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

Environment

Ta Ann lock-on protest/arrests. Edwards’ fury. Lead, says McKim. Gunns suspension.

Press conference:
8th August 2011 at 11 am
Parliament Lawns, Hobart.

This morning grassroots forest groups the Huon Valley Environment Centre, Still Wild Still Threatened and Code Green have taken action at the Ta Ann veneer mill in Smithton. 12 conservationists entered the site at 6am and two activists are locked on to machinery, halting operations. The protestors are displaying a banner reading “Ta Ann terminating Tasmanian forests.

This action takes place in response to Ta Ann’s role in blocking a solution for Tasmania’s forests. Grassroots environment groups are raising concerns over yesterday’s Intergovernmental Agreement.

“We are aware of Ta Ann’s shocking environmental and human rights practises in Sarawak and we are raising the question to the State and Federal government – why is this exploitative Malaysian company allowed to continue destroying our forests and threaten Tasmania’s chance to move forward to a sustainable industry?” said Code Green spokesperson, Joanna Pinkiewicz.

“Yesterday’s agreement guarantees Ta Ann’s contract until at least 2027. This Malaysian logging giant have a deplorable record in Sarawak and are now entrenching large scale clear felling of native forests in Tasmania” said Huon Valley Environment Centre spokesperson Jenny Weber.

“The intergovernmental Agreement leaves open over 140,000 hectares of identified high conservation value forest to potential logging. Contracts with companies such as Ta Ann could jeopardise the future protection of high conservation value forests, with further reductions to the reserve area still on the table” said Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Miranda Gibson.

“While we look forward to seeing high conservation value forests protected, the real hurdles are yet to come. This agreement is a first step that has not yet guaranteed the formal protection of these forests that is now long overdue” said Ms Weber.

Huon Valley Environment Centre: Jenny Weber; Still Wild Still Threatened: Miranda Gibson; Code Green (Launceston) Joanna Pinkiewicz; Ali Alishah (locked on at Smithton mill)

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Environment groups raise concerns as logging companies jeopardise forest solutionThis morning, grassroots forest…

Posted by Code Green Tasmania on Sunday, 7 August 2011

Action photos from Smithton Ta Ann mill

Jenny Weber
Huon Valley Environment Centre

And HVEC response to the iga.

Huon Valley Environment Centre responds to the Intergovernmental Agreement.

Huon Valley Environment Centre welcomed the long awaited statement by Gillard and Giddings that the Weld, Huon and Picton Valleys would be protected. At least for now we will be keeping a very close watch on the bulldozers moving out and logging ceasing. Though the test will be that logging does not recommence ever.

Huon Valley Environment Centre does still have concerns over yesterday’s Intergovernmental Agreement and Ta Ann’s role in blocking a solution for Tasmania’s forests. There is a very real lack of detail about a transition out of native forest logging in the agreement, and a guaranteed wood supply for Ta Ann’s 265 000 cubic metres of billets.

We intend to monitor that the legislation to secure it’s wood supply does not rear it’s ugly head in the future. And what a relief that the Greens and the ENGO’s had power of influence to prevent that being locked in to the agreement.

The facts remain that Ta Ann’s has a shocking record of environmental and human rights practises in Sarawak. This agreement is backing the destruction of native forests by a company that is participating in illegal logging in Sarawak. A subsidiary of Ta Ann is the subject of a number of legal cases from native people defending their homes from logging. While this is occurring Ta Ann should have no place in the Tasmanian community.

The Intergovernmental agreement guarantees Ta Ann’s contract until at least 2027, and beyond. This Malaysian logging giant are at the helm of entrenching large scale clear felling of native forests in Tasmania.

When the national parks that have been promised are in place, if the hurdles of the conservative Legislative Assembly and political stability is overcome, there will remain a large area of primary forest in Tasmania.

Further to that, with our associates Still Wild Still Threatened, we are concerned that the intergovernmental agreement leaves open over 140,000 hectares of ENGO identified high conservation value forest to potential logging. Contracts with companies such as Ta Ann could jeopardise the future protection of high conservation value forests, with further reductions to the reserve area is still on the table.

Huon Valley Environment Centre is looking forward to the world heritage values of the tall eucalyptus and old growth forests of the Weld, Picton and Huon Valley’s, along with a large tract of forest in the Huon district, having a future without the destructive logging.

The real hurdle is national park protection of these ancient forests being delivered. Huon Valley Environment Centre has spent the past decade highlighting the ongoing logging of these areas and unfortunately we have lost so much. Their legislated protection and World Heritage nominated status is long overdue, we will be keeping a close watch on their protection being realised.

While Huon Valley Environment Centre looks forward to seeing high conservation value forests protected, the real hurdles are yet to come. This agreement is a first step that has not yet guaranteed the formal protection of these forests that is now long overdue. Prime Minister Gillard and Premier Giddings has promised the Weld, Picton and Huon will be protected. The Weld was once promised for protection by John Howard, and it has also been a deferred forest before.

Our campaign will go on to advocate for full national park protection for the full 572 000 hectares of forest. And our campaign will continue to put a spotlight on the Malaysian logging giant Ta Ann, who has a stronghold in the southern forests. The campaign to end the native forest logging in Tasmania is also going to continue to highlight the time is now for deforestation of native forests to end and help mitigate climate change impacts.

• Media Update: Peaceful protesters receive harsh sentences.

Today, two protesters were arrested at Ta Ann’s timber mill in Smithton, in Tasmania’s north west. After being chained to machinery for over 4 hours. The pair were both charged with trespass and appeared in Burnie court this afternoon. The two peaceful protesters received suspended jail sentences and 18 month good behaviour bonds.

“The treatment of these two peaceful protesters in court is shocking. To consider putting people in jail for standing up for our precious native forests and taking part in a peaceful non-violent protest is a harsh and undemocratic response” said Huon Valley Environment Centre spokesperson Jenny Weber.

“These individuals should have been afforded the opportunity to have the Court determine their matters at a later date, which is the usual course” conservation lawyer, Vanessa Bleyer said. “They should have had the time to seek legal advice and be legally represented, rather than be taken into custody and taken straight to Court following the alleged incident. The penalties are excessive. A significant injustice has occurred today, and there are courses that can and should be taken to correct it.”

In further developments today, Ta Ann’s manager David Ridley has suggested that Forestry Tasmania may not be able to meet Ta Ann’s contract if 430 000ha of promised national parks is granted.

• What HVEC’s Jenny Webber told Saturday’s Hobart rally

I would like to acknowledge the indigenous people of Tasmania and their legacy as custodians of this land.

Tasmanian Aboriginal people have visited, occupied and understood the Weld Valley for at least 24 000 years.

The Weld Valley, where threatened forests flank the wild weld river, a river that rises at Mt Mueller, draining the Anne Range, the snowy range and Mt Weld.

There is a large tract of threatened forest in the North Weld, where the gullies are steep, massive eucalypts tower above dense rainforest, and an understorey of leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras, celery top pine and manferns have existed for many generations before us.

In one pocket of the unexplored tract of the North Weld, there is an extraordinary collection of seven giant eucalypts growing within 30 metres of each other.

In the Middle Huon, where beneath the soil, decomposing leaves and deadwood, runs a massive karst system. An outstanding cave-system, a fragile ecosystem that is globally significant.

A karst system that has significant cultural values to Tasmania’s Aboriginal people. Evidence of continuous Aboriginal occupation and use of the area for at least 35 000 years and potentially much longer. And occurs in threatened tall old growth Eucalyptus forests within three kilometres of the boundary of the World Heritage Area.

A karst system that was only discovered when a bulldozer fell in to part of it in early 2002 and still the area remains unprotected.

I am here today to remind us all of what is out there in Tasmania’s threatened and wild forests.

The giant trees, wildilfe habitat , the valuable karst systems, the ancient rainforests, the natural landscapes that have evolved over millions of years.

The healthy Tasmanian Devils, they who are on the brink of extinction. They who will benefit from protection of their forest habitat.

I am here to remind us of the dense forest species such as the Myrtles, the dominant species in Tasmania’s cool temperate Gondwana derived rainforest. A tree that can reach 500 years of age.

Tasmania has species which are found nowhere else on earth. The endangered Tasmanian wedge tailed eagle, and the endangered Tasmanian masked owl, who both require large old growth trees for nesting and breeding and are endangered due to ongoing habitat loss.

The endangered swift parrot that breeds only in Tasmania, and migrates to mainland Australia outside the breeding season.

Urgent protection is not only needed for the icon forests that have been given international recognition, it is also about the large tracts of high conservation value forests across Tasmania that have not been given the same attention.

And it is also about all the native forests in Tasmania.

Native forests that face a doomed future in the hands of Ta Ann who has a contract secured till 2027.

Native forests that are of global importance to reducing climate change, consumers of carbon, purveyors of water, treasure houses of species. Shelter and nests for wildlife; platypus, frogs, wombats, bettongs, pademelons and wallabies.

We keep being asked to compromise. We compromise every day another wild forest falls, another tree hollow smashes to the ground, endangered species habitat vanishes.

Reflecting on all that we have lost, the forests that people have lived in, have stood in the middle of roads as the bulldozers arrive, they have climbed the tall trees, and slept in their branches on tree sits, attached themselves to machines, and traversed dense wilderness forests, sat atop tripods and cable logging machines, those forests that are now gone.

And we have seen them on the back of log trucks, as large looming piles of woodchips, on the wharf being loaded as veneer and whole logs and in the ash cloud that rises to the sky and blankets our homes each regeneration burn season.

We have not participated in these acts of civil disobedience because we thrive on conflict and have extremist views. We are not the agents of conflict.

We see the value of leaving the forests standing and the tragedy of the violence against these wild places that is perpetrated every day.

Our campaign is a cry to honour life, to respect the ecosystems that support us and the many animals and plants that share our earth.

• Gunns seeks and the ASX delivers a suspension: HERE

• What George “Woodworker” Harris says about the deal:

H folks,

Many of us change our position on things over time, and some of the beliefs and associations you have in your younger days may not be the same as what we would opt for in our current circumstances.

However, there are some deep cultural and philosophical positions that, once established, would probably remain to some extent, no matter how one’s circumstances change. This certainly could be the case with the person nominated to guide the process of verification of the areas under consideration for removal from the forest industry and placement into yet more formal reserves, national parks, and possibly even extensions to the World Heritage Area.

It has been revealed that Professor Jonathan West was for a short time in the mid 1980’s the National Director of the Wilderness Society, and in that time was highly successful in achieving results for that organisation’s point of view, and contrary to the interests and preferences of the timber industry at that time, which was in the early days of the thirty year conflict over the forests.

The revelation of this information is not going to go down very well in some quarters, and probably none more so than among the families that remain in the Jackey’s Marsh area, and some of those are sixth generation timber industry people.

I received this information recently, (Download below) and I know a number of people were interested to circulate it to see if it could have altered or prevented the selling out of the timber industry in the form of the signing of a less than helpful document in Launceston on Sunday August 7.

Whatever happens, the process that follows has to not only be appropriate, but be seen to be appropriate, and that includes being forged by people of the highest levels of competence and integrity, and without any hint of duplicitousness. The process has to be open and transparent, and have a far greater level of integrity than the Statement of Principles that brought about this dubious situation.

Download:
the_umpire.docx
the_independent_umpire_ws-1.pdf

• ABC Online: Deal under threat

The Forest Industries Association’s Terry Edwards says Labor has sold out the timber industry to stay in power.

“Nick McKim is the the true Premier of Tasmania today,” he said.

Mr Edwards says the resource security the industry was seeking was in a draft document he saw Thursday night, but was not in the document signed on Sunday morning by the Prime Minister and Premier.

He has called on the federal opposition and members of the state and federal upper house to block legislation for the deal.

“We will ask the legislative council members to reject this outright we are hoping that they at least have the independence of thought and mind to try and protect Tasmanian workers,” he said.

“And not simply do what both governments have done cling desperately to power in minority governments just for that purpose alone.”

Forest Contractors Association spokesman Ed Vincent is concerned about those restrictions as well, but says he supports the deal in general terms because it provides the way out contractors need.

“Those who needed to get out could do so with some dignity,” he said.

But he says under the agreement, the State Government needs to set up the new reserves first and that could drag the process out.

“Until something is done and signed off, there’s always some risk but there’s a lot of goodwill from the Government and other people involved in this process so we’d hope it can be done quickly,” he said.

He wants the State Government to set up the new forest reserves quickly because under the agreement, Commonwealth payouts cannot start flowing until that’s done.

Independent MLC Paul Harriss says the multi-million-dollar assistance package for Tasmania’s struggling forest industry will struggle to get the support of the Upper House.

The $276 million deal provides immediate support for sacked forest workers and locks up 430,000 hectares of native forest in informal reserves which will not be used to help meet wood supply contracts.

Legislation to formally protect areas of reserve must be introduced into state parliament by the end of June next year.

Mr Harriss told ABC local radio the process had been flawed.

“The government has a lot of ground to make up in terms of its own credibility,” he said.

“It has been a sell out of the highest proportions, you don’t just give away a resource this important without the scientific rigour which it should have had.”

The Liberals are urging federal independent MPs to reject the deal.

Full story HERE

• What the TFGA says about the deal

TFGA slams forest agreement

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) today accused the federal and Tasmanian Labor governments of reneging on a pledge that private forests would not be affected by the new forest agreement.

The TFGA remains resolutely opposed to the agreement, for the unnecessary trade-off it imposes by way of forest lock-ups in return for compensation to workers and regional development incentives.

“Tasmanians are being expected to trade off a valuable job-creating industry that delivers significant economic value and supports regional communities in return for a meagre assistance package,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said.

“As importantly for farmers, the agreement signals an intention to add another layer of regulation that will further threaten the viability of forestry on private land.

“We were told throughout the process that private forests would not be affected, and reassured that there was no need for us to be concerned about any flow-on effects to the private sector.

“Yet, once again, private foresters have been done over by governments seeking to appease Green demands. Clause 31 of the IGA imposes a requirement for private forestry operations to reach one of two high certification standards or, presumably, they will be denied access to processors and markets.

“That is a direct intrusion into a free market. We cannot tolerate that. It would also make us answerable to a new forestry regime elite, none of whom have invested their own hard-earned money in owning and managing forestry resources.

“This is a very short-sighted decision by the two governments, given that modeling provided to both by Forestry Tasmania also shows it simply does not add up.

“The Greens feign outrage at the lack of formal reserves in the agreement but they have what they want, so far. They have already flagged that their agenda will inevitably move on to private forests and bans on plantations. So what certainty does the private forestry sector have?

“Both Governments need to understand that private foresters will not accept this further erosion of their assets and their rights without appropriate compensation,” Ms Davis said.

• What FT’s Bob Gordon told staff

Colleagues,

Over the weekend, the Prime Minister and the Premier signed the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. We are in the process of working through in a quite clinical manner the implications of the Agreement for FT and our capacity to supply customers.

The Agreement proposes to reserve a further 430,000 hectares of State forests. Today, we have 13 contractors working in coupes within that 430,000 hectares and we have provided advice to government that we will require access to 80 coupes in that area before Christmas to meet our contractual obligations, particularly for peeler billets.

In short, we have consistently advised stakeholders that we could not afford to reserve more than an additional 300,000 hectares if we were expected to provide 265,00 cubic metres of peeler billets and 155,00 cubic metres of sawlogs.

Over the next few days, we will be taking a hard look at the Agreement and what it means for us, including our legal obligations.

I will keep you informed as we move through the process. The Intergovernmental Agreement can be found on the intranet.

Bob Gordon
Managing Director

• Lead, says Nick McKim

LEADERSHIP NEEDED TO DELIVER FORESTS IGA PACKAGE
Destabilising Could Cost State

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Greens today said that the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) needs to be considered as an integrated package, and called for leadership from those seeking to destabilise the Agreement.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that while the IGA is not perfect, attempts to destabilise its capacity to drive conservation and industry restructuring outcomes, could cost Tasmania dearly.

“The original Statement of Principles, signed by representatives from industry, unions and conservation groups, always intended there to be an integrated package which would provide exit with dignity for contractors, protection of identified high conservation value forest, an industry transition and a boost for regional development,” Mr McKim said.

“While none of the signatories would claim that the IGA signed by the Prime Minister and the Premier perfectly represents their constituencies, it has moved forward to a fairer representation of the Statement of Principles’ intent, than the problematic Heads of Agreement of a fortnight ago.”

“Those who are arguing against the IGA are in affect arguing against immediate assistance for contractors, against further exit with dignity packages, against a guarantee of current existing contracts, and against the promised injection of $120 million for regional development to stimulate local economies around the state.”

“The IGA provides outcomes for the forest industry, however the certainty for conservation outcomes is delayed for possibly another twelve months before any conservation legislation may be passed by the Parliament.”

“Let’s be clear, the map released by Federal Minister Tony Burke identifies that only about a third of current state production forests is covered by the eNGOS identified 572, 000 hectares for protection, leaving two- thirds as production forest.”

“The Greens urge that Legislative Councillors consider the package as a whole, and demonstrate leadership and vision to see how the industry and conservation measures could further Tasmania’s economic transition onto a sustainable footing.”

Mr McKim also said that the Greens were not signatories to the Statement of Principles, or the IGA.

Reference: The Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, 7 August 2011, (including the map of proposed protected forest area) can be found on the Federal Minister for Environment’s website- http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/burke/2011/mr20110807.html

• Richard Colbeck

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
8 August 2011

Forest deal has no legitimacy

The Tasmanian forestry Heads of Agreement has no legitimacy because Labor has grossly deceived the Tasmanian community.

“State and Federal Labor have flagrantly misled the Tasmanian forest community and the Intergovernmental Agreement merely documents Labor’s capitulation to the Greens,” Coalition forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck said.

“The deception by Labor, and also the environment groups and unions, throughout this process is frankly disgraceful.

“This deal is based on a lie and on continued misleading of the Tasmanian community.

“Tasmanians were promised all through this process that it was a negotiation to find a peaceful and productive future for Tasmania’s forest resources.

“Environmental extremists couldn’t even wait for the ink to dry before launching a new round of workplace invasions at Smithton today, so it is clear the objective of finding peace has failed.

“And the forest industry will face significant challenges without resource security after this crucial clause was reneged at the eleventh hour in a desperate bid to win Bob Brown and Nick McKim’s support.

“The resource security back flip is outrageous and Prime Minister Gillard should be held to account for her part in this shameless deception.

“During the past two weeks the forest industry had been negotiating in good faith based on Prime Minister Gillard’s commitment that resource security was guaranteed.

“Labor and the Greens must be condemned for facilitating a disastrous deal that will gut $700 million a year from Tasmania’s forest industry,” Senator Colbeck said.

SATURDAY, Mercury, Emma Hope:

A MALAYSIAN parliamentarian has visited Tasmania’s native forests with a warning over timber company Ta Ann’s business operations in his home country.

Baru Bian from the Justice Party in Sarawak, Malaysia, was in Hobart yesterday speaking about Ta Ann and a subsidiary company, Gran Perfect.

Ta Ann owns 30 per cent of shares in Gran Perfect, which is facing court action in Malaysia over illegal logging.

Mr Bian said he was shocked the company was operating in Tasmania’s native forests.

“You need to scrutinise it in the light of what is happening in Malaysia. I’m very surprised Ta Ann can come in to Tasmania,” he said.

“When they were saying it was cheaper to buy here, I thought there was definitely something interesting in it.”

Senator Bob Brown said Ta Ann was buying Tasmanian native timber at a discounted rate, with government-owned Forestry Tasmania subsidising the price.

“I’ve got no doubt that Ta Ann were brought to Tasmania in the first place as a trojan horse to get the woodchip industry into these beautiful native forests in Tasmania. So it was simply a set-up to justify the woodchipping,” he said.

“Ta Ann should never have been allowed in Tasmania’s native forests, Senator Brown said.Ta Ann Tasmania hit back at the claim that it was buying wood at a reduced price.

“Our business is based on low-quality, pulpwood-grade logs which are otherwise made into woodchips and we pay a premium,” said Ta Ann director David Ridley.

“We use low quality logs to make high quality veneer for the international market.”

Mr Ridley said Ta Ann employed 160 people and anticipated putting $45 million into the Tasmanian economy this year.

Mr Ridley would not comment about the claims regarding court action in Malaysia because he did not know the specifics of the case, he said.

Mercury story HERE

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Pat Caplice

    August 10, 2011 at 4:07 am

    C’mon George
    I know a well poured 10oz when it’s put in front of me. I know a well driven tip truck when it goes by. But I have no idea how to tell the difference between a peeler billet and a saw log. Help me here. What are those long wooden things in the pics?
    Pat

  2. john hawkins

    August 10, 2011 at 12:27 am

    George the Woodworker Harris like Julian Amos over his claimed numbers employed in the Tasmanian timber industry,I ask where art thou?

    When asked a simple Question, see my #22, you have gone to ground but this is Tasmania and you might just be foxing..

  3. William Boeder

    August 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    #26 Robin Halton. Twould be a rare day that anyone could employ that hallmark of the Tasmanian logging industry, when their term of ‘stealth’ is introduced into the discussion regarding forestry/logging operations by the captains of stealth themselves (Forestry Tasmania) in the formational policy and practice plans of Forestry Tasmania?
    Robin, are they not the inventors of this oft quoted word, I held the idea that this may have been so?
    Can you foresee into our futures Robin, whereby the clear and open intention and practice of their industry, (Forestry Tasmania,) should one day be free of this ‘stealth’ business?

    I have a mind to believe that all this State’s GBEs determinedly employ this ‘stealth business’ as rule number one, when dealing with domestic applied charges, costs, levies, imposts, fees, permits, a/c overdue fines, garnishees, catchpoles, presumed liabilities and or newly inspired encumbrances?

    However, the cry of foul by the likes of Forestry Tasmania against the conservationists and environmentalists, is a peculiar new charge introduced by them into the long-term battle for protection of Tasmania’s Old Growth Native Forests.

  4. Robin Halton

    August 8, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Dear Editor re my # 24, My comment about Prof Jonothan West was not out of context! I was influenced by #23 comment.
    Clearly Prof.JW is an opportunist who will grab at any political which suits his need for fame!
    He was well attached to former Premier Bartlett with promoting the Food Bowl concept, I said that basically the Geology and Soil types under irrigation may not sustain heavy and constant cropping condition in the Northern Midlands. Operationally it may not be achievable to the extent it was promoted.
    I went onto say that I would not entertain the likes of Prof.JW to lead an assessment team to report on HCV’s on 572,000ha of State Forest to be placed into Informal Reserves pending the deal being passed by the Upper House!
    Prof. JW’s presence may encourage protesters to move in on those forest area in order to gain attention and compromise foresty operations nearby on State forest.
    There is no question in my mind this is a ploy for the Greens to gain territory by stealth.
    I would hope that the Upper House would not pass the current Forest Deal as it leans too far to the left.

  5. hugoagogo

    August 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    22; What’s the price of the billets vs that of the various sawlog grades?

  6. Robin Halton

    August 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    comment deleted — see TT code http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/pages/legalbits points 1 & 2

  7. Adam at Margate

    August 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Actually, if you look a bit more closely, it’s laughable to present Jonathon West as some kind of friend of environmentalists. If he ever had any real sympathy, it’s long gone. After 18 years at Harvard Business School, he’s now a board member of Bunge corporation, a global agribussiness firm widely known as the Rapist of the Amazon. He’s also pro-GMO and on record as saying he now believes Tasmania’s loggers “should be viewed as sustainable, and socially and environmentally desirable” (from his 2009 report to the Premier ‘An Innovation Strategy for Tasmanian’). No wonder rumour has it that Bob Brown tried to veto his appointment with Julia Gillard, and the industry seems so happy about it.

  8. john hawkins

    August 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    George the Woodworker Harris,

    I am sure you can see a good log when it comes your way.

    The Ta Ann “peeler Billets illustrated on Tas Times thanks to the work of the young and committed look like “the business” … namely saw logs.

    George you are our saw log versus billets special timbers expert your thoughts please.

    If as I suspect they are not peeler billets but saw logs is FT allowing this Company to acquire saw logs at give away billet prices in an agreement now enshrined in law.

    Have the smart arses at FT been caught out on day one of the new agreement increasing the agreed 155,000 cm of sawlogs to 420,000 cm of sawlogs instead of 155,000 cm saw logs and 265,000 cm of peeler billets.

    If they have is FT charging accordingly or is a fraud taking place before our eyes!

  9. David Obendorf

    August 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

    The reality is the new elephant in the Tasmanian forest is Ta Ann. Recent ABC TV coverage of this Malaysian company has effectively ‘outed’ Ta Ann as the new Gunns in Tasmania. In Sarawak [Borneo island] they are dispossessing not just jungle animals but indigenous people!

    Again the FT business model of providing peeler-billets to this company is the problem – this government GBE is doing the logging of native forests.

  10. Barnaby Drake

    August 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

    “Labor and the Greens must be condemned for facilitating a disastrous deal that will gut $700 million a year from Tasmania’s forest industry,” Senator Colbeck said.

    For almost the last twenty years Forestry has nade a consistent loss, but have claimed that they have added to the States GNP. In this they failed to add in any costs and quoted only turnover as though that was income. Very deceptive! They have valued the trees as being worth nothing before clearfelling and have not deducted any costs whatsoever, They further added the future value of the forests into their inventory as though they owned them to make their figures look good, but this was subsequently quashed when they were told they don’t own the trees, they belong to the people.

    However, where he gets this figure of $700 million a year is probably from the Celestial Pie Shoppe as there is nothing in their returns that vaguely resembles this, except possibly, their demand for an annual subsidy.

    The real truth of the matter is that they do everything at a loss and the more they are restricted, the better off everyone in Tasmania will be, with the possible exception of the fat cats of Forestry, the very people who are doing all the howling now and threatening the agreement.

  11. kraft

    August 8, 2011 at 1:13 am

    George, you are wrong the independent umpire was not the National Director of the Wilderness Society for a short time, but from November 1986 to the end of September 1987. He joined the Wilderness society in 1982 and was the Society’s lobbyist before being the national liaison officer for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

    Mr West joined the ALP’s Environment Minister Barry Cohen’s office as senior policy officer in 1984 until being asked by the Wilderness Society to be its national Director.

    Whilst an employee with two of the signatories to the Statement of Principles and with the ALP, he was involved with the first protests demands for forest reservation at Jackeys Marsh with Sean Cadman and at Farmhouse Creek where Bob brown, Alec Marr and Nick McKim. These protests were the start of the 25 year conflict.

    It seems ironical that Jonathan West is now being asked to verify the peace deal, the HCV forests and the wood supply to an industry he claimed was only profitable due to subsidies.

    Now according to media reports the draft Intergovernmental agreement was changed at the last moment on the advice of – wait for it – Jonathan West!!

    TT and source watch journo Bob Burton could flesh out the details of West’s times with the Wilderness Society so we can check our apprehension of bias.

  12. lewis

    August 8, 2011 at 1:01 am

    The ultimate Bob Gordon thumb to the world as per below……

    Quote:
    Today, we have 13 contractors working in coupes within that 430,000 hectares and we have provided advice to government that we will require access to 80 coupes in that area before Christmas to meet our contractual obligations, particularly for peeler billets.
    Unquote

    I am going to do it MY way and all of you can just forget about the “commercial in confidence” details of my … contracts.

    When is someone going to stop this (person) (Editor feel free to amend that description!)

  13. john hayward

    August 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    From the deafening bleating once again coming from the woodchippers’ camp, you know that they are once again trying to create the illusion that their gold pass to the public forests is under some sort of threat.

    The truth (for once) was conveyed by none other than Bob Gordon in his message to his own troops seen above, clearly revealing that the “informal reserves” are phoney. They are being logged as the ENGOs celebrate.

    With the government assuring us that all existing logging contracts will be observed, with the terms of those contracts being secret, with all of the informal reserves being provisional to unknown FT claims, we have the makings of a fraud every bit as flagrant as an RFA woodchip orgy introduced under the pretext of “resource security”.

    Nothing agreed to date has any provisions to limit what is still the most intensive native forest logging in the developed world.

    John Hayward

  14. max

    August 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    It is good to see pictures of these peeler logs, logs that we have been told are second rate good for nothing except wood chips. What do I see, I see gun barrel straight future saw logs. If this is the way Forestry Tasmania are managing out forests then there can be little future for saw milling in this state. Thanks to a bunch of so called radicals we have been given a glimpse of what is really going on is our forests.

  15. David Mohr

    August 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Quite correct Len!! Bryan Green was running that line on ABC Radio this morning!!

  16. phill Parsons

    August 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    #1. “Never stand between a Premier and a bucket of money.” P.J.Keating. Green dreams of the day he is promoted to replace another one eaten by the machine.

  17. mike seabrook

    August 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    ref #6

    don’t worry – there has gotta be some global warming in the tamar sometime.

    o’connors climate change department of c. 100 public servants is looking into it as a priority.

  18. russell

    August 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    This idea seen on a wikileaks site can be teased out in so many ways but have never seen it put quite so succinctly before;

    ” when injustice becomes the law, rebellion becomes a duty ”

    Corrupted crony capitalist ‘democracies’ will pass their anti-democratic corrupted ‘laws’ to protect corrupted practice on behalf of the greed driven few. They take for themselves without allowing for equity for the majority. They disallow community participation, in the formulation of what becomes unjust laws, in the vain hope we will be quiet and just go away.

    Is it not the welcome duty of the thinking democrat to resist and cause to be changed, unjust and oppressive laws?

    Is this the cause of the ‘forestry wars’? When the law is made just, peace can prevail in our communities. No pulp mill in the Tamar valley.

  19. Barnaby Drake

    August 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Gunns, having failed to get any momey from Julia is falling back on the old ploy of trying to blackmail Lara into doling out more money from a virtually bankrupt treasury. If she does, she runs the risk of both a public backlash and Kim Booth bringing down her government. I don’t think that is a risk she dare take.

    Gunns is now running very scared. If trading commences again in their shares without a promise of more government funding, they know they will be wiped out, especially in the curernt market. I would predict a share price of about 12 cents within an hour of opening, and that will definitely mean the Receivers knocking on their door. It appears that this expectation of a bailout was the ONLY reason they requested a suspension of trading, as they have no further announcements to make and no prospects. It is not a valid excuse, as far as I can see and should not have been granted.

    I expect to see some intensive lobbying of Lara and her minions from all the usual Gunns protagonists, including Paul Lennon and David Llewellyn, but this could possibly be cut short by an equal campaign of lobbying of the stock exchange by Gunns shareholders and other interested parties. Maybe this is a good time to register objections with the ASX and flood Kobi Li, the Senior Advisor with some emails?

  20. TassieGold

    August 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Couldn’t have said it any better than John Hawkins.

    BTW this morning (~8.50 a.m.) I heard Mr Green tell Leon on the ABC morning show that the requirement had been changed from Gunns having to show substantial PROGRESS, which, he added, they have already done (given all they have spent to date).

  21. moo

    August 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    How is it that Gunns are allowed to halt trading while they await a government handout? Surely that is unethical? As John #5 says what of those wanting to salvage anything before the stock goes even lower?
    Who owns Gunns, the stockholders or the board? And why is the ASX abetting this (seemingly) unethical behaviour? I admit I know very little about corporate business but something seems off here

  22. john hawkins

    August 7, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    #6 Bryan Green said as much to Compton on local ABC radio this morning.

    I think the permit and its wording requires substantial work to have been commenced on the site.

    Is this the line in the mud for Lala?

    Do we have a TT reader qualified to give an opinion?

  23. Barnaby Drake

    August 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    It has been revealed that Professor Jonathan West was for a short time in the mid 1980’s the National Director of the Wilderness Society, and in that time was highly successful in achieving results for that organisation’s point of view, and contrary to the interests and preferences of the timber industry at that time, which was in the early days of the thirty year conflict over the forests…. George Harris.

    It is such a pity that he was not even more successful at that time . If he had been, then perhaps we would not have had a woodchipping industry and the thirty years of forest wars that it generated, along with the despoliatition of our heritage. This conflict is about the damage that has been done to Tasmania by Forestry and the cost of that to our economy and world reputation, and of course Forestry want to continue with this destruction. It was Foretsry, in conjunction with the government, who brought in Ta Ann and seem set to pursue this destructive contract and continue the ‘war’. It is my fervant hope that thet lose!

    Furthermore, George, your quote, ‘The revelation of this information is not going to go down very well in some quarters, and probably none more so than among the families that remain in the Jackey’s Marsh area….’

    Are you not aware that a large part of Jackey’s Marsh is owned by a eco-commune who for many years have strongly opposed all commercial logging in the Quamby area. At Jackeys Marsh there is an annual festivel ‘For the forests’ which attracts people from all over Australia to celebrate the forests and where they discuss and celebrate ecological things and saving these forests from destruction. They have a hundred hectares of forests there that was revently the subject of a successful protest to prevent logging but much of the area is devoted to organic farms, which logging and plantations would destroy.
    I know several people who live in this area, none of whom are loggers, and I think your comments on this area are either mischievous or very badly misinformed.

  24. Len Fulton

    August 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    It has been pouring all day today here in the Tamar Valley. And heavy too. There is a strong rumour doing the rounds that a Khaki Campbell duck weighing 400 grams became irretrievably bogged whilst walking across the Pulp Mill site at 11.43 this morning. God knows how Greg is going to get the bulldozers in there for a week or three even if Lala coughs our money for him to make a start. Lala just might have to grant the extensions on the basis that the 219 million bucks already spent on the pipe dream constitutes a ‘substantial commencement’. Clever ole Greg has already flagged it possums. Only last week. Just sit back and wait for it. That will be the line we get, don’t worry.

  25. John Hawkins

    August 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    The Australian Stock Exchange should not allow Gunns’ request for an extention of their suspension of trading.

    This company is using this system to blackmail the State Labor Government to give it money to keep it solvent.

    This is not the function of an Australian Stock Exchange.

    The granting of an additional period of suspension is an insult to those who own the stock and wish to get out of it; and is an abuse of privilege.

    If they are going to go, let them go!

  26. Michael

    August 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Disgraceful, now these activists are protesting about utilising timber for products other than woodchips. When will they make up their minds about which products they don’t like to see produced from our forests?

    Interesting that you’ve tagged this under ‘Gunns’, editor. The article has nothing to do with that company’s activities at all. Nothing like slinging mud every which way…

    Ed: Quite right… the tag has been removed

  27. William Boeder

    August 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    George Harris, it must be understood that the management and Executive Board of Forestry Tasmania have led to the crisis that the logging industry has become in recent times.
    Until this secret elite are brought to account for allowing the industry to form itself into the present untrusted status, then there will be no true advances that will benefit the greater Tasmanian economy.
    Economies can be impeded and go on to create long lasting harms by staying with locked-in negative outcomes, as has been the case with the secret society of the Forestry Tasmania Executive Board.

    To consider the way that this government and its GBE of Forestry Tasmania are in lock step to the likes of the big-boys of forest destruction in Malaysia, Gran Perfect, a company that has Ta Ann holding a major interest 30% stake therein, is not the way this State of Tasmania should be aligned.
    Yet this is the low level moral ethics that pervade the Executive Board of Forestry Tasmania.

    This whole complex situation of Tasmanian logging interests seems to be at the behest of both China and of Malaysia’s Ta Ann, then somewhere thereafter to whatever interests might remain to flow out of this lop-sided state of affairs to enhance the people of Tasmania.

    How many non-Malaysian employees are there, compared to the volume of Malaysian employers are employed at Ta Ann?

    You would know of these things George?

  28. Robert LePage

    August 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I would be interested to know, now that the State is essentially bankrupt as is Forestry Tasmania and Gunns, if the forest is such a big part of Tasmania’s financial backbone, why are we in the this state?
    I do not expect a tirade of “it’s all the Greens fault”, they have only really had any input in the scene for a short time. I wonder why the three amigos have not put us on a sounder financial footing.

  29. Robin Halton

    August 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Hello George, for a start it is scandalous that Prof Johnathon West is to lead a team of environmental “experts” of his own choice to investigate the so called 430,000 ha of informal reserves.
    This is land that is dedicated as State Forest and is recognised under the Current RFA 1997-2017 for the purposes of appropiate forestry activity Wood Production and all Special Values would be covered by current legislated Acts which have to be complied with within the current Forest Practices Code.
    Forests Director Bob Gordon must immediately tell our “piss weak” Forest Minister Bryan Green that this Independent Verification Group led by West is an encroachment on fair and reasonable State Forest management.
    As land manager FT must be a part of the appointment of any team that may look into these areas of HCV.
    To exclude FT would be a breach of mistrust of pains taking work already achieved back in the early 1990’s when the Public Land Use Commission was established to refine existing State lands into a permanent system of National Parks, Reserves and State Forest.
    It is absolutely wasteful that $7M annually set been set aside for management of informal reserves mainly to squandered by a bunch of trouble making hypocrites to further drag down our ailing state economy to suit the idealogy of the Green minority.
    I am sure about 75-80% of Tasmanians would agree that the planned expenditure $7M /annum cannot be justified.

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