards restructuring. A lot of industries have had to move with the times. It’s long past the day when forestry should also do so.

    Paul Lennon can mediate until he’s blue in the face. This mill does not have, and will never have, a social licence.

    It’s the wrong development in the wrong location, and it will never be accepted by those of us who live here. Ever.

  84. David Obendorf

    October 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I am with you Brian.M

    TWS and ET Inc. involved the FRT or others in the talks do not represent me and I reserve the right to protest and object.

    Paul Lennon coming in ‘to bang heads together’ – what have we learnt? Nothing has changed. Next we’ll hear Robin Gray is still pulling strings!

    As Tasmania’s Children’s Commissioner said today people with money don’t prostitute their children. Tasmania continues to prostitute it’s “children” because of this entrenched thuggish culture.

  85. Buck and Joan Emberg

    October 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Buck and Joan Emberg and the little influence we might have are thrown happily behind Brian M. With Lennon back to “Kick Heads” it will not be ours he is kicking.

  86. Philip Lowe

    October 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    You can trust me,I’m a politician.

  87. max

    October 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    How can Paul Lennon broker a peace deal that includes building the ill conceived pulp mill in the Tamar Valley when the people whose lives will be affected, the people who have organised the big protests and the ones that will continue to protest and fight to the bitter end are not included in the talks. If the proponents of this mill think that they can get a social licence for the mill by talking to environmental groups, think again. The main opposition to the mill is not the environmental groups who can accept the mill in a trade off for a few trees, it is the people who live and work in the Tamar Valley and any one else who is sick to death of seeing their hard earned money being used to prop up this stupidity. The opposition so far to the pulp mill has only been a skirmish and the hard bitter fighting may well be about to start. The LibLab supporters of the mill haven’t seen any thing yet.

  88. Jenny Weber

    October 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

    There is no return pledge that forest protests will not continue. This has not ever been part of any proposed agreement. Native forests are rich in biodiversity and carbon storage, they are vital to regulate water-run off, and they will always be vital for clean air. While native forests continue to be logged, clear felled and mismanaged,communities who understand the value of conserving native forests will stand up and defend their values. And Sue Neales is at it again claiming that the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill is part of any agreement; it is not and the community have every right and purpose to be protesting about this development starting now.

    The current crisis the logging industry is in is due to the bad policy decisions by the Labor and Liberal Governments in Australia, they have no one else to blame but themselves. The sooner Tasmania’s forests are left alone and the wildlife is left to recover from the tragic onslaught the better.

  89. J A Stevenson

    October 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

    Who is the pulp mills greatest advocate?

  90. Brian.M

    October 7, 2010 at 10:39 am

    No one at these talks represents me. I hereby VOW to attend whatever protest against this polluting pulp mill proposal as I see fit. This mill does not have a social license, the proposal to pollute is not socially acceptable in any way, shape nor form, no matter who they get in to spin the spin. Wrong size mill, wrong process, in wrong environmental setting. NO MILL in the Tamar Valley, not now , not ever, end of story Mr. Lennon!

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