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

Takayna Forests … Masterpiece …

‘A most paradoxical mixture of sound and silence pervades the shady parts of the wood … To a person fond of natural history, such a day as this brings with it a deeper pleasure than he can ever hope to experience again.’ Charles Darwin on encountering the Gondwanan forests 1833

Two centuries after the ardent explorations of Darwin, most wild areas of rainforest within Western countries across the World are treasured. Yet forlornly in the year 2016 Tasmanians still haven’t come to the realisation that this island holds one of the finest expressions of cool-temperate rainforests on earth.

Representing a living museum in time, the grandeur and matrix of myrtle, sassafras, leatherwood and huon are the dominant make-up of the wondrous Tarkine region. These forests are more than just the largest contiguous tract of rainforest in the nation, they are highly aesthetic, and a natural splendour of immense global and biological significance that host ongoing ecological processes.

The Tarkine’s superlative forests evolved towards the end of the Cretaceous period when the Southern super-continent was still joined. More than 65 million years later Tasmanians are fortunate to share this marvel with their Gondwanan relatives from New Zealand and Patagonia.

Back in the 1980’s the Tasmanian Forestry Commission advocated the protection of the Savage River rainforests, and today most of the core rainforest reaches of the Tarkine are already in formal reserves, albeit unprotected from resource extraction. So why isn’t this grand tract of rainforest secure considering that it was identified as to fulfil IUCN World Heritage criteria almost three decades ago.

Mining activity is no newcomer to Western Tasmania.

Over the past 150 years the greater Tarkine region has been ferreted for its mineral secrets in the belief that the island’s Eldorado exists out there somewhere. Although these almost mythical rivers of gold were never found, the region’s mineral potential has seen an endless exploration activity from prospectors and speculators ever since European settlement penetrated into the Western wilderness of this island.

Even to this day the Eldorado dream lingers on, fully supported by all tiers of governance and often heavily subsidised through the taxpayers’ pockets.

This has proved to be more about sustaining employment opportunities rather than economic returns to Tasmanians.

Very little has changed since half a century ago when Tasmania’s then premier Eric Reece said: “ as long as there is 2 cents of tin out there to be found then these areas will never be a national park” .

On the contrary, given the current predictions regarding the world’s mineral economic decline due to slow global development growth, and concurrently the lack of demand for Australia’s high-priced ore exports, then most of the existing or proposed mines in the region may either cease to exist or fail to get initiated over the next half-decade.

With global concerns regarding ongoing climate change and the relative carbon-emission issues, regions such the Tarkine may be indentified in the near future to be more important as crucial carbon sinks rather than purely being a primeval landscape encompassing high conservation values.

Conservation and carbon sequestration are synonymous, so Tasmania could set an international precedent to preserve the Tarkine forests with this premise in mind.

I have predicted in the past that the greater Takayna region won’t be listed as a World Heritage area for another decade, though a political shift in respecting cultural identity, climate-change politics and progressive conservation policies may streamline that process.

image
The above map describes the general boundary of extensive gondwanic rainforests that should be protected. The region excludes active and proposed mining sites that would politically preclude any hope of conservation in a secure formal reserve.

*Ted Mead is a committed conservationist, naturalist, ardent photographer, and holistic nature lover. Disillusioned with conformist politics and its erroneous ideology regarding to the protection of our essential earth we dwell in, Ted now spends most of his time amidst the place he enjoys passionately – Out in the Wilds. Ted believes being immersed in nature is what keeps him sane, or questionably in the belief that he at least beholds a semblance of sanity.

• Treeger in Comments: Seems the original article has been buried under forum distractions. Ted poses a solution, one that includes conserving the core of a relatively undisturbed rainforest that all humans marvel at upon experiencing, this at the same time as appeasing resource extraction. As well as doing the right thing for the seven next generations, there are direct benefits for society, such as Art Nature Therapy for the young, disabled and elderly. In fact, any Tasmanian with soul makes efforts to get to places such as these to lift their spirits. All one has to do is look at the demographic of tourists that have come here for decades, rich professional city dwellers from all over the planet. They know the spiritual benefits of being in these places. They are equally dumbfounded that anyone would want to destroy it, but then they don’t know how desperate Tasmanians are for Jobs and Growth.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Robert Vermont

    February 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    The comment about tasmanians being “so desperate for work” that they are the ones pushing for the logging was to my experience, and surprise, completely wrong. I found the tasmanians were the ones pushing to protect. Follow the trail, the call to cut it down comes from the mainland.

  2. Dorsey Jubilee

    August 26, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Just a quiet little rainforest scene from deep in the takayna rainforest of Tasmania. In a place where few have ever been. The connection that we feel, the places where we find joy, beauty, meaning ~ these to me, are the places and moments and dialogues with the land, from which meaningful and moving landscape photography comes.

  3. Robin Charles Halton

    August 4, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Ted, great photos as usual, I always appreciate your photographic skills and devotion to the wilderness.

    From a management perspective, the fuel reduction burning of the button grass areas must continue by virtue of a combination of white mans influence and by natural means as lightening strikes.

    Mans intervention usually ensures wildfires dont spread from long forgotten wild areas that can result in devastating effects of wildfire spreading to sensitive vegetation types that may not recover for decades or worse still centuries.

  4. Karl Stevens

    August 4, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    As for mining in Takayna – it’s a non-issue at present and into the foreseeable future.
    If the Aussie government decided to follow Xenephon’s advice and throw-out years of devout globalisation, then maybe they will one day balance their books and Aussie investment will be reborn. (decades away)
    Facts about mining. If it’s close to the surface they will trash the landscape and open cut and the government will be uninterested in making them clean-up afterwards.
    They are making lakes for free as far as the gov is concerned.
    If its underground mining the needed infrastructure can impact the landscape but not a lot.
    Mining companies also ‘mine their shareholders’ because wealth is where you find it.
    Mining has some good spinoffs. Amateur prospecting and tourism can be big business but here in Tas they only see large scale mining.
    Most of Takayna would be covered by the Mt Read volcanics which has bought billions into the Tasmanian economy over the centuries.
    This is a very hard fact to argue with so it’s smart not to try.
    That just leaves logging which is ripe for complete reform rather than the corrupt self-regulation that has prevailed. ($28 million to buy back billets we never supplied from a foreign company that never responded to any tender process etc, etc)
    There is also problems getting information out with at least one Tasmanian outlet being either bribed or intimidated by the Sarawak cartel and their agent.

  5. Treeger

    August 4, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Seems the original article has been buried under forum distractions.

    Ted poses a solution, one that includes conserving the core of a relatively undisturbed rainforest that all humans marvel at upon experiencing, this at the same time as appeasing resource extraction.

    As well as doing the right thing for the seven next generations, there are direct benefits for society, such as Art Nature Therapy for the young, disabled and elderly. In fact, any Tasmanian with soul makes efforts to get to places such as these to lift their spirits.

    All one has to do is look at the demographic of tourists that have come here for decades, rich professional city dwellers from all over the planet. They know the spiritual benefits of being in these places. They are equally dumbfounded that anyone would want to destroy it, but then they don’t know how desperate Tasmanians are for Jobs and Growth.

  6. Jack Lumber

    August 3, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    re NO Karl
    I have not said that and never said that

    The only spin here is
    1 the suggestion that any party who has a different opinion is a PR spin merchant .

    2 If there are issues then raise them but stick to facts or at the very least suggest you have a “theory ” . It is you and only you that keeps raising faith or ethnicity based inferences . If someone or an entity is doing something illegal ,race , ethnicity is irrelevant and the action are still wrong . Furthermore using the any claim discrimination as a defence of such activities is wrong

    3 If what is happening in Malaysia is happening in Tasmania ,then make the case ,here on TT or go to the AFP , contact a MP . You have a raft of options , all confidential , all giving you the full force of the law and independent of any layer of Govt in Tasmania

  7. Karl Stevens

    August 3, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Jack lumber knows all flowering trees are hardwoods but even so, he is pushing a blatant fallacy I believe.
    The fallacy is that hosting an Asian crime syndicate in Tasmania is a form of multiculturalism.
    That opposing the ‘Asian Timber Mafia’ could only be ‘Pauline Hansonism’.
    This is clever spin from a man who is probably paid for this kind of work. Ted’s ‘Myrtles in mist’ was an invite for the cartels PR machine to crank into life.
    Watch out for the Ta Ann fallacy that opposition to Malaysian graft and larceny is racism. The only reason they are here is because of cronyism …
    Foresters are used to waiting.

  8. Jack lumber

    August 3, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Re 23 ted there are non inconsistencies , Karl was very clear in his explaination .

    Trees with cones are called softwoods
    Trees with Flowers are called hardwoods

    You appear to be blinkered to think all foresters are trolls and only focused on extraction and for reasons I don’t understand unwilling to consider changing when presented with information

    Thank,you I have learnt much through your photo and changed my view .

  9. Ted Mead

    August 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Stu – Yes I know there are foresters who are conservationists, though probably not many in Tasmania considering employment opportunities only exist through the myopic anti-conservation/forest extractive industry plunder-all ethic that prevails here!!!!!!

    There seems to be some inconsistencies in the definition of softwood as Karl #18 has pointed out.
    For me I will commit to using the technical term in the future rather than relate to density of wood fibre.

    As for your comments re-burning, I am not adverse to the use of fire, particularly when it comes to related habitats for the likes of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot or the Ptunnara Butterfly ect. However I will continue to oppose the misguided view of burning all the heathlands out west on a hectare-based ideology that I believe has no science behind it, only political knee-jerk reactive policy for ineffective fuel reduction targets.

    Most of those areas they are torching will burn again in a very short time, and as a process of attrition the riparian zones end up being fire prone scrub through such fire frequency. I’m all for natural fire regimes. There are numerous examples of planned burning incompetence, which in the past have destroyed vast tracts of country.

  10. Jack Lumber

    August 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Ted .. and I think you can see Hawkins et al seem perfectly capable of “hijacking ” a photo

    I share the sentiments of #20 as I have also disclosed i am a forester and so no need to make the distinction of harvesting , conservationist; they are just all management options – all valid

    There is no doubt ,there are some issues re governance in Malaysia viz the 1MDB .

    HOWEVER If there are links to companies operating in Australia ( incl Tas ) then they should be raised but lets make the links rather than fling mud . AND to in the same breath talk of “Sharia Law and Sunni ” is just wrong . The topic is not about faith and lets try not go down the path that is being followed by the likes of Pauline and Co .

    Hawkins re the FPA , if you have an issues re the performance of this independent authority , refer it to the Integrity Commission , go to 4 corners or maybe just maybe put forward some nominees for the board as they become available

    Hawkins to your other beliefs , you are as always entitled to them as we are all are in is what OUR Tasmania .

    In closing Ted keep up the pics , i do enjoy them

    Yours
    Jack

  11. TGC

    August 2, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    #18 Nearly as bad as some of the big retailers subsidising terrorists via a range of commercial arrangements.
    Everything is intertwined- it’s possible even the Greens are involved in some nefarious business.

  12. Stu

    August 2, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    RE 15: ‘The disconcerting aspect is that it shows how quickly to the fore the pro-industry advocates, hecklers and trolls are ready to pounce.’
    It has nothing to do with wanting to pounce but is all about being factual. You present yourself as conservationist and that’s fine, I have no issues with that (yes I’m a forester and yes I’m a conservationist as well and no doubt there are plenty who will criticise me for such a comment as they don’t understand how you can be both). Keep going with the photos and stories, I actually like your photography. However, it does make me chuckle when you and others have so little knowledge of what it is that you claim to be protecting. Reminds me of a previous blog regarding burning of the button grass plains. Such activities are undertaken in accordance with management plans written by scientists who have studied these areas for considerable time. Yet some claim to know better, even though they don’t know the difference between softwoods and hardwoods, let alone the ecology of such areas.

  13. John Hawkins

    August 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

    The awful Paul Harriss, the former Minister for Forests, chcose the Forests Practices Authority …

    John Ramsay, Chairman of the Authority is Chair of the Tasmanian Planning Commission … surely a direct conflict of interest?

    Alex Schaap – famous for extending the pulp Mill permits as in his eyes Gunns had substantially commenced a non existent Pulp Mill at Longreach.

    Hans Drielsma who was at the ANU with Rolley the Forestry Tasmania’s lap dog who fought tooth and nail to prevent any FOI investigations into Forestry Tasmania.

    Terry Edwards … enough said.

    With friends like these Tasmania will never have any Landscape Protection or Cultural Landscape Legislation passed into law.

    That is why these people are appointed.

    They are there to facilitate the Logging and Chipping of our free resource native forests to the benefit of cronies, I believe.

    Harriss with his Liberal henchman Abetz was happy to apply to UNESCO to roll back World Heritage Listing on the Western Tiers.

    This to facilitate the selling of our best Peeler Billets to a Malaysian Company by Forestry Tasmania for a loss of over a million dollars a week.

    Halton, Lumber et al … how many dead rats are there in the Forestry in Tasmania cupboard?

    Ted Mead … it is an uphill struggle but even the brain dead can see it is worthwhile even in this your (questionable) Tasmania.

    (edited)

  14. Karl Stevens

    August 2, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Yeah, balsa wood is actually a ‘hardwood’ because it’s an angiosperm and not a ‘conifer’.

    Now that we cleared that up lets get back to understanding why FT is subsidising the Sunni-Shia conflict by supplying the Malaysians with below cost billets?

    And no tender process either. There never is with FT. This is global organised crime and we are so fortunate to be able to study the critters right here on TT.

    Look at their bluster and ‘Dutch courage’? It’s all just front. The logger trolls are really just frightened little children that can never grow up.

    They have no real direction or self-worth. Pity them?

  15. TGC

    August 2, 2016 at 12:06 am

    #15 They are “Tasmania’s natural treasures!”
    because they have been preserved-along with substantially more areas.
    But- and really- is it even remotely possible to ‘preserve’ everything.
    Balance- and all must work towards achieving that.

  16. Jack lumber

    August 1, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Re 15
    You have called me a troll before without foundation
    I have shared information and not rebuked you
    Perhaps we all need to keep an open mind

  17. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Yes I stand corrected on a previous comment – re softwoods.

    The disconcerting aspect is that it shows how quickly to the fore the pro-industry advocates, hecklers and trolls are ready to pounce. I guess they have to justify the endless time they spend searching and scrutinising writing forums and social media to spruik their master’s orders.

    Whilst I welcome comments to be educated, I wish it could be reciprocated when it comes to understanding the need for nature conservation regarding Tasmania’s natural treasures!

    That is seemingly a monumental challenge!!!

  18. Jack lumber

    August 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Re 13 ted it is a botanical term .
    I think you have used the term “industrial ” in pejorative sense
    Furthermore your are referring to the genus notofagus , whereas a species would have under Linnaean nomenclature two parts ; again this would be scientific name and not industrial or “Malaysian ” for that matter

    Sorry to be such a pedant but I know you are a stickler .
    As to your question , would you like to rephrase and I will do my best to assist you ?

    Perhaps we could start a series ? Ask a forester ? It would be a way of introduction of information to TT and maybe we could have dialogue instead of demagogues

  19. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    #9 -11 – Technically you are correct!! – this is an old industrial term that I should cease to use.

    Somebody may be able to explain to me why there are some Nothofagus species that are described as hardwood and other Nothofagus species as softwoods????

  20. Nicole Anderson

    August 1, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    More insights from Ted Mead – takayna/Tarkine Myrtle Rainforest corridor is unique in the world for its natural values which defy monetary value.

    It is delusional to think this region would be better utilised as boom and bust mining which has already polluted so much of this environment.

  21. Jack Lumber

    August 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    re 8 Ted

    Softwood is the term used to describe those species with a cone , as opposed to those with a flower .

    https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/Wood-Species/Softwood-Species/

    There is a scale of hardness of sawn timber and can therefore have a “softer wood ” and i would agree that sassy has a softer wood than say tasoak . I’m using common names to make sure there is no misunderstanding

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

    I hope this clarifies what is a common misnomer

  22. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Rob re #5 – Erratum – that should have said uneconomically – not economically

  23. Floyd

    August 1, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Ted, some botanical info for you. Next time you’re in the bush you might recognise what’s in front of your eyes!
    Eucalypt – hardwood
    Myrtle – hardwood
    Sassafras – hardwood
    Blackwood – hardwood
    Leatherwood – hardwood
    Celery top – softwood
    King Billy – softwood
    Huon – softwood

  24. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    #7 Jack – surely you don’t believe that the temperate rainforest of Myrtle, sassafras,ect are not softwoods but hardwoods??????

  25. Jack Lumber

    August 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    re 1 and 3 . If they have HCV them lets manage them appropriately

    references “Malaysians” and “softwoods”. So funny and so wrong

  26. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    #2- I am willing to publicly debate this subject and your delusion anytime – but the best you can do is cower behind an acronym.

  27. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    #4 Rob

    Yes I have included the Mt Ramsay mineral area because it is an internal zone, and probably economically viable anyway. Venture can’t even mine the tin near Parsons Hood because they need Riley Creek to be operating to cash up for that project. In order for Riley Creek to be viable they need the iron-ore price to be $80-100 a tonne – There is near zero chance of that happening again I suspect.

    The Aboriginal heritage will be protected in the future, it’s just a long, slow and painful process that will rely on federal interventions.

  28. Rob fairlie

    August 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Would love to hear more discussion about this ted. If this approach sees these myrtle forests protected, I’m all for it. But politics is a strange and weird beast that I don’t fully understand so I’d love to hear others’ opinions on how to best get the job done??
    A couple of other questions arise for me
    1. How to protect the aboriginal heritage along the coast from the 4wd threats?
    2. Does the reserve exclude the “province of tin” being chased by venture minerals in the Huskisson Valley region?

  29. Ted Mead

    August 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    #1 Karl – That is simply a key point because there is no use for these softwood forests otherwise FT would have plundered them decades ago – It’s the potential mineral deposits that is the contentious factor.

    The Forestry trolls can whine as much as they like but they have no resource extraction argument beyond the uneconomical logging of Old-growth forests on ridge tops or futuristic regrowth access.

  30. TGC

    August 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    TGC is (also) a committed conservationist, naturalist, (ardent) photographer, and holistic nature lover.” but recognises how this can become a selfish obsession.

  31. Karl Stevens

    August 1, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    ‘Jack Lumber’ will be here shortly to put the Malaysian view on how these forests should be used.

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