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

The Truth about Forestry Tasmania … in its own words …

*Pic: Pete Godfrey’s pic of steep slope logging … Pete says: ‘Why Forestry Tasmania is subsidised to use cable logging to clearfell steep slopes, filling the waterways with silt and compromising soil stability, is beyond me’ …

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The buck stops here … Shareholder ministers Minister for Resources Guy Barnett and Treasurer Peter Gutwein, with the ultimate buck-stop, Premier Will Hodgman

Forestry Tasmania Chairman Rob De Fegely has written a letter to Peter Gutwein and Guy Barnett, outlining the steps that Forestry Tasmania have taken to reduce their costs and to make the GBE financially viable.

In the letter he states that they have reduced their funding gap from $35.5 million in 2014 down to $16.3 million for 2016.

The 2016 figure is set to rise again as apparently FT is subsidised at the moment for plantation management and for Cable Logging.

Why Forestry Tasmania is subsidised to use cable logging to clearfell steep slopes, filling the waterways with silt and compromising soil stability, is beyond me.

FT expects the funding gap to increase to $24 million when this funding dries up.

Even with the proposal to export logs from Macquarie Wharf FT will still end up needing government support to remain viable.

FT cite problems with the costs of roading and upkeep of roads as one of its major funding problems.

Even though FT gets the trees for nothing, the costs of making and maintaining roads makes it difficult for them to be viable financially.

Forestry Tasmania has reduced its workforce from 400 down to 180 but cite ongoing superannuation costs for past employees as another problem with financial viability.

They also state that they can supply the required 137,000 cubic metres of high quality sawlog from the available forests until 2027, but after that will need extra funding to establish more plantations to meet demand after that time.

Amazingly FT also concedes that its contracts are unviable. It states it receives only 50% of the price for its logs on some contracts compared to other jurisdictions. We can only assume FT means other state logging companies and private foresters.

This is a massive thing to admit to – what it means is that FT has been selling logs at only half market value; no wonder the private forest industry has been struggling to compete with FT.

Surely the Australian competition commission should be on to this. This is anti-competitive behaviour.

Mr de Fegely admits that under the current legislation – and the way FT works – it will not be financially viable.

FT is also admitting its plantation resource is basically useless. It says they have no idea if the logs will be any good and what price they may be able to get for them.

FT advocates the full sale of all its plantations to help its bottom line.

It also states that it would like the statutory requirement for 137,000 cubic metres of sawlog to be reduced to 96,000 cubic metres.

It says that if it can sell the plantations it could use that money to pay compensation to sawmillers and to peeler log customers for the reduction in supply.

What a massive statement to make. FT needs to sell plantations just to pay compensation because it has been overcutting the forests.

FT also asks the government to change the law to allow it to source logs from private forests as well as Crown land.

There is more in the letter that you can read yourself, basically it appears that FT has very little chance of ever being an economically sustainable entity.

It also cannot supply the industry needs from Crown land only. It states it needs to be allowed to buy logs from private landowners as well.

It also admits it has been selling logs at well under commercial prices.

FT knows that the government will not accept its recommendations … so offer other suggestions that may be more palatable to the minister.

– FT’s bottom line is to sell all the plantations except its pruned plantations that make up about 20,000 ha.

– It wants to use Community Service Obligation money to pay for maintenance on reserves.

– It wants to sell 6000 ha of land that it somehow owns in freehold.

– To completely exit from the export industry.

– Jack up the prices for the logs it sells by moving to a stumpage model.

– Cut back on the amount of logs it has to supply. (an admittance that the logs are not there).

– Pay more compensation to Sawmillers and Ta Ann, (admittance that the contracts should never have been signed in the first place).

It appears that Forestry Tasmania is hoping to become an information base and manager of the forests and wants private operators to take over the logging and roading at their own expense.

• Pete Godfrey has worked as a self employed electrical contractor, as a builder, as an assistant manager in a timber yard, built and ran his own portable sawmill, cut fence posts for a living, worked as a youth worker in a juvenile detention centre, been a part-time TAFE teacher. Loves Tasmania and thinks it it the most beautiful place to live. Spent much of his life surfing, bushwalking and taking notice of what is happening to the land and water. That led him to write letters, produce reports, audit forest operations and document what was happening to our waterways, airshed and land. He gets a bit passionate at times about protecting what he sees as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Download – read for yourself – the letter …

FT_Letter.pdf

Guy Barnett: Supporting skills and jobs in the forestry sector

• Geoffrey Swan in Comments: Thank you Pete Godfrey. EVERY Tasmanian needs to read the FT Letter you have enclosed … this is an appalling state of affairs … any private or shareholder business simply would not get away with any of this.

• Mike Buky in Comments: … The current model is disastrous for all. Blind Freddy can see that FT is not only dead but should be buried and cremated. How much longer will the Tasmanian population have to tolerate coughing up for an industry that is costing them so much? When is a Tasmanian government going to bite the bullet and dissolve this failing industry?

• John Hayward in Comments: What an extraordinary document to find on a website, setting out the seemingly deliberate gross mismanagement of a GBE, a kind of transfer pricing with a private sector which is supposed to be customers. How could a GBE which has lost over a billion dollars since being established in 1994 manage to sell its public forest wood at 50% the stumpage rates charged elsewhere in Tasmania? Who drafted and signed the long-term contracts for more wood than FT could sustainably supply to customers which locked FT into perennial losses? Why, if not to exonerate present FT management from complicity, was this letter made public? …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Don Knowler: If it does succumb, it will take any hopes of reviving the Tasmanian forestry industry with it …

THE BOARD of Forestry Tasmania …
‘Our team …’

• John Hawkins in Comments: On the Hansard website I discussed in great detail the letting of loss-making contracts to Ta Ann by Rolley when CEO of Forestry Tasmania. Thankyou Andrew Wilkie MP for tabling them before Parliament: HERE Come on de Fegely call a spade a spade and resign or are you also yet another Tasmanian crony appointment – hear nothing, say nothing, do nothing, just take our money? …

WEDNESDAY, December 14 …

• John Lawrence in Comments: … The repeated cries for FT to be wound up seem to be missing the reality that this is already happening in front of us. Go easy on Mr de Fegely, John (#14). After he authored the expert opinion report on feeding native forests into the Gunns pulp mill, prepared as part of the pulp mill IIS, I don’t think anyone takes him seriously any longer. He might be Chair of FT but it’s a nominal position with Tony (Ferrall) in charge.

• John Hayward in Comments: Before being mollified by John Lawrence’s assurance that FT is under “de facto” voluntary administration, readers should ask themselves why the VA is de facto, why the “real” administrator, Treasury boss Tony Ferrall, is not formally recognised, and why the political establishment ultimately responsible for the grotesque, bipartisan mismanagement of FT for many years is thereby enjoying the pretence of being a well-meaning bystander. There is no sign that our pollies were chastened by their disastrous attempt to bankroll a huge pulp mill with vast gifts of public resources, or that their efforts to dismantle the TFA are anything but a return to the same old racket. Mr de Fegely’s identification of gross managerial negligence may have been a hedge against possible legal culpability, but he did make it himself as a uniquely frank admission for a Tassie insider.

• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: The current poorly conceived RFA consultation process will not bring anyone closer and obviously is bereft of genuineness. It is repulsive. It is closed in mind and obviously stinks of bias. This hotly contested subject (forests and forestry) demands thorough consultation and a far reaching independent investigation now – for the overall health and wellbeing of the Tasmanian community, the industry and the natural environment, as well I suppose for the economic aspects, which I concede have a relevance too, although not my main focus.

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87 Comments

87 Comments

  1. Brenda Rosser

    June 13, 2017 at 4:46 am

    One day soon a huge bill will become due for the biggest subsidy that Tasmania’s tree plantation industry receives. The account will not be able to be paid. That day will come when huge fires take off in the North of the State and spread quickly into rural residential and town areas.

    No details of any risk assessment is provided for tree plantations 20-50 metres away from dwellings. Though research has found that houses within 80 metres of forests have a 60% chance of burning should a fire break out.

  2. Russell

    December 23, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Re #85
    All been covered time and time again before. Search TT

  3. Robin Charles Halton

    December 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

    #84 Which fire are you referring to!

  4. Russell

    December 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Re #83
    One fire out of decades of ‘controlled burns’ gone wrong.

    Where were FT’s firefighters last summer, MIA?

  5. Robin Charles Halton

    December 22, 2016 at 5:07 am

    #81, Multiple lightning strikes over a wide range of geographical areas were the main cause of wildfires in recent times, last summer, I am surprised that you were not already aware of that!

    There are a number of issues affecting the financial operations of six GBE’s under the microscope at present!
    FT has openly admitted their situation, resolution wont happen overnight.

    FIAT will be called to the table by Minister Barnett before the end of this term of State government!

    Would you prefer Tasmania imports cheap high quality timber from doubtful sources globally!

    There is some good news for you to appreciate that southern based forestry operators will be able to export their wood products from the Port of Hobart starting early 2017.

    Forestry has seen its boom and bust period, it will rebuild slowly, very slowly within its own ranks that is the nature of the forest industry, it wont happen overnight so there is no point jumping up and down about it!

    Forestry does have a wide support base of machinery suppliers and some improvements to reliant employment levels in rural areas and maintaining firefighting services for both within its own tenures and effective joint inter agency arrangements.

  6. MJF

    December 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

    #79

    Are you blind man ?

    Refer to any of Minister Barnetts recent press releases which recognise and essentially congratulate FT’s board on their fiscal openness and determination, ability to absorb a few monetary speed humps, insightful self analysis, commitment to continuous improvement and long term industry vision.

    What more could any Doubting Thomas want ?

  7. Russell

    December 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Re #77
    It must be simple because others who have actually paid for the plantations are making a profit while FT who was gifted them and used our money to make roads, bridges etc couldn’t.

    As I understand it your ‘forest managers’ have caused most of the wildfires in recent times.

    ‘Forest managers’ in the true sense would also be able to return a profit and not destroy the environment or send native species to extinction.

    Since FT’s birth, employment in the timber industry has plummeted to almost undetectable levels so don’t regurgitate that furphy again.

    Another laughable yet nauseating regurgitation is your mention of ‘exit pay outs.’ The same groups have been paid out several times already! The only pay out they deserve now, if they can pass the means test, is Centrelink. At least that would save us some money. Without FT the State would be in the black.

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    December 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

    #78 Spikey, yes the status quo is acceptable for FT until the FFPL is added as PPFL to ensure that STT ex FT has sufficient future resource security then FIAT can be brought to the round table with Chairman Barnett and STT Directors and have in depth discussion on establishment costs that will need to factored into improve the returns from the public owned forests.

    A present for the New Year for the Forest industry to bear, at this point I have no idea what is forecast for sawn timber retail prices from native grown eucalypt!

    At some point during 2017 STT will be required to review the annual cuts from public land to better manage the regrowth maturity rotation to 90 years in order to warrant the return of FFPL as PFPL as the public deserve a sustainable outcome from our “State forests”.

    It will be interesting to see if FIAT members will still remain fixated with the old Labor TFA agreement for the term of their sawlog and peeler contracts extended out to 2027 by former FT CEO Bob Gordon I seem to recall!

  9. john hayward

    December 19, 2016 at 12:17 am

    One would think that, at some point, officials of any responsible government would feel compelled to respond to such documentatary evidence of gross governmental irregularities.

    Not in Tas.

    John Hayward

  10. spikey

    December 18, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    #77
    ‘The status quo is currently the best accaptable solution.’

    accaptable to whom?
    the few who benefit
    or the rest of us?

  11. Robin Charles Halton

    December 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    #71 Russell, its not so simple for FT to improves its financial margin until the government starts initiating its Rebuilding the Forests Industry Act 2014 replacing the TFA Act 2013 which reclassified much of the existing forest land as Future Potential Production Forest managed by the Crowns Lands section of DPWIE. This is a ridiculous situation, excludes foresters as everyday managers, leaves the land open to wildfires without suppression procedures familiar to forest managers.

    I understand that once FPPF land from October 2017, the wood bank for the future of 357,000ha of 400,000ha set aside previously zoned as Wood Production Zones contains mainly wet forest regrowth then there may be a way foward for FT under a new name as Sustainable Timbers Tasmania with resource security in mind push the sawmillers and others for higher royalty prices reflecting road building and overall forest management.

    To shut down FT and pay out industry to exit forestry altogether is not a solution either!

    I would expect the flow on effect of further scaling down the size of the industry would further add to the unemployment woes already facing a state on uncertian transition.
    The status quo is currently the best accaptable solution.

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    December 17, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Some good news, Huon Council Commissioner oversaw the rejection of the Huon barges woodchip plan.

    It has always been obvious that the Macquarie Wharf at the Port of Hobart will be used as an export facility for various forest products starting early in 2017.

  13. spikey

    December 17, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    ‘FT is a failure’

    unless your pockets are being lined
    at everyone else’s
    and the environments
    hideous expense

    worlds best conjob
    we’re all getting robbed

  14. Russell

    December 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Re #73
    I would guess that Robin meant anti-forestry< Andrew. I merely quoted his wording. However, maybe Robin thinks anyone who isn't involved in harvesting trees for profit (or, more to the point, loss) is anti forest? Like most other timber and ex-timber employees, they think they alone own the forests exclusively and the lock-out gates prove that.

  15. Andrew Ricketts

    December 17, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Forestry Tasmania (FT) has a monopoly on State owned production forest yet makes a massive loss and has long done so.

    FT wields so much power that it continues to be extensively comforted financially by the Tasmanian Government.

    FT fails to adequately protect RFA priority species. It has dwindling staffing levels.

    FT is a failure.

    I confess I do not know what an “anti-forest objector” is, so many people love forests and their life supporting features and functions. Does contributor #71 or #8 know?

  16. Frank again

    December 17, 2016 at 12:14 am

    How about a contrasting scenario for real change?

    “A hike through a New Hampshire forest in the fall; a Vermont barn made from locally milled trees; and the clear, clean waters of a Maine river—these are just a few of the many gifts that New England’s forests offer. Across the region, forests provide timber for construction, local jobs, wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and recreational opportunities. These benefits support a vibrant and thriving region, and New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) works to protect them for future generations.

    Founded in 1944, NEFF pursues innovative programs to advance conservation and forestry throughout New England. In partnership with land owners, NEFF has conserved more than 1.1 million acres of forest, including one out of every three acres of forestland protected in New England since 1999”
    And
    http://newenglandforestry.org/about/our-mission

    Our Mission
    At the core of New England Forestry Foundation’s work stands the belief that both conserving forestland and practicing sustainable forestry are essential to preserving the beauty, prosperity, wildlife habitats, and unique character of our region for future generations. Our approach strives to serve and unite people and organizations across the region to support the long-term health of New England’s forests, and to guarantee their continued environmental, recreational, and economic benefits for all New Englanders.

    Extended Mission Statement

    How does NEFF work to accomplish our mission?
    •We conserve forestland for future generations through purchases, gifts, and bequests of land and easements.

    •We actively manage NEFF-owned lands as demonstration and education forests, applying advanced practices in sustainable forestry and modeling tools and techniques that private landowners may wish to adopt.

    •We advocate for policies and incentives that encourage and sustain private forestland ownership, ensuring that landowners have economically viable alternatives to selling their land for development.

    •We keep 140+ NEFF lands open to the public as community forests, with no charge for admission, ensuring New Englanders have access to all the recreational opportunities that forests provide.

    •We are a resource for forestland owners in our region, helping them to achieve their own land management and legacy objectives.

    •We educate landowners and the general public about the importance of forestry through outreach and programming.

    •We steward conservation easements that have been entrusted to us, ensuring that landowners’ conservation intents are sustained in accordance with their expressed wishes.

    •We are future-focused, and committed to innovation and integrity.
    NEFF helps prepare the region for a future where forestry is increasingly important, not only to keep forests healthy in the face of climate change, but also as a part of a global environmental solution to climate change.
    We engage in numerous strategic initiatives to expand the region’s land protection capacity, further forest education, and ensure that NEFF fulfills its mission. …

  17. Russell

    December 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Re #8
    “without the continual bickering from anti forest objectors”

    It’s obviously not “bickering” Robin, as you yourself have just agreed with the facts that everyone bar FT and the Tasmanian Government knows what a sham and total waste of money and resources this GBE is.

    FT should be immediately dissolved and the forests left to regenerate for 90 years as you suggest.

    Why can’t FT make a profit from existing plantations, and Gunns went arse up trying to, while Forico does?

  18. mike seabrook

    December 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    just hold out your hand and plunder the feds
    money to plant trees
    money to not cut down trees
    money to halt construction of the gordon-below-franklin hydro scheme
    money to construct other dams
    money to remove a functional sewerage plant
    and gillards promise to wilkie of $300 million for a hospital which has morphed into a $600 million cfmeu featherfedded disaster

    how about speeding up warming of the joint and giving tassie a non-mendicant future.

  19. mike seabrook

    December 16, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    1. fully cost the super,

    2. ban letters of comfort by the minister as to warranties/guarantees/solvency

    where the hell is /was the auditor general

  20. Tim Thorne

    December 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Robin, I am interested in your comment #64. In the last paragraph you refer to a “right” to a timber resource being denied to “us”. Who do you mean by “us”? And who conferred that “right”?

    As for your remarks in #66 about right and left, I doubt that there has ever been a genuine left in Tasmanian politics, although Kim Booth and Lisa Singh came close. There is certainly no-one now deserving of that description. Not that it matters. State governments only ever do what they are told.

  21. spikey

    December 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I was speaking to a farmer the other day.
    Traditional, Liblib born and bred.
    He brought up MIS and how he and his mates had been deceived by the Government and forestry industry.
    I’m guessing there will be a few less rusted on Liberal supporters.
    The fact is, most of them aren’t that stupid.

  22. Robin Charles Halton

    December 16, 2016 at 1:22 am

    #48, Hawkins, you should look after your health first and foremost!

    The only thing I can assure you in the political sense any Independents who may stand in the north of the State would need to be of right wing calibre, that would be the opposite of your friend Mr Wilkie Federal seat of Denison which is basically an alternative left wing capital city seat with the majority voters not directly dependent on primary producers or forestry activity for employment.

    The Hodgman government is getting by, burdened by a Labor decision to build a Hobart public hospital not on a greenfield site.
    Generally speaking Health Minister ferguson is managing Ok with the mess Labor left for him.

    Energy Minister Groom made a hack of it gambling lake storages during an oncoming drought with a shock failure of Basslink.

    Yes I think it is six GBE’s are in trouble and rumours the State is broke, nothing unusual as our economy is sliding behind according to Eslake.

    There is an absolute distrust in Labor leader Bryan Green and O’Connor as Greens leader!

    The fact is my Dear Hawkins, hope are you paying attention, any Independent who runs during the next State election would have to exhibit at least moderate right wing offerings, in fact there is no place for lefties in State governments throughout the nation.

    The Liberals will be reelected but could see a right wing Independent or two taking mainly Labor and Greens votes.

  23. Factfinder

    December 16, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Nail- Head- Hammer- BANG
    Here a comment by George Smiley from Natone, Tasmania.
    Read page 08:
    Source: http://tascountry.realviewtechnologies.com/#folio=8

  24. Robin Charles Halton

    December 16, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Its absolutely appalling state of affairs that a lot of our high quality wet forest regrowth in locations such as the upper Florentine, Picton and behind Recherche have been pawned off by idiots allowed to run rampant with farcical Forest Peace negotiations then to turn around and irresponsibly trade in deals between FIAT as industry predators and the Wilderness Society leaving FT high and dry without ant say over forest management and resource security.

    Minister Barnett needs to get to the bottom of the resource security problem and the return of all Wood Production zones including those gifted as WHA before ever reducing current FT staff familiar with forest management.

    Fussing around with outstanding super liability issues and replacing FT staff with contract managers and workforce is counter productive to the hilt.

    Lack of local knowledge, lack of CBS silviculture knowledge, lack of devotion in forestry communities with other agencies TFS, PWS and local landowners.

    The biggest threat to all public owned forested land is the political blur that had been allowed to occur during the TFA of what is future production forest and the screams from the friends of Greens and Labor who set out to deny us right to a timber resource, leaving it to chance of natural wildfire activity with insufficient forest management to determine a positive future direction.

  25. Robin Charles Halton

    December 15, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    57 MJF, Had little forestry experience in the Gordon area west of Maydena apart from when I was a Cadet Forest Ranger working with FT surveyors 1969? running a part of the HEC flood level line prior to timber harvest below Clear Hill Rd and some stints with Forestry Ranger Roger Larner both of us enjoying extensive spring time fuel reduction burning by hand across the SW landscape before the HEC could have triggered off accidental fires during the drier months of the year.

    Huon Pine operations at Strahan, normal land based for Cowboy Crane of Western Softwoods and water based operations on the Gordon River for Morrisons.

    The only HP salvage I have been involved with is the Pieman Scheme with Corinna Sawmills, Blacklows from Zeehan as bush contractors.
    HEC employees removed plenty of HP unofficially often in liasion of their bosses, plenty of thieving going on by plant operators and the use high sided 10yard tip trucks out of hours plus West Coast local crafties in for their share too.

    A few fly by nighters attempted to salvage some blackwood using log skidder, found the going very hard, no one interested in myrtle and sassafras.

    Most of the eucalypt at the top end of Lake Pieman was salvaged by APPM who did a very professional job of the task.

  26. MJF

    December 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    #58
    I’m not a fan of MEZ’s as difficult to achieve a clean result. Wording needs to be as realistic as possible as do expectations. Would agree overall they are problematic (without the correct logger in place).

  27. MJF

    December 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    #59
    You’re quite right MrLimber. Also Messrs McConnon (with his rather expensive KMC) and Stacey if memory serves.

  28. Andrew Ricketts

    December 15, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Re #59 I do not know what is happening in Jackey’s Marsh. Jackey’s Marsh is about an hour’s drive from my locality.

    I am not up on what Cadman’s current position or thinking to be at all. Any view I had of Cadman’s position would be quite dated. Perhaps you should ask him if you think it important.

  29. Jack Lumber

    December 15, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    re 56 . Is there no concensus coming from the jackys marsh area ? What does Mr Cadman say about FSC ?

    What does he say about natual forest and FSC ?

    re 57 i recall ( with qualification due to time ) that a Mr Wiggins and Jones where involved in Lake Gordon salavage

  30. Pete Godfrey

    December 15, 2016 at 9:28 am

    #56 The footage of the bad old days I was referring to was stuff from the 1940s era, a bit like MJF describes happened during the days of the building of the Gordon Dam.
    The places I am referring to that I have seen waterways damaged were done since 2000.
    I know that FSC will not fix everything, they have no say over the loonies in parliament. It is still better than what we have now, at least we get to have an input if we desire.
    #57 MJF I do have Forest Practices Plans for some of the coupes I mentioned. Even in a Machinery Exclusion Zone the plan says not to trash all the vegetation. Like I said there are many other influences.
    The political influence I am referring to is not so much to do with SSR’s or MEZ’s but with the scale of the operations and where they are undertaken. The speed that logging was running at under the Gunns regime and the low prices the contractors were paid, tends to make short cuts necessary.

  31. MJF

    December 15, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Thank you Clive @ 52 & 53

    Just a minor clarification on the Class 4 conundrum.
    These may or may not require streamside reserves retained based on specific site assessment. The alternative is a10m Machinery Exclusion Zone where all the trees can be felled and extracted but snigging equipment is to remain outside the 10m zone. Directional felling then becomes important.

    You have obviously come across many of these situations in your travels but unless you had the specific FPP to refer to you wouldn’t know what the planned treatment was.
    i.e. SSR or MEZ.

    Additionally class 4 SSR’s are commonly expanded to 15m where certain fauna habitat or soil conditions may be present.

    It’s very difficult to interpret ground condition outcomes without the relevant documentation as a reference but you may always have these. I don’t know of any political influence when determining stream side reserve widths at the operational level. It’s purely the planning officers decision which may involve FPA consultation, in many cases.

    Karst is a different situation and requires specific management in addition to normally expanded SSR’s as a starting point. Certainly karst management has had a lot of energy and resources thrown at it including invaluable early expert work by Kevin Kiernan.

    I concur with bad harvesting methods pre the Forest Practices Code era. Those practices date back to when saw millers used to build their own roads and undertake their own logging. Unbelievably this is the structure that many critics want the industry to return to.

    The very worst I had not seen but heard about was the mad scramble by multiple contractors to salvage as much felled timber as possible as Lake Gordon was filling. I guess it didn’t matter how much mud was bulldozed out of the way, how deep the wheel ruts became or how turbid the water was. Much of this was SST including Huon that was just too far back for the old piners.

    Robin Charles Halton may have some knowledge of the Lake Gordon salvage operations. Some of the contractors used were from the Huon area, I think maybe ex APM loggers.

  32. Andrew Ricketts

    December 15, 2016 at 12:11 am

    I respectfully disagree with the proposition in post #53. FSC will not work, it gives one absolutely no rights to address the massive legislated skewing of power over forestry. It is fundamentally compromised in the face of such injustice.

    Self regulation is a failure and FSC would endorse such rubbish.

    The first Forest Practices Code put out by the Forestry Commission is dated 1980, predating the Forest Practices Act by 5 years or so. Then there was a March 1987 one again put out by the Forestry Commission. In the 1980 version you will find much of the same streamside regulation. It remains not based on science and they know it.

    What vintage of logging are you referring to Peter? Were the streams trashed under the 1980 Code, the 1987 one or one of the later ones?

    Self-regulation has deep roots but it simply too prone to rorting.

    Tasmania needs sound forestry legislation not FSC.

    Tasmania needs a NSW style ICAC.

    We need a Royal Commission with a far-reaching ambit.

    Would it not be cheaper to put people on Newstart than subsidise FT as is being done?

    Has Minister Barnett any qualifications to be managing this portfolio?

  33. Claire Gilmour

    December 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    It is a complete sham, con, charade, travesty, that the government only gives people just two weeks prior to Christmas (until 24 Dec) to contribute to the RFA review.

    But then again, it’s all about getting the new ‘intel’, the buzz words so the government party can try and party on … They will only use the info people supply, so they (the gov), over their bully school yard long summer break can try and come up with buzz words to try and break the reality and con the masses.

    I’ll keep my opinions, the reality close to my chest for when it is really required to fight the fraudulent goings on in Tasmania’s forests.

    Much better to be in the know (be on the front foot) and get them to be on the back foot fighting against, rather than the other way round. Desperate party is as desperate government party does! …. 2 decades of it has taught me that.

  34. Jack Lumber

    December 14, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Re 50 As predicted and what mark of a contribution at that which will skid into oblivion

  35. Pete Godfrey

    December 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    #46 MJF, I forgot about the Dublin Plains, on the road to the bridge that crosses the little Fisher River, there were some coupes there also that had the class 4 stream reserves totally ignored. Even to the extent of having trees in the watercourse logged.
    Now before we get into Oh that is only a few places, I have to say that things have got better over the years. I have seen footage of the old days of logging in Tasmania before the Forest Practices Code was thought of, before safety or the environment was considered. They practices were unbelievable.
    There has been some great work done over the years, way back in 2003 the Forest Practices Board (as they were then) put out some great stuff.
    In their newsletter of June 2003 FPN Vol 5 no 3 there is a great article by Peter Macintosh, about the gentle treatment of drainage lines.
    Unfortunately the rush for money, the political interference, the power of Gunns ltd and also human nature tend to cause many great ideas to be forgotten.
    Hopefully with the advent of FSC certification, and also the lower cutting levels we can see the industry improve.

  36. Pete Godfrey

    December 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    #46 MJF on the question of buffers to waterways, you and I both know what the Forest Practices Code stipulates. Of course you also know as I do that the buffers are not always adhered to.
    I haven’t been out looking lately but have seen plenty of water courses that had logs dragged right through them.
    A couple I can think of BC057A in the Dazzler Ranges had logs dragged down a hill through a class 4 stream and up the other side. Completely wrecked all vegetation in the stream bed of which most of it was burnt in the regen burn.
    Then there was cable logging in the pine plantations and in eucalaypt forest in Branchs Creek, where very steep slopes were totally cleared along with the creek beds.
    In Non Cable coupes I can think of a few in the Mole Creek/ Caveside area where sinkholes and small swampy areas were totally ignored. I have photos of a beautiful little pond in a sink that was bulldozed flat, with the mud spread out so it was not so visible that a pond was there in the first place.
    We had cases (twice) where logging on the Karst areas above the Honeycomb caves and at Caveside caused collapses into sinks and the Lobster rivulet ran like the Yarra for a few weeks.
    These are not what happens all the time, nor should they be, but they happen.
    During the crazy MIS Scheme years many landscape difficulties were ignored, such as plantations being put in on Karst land.
    There have been suggestions over the years that stream buffers be extended, there was an adjustment to Class 4 streams where the banks were steep. From memory that adjustment was to measure the 10 metre Machinery Exclusion Zone from the top of the drop off rather than the creek.
    Improvements have been made, but they need to be made elsewhere as well. Riparian zones need to be reinstated on farmland also.
    The health of our waterways can be improved quite a lot, such as reducing chemical input.
    The letter included in the article shows that political influence is a major problem with our Forest industry.
    I am sure that if the industry were allowed to get on with doing it’s job without being told which mate to pander to and what to do, things would be a lot better.

  37. MJF

    December 14, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Hawkins @ 48

    Don’t sell yourself short …

    The comeback kid David Llewellyn MHA is going strong at 74 and still smashing it.

    One hopes the RBF will have his projected super balance on their radar as will the public purse having to fund his lifetime perks.

  38. spikey

    December 14, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    someone please tell #49

    his turd has disintegrated
    its a terrible mess
    will never take a shine again

    his glory days of lying to the people
    and being a hero to a few
    are gone

    like our forests

  39. Jack Lumber

    December 14, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    48 concur with the “you and me” sentiment but Hawkins J , you make a meal out of the statement regarding GBE “letters of support ” and if you took some time to understand what was said ,then you would be emabarrassed by your quickness to dumb it down like the media did . Dont take my word ask Mr Lawrence or anyone else who understands how GBE work

    A call for ROC is as bad as a tweet from Trump , a theatrical device to distract people
    And once again if there is corruption stamp it out root and crop .

    Good luck with the RCNP and like any democracy sausage ( our word of the year 2016 ) it wil be a mystery bag and most likely split under prerssure of a slight prick ( jump in now Spikey with a gut busting retort )

  40. John Hawkins

    December 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Lumber Tasmanians can no longer afford to let it go, six of our GBEs are bust – propped up by the state or put another way … you and me.

    They are run by the mates for the mates to their own personal financial advantage.

    Any proper or honourable CEO or Chairman of the Board would resign over political interference but that is the end of the gravy train.

    No more fees but at least you can hold your head high and value your integrity.

    The only solution to the lack of good governance in this state is to boot out the Lib/Labs at the next election and have a Royal Commission into corruption in the Forestry Industry in Tasmania.

    I am too old to stand as an Independent as I have recently had major heart surgery and will be 75 next year.

    We need recently retired 65 year olds with real life experience and no political ties but blessed with good CV to run this potentially wonderful state.

    The Hodgman’s, Bacon’s and Groom’s et al have passed their dynastic use-by dates and should be consigned to the “Dustbin of History”.

    I suggest we here on TT canvas the start of A Royal Commission Now Party. The ARCNP.

    If a fish and chip shop owner from Queensland can get elected and form a national party surely we can polish the slate in Tasmania – using cleanskins rather than cronies.

  41. john hayward

    December 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Donald Trump claimed he could shoot someone in the street in broad daylight without losing any support.

    Rob de Fegely’s letter seems to be demonstrating that much the same standard of civic conscience and intelligence prevails in Tasmania.

    John Hayward

  42. MJF

    December 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    #43
    Clive – how close to waterways are “they” clear-felling, how far do you think “they” should be from which watercourses and what criteria would you base that view on ?

    Just curious.

  43. Andrew Ricketts

    December 14, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The current poorly conceived RFA consultation process will not bring anyone closer and obviously is bereft of genuineness. It is repulsive. It is closed in mind and obviously stinks of bias.

    This hotly contested subject (forests and forestry) demands thorough consultation and a far reaching independent investigation now – for the overall health and wellbeing of the Tasmanian community, the industry and the natural environment, as well I suppose for the economic aspects, which I concede have a relevance too, although not my main focus.

  44. Jack lumber

    December 14, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Re 41 John
    Where have I Mentioned CSB ? you are so blinkered that you look for points to make that don’t exist .

    We may be closer in mind if you opened yours . Comments re professionalism are as crass as my prediction you will never be happy

    Adding FT to your list of obsessions without the ability to construct .

    NIce to see that Some in Tasmania will see FSC as a “Pariah”
    This “we know best as Tasmania is unique ” attitude about social licence is as arrogant as the attitude projected onto others In this debate for the last 39 years plus

    Let it go John . Never doubted your knowledge of antiques , matters military or passion for forests how about accepting others as well .

  45. Clive Stott

    December 14, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Pete thanks for the article and for that great top pic you included.

    Don’t these people ever think what damage they are doing when they clearfell like that close to waterways?

    I have to wonder where their brains are

  46. Andrew Ricketts

    December 14, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I cannot envisage a social license for the ongoing liquidation of natural forests in Tasmania under an RFA and without some rights of appeal to allow the community to protect itself. FSC will likely become a pariah. I cannot see a social license eventuating in Tasmania for FSC especially on public land.

    The much lauded mantra of the 80 to 90 year sawlog rotation was clearly a farce and FT now admits it cannot even make 137,000 cu. m. PA in any sane fashion, let alone the always ridiculous 300,000 of the RFA. Quite right too.

    FT, including in the form of the Forestry Commission, has been subsidised on a very regular basis since about 1948. Nothing sustainable in that is there?

    Since the RFA it can be shown FT is continuing with the 1980’s strategy of liquidating Tasmania’s old growth forests. Their extent was never mapped correctly in the RFA’s CAR and therefore remain for many veg communities under reserved. That has become a problem for an increasing number of fauna species, which are becoming increasingly threatened. This is beyond dispute.

    What Tasmania urgently needs is a Commission of Inquiry, then, upon consideration of the findings, a genuine attempt to hold a community wide process to consider the best utility of Tasmania’s forested landscapes for their full range of uses. Perhaps the most valuable may be water! The landscape values in some places will obviously be a priority and the range of genuine callers upon the asset, including other species obviously deserves to be considered.

    The squandering of Tasmania’s forests is deeply sad. The current RFA should not be renewed.

    It may seem simple to resolve but not here. The reasons are explained by Eslake:

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/saul-eslakes-tasmania-report/

  47. John Hawkins

    December 14, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Lumber #38

    Why can you not just accept that the horse you have backed is a loser; in fact it is headed for the Knackers Yard if it can walk that far; if not it will have to be put down on site.

    The horse I am trying to back is a winner that will bring home the bacon.

    A profitable industry based around selective logging carried out by professional – not rank outsiders – that has flogged the poor bastard to death.

    Give us a break.

  48. Pete Godfrey

    December 13, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    #38, Jack lets hope your best case scenario is what comes about.
    To see our forests managed properly for future Tasmanians would be great.
    The board of FT wanted to reduce the legislated amount of sawlog that they had to supply. Unfortunately the government have said no.
    As you say FT want to end up being paper managers, they want private contractors to do all the on ground stuff.
    Just wondering as you know lots about FSC.
    How does this work, FT are legislated managers of all Crown Land that has forest operations on it. As such they will be the ones to hold the certification. I wonder if they will have enough staff left to actually make sure that the work is done to FSC standards.
    I also wonder how the private contractors will make a living from something that has eluded FT for decades.
    Time will tell I guess.

  49. spikey

    December 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    apologies for the incorrect link
    i found it fascinating reading
    with very relevant local application

    https://www.interpol.int/content/download/33811/447300/version/2/file/Uncovering the Risks of Corruption in the Forestry Sector.pdf

  50. Jack Lumber

    December 13, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Re 23 the first thing to make sure everyone understoods is that while linked and to say otherwise would be naive , there are two parts to the FT
    1 one is forest 🌳 management and while some will dispute matters , practices are acceptable and they will get FSC . Some will complain on the basis they oppose any harvesting of natural forest full stop and make grand claims of corrumption .

    2 management of a forestry business . Here FT has been hogtied by the lib/lab circus but in the end they are a GBE and should have shown more backbone

    So RCH with respect to #2 , I would suggest that the contracts be reviewed for any force majure options .
    If there are none , force the sawmills to the table , divide and conquer . Some will take a payout and run and the 40 kgmt reduction is almost the allocation for one large mill in the Deep South .

    FT Needs to walk away from any logistics and let the millers road and harvest but under supervision or full cost recovery if FT where to be a subcontractor – to be clear FT must stop all mill door operations

    As to the peelers , well that’s a waiting game of a possible transition to plantation or see out the contract and see how much commitment TAT has to Tasmania.

    In the end the forests will be FSC certified , stumpages will reflect market and a fair return to owners . But fear not Mead , Hawkins et al will still find something to complain about in the very same manner they say ” TCG” does

  51. spikey

    December 13, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    file:///C:/Users/spikey/Downloads/Uncovering the Risks of Corruption in the Forestry Sector.pdf

  52. spikey

    December 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    #30
    Why is it so?

    A cold sock containing 10K?

    A small state where the same crooks
    have been in bed
    with the same inbred parties
    for far too long?

    A complete disregard for truth, economics, science, the environment, justice, and the welfare of the general population of Tasmania and the world?

    Shameless pro-active lobbiers, sly but of questionable intelligence, influencing easily led portions of the public through a saturation of local Media.

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
    Repeat after me…

    Bloody lying greenies locking up our forests.
    We haven’t got enough trees to chip at a loss.
    The States broke.
    Its all their fault.

    Not because we already chipped far too many, at an unsustainable rate, in an unsustainable manner.

    If only more money had been spent on Forestry, actually managing forests for the future, and attending some basic economics classes, and less on propaganda.

    We might have had a sustainable timber industry that respected conservation, instead of treating it like an infectious disease, because it threatens the ‘business interests’ of a rank minority.

  53. john hayward

    December 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    #29, RC Halton. Tasmanian forestry is reportedly accounting for less than 1% of the state’s employment while its contribution to GDP would be deep in the negatives if subsidies and uncosted environmental damage were considered.

    Your belief that this rapacious industry should take precedence over all other human activities in the state is not a compelling reason for expelling all Tasmanians who don’t share this curious form of narcissism.

    John Hayward

  54. Mike Adams

    December 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve long suspected a small and secret safe tucked away in FT HQ.

    The incoming managers of FT are carefully told about it and its importance, given the contents.

    They are reminded of J. Edgar Hoover’s greeting to each new President.

    ‘Mr President, your secrets are safe with me.’

    He found it essential in keeping his organisation well funded…

  55. john powell

    December 13, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    All of the above leads to the question as to why the Federal and State Governments, in their right mind, would extend/renew the 20 year old RFA come the end of the “non-consultation” period on 23 December. Perhaps James Shevlin, now Executive General Manager of FT might like to respond given he was involved in the original drafting via the office of Robert Hill, then Environmental Minister, as Departmental Liaison Officer.

    Oh and also ask Mr. Ian Ruscoe
    Director Domestic Forest Policy, Forestry Branch
    Australian Government
    Department of Agriculture
    ian.ruscoe@agriculture.gov.au
    T +61 2 6272 4225

  56. john lawrence

    December 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    John (#28) you’re forgetting FT is a GBE governed by the GBE Act 1995, not a corporation subject to Corporations Law.

    It’s unfortunate FT wasn’t able or wasn’t willing to renegotiate the long term wood supply contracts. That’s where a formal VA under Corporation Law may have had better success.

    In other respects however a formal liquidation wouldn’t be much different. I suspect the Crown is liable for unfunded super liabilities regardless. Most of the six GBEs currently operating were created from government departments. The defined benefits scheme was I think (?) closed to new members by the time FT was established.

  57. MJF

    December 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    #30
    All FT’s customers are clearly benefitting

  58. Mike Bolan

    December 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Does anyone actually know why all of this is happening? Cue bono? Why are we giving hundreds of millions to a clearly ossified industry while depleting our health services, education systems and so on?

    Surely there must be a reason? Some person or group benefitting? And surely whatever the reason it is something that neither ‘party’ wants to reveal.

    Anyone?

  59. Robin Charles Halton

    December 13, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I am not really sure where the Hawkins/ Wilkie consortium co exist within the current financial and technical constraints FT finds it self in.!

    I have the feeling both would like to see forestry shutdown altogether, rejected as a forest manager of native forests!

    Through John Lawrence’s comments we are all aware of FT’s financial constraints probably the main one of which is selling the standing forests below “market” value.

    What I am interested in are Hawkins and Wilkie both of whom do not appear to support a forest industry in Tasmania anyway!

    What is their plan for the provision of high quality wet forest eucalypt timber from our local forests combined with an employment regime of management and processing and business support therein.!

  60. john hayward

    December 13, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Before being mollified by John Lawrence’s assurance that FT is under “de facto” voluntary administration, readers should ask themselves why the VA is de facto, why the “real” administrator, Treasury boss Tony Ferrall, is not formally recognised, and why the political establishment ultimately responsible for the grotesque, bipartisan mismanagement of FT for many years is thereby enjoying the pretence of being a well-meaning bystander.

    There is no sign that our pollies were chastened by their disastrous attempt to bankroll a huge pulp mill with vast gifts of public resources, or that their efforts to dismantle the TFA are anything but a return to the same old racket.

    Mr de Fegely’s identification of gross managerial negligence may have been a hedge against possible legal culpability, but he did make it himself as a uniquely frank admission for a Tassie insider.

    John Hayward

  61. Ted Mead

    December 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

    #16 John

    Yes, I think subject to your reports in the past we all can see that the insolvent FT is going through a long drawn procees of being wound up. But how long will that take, and how many years are we going to see a annual loss of $50-80 million.

    Winding up FT and structuring the forest management under another name with the same drongos at the helm really isn’t going to change the bottom line of resource mismanagement.

    The superannuation liability seems to hinder any moves from the government to reign it all in.

    Is there any hope of some realistic form of change?

  62. Ted Mead

    December 13, 2016 at 9:57 am

    #23 Robin you need to get over this fire thing!

    As far as FT goes It’s never been about maintaining ecology.

    At the first sniff of fire FT are out there desperately trying to protect their plantations not the environment. That is exactly what happened with the Tarkine fire last summer.

    As for the Picton Valley it was burnt out through natural wildfire around the 1930’s I think. It didn’t destroy the mature wet eucalypts because the understory was dense in naturally suppressive rainforest.

    Probably the best aspect of these modern fires is that it restores biodiversity by destroying monocultured plantations anyway.

    Unfortunately with climate change we are seeing the soil dryness too high, and the outcome is the loss of all vegetation types, so grand valleys of wet eucalypts like the Picton will be the first to go in a broad scale wildfire.

  63. Pete Godfrey

    December 13, 2016 at 9:32 am

    #24 Clive yes I got it from the Department of Carving up the State for Mates website.
    I got a link via email from a friend.
    Others had it, it seemed to me that more folk should know of it’s existence.
    #23 Robin the reason that FT are restricted to younger and younger forests, we both know.
    Under the Gunns regime the forests were plundered to be turned into woodchips. The forests were being over cut at twice the yield that would have met the 90 year rotation standard.
    John Lawrence is correct … FT are already being dismantled. My guess is that they will end up just planning coupes and playing with maps. Private contractors will do all the on ground stuff. How they are going to make a go of it when FT could not even with hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies beats me.
    I guess it will come down to whether the market is willing to pay for the timber. Time will tell.
    Last price I knew of was around $1600 a cubic metre for sawn hardwood kiln dried.
    I am guessing that it will soon be around the same price as imported Western Red Cedar which is around $5000 a cube now.
    FT have not supplied the supposed legislated 137,000 cubic metres of high quality sawlog for many years, so I don’t understand why the government refuse to reduce that level.

  64. Clive Stott

    December 13, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Pete I was interested where you found the 29th September redacted FT document.

    It seems it came from State Growth:
    http://stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/142073/FT_Letter.pdf

    Then there was this on the 26th October: http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/ministerial_statement_-_forestry

  65. Robin Charles Halton

    December 12, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    #12 Jack, its a technical issue when harvest is now so constricted to younger and younger regrowth forests now that the TFA legislation has removed the ability for FT to harvest across its range of options now that forests for future harvest are effectively held in captivity with pseudo management by Parks who are neither funded or want to be “lumbered” (excuse the pun) by extra ground coverage which they cant manage anyway.

    I recently spoke with two officers of PWS, they are already under enough pressures and indicate they dont want any part of the extra burden of future forest land management.

    From the technical side its all a bit to much, damned if I know what will happen for example if there is a major fire outbreak in the Southern forests till the bulk of those forests are handed back to FT to manage.

    Who is going to make the decision for fire supression, for example, back in the Picton regen, which is a remote area of high qual. wet forest

    Parks might say let the regen burn as are only interested in saving high altitude species not the eucalypt forests.

    FT would go straight for established regen and commercial timbers and with Parks involved prevent spread into WHA sensitive zones.

    Those sort of arrangement can work well for all parties involved.

    The question is which agency shoulders the ultimate responsibility of fire suppression now that the objectives, which comes first, commercial stands of timber or fire sensitive reserves on these new area of ” no mans land” created by the TFA legislation.

    Blurred with de facto management relationships are known at present over forestry road networks facing ruination through erosion.

    Wildfire could trigger anxiety of who is effectively in charge along extensive fire fronts where tenures change from Km to Km from regen regrowth forest, old growth, rain forest, alpine forest all penciled out on maps, with little reference to coupe type demarcation which purposely chooses fire boundaries.

    Jack in your professional opinion how is this mess in the field going to be ever sorted out!

  66. john hayward

    December 12, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    #14, John Hawkins. Even a crony will jump ship when the timbers look too rotten to reach safe harbour.

    John Hayward

  67. Ted Mead

    December 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I was just looking at FT’s 3 Year Harvesting Plan on the GIS interactive maps.
    Planned coupes essentially in every region where they shouldn’t be!
    Clearfelling primitive rainforest to be replaced with what, more monocultures?
    Rainforest coupes adjacent to previous clearfells that were windrowed and replanted with exotic nitens.

    Of course we know it makes no economic sense, and any ecological mismanagement seems to be acordant.

    It seems anyone can establish a logging enterprise now considering you can get –
    • Virtually free log availability from coupes.
    • Subsidised/ free transport of logs to your mill or shipping port
    • Significant International export concessions through the freight equalisation scheme.

    Pete has already pointed out that for every tree cut we lose money, so the Liberal/ FT solution is to cut more trees. How do we stop this economic/environmental madness??????????

  68. spikey

    December 12, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    #12 No surprises

    ‘Letter sums it up . Forestry Tasmania is being strangled by its own contracts and the contraction of available areas to harvest .’

    Given what they’ve done with our resources so far
    I’d say it was self strangulation
    Like that guy who sang for INXS
    But with more taxpayers money spent on publicity
    To sell ‘Worlds Best Conjob’
    To the people paying for it
    In many more ways than one

    Was it those bloody greenies who entered into contracts to gift more forests than we had to mates?

    People whinging about locked-up forests
    ‘Contraction of resources’ Ha…get ya hand off it, like that changes a loss making scam
    Remind me of kids, when they find out everything doesn’t belong to them
    As their toys are taken away
    And given to more responsible kids

    I sense a change in the air
    Wow! Has that Barnett guy been left hanging?
    All aboard? Now where are those rodents scampering off to

  69. Simon Warriner

    December 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Peter Bright, your #15 is arguable. I strongly believe that there are sufficient intelligent and honest Tasmanians that could be formed into a government capable of fixing the Forestry cluster fuck.

    The over-riding criteria for selecting such a government must be that NONE of them have any relationship, past or present, with any political party.

    The trick is getting them interested in putting themselves forward as candidates for election.

  70. Pamela Rodwell

    December 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Forestry Tasmania’s continued

    Steep Slope logging in 2016 beggars belief!

    Just look what it’s done at Oldina, up behind Wynyard.

    It makes me weep in frustration!

  71. john hayward

    December 12, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    At #7, “elsewhere in Tasmania” should be “in Australia”.

    j Hayward

  72. john lawrence

    December 12, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I’m not sure I agree with a lot of what has been said on this thread.

    FT is in a period of de facto voluntary administration (VA), which started when Treasury boss Tony Ferrall was appointed to the Board in May 2015. Tony’s running the show. The others Directors are just making up the numbers.

    A VA’s first job it to do a report to creditors/shareholders on the state of the company and its prospects, essentially whether it is handed back to directors as is, whether there needs to be a deal with creditors and shareholders or whether to liquidate.

    The letter from FT to the shareholder ministers, setting out the realities of FT’s position which most of us knew 5 years ago, is the de facto VA report to creditors/shareholders.

    Minister Barnett gave a long response in Parliament to the VA report. Linz ran the speech in full on 29th Oct:

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/guy-barnett-and-forestry-we-are-looking-forward/

    The government as shareholder responded to the VA report. The VA letter for instance recommended selling all plantations. The govt wants to hang on to some.

    The government will take over the $160m in unfunded liability for instance. And so on.

    The insolvency operation is progressing. When all the deals are done and assets sold, FT may be handed back to directors to run. But it will be in a much reduced form . There may be a few plantations but it will mostly be only the native forests left on the books, and no debt and most liabilities removed once the unfunded super gets transferred. The latter will only add another 2% to 3% to the government’s existing unfunded super liability.

    The repeated cries for FT to be wound up seem to be missing the reality that this is already happening in front of us.

    Go easy on Mr de Fegely, John (#14). After he authored the expert opinion report on feeding native forests into the Gunns pulp mill, prepared as part of the pulp mill IIS, I don’t think anyone takes him seriously any longer. He might be Chair of FT but it’s a nominal position with Tony in charge.

  73. Peter Bright

    December 12, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    John Hayward at #11 says ..

    [i]”Tasmania appears to have no legal/ethical immune system. Outside intervention is desperately needed.”[/i]

    That’s perfectly true, John.

    It’s not within the capacity of Tasmanians to fix things here.

  74. John Hawkins

    December 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    On the Hansard website I discussed in great detail the letting of loss making contracts to Ta Ann by Rolley when CEO of Forestry Tasmania.

    Thankyou Andrew Wilkie for tabling them before Parliament:

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/article/forestry-tasmania-andrew-wilkie-mp-and-the-tabled-document-

    The part cancellation of these contracts by Rolley in his new role as CEO of Ta Ann and the payment to Ta Ann of close to $30 million to cancel the Rolley free gift when in charge at FT is considered by many as worthy of a Royal Commission.

    Why will the current board not accept that this is the principal reason why FT is bankrupt ………….the peeler billets are no longer standing as the stupid bastards at FT have cut them down and gifted these billets to their mates all at a loss.

    A Royal Commission now!

    Come on de Fegely call a spade a spade and resign or are you also yet another Tasmanian crony appointment – hear nothing, say nothing, do nothing, just take our money?

  75. Gordon Bradbury

    December 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The letter shows me two things:

    1) Business and politics do not mix – never have, never will;

    2) The absolute confusion/lack of direction at FT. The so-called independent Board is driven entirely by the shareholder/Minister.

    What a disaster!

    What an absolute insult to the people of Tasmania!!

    FT must be shut down ASAP. There is clearly no other option.

  76. Jack Lumber

    December 12, 2016 at 11:15 am

    No surprises

    Letter sums it up . Forestry Tasmania is being stangled by its own contracts and the contraction of available areas to harvest .

    Can the process just be expedited .

    Just one point to correct … FT doesnt get the wood for ” free ” it has a SGRA valaution and thats why it makes losses too . Just get John Lawrence to expalin it

    so now we get to see what STT does and how much influence the crown sawmillers will have on price .

    Wonder what FIAT makes of the letter?

  77. john hayward

    December 12, 2016 at 9:12 am

    FT’s record is not one of ordinary incompetence. They are merely the public managers of a public resource whose profits have been unaccountably pouring into private hands for years.

    This could not happen without the complicity of politicians. At one point, under the pulp mill wood supply agreement, huge areas of public forest and roading were set to be gifted to Gunns. We also discovered that State Forest land was being treated as FT assets for accounting purposes.

    When that collapsed, we found that inexplicable concessions had been made to a notorious Sarawak logging concern which employs a former FT CEO.

    Tasmania appears to have no legal/ethical immune system. Outside intervention is desperately needed.

    John Hayward

  78. phill Parsons

    December 12, 2016 at 7:51 am

    WA’s government owned forestry operations also run at a loss. QLD runs at a profit, using hoop pine plantations.

    FT should not be managing reserves, that is expertise in another department.

    FT has been operating at giveaway prices since export woodchipping commenced. We will never see that money back.

    A real business enterprise has to run at a profit over most years, it’s shareholder demand it. Its owner needs to have funds to re-invest or an asset to sell.

    FT needs to be free to charge a fair market price to allow private forestry to be viable as well. The time for colonial theft and environmental vandalism are over.

  79. Mike Buky

    December 12, 2016 at 7:38 am

    The letter from Forestry Tasmania to the Minister and Treasurer admits that the GBE is an unviable industry and will remain so into the future.

    The old definition of insanity, that repeating the same action and expecting a different result applies in this mismanaged industry on a daily basis.

    Any normal business sending such a letter to its shareholders would mean a collapse in its share price and receivers immediately appointed. The fact is that FT have been trading while insolvent for many years and only continuing subsidy by a government that is unable to fund public services adequately has allowed it to continue operating.

    Ruth Forrest stated to me that FT could not possibly go bankrupt as the superannuation payouts would be unaffordable. What a great reason to allow FT to continue operating while further increasing the superannuation costs.

    But what is most damning about the letter is the admission by management that every level of the GBE is uneconomic along with badly priced contracts and sales.

    The current model is disastrous for all. Blind Freddy can see that FT is not only dead but should be buried and cremated. How much longer will the Tasmanian population have to tolerate coughing up for an industry that is costing them so much? When is a Tasmanian government going to bite the bullet and dissolve this failing industry?

  80. Robin Charles Halton

    December 12, 2016 at 1:30 am

    I object to more plantations being established on State Forest now known as Permanent wood production Zones particularly as Tasmania does not have a Pulp Mill or any proven merchantable outlet for the timber.

    Restoring the natural environment as native forest by CBS would be the best proposition, ensuring during harvesting the final crop of plantation wood, sufficient logging slash is left behind to carry a fire, then immediately aerially seed the area, monitor growth protect from wildfire and allow at least a 90 year rotation on prime wet forest eucalypt areas.

    This also allows for native fauna and flora to re establish with a natural flow of forested landscape pleasing to the eye and a great way of managing forests without the continual bickering from anti forest objectors.

  81. john hayward

    December 12, 2016 at 12:44 am

    What an extraordinary document to find on a website, setting out the seemingly deliberate gross mismanagement of a GBE, a kind of transfer pricing with a private sector which is supposed to be customers.

    How could a GBE which has lost over a billion dollars since being established in 1994 manage to sell its public forest wood at 50% the stumpage rates charged elsewhere in Tasmania?

    Who drafted and signed the long-term contracts for more wood than FT could sustainably supply to customers which locked FT into perennial losses?

    Why, if not to exonerate present FT management from complicity, was this letter made public?

    How could any legitimate logging operation be proposing to base their operations on native forests at a time when the UN is seeking to curtail such activities?

    Does the unviability of FT’s plantation sector have anything to do with the 77,809 ha of State Forest plantation which mysteriously morphed into FT’s private freehold before being reportedly leased long-term to NewForests for a relative song?

    Does the unviability of FT’s plantations have anything to do with the fact that much of it is in pulpwood species favoured by Gunns but of little value for high quality timber?

    Why is Mr de Fegely at such pains to specify FT’s legislative obligations and the impossibility of achieving them under current conditions?

    Are any of the p5 “social and economic” considerations” which might limit FT operations to do with logging areas previously slated for protection under the TFA?

    Why is Mr de Fegely, Chairman of the FT Board, having to argue with Ministers, on p7, against the level of subsidies given to the private logging sector?

    Given the large and chronic haemorrhage of public funds in Tasmania from essential services, such as health care, to an activity as environmentally destructive and financially unprofitable as forestry, a judicial inquiry should be a no-brainer.

    john Hayward

  82. Simon Warriner

    December 11, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    perhaps FT should be paying a lot more attention to the way Fonterra and Murray Golbourn conduct their operations.

  83. Treeger

    December 11, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Sounds like a euthanasia patient begging to die, who won’t let it and why won’t they let it?

  84. Claire Gilmour

    December 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Yabba dabba doozie … what a beautiful weapon you are Pete. Good onya.

    Ahh so the ‘worlds best practice’ Forestry Tasmania is/has been not so worlds best practice for longevity afterall. I’m shocked! NOT!

    And what has been burnt in bushfires … and WILL BE in the future is still not mentioned!

    I was a private (natural speciality timber) forest grower. FT and the governments strategies burnt it out through inappropriate clearfelling, water catchment decimation and e niten plantation introduction/growing. I want, indeed deserve compensation. It’s costing me thousands of dollars to try and clean up after the mess FT/government created, let alone extra fire risk they have created.

    You want private forests now FT to help your bottom line? … well you need to get rid of the threats that endanger that. You need to be helpful and not a hindrance.

    IF FT truly wants to start recognising private growers contribution, then they better start listening.

    Where are you Gordon Bradbury and Frank Strie? Sounds like FT needs us … 😉

  85. Ted Mead

    December 11, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks Pete, This rhetorical letter merely confirms what we already know, that the unviable Native Forest Industry in its current form is a terminal zombie, dead duck and a wasted space that perpetuates the ongoing financial, environmental and social destruction of this island. Somehow we will see this unaccountable Frankenstein linger and limp on at the cost of everyone. As moribund as it is, it will probably take a financial depression for the FT corporation to hit the deck.

  86. Geoffrey Swan

    December 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you Pete Godfrey

    EVERY Tasmanian needs to read the FT Letter you have enclosed… this is an appalling state of affairs … any private or shareholder business simply would not get away with any of this.

  87. mike seabrook

    December 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    how much better off if people went into the forests to cut wood for their woodheaters – no subsidies required to fund non-commercial long term loss making contracts signed with cronies? – expect the hydro would have gone crook
    where is the auditor general

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