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


Forestry Tasmania … We have a right to know about your economic incompetence

*Pic: Rock shelter below sawmill

Sawmill remnants

Readers of my posts on TT over the past 6 years ( HERE ) will know the sensitivities of Coupe BA 388D for those who appreciate Indigenous culture, European history relics and environmental issues associated with this unique area of the Great Western Tiers.

And HERE: Forestry Tasmania’s arrogant trashing of Aboriginal and Settler history

With some considerable assistance from The Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania and many others we had some 19 Hectares placed in to the WHA in the process of the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement in mid – 2013.

I now learn after an intrusive reckoning on my only access road with “inclusive Stakeholder Managers” from Forestry Tasmania in late 2015 that they plan to log the remnant 25 Hectares with a modified logging area.

The original FPP indicated “Clear Fell” but now they classify it as “Potential Sawlog Retention”.

This area was part of the 1990 Helsham Thinnings and the experts suggest the sawlogs might be potential in circa 2067. So why go in to the coupe at all in 2017 except just to measure diameters and number of potential targets in 50 years?

For them to go in in 2017/8 and do any form of logging, they will need to rework all the roading to an appropriate standard (some 2kms of grading and resurfacing) on top of the original cost of … ?

Accordingly on the 5th of September I wrote to Forestry Tasmania seeking Right to Information as follows:-


General topic of information applied for:

Costs of roading and ancillary works for Coupe BA 388D

Details of the Information sought:

In June 2010 FT commenced preparations to clear fell coupe BA 388D adjacent to my property Myrtlebank. This included grading and widening of Mountain Road (a Crown Reserved Road), and Mountain Road 1 (a forestry road).

This then extended to felling trees along a circa 1km new access road in to the coupe, grading, substantive gravel implacement, and the construction of drainage channels and under road pipes for water direction to the East and ultimately in to the Liffey River above the Liffey Falls.

These activities were halted in mid- 2013 after a portion of the area was decreed as WHA.

I seek the FULL costs of all of these operations and SEGREGATED as per item e.g. widening, grading, gravel laying, drainage, and pipe operations.

Please also include a specific line item for the costs and charges of ALL FT employees involved in this, including FPA management and officers

Applicants Signature: John Powell


On the 19th of September I received a response from FT which in part says …


Thank you for your recent Right to Information Act 2009 application for disclosure dated 5 September 2016.’Your request has been recorded and as per the Right to Information Act 2009 a response will be forwarded to you within 20 working days of this letter.


As of today, 19 October some 22 working days have elapsed and I have no reply …

… oh wait …

Letter just delivered dated 14 October (Jurassic technology like their modus operandi) which states in part …


Provision of the information … would reveal Commercial-in-Confidence details of the contractual rates we pay to our contractors, and therefore would disclose information related to the business affairs of Forestry Tasmania and of these third party contractors. Accordingly I have concluded that this information is exempt information … costs and charges of all Forestry Tasmania employees involved with this operatio … FT does not record information regarding the time our staff spend on individual coupes and therefore do not hold the information requested.


FT, you just have to hide the fact that you are running a non-commercial operation and plan to continue to do so. These funds were almost totally supported by the taxpayers and Government subsidy we have a right to know about your economic incompetence.

Minister Barnett, so much for open government and a renewed Forestry Tasmania, you are a dinosaur like your predecessor, and your Communications and Stakeholder Engagement personnel are mere clones!

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  1. TV Resident

    October 26, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Giving this ‘destructive’ GBE an ‘environmental’ sounding name will not make their practices any more ‘sustainable’. It’s no different to the old saying of ‘like putting lipstick on a pig’. This is exactly what Barnett is trying to do, he obviously thinks we are ALL idiots.

  2. Mark Poynter

    October 26, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    #6 Thanks for asking John. Leadbeater’s Possums are doing fine – 250 new colonies have been discovered in the past 18 months since a new search methodology was instituted.

    This simply confirms what was pretty obvious to everyone other than anti-logging ideologues and some agenda driven scientists – that the possum is a long way from imminent extinction. However, as such good news about forests is not deemed to be newsworthy I’m not surprised that you still believe the myth.

    If you examine the ongoing ENGO rhetoric about the proposed Great Forest NP that was supposed to save the possum, you will notice a distinct shift away from mentioning the possum to the usual myths about increased tourism and bucket loads of cash for carbon. This reflects the reality that even the ENGOs understand that the possum’s future is no longer a serious concern.

  3. mike seabrook

    October 26, 2016 at 1:46 am

    what loss
    how many employees

    and since july 1 ?

  4. Alison Bleaney

    October 25, 2016 at 10:59 pm

  5. John Powell

    October 25, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you Steve shall do. I can of course go to the local pub and get rates without question FT doesn’t understand the local community Cheers

  6. John Powell

    October 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Glad to hear you are still alive Mark how are the Leadbetters possums going under your guidance? Fact is FT a loss making entity and nullius crania like you just support this loss making industry like RCH and MJF

  7. Steve

    October 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I would suggest that you remove requests for costs etc from your FOI application. It’s possible to make an CIC argument to protect the costs involved in employing a 22T excavator for ten hours. I do not believe it is possible to make the same argument to protect how many hours it took a 22T excavator to accomplish a task. No dollars involved, CIC prevarication becomes legless.
    Once you have the machinery hours, normal commercial rates gives you the rest. If your target is paying way over normal rates, future revelations will allow you to take a firm hold and twist!

  8. john hayward

    October 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    A “charade” is the pretence of an utter fallacy, such as FT’s perennial masquerade as a forestry GBE.

    FT’s survival, despite its frightful expense and destructiveness, is probably due to its function as a cultural icon for a kleptocracy.

    John Hayward

  9. Mark Poynter

    October 25, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    #1 Claims of a ‘massive loss’ are overly simplistic.

    A reading of the FT annual report shows that they actually made an operational profit of $8 million despite substantial bushfires and floods disrupting their core activities.

    However this was counteracted by an accounting revaluation of superannuation commitments that are unrelated to their operational performance. So yes, the overall result was a loss but not as a result of their performance.

    This is somewhat different to what you are implying.

  10. john powell

    October 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Indeed TV Resident. I did some back of the envelope economics 3 years ago

    which showed a substantive loss of almost a quarter of a million dollars.
    Given they will have to renew roading etc and have only 55% of the acreage and products then their cumulative losses will be perhaps over half a million $$$ for that coupe alone.
    Interesting that at the bottom of the linked article I suggested that based on my estimates FT would lose between $60 and $75 million per annum.
    I am not a prophet and I am not John Lawrence but even an ignoramus like myself can deduce outcomes

  11. TV Resident

    October 24, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I read on the Mercury site today that FT have had a massive loss: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/forestry-tasmanias-67-million-loss-reinforce-need-for-new-logging-areas-barnett/news-story/9fbc23b35da217e999b8d7a332c8b228 . Does this mean that taxpayers money is paid to them to get them out of trouble AGAIN??? According to Guy Barnett that is why they need to open up more forest for logging. Surely this is crazy, what is the point of logging more state forests just to make a loss. FT appear to be logging the publicly owned forests and virtually gifting the timber to their mates in the business and overseas clients. It is high time this farce called FT was completely scrapped, it is going to bankrupt the state at the rate they are going. A good, profitable business makes money (this helps the economy) but FT cost the state.

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