Tasmanian Times


The State: Lara spruiks mill. The Arctic 30, Timberrr. Gunns. KI windfarm. Labor-Green poll woe

Leaders dig in over minority government Tasmania’s Opposition Leader Will Hodgman has restated the Liberals will not govern after the election, unless it is in majority. Mr Hodgman was the keynote speaker at the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) forum in Hobart this morning. … Ms Giddings says he is running away from the challenge. “He will once again say to the people of Tasmania, if Tasmanians choose a minority parliament, he will refuse to play,” she told the forum. “He will refuse to participate, he would prefer to be in opposition than to see his policies, which I hope he believes in, implemented.” “At best it’s a sign of weakness, at worst it’s a sign of arrogance. It is saying, I’m not prepared to step up to the challenge.”

What Lara said in her MR:

The Premier, Lara Giddings, used today’s CEDA state of the state speech to outline her vision for what Tasmania will look like in 2030, shaped by the decisions and policies being delivered right now.

Ms Giddings said while Tasmania had faced challenges in recent years, there are growing signs that the state is turning the corner.

What’s more, respected commentators like Deloitte Access Economics have pointed out that Tasmania is well placed to capitalise on the boom industries of the future thanks to the long term vision of the State Government.

“As a Government we have laid the foundations for the expansion of agriculture through our investment in irrigation, we have helped put the salmon industry on a pathway to doubling, we have risked political capital to secure the long-term future of the forestry industry and we have refocussed our economy to take advantage of the massive opportunities on offer in the Asian century,” Ms Giddings said.

Drawing on the theme of the conference, “Tasmania in 2030”, Ms Giddings painted a picture of what Tasmania would look like in 20 years.

“In 2030, Tasmania will be one of the world’s most recognised and valued producers of safe, reliable, premium produce.

“The strategic investments we made in making in dairy, wine and aquaculture, along with massive irrigation investment, will have unlocked record production possibilities.

“The barren earth across the Midlands will be irrigated green pastures, growing a range of new stone fruits to sit in fruit bowls across the world.”

Ms Giddings said tourism spending was growing at a rate of 22.8 per cent per annum.

“By 2030 the annual total spend by interstate and international visitors will grow to over $3 billion.

“By 2030 the Three Capes Track will already have attracted more than one million visitors from across the world to experience the unique beauty of the Tasman Peninsula.”

Steady improvements in early learning education, reflected in this week’s COAG reform council report, will flow through to create a culture of life-long learning, while the Government’s focus on Asia will increase the state’s intake of international students.

“Thanks to the Better Schools Plan funding reforms, we’ll have schools that deliver a world-class education for every student regardless of their background or ability.

“The University of Tasmania will still be among the world’s top universities, but it will have more than doubled its international student numbers from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, creating a new $400 million industry.

And high speed broadband will unlock untold opportunities and job opportunities that don’t even exist today.

“Our creative industries, educational institutions, and research centres will be maximising the benefits of high-speed broadband, as will the companies that followed pioneers like Vodafone and OfficeMax to create thousands of new jobs in the State.

“Engineering firms such as Pitt and Sherry and GHD will be designing mines and other infrastructure across the world – from transport to IT – without having their offices in Tasmania.

Ms Giddings said her vision for the Tasmania was just over the horizon.

“This is not a pipedream; it is the result of the foundations that have been laid by successive Labor Governments since 1998.

“These foundations will play a vital role in realising a future that will transform and enrich the lives of all Tasmanians.

Read the full speech here

Detained Greenpeace activist Colin Russell’s wife calls on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for action in Russia Colin Russell could spend up to seven years in prison for his part in the protest at a Gazprom oil platform off Russia’s northern coast. He is one member of the group dubbed the Arctic 30, who were initially charged with piracy following the dramatic protest in mid-September, which resulted in the activists and their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, being seized at gunpoint.

Struggle for timber community’s last softwood mill Stronach Timber Industries uses pine from the former Gunns sawmill at Bell Bay to make timber products including fence posts and outdoor furniture. But Timberlink bought the Bell Bay mill in February and is installing new equipment to make its own products. It means most of Stronach’s timber supply has been cut and it has had to axe 20 casual workers

ABC: Former Gunns pulp mill project on the market

Korda Mentha: Gunns Expression of Interest process The assets we are seeking expressions of interest for include freehold land, plantations, a forestry services business, and a pulp mill project opportunity.

ABC: Judge labels King Island wind farm legal challenge ‘sprawling and inarticulate’

• Ted Mead, in Comments: Lara’s media release is just another pie in the sky, ambit claim with no substance. Look at her predictions for tourism. She says the 3 Capes Track will receive 1 million visitors over 15 years. That’s eight times the volume of what the Overland Track has ever received. Joke!!! – This loopy fiscal disaster which will cost about $70 million which will have no monetary return to the public coffers. This is indicative of why the state is sliding rapidly down the financial gurgler!!

• Pilko, in Comments: From Facebook. Tony Mulder MLC on Will Hodgman’s FB page in response to Hodgmans pro pulp mill MR (1/11/2013). “What a gr8 outcome. Would state and fed libs think of buying the mill as equity partners, get it going using both plantation and native forest residue?” Is Mr Mulder serious or just brown nosing to his Liberal base on social media. Mr Mulder? Tell us more about your taxpayer funded $2B Pulp Mill.

Mercury: New poll shows Tasmanian voters deserting Labor-Green accord LABOR’S alliance with the Greens has doomed both to an emphatic defeat at the state election, polling shows. Exclusive ReachTEL/Mercury polling done on Thursday night reveals the Government will be deserted by more than one third of the voters who endorsed it at the 2010 election. The result puts new pressure on Premier Lara Giddings as a strong push from within Labor to end the power-sharing deal with Greens leader Nick McKim gains momentum as the election draws near. The phone survey of more than 2700 people reveals the ALP vote in Tasmania may have reached rock bottom. If the poll numbers hold true, the Liberals can expect to command 49.2 per cent of the vote, with Labor on 23.2 per cent, the Greens on 14.8 and the remainder undecided or leaning towards micro parties.

• Leroy, in Comments, HERE: Why should we be surprised that both Lara and Will are still waving the flag for this stupid idea of a pulp mill? In my opinion they are one-trick ponies with very limited intelligence and therefore limited ideas. Sadly they are propped up in front of us as the two best options for potential leaders in the upcoming election. They say we get the politicians we deserve but surely we don’t deserve this do we? These politicians are stuck back in 20th century thinking when the world has moved on and they haven’t even noticed. We desperately need an inspirational and charismatic leader to lift this fantastic state out of the mire. And if anyone thinks the so-called, “Forestry Peace Deal” included no opposition to any proposed pulp mill in the Tamar Valley then they better think again. The battlements may have looked empty but we have just been busy making sure the oil is boiling hot if needed. The true challenge is to think up some genuinely beneficial and viable alternative uses for the site other than this corruptly approved dinosaur! Something that will bring wealth and pride and unity to Tasmania.

Mercury: Exclusive ReachTEL survey delivers harsh assessment of State Labor-Green Government THE State Government will be judged most harshly for its management of the Tasmanian economy, job creation and health at the March state election, new polling shows. An exclusive ReachTEL survey of more than 2700 voters conducted for the Sunday Tasmanian reveals a majority of voters rate the Labor-Green Government as a poor or very poor performer in the three key areas. Statewide, 60.5 per cent of voters say the Government’s performance was poor or very poor on economic development – with the figure rising to 70 per cent in the northern seat of Bass. The Government’s performance on job creation rated worse, with 68.5 per cent of voters nominating poor or very poor, rising to almost 79 per cent in Bass. And 62.2 per cent of respondents say the management of health services is poor or very poor. But the Government was on the front foot yesterday, with Education and Skills Minister Nick McKim inviting applications for a $23.8 million skills fund.

• Nugget Toombs, in Comments: And in Tasmania, you would substitute forestry industry for car industry … Alan Mitchell, AFR Weekend, Holden’s future: it’s about more than just (car) jobs… “But where do we find these clever ideas in the numbers required? They won’t come from the government’s innovation councils. And history tells us they are unlikely to emerge in significant numbers from the welfare mentality that pervades our government-assisted industries. They will come from all over the place … universities, private laboratories, back rooms and garages. And only the competitive market can find them. Governments can’t find them … but they can crush them. When governments favour one industry , as they have the car manufacturers, they suck resources away from other activities …

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


  1. Basil Fitch

    November 9, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    On Sept 7 Election night, not one political scribe gave Reach-Tel polls the thumbs up. In Tas. vindicated by Alison Andrews(Examiner Sept 5) stated exclusive Reach-Tel poll showed Geoff Lyon Labor 26% and Andrew Nikolic 54% 1st preference.

    Actual result showed Nikolic 48% (6% out)and Labor 38% (12% out).

    Morgan Gallop Poll and EMRS are pretty reliable.
    Where as Reach-Tel is an electronic robot and connects mainly to the aged group (still having landlines). Most younger voters only have mobiles with no contact numbers in the ph. book.

    How many older voters can answer 1 – 5 for each question, asked fairly fast?

    The current poll on up coming State elections is a guide only and I am surprised Kevin Bonham would rely on these figures in comments.

    The Examiner’s Gilmore and Prismall have delighted in printing the Green vote down to 8% in Fed. elections and look to be in terrible trouble, going into State poll. Now Greens are showing 15% but little is made of that fact.

    With the pulp mill being revisited, its likely the Greens will shoot to 24% once again, where they should be.

    I challenge anyone to tell me where the 5 Greens have stopped any development within this State since supporting Labor in 2010.

    The latest Morgan Poll 2/3 Nov Fed. Labor 50% and Coalition 50%. People already waking up.

    Come on T.A.P., rally please, lets keep the Late Bob McMahon’s legacy and dream going. Basil

  2. mike seabrook

    November 9, 2013 at 1:47 am

    with fires this fire season likely

    just as well the libs are abolishing the carbon tax

    the carbon in the smoke emissions would bankrupt the state if it were liable for carbon tax on the smoke emissions.

    Editor’s note: For information on the carbon price see here http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/Carbon-Pricing-Mechanism/Pages/default.aspx

  3. mike seabrook

    November 9, 2013 at 1:34 am

    ## 62
    “ppb unable to negotiate insurance renewals” on trees

    there is surely a hungry insurance company after business , even if at 500% (extortionate) of the rates previously charged with a few extra excesses & carve outs from claimable items to boot.

    guess is deliberately not insuring & is a chancer & self insuring ***
    interesting legal issues if a fire eventuates in MIS tax punters uninsured trees on a pissed off landowners land if he is not being paid rent & then if the fires spread to neighbours properties.

  4. David Obendorf

    November 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

    The stats on pyromania being the source of the majority of fires in Australia would be scaring the socks off the mediocre, hand-rubbing politicians in this State.

    Lightening stike fires are a small percentage; accidental fires and unquenched approved fires that become escapes are a sizeable proportion of the causality but [b]deliberately lit[/b] fires is the greatest proportion of the fire threat.

    So, in my view, this comes down to social and cultural issues, the size of the human footprint, and the polarisation of society with a rise in personality disorder and mental illnesses in our human society.

    Sadly delusional and hypocritical types also are the gatekeepers and political leaders in our little State… megafires and further entropy of our biodiverse forests will be the legacy. Many, including Bob Brown and Garry Stannus know this.

    There is urgency in finding the solution for the pulp-wood plantation resource. The environment and human infrastructure will be relatively ‘safer’ and the polarizing conflict might stop some angry, disaffected persons lighting fires on ‘catastrophic waether days’.

    Welcome to the [b]Anthropocene[/b]!

  5. William Boeder

    November 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Having drawn the TT attendees to the intentions and rogue=like practices relied upon by Korda Mentha, (and their do or die, ‘succeed and destroy’)strategies, to try and offload even such difficult diffuse offerings as the many cross-ownership MIS woodlots and anything else with a partial Gunns Ltd claim of ownership.

    I do hope I have proved my claim as per my earlier comment relating to these appointed official receivers and other associated benefactors.

    I am of the mind that that the ANZ Bank would have called upon this aforementioned outfit to go get every dollar they can squeeze out of this insolvent Gunns Ltd direct, as well as that dubious boneyard of owned, or merely leased woodlots, plantation style tree occupied land-holdings.

    Accordingly a letter needs to be composed and sent off to this Korda Mentha mob by somebody with a substantial academic background that has an important element of fact attributed to the qualifications that will be held by he or she hoped for respected correspondent.

    Now in reference to the both brazen and scathing means to achieve a State approval for this former and or proposed pulp-mill, I am of the mind that this particular approval lacks a true lawfully acceptable status to be offered for sale as it currently stands.
    Many are the TT attendees who could provide a sufficiency off evidenced ‘abused processes’ that were instrumental in this State government claiming the all clear for this environmental monster in the making.
    As for local shareholders and those local businesses holding some faint hope that they may get some sort of meagre return to satisfy their quite legal claims to receive some proportionate amount of reimbursement or measure of outstanding debt owed to them by Gunns Ltd, the best advice that can be offered at this point in time is for these luckless persons to engage in earnest daylong prayers and utterances toward whichever is their religious deity.

    The line of precedence in matters featuring the trio of the ANZ Bank, Korda Mentha, then PPB Advisory, will swallow up the lions share of that which may be derived from selling off these highly contentious thereby quite dubious of any remaining Gunns Ltd value assets.

    Otherwise these Black Knight professionals will force this matter through in whatever form they can contrive or conceive.

    I myself will send off a letter to the Fairfax Press to find if there is that doyen of integrity distinguished journalist that can present this blatant highly contentious matter to the general public, thereby this advice will certainly be received by the above-mentioned Black Knights.

    William Boeder.

  6. John Hawkins

    November 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Robin you are ducking the issue in #67.

    It is not post- Harvest in plantations that is of interest, it is pre- harvest.

    Fuel reduction burns is the rightful cry of our skilled foresters and firemen to assist in the prevention of bushfires.

    You and yours have stood by and said nothing and done nothing about the risk posed by plantations in or around Tasmanian settlements.

    Think Canberra.

    The question the insurers are posing to Gunns is that now the plantations cannot be thinned through lack of money, they cannot be fuel reduced without burning them down and the plantations cannot be harvested as they are worthless why should we insure your product and take the risk of arson or natural causes?

    Similar questions were asked of the loggers many of whose trucks and equipment were seemingly burnt by the Greenies until they were refinanced by Federal Labour under the TFA.

    As a skilled forester what would you suggest for the central Deloraine plantation on a slope protected by the Logging industry’s creation, the unique to this state PTR that takes the plantation out of the planning scheme?

  7. Robin Halton

    November 8, 2013 at 1:53 am

    #60 Mike Seabrook, I doubt if leaving the stumps to coppice is an acceptable silvicultural regime for “ex” nitens/ globulus plantations.
    Its probably more about the property owner caught out in a financial crisis receiving only a pittance for the outright clear fall of the crop.

    #62 John Hawkins, something for the State Fire Committes to prepare themselves for, Gunns in receivership should have a forest consultant to advise on post harvest procedures incl burning which would be written into FHP’s
    TFS, PWS FT local councils and private forest coy’s such as Norske Skog based from Boyer and Gunns in receiver ship should all be represented within the local fire committes structures.
    Landowners can lodge their concerns with their local fire committee reps.
    There should be meetings coming per municipatities soon before this coming Fire Season to identify with potential fire problems and remediation procedures.
    I would expect that there would be a more serious approach to managing fire through the summer given the 2013 Tas Fires and Vic Fires of 2009.
    For economic reasons, the JV clear felling may only apply to those plantations considered as productive but closer to the Tamar chipping and wharf facilities!

  8. mike seabrook

    November 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm


    wine grape-growers not happy with smoke if at or near grape harvest time

    not all fires are planned & or contained.

  9. mike seabrook

    November 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm


    an uninsured fire which could spread from the poorly managed forests to neighbours properties could be a possibility

    expect pissed off unpaid landowners whose property is occupied by mis scamsters would not give a toss.

    interesting legal issues. –

  10. mike seabrook

    November 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm


    re the forest harvesting plans requiring remediation

    when the sucker land owner does not remediate the land

    will the government sue the land owners, harvesters or the harvesting proponents or the liquidator/official manager

    if the remediation referred to in the harvesting plan is not done by the harvester – can the land owner sue
    1. the harvester
    2. the government for not following up & enforcing the harvesting plan.

  11. Simon Warriner

    November 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Interesting comment from John Hawkins. I noted just the other day that a young man I mentored into his first job out of university is now a director of a very large global insurance company. Fortunately his companies area of business is not rural property.

    I wonder if this gets discussed at the Fire Management Meetings run by the TFS that are meant to be the place risk gets identified, assessed and managed in this state. The minutes of these meeting should, as a matter of principle, be public documents. The principle is that risk impacts us all, and we should all have the right to see how that risk is being identified and controlled, if at all.

  12. John Hawkins

    November 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    As a former name at Lloyds I was interested to read in Tasmanian Country that:

    “Tree growers with investments originally worth $1.6 billion look set to face the fire season without insurance. Gunns liquidator PPB Advisory…has been unable to negotiate insurance renewals.”

    The insurance world considers Gunns plantations to be an uninsurable fire risk!

    Robin Halton please enlighten us as to how one conducts a fuel reduction burn in a MIS tax scam plantation that is now considered uninsurable?

    Think Deloraine and the Council approved PTR plantation in the centre of town so beloved by the logging ex Mayors Shelton and Hall.

    Welcome to cost effective world of risk management in the insurance business.

    Who will be the lucky buyer of all Gunns plantations from Korda Mentha, he will need very deep self insured pockets to withstand the potential firestorm of Public Liability.

    Always remember “Climate change is crap.”

    Thankyou Mr Abbott for your apt and intelligent comments.

    Well done Senator Abetz for creating an uninsurable fire risk in a fire prone country out of approved and promoted tax scams especially created for the rich.

    They must bless you.

  13. Robin Halton

    November 7, 2013 at 10:37 am

    #59 David, some are curious as to what is happening on the Gunns JV areas, fair enough!
    There is next to nothing in the media reporting on these activities as far as I know!
    Perhaps it is not considered as a proud moment in time for the property owners, so the media are not chasing what are perhaps heart break investments in trees.
    A delicate matter, some family farms could be derailed over what was at the time a fine investment for superannuation and proud ownership of plots of trees on the properties in question.

    #56 Mike Seabrook Timber Harvesting would not be permitted without a FHP, hence the need for forest consultants to be involved.
    The anticipated future use of the land would have to be included on the FHP, time frame of rehabilitation/remediation by PP owner, I am not so sure but could be open ended as I suspect owners will not be all that cashed up after what appears to be a disappointing investment once all the costs are factored in.
    Mentha Korda, forest consultants, harvest and transport contractors, processors as I presume the harvested trees are chipped either of the smaller existing plants on the Tamar.

    Any news would be appreciated from the northern locals. “Dont rock the boat” is the other consideration.
    Tasmania could be surrounded in smoke this summer, as burning the slash post harvest would be a quick way of removing waste wood to miniumise a fire hazard before the adjoining grasslands cure this summer.

  14. Pete Godfrey

    November 7, 2013 at 8:46 am

    From what I have heard from FSC auditors the plans for clearfelled ex Gunns plantations are that the so called managers/receivers plan to allow the trees to coppice.
    Now doesn’t that sound good, they will cut the trees take away the woodchip logs, and leave the stumps to coppice.
    There is a problem there in that the technique requires ongoing management. Someone has to go around every plantation coupe and thin the regrowth. Gunns tried it in Golden Valley years ago, they logged plantations on conglomerate gravel based soils and allowed the trees to coppice. Two to three years later they went around and thinned the suckers to 2 or 3 stems per stump. Another 2 or 3 years later they went around and cut all the suckers off and planted Pine trees. Now it is a mixed e.nitens/pine plantation.
    All in all coppicing appeared to be a dead loss.
    So that is the new Korda Mentha method of forest management that will assure them that they can sell the chips as controlled wood under the FSC label.
    Bloody beauty eh.

  15. David Obendorf

    November 7, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Tasmanians are generally intimdated by thugs and bullies whether from large corporations or the State public service. No-one wants to dob in on malpractices and illegal actions.

    The mantra is: ‘Don’t rock the boat’ or anything could happen.

    This is a serious Tasmanian malady… it is the reason we are forever stuck if false wars and so much bull shitting deceptions. After a while everyone plays the same game… for self protection; a very sad indictment on Tasmania.

    Some-one with a digital camera/recorder and some courage could ensure that such incidents are recorded and then hopefully reported. The question is always who will take action? – our governance structures are useless and the only political party that used to call out these malfeasances has become near enough to complicit.

    Very depressing!

  16. TGC

    November 7, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Re #46: Nominations from “cleanskins with brains” now being called for the next State election.
    Nominations into TT for vetting?

  17. Steve

    November 6, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    #54; I suspect that these tree leases are going to get down to some fundamental legal points and a lot will depend on the wording of the original contracts.
    My gut feeling is that a smart land owner will be one who locks the gate and refuses access until they are entirely happy with the arrangement.
    Possession is 90% of the law and our legal system, flawed though it may be, is still pretty strong on land owners rights.

  18. mike seabrook

    November 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    ref 54

    can the landowner sue the state government for

    1. permitting harvesting without a forest harvest plan – one component required is replanting or remediation

    2. ditto for the government not ensuring the plan is complied with

    3. can the landowner sue the harvester for not complying with the harvest plan to the letter.

  19. Frank Strie

    November 6, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    If John Hawkins’ point raised above #54 would be confirmed as factual, the whole claim of sustainable plantation management, responsible plantation management(you recall that they often like to equal these tree crops as “plantation forests”), is all but.
    These behaviours would be equal to plundering Tasmania’s landscape…
    Clean, green & clever plantation management?
    Dear oh dear this place is drifting…
    I am sure John as I would like to hope that such practices are turn out to be fiction and gossip.
    But are they?
    Come on you well trained and recognised Forest Practices Officers and Members of the peak body the Institute of Foresters in Australia, surely your Members would not do go along with landscape mining, surely you would speak up this time around!?

  20. John Hawkins

    November 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Rumour has it that Korda Mentha using Gunns surviving staff are putting the knife into Landowners with Gunns trees standing as tenants on their property.

    They have paid up the lease to date on properties easily accessed and are clear felling the plantation wood that is worth recovering leaving the spindles that are too small to harvest then walking away leaving the landowner to sort out the mess.

    Has any body any confirmation of this practice?

    Lindsay this is a potential article if we can find out more from your observant readers.

    What are the landowners’ rights?

    What happens if you say no and want the lease to run its course 15-25 years?

    Who cleans up the mess and pays for it.

    What happens if you want to sell and Gunns have the lease and the trees and are in arrears?

    This problem is totally different to my previous points in #51 as Gunns have only leased the land they are not the owners of the land and they only pay up the arrears to the landowner when they want to harvest what they can rescue on their lease at a profit.

  21. Robin Halton

    November 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    #51 Many good points John Hawkins, many hundreds more needed to figure out the way to solve this mess!
    Worst case scenario, buyers turn up hand over the cash, Korda Mentha, forest consultants and general hangers on get paid for services, creditors and investors get nothing.

    Without being able to move the wood onto a suitable pulpwood/fuelwood market perhaps apart from prime land growth site the price to be paid for the land value of 2nd claas sites could be approaching zilch.

    #52 Steve’s comment, Sticks and stones………, I reckon that he is right, clearing will be an expensive nightmare that will have to be factored in by potential buyers, in particular if they are looking at argicultural conversion/ reconversion.

    Much of the unwanted tree mass could be pushed over with a dozer, heaped and burnt, there wont be too much mulching or Green inspired carbon questering stuff going on.
    I would imagine areas with shallower soils could be subject to soil profile disturbance, not twice but thrice over, intitially during mounding and now again during treepushing/ stumping levelling with angle slight tilting blade of the bulldozer.

    The exercise if deemed viable could once again provide work for owners hanging onto their large dozers, equip them with root rate blade to remove all woody material from the soil for heaping and burning prior to establishing soil rejuvenating cropping.

    The lurking Chinese and laughing behind our backs may see the Sale of Gunns forests as another opportunity to buy into real estate as a part of their eventual population expansion plan into new territories througout the globe.

    The foolish Gunns, State govt and hangers on sucked the life blood from the land covering pasture, tearing down valuable native forest and habitat investing in wood fibre that that has no direct application locally, totally misguided all over a pulp mill fantasy which came aboutat least 25 years too late for Australia.

    Timing of expressions of interest close prior to Christmas could ensure that the planneing for any direct commercial use of the timber stands may not stand a chance within a shortened time frame.

  22. Steve

    November 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    #51; I did some sums and research a few years back on the cost of recovering former farm land that had been converted to plantations.
    My conclusion was that you need to budget about $5000/ha, or $2000/acre in the old currency. That was based on smaller areas, less than 20ha. Economies of scale might kick in if there’s large areas involved.
    It’s not simply a matter of uprooting the stumps and running a big set of discs over. When they convert to plantation, they mound. Getting rid of the mounds is a job in itself. Disc over them, they’ll still be there! Once the ground is level and clear you then have to deal with all the rubbish. Sticks and stones not only break your bones but they also break your heart and /or bank when you have to deal with them in quantities, spread over large areas.
    Once the grounds clean again, it’s just a matter of getting it fertile again. All the good topsoil has now gone but a few years of TLC will soon get it back, which will be great for all the weeds that infested the plantation and have just been lurking for the right conditions.
    Oh, and did I mention the fences that they pulled out and now need to be replaced….

  23. John Hawkins

    November 4, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    48 Thankyou David,

    Does any one know the breakdown of this 21,777 ha say 50,000 acres of plantations on 94 titles and how much more Gunns owned land remains in Native forest in or out of PTR’s in this State?

    Problems for a buyer to comprehend if he is not going to be swindled:

    The area of Gunns freehold land with stands of Gunns owned trees.

    The area of Gunns owned land as above but now infested with expensive to clear Gorse?

    The area of Gunns owned land as above, but 2nd rotation hence smaller and poorer quality trees, yet easier to clear?

    The areas of Gunns owned land planted in the wrong place to get the tax deduction, the resulting trees are useless.

    The area of Gunns owned land as above suitable to return to farmland, cost of doing so?

    How many acres on Gunns freehold land is now tenanted by MIS scam owned trees belonging to a third party?

    What type of trees are in the plantations: nitens, globulus, pine, hardwood some are worth more than others, the high Australian dollar makes many worthless?

    Location of plantations and distance from the chipping point. High cost of transport?

    On how many of these acres has the leaseholder defaulted and as a result the matter is before the courts?

    How many of these acres of Gunns trees are on former State Forest the land property of the State and ineligible for FSC accreditation?

    How many acres are on PTR’s hence outside planning scheme so can never be given FSC accreditation under current FSC guidelines?

    How many acres are in water catchments that cannot be felled to gain FSC accreditation as this will further silt up the Tamar basin?

    How many acres property of Great Southern’s leaseholders on which no contracted maintenance has been done?

    Will they sue under a class action?

    The status of the access roads and bridges, their ownership and maintenance, vital knowledge for subsequent ability to harvest plantations.

    Rates and sums outstanding the logging councils who will soon need the money.

    Will councils treat farmed trees as farm land and charge rates to an overseas buyer?

    Status of Forest Practice Plans and acreage of protected areas within each title.

    I suggest the potential mug punter will be a pension fund commission scammer as per Hobart Airport who has access to other peoples funds and the ability to lose their money knowing they will never complain.

    I have not even touched the complexities of the Gunns leases and the defaults in payment by Gunns tenants, currently awaiting resolution before the courts.

    The status of the lapsed permit for the Pulp Mill still before the courts.

    The groundswell of opposition from the locals over exemptions from Heritage and landscape legislation only granted because of corruption of due process that favoured the local boy made good.

    The current bankrupt state of the industry reliant on state and federal handouts.

    Past atrazine and simazine spraying and the resulting cancer clusters, who will be liable hopefully the new owners?

    No wonder Korda Mentha are looking for the one hit scammer to take this horrific Tasmanian Abetz inspired tax rort mess off their hands.

    Good Luck!

  24. Shane Johnson

    November 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    The ANZ and other banks are the effective owners of the permits.

    The ANZ ran away from the project at a hundred miles an hour when confronted with community action several years ago.

    Would the ANZ fight against sustained community action now particularly given the low value of the Pulp Mill permits?

  25. Karl Stevens

    November 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I heard Lara also believes in Santa.

  26. David Obendorf

    November 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    John, Nick Clark’s 25 October Mercury article [i]Buyers circle Gunns forests[/i] on the KordaMentha sale offer provides the following information:
    * 21,777 ha of land with plantations on 94 properties (NE, NW & SE Tasmania)
    * interest from ‘farmers looking at converting land back to agriculture’ and ‘Chinese pulp firms also looking at a secure resource of high quality fibre’.
    * estimated asking price ~$50 million.

  27. David Obendorf

    November 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Frank Strie, it isn’t the ‘logic’ of sustainable forestry and native forest conservation that is at issue with most commentators on TT; it comes down to a lack of political will and the legacy of strong gatekeeping that has brought about the [b]entropy[/b] of Tasmania’s native forests.

    Politicians just want short-term, quick fixes; they also want a gullible public that don’t have the time to see the long-term consequences of these fixes.

    Bob Brown still believes that Tasmania’s “glory days are still ahead of it” and he still believes Tasmania is [i]Clean & Green[/i].

    Perhaps a few more apocalyptic events here might have Bob re-setting his optimism compass.

  28. John Hawkins

    November 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

    #42 Robin Halton,

    Your reply moves the debate in a more positive direction.

    We have to find a solution to the MIS scams created, protected and further expanded by some 2 million trees through Abetz the Minister of Forests in the last Liberal government.

    These plantations are now an unsaleable blot on our landscape and a serious matter for our Tasmanian political masters.

    We should hear their thoughts on some of the following to which TT’rs may like to add:

    The future ownership of Gunns estate in Tasmania should it be local or foreign. A foreign sale removes up to say 100,000acres (who knows the exact figure) from the Tasmanian land bank on this small island.

    Should the liquidator offer the estate to local landowners and farmers or is that to much like hard work when one big devalued sale is simple and far more profitable for them?

    FSC on former farmland will be obtained.

    FSC on FT’s cleared native forest is impossible, unless the pollies bribe the authorities with the $7 million set aside.

    Do we need incentives to clear plantation land and return it to private Tasmanian ownership for conversion back to farmland.

    Gorse has spread through 2nd planting plantations making the farmland approach very expensive.

    Thinning the plantations and maintenance is years in arrears and they are now a huge fire risk to all Tasmanians.

    How will the new owners fix this problem?

    A discussion should commence over long term replanting for special timbers and hardwood harvesting. This would have to be backed by the state through FT.

    FT is a bankrupt GB. We need its skills but not its political masters and management to rescue us from the present and pending ecological disasters they have helped to create.

    We need to address the subject of a logging industry that cannot survive except via the public purse.

    The landscape needs our protection from rape and pillage.

    A Royal Commission into corruption of due process and the payment of government largesse to the undeserving would help to cleanse the stables and give the industry a new start.

    We must elect cleanskins with brains at the next State election rather than third rate political hacks.

    Robin more ideas over problems and solutions please.

  29. Frank Strie

    November 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

    …”John, the future of forestry in Tasmania is a much debatable subject and will continue to challenge the great minds of our future foresters.
    Posted by Robin Halton on 04/11/13 at 08:38 PM”

    Hello again Robin,
    Who will be “our future foresters”?
    Where will “the great minds of our future foresters” come from?
    Where are they?
    Why would any “great mind”, clever young person bother to get involved in such a boring unrealistic unviable unloved industry in the first place?

    Without a real shift in forestry practices, there is no profitable incentive or motivating factor for another generation of foresters.

    Tree growers/ farmers may be around and orchardists but real foresters trained and supported in Australia?
    No Robin, that opportunity is a thing of the past for now. Without importing overseas trained foresters, there will be no real forest industry in years to come.
    One chance does still exist however, that the people come to realise that real forest management is more than just about cropping monoculture trees in shorter and shorter rotations.
    With a continuation and increase in short rotation and large scale clearfelling the erosion of our creeks and rivers will continue to send fertile soil to the sea.
    With an increase prices or fuels and hydrocarbon based chemical compounds, the big dream of a giant pulpmill is nothing more than a continuation of the continued repeat of the Loch Ness Monster story.
    Q: “Has the Loch Ness Monster left Scotland for Down Under?”

    The positive alternative:
    Welcome to the Forest Guild

    “Forestry is more than cutting and growing trees. Restoring and managing complex, ever changing systems to yield clean air and water, sustain rural communities, and provide peace and solitude requires passion, knowledge, and skill. This is the art and science of forestry. This is the work of Guild foresters.”

    Guild members and supporters share a tangible “spark” of energy, enthusiasm, and inspiration for forests and forestry. This “spark” encourages visionary thinking, innovation, and optimism that the decisions we make now will still be enjoyed by our children’s grandchildren. –

    It is about time Tasmania established total quality focused training in real forest management.
    Something we have not had here for a very long time. What wasted opportunities, whole generations lost…

    Prof. David Bowman made the call – let’s go back to 1959 and change the forest classification back to what it was prior to…
    There was no wet Eucalypt forest, because E. regnant was just a part of the rainforest succession:
    Giant eucalypts sent back to the rainforest › News in Science
    Nov 1, 2012 – “Of these, the tallest is Eucalyptus regnans with temperate eastern Victoria … the rainforest tree canopy that regenerates without fire,” says Bowman. … type after it was discovered by foresters in 1959 that they needed the ash …

  30. Robin Halton

    November 4, 2013 at 10:25 am

    #43 The debate on forestry in Tasmania presents itself with any number of fronts. On occasions we see Bob Annells Chair of FT appear breifly on TV, last I heard was a hint of sending Crown logs north for processing via Rail to Artec for chipping as I believe.

    Most dissapointingly FT appears to be a closed shop, Annells controls what is allowable for the media. I was hoping that their new CEO Steve Whiteley who in my opinion is a decent bloke, be able to have more to say for the benefit of the community consultation.

    Of cause the other blockage is the scared rat of a human, Forests Minister Bryan Green who has effectively aborted his responsibilty and handed it to National Parks/ World Heritage players and the Greens.

    Now I switch to the Gunns affair:
    For me it is fair and reasonable to aim for Gunns creditors and investors to at least get some of their money back, so hopefully unless a cashed up Chinese Dragon appears with badly needed loot, of cause it remains up in the air what will happen!

    Myself, being a fair and reasonable Tech Forester knows that the planning for eventual harvest of standing plantation wood is a pretty complex matter, it wont come without cost!

    I would like to see some form of commercial arrangement arise so the wood is either sold in log form or preferably chipped to value add on a commercial basis.

    A decent chipping plant could be shared among both private forests and Crown forests.

    FT would be keen to move excess wood building up from harvesting, sawmillers would be keen to move bundles of mill edgings for a commercial gain.

    Teams of remaining forest contractors need to be encouraged stick around pending the removal of Gunns wood onto a commercial front.

    What are we all supposed to do Basil, sit at the computer and twiddle our thumbs.

    Yes, I read William Boeder’s summary of Mentha Korda/PPB Advisory at #37, I would imagine they will go for their pound of flesh too, thats business in the new world order without proper govt oversight, isnt it!

    For a start, lets follow the expressions of interest for the Gunns plantations and see what eventuates.

  31. Basil Fitch

    November 4, 2013 at 12:44 am

    #22 Robin Halton I am quite well versed with what should happen, so no good preaching to the converted! I have held the same views for the 30+ yrs of forestry debacle in this state. In contrast your posts, especially in the last 10-12 months have been ‘all over the shop’ …

    In your time in forestry, it was a closed shop with little, if any, accountability. However, now with the availability on the Internet of facts, figures, e-mails etc., to be sourced at the press of a button, all that has changed.

    With TT, we are able to access every previous Article in Archives. Same with govt documents, exact words, photos, places, etc., etc), can be obtained, nothing can be denied.

    It is a different ball game now, even on this thread it was simple for #37 William Boader to
    inform us all on the background of Korda Mentha.

    How ironic that such a firm should be seen in the same sentence as the infamous Gunns. Basil

  32. Robin Halton

    November 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    # 41 John Hawkins, yes Gunns should be still in the timber and hardware business in Tasmania, greed and miscaculated Euc plantation development hoping for a pulpmill investor partner to walk in was a deadly mistake involving a range of Gunns investors and supporting schemes.

    At least 2 decades too late as Nth. American, Canadien Northern European mills and the 2 Aust mills are all survivors in a new world global economy with the Sth America’s, Asia (China, S Korea and Japan) and now I believe that Africa is ready take the world market for paper and associated products.
    Anywhere environmental carelessness is permissible and available cheap labor, then a pulp mill is a possiblility as long as sufficient cheap feed stock is available.

    I have no problem with the re establishment of a VIABLE export wood chip market, the Tamar Valley Woodchip mill/ failed Pulp mill site is the obvious location, isnt it!

    Plantation investors and Gunns creditors deserve to get some Financial benefit from the State’s entire Euc plantation estate including FT’s while we still retain a local workforce skilled in harvesting and processing to be export ready.

    As a New Year Present for Tasmanians I would expect the outcome of the sales of Gunns assetts should be in place before the next State election in March 2014.

    A future Pulp Mill is most unlikely therefore I cannot see any of the political parties remaining serious about this type of investment.
    Being export ready for the sale of standing pulpwood timber converted to chipwood should be the likely scenario.

    The longer the wait, say another decade, the likely hood of a total financial disaster, we dont want that do we.

    Act soon, thin( retain till age 30 yrs), clearfell, convert back to native forest( watershed /landscape/ habitat amenity, future commercial forest) agricultural land( cropping /pasture) what more do we want for the future of land currently under euc plantation.
    The only exception that I could see is FT may be inclined to retain after perhaps after 2 commercial pulpwood thinnings the hope of sawlogs but that is unlikely until the timber is mature enough.
    The current expectancy at age 30 for sawlogs is overly ambitious for nitens and globulus.
    Maybe between age 60-100 years we may see some better results once the structural properties of eucalypt hardwood approach maturity.

    John, the future of forestry in Tasmania is a much debatable subject and will continue to challenge the great minds of our future foresters.

  33. John Hawkins

    November 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    #38 Robin Halton,

    You betray your allegiance to the third rate Pollies that govern this State when you write that, ” John Gay and Paul Lennon were not the slightest bit sincere about the project [Pulp Mill] which was doomed from the start.”

    This is a real super duper, red or should I say in your case blue herring written to blur the issue and my comments.

    Both Gay and Lennon are open to criticism over the matter but the sincerity of their endeavours was never ever in doubt.

    The Pulp Mill will be built if all the risk is shouldered by the taxpayer. As stated above the State and Federal Liberals will use the Pulp Mill to bribe Tasmanians into giving them their vote so as to get wall to wall Liberals across the nation and hence the ability to increase the GST.

    This type of underhand behaviour is par for the political course in this your corrupt Tasmania.

  34. TGC

    November 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    #38 “moving offshore for the past 25 years…”- as is most Australian industry.
    And why not given the hurdles industry has to jump to be viable in Australia.
    Pretty soon the only thing we will have left will be tourists- and even the companies pushing that will b e owned off-shore.

  35. David Obendorf

    November 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Lots of very insightful commentary from TT bloggers here as usual thank you!

    Tasmania is a political basket-case that has seemingly run itself out of options because those we elected last time didn’t work for Tasmanians and the State. Self interest ruled AGAIN!

    Poltical self-interest – Blue, Red and Green – has always been on display. And for that reason we actually deserve the mayhem we have.

    The pulp plantations will inevitably be chipped and exported. Some of this plantation land will revert back to agriculture. Labor has lost it’s momentum and zeal on the TFA Act and would be very provocative to now declare the first Reserves Order by having the Governor sign it. For State Labor, the TFA was always about “Show me the money!”.

    The Greens could be the biggest electoral losers out of their one-sided politics over the last 4 years.

    Tasmania is skint and the public rorters still rort through the utilities’ charges. The State runs mainly on the bureaucracy payroll churn. Manufacturing and FI-FO workers with skills are deserting the State and Lara and Nick wait for the tourist ships to come in and pray for a bumper summer on the Apple Isle.

    This economy has been in the doldrums for decades and a declared mendicant of Australia. The Greens call it an economy in transition – they’re might be correct! Tasmanians are exiting – i.e. those that can afford to leave are leaving.

    The Green-Labor coalition experiment over the last 4 years has been underwhelming – in my view – and those who care to vote at the next State election will pass judgement.

    So who, if anyone, will you vote for on March 2014?

  36. Robin Halton

    November 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    #34 John Hawkins , the Pulp Mill is dead and so it should be, who in their right mind would build the Gunns monster on the Tamar Valley site when the public around the area including the Mayor of Launceston von Zetten has strongly opposed it, all on unsatisfactory environmental grounds, the reporting itself was fuzzy, unreliable and very ad hoc.

    John you know as well as I do that John Gay and Paul Lennon were not the slighest bit sincere about the project which was doomed from the start.

    Bulldozing their superior image above the Tasmanian public was ultimately their folly, but unfortunately left Gunns Ltd and its investors, employees and creditors in a hole all because of misdirected greed over the costs of takeovers of Auspine, FEA, use by dated investments in tree farming expansionism and the ultimate time wasting pulp mill exercise.
    Australia is no place for Pulp and papermaking, the industry has been moving offshore over the past 25 years, there is no point fussing about a Pulp Mill.
    The best we can do is to provide a woodchipping plant for export wood, that is why my #22 proposal would make some sense.
    Of cause the Aust $ needs to fall to make it viable!
    A business the size and expanse of Gunns should be a stand out for Tasmania.

    I would be surprised if Giddings and Hodgman would continue to cling to an outdated dinosaur, the Federal Govt could not be so stupid to show any support.

  37. William Boeder

    November 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    #22. Robin Halton.
    I would like to think that the land that Gunns Ltd had proposed for their dead in the water pulp-mill will remain in Tasmanian hands even if just Australian hands.
    I was of the mind that you had previously stated your opposition to the ongoing conversion of our Native Forests into bastard wood-chips when here you are pumping up this amalgamation of non-caring opportunistic wood-chipping wastrels to move to the former Gunns site for all to engage in their bastard export of wood-chips.
    Your principles flatter hither and thither like the wings of a disorientated butterfly, Robin.

    As for the comment of Basil Fitch, this man is right on the money with most all his comments forwarded toward articles up for discussion.
    Well done Basil do please keep up your contributions.
    Now for the Tasmanians who know nothing of Korda Mentha, these people are the liquidators of what remains of Gunns Ltd, they generally prefer to plot their actions hand in hand with PPB advisory, thus they between themselves are able to string out the liquidation and create the most formidable cost invoices known to mankind for their professional attendance.
    On a scale of 1-10 for the results obtained and in the most timely manner, this Korda Mentha crowd rate at the level of 1.
    The history of this entity, then of its dealings on behalf of Australia’s Big 4 Banks, there is a wealth of information about this pair of business operators, (Korda Mentha teamed up with PPB advisory) to be found in a great many articles featured in the Melbourne Age that provide the basis for my statements toward both of these sly slow bone-picking professionals, (that’s why the big 4 banks love this pair of operators.)
    The very mention of Korda Mentha by Basil Fitch and Frank Strie, stirred up my blood to the point that I felt it necessary to offer a few very important facts as are necessary to provide a window into the ethics and scruples of these big business bone-pickers. (Korda Mentha and PPB advisory.)
    At one time in the history of PPB advisory they and the people of ASIC were sharing personnel for the purposes of training and familiarization as was claimed at the time.
    It is appropriate here that I state that this pair of buzzard like professionals would sell off the entire assets of Australia if the price was suitable to them.
    So with the inclusion of a dodgy pulp-mill approval to flog-off, this would excite each of these operators who would send invitations to the far corners of this Earth where lay the all the pirate business enterprises suggesting that these undesirable make a bid for this permit and the land beneath it.
    So yes Frank, Korda Mentha have a great deal of experience in selling off bits of Australia to the lesser scrupled highest bidder.
    The ruinous effects of Gunns Ltd upon this State of Tasmania, even in this twilight time of this death rattle deceased are still costing this State quite dearly, even now the ongoing sale of whatever remains in their boneyard of dubious assets are still being fought over.
    So much for the legacy given to Tasmania from Gunns Ltd and their 2 glut-greedy boardroom prowlers, John Gay and Robin Gray, this pair has cost Tasmania more than can ever be truly calculated.
    Meanwhile the methods employed by both the aforementioned bone-pickers will see them pencilling-in even higher amounts additional to their invoices, to the point that their will be very little remaining for the small business debtors and the mum and dad shareholders, be they so foolish in the first instance as to offer their trust and their investment money to Guns Ltd.
    All so sad yet all so true.
    Do keep a sharp eye on Korda Mentha and PPB advisory when it is time for their costs to be apportioned to them from the Gunns Ltd completed sale of all its blighted carcass remnants.

  38. TGC

    November 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Go for it #34- nominate at the next opportunity- no-one wants “brainless bastards…increasing and spend(ing) our taxes” But we do want a government that will labour for the overall public good- and
    your place in a government of genuine political independents -whatever that might mean- should help ensure that.

  39. mike seabrook

    November 3, 2013 at 1:24 am

    should look at serious matters & trends

    1. power disconnections from unpaid bills
    2. population movements in & out & composition
    3. ageing of population
    4. newspaper circulations
    5. house prices
    6. electricity , gas & water prices in tasmania
    7. electricity kWh sold in tassie – commercial ,industrial, households
    8. benefit- cost of irrigation schemes – who pays-who benefits
    9. benefit-cost of education etc spending – who pays-who benefits
    10. benefit -cost of forestry etc spending – who pays-who benefits

  40. John Hawkins

    November 3, 2013 at 12:38 am

    If the Libs get in in SA the Feds will throw the book at Tasmania in March next year in order to get Hodgman elected.


    A Lib government in Tasmania will provide a small window of time in which all the Australian State Governments and the Feds will be Liberal.

    It is only under this exceptional circumstance that the Liberals can increase the GST for all states as they must all agree.

    The Liberal bribe to the voters in this State will be a Tasmanian Pulp Mill backed by federal money.

    If this gets them an increase in the GST the resulting billions into their spendthrift pockets will make it a cheap bribe at the price.

    A newly elected Tasmanian Labour government will put a block on their plans as they are then the odd one out at the GST party.

    They would be crucified if they supported an increase.

    The Libs prior to the election will deny and lie at every turn that they would ever contemplate increasing the GST.

    We must keep these brainless bastards honest and constrain their ability to increase and spend our taxes.


    What to do?

  41. Tim Thorne

    November 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Max (#32), the wood supply could come from World Heritage forests, but they’d have to hijack the FSC process if they want sales. This is not about jobs, nor about any other economic benefit. It is solely about the next State Election.

    I believe that the Liberal Party is perfectly happy to bankrupt Tasmania in order to get elected. Or, of course, they and Labor could both campaign on a platform of giving us a pulp mill whether we want one or not; whether the market wants one or not. After the election the pulp mill can be forgotten, along with the rest of the forestry industry.

    Forestry Tasmania will remain untouched as long as it performs its function of transforming public assets into private wealth.

  42. max

    November 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    No new MIS schemes on the horizon and highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. $5.5 million gift to Artec to speed up wood chipping and Gunns old chipper has reopened. By the time this pie in the sky mill could be up and running where would the wood supply come from. Even if they could find some one stupid enough to plant more trees there would till be a supply gap. Imported skilled workers to build it, imported skilled workers to run it and a hand full of low paid labourer and this is the only vision the lib labs have for our future, what future?

  43. Steve

    November 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I have to agree with Bob at #26.
    I’ve no problem with the Greens accepting ministerial positions. I’d class it as a courageous decision, but it was their decision to make.
    The reality is though, that there has to be a divorce before the election. Lara’s spruiking of the pulp mill would be an ideal trigger for the Greens to call her out.

  44. Shane Johnson

    November 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Nugget at #28 makes a terrific point.

    I would love to see an economic analysis of the effects if the massive electricity subsidies to the heavy industries were removed.

    Just what would pop up if small-scale operations had the benefit of cheaper energy?

  45. Tim Thorne

    November 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Why would any Chinese or other international company spend $4 billion on a pulp mill situated a long way from the prospective customers (remembering that the demand is falling rapidly, anyway) in a valley where the residents have proved that they will fight against it every step of the way?

    Why would they invest in a mill employing people on Australian wages when they could build the mill where people are paid peanuts?

    Why would they subject themselves to Australian environmental regulations when they could get away with more profitable despoliation in the Third World?

    Why, indeed, would an Australian consortium (if there was one with sufficient capital) do what no sensible foreigners would do?

    What has substantially changed to make this a more promising investment than it has been for the last seven years?

    To anyone who can satisfactorily answer the above questions, I say that using trees to make paper instead of durable timber products is immoral in the context of anthropogenic climate change, so even if you can make the economics stack up, the principles never will.

  46. Nugget Toombs

    November 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    And in Tasmania … you would substitute forestry industry for car industry …

    Alan Mitchell, AFR Weekend, Holden’s future: it’s about more than just (car) jobs…

    “But where do we find these clever ideas in the numbers required? They won’t come from the government’s innovation councils. And history tells us they are unlikely to emerge in significant numbers from the welfare mentality that pervades our government-assisted industries.

    They will come from all over the place … universities, private laboratories, back rooms and garages. And only the competitive market can find them.

    Governments can’t find them … but they can crush them. When governments favour one industry , as they have the car manufacturers, they suck resources away from other activities …

  47. William Boeder

    November 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    That this State has so many mind besotted and deluded wood-chip minded illiterates not only among its population, but in our political mind-benders is testament to the flaccid and fizzled state of Tasmania’s economy.
    Over the years of my attendance to this forum I have read of some magnificent suggested proposals put forward as alternative to logging the bejesus of what remains on our tiny island that could create higher State revenues than this present logging idiocy, (that would not degrade or diminish our Native Forests) but no, each of those proposals have been wholly ignored by our fatuous Lib/Lab ministers who cannot lift from their minds the non-profitable ongoing slaughter of our Native Forests.
    I have to say that there is a great lack of sound and sensible reasoning held in the minds of each and all that claim there can still be positives arising from the clear-fell bash-it-burn-it stupidity that yet prevails.

    George Harris, you are an educated man for goodness sake, surely you are more intelligent than you continue to display in your comments on Tasmanian Times?
    If it were not for this cut-it-down burn-it-up mentality that festers in the minds of Tasmania’s government ministers and the small number of logging beggars constantly at their door then there would not be anything at all that our Lib/Lab ministers could come up with as a new or alternative source of that which is now nothing more than pretending State revenues.

    As it stands at the present Forestry Tasmania still owe hundreds of millions of dollars to the
    treasury of this State, this inclines one to suggest that without the Forestry Tasmania GBE in Tasmania, this State would not have incurred such a formidably high amount of debt that will one day be cast upon the people of Tasmania.

    Of course twould only be natural for Tasmania’s Lib/Lab ministers to lay the blame for this outrageous amount of debt upon each of the State’s citizens, for they themselves would be believing that this was something that only the State’s people could have concocted, as this sort of outcome could not be associated with their own vague and vacuous actions of ignorant stupidity.

    This same stupidity of continuing the destruction of our Native Forests will quite simply and foolishly continue to add to the growing mountain of Forestry Tasmania’s ever-rising burden of needless debt upon this State of Tasmania.

    (This is not unlike Obama’s American economy, “just print more money and raise the debt ceiling that will fix every thing for now.”)

    This claim of mine here is based on the present operations, practices, plans, pursuits, purposes, and futures of this poorly directed loss making government business enterprise.)
    Even in the knowing of all the negatives of logging this State’s Native Forests by one and all, there will still be found those ‘foolishly deluded ministerial advocates’ talking up this excessive debt-creation industry of logging-bashing-burning our Native Forests.

    In plain English we may as well have 2 party’s of Mutton Birds serving as our ministers of the day as the equivalent to whatever benefit Tasmania derives from its current Lib/Lab party ministers.

  48. Bob Kendra

    November 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Giddings and Hodgman can only spruik the mill again because of the nod and wink from the Greens.

    IE, let Kim Booth mouth off, but the rest of the Greens won’t rock the boat.

    The Greens just keep on betting that the mill won’t get up, so therefore they can continue chasing rainbows: the cherished old growth reserves that will never be allowed by wall to wall Liberals.

    That, as ever, is the guiding principle for the Greens. Don’t rule out the pulp mill, or all hope for additional reserves will be lost.

    If this isn’t so, why isn’t McKim jumping up and down and screaming?

    Why isn’t McKim calling for a vote of no confidence? Surely, the renewed push for the mill from his coalition partner should be a step too far? – But his low key reaction is a nod and a wink to keep on spruiking the mill!

    What have the Greens got to lose by forcing an early election? The landslide to the Liberals in a couple of months is inevitable anyway. With the pulp mill back on the agenda the Greens will be blamed for kowtowing – unless they finally show some guts.

    Pissy protest words from Booth mean nothing without bold news-grabbing action from McKim and Milne that jumps on the new putsch for the mill.

  49. pilko

    November 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    There is a belief in both Liberal & Green circles that Giddings will attempt to use the pulp mill (support for public$$ money into the mill) to contrive a divorce from the Greens in the lead up to the election. I’m not convinced. But neither would it surprise me. We’ll see. Martin Ferguson’s Gunns Plantation/Farmers panel thingy report could be pivotal.

  50. Ted Mead

    November 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I’m still in shock coming to terms with Lara’s so called visionary statement of where Tasmania will be – come 2030. Lost for words to express myself in articulation I decided to revert to thesaurus.

    Somehow all the words there seemed apt!!

    1 you’ve acted like a complete fool: idiot, ass, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, moron, clod; informal nitwit, halfwit, dope, ninny, nincompoop, chump, dimwit, dingbat, dipstick, goober, coot, goon, dumbo, dummy, ditz, dumdum, fathead, numbskull, numbnuts, dunderhead, thickhead, airhead, flake, lamebrain, zombie, nerd, peabrain, birdbrain, jughead, jerk, donkey, twit, goat, dork, twerp, schmuck, bozo, boob, turkey, schlep, chowderhead, dumbhead, goofball, goof, goofus, galoot, lummox, klutz, putz, schlemiel, sap, meatball, dumb cluck.

    Say No More!

  51. Karl Stevens

    November 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

    The pulp mill will cost $4 billion. It was $3.5 billion when Gunns owned the land and trees.

  52. Robin Halton

    November 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

    #21 Basil Fitch. I consider it normal business practice to offer the former Gunns pulp mill site, their freehold land including plantation areas to receive expressions of interest by Mentha Korda.
    Gunns in receviership needs to be wound up now, so their is a clearer indication of what may happen within the forestry sector in the near future for Tasmania.

    I consider it highly unlikely a pulp mill will be built given the existing social upheavel but the site would be suitable as an export woodchipping plant by combining Artec, NS Products and the existing Gunns chipping plant, all operating from the one site which may be a worthy proposition to support both the native forest and euc plantation owners/managers to jointly move excess lower grade wood destined for offshore pulp mills.

    Because the native forest sawmillers and Ta Ann had their contracts for resource extended till 2026/27 these will be honoured along with the possible development of alternative woodchipping at the ex Gunns site for removal of lower grade forest products converted into woodchip for export.

    Apart from a most desirable influx of commercial use of standing plantation wood for conversion so at least private forest owners get some of their money back the remainder would come from native forests managed by FT.

    Under this scenario FT would continue with clearfell burn and sow operations until 2026/27.

    In the meanwhile areas under euc plantation would be subject to various management regimes, staged thinning, clearfell and conversion back to native forest or to agricultural land.

    Of cause many questions about the future ownership of the Gunns land and standing timber still remains, FIB policy ect!

    Will overseas buyers be allowed swoop into gain a footing for future settlement and commercial enterprise, will the Foreign Investment Board allow such transactions as an awareness of Australia’s soverignity is become more pronounced as Asia is keen to infiltrate “our neck of the woods”.

    The protection of ownership of Australian land is a priority before we have something worse than commercial indifferences with growing world powers in SE Asia such as China.
    Mr Abbott, Ms Giddings, Mr Hodgman. Mr Palmer and Ms Lambie please take note.

    I have no problem if Gunns standing timber is sold to an overseas buyer at a reasonable price, but not their land nor the establishment of a pulp mill based on the proposed Gunns monster model.

  53. Basil Fitch

    November 2, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Cannot believe the dredging up by Korda Mentha of the long ‘dead in the water’ pulp mill.

    One of our loyal TT contributors/legal eagles must have precedents available to prove the long ‘out of date’ major works, dams, numerous plans that had to be adhered to along the way, make this project null and void.

    #16 So much for Tony Mulder MLC and his FB comments to Hodgman- open your eyes Tony what was $2 billion 6 years ago would be $4 – 5 billion today to build, without your jibe of ‘both plantation and native forest residue’, as if?

    #about 50 was the figure to run a fully computerised mill, once completed. Entura put off 40 last week!

    Tas. timber (omitting World Heritage and Old Growth) would not withstand another 30 years of clear felling. That’s not even bringing into account the Aussie $ or price per tonne, etc, etc.
    Regrowth would not be fast enough, even if the markets were.

    The $ billions made (in Gunn’s hey day), not only by them but the Sawmillers, furniture makers, log truck contractors, drivers, sellers, mechanics, and flow on industries. Zilch to show for the unbridled destruction of our, yes our, the people of Tasmania, Not the Government, Not Gunn’s, TaANN, etc., yours and mine forests.

    FT is broke, but has received directly and indirectly, a figure now heading towards $3 billion in subsidies. How can anyone in their right mind allow it to continue, let alone support it? It appears those within the industry treat it, as a ‘right of entitlement’.

    All the time continuing to starve our Emergency Services, Health Education, Police etc., of finance.
    Bob Annells has a nerve to state FT must receive more funds.
    With our Budget a mess how will Lara and Green find this?

    Kim Booth is correct, if FT cannot make a profit it must be liquidated. Why should we keep being the suckers financially propping up everything forestry, again and again?

    There has been so much Liberal biased displayed in Tas. in the last 18 months,(leading up to Sept 7 Fed Election, cont. to State Election 2014) from the pro Lib LegCo.,Sam McQuestion and Co., Lettets to the Editor of Examiner by same writers 3-4 weekly. Not forgetting Editor Gilmore and deputy Prismall for their biased Editorials slating the Labor/Green Govt., worst I’ve read in my time.

    Andrew Nikolic(h) won without virtually having to say a word – I am still trying to work out his platform. Green’s Lucy Langdon-Lane at an ABC Forum tried to get answers concerning the ADF Abuse saga, and he went ape, demanding an apology until she reminded him of the Jennifer Jacob letter on his FB.

    As from Monday, start adding the cost from Abbott’s platform of cuts and roll-backs (Ned Kelly was hung for robbing rich to give to the poor!)

    I sympathise with the families of young children.

    Get ready for a 15% GST on everything – Abbott, Hockey and Bishop have said it, so save your dollars now for a rainy day. Basil

  54. Bonni hall

    November 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Re # 18 I don’t think that anyone asserted that there would be more jobs in the East Tamar region whilst the shadow of a Pulp Mill hung over them. It was ‘ as opposed to a Pulp Mill’.

  55. Frank Strie

    November 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Oh Lara Giddings, seriously – what do you know about best practice?
    The rotten process was setting the demise of the “big is beautiful” scenario in Tasmania.
    How can anyone still continue to hold Tasmania back from far better, creative business opportunities?
    The pulp direction is the last thing Tasmania needs and deserves. We should explore new, advanced industries that are about restoration practices in the commercial, social and environmental way of the future.
    The Oekoregion Kaindorf model would assist in many ways – but it seems easier to continue with more of the same cracked record from years gone by:
    …”‘I strongly support the construction of a pulp mill to value-add our extensive plantation resource and create jobs at a time when they are needed more than ever,’ Premier Giddings said in a statement.

    ‘If the pulp mill proceeds, it will be the single biggest capital investment in Tasmania’s history, it will generate significant employment and I am confident it will meet world’s best practice environmental standards.'”

    AS IF Lara, as if.
    Talk to Adriana Taylor MLC, she has done a lot of homework and listened to the people including just outside Andritz in Austria:

    “Harvesting forests widely and lightly, in a sustainable rotation, is the best way to ensure healthy forests and absorb the most solar energy and store the most carbon.”
    “Good business models that do not depend on ongoing subsidies are essential, even if a capital subsidy is needed to get started.”…
    … (No-one we talked to in Europe thought pulp mills were good future investments). -Page 13-

    But in Tasmania Lara and Peter still hang on to this same old down hill pathway.
    It is an insult actually, that is at least how I see it after having spend nearly 5 weeks on a fact finding study tour to explore creative opportunities for Tasmania.
    How about you call a meeting to learn something new for change?

  56. TGC

    November 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    It will be recalled that opponents of the pulp mill asserted that there were many more jobs without it than with it.
    Since which time unemployment has risen dramatically until Tasmania now-by far- the worst perfornming State on almost every economic statistic.
    How many new jobs on the East Tamar is the past 5 years?

  57. Peter LeBatchelor

    November 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    #2. minority government a tragedy for the timber industry.
    Well George, myself having worked several years in NZ Forest Service, lets take two words from Pete Godfrey ‘s post #4, Auspine and Frenchpine.

    Tell us all George.

  58. pilko

    November 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    From Facebook.

    Tony Mulder MLC on Will Hodgman’s FB page in response to Hodgmans pro pulp mill MR (1/11/2013)

    “What a gr8 outcome. Would state and fed libs think of buying the mill as equity partners, get it going using both plantation and native forest residue?”

    Is Mr Mulder serious or just brown nosing to his Liberal base on social media.

    Mr Mulder? Tell us more about your taxpayer funded $2B Pulp Mill.

  59. TGC

    November 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    The pulp mill licence on the market- Hope springs!

  60. Frank Strie

    November 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Why are some Tasmanians still so madly obsessed by a dream to have a giant monster mill that would, if ever constructed continue to lock the landscapes and water catchments into unsustainable short rotation tree cropping?
    What is it with these oversized – out of scale imaginations?
    All on borrowed money and ultimately subsidised to the hilt…

    What will it take Peter – how much longer do we have to live with this boring and stupid out-dated idea?
    Why do our children and theirs have to be burdened with such loss making facilities?
    Anyhow, there are much better alternatives but the promoters of the ex GUNNS plan appear to be unable / ignorant to best practice proposals that will actually stack up due to a triple bottom line approach.
    What will it take Herr Gutwein, tell us?

    So the article below indicates that the madness will still not go away until 2013.

    The latest links on ABC reported:
    Former Gunns pulp mill project on the market

    Video: Pulp mill project for sale (7pm TV News TAS)

    Aerial long shot of the former Gunns’ pulp mill site in Tasmania Photo: The permits, design and site for the pulp mill have been put up for sale. (ABC, Chook Brooks)

    Related Story: Pulp mill project sale delay

    Related Story: Gunns liquidator to sell timber plantations

    Related Story: Creditors liquidate former timber giant Gunns

    Map: Bell Bay 7253
    The receivers and managers of the collapsed Tasmanian timber company Gunns say there’s already international interest in the company’s assets, including the proposed pulp mill.

    Expressions of interest have opened for the Tasmanian forestry assets formerly owned by Gunns.

    They include the permits, design and project site for the Bell Bay pulp mill.

    There are also more than 175,000 hectares of land in northern Tasmania up for sale, as well as plantations and the forestry services business employing 150 people.

    Gunns was placed into administration in September last year.

    Bryan Webster, from receivers KordaMentha, prefers to keep the assets together, but says they could sell separately for a better price.

    He says there’s already been interest.

    “Obviously a fair bit of that has been from overseas, across the globe.”

    The Tasmanian Government and Opposition have welcomed the sale.

    ‘Flogging a dead horse’

    The Tasmanian Greens have accused Gunns’ receivers of trying to sell a pulp mill proposal that’s not viable.

    Greens spokesman Kim Booth says the pulp mill still doesn’t have a social license.

    “I don’t know whether KordaMentha have got any experience flogging dead horses but they’re about to get some if they try and sell that toxic project,” Mr Booth said.

    “Quite frankly, no one in their right mind would invest in that toxic project that was corruptly approved.”

    Expressions of interest for the assets close at the end of this year.-

    END of story.

  61. Ted Mead

    November 1, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Lara’s media release is just another pie in the sky, ambit claim with no substance. Look at her predictions for tourism. She says the 3 Capes Track will receive 1 million visitors over 15 years. That’s eight times the volume of what the Overland Track has ever received. Joke!!! – This loopy fiscal disaster which will cost about $70 million which will have no monetary return to the public coffers. This is indicative of why the state is sliding rapidly down the financial gurgler!!

  62. John Powell

    October 31, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    AKA, Peter Godfrey and John Hawkins have said it all. Except you and others like you sat idly by while FT and the CFPO trashed your specialty timbers through clear felling and residue burning and you did nothing to stop it. Shame, in my view!

  63. Simon Warriner

    October 31, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    re 7, Anyone with a half decent understanding of the principles of asymetric warfare and paper making knows you don’t need a massive campaign. Just one individual who knows their stuff and who understands how to use fear and greed.

    Ain’t ignorance a bitch, and ain’t those precious egos such a waste of time.

  64. Karl Stevens

    October 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    The fact Lara has never provided an alternate vision for Tasmania that’s any different to Will Hodgman’s is why in my view she deserves electoral pain. This idea goes down like a lead balloon in forums like this, and also in the Greens because they have hitched their wagon to Tasmanian Labor (IMHO). Lara is the enemy because she is the incumbent and when Will gets there he becomes the enemy with the same non-vision as Lara’s. This is easy to understand. Simply punish one lot of buffoons with the other lot of buffoons.

    Why haven’t Giddings, Hodgman or Gutwein ever suggested a national 3D printing hub on the pulp mill site fed with the national fibre optic backbone? The reason is because they are almost completely retarded in my view. The are playing to an uneducated electorate of hand-made imbeciles (IMHO) but now that game is over.

  65. Mike Adams

    October 31, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I have some regard for Lara Giddings; in interview she comes across as level headed and concerned.
    So why she has this blind spot about a pulp mill when overwhelmingly Tasmanians (except a small majority in a George Town ballot) rebuff the idea on economic, health and environmental grounds I fail to understand.

  66. Tim Thorne

    October 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    If Lara really believes that paper is part of the future, somebody should buy her a computer.

    If the Libs get into government and rip up the TFA (applauded by George, no doubt) will the Greens be blamed for that, too?

    What will be worth watching is whether the Abetz faction increases its numbers in the parliamentary Liberal Party next March.

  67. pilko

    October 31, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    As Lara continues to spruik the pulp mill (Lara’s strategy to manufacture a divorce from the Greens?) & the Pulp Mill goes on sale i’m sure we’ll see The Wilderness Society & Environment Tasmania all over the TV & radio sending out a strong message to potential buyers that any pulp mill buyer will be met with the Mother of all opposition campaigns.

    So reassuring to know your local environment organisations are on the front foot speaking up for the Tasmanian environment

  68. John Hawkins

    October 31, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    #2,George Harris.

    Your anti Green rants are misplaced and do you no credit.

    Your Industry is bankrupt entirely of its own volition.

    The incompetence portrayed by Gunns and Forestry Tasmania in exploiting a free asset, the people’s Tasmanian Forests for no profit hence their bankruptcy is mind blowing beyond belief.

    The Greens are hated by your ilk because they can call the Lib/Labs to account when and if they hold the balance of power.

    Your bleats are merely a weak excuse to deprecate this wonderful fact.

    The incompetent fools put up by the ‘mates’ are nowt but electoral dross. As a result both major Party’s need to be held to account so that they cannot ride roughshod over the voters with majority power.

    The Lib/Labs hate this control over their absolute power, hence they like you denigrate the Greens or anyone who stands in their path.

    It does not matter the political persuasion of those who hold the balance of power but someone must act as a check over the Lib/Labs until they learn to put up candidates with some merit.

    If the Lib/Labs did not consistently act against the interests of those who elect them we would have in this State an Independent Commission Against Corruption and a Royal Commission into your Forest Industry.

    The Labour Party is a sitting and corrupt duck and the Liberals who are an opposition have never exposed this corruption, how can this be?

    Until you provide us with good candidates the Greens and or Independents need to be powerful to force a solution on you and your mates.

    The people have only the Greens or Independents to give us any form of control over the dross that you nominate for us to elect.

  69. pilko

    October 31, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    George the Timber Industry was a tragedy long before the Greens formed a minority govt. A tragedy Tasmania can no longer afford to support. xx

  70. Pete Godfrey

    October 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    #2 George you must be a U.S citizen. You have a curious knack of being able to hold two opposing points of view at the same time and not see the conflict.
    From what you have written here, you don’t support the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, you have said that you have actively lobbied against it and the inclusion of more land in reserves. Yet somehow you are against the ENGO’s being against the agreement.
    It appears that you and the ENGO’s are actually in agreement. Now isn’t that a turn up for the cards.
    It was not the Greens or ENGO’s that ruined the timber industry, it was the head of Gunns ltd, MIS schemes and stupid politicians who backed the MIS schemes and the Pulp Mill.
    You really need to learn to lay the blame where it sits.
    John Gay and Paul Lennon stuffed the industry. They managed to destroy Auspine, Frenchpine, the plantation Pine industry in Tasmania and cover thousands of hectares of productive land with stupid trees that are useless.
    Timber Communities Australia stood by and applauded all of the above, they could see nothing wrong with turning all our valuable forests into low value woodchips.
    Now you get to see the results.
    And somehow you aren’t happy. Sorry George, you did everything you could to facilitate the destruction of our forests and now complain.

  71. Simon Warriner

    October 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    And so many Tasmanian farms will be transferred from private to corporate ownership. I may have got the route slightly wrong but my original claim that the MIS journey was all about the aggregating of privately, locally held into large corporate holdings was spot on. Who will buy it next? The Chinese Government?

    The MIS exercise has stripped local autonomy from Tasmanians and we will pay a huge price for this.

  72. George Harris

    October 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    They can say what they like about minority government, but it has been a tragedy for the timber industry. You cannot separate the parliamentary Greens from the broader green movement (that is, without causing a split, and that has just about happened)and the broader green movement has continued on its path against the timber industry. Even as I write, elements of the ENGO’s are being obstructive and undermining the TFA, and the impact on all sectors of the industry is such that most in the industry who supported Labor in the past will abandon it at the ballot box in March or whenever. So without timber industry support, I don’t believe there are enough other positives out there to help drag the current government over the line, even with the Greens. Meanwhile, overseas interests are believed to be hovering over the Gunn’s assests. See here: http://www.fridayoffcuts.com/index.cfm?id=551#8

  73. john hayward

    October 31, 2013 at 11:52 am

    You can hardly expect what is probably the most conservative government in Australian history to lift more than a middle finger for environmental protestors against a fellow reactionary regime.

    The Abbott Gummint has already flagged its contempt for an independent legal system with the flouting of legal principles in Can-do’s ad hoc bikie legislation and of international refugee law.

    If ever the lack of a Bill of Rights will bite us, it will likely be under this Gummint.

    John Hayward

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