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


Who wins the Dodo award this week?

*Pic: The Dodo on display in NHML – pic Natural History Museum London

When it come to senseless and wanton forest destruction then it would be difficult to choose between Queensland and Tasmania as to which state is presently more archaic.

Given that QLD is hell-bent on seeing the preposterous Adani coal-mine project proceed, then the banana benders of the north look like taking the Dodo award out for sometime!

Pics by Ted Mead

Pic – Kerry Trapnell – The Wilderness Society

Pic – The Wilderness Society

The Dodo Award was something that the Wilderness Society Tasmania initiated back in the late 1980s. It was derogatory award, announced on a weekly basis to any politician, head of government, agency, or independent developer or advocate that was proposing or acting towards an environmentally destructive project.

In the past few decades Tasmania would have received more than its fair share of these awards, but pro-development states, and conservative federal politicians seem to be overtly outbidding each other these days, particularly in Queensland.

Queenslands appalling logging practices defeat Australia’s greenhouse reduction targets!


Forestry in Tasmania has an appalling environmental record, though it is yet to be the cause of a species extinction that we know of, but the industry’s blatant disregard for the Swift Parrot decreasing population due to habitat destruction is pushing it in that direction.

In Tasmania we have learnt nothing from the demise of the Thylacine.

* Australia may lose the Orange-bellied Parrot wild population in the next few years.

* Logging of Wielangta forests could seriously endanger the endemic broad-toothed stag beetle.

* Catchment destruction of the Tarkine’s native forest is threatening the giant Freshwater Crayfish.

* Continual clearfelling of old growth forest habitat is pressuring the survival of the Swift Parrot.

* Over-burning across the state is probably causing local population extinction of flora and faunal species everywhere!

The question goes begging that had the Tasmanian government poured as many resources into the OBP recovery program as they did into the fox task force then the scenario may be quite different?

Across the world today, the Dodo has become the symbol of extinction from human impacts.

The Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

The first recorded mention of the dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598. In the proceeding years. the bird was hunted by sailors and invasive species, while its habitat was being destroyed. The last widely accepted sighting of a dodo was in 1662. The Dodo was about 1 metre tall and may have weighed 10.6–17.5 kg in the wild.

All across the globe humans incessant pillage and plunder of the natural environment is pushing more species towards extinction every day – It could be almost a monotonous process of handing out the Dodo award to someone every minute.

This week’s award goes to Josh

*Ted Mead was campaigning in The Wilderness Society’s Hobart office when the Dodo award concept began. Ted believes the award should be re-awakened as a means to expose and embarrass those that act to destroy the nation’s environment in any form.

Blow the lid off deforestation “The majority of koalas will never receive treatment. Their bodies will be broken and churned up with chopped vegetation, get piled up into big rows and then burnt or chipped.” Dr Jon Hanger.

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


  1. Ross

    December 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    #25 … I’m not sure why you assume I wouldn’t believe you.

    I made the mistake of assuming that your initial comment was referring to the vote in parliament at the end of the TFA process, when it is now clear that you were talking about a meeting in Deloraine. It’s a shame that only a small proportion of these public meetings, and none of the internal TFA process, are on the public record.

    At the end of the day I think we agree that the TFA outcomes favoured the industry. Surely the buck stops with the signatories. Had they been more committed to listening to voices outside the process the agreement may never have been signed.

    Lara Giddings seems to have escaped from politics with her reputation untarnished by the TFA chapter. Ms Giddings managed to redefine the word “moratorium” by allowing native forest logging to continue unabated through the TFA process. The eNGO’s should have walked at the first signs of her duplicity.

  2. Russell

    December 4, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Re #23
    You wouldn’t believe me anyway, so why don’t you ask Kim Booth and career-greenies Paul Oosting and Vica Bayley? Or many of the others who contribute here on TT who were there?

    None of the other Green Party were there so Kim is the only one I can name factually.

    Let’s deal with facts, not spin or green-washing.

  3. Ross

    December 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

    #22 … That’s a good point about the reserves that are not really reserves.

    MJF in #13 is quoting figures that include Tasmania’s National Parks and World Heritage Areas.

    MJF pulled out the 40% figure in response to this little known but entirely plausible shocker “Tas still achieved the highest proportional rate of native forest destruction in the OECD in this present century.” (#7)

    I am still hoping that MJF will set us right about the area Tasmania’s forests that are properly protected.

  4. Ross

    December 4, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Re #21 … Yes, that’s the point I was making, that the industry is full of spin. I don’t actually believe that they do magic.

    As for the meaning of “singled out” I would hazard a guess that as you only identified one individual by name in comment #2 that you did indeed single out Kim Booth.

    I would be interested to know what was said and by whom at the Deloraine meeting.

    As for the TFA vote in parliament, I think Ted has clarified that. The intriguing part of the TFA story is whatever happened to those three men while they were locked away with the industry negotiators? When they emerged even the wisdom of Richard Flanagan couldn’t save them.

  5. Ted Mead

    December 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    #18,19 & 20 … The status of a formal reserve is an oxymoron in Tasmania. All it does is recognise that those areas may have some conservation significance, but at the end of the day a mining lease or mineral exploration licence can by approved at any time with the flick of the minister’s pen.

    Unless it is a National Park, State Reserve, Conservation Area or registered through the RFA process, an area has no real protection status.

    As for Kim Booth – in defiance, he didn’t vote for the TFA bill in parliament. It was the Cabinet Greens that did.

  6. Russell

    December 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Re #19
    The reason why the figures touted are so ‘large’ and get larger is because as you cut down more of it, what’s left grows in percentage. Just spin.

    Re #20
    Get your facts straight.

    I didn’t “single” him out did I, there were others involved? But I was at meetings in Deloraine when he (not others from the Greens) was spruiking his defence of the Deforest Industry with other heads of Green groups. We warned them to leave it alone and let it die, but they chose to ignore us and the shit has continued as a result.

    Maybe Booth owning a timber mill swayed his judgement?

  7. Ross

    December 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Re #2 … Not sure why you singled out Kim Booth to blame for the TFA being approved.

    As you know vote in parliament was at the very end of a long process. Kim Booth essentially had no other option. Voting ‘no’ would have put him at loggerheads with his colleagues and the environment movement which by and large obediently drank the TFA cordial.

    The upper house amendments were a golden opportunity to ditch the TFA with no risk to any of the eNGO signatories. For reasons best known to themselves the signatories stayed aboard the sinking ship.

    The Greens should never have been put in the position of having to vote on such a flawed agreement or further split the green movement.

  8. Ross

    December 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Re #13 … 40% of Tasmania in reserves… wow!

    I also recall a statistic that TFIA used to throw around claiming that, “80% of Tasmania’s remaining old growth forest is in reserves.” A year later that figure would be 82%, then 84%… The more the old growth forest was logged the proportion of forest that survived in the teeny tiny reserves grew higher. Magic!

    By that logic the current industry figures for old growth forests in reserves must be approaching 200%.

    In Victoria, the property developers who previously owned the improbably named Australian Sustainable Hardwoods claimed that “94% of Victorian forests are in reservation”.

    The source of the 94% figure was VicForests:

    “Approximately 94% of Victoria’s native forest is unavailable or unsuitable for timber production. This includes Ash forest and a range of other species which are left to become old growth over time – if not affected by bushfire.”

    The weasel words in the VicForests statement are:

    “unavailable” – forests on private land (your backyard for example), steep land, streamside reserves and protected areas.


    “unsuitable” – failed regrowth, mallee and other scrub with no commercial timber trees, sub-alpine and alpine woodland.

    Their ABC shamefully repeated that bogus statistic. Ultimately the Victorian state government bought out the unsustainable business for a handsome profit to the sellers.

    Leaving aside Tasmania’s barren mountain tops and nation wide industry bullshit, the real question is: “How much of Tasmania’s native forest is in reserves relative to the area of forest cover pre-invasion?”

    Can you do better than 94% in reserves MJF?

  9. Russell

    December 3, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Re #13
    “Tasmania has 40% of its total area formally reserved”

    More lying spin. Most of that area is sand dunes, bare mountain tops and swamps where you lot can’t establish plantations.

  10. Frank Strie, Terra-Preta Developments

    December 3, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Thank you, Max #16. You nailed it again!

    It is about time people learn about Terra Preta, the other way it has been done and can be done-
    ‘The Secret of El Dorado’ (Horizon 2002) Discovery of Terra Preta:

  11. max

    December 2, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    # 14 MJF … There is no evidence that supports frequent cool burning reducing biodiversity, period.

    Well how much do you need, try this. Fire-stick farming or cool burning was the practice of Indigenous Australians who regularly used fire to burn vegetation to facilitate hunting and to change the composition of plant and animal species in an area. Fire-stick farming has the long-term effect of turning dry forest into grass lands. The evidence of this can be seen all over Australia.

    I would suggest that this proves beyond doubt that cool burning reduces biodiversity.

  12. spud

    December 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    congrats on next weeks award fitch

    squark squark

  13. MjF

    December 2, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Same old rhetoric teddy. headline claims, no evidence.

    “Queenslands appalling logging practices defeat Australia’s greenhouse reduction targets!”

    “The article wasn’t aimed at Forestry,” no, not in entirety but sections certainly are.

    You have quite the range of reverse gears mead.

    What is the natural fire frequency of a dry schlerophyl forest anyway ?

    I mention burning of rainforest as it supports the one truthful possibility of your ridiculous last claim, but only in those areas, not across the State as you would have the great unwashed believe.

    There is no evidence that supports frequent cool burning reducing biodiversity, period.

    Hot burning is what does the damage, temporarily.

    I respectfully decline your award nomination.

    Can I suggest bestowing it upon one’s self and further, please consider a rebadging of it as the Pinocchio Award.

  14. MjF

    December 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    In real terms and in contrast to Jonny Harwood’s meaningless stat:

    1)Qld has < 6% of its total land area formally reserved. 2)Tasmania has 40% of its total area formally reserved ha for ha, Ltn. Bowen must have landed in a very special spot down here or we've been majorly hijacked since 1803. ACT leads the march with 55% in reserves but what would you expect when virtually the entire population is in public service ?

  15. Ted Mead

    December 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    # 3 …. A clear display that you have zilch understanding of basic ecology! Obvious the existence of that word is not in the handbook of ‘Forestry Destruction’

    In Tas dry sclerophyll forest, scrub and heathlands are being burnt far too frequently (beyond their natural wildfire regime). This is happening through haphazard, poorly- planned fuel reduction programs and reckless forestry clearfell activities.

    It’s not rocket science to understand that if a forest community is frequently burnt it loses some of its biodiversity. The more frequent the burn, the more deleterious the biodiversity loss. This pyro activity is human induced attrition.

    The loss of flora diversity inevitably discourages faunal browsing and subsequently lower populations of mammals, reptiles, birds, invertebrates ect. Hence my reference to local population extinction, in other words, reduced to other areas depending on population migration or seed dispersal.

    Entomologists claim that some small species only have a habitat range of a few square metres, but ‘you’ would recognise anything to be significant that isn’t visible to your tunnel vision and myopic half-brain.

    Of course in many cases the natural environment has the ability to recover, but given the ongoing increasing frequency of pyro activity in this state that is a major hindrance!

    There is no reference here to rainforest burning here so why mention it?

    The article wasn’t aimed at Forestry, it was aimed at environmental destruction and its employed advocates like yourself. Your response shows how completely paranoid you are, or otherwise it is a required reaction as being paid by the industry to desperately counter everything that slightly mentions forestry on TT.

    What a desperate scenario!

    My references to the likes of the Thylacine and OPB habitat reductions are broad references to related to human impacts of altering natural landscapes, introducing exotic species, laying of poisons ect, not specifically forestry, which I did not suggest.

    The Qld Forest destruction is primarily subjected to land clearance through farming, real estate development and road construction, but I’m sure there is some forestry going on.

    Wielangta Beetle – Go read the condemning magistrate’s summary on that one! – The FT representative who destroyed any scientific credibility he thought he had, will never recover, and is left with only one avenue, and that’s to keep peddling and advocating the deceptions and delusions as you all do.

    In conclusion, I am awarding MJF the Dodo prize next week.

  16. Russell

    December 2, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Re #3
    “If today’s government was to fund and promote a bounty on a certain species and landholders were encouraged to trap, snare and shoot that same species to the point of extinction as a perceived pest, then no, we haven’t learnt anything but this doesn’t happen so clearly we have learnt something.”

    1. Errr I believe that the Government wants to increase the culling on mange-stricken wombat population, then they keep ‘accidentally’ logging the habitats of critically endangered parrot spieces so I don’t think they have learned anything and are even more irresponsible than ever.

    Not to mention all the introduced pests replacing the former habitat. Go for a drive and see the seas of yellow flowered Gorse and Broom wherever the forest industry has travelled. These are declared “noxious weeds” so clean them up!

    2. Land clearing, logging = NO DIFFERENCE, same result.

    3. ” habitat modification “. Deliberate HABITAT LOSS!

    4. Prevention is BETTER than cure, err on the side of CAUTION, and all that. Typical forest practices officer spin and utter carelessness. Shows how little you learn and know about forests and everything in them.

    5. You have all the decades of evidence regarding Giant Freshwater Crays you need, but ignorance is bliss isn’t it? What needs to be done is forestry being banned from regions of any GFC habitat.

    6. “I would partially agree with this claim in light of SST’s activities at Tylers Hill recently.”

    Just a month or so of the change of lipstick to the pig it’s “business as usual!”

    7. “Over burning” means exactly that! Read Bill Gammage’s “The Biggest Estate On Earth” and learn about expert fire use. Some flora species were burned yearly to promote growth and diversity while others weren’t burnt for centuries because they knew what was required for survival and regeneration, so that knowledge was passed down for many generations until it was next due.

    Your pretend forest knowledge is just so kindergarten! There’s more real knowledge in that one book than in your whole school of irresponsible destruction.

    Re #9 Take a bex and have a good long lay down.

  17. Simon Warriner

    December 2, 2017 at 10:08 am

    re 6, thanks.

    re 9, thanks for the clarification, I knew it was a parrot but not which one.

  18. mjf

    December 2, 2017 at 6:24 am

    #4 SW … Nothing recorded re gliders eating OBP’s. Maybe not established in OBP’s breeding area in the SW

    The trick nesting boxes with retracting flaps were developed for SP’s I recall.


    #5 riddler

    baby bear (aka ‘humanitarian’)

    mama bear

    papa bear

    They live on a rusty cray boat

    …. one morning, “Mama mama my porridge is too hot”

    Well go ashore son, take a walk in the callidendrous rainforest (<5% euc canopy cover and gallery like) but avoid the implicate stuff over the hill.

    It should be goodo by then

    .....later - somebodys finished my bowl mama and they're asleep in my fo'c'sle bunk

    Never mind son, have a stout.....and check out my orchid snaps album and our mountain view.

    Alls better now, darwin glass is rising. End of true story.

    brief enough ?

    #8 Silly. Should have just left it @ #7.

  19. john hayward

    December 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I was under the impression that the Marten was a mustelid, as is a Fitch, like MjF, who is a domesticated Ferret, a weasel sub-species domesticated to hunt greenies on-line as a troll in the service of FT/STT.

    John Hayward

  20. john hayward

    December 1, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    In the intense competition for the Australian Environmental Crassness Cup it has to be acknowledged that Queensland has an awesome record, but also the fact that its most serious competitor, our Tas,, has only about 5% of Qld’s land area.

    Tas still achieved the highest proportional rate of native forest destruction in. the OECD in this present century, a fact never acknowledged in the Australian press. In coming years this may be Tasmania’s only distinction, as the race hots up to liquidate Australia’s remaining natural assets.

    In awarding the Crassness Cup, it should be noted that Tas is the only state to evince no documented material gain to the public from this liquidation of their assets.

    John Hayward

  21. Ian Rist

    December 1, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Simon you are correct in assuming a Marten is a small furry critter that lives in the Northern Hemisphere.
    It is actually known as a European Pine Marten (Martes martes)it is one of the fiercest arboreal predators I have ever had any thing to do with. It is the nemesis of Squirrels and even large birds like Capercaille (Tetrao urogallus) .

    However the Tasmanian Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans is a small swallow like bird.

    And what about sugar gliders eating OBPs???
    Absolute bull shit, never have I known Sugar Glider to be carnivorous.
    A rumour spread about by a couple of Tasmanian ‘biologists’.

  22. spikey

    December 1, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    squark squark

    hey fitch that was a lot of words

    and a lot of lines between

    are you paid by the word now?

    or perhaps the line

    anyways just thought i’d let you know
    oats are good for breakfast

    worlds best practice
    mixed forest
    permanent timber production zone
    future timber production zone
    children overboard




  23. Simon Warriner

    December 1, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    MjF, not a quibble, just a genuinely curious onlooker asking a question:

    re this ” Also nests in Tas are known to be taken over by starlings and martins.”

    I have an understanding that a Martin was a small furry critter that lived in tree hollows in the Northern Hemisphere, not the Southern. Am I mistaken?

    And what about sugar gliders eating OBPs? Wasn’t work being done on nest entrances that excluded them?

  24. MjF

    December 1, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Some corrections are in order.

    1) Firstly I think we have learnt a lot from the demise of the thylacine.

    If today’s government was to fund and promote a bounty on a certain species and landholders were encouraged to trap, snare and shoot that same species to the point of extinction as a perceived pest, then no, we haven’t learnt anything but this doesn’t happen so clearly we have learnt something.

    Unless it was a fox of course which would be a declared pest and non-endemic.

    Apologies for the unintentional cross reference to a rather lengthy and deteriorating thread elsewhere on TT.

    2) Clearing of remnant and/or regrowth forest by Qld cockies driving a pair of dozers dragging a heavy chain is not, and has nothing to do with LOGGING as Meads tale states.

    This is simply a quick and dirty method of knocking over trees so that an increased area of grass can be grown for mongrel cross bred brahman cattle to munch on, usually destined for export to Indonesion abattoirs. Rarely is the cleared area burnt and never windrowed or cultivated. All this achieves is an increased spread of introduced buffel grass, loss of shade and an increase in cover and habitat for feral pests such as wild dogs, pigs and foxes.

    No timber or logs are salvaged from this type of operation apart from the odd cocky salvaging a few fence posts where convenient.

    This is not logging but simply habitat destruction and wasteful resource management all in the name of grazing.

    3) The decline in OBP is not finitely understood but generally is considered to be as result of habitat modification (Melaleuca in Tas, coastal fringes in Vic/SA), predation by cats and foxes, limited genetics, climate change, weather events and collisions with infrastructure. Also nests in Tas are known to be taken over by starlings and martins.

    At least forestry cant be accused of being directly responsible for critical decline of this species.

    4) “Logging of Wielangta forests could seriously endanger the endemic broad-toothed stag beetle.”

    – not ‘is’ but ‘could’. Equally it ‘may not’

    Suggests there’s no evidence to support this as a possible situation.

    5)”Catchment destruction of the Tarkine’s native forest is threatening the giant Freshwater Crayfish.” Evidence of this statement please.

    At least this is an ‘is’ claim.

    All forestry is undertaken in conjunction with, and is consistent with, the nationally agreed recovery plan for this species. What else needs to be done ?

    6) “Continual clearfelling of old growth forest habitat is pressuring the survival of the Swift Parrot.”

    I would partially agree with this claim in light of SST’s activities at Tylers Hill recently.

    However I stress, this is not the sort of disregard for recommendations one finds across the broader industry.

    7)”Over-burning across the state is probably causing local population extinction of flora and faunal species everywhere!”

    My favourite.

    over-burning ? means what ?

    probably causing ? but may not be ?

    Local population extinctions of flora and faunal ?

    Everywhere ?

    This nonsense, I think to be fair, is just teds idea of a stocking filler and is just a poorly constructed after thought.

    We do know all forms of rainforest are fire sensitive and may not recover from severe fire damage.

    But ‘across the state’ where there isn’t rainforest in the vast majority of places ?

    and what are the local faunal species populations being driven to extinction “everywhere” by over-burning ?

    Crazy stuff.

  25. Russell

    December 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Re #1 … “I would like to nominate the conservation movement for a Dodo Award…”

    Can’t argue with that, especially when they (including Kim Booth) breathed life into the terminally ill Tasmanian (De)Forest Industry instead of letting it die a quick and natural death only a handful of years ago around the same time Gunns was going arse up.

  26. Kim Peart

    December 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I would like to nominate the conservation movement for a Dodo Award, for totally failing to keep a safe Earth.

    The core reason for this nomination, is that the conservation movement failed to appreciate the need for energy transition out of fossil fuel at a level that would have served to keep a safe Earth.

    The problem with CO2 driving global warming was known over a century ago, as with a 1912 news story ~ “The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year. When this is burned, uniting with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly. This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperature. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries.”

    The error of judgement of the conservation movement, was a failure to appreciate that it was not possible to deal with energy transition out of fossil fuel on Earth alone.

    James Hansen worked out the details (Storms of My Grandchildren, 2009), and a simple examination of the carbon levels of the last ice age and now, spells out the problem in graphic maths.

    The difference between the last ice age and the past few millennia was 90 ppm CO2, and the level now is 135 ppm more again, and growing at 3 ppm per annum.

    When Dr Peter Glaser worked out how to build solar power stations in space in 1968, and Professor Gerard K. O’Neill worked out how to make space settlement work in 1974, putting solar power stations to work, a way had been shown for energy transition.

    Having been involved in the conservation movement in 1975 and then the space settlement movement in 1976, I could see the problem and the opportunity.

    Did everyone in the conservation movement go to great lengths to investigate energy transition in space as the way to keep a safe Earth, or were they so completely fixated on the Earth, that they couldn’t lift their eyes to the stars?

    The conservation movement’s Earth fixation served to empower the fossil fuel industry to keep on flogging fossil fuel, and I suspect they worked overtime to suppress all thought of the space option.

    I fear the conservation movement fell for carbon energy propaganda.

    If the facts are proven, and the conservation movement can accept this Dodo award with humility, they may be able to begin to see that fixing the carbon crisis will require energy to extract excess carbon from the air, ASAP, and the only safe way to gain that much power, is with solar power stations in space.

    With space activated, it will be possible to build a sunshade in space to help cool the Earth, as excess carbon is extracted from the air.

    Lame excuses, like its too expensive to consider a space option, need to be tossed into the nearest dust bin, because in space everything changes, where there is power from the Sun to do any work, for free, once set up.

    The Dodo is an appropriate selection, as now we all face the music of extinction, as there is no known way to avoid the pending heat jump, on Earth alone.

    We can learn to survive, or we are all Dodos.

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