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

Is this why Ta Ann Tasmania operates at a loss? Forestry’s new deal? No, says Giddings

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Image: http://www.bmf.ch/en/news/?show=106

Lucrative dam ‘deals’ gag Tasmania politicians
FMT Staff
| October 21, 2011

Lucrative dam ‘deals’ gag Tasmania politicians Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s secret ‘weapon’ over Tasmania’s refusal to act on Ta Ann Tasmania’s consistent losses (Revealed by TT’s John Lawrence here: A dog: The Truth about Ta Ann Tasmania) is uncovered by Malaysian independent news website, FMT news.

KUCHING: The billion-dollar question as to how Chief Minister Taib Mahmud-linked Ta Ann Group managed to secure a logging deal in Tasmania including government perks and subsidiaries appears to have been answered in part with the disclosure that the Australian island state has a business finger in Sarawak.

In a covert “contra-styled” understanding, Ta Ann chairman Hamid Sepawi, who is Taib’s cousin and business nominee, has awarded Hydro-Tasmania a partnership in the dam business.

Hamid, who heads Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation, has allegedly made a Hydro-Tasmania subsidiary, Entura, a co-partner in three dam projects in the state.

While Entura secured the contract for the three dams last year, talks and Tasmania’s involvement in the Murum Dam ran parallel to Ta Ann’s logging negotiations with the Australian island state as far back as 2004-2005.

The infamous Murum Dam is part of Taib’s grand plans to build no less than 12 dams across all of Sarawak major rivers within the next few years.

Taib’s belief is that the 12 dams are essential to support the Sarawak Corridor for Renewal Energy (SCORE) when it is fully implemented.

The “deal” explains why Ta Ann’s repeated losses in Tasmania have not been questioned.

‘Intrigue over Ta Ann’

FMT columnist Clare Rewcastle Brown had earlier this month written that “there has been a level of intrigue” since 2005 as to how it was that Tasmania’s state government was persuaded to welcome this foreign company at give-away rates.

She said Ta Ann was awarded numerous perks and subsidies amounting to A$30 million to set up its mills in Tasmania.

“Six years since and the operation is losing the state of Tasmania’s money,” she said, noting that “a strong lobby of local politicians are fiercely defending the policy of continuing to treat Ta Ann as if it was some wonderful form of inward investment benefiting jobs and the economy”.

In its posting today, Sarawak Report, an online investigative portal, noted that the truth was finally “emerging” as to why Tasmanian ministers have “doggedly supported the venture and ignored concerns about corruption and human rights issues in Sarawak”.

“It now emerges that while Ta Ann’s involvement in Tasmania has been financially disastrous and environmentally controversial, the benefits for the state’s (Tasmania) hydro-electric industry, headed by former state treasurer and government minister, David Crean, are extensive.”

The report also further revealed yet another surreptitious move.

Hydro-Tasmania was last year awarded another lucrative contract to do a due diligence report on the safety of the Bakun Dam, in advance of the inundation.

While the portal has blogged about the “evidence of a persistent practice whereby workers watered down the concrete used in the dam…. tampering with the mixture of ingredients”, Hydro-Tasmania appears to have “damned the project with faint praise” .

Free Malaysia Today News here

All about Free Malaysia Today

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• Later on Sarawak Report: “Eco-Terrorists”? – Exclusive Revelations

• Yesterday on Tasmanian Times: Mr Harriss, Independent MLC, and Ta Ann

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Bryan Green is greeted in Launceston

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Bryan Green in greeted in Launceston

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• Ula Majewski, Jenny Webber, The Last Stand: Giant Pinocchio sniffs out forestry lies & joins Ta Ann campaign

A seven foot tall Pinocchio has joined the campaign to expose lies being told to international markets about the so-called ‘eco-friendly’ nature of Ta Ann Tasmania’s wood supply. Official reports have clearly identified that this company’s wood requirements are driving logging inside high conservation value forests.

As Tasmania’s Deputy Premier arrives home from his Asian trade mission, during which he met representatives of Ta Ann and Ta Ann’s customer companies in Japan, questions must be asked about whether he truthfully explained the source of Ta Ann’s wood supply and explained that it is not “eco-friendly” let alone plantation based. Did he discuss with Ta Ann an immediate halt to the logging within high conservation value forests in order to help the company retrieve its battered environmental reputation?

“Everyone knows Pinocchio’s reputation, and now his nose for half-truths and misleading greenwash has led him to the Tasmanian forests and the stories being told about them by the Deputy Premier and Ta Ann in Japan. Giant Pinocchio visited logging coupes in the Picton Valley yesterday, and was absolutely appalled by the fact that destructive logging operations are continuing in these world-class forests, and furthermore, that Japanese companies are being misled to believe they are buying “eco-friendly” products sourced from these sites of environmental destruction” said Ula Majewski, Campaign Manager of The Last Stand.

“Giant Pinocchio is the latest addition to our taann.com.au team as he inspects forest destruction, keeps an eye on claims made by the Deputy Premier, and assists members of the public in taking cyber action to alert Ta Ann’s Japanese customers to the true nature of Ta Ann’s product” said Jenny Weber, Campaign Coordinator of the Huon Valley Environment Centre.

“It seems that the Deputy Premier has glossed over the real environmental problems with Ta Ann’s wood supply, but this simply will not satisfy companies in Japan who are serious about their environmental reputation being based on substance and not on misleading spin” said Ms Majewski.

“We hope that Ta Ann will have suggested to the Deputy Premier that as Forests Minister he takes urgent action compelling Forestry Tasmania to immediately supply Ta Ann with wood from outside of the 572,000ha of ENGO nominated high conservation forests. Logging places that are being assessed for protection is totally unacceptable, and markets will never give it the tick of approval” concluded Ms Weber.

Questions must be asked about how the following facts were represented overseas by the Deputy Premier Bryan Green:

• Ta Ann Holdings claim in their Annual Reports, and their Japanese business partner SMKC advertise on their website, that their plywood flooring is eco-friendly and is made from plantation eucalypt. Yet in Tasmania Ta Ann is on the record saying that they cannot use plantations and rely on wood sourced from logging native forests, including from ENGO recognised high conservation value forests

• The Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement signed in August explicitly provided that 430,000 ha of the HCV claim would be immediately given interim protection in its entirety, and best efforts would be made to confine logging outside the 572,000 HCV area. Instead business as usual logging has continued, including inside the 430,000 ha, with the complicity of the Deputy Premier and Forestry Tasmania – thus breaching the signed agreement of the Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Premier.

• Official reports on the scheduling of the logging state that Ta Ann’s requirements are driving the logging inside the HCV areas.

• Ta Ann Tasmania insist that they require access to native forests, including the HCV forests, for the next 25-30 years.

• Although Ta Ann can only mill logs of small dimensions this does not mean that they only take logs from previously logged and replanted second growth forests – although this is misleadingly implied in their Tasmanian pamphlets

• TASMANIAN SAWMILLERS POINT THE WAY FORWARD
While Industry Old-Guard Refuses to Change

Kim Booth MP
Greens Forestry Spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed moves by Tasmanian sawmillers to develop new-generation, plantation timber building products as an example of how the state’s industry is beginning to adapt to changing markets.

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said Tasmania was well placed to develop an industry based around high-value, specialist products like laminated structural timbers.

“It’s a very positive development that these smaller timber industry entrepreneurs are coming together to find ways to adapting to changing markets,” Mr Booth said.

“While the big industry players continue to blame others for their failed business model, these smaller sawmillers have seen that the future of the Tasmanian timber industry is in high-value, differentiated products.”

“The future of the timber industry will depend on using timber more efficiently, retooling sawmills to achieve higher recovery rates, and managing the plantation estate to deliver more high grade products.”

“The Tasmanian Greens have been saying for a long time now that Tasmania is unable to compete globally with low-value, high-volume commodities like native forest woodchips.”

“This move by sawmillers if the first indication that the industry is restructuring itself to safeguard jobs through innovation and meeting the expectations of international markets while operating in a way that respects Tasmania’s high conservation value forests.”

“The Greens’ Forest Transition Strategy sets out a vision for the Tasmanian timber industry based around secure and sustainable jobs, and the protection of high conservation value forests. This announcement by Tasmania’s sawmillers is one that our Strategy would clearly support.”

Mr Booth also said that the Greens agree that the West report must be released publicly, but once the Signatories have had an appropriate opportunity to review the document and be briefed by Professor West.

• GREENS MEET WITH RICHARD CHANDLER REPRESENTATIVES

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Greens today said that they had met with representatives of Richard Chandler Corporation.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that he and Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP had met with Richard Chandler representatives as part of the Corporation’s due diligence consultation regarding its potential investment in Gunns Limited.

“The Greens’ meeting with representatives of Richard Chandler, as part of their due diligence consultation process, was cordial and provided us the opportunity to state directly the Greens’ position on the Gunns’ Tamar Valley pulp mill.”

“We congratulate Richard Chandler Corp for conducting this stakeholder consultation as part of their due diligence process,” Mr McKim said.

Link to Richard Chandler Corporation Consultation Framework:
http://shareviews.com.au/

• Anger at secret deal on Tasmanian forests

by: Matthew Denholm, Tasmania correspondent
From: The Australian
March 01, 2012 12:00AM

TASMANIA’S logging agency and peak timber body have secretly signed a deal giving ownership of all new conservation reserves under the federal forest peace agreement to the state’s Aborigines.

The extraordinary deal will infuriate green groups because the new reserves – expected to be at least 200,000ha, and up to 430,000ha – would not become national parks managed by conservation agencies.

Read the rest in The Australian here

• Vica Bayley, Wilderness Society: Forestry Tasmania deal undermines Forest Peace and Tasmanian Government

A potential MOU between Forestry Tasmania, a Forest Industry representative and parts of the Aboriginal Community to transfer ownership of several hundred thousand hectares of public land represents a new low in the practices of the out-of-control Forest agency and provides Government further reason to reform or disband the controversial agency.

“This looks like another attempt by Forestry Tasmania to derail the Forests Agreement, preempt its outcome and wind back the environmental outcomes and reinforces existing calls for urgent reform of the agency,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

“Whether or not the content of the MoU is a good or bad idea, it is not the role of FT to make agreements about public land. This should rightfully be negotiated between Aboriginal communities and the Tasmanian Government.”

“We support the progression of land justice issues including the return of Aboriginal lands in Tasmania and believe there are ways conservation protection and Aboriginal ownership can co-exist.”

“Given the highly political and obstructive role of Forestry Tasmania over the course of the Forest Agreement process, it is time for the Government to put its foot down and reign in FT by changing personnel, culture and governance in the Agency so that it is working for, not against the public good.”

“It’s not the role of Forestry Tasmania to negotiate land tenure or handback issues with Aboriginal Tasmanians and we’d encourage Aboriginal representatives to go straight to Governments, who ultimately have carriage for policy and legal obligations.”

“This demonstrates the fact that Forestry Tasmania believes it is above Government and Government must act to assert control and give its own forest process a chance of success.”

“Forestry Tasmania should have no involvement in any ongoing management of conservation reserves that flow from the IGA. It should be reformed as a matter of urgency,” concluded Mr Bayley.

• Will Mooney Huon Valley Environment Centre: Scientists challenge native forest biomass

Media Release
Huon Valley Environment Centre
1st March 2012

Scientists challenge native forest biomass
Oakeshott’s decision faces sparks growing concern

16 leading Australian scientists, researchers and medical professionals have signed an open letter of
concern to Robert Oakeshott MP, calling on the member of Lyne to urgently reconsider his support
for incentives that would prop-up native forest burning power stations.

The letter, sent to all members of federal parliament, outlines seven major reasons why burning
timber from native forests to generate electricity threatens ecosystems and communities as well as
exacerbating climate change.

The letter is a response to Mr Oakeshott’s decision to disallow a change to the Renewable Energy
regulations that would have have ruled out incentives for electricity generated from burning native
forest timber. It was coordinated by grassroots environment groups in Tasmania and New South
Wales.

‘Mr Oakeshott’s decision to disallow this change could have devastating impacts for
communities and ecosystems across Australia,’ said Huon Valley Environment Centre spokesperson Will
Mooney.

‘Across Australia and around the globe, communities, health organisations and concerned scientists
have rejected the kind of large scale wood burning power stations that Mr Oakeshott’s decision
would support. This letter is further evidence that the tide is turning against plans to burn our native
forests for power,’ Will Mooney said.

The disallowance motion, ensuring burning native forests will be eligible for classification as
renewable energy, will pass if it is not rejected by the House of Representatives by the 21 March.

• Download letter to Rob Oakeshott: scientists_biomass.pdf

• Lara Giddings, Premier: Reports on land hand-backs wrong

The Premier, Lara Giddings, today rejected reports that a deal had been done to transfer potential new forest reserves to the Aboriginal community.

The State Government is aware that the Aboriginal community approached Forestry Tasmania recently to explore the potential of owning and managing new areas of reserves, Ms Giddings said.

I understand the Aboriginal community s long campaign for land hand-backs and there is nothing untoward about the preliminary discussions that have occurred with Forestry Tasmania and the industry.

Constructive and creative discussions on the issue of Aboriginal reconciliation should not be discouraged.

Contrary to reports, there has been no deal signed to hand over public land and such a proposal would need to come before Government and ultimately the Parliament.

There is no proposal before Government for us to consider.

I must stress that our priority is to progress the Intergovernmental Agreement on Forestry.

The IGA gives us the best possible chance of resolving the long-running conflict in our forests and now is not the time to be distracted from that important goal.

Ms Giddings said the Tasmanian Government had established a formal process to progress the issue of land hand-backs.

We are keen to work with the Aboriginal community on the issue of land hand-backs and we are progressing this through the Aboriginal sub-committee of Cabinet.

• Click the link to Garry Stannus’ rerport of Bryan Green’s welcome: : oldtt.pixelkey.biz/downloads/PinocchioandBryanGreen.pdf

• Senator Bob Brown, Greens Leader: Forest rogue

Forestry Tasmania is a rogue agency which is planning to siphon million of dollars from the Intergovernmental Agreement on Tasmania’s forests signed by Prime Minister Gillard and Premier Giddings last August, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

“The draft memorandum of understanding with Aboriginal representatives, revealed today in The Australian, would siphon millions off to pay for its own dud tourist ventures, and to get an Aboriginal stamp of approval on the clear-felling, firebombing and destruction of Tasmania’s wild forests. It’s a cruel episode,” Senator Brown said.

“The deal reportedly includes Indigenous endorsement for the Australian Forestry Standard, a discredited industry-created brand. Logging operations in Tasmania already occur under this ‘standard’, which accepts clear-felling of old-growth forests and wilderness areas.

“There should be a much better outcome for all concerned, including Aboriginal Tasmanians,” Senator Brown said.

http://bob-brown.greensmps.org.au/content/audio/bob-brown-press-conference-forestry-tasmania-labors-cabinet-and-media-inquiry-1-march-

• Download Garry Stannus’ report of Bryan Green’s welcome: oldtt.pixelkey.biz/downloads/PinocchioandBryanGreen.pdf

• CONFIRMED: FORESTRY TASMANIA STILL UNDERMINING IGA

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Greens today supported the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in its desire for significant land returns, including land of economic value which could provide an income stream for Aboriginal people.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said he understood that ownership and management of traditional land is fundamentally important to the Aboriginal community and fully respects their right to be involved in current discussions, but the proposed MoU raises serious concerns Forestry Tasmania and Forest Industries Australia Tasmania (FIAT) are continuing to attempt to undermine the IGA.

Mr McKim also said that the released document confirms that FIAT has been playing a double-game undermining the work the Signatories have undertaken to further the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).

“The exposure of this draft MoU confirms beyond a shred of a doubt that Forestry Tasmania has gone rogue, and is continuing its blatant attempt to undermine the IGA.”

“It also proves that this rogue government-owned agency is defying government policy as the Premier has signed up to deliver the IGA.”

Mr McKim said that he looked forward to an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community around issues like land returns, management models and financial revenues for the Aboriginal community.

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. William Boeder

    March 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I for one do not hold any confidence in the current haphazard and chaos ruled Forestry Stewardship role held by Forestry Tasmania, this can be illustrated quite easily when one considers for a moment of their team attitudes of doing each and everything in their power to further create and to bring forward their chaos creating, continuing ruthless old-time clear-felling of our Ancient Forests to ground zero status.

    If not before then certainly that information which is available today, as to the fast growing volume of contra-dealings with (external to our State and the mainland of Australia,) disreputable log buyers, processors and land clearing operators in the the Malaysian and Myanmar (formerly Borneo) Countries.

    Yet there is nothing yet published or displayed in any of this State’s major media forms, of the benefits or even profits to be gained in and by such clandestine dealings as engaged in and of which is State government supported and approved in any or either of Tasmania’s Government Business Enterprises?

    Therefore, there can no longer be any faith or belief that Tasmania is actually moving forward financially through its business engagements with these disreputables currently providing Tasmanian GBEs with much hustling and bustling occupational activities and consultancy work.

    (See Entura, the Hydro Tasmania’s consultancy body now creating much of its overseas business activity with its associated costs.)

    Currently the State’s situation with the status and standing of its GBEs: Tote Tasmania, (sold for a song,) yet by its former Sports Alive subsidiary holding- now insolvent and facing further debt obligations.
    Forestry Tasmania and its pernicious undertakings with their still financially failing deeds and exploits.
    Tasports and their impractical grand Bell-Bay plans of becoming the State’s major Shipping Freight and transport hub.
    Hydro Tasmania, now we see that even they are involved in what could be best described as clandestine activities off-shore and far away from proper scrutiny.
    That becomes 4 GBEs
    Number 5. The State’s Water Corporations, hell-bent intent on spending millions upon millions of dollars to ensure that nobody in this State shall be free of charges for our nature provided water supplies.
    (How much was it for the installation of new water meters Statewide?

    How is that lot for starters?

    We appear to be a crumbling State of Australia, even so, this State is still keenly involved in exporting whatever State earned revenues that might come our way, to all those whom wish to tap into our worringly shallow revenue well?

    I earnestly look to those whom might offer criticisms or even clarifications to this comment as to its facts and substances?
    I would much prefer to read if I am found wrong on any and all of these accounts?

    Thank you.

    William Boeder.

  2. Claire Gilmour

    March 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    (50) Oh a twist in time saves nine eh!

    1. I’d suggest forestry is just gutless about an open challenge!

    2. Can’t say how you can even suggest the word discrimination, when I don’t like to see anyone being used.

    3. Take some lessons from the oracle baby (sorry Garry if that sounds too real) and you might save your job. … you can borrow my crystal ball if you like … very good for exposing smoke, mirrors and clear insight. Obviously you’ve voyeured my subtleness and have seen how many times I’ve been right.

    4. Yes you are right, I’ve complained about my FT neighbour, even had them FINED remember!! Of course FT would not like to remember that one. But you are wrong attributing Bryan Green crossing the street, to me. Which could suggest you may possibly be wrong about many other things too.

    5. In saying ‘freely’, I suggest I’m not aligned to or get paid by anyone, political, industry or otherwise.

    6. You are completely wrong when you say “I consistently portray a one-eyed view against all things forestry.” You choose to misrepresent me. I love timber … I build with, design with, enhance, restore, grow timber. I just think the way FT and their mates currently do it is a waste. I could suggest you and your club could have been heros if you’d … ah well lot’s of things … least of all actually lived with it!!

    7. And lastly, but not least, IF the govs FT continues to screw around with and ruin the environment that supports me and my community, they’ll get more than an ear bashing, I’ll do everything I can to cut them off at the knees! Let’s face it, I and many others have got what you want (meaning FT and the current, going backwards industry). FT and industry may hold the lock, but we the public hold the key!

    I dare you to give me 3 positives and 3 negatives of all political parties, each of the forest industry players (ie FT, Fiat, Ta Ann, Gunns etc etc etc) and the environmental groups…. And let’s see what can be ‘positively’ worked through and achieved.

  3. mjf

    March 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

    #41 What I do know is I talk to FT (as suggested I should by another oracle on this string) on a regular basis about a range of matters. One thing we do know is there are always two sides to a story. We have been earbashed by you over a long period now over your alleged mistreatment at the hands of FT, Bryan Green et al. FT have their own version of events in regards to dealings with you but unfortunately they will never be publically revealed presumably due to their policy on such matters.

    I certainly cannot speak on their behalf as much as I would like to. I do agree with your condemnation of the current and seemingly unsurpable Labour government but I am opposed to your hypothesis regarding Ta Ann and it’s apparent desire to develop a lower socio-economic status within local communities. This is a typical rant of yours without any foundation provided, but suggests to me you are happy to encourage discrimination.

    You claim to see both sides, I say you don’t and consistently portray a one-eyed view against all things forestry. You say you are “trying (freely) to turn some positive, for the whole community, positive tables” (??). I must have missed those posts then. All I’ve ever read from you is attack, attack, attack over silted streams, poorly designed bridges, incorrect culvert placement, E nitens, smoke generation, even Bryan Green crossing the street for avoidance (I think that was you) and every living, breathing creature in the ex bush seeking refuge under your all encompassing roof.

    Was that a personal attack in your opening salvo ?
    If so, then it wasn’t very clear. I’ve come to expect better.

    #45. If you’re going to point out punctuation errors, at least get your own spelling right.

    #47 Not so fast B. The old “I will no longer participate in this work-place,” as a emotional utterance from an ex-employee is not evidence of your earlier claims so you haven’t answered the questions. I also said a similar thing once after quitting an employ but there were no slave wages or FIFO foreign workers involved. It is not simply a case for you to now gleefully alter course, starting with a “Now Martin….” lecture. You need to put up something firm and so far haven’t.

  4. William Boeder

    March 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Martin my article at #37 which held in the last line “to be continued” seems not to have passed the moderators desk, thus prevented this later continuation to be published in that regard to this matter.
    According to my reading of the Jakarta Post, then of the Indonesian publication that arrives unto my emailinbox, then to that of my “Google alerts notices, followed by news services that I have subscribed to; each of these publications have provided articles to the goings on in West Papua, Indonesia, Malaysia: that tell me that each of these sources allows me to read of many things happening in these regions.

    A lot of these articles (specifically to do with corruption in high places,) come my way via my subscriptions to these online news services, thus can become an influence to my posted comments regarding the many situations of rampant endemic corruption in each of these aforementioned countries.
    So Martin I am able to speak with some conviction to my comments posted toward this matter.

    Your incorrectly functioning analysis that had you describing my comments as being void of facts here and there in the past, “but specific to my comments at #34, telling me that you describe my comments as vexatious unsubstantiated gobbledy-gook.)
    Martin, then you go on and on, each time with-out you giving some credit to and by my researches and received informations- (from outside this State,) that are relative to this entire Tas Times article.

    A little less of your pontificating if you please?

  5. Barnaby Drake

    March 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    #47. ‘Now Martin by way of your excellent net-working skills could you tell me how many overseas employee imports were among the 40 stood-down employees?’

    I would like to hazard a guess at this. If anyone has the facts, you can prove me wrong.

    This is a political move, so the most effective way to do this is to stand down Tasmanian workers. This stirs up the most political angst and is also the least expensive option for the company. The imported workers are probably the lower paid and as they are foreigners, there is no employment tax to pay on them either. As Ta Ann are not making a profit (??) this is their cheapest option too.

    Any better suggestions?

  6. William Boeder

    March 2, 2012 at 2:19 am

    #39. Martin my information relating to the indentured workers came from a white caucasian male recently employed with Ta Ann, he has since tossed in the white towel signifying “I will no longer participate in this work-place,” this item of interest was transmitted to me prior to the Stand-down of those 40 employees.
    Now Martin by way of your excellent net-working skills could you tell me how many overseas employee imports were among the 40 stood-down employees?

  7. Robin Halton

    March 2, 2012 at 1:36 am

    #45 Barnaby, if and I am only saying if Ta Ann is beginning to use suitably smaller sized Old growth billetts for peeling that only meets pulpwood standard that would be considered as a satisfactory standard of forest product utilization within an intergrated logging operation that would normally harvest sawlog and pulpwood. Currently there is no market for native forest pulpwood as well as having only one operating chipping facility left in Tasmania.
    Working people need to survive, logging operators need to maxiumise their harvest to make a living so they should be left to negotiate
    the best deal at the same time it is FT that manages State Forest timber product output not the likes of you and I.
    There is no need to scrutinise forest operations like an old woman with a fine hair comb, Forest Practices Code, utilisation standards and market forces determine harvesting scheduling.
    Ta Ann have an allocation of up to 265,000M3 of peelers/annum over a period of 20 yrs till 2027.
    Back to the armchairs mate.

  8. Barnaby Drake

    March 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    #42. From my arm chair, which only a short while ago overlooked 32 hectares of my own forest, I detect an attempt to invert and distort the facts somewhat.

    ‘Its(sic) fine by me if Ta Ann wishs(sic) to peel Old growth remanents(sic) in its timber mix as the forest industry would be expected to be flexible during the current market situation, wouldnt(sic)it?’

    There is an implication that Forestry is resposible for this ‘regrowth’ in the ancient forests. There is also your statement that implies that this is only a bye-product of harvesting, whereas it is what drives the clearfell paradigm, with a small percentage of sawlogs and a waste product of up to 95% of the biomass which would normally go to woodchips.

    Now they have got a customer for the smaller diameter ‘remnants’, it proves that the ‘waste’ category that has been reclassified as ‘peeler logs’ was once the future of the forests that they have been destroying for all these years!

    As for the current market situation, as much as you would like to foist it upon the Greenies, it is Forestry’s own doing and the fact that Ta Ann’s lies have been exposed that has caused this. You might try blaming the mining boom for the high Australian dollar as well, but we know, the inability to sell Foretry to the world has nothing to do with the environmental recklessness of Foretry itself! Sacred griound, that!

  9. Garry Stannus

    March 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Clair #41:

    “MJF (is that paid, not forgotten, little intellectual balls /possibly/obviously?)”

    I don’t like that sort of comment, it’s out-of-line. And I’m as green as the next one.

    If I’ve misconstrued your words, then please accept my apologies.

  10. Estelle Ross

    March 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    What happens if the dam in Sarawak to which Hydro Tasmania has given its blessing becomes faulty, leaks or gives way in years to come? Rumour is circulating that the concrete was watered down rending it prone to just that.Will the Hydro then be sued for $billions by the Sarawak Government? Will that in turn lead to Tasmania’s bankruptcy?

  11. Robin Halton

    March 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    #33 Barnaby, Regrowth is considered as such till age 90years, it used to be age 110yrs as per Southern Forests CFI Timber assessment guidelines.
    I would not expect any ultra fine tuning of tree age for Ta Ann Peelers which are limited to 70cm max logs and need a solid core so they can be safely secured and then spun to produce the ply laminate.
    Why try to complicate the process which FT and Ta Ann are managing!
    Its fine by me if Ta Ann wishs to peel Old growth remanents in its timber mix as the forest industry would be expected to be flexible during the current market situation, wouldnt it?
    The detail is not your business or for that matter its not mine either, go back to your arm chair and sleep it off!
    Pulp mills often use a mix of regrowth and old growth as did the former APM mill at Geeveston did as well as producing steam by incinerating forest residues below pulpwood standard.
    Time to realise we are not living in a fairy land setting, everybody has to get on with their job otherwise the cause of our Tasmanian economy to collapse further could be unbearable.

  12. Claire Gilmour

    March 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    (16) Re MJF (is that paid, not forgotten, little intellectual balls /possibly/obviously?) … It’s time to say goodbye to Forestry as it is currently set up!! I generally only like to write about/comment on things I specifically have experience with. I have previously talked closely with Forestry. (I’m sure you know that and have been given the ‘stuff”.) Not just from a critical point of view but indeed from a constructive fair point of view. (Would you like me to tell you their names and the conservations? Over a decade of course… not likely!! … but you can, if you wish, go back over TT and do a little research! ) I am all for continued learning and appreciate a broader wisdom gained. The labor party has been a consistent power in Tas for too long now, in my opinion. In that time Bryan Green has been one of the key government players in this forestry ‘war’. Having had first hand experience has given me the ability to see both, if not all sides of the equation. The jobs, jobs, jobs mantra done by the labor party and their rogue Forestry business is a specific tactical political ploy. This can only be used to its best advantage if setting up a culture of consistent failure to allow that mantra to continue to be used. It gets votes from the desperate … they believing the labor party/gov/FT and their mates/chosen companies and businesses will fulfil their commitment and create something better… which has certainly not been proven! However by the time 2014 (the next state election) comes around it would have been about 17 years that Labor have been in power, with a number of the same people in a position of control. Where has it led the state? Especially in regard to the burning Forestry issue? The forest industry in Tas has crumbled in that time. The Circular Head district (an area I love with a passion, even though not born in the area) has so much to offer, but little population … in that regard it has been and continues to be (detrimentally) used by … come on MJF have a guess if not little bet! I am trying (freely) to turn some positive, for the whole community, positive tables … are you???

  13. pilko

    March 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    #30 Sure enough the shits hit the fan and O’Connor’s comments have blown up in the greens face. Cassy why pay advisors when i could have warned you for free not to make those comments? But i’m just picking on the Greens again right?

  14. mjf

    March 1, 2012 at 10:39 am

    #37. A lot of bluster there. Kindly reveal then the total number of workers on the payroll at both Ta Ann sites and the proportion of residential vs non-residential workers. You may use todays numbers figures to take into account the 40 odd recently stood down.

    To further support your claims, please provide the current remuneration levels paid to workers and demonstrate how and where these rates are inconsistenet with current award rates that should be paid.

    Failure to do so will, as usual, demonstrate your claims to be vexatious, unsubstantiated gobbledy gook.

    Perhaps you could address the 40 odd stand-downs and advise them you and Gilmour have assigned them to lower socio-economic status by way of association with Ta Ann. Perversely, losing their jobs may well be their salvation by facilitating a rise up the social standings ladder now that they are no longer burdened with Ta Ann as an employee. Not sure how far one can climb though when financed by Centrelink.

    You green aligned zealots have no boundaries have you ?

  15. Karl Stevens

    March 1, 2012 at 8:28 am

    This is a formal request to all Tasmanian media. Please do not publish anything about Hydro Tasmania and Sarawak or Forestry Tasmania and Sarawak. Please, just run lost dog announcements on the front page or updates on if Punters has been dropped from the side. Tasmanians should not have to deal with realities such as how the state can no longer afford a proper fire brigade because it is funding the removal of all its heavy industry to Borneo. Thank you for your cooperation Tasmanian media.

  16. William Boeder

    March 1, 2012 at 2:25 am

    #34. Martin Fitch, in arriving at the circumstances relative to Claire Gilmour and her comment above- #11, there were in fact a number of references to the ways of Forestry Tasmania within the comments submitted by this author.

    Furthermore, any references to Forestry Tasmania does quickly incorporate its front man, that man in government whom is forever defending the boys of the bush (Forestry Tasmania) from being called to account for being irresponsible toward each and all of its negative impacts upon our society and our environment.
    For example: thick choking wood-smoke from whatever designated term of burn that may be applied to each of their whatever substantial burns across this State, when these smoke-outs exceed the EPA levels immediately their is denial by the involved Forestry Tasmania employed personnel, that this must be someone’s incinerator, or some other non-reasonable excuse for their very own actions.
    “No worries Bryan will speak to ’em and this lot will soon become the fault of some over zealous conservationists exaggerating whatever smoke may have been generated.”

    Let me make this clearer to you in the way of this government minister, do note how he is never far away form each of its crude often profitless business undertakings, contracts signed and whatever else?
    Thus these pointless and profitless undertakings soon carry the State government stamp of approval, then-, no further discussion because this is now a goverment approved undertaking as determined by this GBE of Forestry Tasmania.

    This same nonsenes would have occurred at the time of Ta Ann gaining its entry into Tasmania, so to capitalise upon the below cost of production prices charged for F/Ts log supply to Ta Ann veneer mills.

    To my way of reckoning, this type of employment practice as engaged in by Ta Ann sets a new low level of pay for a day’s work situation, whilst at the same time this sort of hiring practice does not benefit any community by way of these imported workers, in their having to purchase the many prerequisites of every day living in each of our communities.

    to be continued.

  17. Big Sim

    February 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    #30

    The TAC are as bad as FT with this shameless and cynical opportunism.

    If you want to see how the TAC plays “custodian” to the land take a trip to Mt Cameron. And then have a chat with their neighbours up there.

  18. john hayward

    February 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Am I the only person hallucinating?

    If FT can get away with this, Tasmania is quite literally a kleptocracy. FT doesn’t own the State Forests; it was created to manage them, not steal them.

    if the Giddings Government doesn’t stop them giving it to a non-government body, we don’t have a government.

    John Hayward

  19. mjf

    February 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    #21. Groan, this was predictable. That’s not deciphered. All you’ve done is veer off on another tangent which merely highlights your fascination with all things Bryan Green. That has got nothing to do with Gilmour’s comment @ 11. In fact I don’t recall seeing Greens name mentioned once in that post.

    I was rather hoping you could perhaps explain how Ta Ann will “specifically ensure a lower socio-economic status to they may get cheap desperate labor”, amongst other things alleged. That would be something of interest and use.

  20. Barnaby Drake

    February 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    #28. In case you dont realise both Old Growth and Regrowth can be sourced from mixed age forests which do exist in nature. .. Robin Halton

    At one time every tree in an old growth forest was ‘regrowth’. It is a natural process of regeneration, and is continuous. Of course there are trees of different ages inside any natural forest. It is only in plantations that they are all of the same age. However, according to Forestry, ‘regrowth’ can be anything they want it to be that will give them the excuse to continue their destruction unabated. It is a ploy to exploit.

    Any small disturbance, no matter how long past is enough for them to drop the Old Growth classification and allow them to clearfell. In most cases it is evidence of the better practice that they themselves refuse to endorse, of taking a few selective stems from an old forest and allowing the forest to continue to survive into the future to give a consistent and continuing supply of good quality timber as it matures.

    Current practice is the equivalent of genocide. It is just a pity they can’t be taken to the International Courts for practising it!

    Silvicide ot arboricide would be appropriate terms.

  21. Simon Warriner

    February 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Before we get all warm and fuzzy about Forestry Tasmania giving away public land to TAC can the enthusiasts like Mr Stannus please go and read up on how the democratic process is meant to work.

    What has preceded this is a complete crock of shite and is an insult to anyone who died defending democracy.

    Given the contention around what constitutes aboriginality, in the event that a real democratic process threw up a situation where they gain control of the reserved land, I would expect the beneficiaries of this to substantiate their aboriginality by a means far more substantial than their own say so.

  22. phill Parsons

    February 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    The NSW Aboriginal Land Council has recently been criticised by Bob Waters, an elder on the northern beacges of Sydney [descendent of Bongaree] for selling off land owned by the Council for no apparent benefit.

    Bushland adjacent to exisitng reserves in the Sydney Harbour drainage has been sold to developers.

    The tensions between heritage and the future of a community drive all sorts of changes in the percieved value of land and its standing resources. It is not a given that the natural asset will be valued in the old ways.

    If the IGA is to conserve the natural sevices and environmental values of forested land then its title cannot be a freehold.

    It would seem that FT is trying to create a conflict and/or find a way around any restriction on its out of control feral activities.

  23. pilko

    February 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I would hazard that most aboriginals would regard Cassy O’Connors assertion that ‘aboriginals are vulnerable and being exploited (by FT)'(as reported today) on the alleged FT/TALC deal as incredibly patronising.

  24. Garry Stannus

    February 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I would welcome Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council having ownership of significant areas of the state. As a green, I would lobby the Land Council to respect these areas as reserves for all Tasmanians and to bar logging in those areas. We have yet to see what Professor West will come up with. I cannot say that Forestry Tasmania is all that impressive. You wouldn’t think that the rogue agency would sign such a deal without having involved either state or federal governments.

  25. Robin Halton

    February 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    #22 Barnaby, you are an armchair expert on forestry issues!
    I think there needs to be some clarification about the allegations of Ta Ann sourcing peelers from Old Growth forests? 35X: 2009-2011?
    In case you dont realise both Old Growth and Regrowth can be sourced from mixed age forests which do exist in nature.
    FT’s Forest Type maps clearly show vegetation types, by height and density including cutover or fire damaged by forest type.
    I would like you to accurately confirm your findings otherwise this is no more than making the same trouble as HVEC have blatantly caused for Ta Ann, FT and the forest industry.

  26. john hawkins

    February 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    For another game changer on Sarawak Report try:

    “Scandal of SALCO”

    Why are Hydro Tasmania /Crean the technical consultants behind this Dam creation scheme in Sarawakand; why is it not given a credit by Hydro.

    Tasmania’s aluminum smelters will close and go to this new cheap electricity site in Malaysia if Hydro Tasmania/Crean prices them out of Tasmania.

    I ask, a Conflict of Interest, a clever ploy, who pays this piper or calls this tune; follow the money?

  27. john hayward

    February 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you, FT, for making it clear that the “Your Corrupt State” bumper stickers are serious public notices.

    John Hayward

  28. john hawkins

    February 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I suggest that The Sarawak Report is the Sarawak equivalent of TT; it should be avidly followed by TT’rs.

    It exposes the endemic corruption and the links between, systematic logging, big buiness and political leaders.

    Should we be surprised that Ta Ann was or is promoted and defended by Tasmanians such as Lennon or Green.

    Try another entry:

    “Sepawi Exposed by own Outburst” on the Sarawak Report.

    We now have photographs of Crean and Harriss cavorting in Malaysia; any chance of Lennon and Green.

  29. Peter Mannes

    February 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I expect the state’s aborigines will be keen on making a dollar however they can from their newly acquired land. Not a good look that many Tasmanians are missing out on having any say regarding what happens to these newly created conservation reserves.

  30. Karl Stevens

    February 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

    AnnoyingO 20. Your right this deal is as bad as any issue in Australia today. Is moving Alcan and Temco out of Tasmania a strategy so Hydro can get more cash for renewable electricity in the domestic market? Its hard to believe Hydro would build capacity in Sarawak just to get rid of its two largest customers. Maybe Saul Eslake from the Hydro board could be a bit more forthcoming about just what Hydro thinks they are doing.

  31. Barnaby Drake

    February 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This is another damning link and a few extracts. Out there, there are dozens of articles and reports dating back to 2006, but none of these have surfaced in mainstream news in Tasmania. However, our government and its members must be well aware of what is going on and the level of corruption that surrounds these shonky partners they choose to do business with. Bryan Green has just returned all smiles from trying to do even more business with these people and tries to pretend that they are vital for the future of Tasmania.

    Here is what some of the more enlightened journalists have to say:-

    ‘It is Hamed Sepawi who is the critical figure here. Hamed Sepawi is the cousin of the Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, who has ruled Sarawak for 30 years. Hamed Sepawi is a central figure within the Taib empire. Not only is he the Executive Chairman of Ta Ann Holdings, he chairs construction giant Naim Cendera, is a director of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, heads the Sarawak Energy Berhad, among other responsibilities. According to an article published in the Sarawak Report in September, Hamed Sepawi is a key business nominee of the Chief Minister.’

    Clare Rewcastle-Brown of online publication The Sarawak Report, tells New Matilda that it is the corruption within Sarawak that is the key issue: “Ta Ann is the product of blatant political corruption and nepotism. No one doing business with Ta Ann could avoid seeing that this is the case.”

    Malaysian Parliamentarian Baru Bian visited Tasmania in August and expressed surprise that Ta Ann had been welcomed into Tasmania. Referring to the supply agreement struck between Ta Ann and the Tasmanian Government, Baru Bian commented to The Mercury on 6 August 2011, that “When they were saying it was cheaper to buy here (Tasmania), I thought there was definitely something interesting in it”.

    Ta Ann Holdings operations in Australia have been heavily subsidised by federal and state governments, directly and indirectly. Despite these subsidies, Senator Bob Brown claims Ta Ann has made a net loss of $18 million since setting up shop in Tasmania.

    A recent report released by the Huon Valley Environment Centre, Behind The Veneer, download here:

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/behind-the-veneer-forest-destruction-and-ta-ann-tasmania.-the-burning-plan/

    has found Ta Ann Tasmania to be sourcing timber from old growth forests. The report finds Ta Ann Tasmania to have accessed timber from logging operations taking place in old growth forests on 35 occasions between 2009 and 2011.

    Recent revelations in the Sarawak Report make the situation look even murkier. Hamed Sepawi is Taib-appointed head of Sarawak Energy Berhad, which has a monopoly over power generation in Sarawak. In 2010, it was announced that government-owned Hydro-Tasmania subsidiary Entura has signed a lucrative agreement in 2010 with Sarawak Energy Berhad. According to the Sarawak Report, this agreement will see the Tasmanian company work on three dam projects within Sarawak.

    The apparent willingness of the Tasmanian Government to defend Ta Ann and provide the company with access to timber at cut-rate prices (ignoring their history in Sarawak) has worried observers. Rewcastle-Brown recently visited Tasmania to raise concerns about the company. She told New Matilda, “I was taken aback by just how heavy, vociferous and unquestioning the support for Ta Ann seems to be in some quarters of your political establishment. It is a level of support that seems to have engendered a totally closed mind to any concerns, even of the most genuine and pressing nature.”

    http://www.barubian.net/2011/12/why-is-tasmania-doing-business-with-ta.html

    So when are we going to see something of substance from our mainstream press instead of the fawning, bland, political sop served up on a dialy basis to the public?

    Thank God for Tasmanian Times!

    Barnaby Drake

  32. William Boeder

    February 29, 2012 at 1:08 am

    #1. Thank you Mr Martin Fitch for your confidence to my capacity to see beyond the deceptive horizons laid bare through the determinations of the Executive Board of Forestry Tasmania.

    Firstly to the revelations of the dark and mysterious doings of Ta Ann along with its associated businesses and inner operations, this information has already been found to be fact via the Newspapers from abroad featuring such articles as already circulated to those who seek them.

    Now, Claire Gilmour has experienced 1st hand the dark side of Forestry Tasmania and the general attitude of this GBE toward any individual whom offers resistance or criticism toward its overlording practices and purposes.

    Please understand that this lady speaks from her own experiences, not from any Greenie handbook or through the agency of a paid professional media spook.

    Corporates and other steam-rolling business operations have their unique indelibly coded modus-operandi standards about them, thus a form of their own strain of DNA, this can be discovered through or by a display of their own unique covert purposes and through the demandingly specific management prerequisites as held by their upper-level capos, and or through the history of their entire purposed operations as are held available by the archives of the various press mediums relative to the country in question.

    Perhaps Martin you could seek further interpretation of the experiences suffered by Claire Gilmour- which underpin her comments as printed above, from the hired help-mate of this afore-mentioned Executive Board, being this State’s Forestry minister, Bryan Green?

    I understand he held a meeting with Claire Gilmour in his familiar daunting and superior style of which he adopts for such situations.

    Bryan Green will of course deny all his negative statements directed toward this astute lady, yet I am sure you will be able to see through the assumed mesmerizing mumbo jumbo charms offered by him to all persons associated with Forestry Tasmania’s logging activities.

    I wish you good luck in your endeavour to identify the truth of this specific occasion of which will still remain held in the mind of this State’s forestry minister?

    Thank you for deferring to myself for your non-comprehensive misgivings.

    William Boeder.

  33. AnnoyingO

    February 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

    If this deal is legit then there would be accounts of the money coming back through to the Tasmanian Government via the Hydro Tasmania subsidiary.

    It would be clear for all to see who got how much money and whether it was worthwhile for Tasmania.

    Or has all this been hidden under a veil of secrecy?

    If it was a good deal for Tasmania, the government would be holding it up in the spotlight.

    The way the above article reads, this alleged deal whiffs as badly any Australian political issue I can remember.

  34. John Powell

    February 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    mjf,
    sounds more like you need to chat to FT.

    William is quite clear e.g. “Ta Ann(read FT) do not value the forests they were granted for free in 1991(or thereabouts), and then clear fell to ensure that the low value (negative) economic results they achieve allow them to claim even more subsidies from the taxpayers, forcing Tasmanians to live with limited health facilities and services.

    Seems a pretty obvious translation to me, but thank you for allowing me to provide some public clarification.

  35. Steve

    February 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    16 C’mon mjf. Rise to the challenge. I’d have used a couple more commas but it’s quite readable, if slightly original!

  36. mjf

    February 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    “I would suggest that Forestry Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government is complicit in giving Ta Ann a deal which is not only inconsiderate of the areas they use (likely very cheaply) but infact specifically go into such areas to not only lower the ‘value’ of such areas so they can, in the future, continue to try and log surrounding areas, but specifically ensure a lower socio-economic status to they may get cheap desperate labor.”

    Only the author would know the intent of this mumbo jumbo. It’s certainly beyond my comprehension. Perhaps W Boeder would be good enough to decipher ?

  37. Barnaby Drake

    February 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    ‘The only recently completed 2’400 MW hydropower dam was meant to bring development and progress to the people of Sarawak. Pictures now disclosed to the public, however, show its real consequences: displaced indigenous communities forced to live in floating homes and the destruction of a unique rainforest habitat that counts among the most biodiverse in the world.’

    Check this out here and then ask why is Hydro Tasmania involved in this?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1202/S00581/sarawak-first-pictures-from-sealed-off-bakun-dam-zone.htm

    ‘Hydro-Tasmania was last year awarded another lucrative contract to do a due diligence report on the safety of the Bakun Dam, in advance of the inundation.’

  38. Barnaby Drake

    February 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    9.Going Bush – Ta Ann and Triabunna Woodchip Export Mill

    Pinnochio says it has a spelling mistake in the title.

    It should say GOING BUST !

  39. john hayward

    February 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Where does one find the environmental impact statements sanctioning the damming of all of Sarawak’s major river systems?

    Is it true they are all on a napkin, from one of Kuching’s best restaurants, in the office of David Crean?

    If both Sarawak and Tasmania had laws against consorting, who should be prosecuted first?

    John Hayward

  40. William Boeder

    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    So in effect these same ministers spruiking for jobs jobs jobs for Tasmanians, are clandestinely doing deals that could well undermine a great many of the current though teetering employment levels within our State?
    I have began to compile a register of the unwholesome business dealings that have in some form or another involved a growing number of our Tasmanian GBEs.

    Twill make an interesting read when a Royal Commission of Inquiry is ultimately set into place by the Australian Federal government (seeking to question the expenditure of all Federal Funds as begged for and allocated to our State,) to delve into and hopefully find what ails this State through each of the GBE Executive Boards and that of their individual Directors.

    This Royal Commission will of course be enabled with the necessary authority, that will encompass these GBE Director conducts and dealings occurring in the out of State business GBE business holdings, then too to investigate into the uncommonly low level skeletal returns slowly staggering back into our State government Revenues.

    This Royal Commission engagement might also be empowered to look to the ministerial efficiences affecting each mimisters various port folios?

    As a result of such a formal Inquiry I believe their may soon be more light shed within and less smoke emanating out of the dark tunnels of that mythical monster known to us all as the all-consuming Beast of Tas Inc?

    I wonder if Former Supreme Court Judge, now Chairman of Tasmania’s Integrity Commission, Mr Murray Kellam, may find himself positioned within this portending Royal Commission of Inquiry?

  41. Claire Gilmour

    February 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Ta Ann is accepting timber from high conservation value forests which contain many disease free Tasmanian Devils in the far N/W Tas.

    In recent months with the continued logging of such an area, there have been many (out of the ordinary) Tassie Devils sighted, as they are pushed out of their habitat due to still clearfelling such native forest.

    The Labor Governments enterprise Forestry Tasmania, which is acting as a business (albeit failed one) and continued high intensity logging manager of such areas, has refused previously to supply details of their info/management practices which destroys such habitat. Instead continues to use a mantra that their (biased) Forest Practices Code and Authority protects such areas. This is simply nonsenset, I have the pictures to prove FT’s logging practices in such areas silted the supposedly protected, and ‘proven’ breeding ground of the Giant Freshwater Lobster. Perhaps not cuddly enough for Ta Ann and the Labor Tasmanian Government to consider …

    Ta Ann is known in Smithton to have generally, infact mostly NOT used local businesses, products, workers, contractors, but instead imported such. They are takers and not givers and I would suggest that Forestry Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government is complicit in giving Ta Ann a deal which is not only inconsiderate of the areas they use (likely very cheaply) but infact specifically go into such areas to not only lower the ‘value’ of such areas so they can, in the future, continue to try and log surrounding areas, but specifically ensure a lower socio-economic status to they may get cheap desperate labor.

    I still wonder why no media in Tas had the balls to interview, take photos of the imported workers living arrangements … and whilst any person can drive in and have a look at the (only) handful of people working on their premises on any given day, Ta Ann is still considered by the Government as a bonus … the bonuses must possibly lie under some carpet or in some sock draw perhaps … ?

  42. phill Parsons

    February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Are we seeing the emergence of a new link with Malaysian business, also where some companies have exploited the positions of their principals in working with a government with a bent view of democracy?

    The persecution of groups seeking greater fairness in Malaysia, seeking another voice besides that of the old rulers and seeking respect for the indigenous inhabitants of the forests is well known.

    Tasmanians have seen elements of this here with the distasteful links to Gunns in the infamous Pulpmill Approval Act, the persecution of groups seeking their right to be treated equally and protection of the nature that sustains us.

    Was it these practices that attracted the interest of the businessmen who are used to sealing deals behind closed doors with local elites or was it a government used to making such deals who sought out places where similar practices pertained?.

    No matter really, what we are seeing exposed is the corruption of process, where Tasmanian jobs are being sacrificed on the altar of globalization with the main advantage that we currently have, cheap [green] power, being eclipsed by new developments in Sarawak whilst the over exploited forests of the island are being supplied to Ta Ann at no perceivable return to Tasmania.

    Where is the dividend from the State Business Enterprise, Hydro Tasmania, being involved in the damming of rivers to provide bulk cheap power closer to the markets demanding processed products?.

    Not that it is our right to own such processing, but for a sacrifice of the employment and investment some greater plan or return should be forthcoming.

    Instead it would seem government has been hoodwinked by experts and finds itself exposed without a strategy, captive of their greed and about to see the great plan of hydro-industrialization unravel as the dams value is squeezed by competition from low cost water overseas and wood waste fired fuel here if Gunns gets it’s pulpmill.

  43. Factfinder

    February 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Going Bush – Ta Ann and Triabunna Woodchip Export Mill

    Uploaded by Forestrytas on Jul 13, 2009

    In 2005, Forestry Tasmania was successful in securing the commitment of the Malaysian-based timber company, the Ta Ann Group, to develop two rotary veneer peeling mills in Tasmania at a cost of $65 million. The mills will process regrowth logs only and are to be located in the forest.’

    In 2007, the first of the mills opened in the Huon district and the second, at Smithton in the North West When fully operational, the two mills are expected to employ 120 Tasmanians.

    Now many regrowth logs that were previously classified as pulpwood are suitable for the manufacture of rotary veneer for construction grade products. Through Forestry Tasmanias partnership with Ta Ann, up to 25% of wood that was previously chipped is now peeled here in Tasmania for higher value veneer production.

    ================================================

    3 years ago

    Perspectives: David Ridley

    Uploaded by FFICTV on Feb 10, 2009

    The establishment of Ta Ann Tasmanias two rotary peeling mills is a story of international cooperation and innovation.

    Attracted by the sustainable timber resource and investment-ready sites provided through Forestry Tasmania and its partners, Malaysian-based Ta Ann Pty Ltd has quickly developed two state-of-the art processing facilities. …
    With Australian Forestry Standard and Chain of Custody certification providing surety to customers, Ta Ann has built its latest mill with expansion in mind.

  44. john hawkins

    February 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    A few random thoughts:

    I ask when did Hydro Tasmania last build a dam?

    How many experts in dam construction do Hydro Tasmania still employ and if they still employ them why?

    How good is the Hydro or electricity model Tasmanian style?

    A style in which the consumer has to freeze in winter otherwise he cannot pay the electricity bill. A bill that only pay’s the interest on the debts: Hydro 872 million,Aurora 1029 million and Transend 518 million a total of nearly 2.5 billion dollars per 500,000 Tasmanians

    Where are the Malaysian contracts and has the matter been canvassed in the Hydro Annual Report?

    What part has Harriss played?

    Is his interest altruistic?

    Why would a Malaysian Company be dealing with Hydro Tasmania over a construction matter?

    Two of the most corrupt States in our region are Malaysia and Indonesia both seemingly closely allied to Forestry and Hydro in Tasmania.

    Is this worth investigating?

    Doubtless the blood hounds of the Tasmanian print media will air the Hydro Press Release.

  45. Robin Halton

    February 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    All of this trouble making by HVEC is unnecessary as the Tasmanian economy struggles to maintain fair and reasonable business and employment levels!
    Understandably the people of the Huon Valley are worried as HVEC’s protests turn for the worse into blantant fanaticism.
    I am surprised that there has not been public revolt at Huonville over the provocative actions of HVEC and their supporters.
    In my opinion the Premier Lara Gidding needs to take a much harder stand to defend forest workers.

  46. bob hawkins

    February 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    All of the above is good reason Julia Gillard must resist any suggestion that Simon Crean should be our new foreign minister. Better he be restricted to strictly domestic portfolios and always kept away from anything to do with international trade or other commercial relationships.

  47. Karl Stevens

    February 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Looks like the excesses of the Sarawak billionaires has rubbed-off onto David Crean.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/crean-mcmansion-threat-to-tasmanian-temple/story-e6frg8n6-1226220324148
    Why doesn’t David Crean use the Lady Franklin Gallery as his letterbox? That way he could have his ‘McMansion’ and save the historic building as well.
    BTW Why is it all starting to fall into place now?

  48. moo

    February 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Alas, this story will never see the light of day. I hope I am wrong.

  49. Steve

    February 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Hydro and forestry. Some things never change in Tasmania!

  50. Barnaby Drake

    February 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

    While Entura (Hydro Tasmania) secured the contract for the three dams last year, talks and Tasmania’s involvement in the Murum Dam ran parallel to Ta Ann’s logging negotiations with the Australian island state as far back as 2004-2005.

    With this level of involvement, there should be quite a good cash flow into Tasmania’s Treasury and economy. More than enough to offset Ta Ann’s and Forestry’s losses one would presume.

    So where is it?

    Has anyone detected the $millions slipping in under the radar?

    Maybe all spent on travel … ?

  51. Karl Stevens

    February 28, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Interesting the story is breaking here on Tasmanian Times. It now appears Hydro Tasmania, chaired by Simon Crean’s brother David has or is inadvertently crippling the Tasmanian economy.

    Hydro Tasmania subsidiary Entura is building dams in a corruption-riddled state of Borneo. The Taib family-controlled state of Sarawak is replicating Tasmania’s hydro scheme and electro-metallurgy capacity with both a Rio Tinto alumina smelter and a manganese smelter. Currently the Rio Tinto Bell Bay smelter is for sale and BHP-Billition’s Bell Bay manganese alloy smelter has gone into a three month shutdown. Thanks to Hydro Tasmania Sarawak has an electricity glut.

    “The recently completed 2400 MW hydropower dam has caused a power glut in Sarawak as local demand has never exceeded 1000 MW”. “The Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia, Miles Kupa, recently travelled to Sarawak to lobby for a deal between Rio Tinto Alcan and CMS despite fears that Rio Tinto Alcan might close down its current aluminium smelter in Tasmania and shift operations to Sarawak instead.”

    http://www.stop-corruption-dams.org/campaign_update?show=6

    The Taib family has their own manganese smelting company called ‘O M Holdings’ registered in Bermuda. http://www.omholdingsltd.com/corp_mgnt.htm

    The questions to be asked now are ‘did Hydro Tasmania do any modelling on the outcome of duplicating Tasmanias economy in Sarawak?’

    ‘Did Hydro Tasmania consider breaching their own mission statement (We behave with honesty and integrity) by dealing with one of the most corrupt regimes in Asia?’

    ‘Why is Australia … in effect shutting down the little industry left in Tasmania?’

    ‘Was there a connection to the Gillard Governments ill fated ‘Malaysia Solution’ given the activities of such high ranking players as Simon Crean and Miles Kupa’?

    I think in light of these questions Paul Harriss (story below) could very well be a ‘bit player’.

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