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

Will Tourism assist Vandalism?

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity … and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake

Creating an opportunity for people to see one of the earth’s most ancient living marvels seems like an inspiring idea insofar it may provide an awakening experience, and ultimately an opportunity to connect oneself with exquisite expressions of our natural earth.

But in a state where dendrophobia/hylophobia runs rampant this may not have a good outcome.

The vandalistic destruction of the 2000+ year-old Lea Tree on the Gordon River in 1983 was a disturbing and vindictive statement …

The fact that the tree was iconic made it a suitable target for political retribution deriving from the federal intervention to stop the Lower Gordon Dam project.

In this 21st century one would hope the Tasmanian community has moved on, but is providing access to the world’s oldest Huon Pine tree as a tourist destination on the West Coast a wise move?

In Tasmania the destruction of our magnificent forests through a poorly managed resource-extractive industry continues to be a highly contentious issue.

Such emotive polarisation is driven by the desire of politicians to keep the community divided rather than united because as a united community we would then challenge the very ethos of our ineffective, disenfranchising, hierarchical and corrupt governance system.

Modern society has clearly become detached from the interconnectedness of the natural world around us.

Trees and forests have long been part of our spiritual association to the world that entwines and nurtures the web of life. We need these marvellous plants far more than we casually give credit to, or generally relate with.

The world of plants provides us with the oxygen we need, they supply us with food, medicinal benefits, and provide shelter and resources for us to utilise in our basic needs for everyday living.

Yet the respect and admiration of our forests seems to have become lost in the commercial benefits they can now provide to very few. This ultimately comes as a great financial and spiritual loss to most of us.

With such ongoing angst in the broader Tasmanian community regarding commercial extraction versus the preservation of forests, the question remains if providing access to iconic natural features potentially makes them a target, knowing that it only requires one misguided action by a single offender to destroy what has taken thousands of years to flourish.

Given the demise of the Lea Tree and other vandalism of tree landmarks within the state since 1983, I would suggest that providing access to the ancient Huon Pines on the West coast is essentially a high risk, and is simply not worth it … !

*Ted Mead is a staunch exponent of primeval forests and wilderness, and has been involved in direct actions since migrating to Tasmania over 35 years ago. In the process, Ted has been arrested, bailed, dragged through the courts, fined, and ultimately condemned with criminal convictions for his defence of the wild country he cherishes. While Ted believes the days of on-ground protesting are all but over, he is convinced that past direct actions by valiant protesters were catalysts for the vast nature reserves that exist throughout Tasmania today.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Nicole Anderson: The Secret Life of Trees …

MEANWHILE …

Guy Barnett: Support for Wood Pellet Plant Study … Today, I am pleased to announce funding of $250,000 to help complete a feasibility study into a $115-145 million plantation fibre-only wood pellet plant in Tasmania that would deliver 55 new jobs. New Forests Asset Management Pty Ltd is progressing a $5 million study and has already completed pre-feasibility work showing encouraging results. The feasibility study will fully investigate the viability for an advanced wood pellet plan to be established in Northern Tasmania …

• Robert Middleton, USA, in Comments: In #3 above, Mr. Martin provides a comment that appears to be taunting and even mean-spirited and directed at someone who clearly is a positive force for preserving what makes Tasmania such a special place. I’ve noticed this same attitude in other TT posts by Martin, shocking considering that they come from someone charged with representing Tasmanian hospitality. What is the reason for this resentment and hostility? …

• Ted Mead in Comments: #8 Thanks Robert – You seen to have a clear perspective of what’s happening in this state. Tourism here is more driven by the $ dollar for someone rather than the experience and preservation of our natural assets in mind. A lot of the tourism projects advocated by TICT and FT etc are based around the use of taxpayers’ money to get them up and running, and ultimately there is not accountability if they fail or lose copious amounts of money in the process …

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Carol Rea

    September 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Perhaps #3 Luke Martin was upset when his mate Simon Currant didn’t get the nod from Matthew Groom and the Department of State Growth to go ahead with his proposed tour of the Huon pine at Mt Read and boatride on Lake Pieman to see underwater Huon harvesting.

    http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/98904/7_FINAL_PROPOSAL_BRIEF_-_Mount_Read_Ancient_Huon_Pine_Experience_Simon_Currant.pdf

  2. Second Opinion

    September 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    In the days that followed the High Court decision on the Gordon below Franklin, I took the walk up to Marriott’s Falls.
    Tree ferns that once reached more than four metres were on the ground; dozens of them hacked to death. When you take the track now, you’re walking on their remains.

  3. Ted Mead

    September 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    #8 Thanks Robert – You seen to have a clear perspective of what’s happening in this state.

    Tourism here is more driven by the $ dollar for someone rather than the experience and preservation of our natural assets in mind.

    A lot of the tourism projects advocated by TICT and FT etc are based around the use of taxpayers’ money to get them up and running, and ultimately there is not accountability if they fail or lose copious amounts of money in the process.

    I claimed some time ago the that if the drivers behind a lot of these lemon projects used their own money that they would be bankrupt in no time.

    (edited)

  4. Robert Midddleton

    September 28, 2016 at 6:06 am

    In #3 above, Mr. Martin provides a comment that appears to be taunting and even mean-spirited and directed at someone who clearly is a positive force for preserving what makes Tasmania such a special place. I’ve noticed this same attitude in other TT posts by Martin, shocking considering that they come from someone charged with representing Tasmanian hospitality. What is the reason for this resentment and hostility?

    Tasmania’s greatest assets are its landscape, flora and fauna. Those are the ONLY reasons for someone to travel half way around the world to visit the island. It seems logical that tourism promotion efforts would be focused on celebrating those tremendous wilderness assets. With so much to offer, it’s dumbfounding that nature-based tourism has not become a huge profit-making, job-creating, prosperity-inducing force for everyone on the island.

    There seems to be something that’s keeping that from happening. It appears that those involved in promoting tourism do not embrace the island’s wilderness or express pride in its existence and some are apparently resentful of those like Ted Mead who speak out in favor of preserving the island’s assets. Maybe it’s the lingering resentment of the Greens. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that the wrong people have been given the responsibility for promoting Tasmania. They should be wilderness enthusiasts who can speak with enthusiasm about what makes the island special. They should be positive, optimistic and welcoming, and not hostile, resentful and mean-spirited. When I read Mr. Martin’s comments, hospitality is the last thing that comes to mind. Poor Tasmania.

  5. Alan Mason

    September 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Protection of significant (state or national importance) vegetation communities or individuals by prevention of public access (read – not mapping them on public documents or providing ready access to them) is par for the course in most protected area systems in Australia.

    I am aware personally of two snow gums 400plus years old that have been mapped by the Victorian NPS, but not interpreted in any public documentation. These two individuals are on the State significant trees register. Likewise, the Wollemi Pine stand locations in the Blue mountains of NSW are not publically disclosed or accessible.

    Unfortunately I agree that the Mt Read community would seem to be in danger, perhaps not malitiously,but in danger none the less.

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    September 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    It pretty simple, keeping fire at distance from remaining Huon pine stands should be a priority.

    This would require some fuel reduction attention in surrounding lands that contains inflammable vegetation such as button grass and associated scrub for which in the past was cleared by lightening strikes and the movement of aboriginal people through the landscape.

  7. Ted Mead

    September 25, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    #3 Luke – Everyone knows there have been commercial tours to the Mt Read Huon-Pine for a while.

    The issue here is to how accessible the region will become in the next wave of proposed tourism. So far there hasn’t been any public disclosure of what exactly is flagged for the site with an additional commercial operation.

    I suspect a high-grade walking track funded by taxpayers to assist someone individually benefiting from this is what’s in the pipeline.

    In my view the easier the access the more vulnerable these places become.

    As for the world’s oldest tree, it is that only by definition through cloning from the original tree.

  8. john powell

    September 25, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Luke #3 as the head of Tourism in Tas you should at least be able to identify localities correctly Mt READ !!

  9. Luke Martin

    September 25, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    A commercial tour operator already has a license to run tours including Mt Reed (the world’s oldest tree), and has done so for many years, Ted.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good rant, champ.

  10. Russell

    September 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    In my experience the trees which remain hidden are those which disappear to the chip mill, and the land most remote is poisoned.

    Eco-Tourism (and I don’t mean horse riding through State and National Parks and Reserves) not only makes more money and generates more employment than forestry, it allows us to reconnect with the land.

    Sadly, the only connection most people have with the land is through the supermarket of cloned, sugared and salted foods.

  11. John Biggs

    September 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Thankyou Ted, short, punchy and so true. Present governments really do want to keep the community divided.

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