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


The Emperor Has No Clothes

The Buck stops here … Minister for Resources Paul Harriss with Premier Will Hodgman …

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Danish: Kejserens nye Klæder) is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that he doesn’t see any suit of clothes until a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The tale has been translated into over a hundred languages.

This just has to be the best description, albeit before its time, of the Minister for Forestry on the basis of his performance over the past week, and indeed ever since he was appointed!

On 3 December members of FLAG Lapoinya met with Minister Harriss to seek the removal of Coupe FD0053A from the future forestry plans of Forestry Tasmania.

The meeting was attended by senior advisor Kim Creek and others.

Stewart Hoyt as leader of the delegation presented the Ministerial group with numerous examples of why the coupe should not be logged including the presence of endangered species (FTFD Devils,
freshwater crayfish, quolls, swift parrot, Brookers Gum, and “Little Finger” orchids et al); the community recreational needs and well-being; and the financial loss which will incurred by FT.

I understand the advisors duly attacked the input from the FLAG delegation who have described the meeting as “terrible”.

Within hours FLAG had received a rejection of their request in writing from the Minister who stated the coupe would not be removed from the production plan:

As I confirmed to you in the meeting, this Coupe has been set aside by Parliament with the support of all three political parties and the Legislative Council as part of the Permanent Timber Production Zone. It is required to meet the legislated wood supply allocation laid down by the Parliament for Forestry Tasmania.

As you acknowledged, Coupe FD053A borders the much larger, permanent Flowerdale River Reserve. Coupe FD053A itself is regrowth forest and the forest practices planning system overseen by the Forest Practices Authority will ensure that all relevant values are taken into account before any harvesting proceeds.

Therefore, I am unable to agree to your request for deferment and Coupe FD053A will remain on Forestry Tasmania’s harvesting schedule.

Clearly due consideration was not provided by the Minister or his staff.

Less than 24 hour later the Chairman of FT Bob Annells was questioned by the MLC as part of the annual GBE inquiries.

He stated unequivocally that after discussions with the auditor, for FT to secure FSC Accreditation:

“it was bleedingly obvious to us that there were three key areas that we need to work on, there may well be others come up in the audit report but there are three; clear-felling of mapped old growth forests, protection of habitat for threatened species, particularly the swift parrot and the methodology for identification of high conservation values,”.

That is exactly what FLAG was suggesting in the request for removal of FD0053A from FT’s production plan.

How unthinking and irrational can the Minister and his advisors possibly be?

FSC requires that the industry meets all pertinent social, environmental, and economic criteria. It has failed to achieve that for the past 30 years plus.

In the Lapoinya example it specifically fails these criteria.

Forestry Tasmania will never get FSC Accreditation on this basis and TaAnn will never have a secured peeler log supply.

Methinks the Emperor has no clothes!!


• Steve Whiteley and Paul Harriss ‘mislead’ …

As an addendum to the above I note that both Steve Whiteley (CEO of FT) and the Minister have misled the Legislative Council and the Public with their comments suggesting FT had compromised on logging at Lapoinya – Whiteley in the GBE forum and Harriss on 936ABC Mornings Program.

“we reduced the coupe from 90 ha to 49ha as a result of compromising with the locals”

The coupe area has always been 90ha or thereabouts; it’s the harvestable area that keeps changing.

It was effectively impossible to log the 90 hectares due to topography and the multiplicity of Class 3 and 4 streams.

I have seen or heard of various different harvest areas.

The first draft plan was to harvest 35.7 ha, then we told it was 38ha to yield 7600 tonnes or 200 tonne per ha. This, when used in the initial John Lawrence profit calculation ( TT here ), showed the coupe to be unprofitable.

Then at a community meeting in February FT announced the harvest area was to be 51 ha, or 12,500 tonnes @245 tonnes per ha which John L used to show was still unprofitable.

After a bit of argy bargy and providing some more buffer areas for endangered Brookers Gum et al the harvest area became 49 ha.

It wasn’t as Mr Whiteley incorrectly told the scrutiny hearing that FT reduced the harvest area from 90ha to 49 ha as a result of compromising with the locals.

Following first contact with locals FT increased the proposed harvest area from 35.7 ha to 49 ha.

They didn’t compromise. They increased the area after they were told the fixed costs including roading were way too high for such a small harvestable area, so they increased it so as to spread the fixed costs over a larger area.

A question for Premier Hodgman and the FT Board?

Does this level of misrepresentation constitute grounds for removal of both incumbents?

For the avoidance of doubt I have informed the FSC Auditor, SCS Global Services, of this absolute breach of community engagement principles.

• Mike: Dear Friends of Lapoinya,

It has been too long since our last update but the team has continued to work hard to stop Forestry Tasmania from clear felling the Lapoinya forest. Helped by your pressure the forest remains intact but Minister Harris recently refused to grant a reprieve or consider exchanging this cut for one of less social and environmental consequence.

See our latest movie regarding the threatened Giant Lobster, the largest freshwater lobster in the world whose sole habitat is NW Tasmania. See how felling this coupe will affect its survival.

Please email Premier Will Hodgman directly


and tell him your feelings after seeing this movie.

Tasmania is on the frontline of Australia’s environmental destruction with numerous species threatened by Forestry Tasmania’s rapacious practices. Lonely Planet recently suggested that tourists should visit the state before its environment is irretrievably ‘compromised’.

We continue to need your support wherever you are.

Thank you,


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  1. Jack lumber

    December 15, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Re 12 refer to 10 .
    Re 11 appreciate your change of wording .

  2. Karl Stevens

    December 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

    lumber 10. Have you ever asked yourself why FT’s end of the supply chain runs at a loss while the rest of the supply chain runs at a profit?

  3. John Powell

    December 14, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Ok Jack replace “job” with “modus operandi” does that work for you because believe me that is the truth! Whiteley did not tell the truth to Legco about “we compromised on Lapoinya” blatant UNTRUTH

  4. Jack lumber

    December 13, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Re 8 Karl refer to 7
    Re 9 . It is not the job of FT or FPA to lie to anyone . That is a blatant lie . If you have that oplnion that’s a different matter .

    We are tired of the team ” lies , corruption etc ” being thrown around .

    As to the minister , to paprphrase an old adage ” when considering either a conspiracy or a cock up or incompetence ”
    Generally incompetence is closest to the truth .

  5. John Powell

    December 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Jack, Nit picking? I would hardly describe exposing blatant lies as being that. I have been lied to by FT/FPA for 5 years, that is their job, but a Minister telling FIBS to his old LEGCO members and the public is unacceptable ethics and demonstrates he indeed has no clothes. And neither do his advisors …

  6. Karl Stevens

    December 13, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    jack lumber 7. I’m pleased you support a Tasmanian law defining exactly how many rocks have to be dug-up every year.

  7. jack lumber

    December 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

    re #5 sorry Karl …. in case of any doubt ,assume I don’t agree with anything you say ( an exception may be about a certain Liberal Senator )

  8. Jack lumber

    December 13, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Re 4 …. john. Can clarify then, above who said the ” sole habitat ” ( sic) was in the NW .

    My apologies if I have incorrectly attributed to you .
    The point is not if it is in the coupe , but the suggestion it is only found in the NW . It is misinformation ….. The very thing you accuse others of .

  9. Karl Stevens

    December 12, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I note Jack lumber didn’t disagree with me that the Tasmanian legislation is inherently dishonest and Lapoinya is another ‘Wood Chip Production Zone’.
    It’s time for some ‘truth in legislation’ in Tasmania. Why do we adhere to an idiotic 1927 law that dictates how many trees have to be cut down?
    Do we have laws prescribing how many rocks have to be dug-up and how many fish have to be caught?
    How can this be the Turnbull ‘ideas boom’ when Tasmania is permanently locked in the century before last century?

  10. John Powell

    December 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Have never stated GFC only exists in NW but it certainly exists at Lapoinya and is an endangered species. See the video in the Mike Buky Wynyard Landcare link for a detailed understanding

  11. Jack lumber

    December 12, 2015 at 11:56 am

    As always , I respect that you do not want any harvesting in natural forests in Tasmania .

    But your case above , appears to be based on nitpicking and escalating . But if this is the manner in which you prosecute a case then , I ask you . Why do you say the GFC is found only in NW tags , when it clearly is not the case ?

    https://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=64415. And yes mr was does fine work . Pity cannot say same for that bloggers who pretends to be a journo in the OZ newspaper

    I am not saying iGFC should not be protected but I am unclearl now as you have made a statement which appears to be untrue and therefore , could you please advise stakeholders including FSC auditors that you have misspoke ?

    Just checked I have all clothing in tact


  12. Karl Stevens

    December 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Definition of Timber: ‘wood prepared for use in building and carpentry’.

    So Lapoinya could not be a ‘Timber Production Zone’ as Minister Harriss claims but predominantly a ‘Wood Chip Production Zone’.

    I’m sure we are seeing the systematic rorting of actual legislation in Tasmania.

    Lapoinya would produce a small percentage of saw logs and veneer logs and a large percentage of export wood chips and Minister Harriss must know that.

  13. Chris

    December 11, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Paul Harris requires clear felling!

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