Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Liberals’ Nixon Report – 15 years ago – warned of forestry collapse

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Ken Jeffreys, face of Forestry Tasmania, who says FT is facing ‘a public execution’, here

1997 LIBERAL PARTY REPORT WARNED OF FORESTRY COLLAPSE

Lib Objection to FT Restructure is Hypocritical

Kim Booth MP, Greens Forestry Spokesperson, Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Tasmanian Greens today highlighted the findings of a 15-year old report released by the Rundle Liberal Government recommending forestry reforms very similar to those outlined in Option 2 of the URS Stage 2 Review of Forestry Tasmania. (TT: Download here).

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth said that the ‘Nixon Report: Tasmania into the 21st Century” by the Hon Peter Nixon AO made startlingly similar recommendations regarding the need to separate Forestry Tasmania’s functions, which were ignored by the then-Liberal Government.

“If the Nixon Report’s recommendations were followed 15 years ago, the Tasmanian forest industry would not be in the state of total financial collapse that it is now,” Mr Booth said.

“The Liberals have had 15 years to wake up to the problems with Forestry Tasmania , and here they are in 2012 still supporting a model that strips tens of millions of dollars every year from schools and hospitals.”

“What’s beyond comprehension that supposed economic rationalists like the Liberal Party would fight so hard to defend such a wasteful, sprawling bureaucratic dinosaur.”

“What it reveals is that the Liberal Party’s entire political strategy is about opposing everything, and has nothing to do with what’s in the best interests of the Tasmanian taxpayer.”

The 1997 report states:

“The mixed responsibilities of Forestry Tasmania as both a commercial organisation and a regulator, land manager, research organisation and source of policy advice to government is sending conflicting signals to investors in Tasmania forestry industry.”

“The dominant position of Forestry Tasmania within the Tasmanian forestry industry is impeding the development of a stronger private forestry sector and is reducing the wealth generating potential of Tasmania’s forestry resources…”

Recommendation number 87 of the report states:

“Forestry Tasmania should be separated into its commercial and non-commercial components.”

Download: Relevant excerpt from Nixon Report: Tasmania into the 21st Century:
Nixon_Report_1997_Excerpt.pdf

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. David Obendorf

    August 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The State Liberals will find themselves wedged by the combination of the mute ENGO trio and the Labor-Green Government duo if they’re not careful.

    The Lberals have to propose some substance to their ongoing forest policy that actually offers an alternative to this detestible and unworkable Plan ‘A’ that Dr Pullinger and ET Inc proposed in late 2009 (the Our Common Ground ambit).

    The opposition to that plantation for forests swap proposal is not as Mr McKim would goad the Liberals in Parliament as lacking support. Mr McKim would do well to listen or consult more extensively. The Greens would also do well to reflect on that Party’s past policy to support acquaculture as well as plantation development – both with all the contingent issues of chemical usage, unsustainability and long-term environmetal harm.

    The 265,000 cubic meters of high quality peeler billets for Ta Ann will see Mr Rolley not budge an inch and Mr McKim would know this. The 572,000 ha of high conservation value forests verses an intransigent industry that has a legal contract to supply 265,000 cubic meters of peeler logs to 2027… 15 years out!

    Maybe Jan Cameron and Mr Graham Wotif Woods can stump up a few hundred million to get Ta Ann to reduce its annual wood supply quota… it’ll take raw money and Julia is now skint!. That’s what it will take if the full ambit of the reserves are to be delivered.

    And of course there’s no guarantee of peace in the forest in either direction – forest vandalism, wood hocking, deliberately lit fires, voter back-lash and local conflict is not my idea of peace Mr McKim.

  2. Robin Halton

    August 31, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Bryan Green declined being interviewed on ABC 730 Tasmania tonight instead AWU Asst. Branch Secretary Robt. Flanagan went it alone braving his way with tough questioning by Ailie Ward.
    Flanagan who appeared to be against the breakup up of FT showing concerns for the 340 FT jobs.
    I would have prefered Green to have made the commitment to fullfill his duties as Forest Minister to present his side too! I now sense that Green is incapable of media expose!
    #10 Garry Stannus, its nothing to do with Parks and Wildlife in determining Wood Production Zoning. Get over it there is a lot at stake here with the option of disaggregation of FT.
    I have made a few reasonable comments at my #10 based on my experience, however, its only a start!
    I am confident the FT and industry heavies will have their own game plan leaving poor Bryan only to be bullied day after day by Nick McKim all the way through the process, if he lasts!
    The FT for the future must be left to decide there own markets too, if it includes whole log export in lieu of woodchipping so it be.
    Euc plantation thinning wood will need a market within the next few years otherwise what is the value of maintaining these plantations.
    Big issues at stake for forestry to grapple with commercialisation within a new world order in a highly competitive the global wood product market.

  3. Sue DeNim

    August 31, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Too right Garry. Then we might actually have a show at having some environmental jobs in this state. I can’t believe the paucity in the supposed Clean Green state. When I finished my degree in environmental studies, there was virtually nowhere to go in forestry unless you wanted to work for Gunns or FT. Regardless of what the position was I was damned if I was going to work for them while the FPC was in the state it is and our beautiful myrtles and celery tops were being chipped. P&W and NRM just shuffle their staff around between themselves and P&W has just barely limped on with the funding available to it. Where are the research jobs, the rehabilitation jobs, the new sustainable industry jobs, the forest stewardship industry jobs, the hemp paper industry jobs? Not here. Its just been rip rip woodchip, and if thats not your cup of tea, go interstate.

  4. Garry Stannus

    August 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    So Kim has knocked the dust off the Nixon Report. It’s been a while, and I know that at the time I wasn’t all that taken with it, though I can’t remember why.

    A little bit of googling …

    [http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/7d12b0f6763c78caca257061001cc588/01f72b4ae9cf9ef9ca256c3200241653!OpenDocument]

    … helped me remember that in the wake of Nixon’s recommendations, Tony Rundle and Jim Bacon teamed up to kick the Greens out of Parliament, by reducing the number of MLAs per electorate to 5. Then again, there was the huge state debt which Nixon identified, and for which Robin Gray was in some part responsible. I remember CRESAP which was instrumental in education cutbacks. I didn’t like Nixon – he was the Minister for Transport under Malcolm Fraser.

    Regardless of Nixon’s suggestion, a lot of us agree that FT has to be changed. I think we should get a Department of the Environment back, as a first step. There’s been a lot of reference to our native forests being handed back to the control of the Environment Department. But, fellow Tasmanians, we don’t have one. We used to, but David Bartlett got rid of it. It got subsumed into DPIPWE – basically tacked onto Primary Industries. With a new Dept of Environment, containing an EPA with teeth, and Parks and Wildlife in there with it, we’d have a suitable foundation for incorporating the 568k Ha of HCV native forest into reserves. Of the remaining million hectares, I’d let Parks decide how much to make available for a Wood Production Zone. It would be the new Forestry Commission’s job to provide for the timber needs of the state and woodchipping would be banned by Regulation – except for genuine forest floor waste. I can take anyone who wants to see for themselves, to see how the hillside below Miranda’s Observer Tree has had the eucalypts removed, while the remaining celery top pine has been pushed over, waiting the incendiary torch. It doesn’t look as if it would even be chipped. Maybe no one wants celery top woodchips.

  5. John Powell

    August 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    But Robin whatever happened to the once heavyweight Gordon? And are you suggesting Rolley and Britton will soon be on the FT Board, and what about your aspirations? And those of George aka, Mark P, Jack Lumber, and of course my favourite leaker of FT secrets mjf?

    Jurassics forever, but no longer Robin! Going, going, and soon to be gone!

  6. TGC

    August 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    #6 During all those years of Labor Governments-
    no wonder Lara has the Sory/Apology sheet out.

  7. Robin Halton

    August 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    We are witnessing the disintergration of the current Labor- Green alliance in governmnet.
    As the Forests Minister Bryan Green has effectively distanced himself from the current forestry industry debate, leaving it to heavyweights Jefferys, Britton and Rolley who are more than justified as a matter of priority to seek reassurance of future Wood Supply till 2027 from the Liberal opposition
    The goal posts have changed as the Liberals are now the abitrators for the forest industry.
    It can follow matters pertaining to new Reserves would be taken on board as the inevitable FT restructure will involve existing Forest Reserves to be reassessed for both natural and recreational values through the Biodiversity Program which for has been active ever since the 1997 RFA legislation was introduced.
    It is my best guess that the program supported by legislation will continue with direction through the Forest Practices Authority and DPWIE Natural Resources Unit.
    The Commercial forests Unit would take direction via the advice / FPA – NRU I would presume.
    With Nick McKim’s recent antics it is seemingly the signs of a major discord within the Lower House which will erupt further over the next few months over Reserves and now FT restructure.
    It is?/was the responsibility of the Forest Minister Green to quickly come to grips with the realities of the best workable arrangements that can take place for all parties using the URL report as a guide.
    Unless Green is willing to reaffirm his position as an effrctive Forests Minister he should resign.

  8. Russell

    August 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Re #2
    “How many Greens were in the Tasmanian Cabinet 15 years ago?”

    Exactly. The debacle has been going on for 3 to 4 decades – join the dots.

  9. phill Parsons

    August 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    FT fought to cling to its cost producing CSO’s against advice from a number of sources.

    Now the proof, the pudding and the dots have lined up against all the spin.

    The banana skins are being peeled back and falling to the floor exposing the hollowness of the model republic we have been told for years was the best possible.

    Everything has, and probably will continue to be blamed, except those who made the decisions.

    15 years after they were given open slather by the RFA, an agreement whose on ground outcome was biased toward a pulpmill in the North [Wesley Vale as an idea remained the ideal]and with a 10 year extension on the unalterable agreement [TCFA]
    the model has been managed to death.

    Industries have to renew constantly and the Tasmanian forestry industry failed to understand and act on that, failing to balance on the 3 legged stool.

  10. Mountain Man

    August 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    That’s the way… Split up Forestry so all the
    mates can have CEO jobs and their associated
    entourage.
    Sounds a bit like water jobs?

  11. john Hayward

    August 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    The mixed responsibilities don’t explain the the government’s tolerance of persistently huge harvest volumes and extremely low rates of value recovery. A banana republic culture does.

    The quickie second marriage to the shady Sarawak beau reinforces this view.

    John Hayward

  12. TGC

    August 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    How many Greens were in the Tasmanian Cabinet 15 years ago?- as TT contributors often write- ‘join the dots’

  13. Robin Halton

    August 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Its definitely not good enough when we are reliant on a Forest Minister of Bryan Green’s calibre combined with the government’s current political alliance with the Greens to deal with the restructure process affecting FT!
    His interview with Louise Saunders on the URL Report was appalling for most of the interwiew.
    Green hasnt a hope in hell of managing to bring about any manner of respectable changes to the restructure of FT.
    All through the current Interim Forest Agreement debarkle and now dealing with the recommendations of the URL Report, Green will continue to be effectively sitting on the sidelines of the debates never properly asserting his authority as a Minister within the current government.
    That leaves the State Government in an appaling situation, time for Premier Giddings to confront her lame duck!

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