Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

As soon as machinery rolls onto the pulp mill site, the community will be there to stop them …

Pulp the Mill, Code Green and Still Wild Still Threatened are staging a Peaceful Community Protest on Gunn’s land on the bitumen road inside the entrance to the Long Reach pulp mill and wood chip mill this Sunday, August 21 at 12 pm.

Lucy Landon-Lane, spokesperson for Pulp the Mill said: “Gunns’ told the community that machinery would be rolling onto the site 4 weeks ago, which is yet more smoke and mirrors from this company. No work has commenced on site despite the fact that the pulp mill building permits expire on August 30. This protest is a signal of our intent, that as soon as machinery rolls onto the pulp mill site, the community will be there to stop them. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that this project never gets off the ground.”

After organisers met with police, the police negotiated with Gunns to allow the protesters to legally access an area just within the front boom gate at the main entrance to the mill site. “We are pleased that protesters will be safe. Everyone needs to understand that if they step beyond this designated area they will be trespassing and subject to summons and/or arrest. On any other day this area remains Gunns private property. ” She concluded.

Speakers at the protest include Kim Booth, Joanna Pincewicz, Jeremy Ball, Ruth Groom and Lucy Landon-Lane.

Go to www.pulpthemill.org for maps and details of the protest.

• SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK
Senator for Tasmania
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Industry and Science
M E D I A R E L E A S E
19 August 2011

Say goodbye to Tasmania’s fine furniture and craft sector

Tasmania’s fine furniture and craft industry will disappear under the so-called independent recommendations of Professor Jonathan West.

“It is no wonder the governments wanted Prof. West’s report kept secret. The areas he has selected for reserve contain almost all the areas where special timbers are.

“Under Prof. West’s direction, the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) will decimate Tasmania’s woodcraft sector.

“Prof. West’s report says 6700 cubic metres of special timbers would be available annually from outside the proposed reserve areas, but Tasmania’s Special Timbers Target is actually nearly double this at 12,500 cubic metres.

“The special timbers sector has previously stated that further reduction from 12,500 cubic metres would make harvest and processing uneconomic.

“That is exactly the objective of green groups involved in this process, although they want to do that to the entire forest sector.

“From milling and processing through to retail opportunities, the woodcraft sector employs around 2000 Tasmanian and has an annual value in excess of $70 million.

“But the IGA will mean there is no need for a Tasmanian Design Centre to showcase world class timber furniture and design, and there would be no need for the School of Fine Furniture.

“Imagine walking through Salamanca without seeing one of the main attractions – fine timber craftworks.

“Forestry Tasmania has repeatedly said it cannot meet supply contract requirements if 430,000 hectares are locked up.

“Prof. West’s report was written without consultation with the industry and it is simply a mirror of the environment group’s claims.

“But given that Prof. West is a former director of the Wilderness Society it is not surprising that this result is shining through.

“Prof. West’s appointment and his subsequent report highlight just how bad this sham process is.

“There is no chance of the forest industry getting a fair deal,” Senator Colbeck said.

• Gunns latest: Gunns wants trading halt continued until Thurs, August 25, as they have deferred release of their 2011 results. They hope to lift the trading halt after next week’s 2011 results are announced:

Read all about it:

http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20110819/pdf/420hmw7bvzkm87.pdf

• Terry Edwards turns on Gunns

A Tasmanian timber group has accused the timber company Gunns of attempting to rewrite history as it pushes for a government payout under the forest agreement.

As negotiations with the State Government over compensation payments continue, Gunns’ managing director Greg L’Estrange says the company feels it has been misled into sticking with the process to end logging in most public native forests.

He says company was encouraged with an “explicit” promise of funding not to sell its native forest businesses at the beginning of last year, when it decided to stop harvesting native timber.

Terry Edwards of Tasmania’s Forest Industries Association says Mr L’Estrange is attempting to rewrite history.

“We have never asked Gunns to stay in the process nor am I aware of any other signatory doing so.”

FIAT is calling on the Premier to release the legal advice which says the residual rights held by Gunns over native forests have a commercial value.

Meanwhile, the organisation says it has lost confidence in compensation negotiations under the $276 million intergovernmental forest agreement

FIAT and other signatories to the peace deal spent five hours yesterday with Professor Jonathon West who provided advice to the government on resource security.

His report says the industry’s wood supply obligations can be met outside the 430-thousand hectares of public native forest to be protected under the agreement.

The advice is believed to have led to last-minute conservation concessions, but Terry Edwards says it is flimsy.

“Let me make no mistake about it, we have no confidence and no faith in this process,” said Mr Edwards.

“The approach taken by two governments on using such a flimsy piece of advice to fundamentally change a public policy position on forestry resource and playing with peoples lives is something that we cannot countenance.”

The Wilderness Society says it was satisfied with Professor West’s report but is concerned logging is continuing in high conservation value forests.

ABC Online HERE

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. lewis

    August 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    To all who have commented about the good Senator’s piece of rubbish may I suggest that you also ask Greg Hall for his opinion as he is in the same territory of being both a snouter and a dinosuar. Where are you Greg?

  2. John Maddock

    August 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    John Hawkins #10

    Excellent idea, publicising our special timbers.

    I have a recollection of a small booklet published in past years by the Forestry Commission which listed 90 or 92 special timbers from our forests.

    JV

  3. Peter Smith

    August 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I suspect that when this house of cards come tumbling down, there will be some who will be enjoying an all expenses paid holiday (elsewhere). As far as I know, trading while insolvent is an offence.

  4. William Boeder

    August 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I often wonder how much speciality timber goes up in great plumes of smoke per annum, among the millions of tonnes that is burnt by the “Worlds Best Practices” mob at Forestry Tasmania each year?

    These assumed trustees, guardians, stewards, forest rangers of our Old Growth Native Forests, (or whatever they might want to call themselves at F/T,) should be able to recognize and record the (GPS position) to the specific location of such speciality timbers which they know are sought by the State’s craftsmen, cabinet-makers and whatever other persons there may be who do want such specific timbers.
    Who does the on-site classfication of timber out there in the middle of these HCV forests?

    Yet it does not seem possible to the mind of the super-troop to top load a few of these logs to a specific truck that may be loaded with saw-log only log-product, which could then be off loaded by fork-lift at whichever speciality timber centre would be located en-route (of course within a sensible delivery distance,) even if there was some additional charge by the driver’s in their so doing?

    This is the sort of thinking one would expect to be present by the World’s Best Practice honchos at F/T?
    But “oh no, let’s just burn the bastards, tis quicker and easier, on top of that nobody knows what we are doing.”
    Well done the high level management team at Forestry Tasmania, this idea of recovery and delivery came from the mind of an 8 year old girl living down this way!
    Furthermore this could have become the practice any number of years ago.

    “World’s Best Charlatans,” would be a more apt or applicable sobriquet for the F/T Brains-Trust than the oft incorrectly applied term of World’s Best Practice”.

  5. Barnaby Drake

    August 19, 2011 at 7:22 am

    The fine timber furniture trade consumes less than 0.01% of all timber harvested, and even there, Forestry tries not to supply and would rather burn the stuff than release it onto the market. A single good tree will keep a woodworker in timber for over a year, and all this is available from private forests, but nevertheless, they continue to push the fine timber business as a reason for continuing the slaughter of the forests. A small bit of selective logging could keep this industry alive for many, many years!
    Senator Colbeck hasn’t got a clue about the industry. He’s only a politician!

    George Harris should be able to vouch for the above?

  6. john hayward

    August 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    To Pelican Boy, #4, I regret to advise that all record of the legal advice given the Premier perished when a beer was spilled on the serviette containing it.

    To the Honourable Colbeck, I wish to convey my admiration for your courage in publicly defending an FT whose percentage rate of value recovery for a forestry resource (for which they pay nothing) appears to be the lowest in the world, at around 4%. I trust you are personally doing better.

    John Hayward

  7. john hawkins

    August 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Philip #8 and Colbeck.

    Ask the Tasmanian Design Centre about my order for a reference Specimen Board of some 40 Tasmanian Timbers named and identified using special cuts to magnify the colour and grain for each of our working cabinet species.

    The order only awaits a frame and is in its third year of compilation; however it is now nearing completion. If you care to ask I am sure it is viewable; I am hoping for a Christmas delivery.

    The purchase has taken this long because of the problems of access to special timbers in this the so called logging state.

    Now with competition from clear fell slash and burn for woodchips from the dreaded Gunns over and with their monopoly of local saw mills gone wood delivery times and volumes should improve.

    No cost was asked or given the problem has always been finding the wood. My aim was to provide a record of how things should and used to be.

    I ask how many purchases if any has Colbeck made from the Design Centre, has he even crossed the threshhold , how many commissions in Tasmanian timbers has he given to Tasmanian craftsmen and how many conversations has he had with Tasmanian cabinetmakers?

    The same question applies to many of our Snouters and so called experts who wallow in the public trough.

    The days of spitting chips are over.

  8. Judith King

    August 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    If readers want to raise their concerns about what is happening with Gunns, their trading halt and the odd information Gunns is supplying ASX, they can write to relevant ASX staff Mr Kobi Li zheng.li@asx.com.au and Mr Andrew Weaver Andrew.Weaver@asx.com.au

    It would possibly assist ASX to have a more balanced view about what is happening here in Tasmania with Gunns and the government,

  9. Philip

    August 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    “But the IGA will mean there is no need for a Tasmanian Design Centre to showcase world class timber furniture and design, and there would be no need for the School of Fine Furniture”

    Unquestionably, Tasmania’s specialty timbers are world class, but truly world class furniture design has little if anything to do with the timber in which it is executed.

  10. john hawkins

    August 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Colbeck like Abetz before him has little or no understanding of this complex matter being content to snipe from the sidelines.

    Gunns had no interest in selling cabinet timbers and over 10 years managed to put a large number of small sawmillers who had out of buisness.

    Woodworkers were reduced to scavenging the windrowed piles for special woods and I can supply a magnificent burnt Huon Pine log taken from one of their burns by a local woodturner as evidence.

    The future is value adding special Tasmanian timbers and they can be obtained by selective logging from PTR’s which have been left out of the IGA process altogether.

    As one of the larger purchasers of Tasmanian craft woodwork I claim some knowledge over the matter.

    If we had Pollies of integrity rather than Snouters who wish to control the levers of power and will do or say anything to a a lazy and compliant press we may stand some chance of intelligent dialogue.

  11. salamander

    August 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Considering the tons of timber wasted every year by FT’s forest practices, with fine craftwood going to pulp or be burnt, there can only be improvements in this industry. It can’t get any worse!

  12. William Boeder

    August 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    #3. Well Done Karl.
    In respect to the letters sent by you to those recipients, I also have sent similar correspondences to the same, yet nil response has been the result!
    In regard to the proposed protests it can be guaranteed that the State government’s Police Force will again be harnessed-up to protect the charade attempts (if any at this stage of the progression)) of this reprehensible Gunns Ltd, when as in the past absolutely nothing of a threatening nature did occur!

    After reading and seeing all the conducts and behaviours of this raptor destructor Gunns Ltd for the past 8 years, Tasmanians all are poised upon the steep edge of avenging resolve.
    I await the day of the “final nail in the coffin” of all that Gunns Ltd represents!

    Soonest gone, soonest there be peace in the Tamar Valley.

  13. PB

    August 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Premier Lara Giddings must publicly release, as a matter of priority, all legal advice she has received advising her that Gunns has a legal right to settlement money despite the company voluntarily handing back its native forest contracts.

    Furthermore, she must also release the terms of reference and explain why she has appointed a local firm of Chartered Accountants to settle a legal dispute.

  14. Karl Stevens

    August 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Here is a complaint sent to ASIC and the Attorney General over Gunns trading halt.
    _________________________________________________
    THE COMPLAINT. Gunns Ltd is now in an indefinite trading halt based on their claim they are waiting on $23 million ‘compensation’ from the Tasmanian Government. This amount represents only 1% of Gunns proposed $2.4 BILLION ‘worlds largest pulp mill on a very small island’ project. How can Gunns stop trading over not receiving a taxpayer handout that represents 1% of the only project on their books?
    Gunns has not paid it’s suppliers, Forestry SA, Forestry Tasmania and its soft wood supplier at the Bell Bay sawmill for many months. It appears Gunns is insolvent. Gunns last ‘market update’ from Thursday August 18th 2011 is full of lies, misrepresentations and demands for taxpayers funds.
    Why is ASIC and Australia’s Attorney General permitting Gunns Ltd to:

    1) Lie to the ASX in market updates.
    2) Trade while insolvent.
    3) Refuse to trade at all.

    Awaiting your response,
    Councillor Karl Stevens.

    This is an official complaint. I realise the Attorney General appears to be maintaining the failed ‘Forestry Managed Investment Scheme’ tax minimisation vehicle with the company in question, but how about complying with your statutory obligations for once? I ask for an acknowledgment of receipt from both ASIC and the Attorney General posted to: Karl Stevens
    More information here:
    http://west-tamar-talk.blogspot.com/

  15. Jude

    August 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Tas defies national unemployment trends and that’s without a pulp mill!!

    http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2011/08/19/254491_tasmania-news.html

  16. Dave

    August 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I encourage all protesters to show up, trowels and spades in hand, in your best gardening garb, show some community spirit and help Gunns claytons earthworks. Its the least we can do for greggles and his ailing team.

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