Tasmanian Times

Economy

Fine; we can all relax. Can we?

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Garry Stannus:

The Last Hurrah came and went. The Federal Minister came and went. The Signatories are in a huddle. Forestry are doing more modelling. Fine; we can all relax. Can we?

There in the first pic is the Observer Tree. In front of it is a Mac displaying the recent TT article by David Obendorf [http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/ta-anns-wood-supply-agreements/] who recently has been to the forefront in supplying information and an alternative viewpoint concerning the IGA negotiations. Looks like HVEC (Huon Valley Environment Centre) Peg Putt (Markets for Change) SWST and CODE Green were right in campaigning against Ta Ann. It seems as if Ta Ann’s wood supply contracts are one of the difficulties standing in the way of the final resolution of the IGA process.

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The second pic is of Mt Mueller. This is just one of the many views of continuing encroachment of logging which looks like clearfelling and plantations. Miranda’s Observer tree is situated on the very right hand side of the Mueller pic. The approaches to it are similar to what can be seen in this photo, but are out of sight from this viewpoint. When you look at the road in the pic, you can see something like a remorseless drive upwards to take more and more.

Right now the Lady upstairs is on the Observer phone. The fight goes on. There are forests still being logged, in spite of the Moratorium, and in spite of the immediate protection given under the IGA. All individuals and all parties that are not participants in the negotiations, will be wondering whether there could be such a thing as a durable agreement. Michael Hirst, a recent visitor to the Tree, then a protest walker to Hobart, might not think so. And the forest defenders? It would have to be a pretty good agreement, wouldn’t it?

And the increased reliance on plantations. That’s not going to stop the public and groups from demanding a better management regime for plantations than we already have. It must not be seen as an endorsement of ‘more of the same’. Plantations have their problems – big ones.

And just a closing thought, while Miranda on the phone upstairs can be heard having her say to a phone link-up of colleagues: Her participation is sparked by the continued inability of the negotiators to produce an acceptable agreement. ‘Durability’? Doesn’t seem to be a two way street. It, according to my reading of the recent Interim Agreement, means that any protest or activity from activist groups in the future, if an agreement is actually signed, will mean that the Reserves won’t go through, but the industry and its members will still get the money and the wood.

It’s called one-way durability. There doesn’t seem to be a big stick out there to keep the industry from breaking the Agreement. And they are part of it, while the activists are not.

Frank Strie:

Following WW2 the German public forest estates had to supply timber for reparations to France and others.

This was a demand driven excercise and the forest management departments in the German states had to come up with the volumes that they had been instructed to deliver.

The impact and damage from the federally instructed timber mining was very visible when I began my initial forestry training program in 1975.

As soon as the legislated demand-driven reparations finished in the late 1950s, the Forest Managers were able to return to responsible forest management.

Responsible management is sustainable management, catering for the three principle requirements: commercial, social/community and environmental.

The IGA process was set up between 7 industry demand groups and 3 environmetal stakeholder groups.

The local and broader community and other industries in Tasmania are still excluded from the process prior to an agreement being signed.

The legislated demand driven volumes are unsustainable and irresponsible.

Forest management has to be based on holistic, whole quality management to cater for inter-generational needs.

There are real examples to be found in some countries that now attarct fast growing attention and suppport.

My first initiative to bring holistic forest restoration management to the attenion in Tasmania was as a co-author of the private forestry conference in Launceston’s Albert Hall in March 1994.

Anyone interested can find the paper via the ProSilva Ireland website, The title “ProSilva: quality management in our forests”.

Now more than 18 years later since the suggested paradigm shift was presented, (remember this was well before the RFA 1997, before the 1998 forest conversion policy and before the MIS disaster began) what we have is a divided Tasmania, trashed industry, trashed communities, unsustainable catchment vegetation management practices.

The extremists in the industry and in the environment movement had it all their way.

The war continued and they still refuse to realise that the practices have to change, not only in the forests but in the plantations as well.

The individuals and groups that refused the ProSilva approach since 1994 carry the shared responsibility for what we have to deal with.

http://www.twff.org.au

This observation first published as comment on this article, HERE. Comment below, or on the original article

• George Harris, aka Woodworker:

Let’s get a few things straight. Ta Ann came here for three reasons: the quality of the timber; certification of the timber in national and internationally recognised certification schemes; the availability of long supply contracts in a politically and economically stable state.

Ta Ann was invited and encouraged to come here. Remember seven or eight years ago, when whole log exports were being undertaken to test the market? They were logs that were below the sawlog specification as far as the local industry was concerned, and they were otherwise being sent to export as chips and a by-product of the existing integrated logging operations. In that context, the prospect of establishing rotary peel veneer mills to employ local people in local plants was a far better prospect than just exporting chips.

One of the main reasons Ta Ann came to a high cost destination across many sea miles was that the quality of the timber was far better than any of the timbers available in the more tropical locations. Blue gum in particular proved to be such a tough and durable timber when made into construction formwork and container floors that it was a major factor in setting up here, and still this was a log spec that was below local conventional milling viability.

Before all this nonsense started, Ta Ann was considering a $24 million expansion. It was going to do this without buying in any additional logs. It was going to do it by adding to the plant to do the next stage of laying up the veneers into panels. That has now been abandoned. The protesters have denied the local community of those extra jobs. Instead, Ta Ann has lost 50 jobs as their markets have been sabotaged. Remember, Ta Ann does no harvesting of its own in Tasmania.

In addition to this, a campaign of lies and dishonesty has been waged against this company. Some of it is laughable. Images of a mother and baby orang-utan were suggested to have been taken in a Ta Ann company logging area in Malaysia, but in reality the image was taken in a wildlife park in Indonesia in 1997! Images of a native Penan man raising his arms as a log truck passes were not taken where claimed, but several hundred kilometres away, in an area where Ta Ann has never had harvesting leases. The image had been reversed, and it was not of the man claimed, a known individual.

If the very reasons for which Ta Ann came here are removed, why would they stay? If those selfish people running this campaign are successful in closing down Ta Ann, what should the rest of the community say to them? What should the people who lose their jobs say to them? Some of those who have found jobs with Ta Ann are people who have never had jobs before, and some of them are pretty angry.

Ta Ann uses regrowth. The areas where its timber comes from are well known. Some are areas where harvesting has occurred previously, including by people who continue to live in the Huon Valley. The previous harvesting history of CM004c is one such example. Other areas have regenerated since the big fires of the 1930’s, and some of those were harvested as far back as the late 1800’s.

If Peg Putt’s response to the Interim Agreement is anything to go by, then no deal is possible. If that is the extent to which such a deal might be observed, then it is not worth signing, and certainly not worth giving up any existing resource.

In the light of this, I and others will work to ensure no deal is signed, and not one additional hectare, not even one additional square meter is added to the reserves we have already got. This can be dragged out for another 18 months, and by then the unusual political influence currently enjoyed by the Greens party will just be a bad memory.

This observation was posted as comment on this article, HERE. Comment below or on the original article

• Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute in The Australian Financial Review:

The usual rules of politics don’t seem to apply to Forestry Tasmania. This government business enterprise has a long history of public support. But the facts are that Forestry Tasmania, which is 100 per cent owned by the Tasmanian taxpayer, has lost $435 million in the past two years, selling something it never paid for.

In 2010, the management of Forestry Tasmania lost $306 million. Admittedly, it managed to turn things around a bit in 2011, registering a loss of $129 million. That’s nearly $1000 per Tasmanian.

It gets worse. A closer look at Forestry Tasmania’s annual reports reveals a large, and steadily growing, unfunded liability for employee superannuation.

In 2011, the deficit stood at $122 million, up from $99 million in 2008. To add insult to injury, this month we learned that Gunns, one of the major beneficiaries of the unprofitably cheap logs supplied by Forestry Tasmania, has written down its assets by $800 million, as it cannot find an investor to back its pulp mill.

Over on the mainland, a lot is said about industry assistance, and support for the car industry in particular. In federal Parliament, political and ideological battles rage over support for “free trade” or “old-fashioned protectionism”. But not, it seems, in Tasmania.

Those looking for a more polite and subtle debate about industry assistance need only take a short flight across Bass Strait to a land where the ALP, Liberals and Greens all back big government outlays to support industries that employ small numbers of people.

Rather than offering matching grants for companies that make new investments in capital or skills, the Tasmanians simply underwrite the losses of their log supply business to prop up woodchip mills that would go broke if they had to pay the full cost of their raw materials.

Of course it isn’t just the Tasmanian government posting cheques to Forestry Tasmania – the Commonwealth, through Tasmanian Community Forestry Agreement Grants has tipped nearly $100 million into Forestry Tasmania since 2006.

Imagine if a company lost money selling something that it never paid for. Now imagine that company was owned by a state government.

In an environment in which state governments and oppositions are either crying poor or crying waste you might imagine that such expensive mismanagement would create a bit of political heat.

But the usual rules of politics don’t seem to apply to this particular government business enterprise. It might be because we are talking about such a long history of public support. It might be because we are talking about the logging industry. But whatever the explanation, the fact remains that Forestry Tasmania, which is 100 per cent owned by the Tasmanian taxpayer, has lost nearly half a billion dollars in the past two years.

In 2010 the management of Forestry Tasmania lost $306 million. Admittedly, they managed to turn things around a bit in 2011, chopping through just $129 million of taxpayers’ funds. That’s nearly $1,000 for every man woman and child in the state.

It gets worse though …

Read the full article, The Australian Financial Review HERE

all revealed, over many years by John Lawrence, on Tasmanian Times, HERE

*Richard Denniss is executive director of The Australia Institute.

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• Transcript by David Obendorf, Jim Adams, Phill Pullinger interviewed on Mornings with Leon Compton:

Sustainability, uncontested wood, ahhm… ahhm

Interview with the CEO of Timber Communities Australia, Jim Adams and Director of Environment Tasmania, Dr PhillPullinger – 16 August 2012 ABC 936 radio – State-wide Mornings with Leon Compton

Leon Compton: The Minister says the war in the forests is over. Is he right?

Jim Adams, CEO Timber Communities Australia: Well, we certainly hope so. Ahhm… we know that we still have, you know, ahhm… we have a number of issues ahhm… to deal with. But we certainly hope that ahhm… you know, we can strike a balance ahhm… which delivers and outcome which ahhm… you know, does ahhm… for all intents and purposes stop the war in the forests and allows ahmm… certainly our timber communities and our timber industry to get on. Ahhm…a sustainable future industry.

Leon Compton: And are you now certain… or rather, it is fair to say that you still don’t know though if you can agree on timber volumes versus the protection levels that environment groups are looking for. Is it fair to say that you don’t know if you can agree on them?

Jim Adams: Ahhm… look, there is still work to do in that space. Ahhm… no, it wouldn’t be fair to say that we don’t know whether we can agree or not. We certainly intend to try and arrive at an agreement in that space. Ahhm… but there is still work to be done in that space, ahhm… to come up with a final balance in that area.

Leon Compton: Why is there still work to be done in that space? Can you explain that to people?

Jim Adams: Yes, sure. Because ahhm… the main reason is ahhm… look, part of this process and part of the Intergovernmental Agreement ahhm… did provide for ahhm… the possibility for an industry restructuring package to be run… ahhm… that industry re… re…on a strictly voluntary basis… ahhm… and also on the basis ahhm… that some of that flexibility ahhm… could perhaps be used to deliver an outcome. Until you’ve actually run that process to determine how much flexibility there is or isn’t in that space. Then you really don’t know what your… exactly… (pause)… what your… within what rangeyour outcome could land. So, you know, we need to run that process now. Ahhm… we’ve exhausted, we believe, every opportunity… ahh… (pause)… to, to, to arrive at that solution… in the room without running that process. So we now need to run that process and see… and see whether that process provides us with any… any extra flexibility.

Leon Compton: Is, is fair to distil that into saying that you gotta work out how much of the industry you are prepared to ‘sell down’ or ‘sell out’ in order to get a deal from environment groups.

Jim Adams: No, absolutely not. Ahhm… I think those words are… you know, very unhelpful in fact. It’s not about absolutely not selling – out – anybody at all. Ahhm… it’s simply about providing ahhm… those people who… feel that they would prefer at this stage to take the option of exiting ahhm… you know, in a dignified way – with support for their businesses and their communities, and… and their workers – ahhm… the opportunity to do so.

It may well be that none do so. Ahhm… so there’s certainly, you know, strictly a voluntary process. So, so there no… ahhm… you know, elements of selling anybody out or forcing anybody out. It’s simply a step in the process, which provides people with a dignified… ahhm opportunity.

Leon Compton: Does it not though mean that when a deal gets done you’ll be shaking hands and letting those people who chose to stay in the industry, they might be dealing with a significantly smaller wood supplies being available to them in the future?

Jim Adams: Well again, that again is pre-empting ahhm… you know, the possibility… ahhm… the outcomes. Ahhm… and we’re not going to do so. Ahhm… we’re going to wait until this process is complete ahhm… look, the industry is already ahhm… looking at a very significant ahhm… reduction. It’s already moved ahhm… people seem to forget that its already moved from, you know, the ahhm… the original level at the start of this process which was 300,000 ahhm… cubic metres per… per annum. Ahhm, you know to considering a number ahhm… around about half that figure. Ahhm… so you know, there’s really been significant ahhm… movement ahhm… and ahhm… you know, that, that reflects ahhm… you know, the, the intent of the industry to… try and maintain itself at a sustainable level going forward.

Leon Compton: So that… are you going to seal that level as being the future ceiling for growth or for wood supply of out Tasmania’s forests, be they plantation or native?

Jim Adams: Absolutely not… (chuckles) no… certainly at, at on the native [forest] side ahhm… you can only supply ahhm… what the forests are capable of supplying. Ahmm… and our sense is that you know, that number is getting close to what’s possible from the native side. But on the plantation side, definitely not, there is significant capacity to continue to grow the industry – on the plantation side.

Leon Compton: [To Phill Pullinger, from Environment Tasmania] Do you agree with the Minister, that war in the forests is over? Is he right?

Phill Pullinger: (pause and a long sigh) Look, we’re getting ahhm… we’re getting I think, very close, but ahhm… the Interim Agreement that the signatories signed and released yesterday was a major breakthrough – a step forward. Ahhm… but as Jim [Adams] said we’ve still got some work to do. And really important work to do over coming weeks to really ahhm … finalise the critical wood supply and conservation ahhm… outcomes of the agreement. So that is obviously going to be really critical for this ahhm..whole agreement to work.

Leon Compton: Why was yesterday so significant given that what sits at the heart of this whole thing is the ability to shake hands on timber volume versus protection levels, and that’s the thing you can’t do yet?

Phill Pullinger: (pause and a long sigh) Well… (gasp)… what it did do… (gasps)… I think, ahhm… after ahh… a long process – like two years was ahhm… all of those organisations – from the three environment groups at the table, Timber Communities Australia, the Union [CFMEU] and the Industry organisations ahhm… (pause) … for, for the first time in 30 years – all signed up to a clear, shared vision for, for the future of the forestry industry in our forests. Ahhm… absolutely all signed up to and committed to genuine and lasting end to the conflict over forests in Tasmania. Signed up to the need for an ongoing, vibrant forestry in Tasmania… based on ahh… native and plantation… forests. And also ahhm… the significant additional protection of native forests in Tasmania… as well. Ahhm… so there were a range of really important things that ahhm… we all have agreed on ahhm..and locked down in that Agreement. And ahhm..we’ve got some critical work to do over the coming weeks to finalise (sighs)… ahhm… what has ahhm… yes, to be honest, been the most difficult ahhm… issues in the negotiations, and some of the most important. So we’re going to have to do that over the coming weeks.

Leon Compton: You say the significance of yesterday was this signing up to ‘a shared vision’. What about your constituents outside of the room? Have you secured their support for this… given how critical it will be to an ongoing durability if – if a deal’s to be done?

Phill Pullinger: (long gasp) Well, now I think that issue applies to everyone ahh… around the table. That, that ahhm… Tasmania has been a deeply divided community for 30 years and it is actually challenging to find a pathway through that division and to try and ahhm… find ahh… a landing point. And agreement that sticks, and that one of the things we’ve been acutely conscious of ahhm… ahhm… in this process and set of negotiations, is we don’t want to ahhm… sign up to an agreement that ahhm… that… (pause)… that we all go back to war ahhm… after it’s signed and delivered and it all goes back to ‘business as usual’, in that sense. We do want an agreement that genuine and lasting and so ahhm… that’s, that’s one of the things that’s in the forefront of our minds – as conservationists that are at the table, at the negotiations. We’re interested in showing that there is a conservation outcome that doesahhm… take ahhm… ahh the bulk of the contestationahhm… out of … out of the industry. The industry have been really clear that they want uncontested wood. They want security ahhm… around a wood supply and security and confidence in the market place. And what we’re trying to do is… actually… land a conservation outcome that does take contestation out of it. That does deliver in that regard, so that we therefore can… carry, carry the movement ahhm… ahh… the environment movement in behind this agreement and in behind a strong and sustainable future for the industry.

Leon Compton: Phill Pullinger, normally it’s a question we put to the other side; we’ll put it to you this morning. On residues, clearly for industry – critical that they have access to markets or uses for residues out of a viable future in forestry. So what have you agreed to? What, what will you sign up to as, as markets for that?

Phill Pullinger: (gasp) Yeah, It means it’s certainly something that (gasps)… like the (gasps)… Economics of the industry and how the supply chain works is something I’ve learnt a hell of a lot about over the last couple of years. And, and certainly … it’s clear that ahhm… ahhm… there… for the industry to be viable it needs every part of ahhm… their supply chain to work from the contractors, and cartage and haulage operators that take the logs out of the forests to the sawmills themselves and then to the issue of how they process waste. So it’s a critical… there’s basically, as we’ve looked at this issue of woodchips we tried to, as Signatories, separate it out in a sense from the short term… what’s needed in the short term to address the crisis, because there’s a real crisis at the moment. There has been ahhm… a collapse in the markets… ahhm

Leon Compton: Ok, look we’re running short of time… can you boil it down for me Phill Pullinger? What have you actually come up with in term of residues? What have you agreed to – short term; long term?

Phill Pullinger: In, in the short term and the long term. So in the short term, we’ve basically collectively looked at options to explore to help the industry with woodchip residues – which include the three woodchip processing facilities at Burnie and ahhm… Launceston [Long Reach, Bell Bay] is already operating and also Triabunna. And also things like short term wood stock-piling arrangements. So there’s an amount of work that still needs to be looked at… and what’s possible. And then in the medium term, ahhm… what we’re looking at and what we’ve agreed to ahh… collectively support is the governments working in partnership with community and or relevant commercial interests in, in how you can actually process woodchip ahh… waste and residues locally in Tasmania rather than rely on ahh… volatile export markets.

Leon Compton: Ok, so just briefly again. Biofuel, can you give that a tick? In other words, burning those residues to generate power?

Phill Pullinger: (gasps) Look, I mean that’s a really touchy one ahh… for us environment groups. So there’s still ahhm… there’s still ahhh… stuff to work through. I mean our preference around how you would process things like plantation ahhm… woodchips in Tasmania and (sighs)… certainly ahhm… the, the, ahh… volumes of native forest woodchips that occur in Tasmania. Our preference is for things like ahhm… the project for example that the… ahh… the saw-millers are working up around ahhm… engineered wood products. And stuff that ahhm… ahh (sighs)… ahhhh… ahhh… uses ahh… ahh modest volumes and creates higher jobs. So that’s our process… that’s , that’s certainly our preference in that space… (interrupted)

Leon Compton: A, a pulp mill. A pulp mill would of course be a useful potential was for this. Is that ahh… is that playing any part in discussions at the moment?

Phill Pullinger: Look, it hasn’t ahhm… it hasn’t really for, for quite a while, to be honest.

Leon Compton: [To Jim Adams] Let’s start with sawmills and the buying out of sawmills. How central is the buying out, or the money to buy out sawmills to an agreement in this deal?

Jim Adams: Well, look certainly at the moment ahhm… as, as you people are aware there is an impasse or a difficulty in resolving the supply and ahh… reservation equation. Ahhm… as discussed earlier the ahhm… opportunity to provide some flexibility in that space ahhm… through the voluntary industry restructuring program ahhm… could certainly assist. Ahhm… but I think, at the end of the day, ahhm… as I said, you know, there’s a possibility that that process delivers no flexibility and we will have to still ahhm… try and resolve that issue within the parameters we have currently got in front of us. Now that will be extremely challenging ahhm… obviously but in the meantime we’re exploring every other opportunities to ahhm… to generate flexibility in that space.

Leon Compton: What happens from here then? An interim agreement with a, a future handshake at a point down the track, so happens from here?

Jim Adams: So, so we’ve got that, that process to run. We…we’re also continuing, as I said, to explore ahhm… flexibility in the supply-reservation space outside of ahhm… you know, there being any further flexibility ahhm… from a restructuring process. So that work is ongoing. Ahhm… and we’ve got a number of other bits of work ongoing – there’s ahhm… there’s independent discussions going on with some of the third parties, who ahhm… we need to talk to in the ahhm… residue space.

Leon Compton: That’s Triabunna and Jan Cameron and others?

Jim Adams: Ahm… it’s, it’s, it’s… principals associated with that business [Triabunna woodchip mill] and also the business up in Burnie. Ahhm… and so those, those discussions are ongoing, at a level between those people and,and both Governments. So there are a number of ahhm… those kind of bits of work that are currently ongoing. Ahhm… we anticipate that ahhm… within… within about three weeks we will be in a position to get back around the table and say: ‘Ok, well this is where things have played out with respect of ahhm… the restructuring package and respect of these discussions, ahhm… can we… can we now see enough flexibility to bring this to a final agreement?’ Ahhm… and ahhm… at that stage hopefully we obviously we are all hoping that that will be the case and we’ll be able to sign… sign off on a final agreement. [14.58]

Leon Compton: I won’t use the word to describe, or the word Peter Gutwein, the forestry minister for the Opposition used to describe this deal, but I mean it can be abbreviated to ‘B S’ yesterday. What’s your response… what’s your response to that, I’m sure you heard the quote?

Jim Adams: No, I didn’t actually… that doesn’t surprise me entirely. Ahmm… look I think that’s very unfortunate ahhhhm… you know, the forestry industry for ahhm… a number of ahhm… election cycles, if you like, ahhm… unfortunately it does have to do with election cycles, but ahhm… the forestry industry enjoyed bipartisan support from ahhm… for a number of election cycles. Ahhm… you know, this issue ahhm… we now, we now appear no longer to enjoy that bipartisan support. Ahhm… that’s ahhm… very unfortunate because… (interrupted)

Leon Compton: Have the Liberals got a coherent strategy or a coherent… are they presenting a coherent alternative on this, in your view?

Jim Adams: (Pause) Ahhm… look, I haven’t seen ahhm… I, I, I know that at one stage there, there was a strategy or, or a… or a, I think a 15-point plan or something that Will Hodgman was putting up. I’m sure of the status of that document is at this stage. Ahhm…our assessment that stage was that didn’t really ahhm… address the issues that we were really needing to address. I think people really need to bear in mind ahhm… very clearly that, you know, the… the reason at the industry groups continued to participate in this process is because they are facing a range of significant issues ahhm… they do see this process as potentially delivering an outcome and a solution to those issues. Ahhm… and you know, we are going to continue to explore that opportunity ahhm… hopefully to a successful conclusion… but certainly ahhm… you know, to a conclusion of one sort or another.

Leon Compton: Thanks for talking with us this morning [Wednesday 16 August]. We appreciate it.[16.38 minutes]

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

36 Comments

  1. dave

    August 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    #36 “Everybody knows – everybody knows that both sides in this forest & forestry negotiations were being secretative, careless with the truth and duplicitous with Tasmanians.” I do apologize I should have placed … after the last use of the word “knows” at #35. My point being that, in this case, I’m the white crow because I didn’t know nor I suspect do an awful lot of my fellow Tasmanian’s. I am the exception that proves the rule and therefore negates the argument. And I can’t help but think by inserting four dates with a spread of almost two hundred years the final date being 15 years hence the suggestion that Obendorf was presenting us with a chronology is tad lame. I do not retract my view that Dr Obendorf’s views are at the extreme end of the conservation movement and is therefore by definition on issues related to forestry an extremist which is a perfectly reasonable position. But it is a position that needs to be frequently challenged especially when he makes wild and exaggerated remarks. I repeat, every body doesn’t know.

  2. Garry Stannus

    August 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Dave at #35: your comment which characterises David Obendorf’s #34 as a rant, is not justified. In fact, you do not give a single example beyond David’s opening assertion ‘Everybody knows’, of how he was ranting.

    In fact your comment does not seem to relate to David’s. Maybe it was another comment of his that you were having a go at? Which arguments of David’s could a “second rate philosophy student in his/her a first year” refute in five minutes? I must have snuck through, because I gained a major in Philo (logic was cool!) and yet it seems to me David was presenting a chronology, not a philosophical argument.

    It’s easy to write patent rubbish when because of your anonymity, no one will ever associate it with you personally, isn’t it, ‘Dave’?

  3. Dave

    August 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    #34 “Everybody knows – everybody knows” ‘one hundred thousand Frenchmen can’t all be wrong’ and “all crows are black”.

    If you are going to resort to arguments that a second rate philosophy student in his/her a first year not to say first semester could refute in five minutes, you stop being any fun. And I would hate to have to stop reading your one eyed anti-forestry rants.

    Rants that you try so hard to wrap in the language of a science that you have don’t have qualifications in; some might call your contribution obfuscation? I would call many of your statements and beliefs obsessional. Your attitude to anyone who disagrees with you is at times bordering on pure hate While your anger at the people you once saw as allies is unpleasant to the point where I find myself feeling sorry for them.

    Still I guess one needs to establish both ends of the bell curve before one can find the median?
    For me your rants do have a practical application in that they establish the just how far some conservationists would go if they were allowed to and that is way, way too far.

  4. David Obendorf

    August 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Everybody knows – everybody knows that both sides in this forest & forestry negotiations were being secretative, careless with the truth and duplicitous with Tasmanians.

    Admittedly this tough territory was a set up as effective as a man-trap over a log used to catch escaped convicts in the 1840s! The forest trap was prepared by the likes of Paul Lennon, David Llewellyn, Evan Rolley, and Bryan Green in their period of majority Government from 1998 to 2006.

    But… by October 2010 these ENGOs negotiators did accept the establishment of a pulp mill and the forestry cabal believed and Labor took that acceptance to mean ‘the’ pulp mill – Gunns Ltd pulp mill proposed for the Tamar Valley.

    The ENGOs did accept that the current plantations – the 83% of Tasmania’s estate was short rotation, single cultivar E. nitens pulp trees needed to find a use. The export as woodchips for pulp was very problematic due to pulp prices, and local pulp production but no mill. Biomass – green waste energy; biochar; MDF production – all with difficulties? What do you do with 300,000 hectares of poorly managed, poorly grown, young Weetbix trees?

    Inexplicably the Signatories all accepted Forestry Tasmania’s dodgy projections of wood supply volumes based on their modelling of the available timber in Tasmania. The plantation estate could not transition that old, greedy timber industry into high quality timber production.

    Surprising the Ta Ann’s wood supply agreement for its two veneer plants – a massive 265,000 cubic metres per year to 2027 – had been accepted as legally binding and ‘to be honoured’ contracts that uses high quality timber with specification for high density, mature-aged straight, diameters averaging 390mm but up to 700mm Eucalypt logs with limited knots and defects.

    Surprisingly the ENGOs knew that this ‘veneer’ timber was coming from clearfelling of ancient forests that were being logged for export wood chips and providing a small proportion of high quality logs for rotary peeling at Ta Ann’s two veneer plants.

  5. David Obendorf

    August 21, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Peter Gutwein Liberal MP had a little to say on the Jim Adam and Phill Pullinger interviews with Leon Compton on 16 August. He rang ABC radio and he said:

    “Look Jim Adams doesn’t even live in this State ahhm… let me make that point very clearly. And there are many members of Timber Communities Australia that feel disenfranchised by ahh… their organisation remaining a party to these talks. Look as the point was made just before 9 o’clock, Mr Adams made ahh… this point last week himself in an email that the only reason they were at the table was nobody really wanted to blink first. This process is marching the timber industry ahhm… towards destruction in this State. It is playing into the hands of the Greens and what it’s doing once again allowing Tasmania to be the environmental conscience for Australia.”

    “Look, could I just make the point …what drove the parties to the table; what took the timber industry to the table two years ago was the promise of a pulp mill. Like that’s been forgotten; that hasn’t been raised this morning. That was, that was what drove the parties to the table two years ago. The industry went to the table on the basis that ahh… ahhm… for some conservation outcomes they would get support for a pulp mill and a pulp mill could be delivered. That has been taken off the table and as Mr Pullinger said, that hasn’t been talked about now for months. So that’s what took the timber industry to the table that’s what got them into this fix and as Mr Adams said ahhm… only last week the reason they were still at the table was that they were too frightened to leave it.”

  6. Frank Strie

    August 21, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Re 29 J.L.
    Thanks for letting us know about the poor link.
    Here the one that just worked well a minute ago:
    http://www.lincoln.ac.nz/services-facilities-and-support/conference-facilities-and-event-management/conference-and-event-management/iufro-international-conference-2012
    Time will tell where things go and things pan out.

  7. Robin Halton

    August 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    #24 Frank Strie my apologises re Eurocentricity/ Germanic inference / my #8.
    Yes I am keen to talk with you on the Richard Denniss article where you have mentioned in some detail on FSC #3& #4 .
    I note on a Vic Forsts site they are considering FSC certification approach for some of their native forests. We could onto something here!
    I’ll catch you later in the evening, Cheers for now.

  8. William Boeder

    August 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    George Harris, Over the past 4-5 years you have had much to say about your determined push to create an awareness and a supply of Specialty Timbers for the craftsmen hobbyists and musical instrument makers.
    During all this time most all conservationists have considered and agreed with your ideas and requests for especial consideration to the supply of these Speciality Timbers.

    However there has always been a fault attached to your wishes wants and demands, that is that you persistently held the idea that Forestry Tasmania were the best people to harvest and supply these said timbers.
    Here again, Forestry Tasmania feature as the culprits, for they are of a simplistic mind-sense that only sees them interested when it involves huge volumes of Native Forest as are desired by some one or other “overseas discounted volume purchaser.”

    George, for the past, I don’t know, say 5 years, I myself could not understand your pledging of your faith in endorsing Forestry Tasmania as the responsible entity to source and supply these products, as you would not look further afield to find someone who could be the very opposite of this selfishly arrogant and all species destructive agency, than that of the Bobster and his like-minded mates sitting on the executive board?
    How many times have you read of the burning of these much sought after wood species, such as the ancient specimens of King Billy Pine, Celery Top Pine, Sassafras, evne the scattered Blackwoods Tiger Myrtle etc, being put to the torch, many of these incidents of which haveh has been reported on this Tasmanian Times forum?
    The people who have seen this and reported this stupidly wasteful and abhorrent attitude and action, (as displayed by the likes of the Bobster and Co, whom for many many years didn’t give a damn,) if it didn’t suit the wood-chippers, well it was just put to the torch?
    Nobody wants to see these above specialty timber enthusiasts and wood specialists forego their sought after wood products.

    Perhaps you might be able to provide advices to the contrary George, if so please do so, for it may settle the minds of the many people who determinedly claim otherwise, furthermore if Forestry Tasmania go under or are revoked, you will need that source of supply in the future?

    I would suggest Brittons as an alternative and far more conducive business operation to source such timbers.

  9. jack lumber

    August 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Re 24 Frank the link is no longer available . Can you find another thank you

  10. David Obendorf

    August 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Back that mean hungry feral cat in the forests of Tasmania – Forestry Tasmania.

    Why was this creature allowed to run amok for decades without any oversight by the players in the industry that were being hoodwinked by them over access to timber of all grades?

    And why did Forestry Tasmania interfer in the market and invite Ta Ann into Tasmania (offering masive wood supply allocatioons from native forests) and why did FT export whole logs instead of developing value-added industries for high quality timber products in Tasmania.

    Why did FT deceive its own Ministers and the Commonwealth’s National Forest Inventory officials in ABARES about projected transition of plantation in Tasmania for high quality sawlogs and peeler logs when their own data as is cited in the latest ABARES report (May2012) shows that the hardwood plantations in Tasmania are 83% focussed on one end usage – chip for a pulp mill that has yet to be built in Tasmania.

    So that is the sad, sad travesty of this negotiation process FT – the lever-puller but outside the Signatories’ room has fed a line to Ministers, ENGOs, industry true believers and Canberra that their ‘Gold medal contending’ approach to forestry management as Ken Jeffreys recently called it [b]was[/b] credible, [b]is[/b] credible and [b]will be[/b] credible ‘moving forward’.

  11. Pete Godfrey

    August 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    To George Harris and Andrew Denman, you are fighting too late, where were you both when FT were and still are trashing minor species timbers and burning them just to get the forest cleared for the next crop of eucalypts.
    I have put up many articles showing this happening. From Blackwood Swamps and Montague, Myrtle rainforest in the South Arthur River, Frankland River and blackwater road areas. Celery top pines that were carelessly destroyed by so called regen burns in the Dublin Plains. And not a squeak from the minor species users other than members of Timber Workers for Forests who actually try to get something done about the supply and protection of valuable resources.
    We work to lobby for sustainable practices, to guarantee there will be a supply of minor species and we get snipers trying to destroy our works regularly.
    So unfortunately when people who want to use the resource for their livelihood such as you do, sit back and barrack for the woodchippers you get left out. For years it has been obvious that the forests could not sustain the amount of resources being extracted from them.
    Now it has been finally said that even if there were no new reserves the forest still cannot supply what Ta Ann and the sawmillers need.
    You and all other minor species users have been thrown out with the bath water.
    So where were you both when the industry needed you.
    And George the reason Ta Ann came to Tasmania is because we had a greenie hating premier who promised them wood (in their words) “cheaper than they could get it in Malaysia”, and at a price that was fixed below the cost of getting it to the mill.
    Time to actually stand up and be counted, try joining with those who want to protect the livelihoods of timberworkers.

  12. Andrew Denman

    August 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

    #1 That would have to be the best description of the likely decimation of the value adding industry I have read George – well said.

    Why is the Special Timber issue not getting traction?

    Why hasn’t the special timbers quantity under this sham deal been verified by the IVG as promised?

    Why should the agreement be allowed to go ahead without verifying this quantity? It’s not all about saw log and peeler billets!

    The figure of 12,500 cubes was never an industry demand figure as shown by your figures above from the IVG process.

    West and Smith from the IVG promised an in depth demand study into special timbers down to the individual users species and quantity per annum. This still has not occurred – WHY???

    May I suggest it is because our industry requires access to old growth trees and it would appear to be taboo to the ENGO’s and Green politicians to even contemplate cutting an old growth tree despite their apparent public support for the value adding industry. If these parties did support the industry we would not have seen that article with Mr Booth trying to make fine furniture from Nitens.

    I have challenged the ENGO’s and also the Greens to declare their support for supplying this industry with the timber it needs but NONE of them have the guts to come out and tell the truth that they will do everything in their power to stop native forest logging and subsequently kill our industry.

    Here’s another opportunity for them to come out publicly and support this – any takers – Mr Booth, Mr McKim, Jenny Webber, Miranda Gibson? Come on lets hear from you.

    The special timbers strategy was going to be a light touch on the landscape that provided timber for generations to come but it has been tossed aside in this process.

    You wouldn’t believe it is a renewable resource……..

  13. William Boeder

    August 20, 2012 at 2:39 am

    #19 Well spoken Bogus, you have cut straight for the Aorta, never mind those fiddly peripheral bits.

    #9. David Obendof has narrowed the questions down to the one absolute most basic question; how is it that this GBE of Forestry Tasmania can continue its quest to destroy both our Native Forests and our State’s economy “for the benefit only of the hierarchy of this GBE and the notoriously corrupt Tahib family?”

    Perhaps every individual one of the pro-logging zealots and the proponents of this whole festering Ta Ann gift-fest, may take their careful time and to consider at length, the “powerful pyroclastic substance of fact” within this above-mentioned basic question?

  14. Frank Strie

    August 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Re#8 Robin Halton’s typical quicky, a one liner: “… no offence but Eurocentricity/ Germanic efficiency will not solve Tasmania’s native forest problems!”
    A classic response it is, and this after 25 years living under Down Under.

    Can you please explain what you are actully arguing /talking about Robin.
    From time to time a few individuals keep coming up with these mostly very short Germanic / Eurocentric centred one liners.

    What do you think what it was your Tasmanian Forestry Commission practiced since the export woodchip era began in the early 1970s and then later the same people trading as a GBE “Forestry Tasmania” was doing, especially since the 1997 RFA and the 1998 “Forestry Growth Plan” was that origianal Tasmanian?
    Do you still think this was uniquly Tasmanian?
    You must be joking.
    Australia is but a very limited and recent producer of forest products on a global scale.

    Over the years I have explained on tt a number of tims where the clearfell and area conversion and that the pure science based single target species and age class management silviculture (tree cropping began in the second half of the 1850s.
    The theory was a creation by Pressler and Faustmann plus a whole list of followers, narrow-minded number crunchers in Central Europe and Scandinavia.
    It was all about cropping of trees to feed the demand and needs of processors and consumers.
    Speeding up the peformance of trees.
    What I am suggesting we should learn from can be found via http://www.forestguild.org and http://www.lincoln.ac.nz/Services-facilities-and-support/Conference-facilities-and-event-management/Conference-and-Event-Management/IUFRO-8th IUFRO International conference on uneven-aged silviculture: “Uneven-aged silviculture: optimizing timber production, ecosystem services and resilience to climate change”
    Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand

    International- not simply Eurocentric or Germanic, you better get your head around the fact that FT is just repeating the mistakes of other places on earth that have come to realise what needs to change.
    Time will tell

  15. Pilko

    August 20, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Rule No.1 in Tasmanian Politics – ‘The logging industry always win’.

    Will Hodgman today admitted on radio (in response to question i submitted) that he would forego the return of IGA funds after he reversed new Forest deal reserves.

    This is an effective admission that Will Hodgman’s Liberal’s will use commonwealth funds flowing into Tasmania via the forests deal to pork barrel the logging industry…..again.

    Thats the message going out into the timber communities.

    You vote for me, you keep the money and i’ll give you back ALL the resource.

    But wait theres more!

    Under an Abbott/Hodgman state/federal partnership there will be more election sweeteners for Liberal voting loggers.

    Remember Eric Abetz’s loggers handouts prior to the 2007 election? Christine Milne – Where did the money go?

    De ja Vu Tasmania.

    Taxpayers of Australia – your pockets are being emptied and you have no idea!

    Will Hodgmans plan is extra incentive for the industry to sign up to a peace deal. As long as they are careful about the fine print and play their cards right – in two years they will have the money and the reserves will be handed back.

  16. John Powell

    August 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Robin at #16, you just do not get it do you!!!

    “To destroy the future of forestry in Tasmania beyond the Gunns pulpmill saga is unthinkable”.

    But that is exactly what FT (Board and the Bobster) have done over the past years. What is it about a loss of $500 million in two years that represents anything but a destruction of an industry. What part of that do you not understand?

    And some FT employees will likely not have a superannuation fund to access, but I suspect Bob does though. Do you?

    Go look in the mirror and explain these facts to your Jurassic friends, and to those forestry workers and families who have felt the impact of the failure of this GBE!!!!

    Five Hundred Million Dollars in TWO years!

  17. jack lumber

    August 20, 2012 at 12:59 am

    , “Ouch” and i note you are civil too and no offence taken . I had to laugh re your reference to “cherry picking ” as if that even close to being the case and it was not . Then it is an art well practiced here in TT . As to the use of “avatars” well how obvious do you want a name to be re where i sit . However that is not to say that my position and opinions will and can change when there are structured arguments made . ….. anyway back to the circus .

    PS The future of FT will be decided by the URS report – there will be no winners no matter which part of the spectrum “you sit” and the one thing i am 100% sure of that the people in FT care as much as anyone re how the forests are managed .

    ED BTW Can we have some standard TLA ( three letter acronym ) IGA or IFA which is it ??

  18. William Boeder

    August 20, 2012 at 12:47 am

    #10. Mark Poynter, how much value should the people of Tasmania accord to your comments?
    The logging industry here has become a snake-pit of deception and intrigue, the only recent outcomes reveal a government business enterprise that has swallowed half a billion taxpayer dollars as it sweeps is way through our HCV Forests, hell bent to supply subsidised timber to an overseas business that is suspected of being highly corrupted and ruthless in all its endeavours.

    I fail to understand how a person such as yourself who is supposedly armed with vast knowledge of all things harmful to forests, could do this when full knowing the harms and ruin that has become the logging industry in Tasmania?

    I note that the lack of the strength of character required to address each and all of my questions to you that appear here on Tasmanian Times?

    Methinks you are a sniper from the mainland, quite powerless other than to sling your fatuous perceptions over to our shores of Tasmania as though you wield the power of a Federal government minister?

    Just how you can throw in your superflous comments in such a cavalier manner and try to talk down all thoughts of the environmental harms wreaked upom our Ancient and Old Growth Native Forests, does not do you any favours.

    The problem of course is, “just because these forest exist,” is enough reason for you and your like-minded mates to seek entry and pillage, then to call this looting and pillaging an industry?

    No Mark I cannot at all agree to such peurile justifications to support the slaughters your industry leaves behind you.

  19. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Robin [comment #15] Denniss was published in AFR today. If he is in error with his facts or analysis then respond on those topics.

    A great Tassie commo died recently – Max Bound. I was privileged to be at his funeral which celebrated his life as a family man, a humanist and a constructive contributor to Tasmania in this 88 years on the Planet. Whether he was a proud Commuinist and an atheist was of no consequence.. nor should it. Thank you.

  20. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Pilko on comment #11 – the ENGO blighters just won’t engage with mere mortals and plebs like you or me. They live in a rarefied atmosphere of their own choosing… out of touch and delusional.

    The difficulty for the ENGO negotiators is the more they are asked to say something to the media on their negotiations, they seem to speak like they’ve become apologists for Ta Ann and the pulp plantation estate of Tasmania; support for ‘a pulp mill’; non-contestable production forests ringlocked by durability clauses against protest, and buying out Tasmanian saw-millers to help a Malaysian-based company keep its 265,000 cubic metres pa wood supply from State forests until 2027.

    And the ENGOs claim to be the represenatives of conservation movement in Tasmania.

  21. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Re: comment #10 Mark, are you offering mitigating reasons or are just excuses for these factual, detailed substantial losses that FT has booked as a GBE in their financial audits to the Tasmanian Government in the last two years?

  22. Robin Halton

    August 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    #10 Mark I read your reply AFTER investigating the credibility of Dr Richard Denniss via the internet.
    He is the Executive Director of Australia’s LEFT WING THINK TANK The Australia Institute funded by grants from philanthropic trusts, you mention WOTIF, then I am not surprised of his attack on FT.
    As a former Senior Strategic Advisor to Bob Brown he was policy analyst involved public debates on global warming, renewable energy and emissions trading schemes.
    #9 David Obendorf: One needs to be careful who we are dealing with here, Denniss appears to support modern Green communism tendencies infuencing a generation of young radical undiciplined socialist upstarters.
    Knowing his background defines his thinking.
    To destroy the future of forestry in Tasmania beyond the Gunns pulpmill saga is unthinkable.
    I am more than happy for the man to visit Tasmania first hand visit the forestry areas, talk with the local foresters, contractors, sawmillers, give a talk at a UTAS venue and so on before prejudicing Tasmania’s forestry to the scrap heap from the remoteness of Canberra.

  23. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    For the record, the South Australian government has offered its GBE Forestry SA for sale. It is currently weighing up three bids.

    The GBE is expected to fetch $600-$700 million with major bidders coming in from Future Fund-backed Campbell Group, the US-based Hancock Natural Resource Group and the Ontario Teacher’s Pension fund (Canada) is collaboration with the Sydney-based New Forest group.

    ForestrySA’s major asset is its softwood (radiata) estate in the Green Triangle region of SE South Australia.

    Could this be the way Forestry Tasmania ceases to exist?

    [Reference: AFR SA Treasury weighs offers for forestry assets – 13 August 2012]

  24. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    George…comment #7… there is a great value in transcripts. Audio-on-demand is available, but – call me last generation, George – but the written word is still the gold-standard for this little black duck.

    To transcribe the public utterances of these so-called negotiators; to read how they advocate their positions with skill, courage and flare; to deliberate on each weighty question and to discuss in depth each negotiation point of this ‘last hurrah’ Interim Agreement on Wood Supply and Conservation…. words fail me! Ahh… this needed to be chronicled for posterity.

    If this was a defining conversation on forest conservation I was truly underwhelmed.

    Add it to the Terry Edwards-Vica Bayley conversation with Leon Compton a few weeks earlier on the occasion of the ‘second last hurrah’.

    They are their words, George….all in the public interest!

  25. Garry Stannus

    August 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Jack Lumber at #6 chides Richard Denniss for not having mentioned his erstwhile Green links. He tells us

    “in the spirit of transparency disclosure of above may put some context to the opinion.”

    So why does the person behind ‘Jack lumber’ publicly attack Denniss’s imputed want of transparency, while using a pseudonym, and while not disclosing his/her own links and former associations? This argument has been held on Tas Times before (google ‘Martin Gaylord’), and I don’t think I’ve had any success in convincing the Jack lumber’s of this world that personal transparency should come first.

    By the way. The article did make reference to the Australia Institute. Yes, two of the players there have had Green connections. But Jack ‘cherry-picked’ his presentation of the Institute’s Board. From his keyboard came the names of two people from an 11 member Board.

    Jack’s ‘a little more research’ is a dangerous thing … it can be used to smear, like the ‘guilt by association’ that has been directed my way, ‘your greenie mates’ [elswhere] and above (#8) in Robin’s comment, where it seems he thinks it sufficient to doubt my judgement because of my “association with HVEC, SWAT and Code Green”. (Incidentally, I doubt my own judgement a fair bit. Maybe it’s better to follow one’s heart.)

    I’m not assocociated with any organisation which travels under the SWAT acronym. Perhaps Robin is better acquainted with the group … let me guess … Subsidies Will Aid Ta-ann? No, I don’t think that works.

    PS: Robin, I like it better when people spell my name correctly. It’s Garry. (Smile!)

    PPS Jack et alia incognita: I got a wry smile when again checking TT’s ‘The Legal Bits'(link at bottom of the page). Here is an extract from the new-bit on top:

    “Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.”

    I hasten to note Jack, that you weren’t at all uncivil. But, by the way, is “Forestry Tas – Steady as She Goes” an example of a discredited meme?

  26. Pilko

    August 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    “Durability’? Doesn’t seem to be a two way street. It, according to my reading of the recent Interim Agreement, means that any protest or activity from activist groups in the future, if an agreement is actually signed, will mean that the Reserves won’t go through, but the industry and its members will still get the money and the wood” (Garry Stannus)

    Ah the lights finally going on Garry.

    There has been a durability clause in the forests deal from the outset Garry. That is – ENGO go quietly on the pulp mill. Sssssh.

    All you are seeing now Garry is a revisiting of “Forests for no protests”.

    From the outset it was Forests for no pulp mill protests. Now TWS/ET are set to sign up for Forests for No Protest.

    They will do everything but admit this but you dont need to hear it out of their mouths Gary, you just watch the behaviour, the public body language. Thats how you will know.

    When you go out and protest – post forests deal TWS/ET will say nothing while you and your friends take the heat. They will not endorse your actions. You will be on your own. They will pat you on the head privately as they have done with the pulp mill but publically they will have to be dragged kicking & screaming.

    Do you not see Garry that any future Pulp Mill protest will also be regarded as anti-forest industry and also frowned upon?

    Do we honestly believe we will ever see the day again where TWS or ET initiate (without them being drawn by others) public action against the pulp mill (should the need arise)?

    Those days are gone forever.

    You will be lucky to get any sort of public endorsement by ET or TWS for community protests against the pulp mill. You may get the odd crumb but they will have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

    Now the same on forests.

    I predicted 6 months ago the finalising of the forests deal would see the ENGO’s come to a place where all anti-forestry protest ended for their respective organisations as well as the public endorsement of protests, including pulp mill protests by other organisations.

    Look at their public actions (or lack of) Gary not their private & personal utterances.

    Social licence is about the lack of public opposition and thats what the ENGO’s are set to give TaAnn just as they have Gunns Pulp Mill.

    Test them Gary. Ask The Wilderness Society & Environment Tasmania if they will make it very clear in Public, in the media, as part of the forests deal they 100% endorse and encourage a continued community campaign against the proposed Gunns Pulp Mill & the abolition of the pulp mill permits.

    Do you reckon they will?

    They wont Gary because depite their verbal protestations about the Pulp Mill not being part of the deal we can all see from the behavioural change- their (lack of) action – that the Proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill (which is still alive) is very much entwined in the Tasmanian Forests Peace Deal. Said or unsaid its on the table.

    Mainstream baby. They gone mainstream.

  27. Mark Poynter

    August 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    #9 David Obendorf

    Really, the Richard Denniss article is pretty predictable when you consider that he is a former senior political adviser to the then Greens Leader Bob Brown, while the Australia Institute’s board includes another senior Greens adviser, and a representative of major funder the Wotif Institute (established by the Greens largest political donor).

    I would hope that FT responds with a letter or opinion article in next week’s Financial Review.

    The thing that is always forgotten in these sorts of attacks is that FT does much more than just manage timber supply and that key functions such as fire protection, access infrastructure maintenance, and research generate no direct income. In fact they manage about 700,000 ha of State Forest where there is no timber harvesting planned now or in the future – so from which they will never generate income.

    They also must deal with the incessant costs of anti-logging protests and have understandably lost income as the timber industry’s markets have been sabotaged by ENGO ‘brand mailing’ since 2007. If you doubt the importance of this, why is a key plank of the proposed IGA a requirement for ENGOs to stop this market sabotage …. and why have the timber industries in the mainland state’s not been affected in the manner that has occurred in Tasmania?

    Of course, Denniss has mentioned none of this so his article deserves little credibility.

  28. David Obendorf

    August 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Mr Denniss (Austrlian Fiancial Review) has let Tasmania’s mean, hungry feral cat out of the bag!

    Tasmania is not only a ‘mendicant State’ but embarrassingly mediocre.

    Denniss: “Imagine if a company [FT] lost money selling something that it never paid for. Now imagine that company was owned by a state government. In an environment in which state governments and oppositions are either crying poor or crying waste you might imagine that such expensive mismanagement would create a bit of political heat.

    But the usual rules of politics don’t seem to apply to this particular government business enterprise [FT]. It might be because we are talking about such a long history of public support. It might be because we are talking about the logging industry. But whatever the explanation, the fact remains that Forestry Tasmania, which is 100% owned by the Tasmanian taxpayer, has lost nearly half a billion dollars in the past two years.

    In 2010 the management of Forestry Tasmania lost $306 million. Admittedly, they managed to turn things around a bit in 2011, chopping through just $129 million of taxpayers’ funds. That’s nearly $1,000 for every man woman and child in the state. It gets worse though. A closer look at Forestry Tasmania’s annual reports reveals that it has a large, and steadily growing, unfunded liability for employee superannuation. In 2011, the deficit stood at $122 million, up from $99 million in 2008.”

    And I wonder why this financially inept GBE is now front & centre in the ‘last hurrah’ forest talks with the Signatores.

  29. Robin Halton

    August 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    David Obendorf I cannot read it jokingly!
    Amateur pantomine at its worst by Adams and Pullinger, the sort of stuff that one can only expect from the continuation of the rapidly failing Interin Forest Agreement saga, a radio soapie “The days of our Forests”. When do we have to suffer another episode from the ABC.
    You know something David, I cannot believe that this girl Premier Giddings and her totally ineffective puppet Bryan Green are still allowing the IFA to proliferate our lives.

    Frank Strie, no offence but Eurocentricity/ Germanic efficiency will not solve Tasmania’s native forest problems!
    Gary Stannus, I dont trust your judgement at all, by association with HVEC, SWAT and Code Green your total anti forestry swooning is rather disturbing!
    Read the claims / “Behind the Veneer, Forest Destruction” website slamming the boots into Ta Ann.
    You are aiding and supporting the radicals who are now attempting to destroy continued forest investment beyond the failed Pulp Mill in Tasmania.
    By the way Gary I was reluctant to support the Pulp Mill but we all need to move on and give some breathing space for our local forest industry and management to prepare for reform beyond the ridiculous IFA debarkle.

    #1 George, all of your claims on behalf of associated Special Timbers sawmillers and craftspeople representing a future of access to STZ’s-STMU’s is fair and reasonable, must not under any circumstances be undermined by the current rot associated with the potentially destructive Interim Forest Agreement.

  30. George Harris aka woodworker

    August 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Why do you bother, David? You make a big effort to run a free transcription service, when people could hear it here as it was said: http://blogs.abc.net.au/tasmania/2012/08/mornings-on-demand-thursday-1682012.html?site=hobart&program=hobart_mornings
    Or do you have a device that generates it from the audio?

  31. Jack lumber

    August 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    With respect to the opinion piece by Mr Richard Dennis of the Aust. Institute published in the AFR ; it is useful to be aware of a few relationships . Mr Dennis is the former strategist for Bob Brown . A little more research and the board of AI consists of Ben Oqiist a former Cheif of Staff for said Bob Brown and Sam Hardy , who amongst other things is the Strategic Advisor to the Graeme Woods Foundation.

    Evetone is entitled to their opinion but in the spitit of transparency disclosure of above may put some context to the opinion.

  32. Pilko

    August 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Timber Communities Australia are leaking like a sieve. TCA have about as much enthusiasm for the forests deal as a vegan for a hamburger

  33. Tim Thorne

    August 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    It’s all so simple, really. No more plantations, phase out the existing ones by using the timber as sustainably as possible (no pulp), no logging at all in the identified high conservation value areas and small-scale logging for sawable construction timber and other sustainable uses from what’s left.

    Then a proper management system with enforceable (and strictly enforced) environmental guidelines, and the replacement of Forestry Tasmania by regional community-controlled forestry boards.

    Compensation for those who have lost their jobs because of the global downturn in markets should be a separate issue. The current offer seems to be too low, and certainly not aimed as effectively as it could be to those who are really hurting.

    Scrap the IGA. If all the above policies are implemented it will be irrelevant anyway.

  34. john Hayward

    August 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Richard Denniss sounds like someone who has fallen down a rabbit hole before finding himself in the world of Woodworker, Adams and Pullinger.

    This is a world where not destroying something is “locking it up”, and where losing vast amounts of money for no gain is an unquestioned imperative. Where Gunns is compensated for returning land which they never owned, and where the FT MD attempted to give over half a million ha of public forest to friends he had met.

    If the folks at the back at the AFR don’t understand, remind them of the fabled Tassie Land Swap of 77,809ha of State Forest to the private sector, which involved no reciprocation.

    John Hayward

  35. Karl Stevens

    August 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    To David Obendorf. Were you rolling around on the floor laughing while you transcribed that interview with Adams and Pullinger? It’s hilarious. 10 out of 10 for them being unable to answer questions. I’m glad you left all the ‘ahhms’ and ‘gasps’ in the transcript. Lets hope they reach a ‘landing point’ for their ‘uncontested wood’. In the meantime, the rest of us should get used to massive ecological degradation to areas of non-pristine forests. That’s if they ever get that far. I would remind Adams and Pullinger, this is year 3 of your non-holistic plan for Tasmania and the meter is still ticking.

  36. George Harris aka woodworker

    August 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    My major objection (among many) with this whole process is that it seeks to lock up a major portion of the Special Timbers Zone, as specified in the Special Timbers Strategy, (2010), which was prepared with wide consultation and which has broad community support. Other objections are that it was hijacked, seriously corrupt, poorly conducted, unrepresentative, biased, and an abrogation of responsibility by people who should have known better.
    The Special Timbers Zone covers 98,000 hectares and specifies a sustainable annual harvest of 12,500 cubic meters across all species described as Special Timbers. That is a light touch on the environment. Averaged across the Zone, it amounts to about 130 kilograms per hectare per year, if you measure it in weight. (think of that in body weight, or wheelbarrow loads – not much in anyone’s language.) Also, it involves no clear-felling, and no re-gen burning. The full ENGO claim sought to lock up 64,000 hectares of this. Bullshit! No way. You can shove it.
    In addition to the STZ, Special Timbers are available in lesser concentrations adjacent to it, in the state forest that currently remains, and which will emerge from interim protection on August 31. It is necessary that these areas remain available, because the STZ on its own cannot meet the contracted supply or existing demand for Special Timbers at sustainable harvesting levels. Remember July 2011? FT published an assessment that suggested the sustainable supply with the ENGO claim applied was only 6,700 cubic meters, of which 6,200 was Blackwood. Bob Brown said “I doubt they even need that much!” Well! In the part of the IVG reports that you can believe, it was revealed there were 23 existing contracts for 19,230 cm/annum, and supply against those contracts was consistently around 16,000 cm/annum.
    There are real problems with supply of the non-Blackwood species, especially Myrtle and Blackheart Sassafras, and the three prized boat building timbers, especially Celery-top Pine. Lock up any more of that? No way!
    An all-or-nothing lock-it-and-leave-it approach is pretty stupid when an on-going supply of Special Timbers using minimal impact harvesting methods would allow the continuation of a trademark industry of such artistic, cultural, heritage, economic and tourism related value and significance. But then, this is being driven by some really selfish people. The whole idea of a transition out of native forest is being driven by zealots, all the way up to Christine Milne herself. Do you think they like plantations??? They like them even less! They just want to destroy the native forest industry first.

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