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

GILLARD’S DEAL: Burke. Giddings, Green. Reaction. Gunns: No Fed funds; State buyback? Tarkine

Stay update with breaking news on PM Julia Gillard’s Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement announced this morning by using the TT News Dropdown (top Nav Bar). And read, watch listen to the News in 90 seconds from ABC News 24 HERE … and comment below!x

• The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

HISTORIC AGREEMENT PROVIDES CERTAINTY FOR TASMANIA’S FORESTS AND FOREST INDUSTRY

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings have this morning signed a landmark agreement that will provide certainty for Tasmania’s forestry industry, support local jobs and communities, and protect the state’s ancient forests.

The agreement has been reached between the Federal and State Labor Governments after a long period of collaboration and consultation with key industry and environmental stakeholders.

The agreement will help the forest industry adapt to market changes while protecting the communities and families that rely on the sector to survive.

Under the agreement a total of $276 million, including $15 million from the State Government, will be provided in the following key areas:

$85 million to support contractors and their families affected by the downturn in the industry, and in particular Gunns Limited’s decision to exit native forest harvesting
$43 million to facilitate protection of new areas of high conservation value forests
$120 million over 15 years, including an initial payment of $20 million to identify and fund appropriate regional development projects
$7 million per annum ongoing to manage new reserves.

The industry support package includes up front funding of up to $25 million for immediate employment and training support for redundant forest workers.

Those made redundant from eligible companies in the forestry industry will receive intensive and accelerated support through Job Services Australia and other providers.

In recognition of the impact of the forestry industry changes on the people in the timber communities, the Agreement also provides $15 million to ForestWorks Ltd to administer transition support payments for workers and contractor employees as well as $1 million in support through Rural Alive and Well.

The Australian Government will provide $45 million in assistance for voluntary exits from public native forest operations for haulage, harvest and/or silvicultural contractors.

Significantly, the agreement guarantees protection for Tasmania’s most iconic ancient forests.

Tasmania will immediately place 430,000 hectares of native forest into informal reserve, subject to verification, which the governments will protect under a Conservation Agreement.

Reserves will include areas such as the iconic forests in the Styx, Upper Florentine, Huon, Picton and Weld Valleys and the Great Western Tiers, Tarkine and Wielangta areas. These forests will not be accessed for harvest while verification takes place.

An Independent Verification Group will be established to provide advice to the Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Premier on sustainable timber supply requirements and areas and boundaries of reserves from within the ENGO-nominated 572,000 hectares of High Conservation Value native forest.

For the first time, this process will provide an independent and robust assessment of the definition of high conservation values and recommendations of the areas that should be protected in permanent reserve.

Once this process is complete the State will develop legislation to formalise reserves and guarantee annual sustainable timber supply from production areas in public forests of at least 155,000 cubic metres of high quality sawlog per year and 265,000 cubic metres of peeler billets. In addition, speciality timber will be provided and all contracts for native wood supply will be honoured.

The Agreement is consistent with the Statement of Principles agreement between environment non-government organisations, the Tasmanian forestry industry and the CFMEU, which was presented by independent facilitator Mr Bill Kelty last month.

The Federal and State Governments urged all parties to recognise the opportunity to move forward after more than 30 years of bitter conflict in order to build a stronger future for Tasmania.

This agreement marks a new chapter in the diversification of the state economy and the protection of Tasmania’s precious environment.

Download PDF of Intergovernmental agreement and supporting reserves map:

Tasmanian Forests intergovernmental agreement
http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/burke/2011/pubs/tasmanian-forests-intergovernmental-agreement.pdf

Tasmanian Forests intergovernmental agreement reserves map
http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/burke/2011/pubs/tas-forest-agreement-reserves-map.pdf

• Lara Giddings, Bryan Green

Lara Giddings, MP

Premier

Bryan Green, MP

Deputy Premier

Sunday, 7 August 2011

State and Federal Forestry Agreement

The Premier, Lara Giddings, and Resources Minister Bryan Green today urged all sides of the forestry debate to recognise the spirit of compromise contained in the final intergovernmental agreement on forestry, signed today.

Ms Giddings said the State and Federal Governments had embarked on a lengthy period of collaboration and consultation to formalise an agreement which includes $276 million to restructure the forest industry, grow new jobs and protect new areas of high conservation value forests.

“We have reached this point because signatories to the statement of principles were determined to attempt to end decades of bitter conflict and division over forestry,” Ms Giddings said.

“I share the hope that we can move on from this debate. But I am also realistic – this intergovernmental agreement cannot deliver peace in the forests on its own.

“The way forward has been driven, not by politicians, but key industry, environmental and union stakeholders.

“Now, more than ever, we need to see ongoing leadership and maturity from all sides of the debate – we need to work together to achieve positive change in the forest industry.

“This agreement delivers a compromise that will protect jobs and transition the forest industry, provide new employment opportunities particularly in regional areas and place significant areas of old growth and high conservation value forests in reserve.”

Ms Giddings said the Labor Party was committed to protecting the livelihoods of families and providing jobs for the future.

“It is extremely disappointing that there are still groups that appear unwilling and unable to accept compromise.

“These groups need to recognise that their actions have consequences and that if they continue to insist on a ‘winner takes all’ approach they risk getting nothing.

“If there is no goodwill there is a very real risk that the Legislative Council will oppose this agreement, along with any opportunity to place forests in reserve.”

Ms Giddings said the IGA contained a robust and independent process to identify the areas of reserve that will be protected as part of the restructure process.

“The forestry debate has often been characterised by emotion and ambit claims but few facts. We have seen conservation definitions shift from old growth forests to native forest regrowth and high conservation value forests.

“This agreement puts in place a rigorous, independent and impartial process that will sort the fact from the fiction when it comes to defining high conservation value forests.

“Professor Jonathan West, a man respected by both the environmental movement and the forest industry will now be part of the process to help determine the boundaries of what is expected to be a significant area of new reserves. The outcome should be accepted by all sides.”

Mr Green said the agreement contained immediate funding of $25 million to assist forests workers and contractors displaced by Gunns Ltd’s decision to exit native forests.

“In total $85 million has been provided to assist forest workers, including $15 million from the State Government,” Mr Green said.

“We know that workers and hurting now, which is why we want to ensure that this money can be rolled out as soon as possible.”

Mr Green acknowledged the high degree of uncertainty in regional communities about the change occurring in forestry.

“I know there is a view that if we simply tear up the Statement of Principles these problems will go away but that is simply not the case.

“We need to ensure that the industry can adapt to changes in market demands and that it can continue to provide jobs for Tasmanians living in rural communities.

“The State Government will work with these communities through the transition period, aided with $120 million worth of regional assistance money from the Commonwealth.

“Around $20 million will be provided upfront and we will be working closely with Economic Development Minister, David O’Byrne, to determine how best to spend these funds in line with opportunities identified in the Economic Development Plan.”

Ms Giddings said the IGA was designed to secure a strong and secure future for regional Tasmania.

“Out of uncertainty comes opportunity and this Government is firmly focussed on diversifying our economy, creating new opportunities and jobs and securing a vibrant future for rural towns.”

• The Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania …

… believe the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement signed by Prime Minister Gillard and Premier Giddings provides a strong foundation to protect Tasmaniaʼs unique and important native forests and transition the logging industry away from native forests.

“We acknowledge the recent efforts of federal and state governments, including the Greens, to strengthen the level of certainty of protection of important native forests through a conservation agreement and other mechanisms,” said Don Henry of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“Community groups and many thousands of people across Tasmania and the globe have worked for decades to see Tassieʼs ancient forests protected, and this Intergovernmental Agreement marks a critical step towards their lasting protection for future generations,” said Dr Phill Pullinger of Environment Tasmania,

“We recognise the tough circumstances forestry workers and some rural communities are living through during this difficult time of economic transition in Tasmania, and welcome the financial support for workers and contractors, and the regional economic diversification package provided through this agreement” said Dr Phill Pullinger.

“A key part of this agreement is a pathway to deliver the secure protection of unique and important native forests such as those in the Upper Florentine and Weld Valleys, the Tarkine, the Great Western Tiers, the North-East Highlands, including the Blue Tier, South Sister and the Eastern Tiers including Wielangta,” said Vica Bayley of the Wilderness Society.

“While this isnʼt the end of the process and much work is still to be done, it provides a much more secure framework for full implementation of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. The key challenge will be the passage of legislative reforms and we are calling for tri-partisan and Legislative Council support for this agreement and the outcomes it offers,” he concluded.

All three environment groups will continue to work with other signatories and government to finalise further details and deliver on the promise of this agreement and all of the principles embedded in the original Statement of Principles.

Don Henry, Australian Conservation Foundation, Vica Bayley, The Wilderness Society, Dr Phill Pullinger, Environment Tasmania

Photos of Tasmaniaʼs High-Conservation Value Forests: High resolution photos for publication by Rob Blakers can be downloaded at:
http://www.et.org.au/media-images-tf

• FOREST IGA MAKES SIGNIFICANT STEP FORWARD
But Much Work Still to be Done to Secure Conservation Outcomes

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Greens today said that the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Premier Lara Giddings is a significant improvement on the Heads of Agreement of a fortnight ago, but reiterated that there is still much work to be done to ensure conservation outcomes are delivered.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that areas of improvement from the Heads of Agreement include the protection of the ENGO nominated 430 000 ha until the passage of the reserve legislation through the Tasmanian Parliament, the absence of any commitment to legislate the provision of 265,000 cubic metres of peeler billets, the linking of a further $20m to the passage of the reserve legislation through the Tasmanian Parliament, and the federal government stating that no Commonwealth money will be paid to progress Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill.

Mr McKim also acknowledged the good faith negotiations entered into by both the Commonwealth and the State during the IGA finalisation process, and thanked the Prime Minister and the Premier for their constructive approach.

“We welcome the significant progress made since the Heads of Agreement was signed, and while there is still a lot of water to go under the bridge before conservation outcomes are secured the Greens will support Professor West’s process as it works on its recommendations,” Mr McKim said.

“There are exciting possibilities ahead for a significant area of our magnificent forests to be protected permanently, but there is still a way to go before this is confirmed.”

“This has the potential to be a win for jobs, a win for the environment, and a major step forward in the ongoing transformation of Tasmania’s economy. These are the possibilities we will be working hard to maximise as we work through the next steps.”

“A major improvement is the clear expectation that 430, 000 hectares of the ENGO identified 572, 000 hectares of State Forest will immediately be placed into Informal Reserves, and will also have the additional protection of a Conservation Agreement with the Commonwealth until the necessary legislation for formal reserve status is passed by the Tasmanian Parliament.”

“We also welcome the clarification surrounding the role of the Independent Verification Group led by Professor Jonathon West, which will now assess and make recommendations on the tenure status of the 572, 000 hectares as well as other matters.”

“The Greens welcome the immediate provision for emergency exit assistance for the State’s forest contractors, as we have called for appropriate exit with dignity for years now. However, we also are clear that this Agreement must pave the way towards a restructured, modern and viable industry as we cannot countenance another taxpayer funded bail out of this industry in the future.”

“We also welcome the clear statement that no Commonwealth funds will be used to progress Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill.”

“This Agreement puts much faith in processes it establishes, for both the ongoing verification of the conservation areas and the development of regional development plans, and we will be continuing to engage constructively to maximise the conservation outcomes,” Mr McKim said.

• Tarkine National Coalition

Tarkine protection still in jeopardy, and government still blocking talks.

Tarkine National Coalition has highlighted a key failure of the Intergovernmental Agreement to implement the Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles that threatens to undermine the transition of new reserves to National Parks.

The Intergovernmental Agreement fails to create a process for mining industry and conservationists to negotiate mutually acceptable tenure boundaries over the new reserves, and therefore risks an unnecessary conflict arising from a process designed to end the forest wars.

The Intergovernmental Agreement initially offers only informal reserves, with transition to other tenure being subject to “other interests” tests. This effectively means that where it can be shown that there is a potential for mining exploration or development, the National Parks will be unlikely to be granted.

The north of the state and the Tarkine area in particular is currently under unprecedented mining interest. The Tarkine National Coalition approached the Minister Green four months ago seeking a meeting to discuss talks with the mining industry about National Park boundaries for the Tarkine. The Minister rejected the talks plan despite TNC securing strong industry support.

“We believe there is an urgent need to bring the mining industry and conservationists together to discuss whether there is capacity to reach an agreement on tenure”, said Tarkine National Coalition’s Campaign Coordinator Scott Jordan.

“The Tarkine National Coalition has been talking to key mining industry players and is convinced that there is sufficient goodwill to enter productive negotiations, but unfortunately government is blocking this from happening.”

“It seems crazy that we have conservationists and mining industry representatives saying ‘we want to talk’, but a state government saying that they think talking is somehow a bad idea.”
“The announcement today of the forests agreement should be evidence that negotiated outcomes are possible, even on highly controversial issues.”

“We urge the Premier and Prime Minister to give us the opportunity to test whether an agreement can be found that would see National Park protection for the Tarkine.”

• 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
7 August 2011

Gross act of economic vandalism

Today the Prime Minister has further undermined the Labor government’s economic credentials by cutting the $1.4 billion a year Tasmanian Forestry industry in half, and for what?. A paltry $7 million per year for 15 years for the loss of $700 million per year of economic activity.

Coalition forestry spokesman, Senator Colbeck asked who in their right mind would propose a deal like this, and more importantly who would accept it?

“A few weeks ago Prime Minister Gillard was telling us of an historic opportunity to bring “peace to our forests” even today she talks of “moving forward” after 30 years of bitter conflict yet we already know that is a cruel lie”, Senator Colbeck said. “Green groups have already stated their intention to continue to protest.”

“It is clear from clause 2 of the intergovernmental agreement that the government was not telling us the truth in relation to peace in our forests. This agreement is nothing more than a capitulation to green groups – too gutless to stand up to their green masters the government has rolled over.”

“Even the promise that existing contracts would be honored, a key element of the Statement of Principles process, has been broken”, Senator Colbeck said. “Clause 27 of the agreement signed today says that if resource can not be supplied then compensation will be paid – how can any business operate on that basis?”

“It is no wonder that sovereign risk is now a term regularly being used in the context of this government.”

“We now have a circumstance where the government is no longer in control over the use of our resources.”

“Through this agreement Labor has set a dangerous precedent – allowing a fringe green group to declare an area “high conservation value” and having that area excluded from productive use.”

Senator Colbeck warned Australia’s resource based industries should be very worried by the Labor government’s continued capitulation to the Greens.

“Obviously Labor is more concerned with it’s own survival than that of the timber industry and it’s workers” he said.

Two weeks ago we said that Tasmania had been screwed, this is worse than we thought.

First published: 2011-08-07 00:09 AM

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

37 Comments

  1. Russell

    August 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Correction – August 7th, 2011.

  2. Russell

    August 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    My goodness! Gunns has released another ASX announcement stating they have suspended trading since August 11, 2011.

    This time, Wayne Chapman is even making up his own words as well as the story! “clarificatory”

    Can anyone enlighten me as to how long a company can remain in a trading suspension or halt?

  3. William Boeder

    August 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Robin Halton, do you think it possible for Forestry Tasmania to re-invent itself as a properly regulated profit providing, (to the people of Tasmania,) logging operation, confining themselves to selected available areas of our lesser valued State forest?

  4. Russell

    August 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Re #35
    I agree wholeheartedly there, Robin, with the addition of getting rid of the current FT management and practices (which concentrates on harvesting logs for woodchips) to be replaced by high-value timber harvesting only.

    Timber is a wonderful material to work with and keep for generations. Harvesting forests and creating vast plantations primarily for woodchips is an uneconomic sheer waste.

  5. Robin Halton

    August 13, 2011 at 2:49 am

    #34 It seems pretty obvious that the pulp mill process (Lennon style) got many people off side, it had left me as a strong forestry supporter in limbo for a long time!
    When Gunns finally moves on and out of our midst then forestry can be left alone to get on with managing the forests on behalf of the state.

  6. Russell

    August 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Re #32
    I would hardly call it “stealth” Robin.

    The sale of Triabunna was unusually (for the woodchipping industry) transparent and the two-bit company had ample opportunity to purchase it.

    In fact, all those ‘in the industry’ screaming to the media and government at the time could have chipped (LOL) in at any time and bought it (for a song) if Triabunna was so important to them. The fact is that they, like Gunns, didn’t want it because they knew there was no market for what it produced and would be an unprofitable purchase.

    Economics 101, Robin, nothing to do with being Green.

    “former Premier Paul Lennon almost stuffed up forestry in Tasmania by his poor judgement of the assessment process for the mill.”

    What do you mean “almost”?

    Forestry’s troubles are of its own making through poor management, practices and stewardship and this was only excacerbated by its almost total reliance on Gunns and Gunns’ reliance on Government handouts.

    You’ll just have to wait and see what JC and GW see as the alternatives for forestry at Triabunna like the rest of us.

  7. Robin Halton

    August 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    #32, Russell, yes of cause Triabunna is a done deal, the whole idea of the purchase by JC and GW was to get in fast while the opportunity was ripe with the objective to putting a stop to wood chipping in Tasmania. I am not losing any sleep over their purchase.
    I believe that the purchase had enpowered the ENGO’s to attempt to further weaken the position of forestry and government to give in to their requirements to cease native forest harvesting!
    It is now obvious that the forest industry and many Tasmanians realise that Green stealth is untrustworthy , suddenly people have now become very suspicious of the environmental movement!
    The Federal/State government’s position remains weak and uncertian with the deal, hopefully the Upper House can make some sense of it and probably ditch it.
    Give the environmental movement an inch and they will take a mile, if they are allowed more control they could bring our economy down further with their selfish idealogy to take control of the state’s native forests.
    I dont support the Pulp Mill even if some of my forestry orientated collegues and the Premier still does, former Premier Paul Lennon almost stuffed up forestry in Tasmania by his poor judgement of the assessment process for the mill.
    Forestry has to recover from the bad publicity associated with the Gunns Pulp Mill saga. I know that forestry has its role in the Tasmanian economy and does not deserve to be under continual abuse from Green self seeking extremists.
    Russell you tell me what are your thoughts on the alternatives for forestry communities such as Triabunna, Geeveston and the Derwent Valley in the Southern Region.

  8. Russell

    August 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Re #31
    Sorry Robin, but the two-bit company who wanted Triabunna didn’t come up with the cash after Gunns waited weeks allowing them to crawl to the State Government for a handout, and no other forest industry company wanted it either. Cameron and “Mr Wotif” had the money and Gunns went back to them because of it.

    As some other pro-woodchipping private forest zealout stated earlier somewhere, something like ” it’s there property, they can do what they want with it.”

    As for the other statement “it will obviously encourage Green groups establish semi permanent bases within those forests, at the same time causing havoc for existing harvesting, quarrying and road construction and regeneration treatment on coupes and access roads in the vicinity…”, you don’t seem to be aware that the Federal and State Governments have agreed that all “existing” logging activities in these areas are to stop until the IVG completes its study at June next year.

    Do you support the continuation of woodchipping activities, Robin?

  9. Robin Halton

    August 8, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Allowing Prof. Jonathan West and his Independent Verification Group to assess for “High Conservation Values” that may exist within the the 572,0000ha of State Forest is inviting more trouble than it is worth as it will obviously encourage Green groups establish semi permanent bases within those forests, at the same time causing havoc for existing harvesting, quarrying and road construction and regeneration treatment on coupes and access roads in the vicinity.
    The State government would be foolish to allow any of the Federal funding to support such activities which is no more than an open invitation for forest protesters to converge en masse into the forests this summer in various parts of the state.
    The purchase of the Triabunna Chip mill by anti foresty campaigner Jan Cameron and Mr Wotif should already be the wake up call for what is intended this summer.

  10. William Boeder

    August 8, 2011 at 12:53 am

    A number of excellent comments here on this article.
    Now we look at the performances of the State’s Deputy Premier and his responsibility in representing the views of the Tasmanian people.

    In my mind this man as Tasmania’s forestry minister is not truly a representative for the people, certainly not the material for the beckoning healthy futures of Tasmania.

    Editor’s note: par edited out for — see code http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/pages/legalbits

  11. mike seabrook

    August 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    if the greens wanna save the trees, they should take actions to speed up the warming in tassie, not slow it down, so that people who cannot afford the hydro power & that filthy latrobe valley brown coal generated power with massive greenhouse taxes imposed on top, will no longer have to go out & chop down trees so as to have wood to burn so as to keep their houses & families warm.

  12. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Seems to me, as far as I can tell (and, yes, that is not very far, and yes, mostly I don’t give a stuff about either side) we have ever ongoing argy-bargy between two equally repulsive entities:

    (i) a mob of fundamentalists with ever more obvious fascist / totalitarian tendencies (exactly as such people always develop) who would impose on the rest of us an obeisance to ‘Gaia’, their fantasy object of worship, and who would much prefer to cull people rather than have people chipping trees; and

    (ii) bunches of profiteering rent-seekers who have been in cahoots with devious politicians for – what? – three decades, particular in the form of that dumbest of all dumb entities, the ‘government business enterprise’.

    To paraphrase Mr O Wilde once more: the unteachable in pursuit of the inoperable.

    Seems to me that too many of (i) are now in it for the polemics rather than the principle, and that far too few of (ii) are in it because of a genuine artisanal appreciation of the crafts of forestry.

  13. mike seabrook

    August 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    will gunns friendly banker , anz be a villain or a hero if & when it pulls the plug on gunns

  14. David Obendorf

    August 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Acting Premier, Bryan Green told Leon Compton this morning that the quantum of money available in the IGA package for ‘exit packages’ that could apply to Gunns Ltd was approximately $23 million.

    The ABC local radio listeners also heard that at a meeting of Bryan Green with Paul Harris MLC last week, Mr Harris told listeners that he was assured by Mr Green that no compensation or buy-back would be provided to Gunns Ltd by the Government.

    Acting Premier has some explaining to do!

  15. lmxly

    August 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    RE #17 – and yes it’s Louise, David so don’t bother with your tiresome identification charade – the very fact that Terry Edwards is so vocally opposed to the IGA, after he said nothing at all after the release of the HoA two weeks ago, suggests that the IGA must indeed be a better deal for conservation.

    And second, it puts the screws on the Leg Co – read clause 41, which says Tasmania will only get the $120m from the feds for regional development ‘subject to formal legislative protection’ of the reserves in clause 29. That is, unless the LC passes the reserve legislation, they will forfeit $120m of Federal money going straight into their electorates. I agree that there is danger in ‘verification’ of the conservation reserves; but cl 41 DOES re-couple the money to the conservation outcomes. So I for one, applaud whoever was responsible for this change – Greens or ENGOs?

  16. Robin Halton

    August 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    #17 I would hope that FIAT CEO Terry Edwards will not sign as the SOP’s as it does not include other legitimate players .
    FT as a GBE is an example, it manages its own sales contracts for supply and harvest as well as the responsibility of management for State Forest.
    TCA CEO Barry Chipman too should by now recognise by now that the SOP’s process is no more than a farce as the long term Greens plan is to shut down the local timber industry dependent on native forest that primarily produce sawmilling and peeler logs to maintain stability within the economy.
    By shutting away forests, management regimes especially for wildfire suppression and ongoing maintenance to roads and bridges and would fall to such low levels that our forested areas would always pose a danger to the public in rural areas as uncontrollable wildfires would consume large areas of former commercial forests as well spread ing into our valued Reserves and National Parks.
    I have absolutely no confidence in the way that the State Government and Federal Government are handling the “bribery money” that basically sets out first and foremost to appease Green idealogy.
    No matter what we do the Greens will never be happy. It is a mistake to allow them to deal an upper hand in the State’s forestry economy.
    Where is our usually sparky and popular State Forest’s Minister Bryan Green to defend his areas of ministeral responsibility on behalf of at least 80% of our population who support fair and reasonable forestry.
    As far as I am concerned I do not support any as Gunns current or proposed activities.
    Premier Gidding has made a dreadful mistake by supporting the current Tamar Valley pulp mill which has lead to a confused appraisal of general forestry activity.

  17. Karl Stevens

    August 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    The ‘Intergovernmental Agreement’ starts by declaring it is in response to Gunns exit from native forestry. It then appears to sit on every available fence to appease as many pressure groups and vested interests as possible. Of course the Commonwealth can’t save Gunns from bankruptcy because the Feds don’t have any contracts with Gunns. That messy job falls to Lara who we know would be only too happy to transfer as much of our money as possible to Gunns. After all, its state Labor idiocy that is exposed when Gunns goes under. Millions of dollars of largess from Australia’s poorest state to a bunch of pampered millionaires. Lara is so over-exposed to Gunns all she can do is keep shoveling cash into Gunns bottomless pit. For the thousands of Gunns creditors out there please read the ACCC guidelines on debt collection. Good luck!
    http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/733222

  18. Christopher Purcell

    August 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Totally agree with David Obendorf. Those are weasel words. In today’s ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, Giddings says, “I hope in this next week that I might be able to make some further announcements around processes that we’ll be engaging in with Gunns”.
    REPEAT!
    ANY taxpayer money given to Gunns under ANY guise will result in riots!

  19. Russell

    August 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    “Tasmania will immediately place 430,000 hectares of native forest into informal reserve, subject to verification, which the governments will protect under a Conservation Agreement.”

    Yeah, “informal” (whatever that means) and “subject to verification.” More talk that says and does nothing.

  20. jabsert

    August 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I notice the will of the Tasmanian people never gets a mention. Meanwhile decisions are sidestapped by government by passing them to sham “indepedent” committees.

    This deal means nothing to me.

  21. David Obendorf

    August 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Nick McKim’s Press Release – if it is to be believed – maybe a surprise for Gunns Ltd.

    ‘improvement from the Heads of Agreement include…federal government stating that no Commonwealth money will be paid to progress Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill.’

    “We also welcome the clear statement that no Commonwealth funds will be used to progress Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill”, Mr McKim said.

    Of course that does not guarantee that Gunns Ltd will not receive a payout [buyback or compensation] from the Commonwealth for its two Tasmanian Wood Supply contracts signed with Forestry Tasmania on behalf of the State Government.

  22. David Obendorf

    August 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Terry Edwards CEO of Forest Industries Tasmania was not a happy camper on Sunday night’s TV news bulletins. According to Terry the greenies will never be satisfied; there will be no peace in the forests, the intergovernmental agreement had guaranteed that.

    Roll on the caravan for another turn of the Tassie forestry wheel – the Legislative Council now needs to buckle under the grind of Canberra’s money wheel.

    Roll up, roll up; place your bets – where she stops no-body knows.

  23. David Obendorf

    August 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

    In cobbling together the SoFP – in the sheltered workshop as John Hayward describes it – ENGOs managed to cut themselves off from all bar the FRG attendees. These ENGO negotiators claimed to represent the environmetal movement in Tasmania in the roundtable talks, but they did not.

    The Inter-governmental Agreement has now moved beyond their direct control – or any pretensions to control – but Julia and Lara still need their appeasing publicity for accepatance of the deal and for reviewing what is really ‘HCV’ forests.

  24. Kay Seltitzas

    August 7, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Do we trust any pollies? The Greens have opened my eyes-once they are in any position of power-they hold on regardless of their own stated beliefs and intentions.
    Kay Seltitzas

  25. Neil Smith

    August 7, 2011 at 2:21 am

    I have to admit that if all those dark blue areas, and hopefully some of the light blue ones, achieve formal protection then a lot of good has been done.

    The danger obviously is that they won’t. The original Statement of Principles talked about the “572,000 hectares of HCV forest as identified by the ENGOs”, and a key plank of the Principles was that governments would agree to protect them in toto.

    Now we have a verification process. It’s not as though these area haven’t been verified before. Ad nauseam. In the lead up to the RFA of November 1997, for example. Even the forestry industry signatories to the Principles process agreed to them. Reluctantly, maybe, but they agreed they should be protected in exchange for what they themselves could get.

    Now we have Giddings et al putting barriers in the way. One has to ask why. And it can only be because they want to utilise the rest of this financial year to whittle them down. Possibly to a tiny shadow of their former self.

    So with all this talk about the need for “goodwill” from conservationists, let’s have a show of “goodwill” from Giddings and Green. Let’s have a couple of reserves fast-tracked. And let’s have a clear statement (with plenty of repetitions) that the government intends to use all their power to progress the reservation of virtually all of these areas. How about “at least 95%”.

    Otherwise the spectre of the RFA “deferred forests” (which came to not much) looms predominant. “Goodwill” demands an ongoing exchange of meaningful gestures.

    Forgive us for being wary and seemingly ungrateful. We have been dudded too often.

  26. john hawkins

    August 7, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Well done the State and Federal Greens you have called the two pathetic Labour Governments to account.

    Without you all would have been lost.

    Keeping Green and co on the straight and narrow and true to their word will be the next big problem.

    You can hear and read the snarl from Abetz in todays Examiner, having to deal with the Greens and real principles seems to make him Gretch.

  27. William Boeder

    August 7, 2011 at 12:34 am

    No Lester Barker Lefroy, nobody has won so much as a dicky-bird judging by all the encoded gobbledygook contained within this agreement, twill only be for a brief moment in time that this agreement might mean the saving of our forests from Forestry Tasmania.

    There are high level individuals whose mission seems to be to —k over the people in Tasmania.

  28. Andrew Ricketts

    August 7, 2011 at 12:08 am

    There were no roundtable talks John (5) – a roundtable suggests a meeting of equals with all included. Lester, (10) I cannot see that anyone has won, apart from Prime Minister Gillard perhaps.

    Clearly the Statement of Principles has not been upheld, the Tasmanian community not consulted or included.

    It remains doubtful whether future generations, regional communities and biodiversity will adequately benefit. Ironically the RFA has been saved, a phoenix rising from the ashes.

    And regarding the conflict – well with almost nine hundred thousand hectares of private land ignored and large amounts of state forest still remaining available for logging with serious potential for conflict, such as over plantations, threatened species, water catchments and the further scarring of Tasmania’s beautiful landscapes for example, there remains an unfortunate and oppressive problem for the Tasmanian community.

    Andrew Ricketts
    Convenor
    The Environment Association Inc.
    Deloraine

  29. Lester Barker

    August 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    O.k you greenie mungrels, yous won. just do one thing for me and cletus.

    Make sure those pricks at gunns dont get nothing for srewin the workers.

    Bastards will be lucky to build a shithouse let alone a pulp mill.

    Lester Barker
    Lefroy

  30. Peter Smith

    August 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I don’t have the time or patience to wade through all this gumf. Can some one tell me the bottom line…what’s the Gunns payola?

  31. Justa Bloke

    August 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    If there are to be no federal funds for Gunns, how many millions does this mean the the State Gov’t will have to give them?

  32. Mike

    August 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    #1 I’m sure he lives in a house on a street somewhere Garry. So yes, he’s a part of the community.

  33. john hayward

    August 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    This is an agreement writ on oily, muddy water.

    Just imagine the “Independent Verification Group” funnelling “advice” to the likes of Lala and the Chief Bogan. Just remember what happened to the thousands of hectares of undesignated Crown land native forest which was re-designated as “informal reserves” in the care of FT before becoming “working forests” for Gunns woodchip exports.

    I can see why the Roundtable talks were conducted in the manner of a sheltered workshop.

    John Hayward

  34. concerned resident

    August 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I am pleased to see that the Federal Gov’t haven’t given anything to Gunns…Now I guess we wait to see how many millions of $$$ our ‘dipstick’ of a premier/treasurer robs from our essential services to, once again, donate to mates of mates.

  35. Mike Adams

    August 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I worry about Section 40 c. ‘The potential for increased value adding and greater use of plantation timber by the forest industry’ This looks like code for continued state support for the mill – whoever has interest in it – and for continued woodchipping.

    And Section 40 d ‘Infrastructure investment to transform supply chains or minor infrastructure investment to supply connectivity for selected sectors’. I think they mean pipeline.

    And Burke’s Gunns-friendly attitude persists.

  36. Garry Stannus

    August 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Is this what we want?

    “43.This Agreement is not intended to create legally enforceable rights and obligations. In the event that any clause of this Agreement exceeds the power of either Government or is unenforceable for any other reason, that clause is to be read as not intending to create legally enforceable rights and obligations.”

    Anything contained within can be reneged on…

  37. Garry Stannus

    August 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Are our forests finally safe?

    “20.The Governments will establish and support an Independent Verification Group, to be led by Professor Jonathan West, to provide advice by the end of 2011 to the Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Premier. The Independent
    Verification Group will consult with the Governments (through the Intergovernmental Taskforce), Signatory organisations (through the
    Reference Group of Signatory representatives), experts and other stakeholders in undertaking its work. This Independent Verification Group
    will design and implement an independent and transparent verification process that will assess and verify stakeholder claims relating to sustainable timber supply requirements (including at the regional level), available native
    forest and plantation volumes, and areas and boundaries of reserves from within the ENGO-nominated 572,000 hectares of High Conservation Value native forest. This Group will also make recommendations on appropriate
    forms of land tenure for the purposes of Clause 29. The Independent Verification Group will seek the agreement of the Signatories within one
    month of the date of this Agreement on the process for conducting independent verification, and their agreement to accept its results. If they agree, both Governments agree to be bound by the results of the verification process for the purposes of Clause 29.”

    Is Professor West a part of the community?

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