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


TARKINE: Why the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement got it wrong …

*Pic: An epiphytic draped blackwood tree in the Tarkine rainforest

Without question the Independent Verification Group (IVG) undertook some great assessment work, but when it came down to advocating the protection of Tasmania’s High Conservation Value (HCV) forests the IVG was notably compromised by the resource industry’s influence.

This predictable outcome left big challenges for conservationists to persist with a seemingly endless campaign against an oppressive wave of senseless and wanton forest destruction.

The present squabble within Tasmania seems to be over the 350,000+ hectares of deferred forests. Meanwhile Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT, formerly Forestry Tasmania) continue to rip into the Tarkine forests regardless of its heritage values, and lack of a profitable market for the resource.

Take a look at the Tarkines’ Frankland River coupes that are constantly being pursued. These we know are low volume resourced forests in a high conservation area, which encompasses nesting and foraging grounds for endangered species.

The STT 3-year wood production plan clearly shows it is nothing beyond business as usual, and they wonder why they can’t obtain FSC.

It is broadly known that the Tarkine encompasses the largest contiguous tract of rainforest in the nation, and is one of the most extensive tracts of cool-temperate rainforests globally.

Whatever happened to the acknowledgement of UNESCO’s ‘outstanding universal significance’?

It is undeniable that the Tarkine’s superlative rainforest core fulfils the criteria for World Heritage listing. So why didn’t the TFIGA draw a line around it?

It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that the mining industry’s political influence is the reason why there was a geological consultant appointed to the IVG, just as there was a Forest resource marketer appointed. Neither of these two appointees would have any qualifications regarding HCV forests.

The Tarkine’s rainforest core is a contiguous representation of primitive country encompassed within the Donaldson River, Savage River and Meredith Range wilderness zones, which are only segregated by the Savage/Corinna Road and iron-ore pipeline track.

Any formed vehicle track can lower the wilderness quality of a region, though should not preclude an area from being classed as high conservation, as the listed TWWHA is also subjected to similar incursions.

Wilderness in itself is not a criteria for WHA listing, though that may change in the future as the world’s wilderness areas diminish even further.

Other notable HCV areas that should be excluded from logging and mining are the forests adjacent to the Sumac reserve, the Dempster Plains forests, the Rapid and Roger River catchments, and essentially all the forest expanse, excluding plantations, south of the Savage/Waratah road to the Pieman River, and southwest beyond Corinna towards the coast.

With the inevitable self-destruction of Tasmania’s native forest industry in the foreseeable future, the question remains of how much of this magnificent country will remain unscathed before it is securely reserved?

The challenge for conservationists continues to be arduous.

Ultimately there needs to be a worldwide campaign on Tasmania’s native forest products aimed at … ‘Tarkine Free Timber’.

A future bumper sticker … ?

*Ted Mead is still amazed that the last unilateral WHA extension to protect the High Conservation Forests in Tasmania actually happened, given the state’s history on forest exploitation. Fortunately the World Heritage Committee denounced the Liberals’ attempt to open up protected areas to logging, describing the Liberals’ attempt to do so as feeble. Ted believes the Hodgman government’s move to dissolve the TFA has only created more uncertainty within the crippled and moribund native forest logging industry, which will ultimately lead to the remaining vast tracts of forests in the Tarkine being protected for posterity sometime in the future when the state and federal governments do another political/financial trade-off.

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  1. MjF

    October 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Knolls usually are mainly rock, JW.
    They must’ve got a good hot burn.
    No worries, there’s plenty more tall bird orchids out there.
    They’re not threatened.
    Move on.

  2. John Wade

    October 16, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Everything is gone MJF – there is no detritus, no bulbs, just bare rock. It will take more than 12 months.

  3. mjf

    October 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A total of 195 native orchids have been recorded in Tasmania. Of these, 68 are listed as threatened on Tasmania’s TSP Act and 32 are listed on the Commonwealth EPBC Act.

    64 taxa are endemic to Tasmania.

    31 of these are listed as threatened.

    Chiloglottis Gunnii (tall bird orchid) is relatively common across Tasmania and is not a listed species under either the EPBC or TSP Acts.

    It has no conservation status because it’s well represented. The reason for that is probably because it responds well to site disturbance events such as mechanical or fire.

    #8 – can you check the site again in 12 months pls, JW ?

    A granite knoll suggests a dry forest situation which will have a fire history.

  4. John Wade

    October 16, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I went out on Sunday to view the colony of Chiloglottis Gunnii, a ground orchid, that I had previously discovered surrounded by a clear fell coupe.


    Entirely burnt out on the granite knoll.

    Thank you foresters. You did not know what was in your path, did you?

  5. Gordon Bradbury

    October 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I completely agree with Ted on this.

    With another $350 million in taxpayer subsidies to the forest industry over the last 4 years this is a genuine CRISIS.

    It is no longer just the forestry wars, let alone a “debate” as Terry Edwards cares to call it.

    We need to shut down the entire public native forest industry in Tasmania.

    Enough is enough !!

    This has been going on for 35 years, has cost taxpayers billions of wasted dollars and destroyed Tasmanian communities.

    Ted is right. We need a BOYCOTT !!

  6. john hayward

    October 15, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I suspect that MjF would prefer to simply stick his tongue out at Ted, if only the medium permitted.

    John Hayward

  7. MjF

    October 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Middy @ 4
    How might I curry favour with you sir, and would the effort be worth it ?
    Would just simple flattery do the business ?

  8. Robert Middleton

    October 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Ted: Whatever you do, please don’t ever “lighten up” as MJF suggests. We need just the kind of truth, wisdom, insight and perspective you provide.

    F is just spewing his usual hate, anger, resentment and disrespect. No good advice will ever issue from his pathetic mind.

  9. MjF

    October 12, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Whilst not wishing to divert attention away from the fine content of teds latest, I’m in a quandry.

    What to have for breakfast this morning. Long day ahead.

    Should I have rolled oats or just toast and jam. What would you do spud ?

    And.can you hurry up, I gotta leave soon.

  10. spikey

    October 12, 2017 at 1:03 am

    i call a spade a spade
    and a potato a potato
    and a shill for a corrupt unsustainable uneconomic environmentally treacherous shitfight

    how ya going buddy?
    still fighting the good battle?
    watching closely the share-market in pitchforks and stocks?

    happy days
    thanks for the shout out
    see you on the flip-side

  11. MjF

    October 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Lighten up ted.

    There’ll be plenty left for you and spud riddoch to gaze in awe at.

    When does all the crippled and moribund (moribund: being in the state of dying; approaching death; being in a state of inactivity or obsolescence) native forest logging hit the wall did you say ? 5 years, 10 years, next week ?

    God damnit, the sooner the better.

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