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

David Obendorf

Clean water needs revised forestry operations

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‘What counts is not the enormity of the task, but the size of the courage.’ – Matthieu Ricard

How can any society that values the welfare of its people ignore, obstruct or otherwise undervalue the importance of clean water as a fundamental right for all? How clean then is Tasmania’s water now and how clean will it be for our children?

We acknowledge this is a complex issue. Here, we discuss the effects of forestry as it is currently practiced, not because we believe that these practices are solely responsible for the health or otherwise of our water supplies, but because forestry issues are currently up for discussion, and we hope that the issue of clean water would a fundamental consideration in the outcomes of these discussions.

A photograph in a brochure of the important South Esk catchment vividly illustrates part of what is happening in Tasmania’s water catchments.1 The surrounding terrain was cable logged of all vegetation and a plantation of young eucalyptus established that is regularly sprayed with known harm-causing chemicals. These chemicals inevitably enter the water supply. This same brochure reveals:

In the last four years alone, these rivers have been contaminated with poisonous pesticides: the Duck, Inglis, Bird, Jordan, Montagu, Prosser, Rubicon, South Esk, George, Little Swanport, Macquarie, Great Forrester, Brumby Creek, Derwent and Liffey …forestry plantations are now growing in 44 of the State’s 48 water catchments. … Water testing by our state government is done sporadically and pesticide detections rarely result in investigations to find their source

Poisoning water supplies and destruction of soil quality because of chemically dependent monoculture plantations needs to be stopped, as does the continued slaughter of our native forests. The health of people in Tasmania is subject to unreasonable risk by virtue of toxins in our water.2 Yet a Government report cleared the George River (at St Helens) of any toxins, eliciting this response from Dr.Lohrey: ‘This is one of the most dubious reports I have read in a long time. It appears to have been written and made public with one aim in mind – to stifle community debate about water quality in the George River.’3

Clear felling, highly mechanised slash and burn and dangerous chemical fed monoculture plantations are falsely presented as world’s best forestry practice in Tasmania. The need for a radical new approach to forestry practices in Tasmania is urgent. Fifty one percent of Tasmanians agree that ‘the logging industry is a source of corruption in Tasmania and ‘that cleaning up corruption in the logging industry would go a long way to cleaning up the rest of the government’.4

Even worse, the public purse is being vandalised to ensure that this destruction takes place. Economist Professor Graeme Wells estimates that over the period 1997-98 to 2009-10 the Tasmanian forestry industry as a whole has received subsidies $767 million of public money.5 This is money wasted on faulty forestry practices that could be used to prevent the cuts in Government spending on health and education.

As an example of the damage plantations can create, Mike Bolan has this to say:

Globally, the pulp and paper industry (P& P) has a history of creating social upheaval, engaging in corrupt activities and subverting process … Economically, it seems that the money to be made from the pulp business is made by the P & P operators who sell pulp mills for billions as well as operate them under contract for hundreds of millions every year. By contrast, almost all of the risks are at the feedstock production and processing end, which is also where most of the detrimental impacts are suffered by local communities and individuals who get virtually nothing from the P & P activities. Tasmania has to go into deep debt ($3 billion or so) by buying pulp mill hardware from Scandinavia, then use its resources to pay off that debt. The cash goes to Scandinavia, so it’s really an investment in that region. It’s the old story of ‘to the locals go the work and the woes, to the P & P industry go the spoils.’ Such a system results in support for P & P operations being organised through a small group of powerful interests who will be ‘winners’ in the business while a majority of taxpayers and others get the role of ‘losers’ whose role is to pay the P & P industry to prosper.6

Today, in 2012, environmentalists and the forestry industry are negotiating how Tasmanian forests will be used and managed in the future. It is anticipated that clear-felling old growth forests will finally cease, but it is based on the untested belief that chemically dependent monoculture plantations will create a sustainable forestry industry into the future even though existing plantations have done and are doing so much damage to our water, soils and public health.

Background

After private discussions in 2003 between Tasmania’s then Premier Paul Lennon and John Gay, then head of Gunns Ltd, a kraft-bleach pulp mill in the Tamar Valley with annual production of approximately 1.2 billion tonne of pulp was proposed. The mill, predicted to be the largest in the world, was to be reliant on feedstock from native hardwood forests and monoculture pulpwood plantations. In 2007 Gunns’ withdrew their proposal for the mill from the State assessment body, the Resource Planning & Development Commission, when it was leaked that the proposal was ‘deficient and critically noncompliant’ with the RPDC’s guidelines.7 Instead, Premier Lennon saw that itwas fast-tracked through a benefits-only assessment, which excluded from consideration any environmental, social and health problems the mill might create – that notwithstanding, the proposal was passed by both Lower and Upper Houses of the State Parliament.

Plantations of Eucalyptus nitens, a genetically selected cultivar designed specifically as a fast-growing plantation pulp-wood tree, sharply increased. Forestry Tasmania alone has planted over 50,000 ha of E. nitens, while 138,000 ha of E. nitens have been planted in privately-owned land since 2001. All this planting was greatly facilitated – at taxpayer expense – by the Howard Government’s legislation for the growth of Australia’s plantation estate using Managed Investment Schemes [MIS] that provided 100 per cent tax offsets. Several land-management corporations used investor funds to plant vast areas of what were native forests that were clear felled on both public and private land, much of it high quality farmland, for the expanded plantation estate. These MIS corporations have since collapsed – going into receivership or transferring their ‘investment’ in these plantations to other entities. So we are left with about 200,000 ha of E. nitens, a species that is of no use other than for feeding a pulp mill.

Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Forestry

Current negotiation talks to end the war in Tasmania’s forests and to explore a new model for forestry in Tasmania were principally based on an October 2009 proposal bya conservation-collective calling itself ‘Our Common Ground’. After the March 2010 State election, Tasmanians returned a power-sharing Parliament. The new Labor-Green government facilitated the beginning of talks between forestry industry and environment groups to discuss a broad statement of forest principles to transition the hardwood forestry sector out of logging native forests on public land and developing new forestry industries based on ‘engineered’ lumber and pulp wood sourced from a very large plantation estate – estimated to be over 300,000 hectares.

The chief aim of the ENGOs was to have an extra 570,000 ha of identified high conservation forest protected from logging. The price demanded by the forestry industry for this appears to have been Gunns’ improperly assessed Tamar Valley pulp mill, despite the company being unable to attract any investors over a period of over seven years. The reason for this lack of interest is undoubtedly that the Tasmanian mill, with higher production costs and a high Australian dollar, would be unable to compete in a falling market with cheaper pulp available from China and South America. Yet here in Tasmania was a huge plantation estate, nearly 200,000 ha in both public and private forests, being timber that was only of use for a pulp mill! The industry received acceptance from the representatives of the Environmental Non-Governmental organisations (ENGOs*) to a clause in the Statement of Forest Principles Agreement that included ‘a strong sustainable timber industry including the development of a range of plantation-based timber processing facilities including a pulp mill’ [Statement of Principle #5]. Possibly because the ENGOs were confident that the Gunns Ltd Tamar Valley mill would never go ahead, the ENGOs were reported as agreeing to ‘a’ mill, but not to the Tamar Valley mill. They were led to believe that 570,000 ha of ‘high conservation’forest would be protected and an interim moratorium on further logging imposed until negotiations were completed. The 10 organisations involved in these forestry negotiation signed the Tasmanian Statement of Forest Principles in October 2010.

The negotiations then fell apart and became delayed. Forestry Tasmania – a Government Business Enterprise and not a signatory to the negotiations – claimed they could not meet their current wood supply contracts if 570,000 ha of high conservation value forests were granted statutory protection. They also refused to honour the moratorium and continued logging, even in the highly sensitive Styx-Weld areas. We could be forgiven for concluding that the negotiations were indeed a setup for the mill, for on 17 May 2011, Premier Lara Giddings said just that in Parliament: ‘the whole statement of principles process… is about trying to assist Gunns to get their pulp mill up.’This was news to most Tasmanians and no doubt to the ENGO negotiators themselves. On cue, Gunns, politicians from both major parties, and trade union leaders Bill Kelty and Paul Howes, announced that the ENGOs agreement to ‘a pulp mill’ gave the necessary social licence for the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill. But there is no social licence for the mill.8

Although State and Commonwealth approvals to build the mill went ahead, Gunns has seen its share price collapse from a high point of over $4 a share when John Gay announced the prosposal to build a pulp mill, to 16 cents currently, while trading in Gunns Ltd shares has been suspended since early March 2012. Gunns has held a fire sale of its commercial assets to help repay bank debts of over $600 million. Yet in spite of all this, Gunns still entertains the vision of building its pulp mill in the Tamar Valley, no doubt because poorly informed politicians and trade union figures for their own extraordinary reasons support the ongoing waste of public money to try and get this uneconomic and ecologically destructive project off the ground.

Another unfortunate outcome of the negotiations is the apparent consensus on the need for a plantation based industry. If that means a perpetuation of the destructive and water-poisoning monoculture plantations that have caused so much damage to the water table, to water supplies, and to public health already, then that is completely unacceptable. Forestry reform that acknowledges and values bio-diverse regeneration forestry plantations, that mimic the distribution and ecology of native forests and that not rely on toxic chemicals for their health and growth, are another matter. The ENGOs must clarify the difference and rule out monocultures. That is basic.

There are plantations and plantations

Of course we need to end clear felling, but at the same time we cannot tolerate a reliance on monoculture plantations for a ‘sustainable timber industry’ in Tasmania. There is a place for replanting bio-diverse regeneration native forests that seek as far as is possible to restore and grow healthy forests approaching their original conformation. This type of forestry is an entirely different kettle of fish to the chemically dependent monoculture plantations of trees that develop poisonous leaves and are bred to be pulped. Bio-diverse regeneration forests are self-regulatory but they are not considered the foundation of a sustainable timber industry because:

Providing companion plantings that … deter pests, plus a tolerance of a low level of pests, were all part of a tried-and-true method of control that long predated the war on nature. The trouble was that corporations couldn’t make money from these approaches. With the illusion of a quick and permanent fix, the pesticide companies had set us on a cataclysmic course.9

In other words, giant corporations are determined to make money regardless of the social and ecological costs. Put this with Mike Bolan’s above exposure of the pulp and paper industry and we see the explanation for Tasmania’s water problems.

There are many other similar examples of how the mega-rich make themselves ever richer at the expense of underprivileged. Rachel Carson in Silent Spring in 1963 warned us many years ago about the damaging and unimagined effects wrought by very low level original applications of poisonous chemical substances, such as DDT, entering the food chain. We now know that it is worse even than that. Even minute doses, that appear to be safe to humans, accumulate through prolonged usage to toxic levels, and worse, interact to cause epigenetic cancers and other pathologies. Government testing does not take these cumulative and epigenetic effects into account – and it should.10

These are problems we have to confront and find solutions to. However, there are strong vested interests in preserving the status quo. A major reason for this is that careers and immediate profits depend upon retaining forestry practices that are uneconomic in the long term, irreversibly destructive, and damaging to human health. All the evidence suggests that ordinary people are sick and tired of the waste, inefficiency and damage wrought by current forestry practices yet both major parties at state and national levels, and the trade union movement itself, have dug in against significant change.

Such change requires a socially responsible, holistic view of forestry. Locking up all of 570,000 ha may not be the best way to go. Tasmania has many valuable timbers that could be harvested sustainably and maintain an ongoing quality forestry industry, as is the case in many European countries, while still reserving wonderful cathedrals of old growth trees. Unfortunately, the participants in the IGA are not thinking this way. They are seen as and behave as antagonists who yield ground inch by inch, thus grudgingly maintaining two opposed systems: one of wholesale exploitation, the other of hands-off. Such a position is undignified and more importantly, not likely to be sustainable. And the forest wars would be set to be fought all over again.

We are facing an enormous task to bring things around but, as the quote from Ricard at the head of this article suggests, what we need is courage – and flexible thinking from both sides.

Refs
1 From a brochure Warning! Poisoned water? Authorised by Dr. Andrew Lohrey and widely distributed in Tasmania.
2 Alison Bleaney, ‘Chemicals: The dismal failure’ Tasmanian Times, 7 May 2012. http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/how-chemicals-affect-us/
3 Andrew Lohrey, ‘Panel report dubious: designed to stifle public debate,’ Tasmanian times,2 July 2010, http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/george-river-toxins-rerport-dubious-designed-to-stifle-debate/
4 Reported in Levelling the Playing Field: Reforming Forest Governance in Tasmania, Report commissioned by Environment Tasmania, February 2010,p. 27 http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/pr-article/levelling-the-playing-field-reforming-forestry-governance-in-tasmania1/
5 G. Wells, ‘Amos and Wells on Forest subsidies: Round 3’ Tasmanian Times, 19 August, 2010 http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/amos-and-wells-on-forestry-subsidies-round-3/
6 Mike Bolan, ‘The truth about plantations’, Tasmanian Times, 16 June 2010. http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/the-truth-about-plantations/
7 Executive Commissioner Simon Cooper to Premier Paul Lennon, 23 March, 2007.
8 Since 2005, 20 polls on the mill have been conducted state and nationwide. Overall, more than twice as many oppose the mill as support it, the opposition increasing in 2008-09. The latest, a Galaxy Poll in July 2009, reports that 74 per cent of Australians oppose the mill while only 14 per cent support it. http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/opinion-polls-four-shortened/
9 Tim Flannery, Here on Earth, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2011, p. 168.
10 Alison Bleaney, ‘Chemicals: The dismal failure.’See footnote 2 above.

*ENGOs: Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Foundation

First published: 2012-07-10 03:44 PM

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

70 Comments

  1. Claire Gilmour

    July 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    (63) Oh there’s the poor ol’ woodcutter … those birds have been scattering the breadcrumbs all over the place.

    I know how it’s done, have been assessing for a decade … interestingly enough I supplied FT with a number of independently assessed docs to prove the existence of rare, vulnerable and endangered species, when they (FT) could not supply them. I’ve learnt a great deal from the grand masters of Forestry Tas… Aunty jacks travelling abbittors. FT (my neighbor) told me they could fall trees onto my land, damaging my trees in the process, I assume I can do the same to them! …

    I’ve even been on one of their very special eye opening bus tours! So obviously I must now know they are world leaders in forestry destruction, sorry I mean, construction. I’ve seen how well they maintain roads – one needs to let it overgrow so it smashes windows for that extra bright eyed effect; bridge maintenance is undoubtedly a fine art – it allows bus tours to experience the thrill of the bridge collapsing beneath the tourists, thus allowing the occupants to alight and view their oh so natural man made surroundings.

    From what I gather, firstly I should try to find a logging contractor who is willing to borrow millions to buy machinery against a short term contract and wants to go broke so they can be gifted a public hand out.

    Secondly, try and plan any roading and bridge building in the wettest season – this creates an opportunity for team work – wrestling with big boys toys in the mud pits… oh what naturally time wasting fun!

    Then get them to clear as much as possible – moonscape appearance highly desirable.

    Get some pink tape (for that sweet, soft and delicate feminine touch), to mark off the sensitive areas which need extra special mother nature attention, in trashing … like habitat trees and waterways – exceptional attention should be made to building sub-standard sub-soil and introduced dirt and culvert bridges so they can create silt, if not get washed away repeatedly. Can I get the plans on how to effectively copy and achieve that?

    Then load up the bare basics, ensuring some of the finest specialty woodworking timber is left to burn – must create burnt out habitat for all the animal species left.

    Then find a pyromaniac to burn and smoke out any of the animals who have survived the initial onslaughts; and to sterilise soil as much as possible from potentially damaging invasive native understory trees, shrubs and plants. After which, scatter nothing more than a couple of varieties of eucs from a high altitude, to mimic nature.

    Once I’m satisfied that the job is well done, get a forest plan signed … saying all values have been assessed as eradicated, and therefore signed sealed and delivered as world’s best practice. This apparently ensures I can get an industry verified stamp of approval, to sell the timber to the lowest bidder for woodchips.

    Obviously I’m really looking forward to having the code of practices relaxed even further, because if any of those damn giant freshwater crays are left, they’ll likely (given a few centuries), eat their way through the timber trash piled in the creek and it will start flowing again … and as any bright spark would know, the state needs every inch of land to grow toothpicks on.

    Looking forward to the breadcrumbs and spending the next century growing a mighty niten theme park … “Quagmire” – do bog in.

    Ps can I have one of those fluro vests? I want to make sure I’m recognised as part of the team.

    Farwell for now Aunty Jack X

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_RgmZt4svm00/S-eS4KwGGdI/AAAAAAAAAfs/bblOr_K7gGI/s1600/hansel&gretel;-alas-tweakedlo.jpg

  2. Frank Strie

    July 17, 2012 at 12:21 am

    RE #64 -#66 :… “I would be interested in people’s comments on this matter.”

    Posted by Tim Thorne on 17/07/12 at 10:44 AM

    Thanks Tim T. and Bob K.
    We shall aim for a triple-win situation.
    It is about time the Tasmanian Community and Land Owners get the opportunity to learn the art and science of responsible forest resource management.
    This is about inter-generational planning and management in line with positive selection decision making.
    The IGA is the classic arm wrestling process (“Arm wrestling is a sport with two participants. Each participant places one arm (either the right or left, but both must be the same) on a surface with their elbows bent and touching the surface, and they grip each other’s hand. The goal is to pin the other’s arm onto the surface, with the winner’s arm over the loser’s arm.”)
    , where as the ProSilva process sets the whole forest estate as the key decision point. All three expectations (social, environmental and commercial) are considered equally.

    What do we want the estate to be / look like in the short, medium and long term – and why!

  3. David Obendorf

    July 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Let’s be open here – members of the ENGO collective that included affliates of philantrophy-funded Our Common Ground, FSC(Australia), Environment Tasmania, TWS and ACF accepted ‘a pulp mill’ as a part of future Tasmanian forest industry (based on plantations). They incorporated that phrase in the signed Oct 2010 Statement of Forest Principles Agreement.

    When numerous environmentalists, foresters, GPs and scientists and ordinary Tasmanians highlighted that this was not only dumb ecologically but also politically, they were ignored.

    Premier Giddings and Gunns CEO, L’Estrange tried to trade on this single phrase of ‘a pulp mill’ to mean ‘THE pulp mill’ – the only pulp mill on the books was the Gunns Ltd Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal.

    Think of all the TWS members and supporters contributing to their “No Pulp Mill” national campaign; all that mums & dads money TWS obtained to THEN see the ENGO group accept this phrase in their agreement with forester! Leaves me incredulous.

  4. Dr Kevin Bonham

    July 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Re #61, not “precious” at all. The TT Code of Conduct clearly discourages irrelevant personal reflections about other posters. If you must attempt to imply that my attitude on some other thread would imply an attitude to a claim on this one, it would be better done with examples rather than through the use of a loaded description that would be generally taken as pejorative. Or instead of using “pedantic” (which implies an excessive focus on minor detail and ignorance of general issues) just refer to my attention to detail and/or concern about factual accuracy and give the value loading and false stereotyping a miss.

    “So from what you are ultimately saying, does that mean “any” bias at all negates the truth? Yes or No?”

    That was not what I was saying and nor does it follow generally. What I am saying is that LOTF has been busted as a biased and sloppy program and therefore great caution should be exercised in using even direct quotes from it unless you can be certain of their original context. Not that any of those were all that interesting anyhow.

  5. Tim Thorne

    July 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Well said, Bob Kendra (#64, 65). If the pulp mill does not go ahead, what will happen to the existing nitens plantations? If they are harvested for chipping only, then re-planted, the stress on water catchments and the water table will continue, and there will be no value-adding: a lose-lose situation

    If they are harvested one-off, then the land is used for a more appropriate crop, there will be significant financial losses, but in the long term a healthier situation, in environmental, economic and social terms.

    If they are maintained and managed as carbon assets, the owners do OK while there is a price on carbon, but the political medium-term future makes this doubtful. And the land would still be unavailable for food production.

    I would be interested in people’s comments on this matter.

  6. Bob Kendra

    July 16, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Only upskilled low volume high value forestry utilising pro-silva practices earning FSC merit can ensure reduced water usage and pollution. Not high volume pulping agreed in exchange for preserving specific forests as promised in current dealings.

  7. Bob Kendra

    July 16, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Clean water does indeed need revised forestry practices, as Biggs, Bound and Obendorf eloquently argue. Plantation establishment and management that we have known do indeed change water tables as well as the chemical composition of forestry and plantation run-off. The only pulp mill for which a social licence is claimed and taxpayer and investors’ funds are sought would have a massive impact on water quality and quantity available to the rest of Tasmania. And whether or not that is all that the SoP/IGA have been about all along is academic next to the big impacts on water that are central to the so-called peace proposals. That impact on water quantity and quality remains intrinsic, whether or not conservationists retain enough clout to protect water quality in those catchments favoured for protection.

    The thrust of the Premier’s statement about the pulp mill cannot be ignored, despite the qualifications raised. The thrust of water impacts contained in the pulp future envisaged in the IGA will be sidelined at our peril.

  8. jack lumber

    July 16, 2012 at 12:13 am

    #46 Dear Claire I have found a number of possible contractors who can possibly assist with your proposed thinning . If you are serious happy to progress.

    There are some questions that do need to be discussed.
    1. Do you have any market access constraints ?
    2 Has your forest been assessed for HCV status _I cant resist advising I understand there is a man on West Coast who can assesses via the internet . Brilliant i understand just writes really long wordy reports in some arcane language
    3 Are any of your forests certified ? Do you have a preference
    4 What is the current stand structure ? Thinning may in fact be the incorrect silviculture . may wish to also talk to Frank Strie
    4.1 why are you thinning natural forest blackwood? Gordon B may be able to also provide some additional advice
    5 Do you have access and have you already commenced any consultation with neighbours /stakeholders
    6 Do you accept that operations will have to be covered by a certified FPP , prepared in accordance with the FPC and other relevant acts
    7 Will any DA (Local Govt ) permissions be required
    7.1 Are there any existing conservation covenants on area you propose to have thinned ?
    8 Are you already aware of any areas on or near which contain biological/visual/historical/cultural both pre european and european /geomorphological/ water intake

    These are just the beginning and there are several more steps that would have to be completed before we even begin analysis of any economic issues . I do apologies but despite what many think the process is rightfully quite time consuming .
    Look forward to progressing this opportunity

  9. Garry Stannus

    July 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I guess you got out the wrong side of bed, Peter. I wish that you could leave the put-downs out of the comments that you occasionally direct at me (#60). To suggest that I might choose not to acknowledge, but rather to ignore evidence, or that I would deliberately overlook pertinent considerations seems to indicate a lack of respect for my holding a point of view that apparently differs from yours. You also called ‘entirely unreasonable’ that which I had provided reasons for. You threw in a ‘pedantic’ jibe as well. Yet I don’t consider it pedantic to consider the Premier’s remark in its context.

    Have another read of what I wrote in #55, Peter. I’m quite happy to read/reread what you and others have previously written on the matter, if you wouldn’t mind posting a link. However, it is entirely natural that I should have used Hansard as a primary source in preference to unknown or unremembered secondary accounts such as yours and others that you refer to, in seeking to understand what was actually said by the Premier and what was actually meant.

    I agree that discrepancies in the Hansard may generally be of little consequence, however I’m not sure that the instance, to which I drew attention, is such a case. As already indicated in my #55, it seems as if MPs such as the Premier have the opportunity to amend the draft Hansard before it becomes official. I would like to know more about this process, should any reader know something about it. I point out, Peter, that the Premier, in replying to Mr Hodgman’s question, seemed to be referring to notes which she had carried with her as she came to the lectern. She placed them on it, referred to them from time to time and could be seen reading from them. I have wondered whether Mr Hodgman had supplied the Hansard person in the House with a copy of his question in advance, and also whether Hansard might have subsequently accepted ‘correction’ in the light of the Premier’s notes in answer to Hodgman’s question. To me, the Premier looked a little disconcerted, though I am certainly not an expert on how she appears in the Parliament. I think she botched her answer, though that’s not to say that I’d have done any better, and that her words came out in a form which did not reflect that which she seemed to have intended to say. Who knows? That’s the way I think. I wish you wouldn’t ‘beat up on me’ for it though.

    And by the way, John Biggs, Max Bound and David Obendorf: I meant no disrespect to your overall article which deals with a serious subject – water, our catchments and forests.

    Michael Hodgman’s question was about whether a sovereign risk had been created in the minds of potential pulp mill investors, by the inclusion of the Greens (opposing the pulp mill) in the Governemnt. It was a rhetorical question, its answer I’d expect would, if anything, be ‘yes’.

  10. Claire Gilmour

    July 15, 2012 at 12:51 am

    (58)Well I’d say I’m rather pedantic too, and I’d take it as compliment, so there you go. You have helped to try and train me over the years, nothing like a student giving a teacher some of their own medicine eh! I’m so disappointed you didn’t cross to the lighter side to meet me, oh well, one can only try. You do seem to like the word drivel, I prefer balderdash and twaddle personally…

    “consider yourself lucky I don’t get that sort of personal attack drivel moderated”? Gee your being pretty precious now Kevin.

    So from what you are ultimately saying, does that mean “any” bias at all negates the truth? Yes or No? …

  11. Peter Henning

    July 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    #55 Your construct depends on your “personal” interpretation of the sequence of events, particularly in relation to your conclusion that “informal talks and ensuing process that had already begun between the ENGOs and the industry participants were now given impetus, increased reason and need for an agreement” by Gunns’ decision to exit native forest logging.
    That interpretation is not the only interpretation, and nor is it an interpretation which takes into consideration the available evidence, although it might be evidence which you do not wish to acknowledge, but would rather ignore.
    A number of people have written about the establishment of the roundtable in 2009 in terms of the contexts, including me, and the contexts involve a range of considerations which you have decided to overlook, for one reason or another, especially the prevailing circumstances leading up to the establishment of the roundtable in May 2010.
    It is entirely unreasonable to ignore those circumstances. It is also entirely unreasonable to adopt a pedantic position in relation to the choice of language used by Lara Giddings in the parliament. It is tantamount to saying that the choice of every word of a politician should be regarded as holy writ, as if rehearsed in the way that diplomatic discourse is written, with extreme care and nuance.
    Your attempt to extrapolate from “also”/”as well” as having significant meaning which can analysed is absurdly ludicrous. A detailed reading of Hansard will soon rid you of the notion that every word should be scrutinised as being carefully chosen. But Hansard was never designed to be interpreted in that manner anyway. It is a total nonsense.
    Your examination of the historical record is incomplete and partial. Whether that reflects a partisan bias, an inability to assess the nature of the available evidence, or even an inability to comprehend the possibility that important relevant evidence remains hidden, is not for me to say.
    But given the evidence available on the public record, the arguments you put forward against the conclusions of Bound-Biggs-Obendorf and the comments by Barbara Mitchell, are inconsequential.

  12. David Obendorf

    July 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Gary Stannus, [comment #55] – “From 2008, those employed directly in forestry in Tasmania had dropped from 6960 to 3460. That was the figure for May 2011..”

    Correct Gary, that is in the official CRC forestry assessment socio-economic report. Now in 2012 the forestry employment service just given $4 million of Commonwealth funds to assist redundant or retrenched forestry workers have another 800 Tasmanian forestry workers in their books currently and they predict the number to peak at 1500.

  13. Dr Kevin Bonham

    July 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Re #54, my supposedly “pedantic nature” takes issue with you claiming that I have a “pedantic nature”; consider yourself lucky I don’t get that sort of personal attack drivel moderated. I actually came over to this thread not specifically to “meet you” but because when you drew my attention to it I became aware that there was another thread where LOTF had not been put fully back in its box.

    But anyway, John Gay’s responses in in-person interviews were often non sequiturs so there’s really not much to see there. In the case of Rolley, his point was that FT regrows something on land it harvests, whether that something is silvicultural regrowth or plantation. It is distinct from land uses like agriculture or housing in which forest is converted to non-treed land. To object that it has often not replanted exactly the same thing as was harvested may well be relevant and valid (or not) depending on the context, but it’s also the kind of point that if I made it would be dismissed as – your word here – “pedantic”. Also we cannot know the exact context in which Mr Rolley made that comment, and because the program has been found guilty of bias, we cannot assume anything on that score.

    Most of the rest really doesn’t interest me much so far.

  14. jack lumber

    July 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    re 46 claire- have been away havent forgot on just doing some other things
    #53 Thank you so much for your words .

  15. Claire Gilmour

    July 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    The SOP – Statement of Principles that originally led to the IGA has not been followed through. On the list of ‘principles’ it suggested things from community consultation to less poisons in waterways to better forestry practices … little of that has seen the light of day, why?

    It was like a con job, making all these suggestions of what ‘should’ happen, but has boiled down to … so much reserved; so much still logged the same way under FT’s useless hand; pretend there will be a pulp mill somewhere; try and con the stupid that the tax dodged, government subsidised introduced pulp wood trees would turn the cinderella state into a queen … when both the left and right foot are shoeless, walking on their knees prostrating themselves to the princes of thieves. The whole thing is a joke. Hand the IGA money – ‘cos it will happen under any guise! – to Lala and her boys to distribute? to wee willy and his girls? NO the politically mired have proven they can’t be trusted with the money.

    What are we, close to 18 months out from an election … the standard start of the political wheeling strategy. Just watch ‘em all argue and make deals in the next 18 months. Perhaps the brighter few could ignore the con that is going to happen over the next while and still have reasonable conversations to REALLY consider the communities, without being interrupted by the day to day gov media crap which is designed to keep people thinking along politically selfish wave lengths rather than what is in the public’s best interests. The money will come through under whatever guise, it has to be ensured it goes to the right areas. How does one help make that happen? …

  16. Garry Stannus

    July 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks for your #41 Barbara Mitchell. Hansard and I stand corrected*. I also agree with you that in the answer that the Premier gave, she did not mention what you refer to as the…

    “forest conservation imperative supposedly driving the SoP negotiations”.

    Although it is not clear to me that the Premier’s words actually meant, as you wrote, that…

    “the main purpose of the SoP, from the government’s perspective, is to facilitate the building of the pulp mill”.

    Yet I think you were correct to qualify your interpretation as referring to…

    “the government’s perspective”.

    This differs from the authors’ rendition. They said:

    “the whole statement of principles process… is about trying to assist Gunns to get their pulp mill up.’”

    Like many others, the authors, in that short sentence, did not acknowledge that the SoP could represent different things to different people. For the government it was about facilitating the pulp mill ‘as well‘ as all the other reasons that had created the process. For the ENGOs it was about the forests. For the forestry participants it was about jobs and their collapsing industry. From 2008, those employed directly in forestry in Tasmania had dropped from 6960 to 3460. That was the figure for May 2011, when the Premier made her much-referred-to remark. For Gunns it was about their future. And the position that they now found themselves in suggested only one way out … the pulp mill:

    Greg L’Estrange in a key note address to the 2010 Forestworks Conference (see Gunns statement to the ASX – 9Sept2010) said:

    “During this time the industry and the Environmental Non Government Organisations (ENGO’s) have been pitted in a fierce battle for the support of the Australian people, who in turn balance the political debate. In this area I believe the industry has been out thought and out played, with the ENGO’s using three key leverage points:
    1 Public Emotion
    2 Multi level government involvement
    3 Certification – Market Action
    Where as the industry has maintained a stance that ‘science’ will prevail and that the ‘feudal lords‘ will maintain the two hundred year tradition of licence access to crown land for subsidised off take agreements”
    .

    He could have also mentioned competitiveness and the Australian dollar. Gunns’ exit from native forests was all about business survival. What was it to do? It rolled the dice – they came up ‘pulp mill’. Sell-off the farm and out of native forests was the strategy. The announced exit brought the already failing industry to a point of crisis, a Rubicon. The informal talks and ensuing process that had already begun between the ENGOs and the industry participants were now given impetus, increased reason and need for an agreement.

    * I’d like to better understand the Hansard process. Do MPs get a final say on what goes into Hansard? The following is an extract from the House of Assembly Index – Hansard Procedure: “Hard copy of the transcription is generated and sent to each member for further correction.” [http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/parliament/hansard.htm] and finally, the following position is advertised by the Parliament: “Paliamentary Reporting Service (HANSARD) – Editor of Debates” (a Grin for the spelling!).

  17. Claire Gilmour

    July 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    (50) Thanks for meeting me on this thread Kevin. Some of the quotes I’m particularly interested in. Look forward to your response.
    …

    JOHN GAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GUNNS LIMITED: I run a business in Tasmania for the people of Tasmania to have jobs, and to pay our taxes, and I believe Tasmania deserves to have an industry like forestry. It hasn’t got any other industries in Tasmania today.

    “for the people of Tasmania to have jobs” – how many have Gunns retrenched? Did they not take over some businesses then close them down?
    “and to pay our taxes” – currently a contentious issue.
    “It hasn’t got any other industries in Tasmania today.” – Come on Kevin, surely your pedantic nature would take issue with such a statement.

    EVAN ROLLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FORESTRY TASMANIA: Here’s an organisation that for more than 80 years has been replanting everything it harvests, acknowledges the need to continuously change and is committed to doing that. But somewhere, someone has to produce the wood.

    “… has been replanting everything it harvests …” – this is not true.

    TICKY FULLERTON: Saving trees like this by making new reserves is now almost impossible.
    JOHN GAY: They’ve got to put it through both houses of Parliament and there is a very large compensation claim that fits on the back of that, and I don’t believe that politicians can…will do that.

    (Well they did didn’t they! – because their puppy politicians were so enamored with having their tummy scratched they rolled over and acquiesced to writing in clauses which would benefit Gunns either way. Obviously why he changed ‘can’ to will” because he knew they could. Apparently a bob each way with public money is how the Tas gov runs their finances.

    RENE HIDDING: We have a unique arrangement in Tasmania where Labor and Liberal, you know… both have committed to the Regional Forest Agreement in order to buy 20 years… hopefully, we thought, 20 years of common sense and reasonableness in Tasmania.

    “Unique arrangement” indeed! “20 years of common sense”? where are any reasonable dollars tho??

    TICKY FULLERTON: Tasmania had planned to pull out of old-growth clear-felling and chipping by 2010, but that now seems unlikely.
    PAUL LENNON: We’re not prepared to sacrifice a single job in meeting that deadline target of 2010.

    Apparently some politician’s will say anything to try and keep their boys onside …

    TICKY FULLERTON: So jobs are directly attached to old-growth foresting?
    PAUL LENNON: My word. My word.

    But some in the world didn’t/don’t want the Paul Lennon world word view. What does he hinge his ‘word’ on now?

    TICKY FULLERTON: Do you think you’re on a black list as far as ethical investment goes?
    JOHN GAY: No. That doesn’t really worry me. From what I see about ethical investment companies, where they have investments in Australia, they don’t show very good returns.

    Apparently at least one non-ethical investment company went into hiding and haven’t been able show ANY return to their shareholders for a while now.

    Water issues to follow …

  18. William Boeder

    July 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Perhaps an easier question for those 3 gentlemen above-referred to with their now heavy load of severely damaged credibility and integrity as was lumped upon them and became their due through their ongoing attempts to mislead the people of Tasmania?

    (EG: Through and by their participation in all Forest product extraction articles they decided to enter into and to make their own comments upon, relating to the ongoing denudation and demise of Tasmania’s HCV Native Forests.)

    Q. Yon 3 vociferous proponents, can you offer any reasons why so much of the doings and goings-on in the logging of our Tasmanian Native Forests is kept as ‘commercial in confidence,’ also, why there is such a fetid odour of distrust hovering above and within all of Forestry Tasmania’s financial statements claims and financial dealings?

    I would like to further remind the Tasmanian people of the gross ineptitude’s soon to be even more glaringly apparent, in that of the compulsory activities requested of the gold-plated non-executive directors of this serial failing highly destructive Government Business Enterprise.

    Maybe the States Forestry minister should also be incorporated into this matter he being one of the official stakeholders and custodians of this GBE, also of his ministerial responsibilities often to be found absent as shown in his performances within this whole GBE vipers nest of intrigue?

    However my time at this precise moment will not allow me to embark upon this extensive Lib/Lab ignored odyssey of State ministerial inattentions to their mandatory State ministerial office duties and undertakings, (that are best summed-up as their applications of “due diligence”,) on behalf of each of this State’s citizens.

  19. David Obendorf

    July 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    William and Mate and Max and Claire and others you are to be congratulated for engaging with the usual deceptive protrayals of the stats. about Tasmanisan forests. You will not convince apologists for the status quo but you all give rebuttals and continue to question the use of percentages, figures and language.

    Remember that these Tasmanian Times blogs are read by many, many people each and every day.

    Oscar Wilde also realised the flim-flam in his day: “There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.”

    And then reflect deeply of this Oscar-esque gem!: “Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.”

  20. max

    July 13, 2012 at 2:07 am

    44 # Mark. Please give us the benefit of your experience. What percentage of Tasmania’s forest cover holds good first class sawlogs. We know that the recovery rate of past harvests for sawlogs was about 10% and vast areas of the state wouldn’t produce a single log. We have now been told that the plantations are the wrong types for sawlog production and even if suitable would be something like 90 years away. Past logged areas of re growth are supplying 700 mm logs that are claimed to be only suitable for peeler logs. Forestry Tasmania if not bankrupt is only surviving on tax payers hand outs. Is there a future and if so what has to change.

  21. Dr Kevin Bonham

    July 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

    jack lumber in #11 beat me to it but I think the findings are worth posting at length any time the dismal tripe that is Lords of the Forests is mentioned:

    “There were inaccuracies and some misrepresentation of facts in ‘Lords of the Forests’. The program often, though not invariably, presents only the ‘anti-Lords’ (anti-logging) version on disputed issues of fact. It frequently casts doubt on the credibility of the ‘Lords’ (logging industry) and their supporters, but scarcely ever subjects their opponents to the same treatment.”

    Note also:

    “The emotive language of the program invalidates the claim that every effort was made to bring balance to the production. Perhaps justified as isolated individual and contextual descriptive phrases, the frequent use of pejoratives leaves the reasonable viewer with the impression that the program is anti-logging i.e. seriously lacking in balance and fairness.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/media/s1265133.htm

    Of course, particular quotes from the program may still interest some.

  22. hugoagogo

    July 13, 2012 at 1:21 am

    #36 hang on, another one just came to mind.

  23. mate

    July 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    @44. “What calculations?” asks Mark. These ones: “Tasmania has 3.116 million hectares of native forest …… by my reckoning, your 11,000 hectares comprises 0.0035 of that”. If you were only logging 110 Ha/year I don’t think we’d be having a problem. Do you want to have another crack at that one?

    I stand corrected on loss of forest cover in Tas. Existing forest cover is ~65% and not ~50% of original forest cover. It’s not like I said forest cover is 0.5% or 0.65% of the original cover is it? Besides, it was a “ballpark figure” and has little bearing on the point I was making.

    With regard to Victoria’s ‘Statewide Forest Resource Inventory’, if your demonstrated mathematical skills are anything to go by, I suggest this project came about because of ad-hoc and hopelessly inaccurate databases compiled by regional foresters.

    “The Statewide Forest Resource Inventory commenced in March 1993, when the Victorian
    Minister for Natural Resources approved the implementation of the first statewide inventory of
    native forest on public land in Victoria. The primary objective was to provide forest managers
    with a resource statement for making informed and consistent sustainable yield forecasts, and
    decisions on land-use planning and resource allocation.”

    BTW, 3.2m Ha is not 9% of 6.8m Ha. Those “teensy weensy” %’s can be misleading especially when you’ve made sure everything you don’t want is in reserves and not in “multiple-use public forest”.

  24. William Boeder

    July 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    #44. Mark Poynter why is it that you appear to be the only person that has any knowledge of the wherewithal to do with the logging sustainability in both Victoria’s and Tasmania’s Crown Land Forests?

    Judging from your past comments, everybody else who speaks of trees, forests and logging, is an ignorant uninformed person who should just shut-up and pay attention to such as you alone, as you go about spruiking your claims and statements that are always counter to the specific and the general knowledge held by most all other persons?

    I note you have timidly ignored my reference and questions to the land-mass amounts requested of the logging sustainability location and volume of “especially set aside reforested and regrowth indigenous growth areas in Tasmania.”

    In your so doing you can no longer rattle on about your credibility, (as to jack and George, they also declined to offer any substance to support the call for accurate land-mass area volume quotations.)
    Why you and your industry others continue with the confusing inaccurate use of percentages, (as are systematically employed for the the usual logging industry obfuscating purposes,) this will remain an indictment upon your own credibility within the realms of your logging fraternity upon the public-owned Crown Land Forests of both Victoria and Tasmania.

    Are you also afraid of the Forestry Tasmania Overlords prowling about in our Tasmanian Native Forests?

  25. Claire Gilmour

    July 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    (43) You said you’d contact me jack lumber … I’m still waiting …

  26. William Boeder

    July 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    #43. Just as I suspected, not one of you 3 logging proponents would enter into the integrity of your logging activities for fear of some degree of exposure escaping out of the continuing tyranny of Forestry Tasmania and its maniacal dreams and doings.

    So jack, as you lumber along believing all that you say and think is the absolute pinnacle of success in the ongoing highly destructive Native Forest logging by Forestry Tasmania, (of which provides zilcho profits or revenue returns,) then to the absence of any cogent nominated land-mass- quantified areas, ‘of restoration or regrowth,’ by any of you 3 devout proponents of “the let’s just keep logging the buggery of the State’s people-owned forests.”

    So with nothing at all put forward by any of you, to suggest any actual references to regrowth or restoration areas, says to me you are each but fantasy-land rogues and dreamers.

    This was the logging industry opportunity “for each of you conservation-bashing logging proponents” to support the former statements by each and all, as to the sustainability of your damnable delinquent logging of Tasmania’s diminishing realms of HCV Native Tasmanian Forests.

    Greatly apparent, a piss-poor job- jack George and Mark!

  27. Mark Poynter

    July 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    #34 mate

    “You’re calculations are out by a factor of 100”

    What calculations? I quoted the native forest cover for Tasmania from the Federal Government’s State of the Forests Report 2008. Are you saying the Government is wrong? And if so, what are your qualifications for saying so? Perhaps, you’ve done your own inventory?

    “Tas forest cover is ~49% so we can start by assuming around 50% of the forest cover has been lost in 200 years”

    I suggest you do a bit more research mate. Actually Tasmania retains 64% of its original forest cover. Despite your great knowledge in this area, you have wrongly assumed that the whole of Tas was covered in forest in 1788 …. in fact, 2 million ha of the land mass was non-treed plains etc.

    “Victoria belatedly carried out its first forest inventory in the early 1990’s”

    Again your pretence at having some knowledge in this area is shown up. Forest inventory has occurred in Victoria since the 1920s, but was done at a local level rather than a statewide level because it was presumed that the level of harvesting was far beneath the sustainable level given that harvesting was theoretically permissable in about 95% of the forest and at that time much it wasn’t even being accessed.

    However, the dramatic reservations of forest from following on from the initial Timber Industry Strategy in 1986 have necessitated the need to manage the harvest more closely as more than half the forest is now reserved, and much of the rest is unsuitable. The mid-1990s to 2000 inventory was the first time the whole forest had been assessed in one single exercise at great taxpayer expense.

    Timber harvest in Victoria is still way below the sustainable level based on the growth of the whole forest, because it is restricted to just a 9% portion.

    Have you ever done a forest inventory? You seem to think it is something easily achieved – again your strong assertions are out of step with your actual knowledge.

  28. jack lumber

    July 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    #36 Dear William – this is a game and score that you can play with yourself . BTW And i still am no clearer on any of your claims , request nor statements . You must be a very busy man.
    “If i had more time i would have written less . Winston Churchill

  29. Frank Strie

    July 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Barry Tomkins #39
    The unthinned, unpruned, over stocked stands of Pine were clearfelled.
    As I have a background in forest and plantation management, I am well aware of what responsible management is about.
    Between 1980 and Oct. 1987 I was establishing and managing a Forest Training Centre with 3 year long, proper theoretical and practical forest management and forest skills training.

    In Nov. 1987 I had a position as Training development officer here in Tasmania. As one of my first taskes, I recall training contract workers in Tasmania’s North East in pruned, thinned and mature Pine stands – some of the trees had a butlog close to 1m diameter.
    The recovery of clear wood was a lot greater than what is avaiable these days.
    That was in the late 1980s. It was the decided to reduce the investment costs by no longer prune and the age and consequently size were reduced…
    Auspine was in a legal battle against a number of identities in 2006, then GUNNS took over and the case was withdraw.
    This is how some thought to fix the problem.
    The Dorset Region was doen over, the Upper Esk / Mathinna plantations mined out.
    The Strahan resource mined out, now all sold on to private investment.
    Sustainable pine plantation management overe these 25 years – no – a sad joke, actually unsustainable if not akin to illegal action.
    But that is Tasmania as we know it….
    Time for real change I say.

  30. Barbara Mitchell

    July 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    #37 Garry, on the 17 May 2011, in answer to a question from Will Hodgman, Lara said – ‘What the honourable member doesn’t understand is that the whole statement of principles process, that he has bagged time and time again, is about trying to assist Gunns, as well, to get their pulp mill up’. You can watch the relevant question time session at http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ha/qt/qt170511.htm.

    The remainder of Gidding’s answer is focussed very clearly on Gunns – their decision to exit native forests, the ensuing SoP process, and the government’s support for a pulp mill. Her meaning is quite clear – the main purpose of the SoP, from the government’s perspective, is to facilitate the building of the pulp mill. There is no mention of the forest conservation imperative supposedly driving the SoP negotiations.

    If you watch the parliament webcasts, you will also notice that Ms Giddings regularly uses five or six words where one would suffice, and often inserts the phrase ‘as well’ randomly into her utterances.

  31. Tom Bailey

    July 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    #29 “Appointments of psychophants, appeasers and bullies into the executive levels of the Tasmanian Public Service and Government Businesses on high salaries was essential to the Tas Inc. business model.”

    It’s their control method and their perpetuation model because it works. Ask anyone who has worked in a department where the head has the reputation of ‘likes to run a tight ship’ or ‘wants more bang for their buck’. Euphamism for toe the line or else we’ll find a way to be rid of you. And they do.

    It will continue to work until the top of the bureaucratic pyramid is slashed. Come on, Lara!

  32. Dr Barry Tomkins

    July 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Re #32: Frank, you said ‘What we were shown in Victoria were unthinned, unpruned pine plantations on steep ground … ‘

    Thinning normally is done at about 12-14 years and again at around 22 years in Radiata pine. What age class were you shown? Were they ‘unthinned’ in your eyes because the trees were less than about 12 years or between first and second thinning?

    Further, your comment about pruning displays some ignorance on your part. Radiata pine self prunes and very often plantation managers only prune the outer few rows, because these (in particular the outer row) tend to develop large outer branches making the trees commercially unviable.

    High pruning is practised in some plantations for clearwood – that is knot free wood, but it is not necessary for many uses of the timber.

    Dr Barry Tomkins

  33. John Biggs

    July 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    #23 As a new Tasmanian, I have scant knowledge of Tas Inc, but it seems this inscrutable entity controls every aspect of our existence. They are at the same time the masters of self-interest, the champions of deceit, and the gods of nonsense. Can anyone enlighten me as to who they are?

    David #28 has hit it: a motlery array of politicians from both major parties (there’s no difference between these top fellers, they are all in this), long established families that have been in the Tasmanian Club for generations, and some nouveau rche who have muscled their way in through money and chutzpah. All share the feeling of entitlement to what Tasmania can give them. And it goes back a long long way, to colonial times, when favoured settlers were handed huge land grants by the early governors, especially by Arthur,and the free (convict) labour to work their lands — a genuinely feudal society, that was spoiled by the free settlers wanting an end to transportation. Yet, as I argue in my book “Tasmania Over Five Generations”,

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/does-the-2010-election-herald-a-return-to-van-diemens-land-/

    several important aspects of the way that society worked have been replicated right up to the present: due process is seeing that you and your mates get your way, not everyone is equal before the law, what’s on the land and what’s under it belong to Tas Inc, not to the people, and so on.

    Tasmanian corruption is different from that on the Mainland. I don’t think ours has direct links to criminal gangs, as is the case on the Mainland; ours is a nice and cosy form of corruption that is all the harder to prove, in that there are no paper bags full of money.

  34. Garry Stannus

    July 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    With respect, it’s marvellous what a difference one word can make.

    Giddings, according to authors Biggs, Bound & Obendorf, said that

    ‘the whole statement of principles process… is about trying to assist Gunns to get their pulp mill up.’

    Yet according to Hansard, Giddings actually said

    ‘the whole Statement of Principles process […] is also about trying to assist Gunns to get their pulp mill up,’

    The Bard asked: What’s in a name?
    I ask: What’s in a word?

  35. William Boeder

    July 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    #24. jack, don’t give up your day job, for you will earn less than jack-s–t as a literary comic.

    #30. Oulde sparring partner Mr agogo, are you truly without words to carp at my latest expression of interest into the logging dodgery, of which could well see Tasmania become the new Null arbor State?

    So currently the lost credibility score reads 2 out of 3, now where is your evasive deprecatory response Mr Mark Poynter?

  36. Pete Godfrey

    July 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Mark Poynter #13 and #30. You are misquoting and clouding the issue.
    George was quoting figures for Forestry Tasmania’s logging. I supplied figures from the Forest Practices Authority to show readers how much logging actually takes place on Public and Private land.
    They you have gone back to just using FT figures only. You would know that FT only control 1.5 million ha of Tasmania. Of that only 591,500 ha is eucalypt production forest.
    The point of the article is that if logging is too intense then water quality is compromised, if plantations of monocultures are dominant then too many sprays are used and water quality is compromised.
    Take Frank Strie’s advice and look at Mathinna on Google earth, you will see very large areas of Pine forest there that have been logged in very steep slopes. No streamside protection, and much erosion. The silt ends up in the Tamar Basin and Tamar River, it is there for all to see.
    If you want the industry to have credibility you have to use maths that adds up. Stay away from selective quoting like you did in post 13 where you deliberatly edited my comment to change the context.

  37. mate

    July 12, 2012 at 5:02 am

    @30, No wonder the industry is in a mess Mark. You’re calculations are out by a factor of 100.

    Tas forest cover is ~49% so we can start by assuming around 50% of the forest cover has been lost in 200 years.

    Then we have to look at what’s left. What % of the remnant has a history of logging? What logging system was used? What % is unsuitable for logging? What % is commercially desirable? What % of each EVC has been logged previously? What age classes have been logged? etc. etc.

    If we drill down far enough I’m sure we’ll find logging is concentrated on particular forest types that have been extensively exploited and are now greatly diminished in comparison to their pre-1788 cover. I’d also bet nearly every last stick is primary forest that germinated pre-1788.

    Victoria belatedly carried out its first forest inventory in the early 1990’s. You’d think that in this technological age all information relating to logging and fire history, EVC’s, silvicultural systems used etc would be readily accessible to the public. The fact that this information is piecemeal and a dog’s breakfast only makes it look like DSE/VicForests/timber industry have something to hide. With perseverance you can eke out some understanding of what has happened from publicly available data but it’s not very user friendly. For example, nearly all logging in East Gippsland is concentrated on wet, elevated forest. It’s only a “teensy weensy bit” of logging that, “over a long period”, has been systematically compromising the ecological integrity of the entire region.

    Your take on the issue of clearcuts is interesting too. “Over a long period” Oh, do you mean by incorporating all logging history predating post-WW2 industrial logging? Doesn’t that taint the sample for the purposes of our discussion here? And wasn’t the old system inefficient and bad for forests, but you now want to reclaim it? Why don’t you just give us the figure for post 1990 instead. And while you’re at it, just to be honest and transparent, lump thinning of clearcuts in with clearcutting and all the cosmetic permutations of clearcutting e.g. aggregate retention, group selection, shelterwood, seed tree etc. What’s the figure now?

  38. hugoagogo

    July 12, 2012 at 4:39 am

    #24: I think you’ve used just about all the ‘f’ words that could possibly be used to describe item #18.

    I can’t think of any others.

  39. Frank Strie

    July 12, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Re#30
    I made no claim that I was not aware of the history of the Strzlecki Ranges.
    I made the claim that I was aware of the history of the areas.
    The trip was not a leasure tour so we were provided with historic photos of the area after WW2.
    They now convert the regnants with nitens.
    The Pine plantations we were shown were anything like High Quality.
    I do know very well what high quality looks like.
    Since 1997 I am also a on site sawmiller and have handled all sorts.
    In Germany my job was also to set up / prepare the high quality timber auctions and the public firewood auctions …I learn(ed) from our customers and clients what they expect(ed)
    What we were shown in Victoria were unthinned, unpruned pine plantations on steep ground …
    a “dogs vomit” in the silvicultural sense.
    So the elite in the forestry club had a chance to get things right.
    Make believe will eventually become exposed.
    Google Earth is a handy tool.
    Just fly to Slovenia and notice no clearfell (since 1948), then further north you will see the sudden change when you get over Austria…
    Guess who has the better resources, higher quality and quantity /ha…
    Greed and ignorance in Natural Resource Management catches up with society.
    Time is a big factor in management.
    Think in centuries not decades Mark, think about the generations after our Grandchildren’s children.
    Inter-generational management and planning, caring for quality makes commercial, social and environmental sense. …

    To quote Martin Dansky: “If you’ve chosen egocentricity for your career path than you’ve chosen to live with the illusion that your surroundings will serve you continuously.”

  40. Baz

    July 12, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I’m very impressed by the proposed 1.2 billion tonne pulpmill, which would indeed be the largest in the world. Couldn’t get any further through the article without the aid of some gumboots.

  41. Mark Poynter

    July 12, 2012 at 1:19 am

    #19 Frank

    “You should/would know that even up there the very steep areas get cable logged and repaced with, yes with E. nitens, or P. radiata at best”

    You clearly should have paid more attention when you visited eastern Victoria….. as there has been no conversion of native forest to plantation anywhere in Victoria since 1987.

    Yes, P. radiata plantations that were established on very steep areas from the 1930s – 60s do get cable logged and replanted, but these are high value plantations that produce sawn timber and other products and can absorb the high costs of cable harvest.

    The only E.nitens planted is in the Strzlecki Ranges and these are replantings of E.regnans plantations established on abandoned farmland in the 1960s.

    I note that neither the article’s authors or any other poster has answered my original question – are the areas in question plantations, or native forest regeneration that requires no agrichemical use?

    It seems again to be a case of strong claims being made without sufficient evidence, but hey, that’s par for the course for TTs conspiracy theorists.

    #27 mate

    Not entirely sure what you’re on about really. But Australia’s State of the Forest Report 2008 states clearly that Tasmania has 3.116 million hectares of native forest …… by my reckoning, your 11,000 hectares comprises 0.0035 of that … are you going to tell me that that is not tiny?

    “What proportion of the 11,000 hectares logged each year is selectively logged?”

    Over a long period, the split has been 60% selective and 40% clearfall.

  42. David Obendorf

    July 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Bronwyn Williams [comment #23] asks: ” Can anyone shine a light into this darkness, and on to the individuals of Tas Inc?” As a new kid on the Tas Inc. block Bronwyn, can I suggest you have a cuppa with Bob Brown, Christine Milne or Kim Booth some time, you’ll be given some history of the comings and goings of the cabal of elites that run the State of Taz-mania.

    You’ll learn that some are politicians, some are SES-eschelon public servants, some are influential big business people and some are well-connected old family ‘names’. During the rule of Premier Robin Gray, the individual that political analyst, Professor Richard Herr alleges nearly bankrupted Tasmania in the 1980s, Tasmania Inc. cabal was in high dudgeon.

    Appointments of psychophants, appeasers and bullies into the executive levels of the Tasmanian Public Service and Government Businesses on high salaries was essential to the Tas Inc. business model. Heaps of history there to trawl through Bronwyn.

    Also get a copy of Alison Alexander’s ‘The Companion to Tasmania History’ and see how many of the ‘Who’s who’ names are linked to Tassie scandals and corruptions.

    You’ll need a calm temperament and take lots of breaks… you’ll feel rather contaminated just reading or researching this Tas Inc. mire of compostible muck.

  43. Garry Stannus

    July 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Well, no matter how many times I read the Code, it doesn’t contain a requirement to regenerate native forest in the aftermath of a logging event.

    This is contrary to George Harris’s assertion in #9 that:

    “we are regenerating every bit of it, as required by the Forest Practices Code.”

  44. mate

    July 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Ah yes, the old “it’s only a teensy weensy bit” argument. Mr Poynter loves that one until you drill down and then he flounces off declaring that he doesn’t have to answer your questions.

    A “teensy weensy bit” of what? A “teensy weensy bit” of the “teensy weensy bit” that’s left?

    What proportion of the 11,000 hectares logged each year is selectively logged? (my inference being that all other methods are clearcuts with minor cosmetic changes to avoid the pong of the word ‘clearcut’ , e.g. aggregate retention? You might need an enema for that mate! FT and the IDA discuss their appalling PR image: “What shade of lipstick will we put on the pig today?”)

    What proportion of the 11,000 hectares logged each year is regrowth? What proportion has no previous logging history? What proportion is regrowth from clearcut? What are the age classes of the logged forest? What EVC’s are they? What are the predominant species being logged? Are forests with high yields of commercially sought after species over-represented? What is the coverage of these forests today compared to pre-1788?

    These people aren’t scientists, they’re flim flam artists.

  45. john hayward

    July 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    The posting of Frank Strie, #8, reminded me that one of the most compelling stories that brought the 4 Corners team to Tas was the land swap scandal.

    They dropped the story when, together with legal menaces, it emerged that the state of Tasmania claimed to have no records of the freehold land worth the same amount as the 77,809ha of State Forest land, mainly plantation, surreptitiously deeded to FT.

    It still looks, prima facie, like a grand-daddy of Australian frauds.

    John Hayward

  46. phill Parsons

    July 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    #10 that’s a 56 year rotation on your figures. It seems ‘Woodworker” is ready for some very young timber for his descendants ventures.

    In reading the entire article it would seem that the authors believe that the reduced forest estate
    if the 572kha are removed from it will be insufficient to provide for all Tasmanian users.

    I await a feed of dodo but recognize that somethings you must give up entirely. Eg rhino horn.

    The role of the landscape was first and formeost to provide natural services and sevcondly to provide income.

    The unfortunate thing about the proposal of some logging in some conservation areas is the long standing distrust arising from years of shonky deals.

    The besty outcome for the production forests is to make them Carbon Sinks as they will provide the other natural services and an income.

    Then we may see an intensification of tree production on already cleared land moving from the dumb as dogshit process of growing nightmare trees [E. nitens] in rows to higher value species with a range of products. Walnut, heartnut, gingko all give product from early years with a final divvy in the wood. Even perry pears if someone had any foresight would provide a cool climate crop followed by a divvy.

    Private landowners may need a push or some assistance to move to agriforestry but my guess is they will be left behind and wonder what happened as smaller landholders world wide move away from agribusiness as they are squeezed from the competition by the large scale large volume of cropping with with irrigation.

  47. jack lumber

    July 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    #18 PS must give honourable mention to your alliteration effort . It was a full flowing fountain of furphies , follies , fantasies ,failing fantastically to fulfil fundamentals of fairness and frankly fruity

  48. Bronwyn Williams

    July 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    An eminently sensible review of the forestry situation, gentlemen, but unfortunately sense has no currency in the island state of Tasmania. The most recent attempt to secure peace in the forests is a carefully orchestrated debacle. No-one with a grain of sense would think that the forest industry and its thoroughly compliant government sponsors would ever entertain a change to the decades-old status quo.

    But why does the forest industry wield such power, and command such deference from the state’s ruling elite, popularly referred to as Tas Inc in this forum?

    As a new Tasmanian, I have scant knowledge of Tas Inc, but it seems this inscrutable entity controls every aspect of our existence. They are at the same time the masters of self-interest, the champions of deceit, and the gods of nonsense. Can anyone enlighten me as to who they are?

    I suspect our esteemed Deputy Premier is firmly ensconced in the upper echelons of this band of poseurs, as are several members of the Legislative Council. But who are their compatriots? Is anyone prepared to name names?

    Do they all belong to the Tasmania Club, plotting the next absurdity to be visited on the state behind the doors of their dingy, unidentified Macquarie Street headquarters, complete with ratty, untended shrubbery?

    Are they all the proverbial ‘big fish in a small pond’, imbued with undeserved notions of superiority? Are they members of old Tasmanian families, trading still on the social dominance of their forebears, and using their means and influence to perpetuate an almost feudal social system? Or, are some of them upstarts, and more recent arrivals – opportunists who have garnered power and influence by religiously kissing the arses of the old time ruling families?

    Does Tas Inc has a clear vested interest in maintaining a shamefully large core population of individuals who are unworldly, and functionally illiterate? I believe they do. The serfs are more readily manipulated by their overlords when the are cowed, and beholden – kept firmly in the dark, and fed the foulest and most inexecrable bullshit. Not the least of which is the all-encompassing mischief of the ‘green’ bogeyman – the evil power that inexplicably, but assuredly, threatens their very existence. Do the members of Tas Inc enjoy many a jovial moment reflecting on the wild success of such a simple, unimaginative deceit? I am sure they do.

    Can anyone shine a light into this darkness, and on to the individuals of Tas Inc? Can Tasmanians overcome the dual hindrances of insularity and an anachronistic social milieu? Can they finally realize that their elected representatives are patronising incompetents, and stop voting for them?

    I certainly hope so.

  49. Karl Stevens

    July 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I usually rinse my eyes in the morning with tap water that containing a chemical that prevents caries in my teeth. To this base line additive I get the recycled sewage from Delorain, Westbury and Hadspen thrown-in for free and neutralised with chlorine so I don’t get killed by my water supply. Thoughtfully, the government also recycles agricultural chemicals and herbicides through my water supply. For some reason I also get charged for this toxic swill.

  50. john hawkins

    July 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    This article and the one above by John Lawrence exemplify the service that Tasmanian Times and its readership provide to the people of Tasmania.

    The writers confirm the state of play in Tasmanian take it or leave it.

    This forum provides a platform currently denied to the informed by a gutter press controlled by their servicing of the lowest common denominator, reliant on the power of the cash flow derived from conforming advertisers.

    On TT, the thoughtful may expound their views to peer criticism for they may write from an informed position, armed with the voice of reason all bereft of vested interest.

    Long may you flourish Lindsay.

  51. jack lumber

    July 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Re 15 ?????
    Re 18 Hello …… As the infamous Pauline said ” Please explain “( with a nasal tone )and I will doth batttle to illuminate thou . An observation ; Wheat and previous references to cornflakes . You are a “cereal offender” .

  52. Frank Strie

    July 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Hello Mark Poynter #13
    May I suggest two options to you:
    1. The quick one – use Google Earth and “fly” low over the Bass District.

    2. Come down to Tassie and we can go on a bus tour…say Launceston Showday.

    During my time as Director on the Board of Responsible Forest Management Australia Limited (t.a. FSC Australia) we visited the East of Victoria.
    You should/would know that even up there the very steep areas get cable logged and repaced with, yes with E. nitens, or P. radiata at best.
    What flexibility is there for future generations?

    Yes we also visited the Pulpmill in Maryvale at the time,so I know about the history of the region.
    Are they profitable?
    You can ask Nippon – I know the answer.
    “NO”
    Only time will tell when real change (positive change) sets in.

  53. William Boeder

    July 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    The 3 vociferous persons above, Mark Poynter, George Harris, jack lumber, who are attempting to support (the same old same old,) the denudation, the degradation, the destruction, the deforestation, the demolishment, the destroying, the devastation, the decimation, the degeneration, etc, to clearly depict the annual land volumes destroyed through the mining of Tasmania’s Ancient Forests unto this very day.
    I now ask;
    As a token question to each of you 3 vociferous proponents, can either of you provide the actual area in hectare volume,
    (not by the use of the industry favoured deceitful obfuscating percentages, as favoured by the State’s logging proponents,) but to provide the whole number of hectare’s that have previously reformed back to what was once their former forested indigenous species coverage, and to what amount of the presently logged? (last 3 years.)

    If you choose to quote from Forestry Tasmania’s battered suitcase containing a smattering of pencilled records, one would sensibly have to halve the area volume thus offered by those aging paltry records, (as they will no doubt be proffered, and as has been tried before to provide the delusion-ed means of verification,) to tally up each of the consolidated land-area totals.)

    The purpose here is to evaluate what amount of restoration has been provided to our forests so they may one day become akin to their former forested glory?

    I am of the opinion it will show some pizzling amount of former cable-logged sheer mountain-side hectares, though you may still surprise me?

    EG: The more wheat you remove from a wheat silo, will show a resultant decrease in that wheat silo volume of the wheat formerly therein!

    Then yon 3 vociferous, you can attempt to show some degree of the much trumpeted industry practice of “forest restoration and or to provide a veracic depiction of today’s logging practices sustainability.
    Let us see how this compares to the enormous volumes routinely extracted from the lesser remaining of our HCV Forests?)

    If you choose to ignore or to camouflage this matter, I am afraid the level of industry credibility that may still be held by either of you, will then automatically torpedo itself into the most distant oblivion?

    Thank you gentlemen.

    William Boeder.

  54. Tim Thorne

    July 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    It seems to me that arguments about the area of forest being logged are beside the point.

    Surely the priority should be the guaranteed preservation of the health, purity and volume of all rivers and groundwater. Then we fit our industrial and agricultural activity within those parameters.

    The real issue is the health of our waterways and therefore of those who depend on them for life. Pollution, siltation, over-allocation for irrigation purposes, inadequate preparation for climate change, the incidence of blue-green algae, insufficient monitoring: these are all problems that have not been properly addressed.

  55. Leonard Colquhoun

    July 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Looks to me, as a total outsider to this never-ending and incresingly stupid imbroglio, that the essence of this snafu was, and still is, the participation of politicians in the forestry business. Once you get these drongos heavily involved in an industry, it becomes a 100% fubar.

    If the Opposition wants to clear this up, its first action should be “A Bill to immediately remove Government, its Ministers and their Bureaucrats from All active Involvement in the Business of Forestry”.

  56. Claire Gilmour

    July 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    (9) & (11)

    “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.” 1750

    “In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.” 1751

    “No oppression is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion and exorbitance of legal authority.” 1751

    “But, perhaps, the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as the comprehension of some obvious and useful truth in few words.” 1751

    “Attack is the reaction; I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.” 1775

    Dr Samuel Johnson

  57. max

    July 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    9 # George. Using Forestry Tasmanian figures. of the 6,800,000 hectares of Tasmania only 9% is available for timber harvesting, 612,000 hectares. The total annual cut 11,000 hectares and a 90 year rotation would leave a shortfall of 378,000 hectares. So much for sustainability and explains the need to continually push into old growth areas.

  58. Mark Poynter

    July 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    #8 Frank

    As I said, I only read the first few paragraphs …. and am querying whether ground that is so steep as to require cable logging has been expensively converted to a short rotation eucalypt plantation as is claimed. In my experience, such areas are naturally regenerated and so no agri-chemicals are used …. as I said, if the article has got even this wrong, it undermines its central theme from the start.

    #10 Pete Godfrey

    “It is laughable to take the total area of forests in Tasmania and divide it by the proportion logged …. to claim that they are only logging a tiny area.”

    Why is it laughable? It is highly pertinent to the debate about the impact of wood production on environmental values to take account of the reserved areas or private forests that won’t be harvested as it enables the issue to be considered in its proper perspective. I presume that you are want to avoid this because people will then realise logging is nowhere near the threat that it is so often claimed to be.


    Editor’s note: commented edited — see points 1 & 2 of the TT code.

  59. David Obendorf

    July 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    George, George, George [comment #10] your comment: “…forest cover in a state of total area of 6,800,000 hectares.’

    Yeap that’s the land mass of Tasmania, George. OK, now SUBTRACT the area cleared by humans since 1803 [for agriculture and forestry plabntations, urbanisation – State Government calls this conversion ‘alienation’], then SUBTRACT the unforested natural landscapes [lakes, Button grass plains, Poa tussock lands, the treeless mountains, marshes and beaches) and then make your spiel again, George.

    Thank you!

  60. jack lumber

    July 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Ref#5 Please see following link re finding against ABC re the program you refer to
    http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib100638/lords abc tv.pdf
    I had hoped that the level of debate had improved as had reporting but it hasnt . So yes i agree interesting to be reminded of the past .

  61. Pete Godfrey

    July 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Georges comments #9 are ludicrous.
    So the annual cut from State Forests is currently around 11,000ha.
    Actually fairly accurate George in 20010-11 year FT logged 10,567 ha of which 4592 ha was clearfelled.
    This is 43.45% clearfell not the 80/20 ratio you claim.
    Of the production forests available to FT the cut represents 1.786% of the area not 0.31% as George claims.
    Of course we could add in the coastline and our 3 mile limit of ocean and say that we didn’t log that either
    It is laughable to take the total area of forests in Tasmania and divide it by the proportion logged by FT alone and claim that they are only logging a tiny area.
    Private forestry in the same year 2010-11 logged 7376 ha and clearfelled 2396 ha of that.
    Poor effort George you really need to stick to the facts.
    Credibility = 0


    Editor’s note: minor edit

  62. George Harris aka woodworker

    July 11, 2012 at 4:18 am

    This article is riddled with so many errors and misconceptions it is an absolute joke.
    Some of its assumptions and points of criticism are so out of date it is not funny. Its point of departure is so full of prejudice and misunderstanding it is hilarious.
    I wish I had time (and inclination) to demolish it properly, but in a couple of sentences, here goes:
    We are only harvesting .31 of one percent of the forests available for timber harvesting in any one year, and we are regenerating every bit of it, as required by the Forest Practices Code. Under the requirements of the certification code adopted, no native state forest can now be harvested and converted to plantations – it must be regenerated as native forest by accepted and acceptable methods. All state forest in total now has an 80-20 ratio, with 80% non-clearfell (ie. selective logging, aggregated retention, etc) to 20% clearfell ratio. The total annual cut is around 11,000 hectares, which is bugger all in anyone’s assessment of forest cover in a state of total area of 6,800,000 hectares.
    We have an extensive area of reserves which occupy a far greater percentage than any of the internationally recognised recommendations.
    Native forests do not require or receive pesticide spraying, while plantations usually do.
    The assertion about the initiation of forestry negotiations is factually wrong. The lack of understanding of clearfelling is breathtaking, exceeded only by the unfounded bias against it, and the cut-and-paste application of tired and outdated dogma regurgitated with boring predictability.
    I reject it in its entirity.

  63. Frank Strie

    July 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    #6 Mark Poynter, yes these were the days…

    Chippers was on the big package at the time I can imagine – now he works in a hardware store, K&D I am told, …Holger’s Myrtle still stands!

    From the transcript:
    FRANK STRIE: Here we are. Just over 11 and a half metres. That’s the biggest myrtle I’ve ever seen. And that in the middle of a logging coupe. It’s unbelievable.

    TICKY FULLERTON: Saving trees like this by making new reserves is now almost impossible.

    JOHN GAY: They’ve got to put it through both houses of Parliament and there is a very large compensation claim that fits on the back of that, and I don’t believe that politicians can…will do that.

    RENE HIDDING: We have a unique arrangement in Tasmania where Labor and Liberal, you know… both have committed to the Regional Forest Agreement in order to buy 20 years… hopefully, we thought, 20 years of common sense and reasonableness in Tasmania.

    TICKY FULLERTON: Such is the rhetoric within the industry, that John Gay would have you believe that clear-felling is a minor occurrence.

    JOHN GAY: Clear-felling is not the main way of taking timber out of Tasmania. I believe that we are… our main process of getting timber is through regenerated forests and regrowth.

    TICKY FULLERTON: But you clear-fell those when you…?

    JOHN GAY: Not all. Only a proportion. There is about 50 per cent not.

    TICKY FULLERTON: Gunns’s opponents are incredulous at these figures. Chipping appetites reached new levels late last year when a leaked memo revealed Forestry Tasmania instructing contractors to put sawlogs through the chipper.

    EVAN ROLLEY: Lower-quality logs, for which there wasn’t a market at the time, were being either stored or being chipped. But the high-quality logs – all of the high-quality logs in that fortnight that that applied – were all destined to sawmills.

    TICKY FULLERTON: Tasmania had planned to pull out of old-growth clear-felling and chipping by 2010, but that now seems unlikely.

    PAUL LENNON: We’re not prepared to sacrifice a single job in meeting that deadline target of 2010.

    TICKY FULLERTON: So jobs are directly attached to old-growth foresting?

    PAUL LENNON: My word. My word.

    TICKY FULLERTON: For as long as any Tasmanian can remember, the issue has been jobs. And jobs are Government’s justification for its forest policy.

    PAUL LENNON: Now, Graham Green, the Wilderness Society, Dr Brown and Mrs Milne, Olivia Newton-John and everybody else that you can peddle out might not care about Tasmanian families in this industry and people working in this industry, but the Tasmanian Government does.

    TICKY FULLERTON: But to claim forestry is a big employer is a Government myth, according to timber worker Graham Green. Woodchips are the main game and that means skilled jobs in the timber industry are dying.
    ==========================================
    Oh I can remember he bloke Andrew Fisher of the ABC calling me a few times – even nearly 12 month after the program went to air, trying to find out details…
    I suggested he was amazing!
    Typical office pencil pusher…

    The fact is, the forest mining era will end with only sad memories.
    The contractors are broke, the companies broke, the forests no more.
    Friendships lost…
    NOW July 2012-
    What about imagine a different Tasmania?
    I got to agree with Paul Lennon last night on one thing – this IGA is not going to last.
    Get your head around holistic restoration forestry?
    How many more times do I have to suggest this until the reality sets in?
    Time will tell…

  64. David Obendorf

    July 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Mark Poynter [comment #6] states: “If it is natural regeneration it will have had no chemicals applied.”

    Good comment… we agree!

  65. Mark Poynter

    July 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I have only read the first few paragraphs but alarm bells ring when you say the ‘pamphlet’about the South Esk catchment shows a cable-logged native forest which has been replaced by a plantation of young eucalyptus.

    Does the pamphlet actually say this or are you just presuming that what is more likely to be natural regrowth is a plantation? If it is natural regeneration it will have had no chemicals applied, which somewhat undermines your central argument.

  66. Claire Gilmour

    July 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Riveting reading … especially in hindsight.
    Lords of the Forests – 16/02/2004
    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2004/s1132778.htm

  67. Frank Strie, TWFF President

    July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Tasmania could make some progress by seriously consulting with people that offer alternative agendas:

    ProSilva: quality management in our forests
    has been written by Frank Strie along with a number of others based in Tasmania, Australia.(1994)
    This comprehensive introduction to Pro Silva from an Australian perspective is well worth reading for both those new to Pro Silva and those more familiar with its principles.
    http://prosilvaireland.wordpress.com/prosilva-quality-management-in-our-forests
    ===========================================

    1.Answering the concerns of an environmentalist
    2.Constraints to Continuous Cover Forestry in Ireland
    by Morgan Roche
    Morgan Roche studied forestry at the University of Freiburg in Germany, where he had the opportunity to learn from leading academics and researchers including Prof. Huss. It was Prof. Huss that guided Morgan through his ‘Diplom Arbeit’ project, which dealt with effects of chemical weed control methods on Ash here in Ireland. After qualifying Morgan returned here and worked for Woodland Contractors. His next move was to Kerry, where he is developing the potential of an upland forestry estate. He has been active in developing Irish forestry through his involvement in field-trips, seminars and particularly in establishing Pro Silva Ireland.

    Are you a ProSilva member?:yes
    Are you a founding member of ProSilva Europe?:
    yes
    Are you on the ProSilva committee for your country?:
    yes
    If yes, what position do you hold on the committe for your country:
    Website administrator

    Do you have a special area of expertise in Close to Nature forestry, please describe:
    German trained forester with forestry experience in Ireland and Australia.

    Please list any relevant forestry qualifications or expertise. This question is aksed to make visible the skills and knowledge of the ProSilva Network:
    Diplom Forstwirt
    ==================================
    2012:
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/morganroche

    Morgan Roche:
    A/Manager, Public Programs and Community Interaction at Forests NSW

    Location:
    Sydney Area, Australia
    Industry:
    Environmental Services

    Current: A/Manager, Public Programs and Community Interaction at Forests NSW
    Corporate Reporting & Internal Audit Liaison Officer at Forests NSW

    Past: Managing director at Sillahertane Estate
    Project manager at Sydney Horticultural Management
    Co-founder at Pro Silva Ireland
    Education: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
    Bandon Grammar

  68. jack lumber

    July 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

    To be clear . In asking this question i am not seeking to troll etc etc
    but since when did the “citation of TT opinions “, provide substance to additional opinions ???? BTW all of which are used to “prove” “the great forestry industrial complex “( apologies to President Eisenhower) argument . Shame as if had just been a synopsis of timelines and facts it may have been an article about trying to find a balance .
    It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion… ~Abraham Lincoln

  69. Claire Gilmour

    July 10, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Your so right.

    Interesting that very recently Northern Midlands Mayor Kim Polley has said (regarding Ben Lomond Water Authority water charges) … “We’ll just dig our heels in and say we won’t pay until we have some dialogue, and get some common sense.”

    Perhaps ALL consumers of Tasmania’s water should say the same thing!!!

    If much of Tassie hadn’t had it’s life blood … water sucked out by dodgy forest and land practices such as destroying creeks, natural drainage depressions, planting the plantations … plantations planted specifically in the better watered areas of catchments for Gunns pulp mill and who NEVER paid or will pay for that water, then for a start we would have had more water flowing and likely charges wouldn’t be so high would they?

    When, as many do in rural areas, rely on either bores, rainwater water tanks and or creeks for their water supplies, one can’t just say … “We’ll just dig our heels in and say we won’t pay (to buy fresh water) until we have some dialogue, and get some common sense.” Your slammed up against a political/government bureaucratic wall (if not silenced/degraded/ridiculed) and have no choice but to buy in some freshwater … whether that be bottled or by the truckload. What else do you do as an individual in such a case? Stand your ground and dehydrate to death waiting for some common sense? Play Russian Roulette with your health from water you know comes off poison sprayed plantations? Hell the gov put so much money into this pulp wood plantation forestry they can’t afford to supply the medical attention to treat possible victims.

    The only thing consumers of water (which is every single one of us) can rely on is our representatives to have some common sense, and regard US the consumers OVER a night of celebration for those, currently very few, in a position of power who ultimately help control this war! They might lock up the forests, save the plantations … and then the war goes to … water! And they know that, that’s why they are being so simplistic in this whole SOP/IGA process. They have to have some political toy to play with in the future. So why would they bother with common sense from the ground up at this point in negotiations … it’s like jousting, just play with words instead. When what they need is a damn good spanking!

  70. Sue DeNim

    July 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you gentlemen. A very concise, informative and even handed article.
    I have not actually set foot in every coupe of the 500 odd hectares that have been deemed high conservation value. However I for one would be quite happy to see the ENGO’s take a bit of a hit on their desires if it meant definitely no pulp mill and that in return the whole industry is generally better managed and based on sustainable, non-monoculture , chemical free systems. A bit less timber protected but all harvested sustainably is better than a bit more timber reserved and all the rest managed as terribly as it is now. I wouldn’t have thought such a compromise would be so hard but hey, I’m just an average joe with a brain. These bureaucrats must have some really special qualifications.

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