Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Forestry economics is a form of brain damage!

*Pic – Ted Mead – A 400 hectare section of broadscale forestry devastation in Tasmania’s Southern Forests.

Commercial forestry and land clearance is raping the earth all across the globe, denuding landscapes, destroying biodiversity and pushing more living creatures and plants towards extinction every day.

Yet who is to benefit? Certainly not the people that live around or near the forests, not even the extended communities. So why is it allowed in this 21st century? Visually there is no better display of this global madness than within the insular shores of Tasmania.

Here is something to ponder on!

One would assume if you clearfell a virgin public forest that requires little capital investment, then a competent government should make a profit, but in Tasmania that is far from the case.

The myopic ethos in Tasmania is – Nobody cares, just cut it down and let someone else invest the money reaped from the process because this is called progress, and it provides someone with a job.

The general ethos of capitalism is to secure and extract a natural resource for a minimal cost, then ultimately find a way to sell it back to people at a profit. The entire world is subjected to this unconscionable greed, and forests appear to be one of the most highly sought after commodities.

Money doesn’t stand for anything if there is no benefit to people from where that wealth was derived. So as money flows outwards from a region it ultimately encourages those who have it to continue practicing the pillaging of nature in another place.

Forestry industry economics is fundamentally disconnected from the preservation of the natural world.

Economics in general, is not based on anything that resembles the web of life.

Logging of native forests is not the baseline for human survival and internal happiness.

Resource extractive economics has become a system that was established by the influential to benefit the influential.

Such a system is destined to collapse at some point. This is exactly what has happened with forestry in Tasmania, and corporations like Gunns proved that such stealthy ethics based on ephemeral economics existed until sheer arrogance and poor judgement created its own demise.

The rapacious Gunns/FT alliance sucked Tasmania’s finances constantly over that era, so where is the community prosperity now?

Plundering our natural heritage has made Tasmanians poorer, both financially and spiritually.

Unfortunately this myopic culture in Tasmania has become so thoroughly entrenched, and promoted by gullible and disillusioned politicians who can’t see through the trees or beyond the next election.

Very few Tasmanian politicians can think outside their own autocratic programing, which results in a form of self-inflicted brain damage.

Every deceptive means of assisting STT to look somewhat economically solvent will be attempted in foreseeable future, and that is already occurring. –



A quick look around forestry communities proves that Tasmania has not become a more prosperous society since the inception of the woodchip industry. Any economic benefits, if there ever was some, seemingly went away from local regions and into the coffers of a relatively few individuals or finance corporations? This all came to the cost of greater debts, and a poorer health and education system to Tasmanians.

So why are we continuing down the same misguided path?

This island’s natural heritage is its greatest asset, but whilst the forestry tumour continues to be malignant, then brain damage will prevail.

Because of relentless subsidies, it seems that native forestry exploitation in Tasmania is destined to fail when the global economic system does.

The crazy thing is we know that the earth’s natural resources are not infinite, but fact hasn’t changed our thinking.

Degrading our natural world doesn’t make sense, and as David Suzuki said – “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit”.

*Ted Mead claims he is no economist, ‘never wanted to be one’, and is reluctant to use that terminology in any form knowing it has no relation to the preservation of the natural world. Ted clearly remembers having a conversation with a Forestry Commission economist in the 1980s, and when he asked the question “ how does Forestry economics work”? The FC employee promptly stated “Nobody really knows” … What a compelling brain-damaged statement from within the system that turned out to be!

• Comment 14 by MJF … Download images:



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  1. MjF

    August 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    After hunting high and low I can provide the following update re Woolworth clearing. To the best of my knowledge approved area is 1800 ha, not 7000.

    None of it has been done yet.

    Ted’s buddies could go and tree sit this place before it starts.

    Dunno what the Chinese would make of it but you know their reputation for civil rights. Probably not a good idea.

  2. Mark Poynter

    August 22, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    #38 Mr Middleton

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you that a six-year old child might be disturbed by that photo presented without any of the context associated with it.

    However, I dare say that a six-year old child would be delighted with a photo taken from the same spot 2 – 3 years later when the area was covered in a dense sea of regrowing trees and scrub.

    This is the point … forests are dynamic and forever changing and so it is wrong to judge the discipline of forestry on the basis of what it looks like at a single point in time.

    There is a landscape level context of forest growth-harvest-regrowth, not to mention that the great majority of Australian forests are not even used to produce wood. This critically-important context is deliberately avoided by those campaigning against forestry so as to promulgate the sort irrational outrage which you have clearly swallowed in spades.

    Your last two paragraphs say it all. You clearly need to have a good think and develop some sorely needed perspective about how society has evolved and the place of natural resource use and management in it. Otherwise you are – as I have said before – merely complaining about something that you know precious little about on the superficial basis of a context-free photo.

    Ultimately the prevalence of mindless outrage that you are displaying will prove to be far more of a blight on humanity than the sensible production of renewable resource.

  3. MjF

    August 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    #68 & 72 from ‘The Abetz Must Resign’ commentary

    Boeder- you’re a very impatient man, I cannot respond to your every whim and fancy instantaneously. You run a little hot and cold in this area.

    Firstly to #67 on the Abetz thread :

    Hi Pete,

    As you point out, there are significant pricing inconsistencies in export peelers. This was and remains the case, primarily due to three factors:

    1) the FX rate
    2) Seasonal variations in log availability between the hemispheres
    3) Global politics

    Even with todays companies that export logs ex Tasmania, all revise pricing on a monthly basis for both hardwood and softwood logs. Such is the volatility with short term contracts to supply. A good land manager has to juggle this variablity in terms of scheduling to maintain his viability.

    On the other hand a long term contract (such as with Ta ann) would be designed to smooth out the peaks and troughs for both parties with a consistent committment to take a minimum volume monthly but with a correspondingly consistent price but probably indexed by CPI and other localised factors.

    Whether the floor pricing should be higher is a separate argument.

    The other interesting aspect to this is the export peelers and Ta ann veneers go into different products. Export log is normally peeled for container flooring while the Ta ann product is mostly made in formply (a more valuable and higher spec product).

    Now to #68/72

    A range of questions I see and a stretching of the truth once again from you.

    Re Pete Godfrey, he has provided some old MDP for Ta ann and export. I have suggested a reasonable breakdown of how the income might be disbursed from Ta ann to actually realise a profit based on Petes 2011/12 numbers. You say there isn’t any profit but I proved there is, at least for 2011/12 which was the year I chose from Pete’s data.

    How can any sane person ignore the facts I have presented and still maintain a nett loss. Pete’s information does not support your claim that the sell price does not adequately cover the production costs as he provided a sell price only.

    I’ve calculated the input costs to complete the maths and actually determine the profit or loss to the state. This is exactly what you haven’t done and need to do, to prove your argument.

    Ignore that if you like.

    Re the Hawkins contribution, again he lends nothing to your argument. His testimonial amounts to a 25 page bitch about pricing clouded in secrecy under “Commercial in Confidence” contract status. This information equally does nothing to support your claim in any way shape or form. Where are the numbers from Hawkins ? Answer = there aren’t any so how does that help your claim which is essentially only a matter of numbers ?

    By example, if you had claimed that commercial pricing structures are kept in confidence,(which you didn’t) then yes, Hawkins contribution does assist your position, but that isn’t the case.

    Re VDL, as I understand the sequence of events, your man the Giggler raised a bill which amended legislation to allow the VDL company to increase clearing of their forests exponentially and including removing threatened communities to the tune of some 7000 ha.

    Q. Did the 7000 ha clearing actually take place ?
    A. I don’t know.
    Q. Where are all the FPP’s held ?
    A. If any were actually raised, they would be held
    electronically with the FPA. The originals
    would be with the certifying FPO(s)
    Q. Where did all the wood go ?
    A. No idea (if any was even produced). I can only
    presume any sawlogs would go to various
    sawmills and no-one buys pulpwood from
    conversion logging now so the rest probably got
    burnt or perhaps processed into firewood.

    Your last question re “the actual profit percentage built into the costs paid out by Ta ann that provides its profit to the state” is a complete nonsense for which there is no answer.

    Re my position at FPA curiously raised in your #68 on the Abetz saga, I am not and never have been employed by the regulator in any capacity. I have been a FPA appointed planning FPO in the past but currently am not. Such an appointment does not make you an employee or official of that organisation in any context.

    Was that it ?

  4. Robert Middleton

    August 22, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Mr. Poynter:(#37) In #33 you disparaged TT readers by describing them as “so many with so little knowledge…so vocally opposing things they don’t understand.” What is it we don’t understand?

    A typical six-year-old child, many of whom already have a sense of fairness and what’s right and wrong, would look at the devastation shown in Ted’s powerful image above and say “No! This is wrong!”

    Do you claim that turning an existing forest filled with life into a hellish nightmare of death like the one shown above is the only way Tasmanians can harvest some of their forests? If that’s true, your methods are from the Dark Ages, when barbaric tribes attacked, burned and destroyed towns and settlements. You and your tribe are doing that today, only trees and other living organisms are your victims.

    And you are surprised that people don’t understand?

    If your profession requires that you obliterate life in a beloved section of the land, fill the air with toxic smoke that harms human life, and advertise to the rest of the world that your homeland is an outpost of hideous, barbaric behavior, don’t expect anyone to understand or respect you.

    For every forest you devastate, every creature you kill or deprive of a home, for every El Grande you vandalize and then kill, and for every person who gasps from breathing your hideous smoke, you sink a little further below the level of humanity and deeper into some dark place below the rest of us.

  5. Mark Poynter

    August 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    #36 Prickly

    Keep going with the baseless rants, mate. It only exemplifies why my concern with the TT complaint and faux outrage culture is correct.

  6. spikey 'no clothes' riddoch

    August 21, 2017 at 12:14 pm


    ‘Spare me! Clearly you haven’t understood my ‘translation’. What TT demonstrates is that so many with so little knowledge are so vocally opposing things they don’t understand. It is disturbing.’

    mate we get your ‘translations’

    destroying priceless ecosystems at a rate quicker than they recover = worlds best practice

    I personally find it very disturbing that our ‘foresters’ clearly have no understanding whatsoever about sustainability, ecology and economics… yet it doesn’t stop a very vocal few polishing on to their own propaganda songs

    your ‘industry’ is a complete disgrace, as are those who continue to try and convince others that it’s peachy

    its fishier than salmon shit

    disturbing indeed, rotten mouldy fruit, infectious factless ideas, chuck em in the compost

  7. max

    August 21, 2017 at 1:16 am

    # 33 Mark
    Your come back with a rebuttal of my 31, states that I have little or no understanding , TT demonstrates that so many with so little knowledge are so vocally opposing things they don’t understand. It is disturbing.
    OK tell us how we have got it so wrong, tell us how old growth forests are not being converted and the continued excursion into the remaining old growth forests will not be a conversion.

  8. Frank again

    August 19, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Thank you Max #31
    In short, this is(“head and nail”) what this show of conversion is and was for the 3 decades we as a migrant family have been watching and I as a qualified and experienced ‘site specific’ forest manager have been commenting on it.
    If your English language expression in #31 is not good enough for #33, so be it.
    We can live with that.
    Time for real change – I say / we say.

  9. Mark Poynter

    August 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    #31 max

    Spare me! Clearly you haven’t understood my ‘translation’. What TT demonstrates is that so many with so little knowledge are so vocally opposing things they don’t understand. It is disturbing.

  10. Ian Norton

    August 17, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Congratulations to Rosemary Armitage MLC and her fellow members for voting against the forestry and anti discrimination bills. One has to wonder why our government feels the need to flog that dead horse, given that developing countries out price us for most timber products. Sustainable forestry is hardly sustainable here in Tasmania, selective forestry for high end production at least would return a dividend and value add to our forests. We need a common sense approach with support from industry professionals.
    Thank goodness for our Legislative Council.

  11. max

    August 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    # 30. Mark
    If I understand your translation of present day forestry practices in Tasmania it goes like this. First a coupe is chosen, clear felled and the residue is burnt forming an ash bed for regeneration. Other coupes are chosen and the same process is carried out in a mosaic pattern leaving shelter belts. Then after establishment of regrowth the shelter belts are clear felled and join the mosaic. This practice is called modern day selective logging.
    What is the result? The old growth forest is gone, we have converted a forest into a plantation for a better word, a forest that can never be replaced and the tax payers have been forced to pay for it.
    It’s good to be proud of what you have accomplished in life and to defend it, but I think we should all strive to leave the world in a better shape than we found it and the present devastation world wide of forests doesn’t fit the bill.

  12. Mark Poynter

    August 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    #24 Ted Mead

    You said: “The reason the Forestry trolls are putting so much effort into trying to locate where it is and how big it was shows their desperation to seek something to argue about.”

    Well no … I guess you are beyond appreciating that the so-called ‘trolls’ just may be concerned about long past practices being misrepresented as current practice – which is what you are clearly attempting to do.

    Could it even be that the photo in question is from another state and is decades old? In the 1970s especially there were very large coupes at times, including in Tas, and often they were associated with large-scale conversion to softwood plantation in accordance with the mid-1960s government sanctioned PX program designed to make Australia self-sufficient in wood products.

    There were clearly environmental concerns associated with that plantation expansion program (as were articulated in the 1972? book, The Fight for the Forests), but the requirement to quickly establish a substantial softwood estate clearly couldn’t have happened without appropriating public native forest.

    In hindsight, the development of the softwood plantation estate has put us in the fortunate position where 80% of our wood is supplied from outside native forests. This is a primary reason why some 94% of Australian native forests are no longer used for wood production and are primarily acting as conservation reserves — which is clearly a reality that you continue to ignore.

    #25 Ted Mead

    You said: “If it is the foresters that operated before the 1960’s then that’s sad because the old timers were the only ones that knew about the bush and selective logging, not like the insensitive greedy vandals of the modern era who are clueless to the concept of sustainability,and yes those who merely live of the bleeding hands of taxpayers”.

    You clearly need a history lesson. The very large coupes of the past (as described above) were part of old-time forestry, and there was clearfelling going on in parts of Tas and Victoria as far back as the 1940s.

    Yes there was also lots of selective logging – but too often it was poorly conceived and just degraded the bush by removing only the best trees from forests where shade intolerant euc. spp. were incapable of regenerating in the gaps. Restoring these degraded areas back to being fully stocked and well functioning eucalypt forests was a further justification for the wider use of clearfelling over time.

    Far better selective harvesting practices were introduced in Tas in the 1980s in the right forest types where it was silviculturally more suited ie. mostly those that were Euc delegatensis-dominated where shade tolerant spp were able to regenerate in the gaps.

    For decades from the late 1980s to around 2010, the majority of Tas harvesting was selective logging (mostly shelterwood). It may still be, but I’m unsure what has happened since the so-called ‘peace deal’ process started in around 2010.

    The fact that you are oblivious to the extent of selective harvesting in the modern era and your belief that is was something only of the past, somewhat beggars belief given your incessant self-portrayal as some kind of forestry expert.

  13. max

    August 17, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    # 22. Robin
    It doesn’t matter where or when this picture was taken, it doesn’t matter if it is one ha ten ha or a thousand, what it depicts is what FSS plans to do to our old growth forests in the future. Where the picture was taken may well be covered now in regrowth of even age trees the same as a plantation, but what it will not be is what it was, a forest. SSF is not to be trusted as was it’s predecessors to return a profit or a sustainable future. Forestry Tasmania has pillaged old growth forests at a loss. polluted the air with dangerous 2.5 particulates, put enough CO2 into the air to add to climate change and for what?
    You were a long time worker in the forest industry and are still trying to defend what I and others consider indefensible, prove me wrong tell us of the things you are proud of in you working life and your contributions to a better world that we all should want.

  14. John Hawkins

    August 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    These Liberal drongos led by the brain dead Barnett are going to extend, with virtually no changes, an agreement that has seen the supervising employer, Forestry Tasmania implode:

    Forestry Tasmania has even had to change its name after trashing a free sustainable resource to enhance the profitability of its mates at Gunns and Ta Ann, and as a result it has completely destroyed its credibility.

    It has been forced to sack more than half its workforce.

    It now runs at a loss of approx $100 million a year at a direct cost to our schools, hospitals and community.

    Its products are virtually unsaleable on the international market with no FSC.

    FSC will never be granted due to its employment of unsustainable systems and its destruction under Barnett of existing protections and agreements.

    Its one income producing asset, its plantations, are under the hammer and will soon be gone in a desperate attempt to get off the public purse and produce some cash with which to fiddle the books.

    It survives only through a toxic culture of subsidy which keeps the truck wheels oiled.

    And yet without change Barnett renews the mandate.

    It makes no logical sense and is a travesty of justice.

    Barnett must go and the sooner the better.

    In fact boot all these idle smug bastards out of their ivory towers because most could not stagger for 100 yards much less run the marathon that is needed.

  15. Jack Lumber

    August 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    re 26 …. so basically an unsubstantiated claim made by you re the loss .

    Another crazy bit of “TEDTALK” … it would be similar to claiming you “worship ” Jenny Webber .

    But just to be 100% clear no association with STT or any of its previous identities .

  16. Ted Mead

    August 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    #23 Somewhere recently it was your hero and master Steve Whiteley who uttered something along the lines that STT was likely to lose $100 million in the financial year.

    Who knows? – Time will tell us that soon, but I suspect the Libs will hold the auditors report back until after the forthcoming election of course!

  17. Ted Mead

    August 17, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    # 22 – Interesting that you note – the old Forestry guys are passing away.

    If it is the foresters that operated before the 1960’s then that’s sad because the old timers were the only ones that knew about the bush and selective logging, not like the insensitive greedy vandals of the modern era who are clueless to the concept of sustainability,and yes those who merely live of the bleeding hands of taxpayers.

    Prior to the inception of the rapacious woodchip industry, there would have been small saw-millers picking their way all through that country. Now we have vitually nothing but a few big operators being spoon feed by taxpayers subsidies.

    And you wonder why traditional forestry is moribund!

  18. Ted Mead

    August 17, 2017 at 11:24 am

    #19 – Max – The pic of the coupe is the largest single tract of clearfell and burn I have seen in Tasmania, and definitely somewhere on or near Rutherfords Road!

    What the pic shows is about an 80 degree view. There was probably another 100 degrees that eluded a single image composition. With modern day photo stitching or use of a drone it would have made one hell of a dramatic image of broadscale destruction.

    The reason the Forestry trolls are putting so much effort into trying to locate where it is and how big it was shows their desperation to seek something to argue about.

    What they should be contesting is the premise of the article itself, but they have nothing of substance to rebut anything written.

    I guess they feel compelled to support the industry no matter what!

    Pathetic really!

  19. Jack Lumber

    August 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Re 21 Ted thanks for confirming that
    And that as I am sure you’re aware an
    important fact

    So what we now know about this picture
    Previously logged
    Not 400plus ha
    Not current operation
    Status of regeneration unknown

    And while we are clarifying things . STT losing
    “100 000 000 pa ” how was that determined ?


  20. Robin Charles Halton

    August 17, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Ted #13, For a start Rutherfords Road is in from Raminea just north of the Esperance River south of Dover, the entry is no where near Geeveston!

    The photo appears to be one of those that Doctors for Forests used in their anti burning campaign and from memory that could have been around 20 years ago when Dof F were last active!

    It is possible the coupe is Hopetoun 10, and was a large coupe of around 100ha could be more, exceptionally large by FT standards, it seems around 30ha were planted due to alienation by bracken, the remainder that had sufficient logging slash to be burnt to create an ash bed was aerially seeded!

    It is also believed the extensive flattish area is a part of one of the highest quality eucalypt growing sites in between Hopetoun and Esperance forest blocks but has been subject to frequent wildfires in the past, hampering satisfactory regeneration sequencing over the years!

    Local knowledge is hard to come by all older FC/FT employees, logging personell have either retired or passed away.

    I have yet one stroke of luck to follow up, as I need to contact a former FT roading supervisor who worked for the Strathblane roading Engineers for 40 years since the early 60’s who could be able to provide me with some of the historical knowledge of the forests that initially provided high quality timber resource to the Raminea Mill, burnt in 1974 when I last worked in the Huon.
    That was the end of the last steam driven mill with an enormous vertical frame saw mounted on a shaking timber deck where i recall standing beside the log within a yard of the saw in relative safety. OH&S would not allow such activity today!
    Suspicions about the mill fire at the time were associated with the then recent change over of mill ownership from Chestermans to Clennetts who were keen to cut their sawlog allocation at the newer dover mill!

    I dont recall visiting any logging operations in the Esperance valley apart from a Road Location Training stint on the route for Peak Road behind Strathblane and that was in either 1968 or 1969.

  21. Ted Mead

    August 17, 2017 at 1:16 am

    # Yes – The area was seemingly selective logged a long time ago.

    And the detrimental impacts of that was minuscule compared to the broad scale devastation caused by the clearfell and torching mentality of the modern era.

  22. Jack Lumber

    August 17, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Can you confirm if they are ” shoes” in those
    stumps in the foreground

    Thanks Jack

  23. max

    August 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    #18. M.J.F
    Irrelevant why? I find it very relevant, the picture is a graphic depiction of the planned obliteration of Tasmanian old growth forests by SST. SST what an oxymoron. Ted is not a liar and a fraud as you are so willing to label him, he is a concerned person and it’s a pity that there are not more like him instead of those who are willing to stand up for the perpetrators of old growth forest obliteration.

  24. MjF

    August 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Irrelevant what age the image is. A careful look at 2017 google imagery confirms no such burn unit of any age in the Rutherford Road area is remotely close to 400 ha.

    I chose this one as being one of the biggest separate units in the area.

    Yet you’re quite happy to provide a hand picked image of a hot burnt coupe and label it as a view of 400 ha of devastation.

    If image is legitimately from Rutherford Rd then your caption is rubbish. If using an image that is now covered in healthy regeneration or plantation, then that shows deceptive intent.

    Which makes you a fraud and a liar, as I’ve demonstrated before with your photo titles. Or perhaps just a very poor estimator teddy ?

    Do a story on SST economics by all means but don’t make up crap to tarnish what otherwise may be a legitimate opinion piece.

  25. phill Parsons

    August 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Hewing wood on an industrial scale has reduced forestry to ignobility. Now cutting trees down in natural areas is an anathema to rational behavior. Time to change.

  26. Robert MIddleton

    August 16, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Another powerful image, Ted, that leaves me speechless and grief-stricken.

    No site of such evil and immoral environmental terrorism should ever exist anywhere on Earth, and especially not in Tasmania.

    Only degenerate, sub-human and perverted scoundrels could do this to our home planet without being crushed by unbearable guilt and shame. Don’t let them go near your children!

  27. Ted Mead

    August 16, 2017 at 12:36 am

    # 14 – Who said it was recent?

  28. MJF

    August 15, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    The only recently burnt coupe on Rutherford Rd is actually 61 ha in size, fairly close to the nominated figure of 400 ha or < I suppose. You might get to 400 ha if you include the surrounding mosaic of multi-aged regeneration, plantations and retained native forest. cheers Mjf

  29. Ted Mead

    August 15, 2017 at 12:22 am

    #12 – Try Rutherford Road in from Geeveston

  30. Robin Charles Halton

    August 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Its fair to tell us where the coupe(s) are located.

    It shows standing stumps there were felled prior to 1955 (crosscut saw and axe) shoe holes still intact, and stumps close together which indicates a high site potential, could have been a E2b OG forest.

    Ted dont tell me you had a lapse of memory so location in the Southern forests please, Forest Block, coupe nos or road name will do.

    Not down South Cape Road in past the gates is it!

  31. Geoff Mosley

    August 14, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    90 Boyds Road

    When we first started the kickback against the wood chip industry clear fell coupes south of Eden (in 1970 I think) we tried to have the coupes limited to 100 acres. Then we aimed for ‘no wood chip export after the year 2000’. In response to timber industry pressure Paul Keating engineered a national forest policy that allowed wood chip export to continue and led to the RFAs.

  32. Jack Lumber

    August 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    re 8 . Ted hopefully there will be more information to come

    But mosaic harvesting is OK . Right

  33. MJF

    August 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm


    Not wishing to split hairs teddy but this is your photo caption :

    “*Pic – Ted Mead – A 400 hectare section of broadscale forestry devastation in Tasmania’s Southern Forests.”

    That suggests 400 ha to me, not 400 +. But now it might be < 400 ? Is this all just a guess ? If you have some co-ordinates I'll work it out and post the correct number.

  34. Ted Mead

    August 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    #7 – Actually in the article I had the coupe size at 400+

    Maybe I edited it – the 440 was just a recollection, it may actually be less than 400, but i doubt it because the photo only shows the centre of clearfell activity.

    If someone is desperate enough, they could calculate the regrowth area now off aerial maps.

    Either way, nobody can deny that this practice raises many questions about mismanagement of mosaic forestry planning!!

  35. MjF

    August 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    You know as well as I do what the parameters are (FPC Section C1.1)
    Be interesting to see how STT could defend this example of non dispersed coupes exceeding 100 ha in size particularly as clearfelled sites are being managed for native forest.

    Of course the need for safe burning boundaries can over-ride the recommended area limit but this one looks like a bit of a stretch if Meads numbers are anywhere near accurate.

    Already the area’s leapt from 400 to 440 ha.

    I suggest the full story here will revolve around older coupes missing the previous burn season and/or poor burns needing to be redone.

    Doesn’t explain the non-dispersed aspect of cutting though.

  36. john hayward

    August 14, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Despite humiliations on both the scientific and economic fronts, our woodchip cheer squad continues sledging long after the contest has ended, leaving behind the usual pile of litter.

    John Hayward

  37. Andrew Ricketts

    August 14, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Certainly is a hell for the wildlife which no longer have any habitat.

    Oh! They do not put one coupe up against another, do they? What does the Code say about that practice?

    The photo deserves praise for its excellence. Thank you Ted.

    I would like to know the amount of carbon summarily liquidated by both the logging and the burning.

  38. mJF

    August 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    a 400 ha section – bloody hell, must be a helluva coupe teddy.

  39. Ted Mead

    August 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    #2 – I’m sure there is regeneration happening right across this clearfelled site, albeit monoculture eucalypt.

    The figure size of 440 hectares come to mind, which probably means it is a composite of a few coupes, contiguous, and probably burnt at the same time.

    So much for manageable mosaic logging practices!

    If you look hard at the photo you will see the small streamside vegetation has also been destroyed. Good old Forest Practices code hey!!!!

    Massive clearfelled zones like this will take a lot longer than normal to recover due to the distances away from undisturbed forests that supply natural seed dispersal.

    Transmigration of fauna will also be slow, and floristic diversity even slower.

    It might actually look ok in a century, but I’m sure wildfire, or premature harvesting from the likes of Ta Ann or their subsidized successors will never see it never being anything like it once was.

    But then again ‘sustainable forestry ecology’ is not a term anyone has heard of in this state!

    Essentially this is nothing beyond broad-scale insensitive nature destruction, and anyone with half an idea or brain can see that!

    I can just see you and George heading down there soon for a Teddy Bear’s Picnic pretending to be the neo-David Attenborough of forest ecology claiming everything looks hunky-dory in the forests today.

    What a pathetic and trivial contribution to any environmental debate that will turn out to be!

  40. Robin Charles Halton

    August 13, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Ted, lets be “Frank’ about this photo, we intelligent folk would like to know where and when this photo was taken.

    From my perspective I would like the opportunity to see how the regeneration is faring!

    Your photography is generally Ok but dont let your eco brain outpace peoples opportunity to comment on real life scenarios whereas this coupe or number of coupes appears to have been through a complete cycle of native forestry.

    Your attention to location and date please!

  41. Frank again

    August 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    How sad!
    I wonder when this image was captured!(date?)
    The above photo of the “mined out” and deliberately devastated landscape of previously biodiverse forest tells all!
    To me, as a trained holistic forester – natural resource manager his photo highlights, why this Tasmanian tragic reality is a failed and failing industry and policy agenda.
    Yes, after 30 years in Tasmania,I am very disappointed and especially for the future outlook for our children and that of our children’s children, consequently for my own grandchildren I shall continue do my best to assist positive change rather than simply complain that things are not happening the way they should.

    In contrast beyond finger pointing and complaining:
    This should be considered when we aim at solutions that are true to sustainability goals.

    Because: “Only when we do something can we change something” and that requires to go beyond pain, fear and complaint. We need processes and systematic approaches that address the expectations of the community, the local business and the visitors.
    There is no second planet Earth, it is time to come up with proper systematic actions.
    Have a good week.

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