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


The Logs Pile High as History Repeats Itself …

First published May 27

Piles of stacked hardwood logs appear to be on the rise in the state, but for who? What is the market and where are they going? One can only guess they are destined for Asia, and yet history has already proved that such speculated exports make no economical sense.

Back in the Lennon government days, hardwood logs were once piled high and dry at the Burnie wharf.

These logs remained there for seemingly aeons only to decay, but Why?

Well, apparently the government at that time had somewhat loosely organised a couple of ships from Singapore to transport them to an Asian buyer, but at the eleventh hour the dud, seemingly one-sided deal fell through.

Our lamebrain government then obviously didn’t commit to a contract so it just continued to cut forests and pile the logs up on spec. These stacked so-called sawlogs, then dried out and split, and Tasmania procured yet another self-inflicted forestry lemon.

Surprisingly the state wasn’t willing to pay the dubious importers enough to take them away at that moment!

Meanwhile hardwood logs are beginning to pile up at Burnie again. This time in a compound near the Emu River. They are definitely not graded sawlogs as some have bends in them like a snake with a bellyache, so they must be ‘residues’ as Paul Harriss described them.

Obviously the question begs. How is it possible for the state to cut and transport these logs, stack them, then redistribute them to another site or export facility at a later date with belief that multiple handling is going to be profitable?

But that’s exactly what our delusional Forest Minister Guy Barnett is assuring us regarding Forestry’s future – and that is that FT is sustainable and can financially stand on its own feet.

The same modus operandi seems to be in the Liberal minds with the proposed Hobart wharf export concept.

This is apparently going to happen by sliding the logs into a shipping container somehow, probably with the aid of copious amounts of Vaseline.

By using shipping containers, the exporters then become eligible for a $700 per container subsidy under the freight equalisation scheme.

One imagines if the Hobart concept becomes viable then the stockpiled hardwood logs at Burnie may be exported in the same manner?

It would seem exporting hardwood logs at any subsidised cost is inconsequential providing some Liberal or FT crony gets to make a few bucks at the other end.

But even that seems unlikely these days!

*Ted Mead has been campaigning for the preservation of Tasmania’s wilderness for over 35 years. Although it has become a lifetime commitment, he fully comprehends that having our natural areas protected from Bulldozers, Chainsaws and dam builders is only the first step. Defending our wild places from inappropriate and exploitative development seems to be the neo-paradigm of the foreseeable future!

Comment 23

Comment 24

Comment 39

Vica Bayley, Wilderness Society: Hodgman funds forestry damage-control PR and a ‘Growth Strategy’ it doesn’t support

Comment 48

Comment 48

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


  1. max

    June 1, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    An update on Jonathan Swifts book Gulliver’s Travels and Houyhnhnms land to the south of Australia. It is now called Tasmania and the Yahoos run FT and employ only Yahoos for management and advice. What other conclusion can you come to with the on going destruction and loss of money that is the saga of a once sound and worth while business.

  2. spikey

    June 1, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    jack, i wasn’t talking to you
    this is not tennis
    and i won’t be taking my bat and ball and going home
    just because someone doesn’t like it
    when their unsporting shill skills
    are used against them
    by a better player

  3. Jack Lumber

    June 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Re 66 at last we agree and perhaps Mr Hawkins will
    note your comment .

    Re 64 while you have been
    In the Army , have you appropriated a traditional
    from the RN and if so maybe just add a little bit of water ?
    But look forward to your article

    Re 65 spikey this verbal tennis while maybe fun for
    some , doesn’t add to the discussion and TT

  4. Ted Mead

    June 1, 2017 at 12:57 am

    #63 – Desperate times seems to call for desperate analogies!

    WTF – has this got to do with a pile of logs?

  5. spikey

    May 31, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    when a man uses obscure mind games
    as an answer to questions
    he sure don’t want to answer
    you got to wonder
    what’s he hiding?

    and is he using an obscure reference to knowledge, reference, power, religion and hippopotamuses

    to justify his actions?

  6. John Hawkins

    May 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm


    Comprehension much better but off topic bringing the Pope into Logs at Burnie wharf may be considered by many as a step too far.

    No more comments until you have read my article on Monday morning.

    Then away you go but before the sun comes over the Yardarm.

  7. Jack Lumber

    May 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    62 Hawkins
    Your comments and questions are now at the point of being a curious mixture of facts , self referencing , cognitive bias and frankly just a tiny bit silly

    Here is an example of the logic you are using

    “Just under 50% of Tasmanian population have identified their religious denomination as Christian ”

    “As such police in Tasmania have just under 50% chance of having Christian faith”

    “This would mean that for just under 50% a Tasmanian Police member would have a bias for Christian beliefs and therefore would behave in a biased way when dealing with people or suspects who are not Christian ”

    “And that for parties that declare they are Christian would be given preferential treatment by the police ”

    “there may be checks and balances including training , legislation , auditing

    This means the Pope is actually in charge of the Tasmanian Police

    Now please tell of the above ,
    which is fact ,
    what is assumption based on a fact
    what is cognitive bias
    what is just plain silly


  8. John Hawkins

    May 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm


    I think your intellectual compass rises and falls with the hour of the day.

    Yardarms spring to mind, I am not sure if that is one word or two.

    Are you on the plonk?

    If half the FPO’S approved by the FPA are employees of Forestry Tasmania who in addition is their current examining body without outside accountability when appointed, then Forestry Tasmania is in control of the FPA.

    Drielsma of Forestry Tasmania, of FOI fame, who blocked all access to Rolley’s part in the Ta Ann contract saga as the hit man at Forestry Tasmania has replaced Wilkinson as the chief FPO at the FPA.

    Private enterprise cannot compete in the clearfelling and burning of their land without the MIS scam contribution.the only game in town is Forestry Tasmania and Forestry Tasmania appoint their own accredited to the FPA.

    I can tell you that no Forestry Tasmania FPO is going to soil his own nest.

    He will write what his employer wants to hear and see.

    Forestry Tasmania is now the only destroyer of our native forests as we pay it $100 million every year, according to Barnett, into their coffers as a taxpayer subsidy to keep them solvent and thereby freeze out Private Forestry.

    When El Grande was burnt, killed by Forestry Tasmania:

    Who wrote the FPP?

    Who took no action?

    Who ensured that the FPO was not hauled over the FPA coals?

    Why was nobody fined?

    Why was the matter hushed up?

    Because the FPA is a subsidiary of FT.

    Forestry Tasmania has so trashed its brand that it is at enormous cost having to change its name.

    I am going to write an article on the FPA for TT and I will spell this out in more detail.

    I can understand the reasons for a Forestry Tasmania man getting on the grog but it damages your case and authority and you make no sense.

    You are capable of better things and we need your input.

    Sharpen up sir.

  9. Jack Lumber

    May 30, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Re 60
    Apologies for that typo
    Re FPP and FT have no idea and why would In

    Mr Hawkins – please review my comments re Ta Ann
    No fan of the contract then or now

    So why did you say FPA was a subsidiary of FT?

  10. John Hawkins

    May 30, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    #41 Limber or lumber

    Approximately half the FPA approved FPOs are FT employees

    Right or wrong?

  11. John Hawkins

    May 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm


    I apologise to Martin J. Fitch for stating that he has ever been an employee of Forestry Tasmania.

    No one in their right mind wants to be an employee of Forestry Tasmania.

    Fitch during your long career as an FPO did you ever complete a FPP for Forestry Tasmania?

    Be careful how you answer as I might know the answer.

    Over half the FPPs conducted in Tasmania were or are or have been conducted for Forestry Tasmania.

    Forestry Tasmania has gained approval to appoint their own employees to draft their own in house FPP without the FPA noting any possible conflict of interest.

    The FPA no longer uses accreditation for the appointment of FPOs

    Nearly half of all Tasmanian FPOs are or were employed by Forestry Tasmania.

    All this poses the question why is it that nobody wants to be associated with Forestry Tasmania.

    Is it because the institution looks corrupt?

    Is it because the institution acts corruptly?

    Or is it because is FT is actually corrupt?

    That is a question for Mr Lumber and Mr Evan Rolley of FT and Ta Ann.

    Corrupt or not the Liberals now according to Barnett give them $100 million of our money as a gift every year to keep the show on the road.

    Why? What is in it for Liberals.

    Surely it is not just the wood to hold up their mugshots at election time.

  12. Jack Lumber

    May 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    re 56 John
    Have you read the Act as and just go to the FPA website there is a host of information that will answer some of those questions
    But you know all this , don’t you, as you are quite adept at using a keyboard and research; but you do like a bit of theatre 🙂

    Any you can’t answer via www , are best directed to the FPA

    Now why did you claim the FPA was a subsidiary ( sic) of FT ?

  13. MjF

    May 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    RCH #53
    1R clearfell producing both products, 2R being established, activities primarily in north of state. Plantation ages in the 16/17/18 years range.

    Good to see relevant and genuine questions for a change.

  14. John Hawkins

    May 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Lumber who ever you are, you seem to have a good insiders knowledge of the workings of the FPA.

    1. How could this little island have 197 qualified Forest Practices Officers FPO’s earning a living in 2012 – 13 who certified to 30 June in one year 315 Forest Practices Plans over 14,000 hectares of Tasmania?

    2. How did they become Forest Practices Officers.

    3. What were the qualifications required to hold the sword of Damocles over our forests as the writer of a Forest Practices Plan?

    4. Do you sit an exam if so who set and marks the exam none of this information is seemingly recorded?

    5. The majority of the volume of work must have been with Forestry Tasmania not with Privately Owned Forests?

    6.So who in the FPA allocated the jobs to keep these people solvent?

    7. If the Forest Practices Plan did not suit the owner of the land such that the streamside reserves allocated were to large – did the FPO ever get another job.

    8. You and Fitch are very insistent that they were independant of Forestry Tasmania but Forestry Tasmania produced the majority of the work that needed FPPs?

    9. Do we see a direct conflict of interest here?

    10 I googled “MJF FPP” and came up with only one reference to a Freedom of Information request to Forestry Tasmania asking about the Bardenhagen clear fell on Rocky Creek. Why would that be?

    11. The plans were so well policed by the FPA that five people or organisations were fined a total of $5000 for non compliance in the year ending June 2013.

    Mr Andrew Ricketts and Mr Robin Halton could I am sure make a more positive contribution to this debate.

    For me at this initial stage I see a can of worms over conflict of interest with everybody trying to distance themselves from Forestry Tasmania.

    Forestry Tasmania provided probably corruptly the majority of the work to feed the 200 fighting over less than one job a year.

    Fitch appeared to get only one job ever – that at Lilydale – during his whole career as a FPO. I am sure he will correct me but that is all that MJF FPP shows up on a computer search.

    Fitch as you have retired, spill the beans.

    Among the Current Directors of the FPA are John Ramsay who has a direct conflict of interest as Chair of the new Tasmainian Planning Commission. Ricketts may wish to comment …

    Alex Schaap the disgraced, in my view, former EPA director rewarded for holding the line over a substantially commenced Pulp Mill at Longreach

    Peter Volker formerly of Forestry Tasmania, then advisor to Richard Colbeck.

    Chair of the current Advisory Council we have Hans Drielsma who blocked the FOI into the Fitch FPP over Lilydale and was or still is a long time employee of FT.

    Terry Edwards…….

    Shall I go on

  15. MJF

    May 30, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Do not attempt to slither away from your responsibility by proffering clouding eyes as a feeble excuse for a false accusation made by you about me a number of times on this forum.

    You have clearly observed and made mental note of the movements of our native reptiles in your 24 odd years in the colonies.

    “A” for observation.

    Fess up and make a standalone public apology for misrepresenting me as an FT employee or is that a behavioural trait foreign to an ex Sandhurst trained British army officer ?

  16. John Hawkins

    May 30, 2017 at 10:13 am

    … Continuation of Comment 51 …

    Jeremy Ball in a motion before the LCC, “The Lilydale Motions” 13/02/2010:


    ……. that local government is virtually powerless to stop forestry operations potentially impacting on residents water supply.

  17. Robin Charles Halton

    May 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I been a rather exciting read so far but not wanting to be the devils advocate and taking sides there remains many unanswered questions about where forestry is heading!

    It is John Hawkins who has to drag information from those who are really up to date with industry, fair enough, Martin Fitch who never recall meeting in my time with FC/FT has responded favorably towards John’s inquisitiveness in my opinion!\ A damn good step foward Martin!

    It is also interesting to know that E nitens ” from private property” is being exported and peeled by Asian buyers, I suspect that logs would need to be of reasonable quality and size to qualify and not those slower growing knotty whorled things where thinning is yet to be carried out if economical to proceed.

    If you dont mind me asking either Martin or Jack, what are the operational requirements is this a a direct 1R , 2R or clearfall that involves peeler plus pulp!

    Could you name any operations down south at all or does it only apply to closeness to the northern ports of Burnie or Tamar.

    And yes if anyone does know what is happening with the proposed wood export facility at Macquarie Wharf, please come foward!

    I continue to be interested in Ta Ann’s future as John has shown towards Rolley’s politics for getting everything in his favor for his company cash grabbing for forfeiting resource, and a signature via the TFA an impact on our younger regrowth resource.

    John’s interest in the Ta Ann impact on forestry may vary to mine but i think we are at a stage to test the situation with the Minister for whom is actually running public forestry!

    The Minister has to make it clear what the forest management protocol will be for the opening up of 357,000ha of former State Forest now known as Future production Forests for harvest “by whom and targeting which forest products” given the six year moritorium is still in place till “when” 2019!

    There is a State Election coming up next year and there is too much “fucked up” politics surrounding the unclear forestry issues, some of it coming from the Liberals who are not necessarily sending clear messages to the media!

    By Jesus I would welcome a reality check coming from FT CEO Steve Whiteley who is not a bad sort of a fellow to speak his mind!

    Instead most discussion on forestry is blocked either by the Forestry Board who we hardly ever hear from now that Bob Gordon has moved on.

    Apart from some of the positive contributions by fishing through the TT news items there is little to support the best way foward for future forest management on available public land

  18. spikey

    May 30, 2017 at 2:22 am


    you sure seem keen on commissions
    please don’t throw me in the briar patch

  19. John Hawkins

    May 29, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Fitch I need no lapdogs, I can paddle my own canoe through the slime and sludge of water access for residents in Tasmania.

    I can deal with Private Timber Reserves and the corruption of process to benefit the now bankrupt logging industry which according to Barnett now costs Tasmanian taxpayers $100 million a year.

    I accept you may not have worked for FT but you as MJF were an FPO producing FPP’s for the FPA through your company RFP.

    I think I have got it right now.

    Apologies if my eyes had clouded over.

    This matter has been up on TT before some 7 years ago … as a prime mover you kept a low profile.

    It was discussed, including an important comment #51 as “Martin” by yourself as the author of the FPP plan. To be found under “Lilydale Denied Access” TT 03/02/2010: http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/pr-article/lilydale-denied-access

    The indefatigble and wonderful Garry Stannus as a citizen reporter put up the goings on in an article on TT “The Meeting over Lilydale” 03/02/2010: http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/article/the-meeting-over-lilydale

    cont …

  20. MJF

    May 29, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Best ask someone @ FT. I’m not a member there.

  21. Jack Lumber

    May 29, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Re 47
    Facinating premise .

    Evidence would assist , rather than the inference

    These are serious claims being made by yourself
    , you should take these to Integrity Commission immediately
    Should there be a royal commission ?

    Perhaps you could ask William to assist in your

    Could you help John Hawkins explain why he says FPWis a subsidiary of FT ?

    Looking forward to your advice


  22. John Hawkins

    May 29, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    (Pictures published in the article above)

    Martin J. Fitch …

    You asked me how the plantation was growing at 186 Mountain Road Lilydale. Please find my reply …

    The survey map showing in blue the water flow into the former Lilydale water supply at Rocky Creek and the borders of the block from which you prepared a FPP for the Bardenhagens over 246 acres.

    The area in question abutted what was the Lilydale water supply intake into Rocky Creek

    It was zoned by Launceston Council as a Scenic Protection Zone.

    It was in the Launceston City Council’s Water Catchment Protection Zone.

    This counted for nought under your FPP and the area was clearfelled and burnt despite the wishes of the local residents.

    Well done you … that was what you were paid to achieve.

    The picture above shows – as requested by you – in 2016 via Google Earth the same block.

    This poses the question was the MIS scam plantation put in or had the scam imploded by then?

    Can the current owners of the land be made under your FPP to replant if they have not done so.

    Life in Tasmania becomes far more interesting when we know who and what we are dealing with.

    The Bardenhagen block … The red star indicates the Lilydale water intake.

    When clearfelled and burnt the water intake and supply was stuffed … cost to rectify $7 million.

    The block by satellite in 2016 (picture above) … the start of the village of Lilydale top left.

    Comments please Martin J Fitch.

    Should we give you an A, B, C, D, or an F for your FPP?

  23. john hayward

    May 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    #41, Lumber (cc #45 Fitch). Of 197 FPOs listed in 2012 a significant % were known to be employed by FT. An even more significant number are approved, often without apparent inspection.

    Has FT had any success since in grasping the “conflict-of-interest” concept?

    John Hayward

  24. Jack Lumber

    May 29, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    re 44 John please look up the Forest Practices Act 1985 under www thelaw.tasgov.au.

    It easy to find and easy to read.

    Of course you know all this as I am sure you have read the Act many times . I am sure many on TT will guide you if you struggle with it

    Now about this “subsidiary ” claim ?

  25. mJf

    May 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Refer to #40

    1. Not for discussion
    2. Incorrect
    3. Question makes no sense
    4. Not for discussion
    5. No implosion but came off a peak certainly
    6. I am correct.
    7. Old news, uninformed debate by locals. If you’re a trained & authorised FPO planner, then your opinion carries some weight re quality. If you are not, then your opinion remains just that.
    8. This is a wind up, right ? Yes, I’m laughing now, I see the humour.
    9. Can you advise on health of plantation ? I haven’t seen it in a good while.

    Now that you know (again) I’m not an employee of Forestry Tasmania past or present are you man enough to admit your error ?

    My money is on….yes, I still believe you’re good for it although I note your avoidance tactics.

  26. John Hawkins

    May 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Perhaps Fitch and Lumber could go through how one qualify’s as a Forest Practices Officer in Tasmania.

    Is the qualification obtained by examination after a course, if so who runs the course and who marks the paper?

    Can the qualification be bought through logging connections there is a lot of money at stake here.

    Can the monniker FPO be arbitarily awarded if so how and by whom?

    How do you get paid as a FPO and by whom?

    Who holds the Forest Practices Plan and for how long after it is signed is it moniored for compliance?

    Who monitors the affected area after the approval and creation of the plantation and who pays them?

    I am sure there are other areas that I have missed that our expert readers can fill in.

    This is not off topic for an enquiry will provide the source of the logs in Burnie ex FPO Fitch seems to know this … perhaps he will fill us in.

    There are a great number of FPO’s listed under various headings by the Forest Practices Authority.

    Are there only two cats. Planning and Inspecting.

    Then as this is Lumber and Fitch’s area of expertise what is the relationship of an FPO with the FPA, is it contractual or otherwise and that between the FPA with FT.

    The answers cannot be hard especially from an insider’s perspective so please lay before us in words of one syllable.

    The Bardehagen block was a a PTR, this took it out of Council planning controls and the Plantation was a MIS scam that caused the water stuff up that cost $7 million.

    How was the Mt Arthur FPO, Fitch, paid?

    By the FPA or the the owner of the PTR?

    Were you paid as a set fee per plan and was this fee set by the FPA or the Government?

    If the FPA how was the size of the payment arrived at?

    Fitch, why did you need to re-register your FPO business in Queensland as an FPO in Tasmania?

    These are the questions we need to see answered by our logging correspondents Limber or Lumber and Fitch.

    They are always happy to carp and snipe at us mere mortals who smell the FT rats … but you do know the answers.

    Over to you gentlemen.

  27. Clive Stott

    May 29, 2017 at 6:02 am

  28. Frank again

    May 29, 2017 at 12:20 am

    RE:#39:… “I hope I have re-established my credibility.”
    There was never a question of your credibility John!!!
    Thank you for going through all this historically sad stupid stuff.
    It was good to get this listed.
    Considering my own family is affected/ influenced/ impacted by these developments in the foothills of Mount Arthur I value the potential of restoration management that will eventually happen on this, our island I believe.

  29. Jack Limber

    May 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Re 39 John

    For comepletness could you please advise how you determine the FPA is a subsidiary (sic) of Forestry Tasmania

    Kindest regards

  30. Jack Lumber

    May 28, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Re 37 For your information sawlogs and peelers may be occasionally stored under sprinklers

    Logs for wood chipping are not wet down
    There may be some spaying to remove dirt
    but most mills removed log washes in the 90s
    and this coincided with the introduction of spray guards
    on log trailers

    And no I am not going to list all the mills I have visited in Tasmania

    Spikey thank you for the kind comments and I hoping
    to avoid any feacal polishing

  31. John Hawkins

    May 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Fitch the aim of my comment #12 was to flush you out of the Tasmanian forests and establish if Martin and MJF were one of the same one Martin J. Fitch. It seems to have worked.

    In reply I have been selling antiques for 50 years this year with a modicum of success.

    I do not normally sell Antiquities although I did manage to sell The Greywacke Isis and a very fine Sekhemet in recent times .

    Others attribute my success to careful and methodical research.

    1. You state that you joined and left The Tasmanian Forestry Commission (TFC) ( 1947 – 1994) before it folded into Forestry Tasmania in 1994.

    The TFC was set up after the War as a result of a Royal Commission into improper dealings by politicians and department officials in Tasmania regarding Tasmanian public forests.

    The question now becomes what did you do in the period 1988 to 1999? You are recorded in the Forest Practices News the Journal of the Forest Practices, Board, Volume 2 Number 2.

    December 1999, published by the Tasmanian Government on page 6 as: winning the, spot the eagle nest competition on the Forest Practices Board course a course that included Kevin Bonham and Carlton Frame later of Gunns fame.
    It is of interest that 1999 was the year that the Forest Practices Board formerly separated from Forestry Tasmania and its first appointed board member Evan Rolley left for Forestry Tasmania.

    2. From the above am I now correct in saying that you were a government employee working for the Forest Practices Board from 1988 to 1999 then part of Forestry Tasmania?

    3. If so you are correct for you have never been employed by Forestry Tasmania but as an approved FPO working with its subsidiary the Forest Practices Board?

    4. Real Forest Planning Pty Ltd (RFP)was set up in Feb 2008 and now has a registered office in Queensland ACN 130426309. What was your position in the Tasmanian Forest industry in the next stage of your career from 1999 to 2008, did you work for the Tasmanian Government until you set up on your own you were still an accredited FPO officer in February 2012 while commenting on Tasmanian Times

    5. I agree that your company (RFP) is not part of Forestry Tasmania. It presumably imploded with the crash of the Fraudulent and Corrupt MIS scams.

    6. You are not correct in your recollection regarding Lilydale which was your first big job running your own business. A Notification of Proposed Forest Practices at 186 Mountain Road Lilydale was issued to adjoining landowners on 12/10/09 by M. J. Fitch (Real Forest Planning) as the Forest Practices Officer who had prepared the Forest Practices Plan for Leigh Bardenhagen. The plan was yet to be certified but operations were proposed to commence in mid November 2009 and completed by March 2010.

    7. Due to a great deal of public opposition to your what I see as poorly drafted FPP over the supply of water from Rocky Creek to the town of Lilydale your plan was modified but certified 27/1/2010. The locals fought on and lost. The plantation that was planted after the area was clear felled burnt and turned into a plantation under one of the last of the MIS scams as projected sucked the creek dry. The matter was discussed in detail on Tasmanian Times, Lilydale water supply Threatened TT 6 Dec 2009 a matter to which you gamely contributed:

    8. This clear felling and Plantation scam completely stuffed the water supply of Lilydale which was only fixed after the construction in 2013 of a 26 km pipeline from Launceston and a holding dam at a cost to the public of $7 million dollars. The same happened at Mole Creek whose water supply was destroyed and replaced at enormous cost after another dodgy FPP was authorised by Forestry Tasmania to log in the headwaters above the town water supply.

    I hope I have re-established my credibility.

    Mr Fitch do not desert us here on TT we need targets moving or otherwise and as always I enjoy your contributions.

    Now we know where you are coming from.

  32. spikey

    May 28, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    welcome back jack
    sure, i’m not taking the piss
    I trust you’re in good health
    clearly the boys have really been struggling
    polish turds
    without you

    as evidenced by MjF’s curious portrayal of the ostrich defence

    there’s no need to be oblique
    nobody likes erica
    probably because he pretends to hate gays
    amongst a multitude of other obvious failings
    nobody likes people who stir up hate to divide communities

  33. Clive Stott

    May 28, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    mjf please…stockpiled logs for the chippers used to be kept wetted down, don’t know if that is still the practice?

    Are stored, dried and cracked logs suitable for peeling?

  34. mjf

    May 28, 2017 at 4:03 pm


    Nothing new here. Same old suspects, same old critique.

    Haven’t changed my tune at all. My #17 relates to Gilmours query from #14 re old Tioxide yard logs. Jesus. How hard can it be to comprehend this ?

    My #26 answer relates to Meads photographed rows of bent logs at the wharf in response to you claiming I said they were export peelers. Which I hadn’t.

    I couldn’t give a stuff about your post added NF peeler pics which I didn’t see anyway. They’re irrelevant to my #17 and #26 comments.

    It’d be much better if you couldn’t add additionals to articles which serves only to hijack the stories and muddy the waters.

    When either you or #32 can ask a rational and relavent question I might respond. At this stage you’ve both become time wasters. You can both go and stand in a corner until I say when.

  35. Clive Stott

    May 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Barney wants a monopoly on making a loss and polluting the environment with trash and burn/clearfelling.

    She would hate to think selective logging made money.

    For so long now we have seen sawlogs split and going to the mouths of the chippers.

  36. mjf

    May 28, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    #21 J Wade

    Minna Rd yard is holding private property E nitens pulpwood awaiting chipping.

    gathering aerides ?

  37. Jack Lumber

    May 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    After a decision to stay away from TT for a while its good to see that nothing has changed and the level of discourse sinks further .

    Ted Mead asks a question and so he should but as to the rest what a complete feeding frenzy based on what ? Nothing

    Ted , thank you for your question and as it has provided an exemplar , reconfirming what many now have concluded …TT has stopped being a forum for discussion , some tough banter , occasional derision and more importantly discovery .

    The only thing that was missing in the list of comments was some oblique reference to Erica and it would be a “typical ” TT story

    And frankly that is a sad state as TT should be part of the fabric of discourse and discovery in the Tasmanian media . “Jesus help us all ” if its left to the Ex, Merc or Ad

  38. Ted Mead

    May 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Private logs from private forests hey?

    One wonders how anyone in the private forest industry can make a profit given the massive subsidies to the state forest logging industry?

    Did these piled logs find themselves there with transport subsidies like everyone else? I suspect so!

    Of course these logs will have to be double handled onto the chippers, and invariably they have to compete with the plantation chip market. Sounds like a sneaky tax-payers subsidy amidst there somewhere.

    So MJF if you’re so close to the inner sanctum of FT knowledge, what’s happening with the dubious container export concept on Hobart?

    Rumour has it that there are piles of logs near Longley awaiting momentum. I couldn’t find these rumoured piles on Google Earth so maybe the Liberals have got paranoid and covered them over with army camouflage tarps???

    Anything is possible or probable in these desperate Forestry days!

  39. John Hawkins

    May 28, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Martin J Fitch of Forestry Tasmania


    After I put up photographs of real Tasmanian peeler billets sold by your employer to Ta Ann at a thumping great loss to the long suffering Tasmanian taxpayers you changed your tune to:


    You profess to know a great deal regarding the past and future of these specific logs … what is the scam and wearing your Forestry Tasmania hat how are we the taxpayers funding it?

    Further did you produce the Forest Practices Plan for the production of these logs if so why is this the result?

    Is the real money in the State subsidised cartage from a to b to c …..?

    If so does someone get another slab of money when they are picked up again to go to the chipper?

    How many times have these specific logs been moved and why?

    Fitch this is your area of expertise not mine so:

    Over to you Sir

    Sorry about the wharf at Burnie I thought wrongly from your statements that they were being shipped to Asian customers for Peeling. We now know that this is not so.

  40. mJF

    May 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    #27. Refer to my #26.

    If you believe you could saw these logs into profitable timber, then knock yourself out. There’s no doubt you could recover some short length, small dimensioned timber like garden stakes and pegs typically seen in plant nurseries.

    As a consumer I don’t personally buy such products because I know how they twist, buckle, warp and break when cut from low grade, inferior, small spec. logs

    I reckon you could buy these logs as is from owners for a negotiated price, cart them off to a sawmill and away you go.

    Maybe even dust off and roll out the ex Greens leader as partner/adviser. Take the Weegena oracle with you as well, he’d excel sweeping up any sawdust you might produce.

  41. Di Elliffe

    May 28, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Just on the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme reference, my understanding is that logs sent interstate or overseas would not be eligible for TFES, whether in containers or not. Goods have to have value-added to be eligible, and I doubt that simply cutting them down would qualify in that regard. And goods destined for export overseas are not eligible at all under the scheme.

  42. max

    May 28, 2017 at 3:05 am

    # 20 Barney. Please explain. Why is clearfelling the best method of returning as much value per hectare as can be achieved. Clearfelling is losing money, is that the best return we can expect? Clear felling is followed by a so called regeneration burn. What does a regeneration burn achieve apart from an area that will never produce a mature sawlog, never produce a prised special timber and releases co2 and dangerous 2.5 particulate? Selective logging is very uneconomical way of logging, or so you say. It worked in the past and gave us a working forest that kept producing mature saw logs, speciality timbers and no 2.5 particulate, how was it so bad?

  43. Andrew Ricketts

    May 28, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Ah, thank you post #17, the Asians can peel E. nitens, bloody good! I thought they were only good for chip and pulp!

    I assume, contrary to post #4 that Ted’s Burnie Wharf photo in the article shows sawlogs.

    Is it still a sawlog driven strategy? And therefore are these are just the young sawlogs, or did they merely shrivel under the scrutiny of Ted’s lens?

    Re #22, they split them to meet the woodchip log standards. Because in fact Tasmania does not have a sawlog driven anything.

    It must be liquidation driven. Ask Minister Bartlett or Mr Halton; I am sure either can tell you the truth.

    As for post #20’s issue, the liquidation strategy throws up something in the order of 90% to 99% which is neatly termed by industry “waste”. What other industry dares consider 90% to 99% of its production “waste”.

    We should get the ABC onto this one re its show ‘War On Waste’. Perhaps encourage them to do an extra show on how 90% of the forest neatly gets termed “waste”.

  44. MJf

    May 28, 2017 at 2:13 am

    #23 Hawkins
    I say it is you who needs to get your facts straight. My #17 clearly states the logs on the the old tioxide site are E nitens peelers from private property. No mention of logs on Burnie wharf in there that I can see. Suggest you recap and apologise, perhaps you were a little keen to get a cheap shot away.

    My #1 post argues the case that Meads beat up story and accompanying photograph may not necessarily be logs from State Forest as he claims. He doesn’t know the source but prefers to speculate the only way he knows with another FT tirade. This is just plain ignorance.

    I, on the other hand, do know the factual source of the logs in the photo’d rows, they are from private property.

    Now to the 2nd part of your erroneous accusation in #23. To this point I haven’t yet mentioned the category of those bendy logs Mead has photographed at the wharf which heads up his article so you are incorrect again.

    They are in fact pulpwood logs awaiting chipping.

    You sir are becoming increasingly mischievious, please follow the posts more carefully and pay attention to the details provided. They are for your education.

    It now appears you’re attempting to hijack the story from logs in storage in and around Burnie to the Ta Ann billet supply. Different argument. Stay on topic is my advice.

    #22 J Hopgood
    I have requested of you elsewhere, quite politely as I recall, if you are Hawkins lapdog. You have so far evaded that question by introducing your own Dorothy Dixers to which I’ve responded honestly. Now sir, your turn. Any sort of gentleman would reply without further obfuscation.

  45. max

    May 28, 2017 at 12:27 am

    For any one interested in catches of logs, look at Morgan Timbers on Pateena Rd. Google Earth clearly shows the logs that are slowly disintegrating. Did the Tax payers get hit for carting and storage and are they still paying?

  46. John Hawkins

    May 27, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Peeler Billets from Tasmanian Native Forests as supplied to Ta Ann at a loss by FT being peeled in their Smithton factory.

    Not quite the same as Burnie wharf!

  47. John Hawkins

    May 27, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    I submit this photograph of Peeler Billets supplied from Tasmanian Native Forests to Ta Ann by Forestry Tasmania all at a substantial loss by the Tasmanian Taxpayer.

    MJF Comment #17 claims there are peeler billets supplied by private enterprise lying on Burnie wharf.

    This is patently untrue, compare the images.

    Forestry Tasmania supporters such as Fitch need to get their facts right.

    ABC 27 Nov 2012

    We paid Ta Ann $28.6 million to forgo 108,000 cu m of this quality of Peeler billet in a deal negotiated by Rolley under the TFA .

    This deal should be subject to a Royal Commission over due process but Barnett and the Liberals insist on covering the arse of all those involved in this your corrupt Tasmania.

    These are ridgy – didge peeler billets.

    Will the Upper House now scuttle the peace deal legislation now that the money has been stolen under false pretences?

    What say you Fitch?

  48. john hayward

    May 27, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    #17, MJF. Why does such a high percentage of tassie trees get split? who grades them? What do they cost? What are the regulations on logging native forest on private land? Why? How can private tassie forestry compete with their pirate competitors abroad without subsidies?

    These mysteries have withstood a million queries.

    John Hayward

  49. John Wade

    May 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    MjF – Now let’s have a look at the logs opposite the old TiOx site, the ones on the corner of Minna Road and the Bass H’way. Miles of them! They have been there a long time gathering moss, aerides and curiosity from the travelling pubic.

  50. Barney Rubble

    May 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    #16 Pete Godfrey, guesswork, yeah sort of expected that response.

    Just what do you propose to be done with the waste from clear felling then? Selective logging is very uneconomical way of logging. Yes looks great in the general publics eye but the logistics of taking this one, missing those, taking that is very hard to achieve. You sound like you are aware of forestry activities but if so you should realise clearfelling is the best method of returning as much value per hectare as can be achieved. In a perfect world we don’t log at all but that’s not possible is it. Irrespective of this everyone (yes you & I too) uses wood products everyday.

  51. John Hawkins

    May 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    MJF #17

    He doth protest too much.

    Readers just look at the photograph not a peeler billet in sight.

    Ask Ta Ann.

    MJF the devil is always in the detail.

    If you are defending the indefensible at least get your facts right.

    Peeler Billets indeed…….

  52. Rom

    May 27, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    … so would you expect anything different from a bunch of short sited, dogma driven, economic rationalists whose only measure of wealth is what they can rip from the earth? Bloody liberals have a proven track record of bloody minded policy aimed at feathering their own nests… and to hell with the rest of the population. Election next year folks. Get pissed off and make a noise.

  53. MjF

    May 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    #14 Gilmour

    I can confirm the logs at old Tioxide site are E nitens, all from private property from private growers, bought, managed and on sold to Asian customers for peeling by private enterprise.

    No FT, no johnny gay, no minister, no subsidies, no politics, just free enterprise at work. Stand alone privateers only. Logs are loaded & shipped in the round. No containers, no freight subsidies, ships may call into other log ports to load additional cargo from other operations. Cargo ex Burnie might be a whole shipment , might be part, just depends on a number of factors.

    Methyl bromide anyone ?

    I think logs being stacked in holding yard “behind trees” is more a case of the lease operating conditions of the facility i.e.
    All existing vegetation would need to be retained and not disturbed as part of long term remediation of the site. So I suspect more a case stacking logs in and around existing vegetation as best they can rather than your “hiding” theory.

    Re jobs these are all for a private enterprise company, nothing to do with FT or politics so feel free to apply. I can see no reason why you shouldn’t be treated equitably. How’s the social media profile look ? Good luck if you throw the hat in.

    What else was there ? Oh yes, native forest log trucks. These will mainly be from FT’s own CBS operations around the Murchison District. Splitting of logs is to reduce piece size so logs will fit into a portable chipper mouth, not to destruct sawlogs which are in short supply.

  54. Pete Godfrey

    May 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    #13 Guesswork based on 12 years of coupe studies and many thousands of kilometres of travelling to far flung areas of Tasmania to see what has been done to our forests.
    The size of the trees points to waste from clearfells, otherwise no one would have bothered to cut them down. If the forest were selectively logged then those small trees would have been left to grow into sawlogs. Just like they used to do in the old days.
    The Tarkine reference is because that is the closest large logging area to Burnie, it is also completely dotted in proposed logging coupes.
    As far as trying to improve forest practices go, sorry I have given up on that. The commercial reality of collecting subsidies and transferring the losses to the public, preclude any meaningful attempts at sustainable logging.

  55. Claire Gilmour

    May 27, 2017 at 12:58 am

    And how is the Forestry in Tasmania and Australia going to deal with this … pretend ignorance is bliss or don’t give a shit !?


  56. Claire Gilmour

    May 26, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    There are heaps of log piles on the old Burnie tioxide site. They seem to stock pile them in smaller piles and … behind trees ! Hoping to hide something I guess. One could assume they are from state forests for pulp wood/shipping … ? but are they being sold privately? Does JGay’s company get his dip into such? What do you know MJF?

    Plenty of log trucks still traversing the far N/W … lots of very young regrowth and lots of purposefully split huge trees (old growth?)

    Forestry jobs you say #7 RCH …. planning, management, harvesting, roading … now that’s purpose built for me in the far N/W Tassie … I got 20 years on the ground experience in it – I could tell them which trees to cut and not cut, how to look after water ways, plan/build roads or do they want someone who just toes the FT/political line ?

  57. Barney Rubble

    May 26, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    #4 Pete Godfrey, just how do you know they are from clear felling and the tarkine? Perhaps it makes your rant/story sound better. Also where should these be stacked prior to being shipped as this is a working wharf you realise. Geez some people jump at shadows for the sake of it. It’s comments like yours that do more harm than good against forest practices.

  58. john hayward

    May 26, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Like the Black Knight in “the Holy Grail”, #1 MJF always finds a way around the forces of logic.

    If the rotted logs were purchased by a private firm, one would imagine they would have been sold reasonably promptly at a partial, rather than complete, loss. This fits the the FT Chair’s prediction his GBE was on an economic suicide mission, notwithstanding its cumbersome name change.

    I’m more drawn to the Land Swap model theory, in which the trees from the State Forest were simply gifted to FT, before being sold to New Forests at a mighty loss.

    As a relative reform, FT should consider handing management to Plutus

    John Hayward

  59. Ted Mead

    May 26, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    #7 – Just because there are new forestry jobs advertised in the north doesn’t mean there is any new or dynamic developments happening up there. For all we know there may have been a revolt, or that the resigning tree-trashers know their long term employment is on the skids anyway?

    Like most ex FT employees, they no doubt landed themselves a very comfortable golden handshake, and an extraordinary super package to wallow in?

    Given the low levels of existing competence and aptitude, then those 4 positions could probably be overseen by one person, as past practices show that somebody would only need an IQ of about 20 to enable themselves to lower the snout into the trough.

    Give that, then the average soul could easily undertake all 4 positions simultaneously.

  60. TGC

    May 26, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    If Hobart is not going to be a ‘port’ then get rid of the Hobart Marine Board and replace it with something more ‘latte’!
    ‘Ports’ are meant to have diverse inflows and be a pretty place that looks fantastic from a cruise ship or when the yachts are in- then de-industrialise southern Tasmania and concentrate on Bell Bay and Burnie.

  61. John Hawkins

    May 26, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    How many hidden from prying eyes subsidies are paid out to keep this mendicant Forest show on the Tasmanian road?

    A million a week to Forestry Tasmania.

    The log truck subsidy per load from native forest to port.

    Freight subsidy for shipping whole logs from Port Burnie to Port Melbourne.

    Peeler billet loss per billet to Ta Ann as framed in the original contracts.

    How many foreign workers on visas in the Ta Ann Tasmanian factories supplying them with cheap foreign labour.

    Over $50 million in grants, cancelled contracts and subsidies to keep Ta Ann running in Tasmania.

    #7 Halton

    Have all the good and clever left FT leaving no one with any knowledge to run your slowly sinking ship?

    Can the TT readership think of more scams currently running in the Alice in Wonderland world of Barnett aided and Abetzed by that centre for the brain dead the Tasmanian Legislative Council?

  62. Gordon Bradbury

    May 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    And here’s another $3 million of Tasmanian taxpayer subsidies to the forest industry from the State Budget. The honey pot (ie. waste) just never ends…


  63. Robin Charles Halton

    May 26, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    One thing is for sure forestry continues to go ahead in the North and the North West of the State.
    Four positions have been advertised in today’s Mercury through Searson Buck in Launceston and Burnie.

    Senior forest Officer -Planning (North)
    Senior Forester Harvesting (North)
    Co-ordinator Roading (North)
    Co-ordinator Forest management (North West)

    Paying any attention to Teds log pile is insignificant within the greater scheme of things happening in forestry in the north of the State.

    I am still waiting for Tas Ports and Forest Minister Barnett to smarten up their act and get moving with the opening a part of Macquarie Point for export of chipwood from the Port of Hobart to reduce the carbon footprint of carting the log materail all the way to the north of the State for processing.

    Macquarie Point should be opened to all multiple use activities including commercial usage as it is ideal situated beside a working port!

    There needs to be more of a sharing vision for various usages in the area, whether it be current, ongoing or adaption.

  64. Frank again

    May 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    There is hardly biomass industry in Tasmania, so the system is worked to take this material somewhere…
    To make the biomass energy “go away” is the agenda.
    Some must be proud of such an under achievement as a society. It is always someone else’s problem.

    Our society of 2017

  65. Gordon Bradbury

    May 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    In fact the TFES should not be available for any freight out of the Port of Hobart. One of the many reforms Tasmania needs is to rationalise the number of ports. Commercial ports are expensive things to operate and Tasmania has too many. Australian taxpayers spent $90 million dollars building the Brighton transport hub to ship southern cargo to northern ports. The Port of Hobart is not a commercial port and should not be subsidised.

  66. Pete Godfrey

    May 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Looks to me that someone is in the firewood business, or that they are planning to sell the logs to turn into pellets.
    Obviously the by product of stupid clearfelling. Many of the logs look like they have been deliberately split. What better way to display the wonderful Tarkine forests.

  67. Gordon Bradbury

    May 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    If rorting the TFES subsidy is indeed the objective then every 100,000 tonnes of pulplogs shipped to Asia via Melbourne costs Australian taxpayers $3.5 million, or $35 per tonne subsidy. What a scam!!

  68. Gordon Bradbury

    May 26, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I wonder what happens to these logs once they get to Melbourne? It would be nice to have someone in Melbourne do some snooping around the docks. If the Australian taxpayer is being ripped off then they should be alerted to the fact.

  69. MJf

    May 26, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Perhaps the sometimes vigilant and eager-to-alarm-the-public author could be a little more investigative and determine if logs are in fact the property of the state or privately owned, managed and sold. Without even a whiff of involvement by FT or the leering “minister”.

    Hard to believe I know but it does happen.

    Wouldn’t pay to go off half cocked ted although that’s never been an obstacle to you before.

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