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

SHOCKER: Will Minister Harriss outlast FT?

*Pic: Hydrowood …

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The buck stops here … Minister Harriss with his boss, Premier Will Hodgman …

Resources Minister Paul Harriss’ performance at Forestry Tasmania’s scrutiny hearing last Friday will do little to muffle calls for his removal.

It was a shocker.

A bad day was assured when Mr Harris’ opening address referred to 470,000 tonnes of peelers being supplied to Ta Ann for 2014/15.

What?

The actual figure was 144,000 tonnes just below the contracted amount.

How could a Minister get it so wrong?

How could a Minister with the lightest load in Cabinet make such a mistake reading from a prepared statement?

The Minister again talked about the massive turn around in ‘comprehensive income’ from a loss of $43 million in 2013/14 to a profit of $31.7 million, shown elsewhere to be a mirage.

A few minutes later Chairman Annells corrected the record:

“It shows a remarkable turnaround…….. from the board’s point of view, it is interesting,……. but does it have any real significance? None whatsoever.”

Mr Finch then asked about FT undercutting private forest growers and whether this was a breach of national competition policy.

Mr Harriss was either way out of his depth or opted to feign ignorance.

The Chair Mrs Taylor, Member for Elwick chipped in:

“CHAIR – That is related to the question isn’t it? If Forestry Tasmania will sell it at a cheaper price, they are going to buy it from Forestry Tasmania as opposed to buying it from a private land owner?

Mr HARRISS- Forestry Tasmania operates in that commercial environment just like any other role.

Mr DEAN – We have previously heard that they were not recovering sufficient from their sales to cover all of their costs.

Mr HARRISS- No, we heard earlier today, based on the detail reality from the annual report, that it is a positive. We heard that two or three times during the day.

Mr DEAN – But we heard also from the chairman that the cost recovery for the product you are selling is not sufficient to cover all of the costs that are related to that business of selling the timber, getting it to the areas and so on.

Mr HARRISS- That is the nature of getting Forestry Tasmania’s commercial operations onto a sustainable footing for the future.

Mr DEAN – That adds to this issue.”

Then came the piece de resistance from Mr Harriss:

“Forestry Tasmania operates clearly in that commercial market space without any advantage over private growers. … I do not know whether Bob or Steve have anything to add to that. I do not accept that Forestry Tasmania participates against national competition processes.”

Neither Mr Annells nor Mr Whiteley (FT MD) offered to save Mr Harriss.

It was plainly a ridiculous assertion to say that that FT being propped up by the government doesn’t provide advantages to FT contrary to national competition policy. After all that’s why they’re ceasing the export of woodchips?

Mrs Armitage, member for Launceston, quizzed FT guys about their remuneration packages.

Her questions were misdirected.

She should’ve asked the Minister whether he deserved his Ministerial salary after such an inept performance.

Read the full, brilliant analysis, Tasfintalk, HERE

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: It appears that the transition from sitting in the Legislative Council waffling to being a minister in charge of making a turd like FT shiny is not as simple as the minister is …

• John Maddock in Comments: I was astonished to hear Leon Compton interview the Minister this morning, ask about special species supply and not bring Hydrowood into the discussion. It’s been on ABC TV and in Mercury, and is highly relevant coz Hydrowood plans to salvage 30,000t of special species. Compare this with FT’s sales last year of 11,000t. As Gordon Bradbury correctly points out in his blackwoodgrowers blog, the special species prices will be affected. Why is Harriss (and Compton, for that matter) still talking of getting into the reserves? FT might as well give up now and save us all a lot of money. BTW the first Hydrowood tender closes today (8/12/2015). Go to the Island Specialty Timbers site for details.

Paul Harriss: Green with Envy: Bryan Admits Libs are Better

ABC: Forest contractors call for insolvency law changes in latest shot in Gunns liquidation

Ross Hampton, Mercury Talking Point: Our forestry good for world climate

• Robin Charles Halton in Comments: … I am pro forestry but I also like to look at it from a realistic point of view, in my opinion Minister Harriss is only trying to protect his political agenda and is unable to accept the economic issues and fails to want to discuss the technical issues of forestry. Not good enough Mr Harriss!

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• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: For what it is worth you can read my review of the GBE transcripts regarding special timbers HERE Not one worthy question from an MLC. Certainly not one worthy answer from FT! Can anyone estimate what those 12 people cost the Tasmanian taxpayer for their 3.5 hours of nonsense? • See my review of the first Hydrowood tender results: HERE At $180,000 per hectare is anyone interested in blackwood as a commercial opportunity? Cheers! Review extract: Why aren’t Tasmanian farmers interested? Why isn’t the TFGA interested? Why isn’t the Government supporting this obvious commercial opportunity?

• Tasmanian blackwood sawlogs at $625 per cubic metre!
Posted on December 11, 2015 by Gordon Blackwood

Ring the bells! Break out the champagne!!

The first Hydrowood tender results were much better than I was expecting.

First Hydrowood Tender

The 17.7 cubic metres (13 logs) of plain grain blackwood logs sold for an average of $625 per cubic metre mill door.

These were large good quality logs equivalent in size and quality to what can be grown in a well managed blackwood plantation.

The 3 feature grain blackwood logs sold for $547 per cubic metre.

So that’s $13,100 for one truck load (21.4 cubic metres) of blackwood logs.

At $625 per cubic metre a mature blackwood plantation has a mill door value of $180,000 per hectare!

Why aren’t Tasmanian farmers interested? Why isn’t the TFGA interested? Why isn’t the Government supporting this obvious commercial opportunity?

The standout feature of this tender was the price paid for good quality celery top pine logs at $2,846 per cubic metre. This price far exceeds any price that Island Specialty Timbers have achieved for Celery logs.

The results of this first Hydrowood tender clearly demonstrate that the market is prepared to pay very good prices for high quality special timbers logs.

All up the 35 cubic metres (38 logs) of high quality logs at this first Hydrowood tender fetched over $30,000!!

Congratulations to the Hydrowood team!

The Hydrowood tender results are going to show the lies and deceit of State forest policy as expressed at the recent LC scrutiny committee meeting.

Legislative Council GBE Oversight Committee 2015 – Forestry Tasmania

The Government and Forestry Tasmania say that growing special timbers can never be a profitable commercial business because the market can’t afford to pay good prices! That the special timbers industry is a community service and has nothing to do with commercial opportunities.

What pathetic lies!

No one is going to invest in planting Celery top pine, Huon pine, Myrtle or Sassafras for wood production. These species are just too slow growing.

Blackwood however is fast growing and can be grown successfully in commercial plantations. Research in Australia and New Zealand has proven that speed of growth does not negatively impact on wood quality in Tasmanian blackwood.

A second tender of Hydrowood logs and milled logs will commence in late January. To discover more about this innovative venture go to http://www.hydrowood.com.au.

Now who is interested in creating and supporting a profitable sustainable future for our special timbers industry?

• PB in Comments: The Hydrowood tender results have comprehensively exposed Forestry’s Tasmania’s special species timber strategy to be a scam comprising the transfer of our highly valued public forests to preferred customers at mates rates resulting in multi-million dollar losses to the public.Forestry Tasmania’s last available publicly reported figures from 2013-14 show that 9,199 m3 of special species timbers was sold for a value of $1,214,268 which equates to a paltry $132 / m3. By comparison the Hydrowood tender results show that 36 of the 38 special species logs were sold with top prices for logs or milled slabs as follows:

• Gordon Blackwood in Comments: PB (#32/33) you are absolutely correct! The same logic applies to everything FT does …. crony capitalism as only Tasmania knows how!!! And the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and most of the MLCs all support this travesty. Just what is it about Tasmania? We seem to have some kind of cultural malaise. A Centrelink mentality that goes all the way back to 1804. We are still in colonial/commissariat mode.

• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Compare Hydrowood’s figures to the magnificient prices FT manage to get for special species timbers: 2008/9 $116 per cubic metre; 2009/10 $120 per cubic metre; 2010/11 $124 per cubic metre; 2011/12 $128 per cubic metre; 2012/13 $128 per cubic metre. Their business acumen is there for all to see.

• Frank again: To be frank – all this is nothing new and I am no longer surprised of all this. I recall my suggestions about timber grading and market approach from near 3 decades ago. Not what anyone was interested … The top priced log a just over 3m3 Sycamore log in Switzerland fetched on the landing ~$42,000 in Feb. 1998. Prior to moving under Down Under to Tasmania one of my duties for a few (6) years was to set up the annual high quality log auctions – the contrast to what I witnessed in Tassie could not be more extreme. Waste? No one in leadership position ever cared in this (our) ‘spoiled lucky’ island community below the lucky country. That still is and was the reality… What Tasmania’s future should be is nothing short of “Comprehensive Restoration Management”.

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Karl Stevens

    January 6, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Frank again. Those individuals are not holding their heads in shame. They are hanging-out in the institute of foresters of Australia which is hiding inside the social chamber of FSC Australia.
    In my view the institute of foresters is actually the ‘institute of saw chain sharpeners of Australia’.
    Apparently there is even ‘unexplained wealth’ involved. At least they have a few greens on side.

  2. Frank again

    January 6, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Latest update with images from recent HQ Log HQ Timber Submission in Germany:
    http://www.getlinkyoutube.com/watch?v=m3jVnEd3xCU

    Notice something in the presentation?
    The preparation of this project is planned in detail.
    The prime reason – every individual item, every individual log counts due to quality, appreciation of value and rarity.
    Yes, I know by now, Tasmanians had it very easy for very long, too much of everything.
    The 1997 Forestry Growth Plan post RFA was the killer move, and all these individuals involved in the short lived frenzy can hold their heads in shame.

    Just to be frank again in 2016

  3. Frank again

    December 11, 2015 at 2:29 am

    To be frank – all this is nothing new and I am no longer surprised of all this.
    I recall my suggestions about timber grading and market approach from near 3 decades ago.
    Not what anyone was interested …
    The top priced log a just over 3m3 Sycamore log in Switzerland fetched on the landing ~$42,000 in Feb. 1998.
    Prior to moving under Down Under to Tasmania one of my duties for a few (6) years was to set up the annual high quality log auctions – the contrast to what I witnessed in Tassie could not be more extreme.
    Waste?
    No one in leadership position ever cared in this (our) ‘spoiled lucky’ island community below the lucky country.
    That still is and was the reality…
    What Tasmania’s future should be is nothing short of “Comprehensive Restoration Management”.

  4. Pete Godfrey

    December 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Compare Hydrowoods figures to the magnificient prices FT manage to get for special species timbers.
    2008/9 $116 per cubic metre
    2009/10 $120 per cubic metre
    2010/11 $124 per cubic metre
    2011/12 $128 per cubic metre
    2012/13 $128 per cubic metre.

    Their business acumen is there for all to see.
    No wonder some of the cheerleaders of FT who work with minor species are so happy.

  5. Pete Godfrey

    December 10, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    PB there is a strange discrepancy in the prices achieved. It is odd that plain grain blackwood got a better price than figured blackwood.
    The price that figured blackwood sells as musical instrument timber far exceeds plain blackwood prices. I would have expected the figured wood to be much dearer.
    Still it is good to see prices achieved for the other timber that reflects the value of the timber.
    Once timbers like Myrtle, Celery and Blackheart Sassafras are milled and made into lining or flooring timbers they sell for over $3500 a cubic metre, of did when I was working in a timber yard over 10 years ago.
    Someohow though FT seem unable to charge the true value for the wood, that could be also that they are required for political reasons to supply it at mates rates.

  6. Gordon Bradbury

    December 10, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    PB (#32/33) you are absolutely correct! The same logic applies to everything FT does….crony capitalism as only Tasmania knows how!!!

    And the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and most of the MLCs all support this travesty.

    Just what is it about Tasmania? We seem to have some kind of cultural malaise. A Centrelink mentality that goes all the way back to 1804.

    We are still in colonial/commissariat mode.

  7. PB

    December 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Continued

    It has been forecast that up to 80,000 m3 of special species timbers may be recovered from Lake Pieman alone proving that the State Government’s bid to log our World Heritage Wilderness Area is based on a monumental web of deceit and lies to the public and UNESCO.

    http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2015/s4356988.htm

    Forestry Tasmania has refused to publish the values (sic) generated from wood production in its latest Annual Report claiming exemption due to commercial in-confidence in an arrogant bid to conceal the truth behind its loss-making operations. This deceitful and loss-making organisation is an ongoing public liability and should be wound up at the first opportunity.

  8. PB

    December 10, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    The Hydrowood tender results have comprehensively exposed Forestry’s Tasmania’s special species timber strategy to be a scam comprising the transfer of our highly valued public forests to preferred customers at mates rates resulting in multi-million dollar losses to the public.

    Forestry Tasmania’s last available publicly reported figures from 2013-14 show that 9,199 m3 of special species timbers was sold for a value of $1,214,268 which equates to a paltry $132 / m3.

    http://cdn.forestrytasmania.com.au/assets/0000/1197/wood_volume_value_summary_2013_14.pdf

    By comparison the Hydrowood tender results show that 36 of the 38 special species logs were sold with top prices for logs or milled slabs as follows:

    Sassafras with black-heart $1,324 / m3;
    Sassafras with plain/green colour $870 / m3;
    Celery-top pine $2,846 / m3;
    Myrtle $941 / m3;
    Blackwood $625 / m3 and Blackwood with light fiddle-back grain, $547 / m3.

    http://www.islandspecialtytimbers.com.au/shops/ist

    To be continued

  9. Gordon Bradbury

    December 10, 2015 at 11:59 am

    See my review of the first Hydrowood tender results:

    http://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2015/12/11/tasmanian-blackwood-sawlogs-at-625-per-cubic-metre/

    At $180,000 per hectare is anyone interested in blackwood as a commercial opportunity?

    Cheers!

  10. jack lumber

    December 9, 2015 at 11:08 am

    john
    I think in the GBE scrutiny the value of the subsidy and volume moved was provided .That would be used to determine $/GMT . Sawnill residue was approx. 15k and logs 190kGMT Each log would have a weight of say av 2.7GMT

    The rest is just simple maths and there you have it an estimated based on information publically available
    But john the subsidy in a nutshell can be used to explain the differences and the issues we share

    I regret that without the subsidy the timber would be just lying insitu wasted . No matter what your thoughts are, a deal was a deal viz the TFA and 137KGMT of sawlog is required and there is always a % that is pulpwood ( looking forward to the howls and usual banter but for once can we consider just parking it )

    So what to do

    1 stop . well sorry to remind all of an inconvenient truth ,there has been an agreement based on science and politics , that the forestry industry can continue in Tasmania , at a reduced volume and additional forest will change tenure and be excluded ( temp or permanently) from harvesting .

    2waste it … what who wants that

    3 or look at recovering volumes . FT contractors are not overpriced …its the FT HO OH and ridiculous export pricing that kills it . Sold for cashflow and some the scrutiny committee also flagged some other arrangements which seemed to take a toll on FT

    4 find a way to use in tas or export from the south

    I did not agree with the TFA but rules of the game as we stand today where made by ENGOs , Govt , industry . Yes some stakeholders felt aggrieved , but get over it get on with it and participate and if you don’t get 100% of what you ask , it is not “corruption” ( apologies John had to have a dig 🙂 )

    It really is that simple . Unless you don’t want any harvesting of any natural forest period .
    Jack

  11. John Hawkins

    December 8, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Perhaps Annells will let us know how much is paid in subsidy to each truck journey with a load of split logs taken to the chipper from our FT clear felled State Forests.

    Without this subsidy running at $11 million? per annum paid by the State Government from our taxes the forests would still be standing.

    What say you Lumber and Halton any ideas?

  12. Karl Stevens

    December 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Bob Annells may be astute but he’s not powerful enough to shut-down Google Maps. They show the pock-marked ‘acne’ landscapes of areas such as the upper Huon Valley or around Guildford east of the Murchison Highway.
    What sort of demented, half-wit would call this mess ‘forestry’?

    Not only are the out of control, ideological bozos doing this at a loss, but they are raping the island for our grand children.

    I seriously, honestly believe they should be deported all the way back to horrible, flooded England to let us Aussies reclaim our continent.

    Already we have seen their unholy, stinking alliance with the $un1 Malaysian palm oil cowboys, who are chomping their way thru an entire generation of young Tasmanian eucalyptus.

    Then there is the issue of ‘forest residues’.

    A forest has ‘residues’? What sort of illiterate, slow learner thinks a forest has ‘residues’? A forest converts everything into soil eventually and we don’t need to ship our soil to Asia in the form of woodchips just to appease some Communists and religious extremists.

  13. Robin Charles Halton

    December 8, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    #26 jack, thanks for your reply, I managed to pick up the link via Gordon Bradbury’s #25.

    A bit of extended bedtime reading tonight to get to the bottom of all this as I prefer to see FT with a plan to at least stay viable.

    Cheers from RCH.

  14. jack lumber

    December 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    re 24 yes RCH I retried and it no longer links . Will leave it to others to guess why .

  15. Gordon Bradbury

    December 8, 2015 at 11:58 am

    For what it is worth you can read my review of the GBE transcripts regarding special timbers here:

    http://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2015/12/09/legislative-council-gbe-oversight-committee-2015-forestry-tasmania/

    Not one worthy question from an MLC. Certainly not one worthy answer from FT!

    Can anyone estimate what those 12 people cost the Tasmanian taxpayer for their 3.5 hours of nonsense?

  16. Robin Charles Halton

    December 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

    #4 Jack Lumber, thanks for providing the parliamentary site, I read it once yesterday but find I cannot recover the forestry meeting to read it again to make heads or tails of what is actually being said.

    Plenty of forestry stuff from the early 1990’s but cant find the latest info.

    Has the latest information been removed as some of the meeting seems to show up Bob Annells dominance over the meeting especially over the head of Minister Harriss who appears to be dragging his feet.

    Its a complex issue, a vast headache for our economy in money generating terms and should remain open for ongoing discussion.

    The Greens are of no help what so ever as they want to see the back of native forest harvesting altogether, while some of their ideas are worth considering their underlying tone is destructive for both native forests and plantations.

    Leading up to 2026/27 end of current term of sawlog and peeler contracts will most likely see an acute shortage of regrowth forests to supply these products beyond that period.

    Run down of resource is occuring especially with sawlog as peeler logs continue to be harvested from younger and younger regrowth forests at the expense of generating sawlog over a longer period.

    The transition from native forests to eucalypt plantation remains in doubt as peelers max 70cm diam are too knotty and the pruned stands could be still too young for sawlog.

    30 years may not be enough, could have to wait for about 60 years of age as the timber properties shows signs of maturity producing a recovery of stable sawn timber.

    I am pro forestry but I also like to look at it from a realistic point of view, in my opinion Minister Harriss is only trying to protect his political agenda and is unable to accept the economic issues and fails to want to discuss the technical issues of forestry.

    Not good enough Mr Harriss!

  17. Simon Warriner

    December 8, 2015 at 12:45 am

    re 19

    Designing a solution begins with identifying the real problem. The primary symptom is poor political leadership which engenders the litany of secondary symptoms Peter Bright samples in #10. Looking at the political leadership over time it is clear that the lack of performance is not limited to any single party, but is apparent to greater or lesser degrees in all parties all of the time. So the problem must be inherent in the nature of political parties.

    Short-cutting past a lot of previous discussion my take on it is that the requirement to conflict ones interest between party dictates and constituents concerns limits the available pool of party candidates for the role of elected representative to individuals who either don’t understand or are prepared to tolerate conflicted interests.

    As any competent manager knows, conflicted interests generate bad decisions, poor policy and woeful performance. They are an anathema to good governance and sound government.

    We could disrupt the party political paradigm by generating an organisational model that promoted the value and virtue of independent representatives and highlighted the flaws inherent in party political representation without that organisation having any policy position of its own other than the leveling of the electoral playing field. That way the independence of the elected reps is not threatened or compromised, or become a stalking horse for ideological objectives.

    Would that attract better quality players onto the political field and into government? Who knows, but given past performance of the current model can it do worse? At least it would focus some attention on the woeful quality of some party offerings, and the value that model really delivers.

    As for whether I would be a contender for a representative role, who knows. I do suspect I could scarcely do worse than some, past and present. At least I think the search for the greatest common good should be a collaborative effort involving all representatives and not a sham designed to grease the passage of the latest edict from the party sponsors.

    Whether that is what the electorate wants, only time will tell.

  18. Ted Mead

    December 7, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    John – I just read the article again

    Your first line about -Muffling the calls for his removal?
    One wonders if there is such a call?
    Who would replace him?
    Who would want the disposition of defending FT to be a viable and futuristic profitable entity.
    It is unlikely to be a highly sought after ministerial assignment.
    An unwilling position that would decimate any perception of one’s political competence.
    If ever there was a poisoned chalice of all time then this would be it.

  19. Steve

    December 7, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    #16; It’s a problem with no answer Simon.
    My opinon is that we are seeing evolution at work. A politician’s prime objective is to be re-elected. Traditionally they thought the best way to do this was to be honest, competent at their jobs, serve their electorate well and the votes would roll in.
    It is now becoming apparent that the above exertions are not really necessary, all that is required is to appear to have the above virtues, and then only at election time.
    It could even be argued that being useless is actually of benefit. Machiavelli put the case many years ago regarding the perils of introducing change, but whatever the reasons are, it’s becoming very obvious that the political animal is adapting to suit its environment.

  20. TGC

    December 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    #19 and as they wouldn’t be able to come up with any alternatives they would-presumably – nominate themselves to be the government.

    That would then produce another Tasmanian Times team highly critical of the no-hopers (brain dead?) who have just nominated themselves as the government.

  21. Peter Bright

    December 7, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Simon Warriner at #16 would have preferred that I additionally offered solutions to this state’s hideously incestuous and therefore corrupted practices so grossly disguised as Tasmanian democracy which I outlined somewhat graphically in post #10.

    Having outlined the problem the big challenge now, as Simon says, is to devise remedies.

    I have little to suggest here that the Editor would dare publish – other than to propose comprehensive intelligence, capability and integrity tests for all candidates seeking high office, and with the results made public.

    I’d therefore like to put the honorable and challenging task of devising solutions onto the many wonderfully intelligent, focused, humane, capable, experienced and wise contributors and commenters here in this superb forum called Tasmanian Times.

  22. Ted Mead

    December 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    It was somewhat painful to listen to Paul Harriss and Brian Green on ABC radio this morning.

    Harriss’s monosyllable waffle was barely comprehendible, though he did admit the specialty timber supply could come from other areas outside the WHA, and that the government will abide by the WHC’s recommendations if they oppose the Tas Liberal Governments requests to log in the reserves.

    Brian Green was as slippery as usual, though he did state that FT was in a “parlous state” and should have been looking at marketing their resources in the past rather than just being a supplier.

    Too little too late Brian –
    All the Kings Horses won’t save them now!
    The end is neigh as the last of the family silver is about to sold off

    They have finally reached the point of no return, though it may take another year or so for FT to go under.

    I’ve been dreaming about this day for 30 years and the celebration cold bottle of bubbly will be there waiting for that remarkable moment!!!

  23. Pete Godfrey

    December 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Claire is that the same Ross Hampton media adviser to Minister of Defence in the Howard government who brought us the Children Overboard bullshit?
    And somehow we are supposed to believe him again, not likely. Never read so much twaddle.

  24. Simon Warriner

    December 7, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Its a masterful statement outlining the problem, Peter, but you miss the questions that are begging to be answered?

    How do we fix this?

    What would happen if an attempt was made to counter the propaganda and educate the public?

    How might we go about doing that?

    Would decent people run for office if they could avoid party politics?

    Is anyone prepared to get off their arse and make it happen?

    And corruption has become endemic, and is now expected by those of us who have experienced the systemic failures that come with it.

  25. John Day

    December 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    # 10- Peter. I totally agree with you.
    That s why I will not be ticking a box for anybody that I do not respect and value.
    Except for the money and entitlements, why would anyone stand for Parliament, knowing that you would; with a few exceptions have to deal with the likes of people like Harriss. Toe a party line when you know that will not address an issue. Support a media statement that is plainly just spin and hype. Together with a system that does not represent the average voter, their family or the community.

    #ABC: Forest contractors call for insolvency law changes in latest shot in Gunns liquidation.

    If PPS Advisory claim that the forest contractors and industry have to pay back money paid preferentially by Gunns Limited while insolvent. Surely they should be going after the directors of Gunns Limited, for trading while insolvent?

  26. Mike Bolan

    December 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    #10 Oh dear!

  27. john hayward

    December 7, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Where else would a person of Paul’s intellect and character be headhunted and catapulted into a major ministry?

    His natural immunity to both shame and embarrassment is a godsend to a ministry whose conventional financial losses are a vital distraction from the unredeemed damage it does to tourist amenity, public health, and environmental capital.

    If Paul didn’t exist, it would be too late for Jonathan Swift to invent him.

    John Hayward

  28. Claire Gilmour

    December 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    But I’ll let you loose for the Tassie devils and tigers to consume … good luck!

    Talking Point: Our forestry good for world climate
    December 8, 2015 12:00am
    Ross Hampton Mercury

    THERE’S a simple message the scientists advising the climate change talks in Paris would have for those interested in forestry in Tasmania – if you really care about the climate, back forestry.

    That’s a summary of their sentiment anyway.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group of hundreds of scientists who provide the highest level advice to governments, spelt it out in their fourth assessment.

    They said: “A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”

    So that’s the inconvenient truth for those who, for various reasons, are not yet fans of our state’s sustainable natural forest operations.

    The forestry challenge being discussed in Paris right now is all about stopping deforestation, not forestry.

    I would be happy to join those marching to demand that we halt the wholesale clearing of forests in less-regulated countries for illegal timber-getting or the massive burning which we see every year as more jungle is cleared for other crops.
    These activities are enormous contributors to global greenhouse emissions.

    According to the United Nations, 12 million hectares of forest is destroyed each year in this way – responsible for roughly 11 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    But the key thing to understand is this is not happening in Australia.

    Forestry certification schemes are a shorthand way to prove that.

    Working forests are the lifesaver of our generation.

    Here we have two globally recognised schemes – the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Australian Forestry Standard (AFS which sits under the PEFC umbrella).

    You cannot get either of these very onerous ticks if you are not operating in a sustainable manner – that is replanting or resowing after you harvest at a minimum.

    All the major forestry operators in Australia have one or both of these certifications – 90 per cent of the world’s forests have neither.

    You might not realise actually just how embedded sustainability is in our Australian industry.
    Across the country we plant 40 million seedlings each and every winter in our plantations and, when it comes to the native forestry sector, the resowing adds another 20-odd million young trees to that tally. What could be more sustainable than that?

    Our research shows by the way, that for Australians this is the key message that matters. The question they most want to hear the answer to is whether we replant as well as harvest. The answer is an unequivocal “yes”.

    And if carbon sequestration still has not convinced you that forestry is our greenest sector, how about sustainable resource production?

    We should be incredibly proud of our forestry operations in Tasmania.

    The Worldwide Fund for Nature issued a worldwide call to arms recently in the form of the “triple-planet crisis” it says is coming at us like a train.

    WWF has done the maths and says, based on the current scale of the use of resources, by the time we get to 2050 and we are trying to house, feed and clothe 9.5 billion of us we would need three planets worth of inputs.

    It is obvious that that just will not work. One of the answers is of course to focus much more on delivering our necessities of life from renewable stocks (being careful to never push so far that they are not sustainable).

    Working forests are the lifesaver of our generation in this regard.

    Not only are we able to turn back to traditional timber as a primary building stock (and there are many derivatives which allow us to gain even more from less material) but the whole world of the bio-economy in fuels, plastics, solvents, chemicals and more is providing a renewable alternative to fossil fuel based products.

    Finally, there is the social and environmental goods which come from forestry. These managed forests are great for recreation and tourism. And because they are looked after by forestry fire crews, who have access through well maintained fire trails, our health and safety is far more assured than would otherwise be the case.
    We should be incredibly proud of our forestry operations in Tasmania.

    Done well, they are a vital part of our shared future and an inspirational success story to the global leaders in Paris who have few such unambiguous win/wins to hand.

    Ross Hampton is chief executive of Australian Forest Products Association.

  29. Claire Gilmour

    December 7, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-our-forestry-good-for-world-climate/news-story/000bdc102b8948aba7a6360086e9eed5

    Inconvenient truth indeed … blind trying to lead the blind … brings us back to the days of their so called “Worlds best practice forestry” which was a load of crap and lies.

    FT DOESN’T have a FSC tick of approval.

    If I’d backed forestry like you said I should have, I wouldn’t have a home now …

    A lifesaver indeed! Your FT ‘heros’ destroy the wet environment to plant water sucking, poison and burning requiring pulp trees which contribute to burning the state and people’s properties to the ground!!!

    You’re a burning, poisoning, native forest/animal/environment and people property trashing enterprise. The only way you guys are going to get a social and environmental license to continue to do so is by buying out political parties …

    People and state, (and will more so in the future) earn more on the back of exposing such forestry lies than such lack of integrity will EVER earn the state.

  30. Peter Bright

    December 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Mike Bolan at #5 wonders why we put unskilled individuals into ministerial positions that require understanding and competence. I’ve increasingly wondered why there’s so much damnable incompetence myself.

    Well Mike, the answer is simple. Due to poor pickings it’s because there’s often nobody else from which to choose.

    The public, itself politically ignorant and kept that way by improper propaganda, elects its choice from whatever worthy souls, drongos or ignoramuses are offering themselves for election at the time. Mindless drongos habitually vote for mindless drongos and here in Oz, and particularly in Tasmania, unthinking drongos are in the majority and in a so-called democracy the majority gets its way, right or wrong. That’s democracy’s Archilles Heel.

    What happens then? Well, ignorant boneheads in Parliament can’t run the state properly because they have no skills at it – if indeed they have any skills at all.

    So what do they do? They rely on the business world which is polished at falsely representing itself as trustworthy and capable while its prime motivation is not the good of the people but nearly always the irresistible lure of money.

    So we have a mass of the state’s population drongos electing a few of their kind to Parliament and then parliament’s drongos handing over their roles to businessmen whose prime motivation is monetary accretion for themselves.

    So the whole situation becomes a train wreck and things go wrong. Well gee whiz, fancy that.

    What happens then? Well the incompetence of politicians and the rotten motivations of business have to be concealed from the public because if the public loses faith in its elected drongos they will realise that it’s they, the electing drongos, who are actually responsible for Train Wrecks Unlimited. That’s something that can’t be admitted. I mean, who will admit himself a fool?

    It gets worse. To protect their incomes, concealment of inadequacy becomes contagious and widespread. The apparatus of government is now so diseased that more and more things go wrong. Well gee whiz, fancy that.

    So what’s the consequence of all this?

    Corruption becomes endemic, and even worse, it is seen as normal.

  31. Karl Stevens

    December 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Ted Mead 2. I think ‘funny weed’ would only limit the Resources Minister’s ability to network globally based on the mycorrhizal fungi model.
    Like fungi, Mr Harriss is essentially breaking down wood to produce carbon and soil.
    The astounding thing is Mr Harriss is able to achieve this using downstream networks in SE Asia that remain disconnected from Tasmania.
    In his immediate habitat, the Resources Minister is able to support small networks of similar organisms involved in moving wood around and even fashioning it into usful objects.
    Like fungal mycelium networks, these organisms seek each other out for their mutual benefit and to reproduce. This is the key to understanding the resources minister’s complex network of inconnecting nodes.
    It’s possible ‘intelligence’ is also a limiting factor in a mycelium networks ability to break down wood. Does the network have to know why it is decomposing wood?
    No it does not. I think the Resources Minister will continue to prosper provided he is able to nurture his essential colonies of gut bacteria.

  32. John Powell

    December 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    JV, I suspect Leon was just opening up the hole that the Minister has dug for himself ….. and it worked!

  33. John Maddock

    December 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I was astonished to hear Leon Compton interview the Minister this morning, ask about special species supply and not bring Hydrowood into the discussion.

    Its been on ABC TV and in Mercury, and is highly relevant coz Hydrowood plans to salvage 30,000t of special species. Compare this with FT’s sales last year of 11,000t. As Gordon Bradbury correctly points out in his blackwoodgrowers blog, the special species prices will be affected.

    Why is Harriss (and Compton, for that matter) still talking of getting into the reserves? FT might as well give up now and save us all a lot of money.

    BTW the first Hydrowood tender closes today (8/12/2015). Go to the Island Specialty Timbers site for details.

    JV

  34. Claire Gilmour

    December 7, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Peeling back the layers in search of honesty … something Paul Harriss’ band aids obviously can’t do …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL10yO_T9UQ

  35. Mike Bolan

    December 7, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Once again a masterly analysis from JL. The real question here is why we try to put utterly unskilled individuals (IQ rated in torr) into Ministerial positions that require understanding and competence. Particularly when millions of public dollars and thousands of jobs are on the line. In the normal course of affairs we’d ask whether Mr H is suffering from some treatable impairment, but in politics it seems that anything goes.

  36. jack lumber

    December 7, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Reading the full transcript( link below ) makes it no easier to understand “WHY” it was said .

    But kudos to the Chair and MD of FT for speaking plainly and professionally.

    http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ParliamentSearch/isysquery/3bdbf8d0-5575-480e-85ec-2d660467a51d/1/doc/

  37. John Hawkins

    December 7, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Harriss like Shelton before him is useless and out of his depth.

    We must elect Pollies who can read and write.

    Once elected they play with hundreds of millions of dollars of our money and without apology lose the lot.

    Yet they retire rich as we get poorer paying for their incompetence, folly and inflated pension.

    Harriss did not surrender his seat in the Leg Co before he was elected to the Leg A because in any other job other than being a Professional Pollie he is unemployable.

  38. Ted Mead

    December 7, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Sorry Pete – I don’t think that’s the case!

    If he actually got into the funny weed he might mellow out a bit which would take the malice out of his modus operandi.

    There is some consolation in having Paul at the helm of Forestry because whilst he’s there the wheels are going to fall off sooner rather than later.

    Let’s all hope the captain goes down with the ship this time!!!!

  39. Pete Godfrey

    December 7, 2015 at 9:33 am

    It appears that the transition from sitting in the Legislative Council waffling to being a minister in charge of making a turd like FT shiny is not as simple as the minister is.

    Sorry but Arlo Guthrie had a song about Santa Claus many years ago, one line in the song went.

    “what’s in that pipe that he is smoking”.

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