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

Charles Wooley

Forest follies

*Pic: Image from Sarawak Report, here

As you might know by now, I really did appreciate the former Resources Minister Paul Harriss. I don’t know if anyone else who did but I’m prepared to go out on a limb, so to speak, not to bury but to praise him.

Remember that without blushing he announced Forestry Tasmania’s staggering loss of $40 million had been turned around in just one year to become a $31.7 million profit.

I hear they found $70 million (the presumed sum total of that miraculous economic turnaround) stuffed in a hollow log in the Lapoinya forest. Good thing they looked before FT burned the whole joint down. I don’t know who left it there but it certainly wasn’t the greenies’ usual suspects, Paul Lennon or John Gay. They are much more careful with their money than FT is with yours.

Anyway don’t worry about the small stuff. The main thing is FT is cashed up again and back in the game. And despite changes at the top, I suspect there is nothing the economic rationalists can do about it.

All of which has been good news for consultants who have so far got their hands on half a million dollars worth of FT’s money. Now ‘consultant’ is an interesting word sometimes meaning a former public servant who took a redundancy on Friday and is back at his desk on Monday in a well-paid consultancy.

You might hope that isn’t the case with any of the half dozen consultants reported to be on the job for FT. (Mercury P10, Feb 8, 2016). Generally though I think we would all be happier if The Mercury stopped fearlessly publishing this stuff. In Little Cuba ignorance really is bliss.

I have long expressed admiration for the former Resources Minister’s skill with Orwellian ‘double-speak’ or ‘weasel-words’ as we now know them.

Remember how he brilliantly tweaked the language to efface the word ‘wood-chips’ and replace it with the ingenious ‘forest residue’. ‘Moving forward’ as they say in consultant speak we are now talking about ‘forest off-cuts’ and ‘bio-energy’ and ‘wood mass’.

Though I am not so impressed with the latter phrase and would advise the new Minister to discard it. I think I can actually spot a tree in that forest of verbal deceit.

I reckon the half a million bucks is well spent if it went to those same consultants who came up with the amazing not so hi-tech idea of turning, ahem, ‘wood mass’ into firewood, and burning that to turn water into steam to drive a turbine and produce electricity.

Not having being burdened with a Science Degree, out-going Minister Harriss (Gosh I will miss him!) had been able to contradict the second law of thermodynamics and create a perpetual motion machine.

We chop up the forest and burn it to produce energy, which we use to chop up the forest and burn it to produce energy which we use to chop up the forest and burn it to produce energy which we …

Were I a consultant and paid by the word I would go on forever. But the point is this. Finally we have a solution to that pesky tree problem that has plagued our otherwise beautiful island since the day we first arrived at Risdon Cove.

Paul Harriss might have left us with the ‘ultimate solution’, so to speak.

I always make it clear that this is column is opinion and not advice. The only advice I would ever give is to be very wary of any advice I would ever give.

Especially recent advice on composting. “The Compost Bin Tumbler 190L with Wheels” seemed such a bargain, even though others had to assemble it for me.

As miraculous as the FT machine that turns loss into profit, this device (get a consultant to assemble it) promised to convert kitchen green waste into lovely, rich, garden compost in only a few weeks.

I don’t know whether it’s still on special at a certain hardware store but if you bought one based on my enthusiasm then I unreservedly apologise.

What my plastic rotatable barrel has produced is not one ounce of compost, but a vile smelling sloppy gruel that would surely kill a brown dog.

Worse, every time I unscrew the lid to add to the foul mess, a hundred thousand fruit flies are disgorged. Being environmentally responsible I hunt down each one with massive quantities of DDT but still I fear I might have become a threat to sustainable agriculture.

In my defence, if you have bought one of these diabolical devices, the absurdly complex eight-page instruction manual always suggested it was the blue print for a compost bin on wheels and not for a mobile fruit fly farm.

Indeed, in the detailing of more than sixty, to my mind, ill-fitting nuts and screws and innumerable other mysterious parts, never was there even one mention of fruit flies.

They were an unexpected free extra and they came a week later.

Due to the diligence of that annoying and nosey little brown dog at the airport, you, like me might have been under the misapprehension that we don’t have a fruit fly problem in Tasmania. Well we do now. “Where did they come from?” I hear from you ask?

Well my research has revealed the shocking fact that every time you buy imported fruit it can likely come with cunningly concealed fruit fly eggs on the skin. When you put the peelings into a warm humid receptacle like the much touted “Compost Bin Tumbler 190L with Wheels” those eggs will hatch and beget more eggs and so the plague begins.

Where I live, above River City, up on High Dudgeon, I doubt they will survive the alpine rigors. But the smarter ones might head downhill to the balmy gardens of Sandy Bay. I just hope the impending catastrophe doesn’t get traced back to me. How could it?

Luckily I have a very nice neighbour. He loves his garden, so I generously offered him the “Compost Bin Tumbler 190L on Wheels” and he was only too happy to relieve me of the infernal thing. I can’t believe my luck. I am rid of it forever.

I fear, in my enthusiasm, I might have forgotten to mention the fruit flies, but if any do survive at his place, I’m sure they will be much happier there.

My neighbour has a small orchard.

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


  1. Cameron Hindrum

    March 8, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Paul Harriss. The man whose credibility dissolved the day he suddenly realised he was a Liberal, and not an independent as he had been leading people to believe all these years.

    Not that he was much of an independent member either, as it turns out. What is it about Tasmania that makes people think they can get away with this sort of subterfuge? Takes me back to the good old days of Rod Scott’s editorship of the Exaggerator, which he abandoned–blow me down–to become Paul Lennon’s chief of staff. Surely this sort of skulduggery isn’t confined to The Island, but we seem to practice a particularly refined brand of it here.

  2. Robert LePage

    March 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I would really love to know what it was that Paul Harriss had done that caused him to cut and run.
    It must have been something pretty bad for him to relinquish his grip on power when he (and some of us) thought he was headed to take over as Premier one day.
    Maybe that was it?

  3. Jack Lumber

    March 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Re 12 William I have the highest respect for frogs as they can live in a multitude of environments , their lifecycle brings joy to many and are an important indicator of an ecosystem health .
    But you are no frog .

    ” That’s how it used to work ” …… Good luck with your crusade and if you every run out of coconuts , I’m sure some crowd funding will assist .

    So your three questions …. What where they again ?

  4. William Boeder

    March 5, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    #10. Err jack, that’s how it used to work, its time for the great undoing of this State government sanctioned duplicitous purposes, this is where the Federal Court will dart into the fray while this State’s government will fart into the dray.
    Please continue to regard me as a small frog in a big pond.

  5. Pete Godfrey

    March 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Charles Wooley, sometimes humour is the only valid response. When the situation gets so ridiculous over such a long time that we cannot see any way to change it, all we can do is laugh.
    You left out a beauty, Forestry Tasmania plunder a federal fund called the “National Rainforest Conservation Program” in order to prop up their daily activities.
    They used $1.8 million from the fund to plant 1200 hectares of Pine Plantations inter rowed with Blackwood. The idea was that somehow the clearfelling of the native forest and replanting it with Blackwood and Pines was going to save our rainforests. See why humour is the only real response. Apparently the plundering still goes on.
    Of course the blackwoods were shaded out and only the pine trees grew, just in time to be sold by the Lennon government to use as election funding.
    Hope your sides don’t split from laughing, I regularly have to sew mine back together.

  6. Jack lumber

    March 5, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Re 7 Karl I don’t have what you are asking for . Do you understand this answer ? What point are you making?

    btw about your claim ? Any evidence ?

    Re 8 William I don’t know where to begin …hmmmm
    You speak in complete self serving sentences which show no understanding on how any govt works ….. Conspiracies theories are self licking ice creams

    Is that plain enough .

  7. Steve

    March 4, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Vinegar flies, or fruit flies? Please check their ID cards.

  8. William Boeder

    March 4, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    #6. Jack I understand there are compliance issues as to this State government’s expenditure of Federal government funding allocations in which they may soon be the subject of an investigation into the misuse or wrongful application of Federal grants, specifically those monies intended for expenditure into alternative State industry projects, infrastructure developments, then to any proprietorial business incentives intended to aid in reducing the unemployment levels in this State of Tasmania.

    If I were a betting man I would suggest that one could be reliably confidant that the specific definitions for the expenditure of such Federal funds has not been followed, therefore that some new form of a regulatory regime must in its pure necessity soon be put into place.

    As I have identified in my earlier comments that there is no effective responsible State regulatory office, even nor an officer or a Commissioner appointed that can bring the miscreant State government and its GBE’s to account.

    That is except for public whistle-blowers that are sick almost to their death of the non-compliances of this State’s government and its non-economical GBE’s, who may elect to notify our Federal or Commonwealth government about the ‘rammed through parliament’ legislations that seem to be set in place to protect each of its GBE’s from public scrutiny.

    Jack, I fail to understand how you can be so rashly supportive toward a particular GBE that has in its notorious past and up unto its present, continued to breach its legislated statutes to the extent that Forestry Tasmania invariably continue to do to this very day.

    One is reminded of the youthful character of Peter Pan, a person that would not accede to any any alteration to his concepts and perceptions, no matter that they be error laden or even that they be so aged and decrepit.

    The entire of the Ta Ann Berhad extremities and impositions cast upon the resources of this State are indeed insupportable, were one to investigate into the entirety of this plundering beast, that this will be the likely conclusion of such an investigation.

    One can only hope that this rogue intruder into Tasmania will be advised to pack their tools of trade and to make haste their exit from Tasmania.

    For you to try and defray or try to confuse this very set of facts, well Jack this tells me that you are in league with the improprieties that this State government are themselves so constantly embroiled there within.

    That this State Liberal government is an anti-the-people government to which you continue to be so supportive of, illustrates to me that your personal held integrity is now so compromised in that you yourself could be considered to be culpable toward many of the disconformities lavished upon this GBE of Forestry Tasmania.

    This is the same GBE that continually extracts its tolls upon this State’s Health and Welfare budget, whereby ‘they that are in any way associated with this GBE could in my opinion be alleged as to be criminally negligent, more so when there exists a compounded list of each and all of this GBE’s statute breaches.

    These breached statutes in their many, as may be seen in the form of large hailstones crashing down upon the people in our State, then to become an endangering peril being forcefully thrust upon each of this State’s far more intelligent and ethical-minded ordinary citizens.

    Jack should you be inclined to respond, let it be without your usual questionnaire subterfuges and avoidance tactics that have become your serial means of response.

    Thank you.


  9. Karl Stevens

    March 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Jack lumber. Why can’t you produce the ‘competitive evaluation process’ that was supposedly won by Ta Ann in 2005?

  10. Jack lumber

    March 4, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Re 1 . Dear Karl …., I take umbrage…. nah just joking

    Again you let your self down with minutiae ….. Who has linked FSC , dec 2016 and AFS on TT ? No one . Scratch the surface of you claims and it’s easy to see they are veneer like in depth .

    Satire on the former minister after he has gone is easy sport Mr Wooley

  11. Ben Lohberger

    March 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Sounds like Charles’ compost tumbler was suffering from the same problem as Mr Harriss – way too acidic.

    Adding lime on a regular basis would have fixed the problem. With the tumbler that is.

  12. phill Parsons

    March 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    There are several things the rapidly emerging new climate will ensure for Tasmania.

    Wooley has named one clearly.

    The other is the emerging unreliability of water as an energy source. Combusting anything Carbon only adds to the cause of the unreliability.

  13. Chris

    March 4, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Then there was a wood meeting in the Harriss office,
    or how decisions were made.

  14. Chris

    March 4, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Have you considered putting manure from male bovines in the mix, it might reduce the threat from flies as you have done, now there are none on you now.
    Those little dogs are overworked and despite weasel words that they will be supported by new dorgs, they are still trying to meet the demands, I heard it from a dog whisperer.
    DDT is bad.
    Fruit flies cannot stand cold weather, thank goodness we do not have warmer daze!
    Not all vehicles are fully dorged off da boat, nudge nudge whisper whisper.

  15. Karl Stevens

    March 4, 2016 at 9:04 am

    A light-hearted piece that bellies the fact FT doesn’t need to advertise tenders for contracts of any amount. According to the well-connected ‘logging trolls’ on Tasmanian Times, Forestry Tasmania will have full FSC certification by December 2016 because the government paid to write the Australian Forestry Standard.

Leave a Reply

To Top