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

My Cry from the Heart: When will these people stop?

I read with interest an article in August 3rd Mercury with the headline Forest Action Warning. When will these people stop? The anti-forestry movement has always wanted down stream processing which they will have with the plantation based pulp mill and yet they are meeting on Monday to form strategies to stop it!

They say that the forests are threatened. Perhaps it is time that they realised that we (the people) are the threatened species. Figures are thrown around that there is only 2 – 2,500 direct and indirect jobs involved in native forest logging.

I believe there is no accurate data as to the exact number of people in Tasmania who work in the forest industry. An example is log truck drivers. In statistical data they are classified as transport workers. The employees of Forestry Tasmania are public servants. What about the people who indirectly work in the forest industy like the engineering sector who maintain the trucks and build trailers; the people at the tyre outlets; the cafes and roadhouses around the State that relied on the drivers and bush workers; the fuel outlets.

I was told today that one maintenance workshop has lost half their work. One doesn’t have to be very clever to work out that will ultimately equate to half their workforce! This is the type of business that produces our future tradesmen and women (welders, fitters and turners, etc). Can this type of business continue to employ apprentices in the present circumstances. I seriously doubt it. Has consideration been given to the loss of work for accountants, solicitors, financial planners and others? If people don’t have businesses then they don’t need those services. What effect will that have on our office work force. I’d be game to bet you that there are not too many people working in offices like these that have ever considered themselves part of the forest industry!

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Triabunna …
The anti-forestry movement really have no idea what ‘stopping the chainsaws’ will do to our total economy. How do we make them realise that? How do we make the rest of the world realise that Tasmania still has trees. A comment was made recently by someone from England that they thought that there were no trees in Tasmania.

How do we make the people in Sydney and Melbourne who are supporting Bob Brown and the Greens realise that Tasmania is not their plaything to do with what they want? How do we make both the State and Federal Governments realise that it is not about ‘bail out’ money. “Bail out” money won’t help the indirect businesses. Many of those will simply go broke with the subsequent massive loss of employment.

People in the forest industry whether directly or indirectly don’t want to be baristas and tour guides. They just want to go and do what is best for the industry. Many of these people have only known the industry. How do they retrain at 50 or 60 years of age to do a new job. It is time that Governments, the anti-forestry movement and everyone else in this State got real about the industry that has been supporting Tasmanian families for decades.

The Premier can put all the spin on it she likes (the world doesn’t want woodchips etc) . The reality is the world still needs woodchips but the problem has been the campaign by the Green movement for them not to take Tasmanian woodchips.

It seems to me that the Green movement has a severe case of NIMBY. They want to stop our well-managed industry but they don’t appear to care what happens to forests around the world as a result. Where do they think the paper comes from that they use to write the letters, to do their signs etc to stop our industry.

I have been involved in the forest industry in one way or another for more than 40 years. I was the first female on the site at the Triabunna woodchip mill in December 1970 and worked there for a total of 10 years. My husband and I ran the Stihl chainsaw dealership in Triabunna for almost 19 years and I now work for arguably the best logging trailer builder in Australia.

The forest industry and those who work in it deserve admiration not condemnation. We need our native forest industry to continue. Our sawmillers and specialist timber users rely on it and our State economy relies on both the direct and indirect employment.

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Mark Poynter

    August 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    #29 William Boeder

    “…. you with every claim of justification to be judge and jury upon the creature lives and the nature of Victoria’s one-time free ranging Mountain Ash Forests, just so that you can nip in and clear-fell log the many interconnected coupes of these once abundant forests?”

    Wow …. talk about shoot the messenger. Áll I’m doing is telling you the reality. By the way Victoria’s Mountain Ash forests still occupy around 95% of their original pre-European range, so they are still abundant. Logging and regenerating a portion of them won’t change that, but 70% are already reserved and won’t be logged.


    Editor’s note: par deleted — tone.

  2. William Boeder

    August 9, 2011 at 2:55 am

    #32. mjf. here’s hoping that you prosper in your own enterprise of high value adding, a bit of a shame that the “big-wheel overlords of the clear-fell plunder for wood-chips brigade,” lack your mental accuity.

  3. mjf

    August 9, 2011 at 12:41 am

    #29. WB, if you were to undertake the necessary research you will find I have never upheld the two forest entities which obsess you so much, as beyond reproach. I do however, defend the ‘industry’ as a whole.

    I have few friends at the FPA, more like acquaintances. We disagree in many areas but for me its a necessary means to an end. Still enjoy it though.

  4. Russell

    August 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Re #28
    Anyone who sells to woodchippers.

  5. mjf

    August 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    #28. Not as ‘little’ as it would be if it was my call.

    Who are these private foresters not pursuing the highest end product ?

  6. William Boeder

    August 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    #27 mjf. I note you have drawn away from the former god-like adulation of the 2 major logging entities, (as aforementioned in your comment,) as had been found to occupy the minds of the pro-logging commentariat?
    I find your judgement in this matter to be be commendable.
    Let not your favoured FPA friends ever allow themselves to take you down!

    #24. Mark Poynter. Your claim of:
    For a start LB was ‘probably never abundant because it lives in just one forest type- Mountain Ash,’ although there have been isolated occurrences in other forest type.

    Who do you think will be the ultimate winner in hastening the demise of the LB possums here Mark, the loggers with their unending quest to log all forests they can clap their hands upon, or may it be the nature-caused/people caused bush-fires throughout these LB habitat areas?

    According to your views these resilient little creatures laugh at the forest loggers, laugh at the bush-fires, and quickly remove themselves to the supposed reserve areas that may not be aflame?

    You then claim: so provided attention is given to retaining some older trees around the coupe edges for LB to live in this is also beneficial to the species in the long term.

    This is especially so kind of you and the contract loggers, (provided these older trees are not exploded out of the way as being too dangerous to log near,) as is the practice here in Tasmania?
    I am forever amazed at the stories given out by such as yourself here Mark,to give life to the lie that provides you with every claim of justification to be judge and jury upon the creature lives and the nature of Victoria’s one-time free ranging Mountain Ash Forests, just so that you can nip in and clear-fell log the many interconnected coupes of these once abundant forests?

    Thankfully I will never feel myself obliged to defend the clear-fell destruction to any areas of either of your Victorian Forests and wildlife, or be it our Tasmanian forests and wildlife!

  7. Russell

    August 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Re #25
    Well there you go, Martin, we the public do have a say, albeit very little.

    They follow the same legislation, implemented by a Government authority who is answerable to and represents the public (in theory).

    The term “science” is a highly debatable one, and one which has led to the demise of the woodchip industry.

    I’m sure, as you pointed out, that many private (with Gunns Ltd being an exception) foresters are after the higher end of the value-adding market, not all though.

  8. mjf

    August 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    #25. Private forest management is determined by science not public hysteria.

    Fortunately smaller landowners are generally harder nosed than FT are or Gunns were, as the bottom line is pursued.

    Same legislation applies regardless of tenure.


    Editor’s note: minor edit for tone.

  9. mjf

    August 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    23. I don’t consider them at all secretive or elitist.

    By comparison Federal Hotels, the Exclusive Bretheren and the Water Authorities are much more furtive and influential in my view.

  10. Russell

    August 8, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Re #22
    “They are not your forests or the publics forests, they in fact belong to the landowners so you really have no valid say in how they are managed.”

    I believe they come under the exact same FPA scrutiny, guidelines and regulations, don’t they?

  11. Mark Poynter

    August 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    #19 William Boeder

    ” …..could you tell the readers in Tasmania what your gentle and cuddly clear-fell logging industry is doing to the shrinking habitat and lives of Victoria’s Leadbeaters Possum?
    It is estimated that there are only one thousand at most of these once abundant unique wild life species left in the State of Victoria?”

    I suggest you go to your local library and do a bit of reading about Leadbeaters Possum before sounding off about things that you have little knowledge of.

    For a start LP was probably never abundant because it lives pretty much in just one forest type – Mountain Ash, although there have been isolated occurances noted in other forest types.

    Its abundance is determined by fire and the prevalence of fire regrowth which is its preferred habitat. It was thought to be extinct for 20-years after the 1939 fires decimated much of the State’s Mountain Ash forests, but true-to form was re-discovered in 1961 as the regrowth emerged.

    Without periodic fire there would be no Mountain Ash and no Leadbeaters Possum, and so the 2009 Black Saturday fires which cooked thousands more hectares of ash forest and again weakened the LP population will in 20-years time have created more ideal habitat for it.

    Two-thirds of the MAsh forest is reserved, and the other third is being managed on an 80-year timber rotation. Logging also creates and maintains regrowth, so provided attention is given to retaining older trees around coupe edges for the LP to live in, this is also beneficial to the species in the long term.

    I’m not surprised that your personal campaign to ‘save’ LP is being ignored given its basis in misinformation and ignorance.

  12. William Boeder

    August 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Interesting comment mjf, as you should be aware the single most devastating and condemning factors that have the people of this State so angry and disallusioned with the State’s logging industry, it is that of the still ongoing purposes of deceit and deception that still plagues the State’s logging industry?

    Only those from on high would have their sinister purposes in keeping this the ‘rule of the day’ or ‘rule of the industry’ up and happening throughout this State.
    For surely this cannot be a decision of those at the coalface, as they would not have time for this sort of jiggery-pokey.

    Perhaps if those on high who rule this industry attempted to display honesty and integrity in their purposes and conducts, well just maybe ‘this non-top-secret’ approach might cause some change in the attitudes by people all around the State?
    The 3 parties whom favor the secretive behaviour are @ 1 the State government, @ 2 Forestry Tasmania Executive Board, @ 3 Gunns Ltd.

    So I believe it is among these 3 elitist secret societies or even the whole 3 of them, that hold this cold ruthless covenant over the people of Tasmania.

  13. mjf

    August 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    #15. The question I would ask people (still) involved in the forest “industry” – more of a scam on the public purse, those are our forests they chop down and ship away forever – is what does your work do for anyone else.

    Well, thats me (still).

    Firstly I make a modest living working in private forestry and forests. They are not your forests or the publics forests, they in fact belong to the landowners so you really have no valid say in how they are managed.

    You may opinionate all you like over State Forests but you need to recognise there is a timber resource sector that is not of your concern.

    What does my work do for anyone else ? I directly contribute to the the sustainability of lots of other peoples jobs – I think that is a reasonable contribution. I pay my GST and PAYG to the ATO, I have money ebbing and flowing from a bank account which involves staff if its only putting a statement in an envelope, I purchase fuel and get my vehicle serviced fairly regularly and pay for new parts when required. I also pay a mortgage, buy groceries, pay rates, go to a doctor and dentist, occasionally buy consumer goods and pay my power, phone, water & internet accounts (but not always right on time). I am not in any way a financial burden on this country just yet and I plan to be independantly retired in a few years if that’s still possible then.

    The nett upshot is that I think I’m contributing in my little way to a lot of other peoples jobs and very existences as they, in turn, help mine. All this from making a living from the ‘dreaded industry’.

    I’m pretty happy with my contribution and unfortunately, this country and state still need people to work in order to glean tax to fund budgets to provide services. People just like me and maybe you, if you’re in the saddle.

    Lots of people would be grateful that because of my job I help to sustain theirs. I appreciate other peoples roles which enable me to carry out my job. You seem to have a different take on this though.

    “If you make your living at the cost of the future of all our children, they you cannot hold your head high” – I can’t speak for yours but I know my method of making a living has not cost the futures of my children. They are all gainfully employed to varying extents, well balanced and have positive outlooks.

    They all express a view in permanently leaving Tasmania but that has nothing to do with a floundering forest industry but much more defined by the gross incompetence of minority government, a future based on pandering to tourists and an insiduous green mentality.

    I inserted a very large anti-green hypodermic into all my kids many years ago you understand and I’m pleased to say the innoculation appears permanent. Maybe a booster wouldn’t hurt though.

    So can I hold my head high or not in your humble opinion?

  14. john hayward

    August 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Cheryl, if you or your friends could come up with an industry more environmentally destructive and economically illogical than our native forest chipping, I’m sure that our pollies would subsidise it wholeheartedly.

    Draw up a proposal, wrap it it in large-denomination notes, and post it to your favourite major party, or the McKim Greens.

    John Hayward

  15. William Boeder

    August 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    #17. Mark Poynter, could you tell the readers in Tasmania what your gentle and cuddly clear-fell logging industry is doing to the shrinking habitat and lives of Victoria’s Leadbeaters Possum?
    It is estimated that there are only one thousand at most of these once abundant unique wild life species left in the State of Victoria?

    Why have Native Forest wood-chips continued to be exported from Victoria?
    The answer here Mark is that the 2 State ministers I have sent letters requesting why they have abandoned all concerns for the endangered wild life species barely surviving in their once widely available habitats, tell me that neither of these ministers have the cojones to respond to my letter of concerns in the past 14 days.

    They also are blinded by the idea of turning Victoria’s Majestic Highland Forests into some loose spending money for the collective of ministers to feed out to try and win themselves some votes from the more centrally located regional cities and towns.
    So what’s wrong with their idea which seems to be let the huge range of wildlife and habitat losses pay for their greedy largesse thus to be used for vote-buying for themselves?
    Plenty Mark Poynter, this is the level that government ministers participate in to try and hold onto their taxpayer-flogged positions in government.

  16. Norman Stanely Fletcher

    August 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Editor’s note: comment deleted please see TT code provision on one persona http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/pages/legalbits point 5.

  17. Mark Poynter

    August 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    #6 “…the market has lost its appetite for woodchips from high conservation value forests”

    Why have native forest woodchips continued to be exported without any trouble from Victoria, NSW and WA during this whole Tasmanian forests ‘crisis’? Simple, because there is still a strong market demand for them.

    #10 “Imagine how Triabunna could benefit, being a deep water port, with multiple cruise ships accessing the East Coast”

    LOL. Why would cruise ships which already stop in Hobart with all its attractions, want to also go to the considerable trouble of docking and unloading/loading again just a couple of hours away? And what will a little town like Triabunna offer the tourist, compared to Hobart?

    # 11 “No one in their right mind could be against carefully executed, habitat-protecting, biodiversity-considerate, value-adding selective logging”

    That’s very wishful thinking. You haven’t been paying enough attention to the history of these forest conflicts right around Australia. If you had you would see that ENGO campaigning has closed down small industries like the red gum in NSW and Victoria, and the Cypress Pine in NSW and soon QLD. These industries were based on light selective logging and produced very high value durable timbers and NO woodchips. Yet still they were targetted.

    As the article says – these people don’t go away until there is no timber industry of any sort. They’ve said so themselves many times and in the formal policies of the TWS and ACF, and yet too many seem to think that if only we can do things differently we’ll have peace in the forest.

    Forest activism is a social movement, a way of life for many, and a good money-spinner from gullable donors. Don’t expect it to end until there is absolutely nothing left to complain about … and then plantations will be the next battleground, if they aren’t already.

  18. Robin Halton

    August 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    #15 Anne, it is pointless to remain to be seen as a prophet of doom on everything forestry!
    I agree with you that the Pulp Mill siting seems to be out of place on the Tamar mainly because of the proposed mill’s size!
    This does not mean that forestry in general terms is such a bad thing for Tasmania.
    FT is probably never going to make big profits however its presence ensures forest management especially dealing with protecting areas of forest and neighbouring land from the spread of destructive wildfire.
    Employment is generated through both harvesting and management to keep jobs and businesses viable by keeping the flow of money moving around.
    In hindsight State run GBE’s are a pipe dream for such a small state like Tasmania.
    Eventually TT Line will need Federal money to purchase a new ferry or ferries.
    The Hydro triad will regularly require new cash injections to keep its infrastructure up to scratch.
    FT will need cash for protection measures to keep the state from going up in smoke (aversion of the Mega fire)!
    You mention that “an old person in aged care creates three jobs”. Where do you think the money is going to come from! Not from the dividends paid by any of the GBE’s or from Lara’s now empty piggy bank at RBF.
    The State Government is bankrupt and will need to draw most of its ongoing funding for nurses and teachers that you mention from the Federal government and of cause that “dirty money” from the State’s gambling revenue.
    Tasmania on the average has good Forest Practices and we should recognise that and not confuse it with the ongoing Pulp Mill and other Gunns related issues.
    Tree hugging and all this “over the top” Carbon talk is no more than a distraction from the reality.
    When it comes to forests, with Gunns native forest sawlog entitlements annuled then that will help raise the bar on resource sustainability within State Forest.
    It is pointless to tie more forest up in National Parks and Reserves, FT are quite capable to manage both the Wood Production and areas reserved for Special Values under the requirements of the Forests Practice Code.
    Over half the State is already protected within the Reserves System which is adequate.

  19. Anne Cadwallader

    August 5, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The core of this article is flow on jobs. This is a huge furphy. Everything we do creates flow on jobs. An old person in an aged care unite creates three jobs. An earthquake or a crime creates jobs. The question I would ask people (still) involved in the forest “industry” – more of a scam on the public purse, those are our forests they chop down and ship away forever – is what does your work do for anyone else. If you make your living at the cost of the future of all our children, they you cannot hold your head high. Even the cursed pulp mill only has a 25 year lifespan, some of us with kids and grandkids actually want a state that lasts a bit longer than that. Tasmania has gone broke from its own mismanagement, all that the Green movement did was make sure at least some nature was left, to feed clean rivers and deep soils, and provide some diversity for animals,plants and insects which safeguard all our lives.
    There is one clear difference between the Green viewpoint and the LibLabs – Greens think beyond next year and their own pockets. “These people” as you call them are your own neighbours, friends, fellow Tasmanians who think beyond their own backyard. We give money and time and effort to helping in other countries as well. Forestry is a plague on India, the Pacific Rim, its one of the world’s worst industries for destroying local people’s lives, while a few get rich,
    Give me nurses, give me teachers, give me people who make things useful and worthwhile, who grow food and protect the land and soil. Sending Tasmanias nature and carbon to the bottom of Tokyo Bay is not a living to be proud of.

  20. cameron

    August 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Has anyone bothered to read this article properly and actually thought about the flow on effects through other industries not generally associated with forestry? Triabunna may have a deep water port and a chance at surviving through tourism but tourists for three months of the year will not save the many other small communities under threat from the downturn this agreement will cause.

  21. Russell

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    You’re living in a dream world or another century, Cheryl.

    Haven’t you heard? THERE IS NO WOODCHIP/PULP MARKET!

    You just can’t see that the woodchip chainsaws have actually killed the Tasmanian economy, can you? All for one tax-payer funded handout after another. It’s a dead-end industry.

    Did you bother to watch the ABC twice this week showing Indonesia and Malaysia also knocking down their forests in slave labour opposition to Tasmania?

    Even with the trees being almost GIVEN to Gunns, they CAN’T COMPETE.

    The world has moved on, Cheryl, and the only real timber market is an FSC market supplying high-value product, NOT valueless woodchips and pulp.

  22. bob hawkins

    August 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Why can we not simplify the forestry controversy to “clear-fell or not to clear-fell”? No one in their right mind could be against carefully executed, habitat-protecting, biodiversity-considerate, value-adding selective logging. That would result in significant demand for skilled labour — which could be provided by trained secondary school graduates — for a truly sustainable and diverse forestry industry. Somewhere, some day (it could be as soon as tomorrow), our globally rampant machines of mass environmental destruction might just chance upon, and blithely eliminate, that one “unknown unknown” that is the vital link (the one that sustains all life) in the chain of biodiversity. Then, as an innately suicidal life form, we will, I expect — as we realise the enormity of what we have done — thrill at the thought that we have achieved the mass suicide we all seem so intent upon. — Bob Hawkins

  23. Jude

    August 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Imagine how Triabunna could benefit, being a deep water port, with multiple cruise ships accessing the East Coast. Looks like a reality and a positive direction for Tas businesses.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-05/20110804-more-ships-cruising-in/2826078

  24. Dave

    August 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    By the 1960/s the world had no need for whale bone corsets which were along with whale oil lamps increasingly becoming curiosities in museums. Equally the demand for whale meat unless you were an Inuit was almost non existent.

    However, unlike whale based products in the 1960’e our use of wood is, despite the digital revolution supposedly creating a paper free office is growing, each and every year.

    Our use of wood for furniture and building is also on the increase and I assume will continue as we are told wood is perhaps on of if not the best way to store carbon.

    So unless you have a low carbon alternative to wood that is financially viable and ecologically sustainable your analogy lacks credibility in fact it is plainly silly.

  25. concerned resident

    August 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Mrs Smyth, I couldn’t agree more. The industry, the way it has been carried out is definately not sustainable in the long term. Tourists don’t want to see the patchwork of plantations nor do they want to see bald hills, which were once native forests that sustained wildlife. I live here and I hate going for drives and seeing the desecration of our beautiful forests everywhere totally spoiling the landscape. It seems that everytime the subject comes up, some forester will bang on about how forestry has been carried out for over a century, but it has not always been carried out at the massive rate with such devastation as clearfelling and then burn anything that can’t be used, leaving naked, blackened landscapes. What about the wildlife???, is there anybody out there who really gives a shit about that or is it all just driven by monetary greed?

  26. Robert LePage

    August 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Whether it is morally responsible or not to woodchip old growth, this plea for the Triabunna mill is a lost cause.
    The world is about to go into a complete financial meltdown and there would not be nor ever will be again a market for what Triabunna has produced.
    As the previous poster says, this has happened before with numerous “too big to fail” trades and enterprises and you cannot stop change.
    We are also approaching peak oil which would kill this sort of trade off anyway. You cannot carry on with “business as usual” when that is going to alter the whole concept of how we live.
    It is time to move on and seek other ways to survive in the new world we are moving quickly towards.
    What the other ways are, I for one cannot predict but we pride ourselves on being the clever people who innovate. Humans can always cope with adversity we claim.
    It is inevitable so the sooner we start the better.
    Yes there are going to be huge job losses but we probably could not now do the things that we used to here in Tasmania, such as make a quality work boot again, grow and process large amounts of food, and a good sustainable public transport system. These are all things that we will want quite soon.

  27. Sniper

    August 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Triabunna isn’t in trouble because of NIMBY’s or the ‘greens.’

    It’s in trouble because the market has lost its appetite for woodchips from high conservation value forests, and Tasmania is simply too far away from most international markets.

    Throw in a high Australian dollar and the fact that the chip mill is nearly at the end of its operating life and you have real trouble.

    This is a point many in the forest industry don’t get or simply wont admit.
    Gunns didn’t exit because they want to be nice, they left because there is no money in it.

    Again if the operation if the mill ‘is’ vital how come its been shut since Jan.

    I feel for Triabunna and saw the same thing in Burnie as a kid.

    However, there is no such thing as a job for life anymore, industry needs to adapt or it will simply die.
    This has happened before when the bottom fell out of the Tasmanian apple industry. Henny Penny said the sky would fall – guess what it didn’t.

    Same again at Strahan in 1981. No Dams = No Jobs.
    Guess what – the only town on the West coast which went ahead was Strahan, while the others stagnated after the Hydro and mining companies left.

    People always fear change, that’s what we are now seeing in Triabunna.

    You may think the demise of the grubby mill, and with it all it represents, is the end of the town’s story.

    In reality it’s just trying to turn into a butterfly.

  28. Tim Thorne

    August 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I am proud to be a NIMBY because my back yard is the whole planet. I say there should be no pulp mills using trees anywhere.

    The term “forestry industry” is an example of weasel words when applied to what has happened to our forests over the last 40 years. It has been little more than a woodchip industry.

    We need a sustainable timber industry, producing long-life products. Paper should be made from byproducts of other crops (eg bananas, wheat) which presently are wasted. This is, of course, the rationale used for the woodchip industry originally. It was a lie, and repeating it will not make it any truer.

    I am aware that there are larger scale forestry practices elsewhere (Indonesia, Brazil etc) which are even worse than what has happened here, but no number of wrongs make a right. We each campaign where our efforts have maximum impact.

    The world might “want” woodchips, but it doesn’t “need” them. What it needs is a drastic reduction in paper consumption and the maximum retention of carbon in trees.

  29. john hawkins

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    This lady does not seem to understand her problem.

    The world will not use a non FSC sourced product this makes Tasmanian native forests unsaleable.

    Gunns and Forestry Tasmania invented their own non acceptable form of accreditation which the world did not recognise as a result Tasmanian Native Forests are now unsaleable..

    Gunns could see this and that it could no longer use Tasmanian native forests as a source of timber for chips or logs and wanted out of its contracts thus walked away.

    Forestry Tasmania as a result is most unhappy and is trying to force Gunns to pay as the contracts are to use or to pay.

    Gunns is refusing to use and refusing to pay.

    This has nothing to do with the Greens but a lot to do with customers at the sharp end in world markets who will not use plastic bags or non FSC packaging or paper.

    The Greens are the Lib/Lab scapegoat.

    Cheryl you must get clever people to address your FSC problems not Union hacks third rate Liberal or Labour pollies or the brain dead in Forestry Tasmania.

    FSC is the key, work towards this and you will have a selective logging, profitable timber business that you will be proud of.In fact an operation that will keep you and your descendants in work for generations.

    This will also make your fellow Tasmanians proud rather than antagonistic and apologetic.

    Reliance on the Public Purse is not a good Business model and the handouts will cease.

  30. Valleywatcher

    August 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Yes, I have to agree with you, Mrs Smyth.
    The world has moved on from the antiquated forestry practices of last century……..read “forest mining”.
    The world has left you floundering in its wake, Cheryl Arnol, but unforunately, the industry you so plaintively support, has grown so used to being propped up by the taxpayers, that now that it looks like that source might dry up somewhat, you are squealing!
    I know of no other industry that has been such a drain on the public purse and so expectant of that continuing ad infinitum! Time to stand on your own and get your industry onto a viable footing.

    Having said that, I don’t agree with “locking up” all our native forests – I support a well-managed diversified forestry industry and lord knows very knowledgeable people have been advocating it for years (until they are blue in the face, in fact). It’s not as if the current situation should come as a surprise! You have been warned for years that it was coming, but you chose to stay on the gravy-train, refusing the countenance the looming wreck.
    A diversified forest industry does not include a gigantic tree digester in the Tamar Valley for all the myriad reasons that have been outlined so many times on TT. Not only is it an environmentally bad idea, not only does it represent the grossest of corrupt practice in the way it was rammed through the Parliament, but economically it doesn’t stack up, which is why no investor will touch it with a barge pole.

    Time to move on Cheryl. Get clever! Get over woodchips!

  31. John Biggs

    August 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    #1 Agreed! The whaling analogy hs been in my head for years about this. I am reminded of Jan Davis’s article (above) who says that locking up more forest is “unsustainable”. Apart from the fact that the Heads of Agreement does not lock up forests but just puts them on hold, the real issue is: what are you trying to sustain? An incredibly wasteful industry where 80-90% of high quality timber, which can yield a hugely profitable industry, is woodchipped for $20 a ton, or a high end labour intensive industry giving high quality products in furniture, boatbuilding, and so on? Jan Davis and Cheryl Arnol are trying to sustain the former, which is indeed unsustainable. Like any other industry, forestry operations need to move with the times. Frank Strie on TT has several tinmes shown us what such an industry might look like.

  32. Mrs Smyth

    August 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Reads exactly like something written by an Australian Whaler in the 1960’s. A desperate plea for an industry that the world has moved on from. Just as there is a large industry now at looking at whales rather than killing them, Tasmania without wholesale clearfell woodchipping will be a better place, people will want to see OUR forests.

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