Tasmanian Times

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

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

Economy

‘A bad outcome for Dover …’

First published May 14

Landowner consent for Dover woodchip port

The Wilderness Society notes two key issues with regard the granting of ‘landowner consent’ for the lodgement of a Development Application (DA) for a proposed woodchip port at Dover in Tasmania’s far south.

1. What land is the statement talking about? Contrary to the DPIPWE statement that this proposal pertains to ‘unreserved Crown Land’, the Government’s own LISTMAP service identifies the land required for this proposal as:

• ‘Informal Reserve on Permanent Timber Production Zone Land or Forestry Tas. managed Land’ (this land was declared a reserve following community consultation in the 2000s, to protect Dover’s viewfield)

• ‘Informal Reserve on other public land’ ie coastal reserve

• and probably also (depending on exact location) Future Potential Production Zone Land, which is informally reserved
(see picture)

2. There is currently not a duly elected Council in the Huon Valley to assess this DA. If this DA is to be submitted, considering the public interest and controversy, use of reserved land and other associated issues, logic and due process would suggest it reasonable to await the election of a properly constituted Council.

The Wilderness Society believes the proposal for a woodchip port at Dover is a bad outcome for the the town itself, the local and broader environment and industry.

‘At a time when Tasmania needs new solutions for the challenges it faces, sacrificing swift parrot habitat and the emerging identity of Dover by locking-in long-term woodchipping of plantations and native forests is simply the lowest common denominator.’

www.wilderness.org.au

Greens: Courtney Gives Tick for Controversial Woodchip Port

Letter to Sarah Courtney on Southwood Fibres Export Facility, Strathblane … Our area has been going from strength to strength with tourism & aquaculture working together to provide new future for people in the area. This development threatens both! …

Annie Venables, Producer, Viking Films: To Sarah Courtney … on the DA for Southwood Fibres Export Facility Strathblane I am deeply saddened by the news that the Liberal Govt has given consent for Crown Land i.e. public land to be used by a private developer for a wood chip port at Dover. What right does the Govt have to do this without consultation of the community that will bear the brunt of this development? A development that will cost local jobs, degrade the environment and turn what could be Tasmania’s most beautiful coastal town into an industrial wood chip port. The beautiful bay will be trashed, log trucks will clog our roads – one every 5 minutes, and the peaceful nature of the town will be ruined with bulldozers operating 24/7 …

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48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. Pete Godfrey

    May 25, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Hi Geoffrey. That is not the prospectus I had but it does show the shiny, snake oil salesman approach. The one I had was a small pamphlet that was given to accountant types to hand out to unsuspecting tax avoiders. It was only about 10 pages long, lots of smiley pictures and loads of bovine excrement.

    Even if the transport study from the AASHO is out by a long way it still shows that our roads are trashed by trucks much more than cars, and it is easy to see the effects. Just look at any road where logging is going on and you will see on sharp bends that the tar is cracked where it is pushed sideways as the trucks turn, and that the council is out there doing its best to keep the road in good condition for the INDUSTRY. (Industry = sheltered workshop)

  2. Geoffrey Swan

    May 25, 2018 at 2:46 am

    #46 … It sounds like a failed business model to me, Pete. But how can that be when we’ve had wonderful people like Paul Harris and now Guy Barnett managing our public forests?

    Is this the prospectus you wish you still had …

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Macquarie+Bank+plantation+prospectus&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab

    Still struggling with the transport stuff by the way … and yes, it is very dry. Really wanting it to be true but the AASHO Road Test back in 1960 appears a bit of a stretch.

  3. Pete Godfrey

    May 24, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    #44 … Geoffrey many years ago, I managed to get hold of a Macquarie Bank plantation prospectus. That was when the pie was still very high in the sky.

    They were telling prospective tax dodgers (investors) that they would get 250 tonnes of logs per ha, and would be paid $35 a tonne after 12 to 15 years. I wish I still had it, it would be a priceless relic from the days when snake oil was all the rage.

    Still, $95 a BDMT is not much when you consider that the grower has to be paid, the harvesters, carters, handling costs, freight costs to markets – and somehow a profit has to come on top of that. Maybe your $20 a tonne is the profit which would be about right at a guess. At the touted 800,000 tonnes a year that comes in at the tidy sum of $16 million.

    Oh, that is right – they have to replant and wait for the next crop, too.

  4. MjF

    May 24, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    No Swanny, that’s AUD$94 per green metric tonne.

    It comes back to the inputs costs e.g. land recruitment, establishment, maintenance, harvest, cart, chip and load. The seller usually sells FOB which is free on board. The buyer pays for all shipping, port costs, demurrage, agents etc.

    We can only assume the johnny maddock price is reflective of the plantation component of eucalypt chips as these attract a higher price than native forest chips and normally come with certification. Supposedly this translates to increased sell price. I assume it does, as ‘average’ is quoted.

    A good quality plantation will yield 350t/ha after 15 years.

    If your plantation is relatively close to a buyer, you (as timber owner) might end up with $30/tonne stumpage. What does 350 x 30 give you per ha as income ?

    This calc also ignores any peeler logs which can be produced from any average plantation which earn around $10/tonne more than the going chip price.

    We already grow fine and useful native timbers, and we don’t need any introduced species for sawn lumber. You can buy all the furniture and solid wood building products you could ever want or need, made from Tasmanian timbers.

  5. Geoffrey Swan

    May 24, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    #43 … Thanks, Martin. I did not want to ask how they determined BDMT, thinking that might be a silly question, and so I appreciate your explanation.

    So that calculation comes in at AUD$94 per BDMT. Are you therefore suggesting that is closer to the sell price? Not that it concerns me that much as I was just wondering why someone would do this for only my obviously wrong $20 per tonne comment.

    Still sounds a heck of a lot of work for such a low return when you consider a 15 year plus investment involving considerable labour, machinery and transport.

    Why didn’t our founders from the mother country plant really useful timber like Ash, Beech and Mahogany? We could have been turning out wonderful furniture and building materials from this little isle.

    But then again, the other thing needed is intelligence, and maybe not being given all the lovely special timbers FT have raped from our native forests.

  6. MjF

    May 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Then take the USD price, divide by .756 and then halve that.

    You now arrive at a representative sell price for green chips/tonne in AUD.

    This is what goes into the holds. The seller takes green samples and dries them to 0% moisture to establish exact conversion to BDMT per boat, as does the buyer upon its arrival.

  7. Geoffrey Swan

    May 24, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    #41 … Thanks, John. That makes more sense than my earlier $20 per tonne.

  8. John Maddock

    May 24, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Further to my post #40 above, I should have clarified that the price of woodchips is expressed in “bdmt”s – bone dry metric tonnes.

    JV

  9. John Maddock

    May 23, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    From “Daily Timber News”:

    (Should scare some – and soothe others!)

    Market Points from IndustryEdge

    Imports worth nearly $2 billion – the value of Australia’s imports of wood and wood products were valued at A$1.981 billion for the year-ended March 2018.
    114,744m3 – imports of particleboard rose 21.1% over the year to the end of March – a new import record.
    USD143.05/bdmt – the average price of Australia’s exports of hardwood chips in March 2018, up 3% on the prior month.

  10. MjF

    May 23, 2018 at 7:12 am

    #37 … Nothing Victorian about me, Robin Charles.

    Poynter, who is Victorian as you say, will know the ‘ins and outs’ of native E nitens timber comprehensively, although these days his cameos here are increasingly rare. I guess he’d just had enough of the rubbish put up on TT from the serial pests.

    Regardless, it’s important to remember this species is a type of gum as opposed to ash or peppermint, and as such has poorer sawn timber qualities than the others.

    The longer plantation grown euc is left to grow, the more it’s properties align with the native equivalent.

    Swanny, I cannot solve your dilemma re resource extent, the details of which I’m not privy to. Clearly the majority of wood will come from ex STT sites with ex Gunns and FEA areas also in the mix.

  11. Geoffrey Swan

    May 23, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Thanks MJF, RCH, JM and TGC. Now I just need to understand what is being said. Phew …

    I still don’t reckon we could possibly have a 50+ year viable business, in plantation timber only, for woodchip within a 180 km radius of Southwood – but that is just an uneducated gut feeling from looking at the available maps I have been able to locate.

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    May 23, 2018 at 12:42 am

    #34 … Thanks John – “panels” as that might make some sense as I believe that nitens that is unpruned does not create a strong construction grade timber product probably because as the closer than usual whorls of limbs which one would think should drop off earlier, naturally as bole growth increase in diameter.

    Is there anyone in the TT interest group aware of native forest grown Nitens? I have been lead to believe that in Victoria it can be marketed as a species that makes up Victorian Ash, along with Messmate (obliqua) and Mountain Ash (regnans)! It may be possible that plantation-grown nitens in Tasmania takes on differing wood quality characteristics.

    As Martin and Mark are both mainland Victorian foresters, their experience may shed some light on the technical side of the subject of wood properties between plantation grown and native forest grown species.

    In my opinion, nitens is only plantation grown in Tasmania as there is no need to in Victoria leaving our state as the guinea pig – an expensive and heart breaking experiment if we ever will deliver high grade sawn timber for the market!

    It’s a big underlying question .. Will plantation nitens ever deliver an add-on high quality timber for our local market – given that we are cutting much of our regrowth far too early to satisfy the Ta Ann industrial strength laminate market?

  13. TGC

    May 23, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Perhaps a solution is this: no overseas buyers of our resources, and no sales of our resources to overseas buyers, and we should define ‘resources’ very broadly.

  14. MjF

    May 23, 2018 at 12:14 am

    #31 … $20/tonne is not an indicative figure to be bandying about. How it works is any wood processor offers a delivered price to their mill/site/location, otherwise known as mill door.

    This is an all-up price from which the supplier subtracts the individual costs of planning, road construction harvesting and cartage. in fact all costs incurred which are incurred in getting the wood produced and delivered. What’s left over is the stumpage or royalty. Every property/coupe is different, particularly in terms of cart distance. Therefore you cannot quote any singular value for woodchips.

    In reality someone, somewhere, will receive $20/tonne, and someone else will receive more, and some may earn less where cartage is particularly expensive. For this reason alone I don’t foresee any material from the southern plantations making its way to a Hampshire LVL mill.

    My guess is Fetbel would offer around $90/ tonne delivered for their sawlogs material (my guess only).

    The portion of SE plantations suited only for chip is probably up to 70% of a typical stand.

    A typical MDP for plantation chip from existing buyers is $62/tonne. Those with closer plantations to the mill door do better than those further out. I have no idea what the Dover enterprise might offer.

    #32 … RCH – I see no opportunity for TAT to utilise plantation wood of a specification between sawlogs and chip. Having had some experience in selling native forest logs to them, I know their specifications and log size would overlap directly with E nitens plantation sawlogs.

    There is really no other category of log in ETF other than sawlog ot export and pulpwood, mainly because the trees are not that big.

    If they were grown to age 40, then other log sorts within a single tree might be possible.

  15. John Maddock

    May 22, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Robin #32 … Hermal will be producing cross-laminated panels, not beams.

    JV

  16. John Maddock

    May 22, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Geoffrey, #31 … I don’t know the answers to your very relevant questions, but many years ago an ex FT employee suggested I consider the effect of compound interest on the cost of plantations at harvest.

    He was still loyal enough to the industry to not go beyond that point, but I took him to mean that plantations would never be profitable, at least for FT at that time.

    It’s a different situation when an overseas buyer buys them for a heavily discounted price, possibly negating the otherwise in-built cost of compound interest.

    JV

  17. Robin Charles Halton

    May 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    #30 … Just a reasonable question between a native forest forester and one of the more up to date HWP orientated foresters such as yourself!

    It’s a technical question that should interest the panel for those who want to see something positive occur with the use of what was basically meant to be as pulp mill feed stock HWP’s!

    Do you see an opportunity for Ta Ann to utilise some of the sections of HWP log between the saw-log and the pulp sections?

    I think that we may be talking about the locally available, ex North Forests ex Gunns ownership, now Foricos, the older established Surrey Hills and Hampshire Hills unpruned HWPs adjacent to the Hampshire Mill.

    I take it that Hermal has pre-trialed the resource in conjunction with CRC forestry at the University, or that some such trials have been conducted to prove the use of HWP material for the type of laminated beams that I believe that Hermal are interested in.

    I just need to be convinced that the Hermal process is a proven goer before it begins production – and not another Ta Ann trick where you know what I mean by that! All the promises under the sun to use HWP material then switch to NF regrowth!

    How do you see it, Martin?

  18. Geoffrey Swan

    May 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    #30…good question Martin. I recall I obtained the $20 per tonne figure from a TT post – but it may have been net profit or gross margin. Perhaps you are able to enlighten me please.

    Local firewood starts around $100 a tonne and this is generally from our public forests. Plantations I assume come with much higher costs to plant, to maintain, to harvest and to clear right back to usable land – plus transport of course.

    This is all still a mystery to me as I try to decipher the information from the regular TT commentators. Hopefully some intelligent folk like yourself can help me out here.

    What is the return on investment for plantation owners?

    How much per tonne for woodchip quality timber?

    What percentage of a plantation forest in the South is suitable for woodchip only?

    How much might someone like Hermel pay for plantation timber?

    How about some answers Martin to your own questions from someone like yourself who is in the know?

  19. MjF

    May 22, 2018 at 12:35 am

    #28 … For your consideration, Geoffrey:

    Where does this $20 per tonne of chip come from ?

    Hermel will be buying sawlog spec material from plantation trees.

    They won’t be buying chip logs. What happens to the residues ?

    What will be their mill door price at Hampshire and how much is the cartage cost, from say Judbury to Hampshire ?

    Are you sure that Hermel will be the best return for intelligent plantation owners ?

  20. TGC

    May 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    #25 and #26 should be doing much more to see the absolute end of all forestry operations in Tasmania. Tourism is our present and our absolute future and we need at least 3 million tourists a year to salvage our economy, and even at that only at the bottom end. Tasmanians are prepared for the sacrifice of the end of many industries.

  21. Geoffrey Swan

    May 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    #25 … So is that why JNS will not reveal where this 1,000,000 tonnes plus of woodchip feeder logs are located? Sorry to repeat, but his comment to me was it is not a requirement of their DA to map the truck routes. Danny Peet publicly explained this is a 50 year project for the South.

    I do not believe for one moment NSP (and their investors) will spend $42 M to build an export facility based on $20 per tonne of woodchip when the supply may not actually be there.

    Besides .. now that Hermel has made a commitment, why would any intelligent plantation owner offer their timber to NSP when the going rate for timber to Hermel will be a far better return on their investment?

    #26 … I have to agree Pete, it’s all rather obvious that in the name of jobs and investment, NSP will come bleating to the government to release more public native forest. No different from the Ta Ann contracts.

    Unless .. the port is to be used for more than mere woodchip …

    I take it no one knows or is able to comment on my question at #22.

  22. Pete Godfrey

    May 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Also TGC, (Tasmanian Government Crony) if you remember things, eg when wood-chipping began in Tasmania the proponents put out glossy pamphlets that showed that they would only be wood-chipping the butts and crowns of the trees.

    The pictures were lovely coloured representations, showing that only the bits that no mill could utilise would be chipped.

    Not long after whole forests were being felled to feed into the maws of the chippers, and whole forests of paper were used to print the lies that were to be fed to the public about the wood-chipping.

  23. Pete Godfrey

    May 21, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    #25… You well know TGC, that once the project starts and the woodchips begin to roll off the line, that the old Jobs chestnut will be rolled out.
    The proponents will need to use native forest resource to supply their markets, otherwise jobs will go.
    It has always been so and will not change unless humans learn to live without greed.

  24. TGC

    May 21, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    #12 “… I don’t believe the resource is there for pulpwood supply at that level …”
    This information should be alerted to the proponent because it may well be that when this is realised the project will be canned.

  25. Shane Johnson

    May 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    #21 … Albany and Bunbury make poor comparisons. Both have been industrial ports for much of their history.

  26. Geoffrey Swan

    May 21, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    #21 … thanks Robin, I do know you are repeating yourself about your enjoyment at seeing the woodchip mountains during your recent visit to Albany and Bunbury – but that’s OK, different strokes for different folks I guess, and I know you have previously said to me to sit back and wait and see what happens.

    The problem I have with that suggestion is – why all the secrecy? James Neville Smith has himself suggested there is no secrecy, but when asked the tough questions, or asked to front a Town Hall meeting, he is not interested and is not prepared to share the information.

    If Mr Neville Smith is as honourable as he said he is in his phone call to me, then what has he got to hide? All I am asking is for information so that I can better understand how wonderful this project will be for our community in the Valley. He said to me he is doing all this for the people in the Huon Valley, and that he cannot understand why his project is not being openly embraced by one and all.

  27. Geoffrey Swan

    May 21, 2018 at 2:26 am

    NSP is behind this proposed project, and the more I look into this multi million dollar company with interests on many projects, the more I wonder what is their real interest in $20 per tonne woodchip.

    I heard a rumour NSP was sold to Reliance Forest Fibre recently.

  28. Robin Charles Halton

    May 21, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Geoffrey, it’s all about keeping the content of the NSP project under wraps untl the last minute thereby avoiding another protracted Pulp mill type stand off.

    You have to understand that releasing too much information only excites protestations. Now we all have to be patient and wait for the right moment for when NSP releases its plan close to the time when developmental work begins.

    Previously during my travels I have driven past the woodchip port at Eden NSW on the southern side of Twofold bay NSW. Nothing exciting really. Dined in the restaurant/bar close to the woodchip port in Albany WA and been sight-seeing in Bunbury, WA with the woodchip port on the opposite side of the river.

    Wood chip ports are so commonplace and are a part of Australia’s (just wait, don’t laugh, cover your face, snigger or weep in private) culture!

  29. Geoffrey Swan

    May 21, 2018 at 12:25 am

    #18… really appreciated Pete, and thanks Linz …

    Onto it … good bedtime reading!!

    (Now that is a bit sad, but someone has to keep the bastards honest)

  30. Pete Godfrey

    May 20, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Geoffrey #17 … Hopefully by now, Linz would have sent the document to you. The relevant section is on the top of Page 8.
    Hope it helps
    Pete

  31. Pete Godfrey

    May 20, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Geoffrey, I have sent the pdf to Linz, hopefully he can pass it on to you.

    The tree planters will be pretty busy. I hope they have machines to plant with. If they chew up 5,000 ha of plantation a year, and they replant at the usual 1000 trees per ha. then that means the planters will be putting in 5 million trees a year. 500,000 trees each amounts to around 1,370 trees a day, every day of the year.

  32. Geoffrey Swan

    May 20, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    #15 … I’m really struggling with your Friedrich reference, Pete. I found a German pdf and was able to translate into English “Effects of new vehicle concepts on the Infrastructure of the federal trunk road network final report” … but this does not appear to contain the information. Can you assist any further please, as this information is very integral to my research.

    #11 … It is my considered view there is not 80,000+ hectares within 142 km of Southwood, but perhaps someone can assist me, please. Danny Peet stated this is a 50 year project, and plantation owners will be keen to keep planting after harvesting. JNS said they will employ 10 full time tree planters to keep up with the demand.

    There are too many holes in this concept … and again NSP are not being transparent and are definitely not sharing the information.

  33. Pete Godfrey

    May 19, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    You are right about the log tonnages, Geoffrey. It will depend on how long they leave the logs on the landing to drain all the water out of them. Usually they leave them for a fair while to get their weight down. That way the processors don’t have to pay for water.
    Generally it is a ratio of 2:1 . Wet Log to Bone Dry tonne of woodchip, so they may actually need a lot more forest than the 80 thousand ha.
    I guess freight subsidies will be asked for at some time, if not already factored in.

  34. Pete Godfrey

    May 19, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Sorry Geoffrey, my memory was out by a fair bit. It is not 5,000 cars worth of damage – it is 160,000 cars worth. Brain-fade over the years is to blame.

    Deutsche Bank Research

    “Demographic developments will not spare the public infrastructure”

    The damage to a road caused by a 40-tonne truck is roughly equivalent to that from 160,000 passenger cars. This has led to enormous pent-up demand for capital expenditure on replacement. The DIW German
    Institute for Economic Research estimates this backlog of investment for Germany’s trunk roads alone at around EUR 60 bn up to 2020.

    This value was first calculated in the 1960s by the AASHO Road Test in the USA, which established that pavement wear grows at approximately the fourth power of increases in axle load. This “power law” was found to apply by and large to Germany as
    well.

    (Friedrich, M. (1998), Analyse des Schwerverkehrs und Quantifizierung seiner
    Auswirkung auf die Straßenbeanspruchung mit Hilfe der Potenzregel, Munich).

  35. Geoffrey Swan

    May 19, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    #12 … Many thanks Pete – I will come back to this with more comment later but in the meantime I really appreciate your insight.

    800,000 tonnes of woodchip will, I assume, require more than 800,000 tonne of raw feeder logs .. can we say 1,000,000 tonnes?

    Trucks will not be orderly in terms of how many per hour, and whilst NSP have declared the chipping will be a 24/7 operation this means there will likely be trucks travelling all through the night. But again, let’s assume there will be more during peak daylight hours which could easily suggest a truck every 5 minutes. Therefore 800,000 cannot be evenly divided by every hour of the day as there will be peak demand to suit the times the ships are in Port.

    The feeder trucks WILL be travelling on residential sealed and unsealed roads. I am not sure if you know details of the Southwood location and the residential roads that feed into this site. There is a forestry road option back from Geeveston and the Plenty Link Road. The Geeveston route (Southwood Road) is highlighted in their proposal as the road taking the woodchip down to Dover. This is the route NSP are spruiking will not pass any residences. This will be a very busy road with processed woodchip alone, and it would make no sense for feeder log trucks to also use this road apart from some obvious plantations down that way. A mobile chipper has been suggested for some of these sites closer to Dover as there’s no sense in driving to Southwood, chipping, then back down to Dover again.

    There is no question the feeder log trucks will travel through Huonville and along Glen Huon Road to Southwood, with the possibility of the empty trucks returning along North Huon Road into Ranelagh. North Huon Road has a 20 tonne limit which is OK for empty trucks. It makes no sense for empty trucks to compete with fully laden trucks travelling Glen Huon Road.

    It’s very interested to read your reference to the Deutsche Bank study, and I will go looking. Are you able to provide a link, please?

  36. Teresa Maddox

    May 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Once again, information is being withheld by a deforestation potentate, and all in the name of perpetuating another unsustainable cycle of the wood-chipping debacle!

    When will we ever be able to get off this sick carousel?

  37. Pete Godfrey

    May 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    #1 … Geoffrey, those truck movements, one every 5 minutes sound excessive.

    If we do the maths on it, then 800,000 tonnes equals 2,198 tonnes per day. If they only use single log trucks as opposed to B doubles then that would be 73 truck loads a day. That is 3 loads per hour, taking into account that the trucks would also leave empty and follow the same route that gives 6 truck movements per hour. That is one every 10 minutes. Still pretty bad, but not as bad as the 637 a day that the pulp mill was going to have.

    It still appears that the smoke and mirrors are pretty thick down there. I don’t believe the resource is there for pulpwood supply at that level, nor do I believe that the roads can stand up to the damage. A Deutsche Bank study found that one 40 tonne truck did the same damage to the roads a 5,000 cars.

    So your roads will be subject to the equivalent of another 365,000 cars a day. Let’s just hope that they only use the publicly funded forestry roads.

  38. Pete Godfrey

    May 19, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Maths folks, lets see if it adds up.

    800,000 tonnes of woodchip a year, needs at least 5,000 hectares of plantation to supply it. Take the fact that the southern plantations are supposedly not performing that well, it will mean that they would need 15 years to grow to harvestable size. That means that the project requires a base of 80,000 hectares of plantation.

    Is there that much plantation within the 150 km zone of Southwood?

  39. Geoffrey Swan

    May 19, 2018 at 3:10 am

    #8 … The problem is Robin, that it is not early days. NSP have most likely been working on this for years; certainly the quantity of reports and consultants suggests as much – not that they are sharing all with us because in their own words they told us they are withholding some information at this stage .. but why?

    As a mere ratepayer for a simple DA we get 14 days to assess the application and offer Council any comment.

    Because this is a Level 2 DA and the EPA will be involved we get an almighty 28 days to perhaps read and comprehend what has already been indicated by Adriana Taylor as being a 500+ page submission from NSP.

    Meanwhile JNS has the audacity to say they are being open and transparent .. but they are not. They have had one public meeting and they were shocked by the turnout and interest – and questions. JNS has refused to attend any open public meetings… but in the meantime he has been meeting local ratepayers who may be affected by their plans one on one, even spending up to 3 hours with one elderly couple.

    Only two weeks ago he attended a secret meeting of “advocates” at the Kermandie pub which included a couple of well known locals who will be standing at the next Council election. NSP are playing a divide and conquer game – and gutless and secretive certainly comes to mind.

    #9 … I now know of two others with whom JNS is no longer responding, Martin. I have personally done no more than ask questions .. questions that JNS just does not want to answer. I have confirmed I do have his correct email address, but he is just being rude in my view, and certainly not acting with honour like his Dad, as I understand. He is refusing to attend any public meetings – not that he has attended any apart from his small groups of supporters. He sent an incapable middle manager (Danny Peet) into the fray and that was a huge PR mistake which he refused to accept when I told him so.

    If NSP are truly wanting community support and engagement, it behooves James to have the gumption to step up and speak with the community.

    C’mon James .. town hall meeting in Huonville. I am sure there will not be a lynch mob, but I can promise there will be a large gathering of intelligent locals who just want some answers to your proposal to ship 800,000 tonnes of woodchip fibre from a proposed Port in Dover.

    What do you have to lose, James?

  40. MjF

    May 18, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    #6 … I guess you’re between a rock and a hard place, Geoffrey.

    If you’ve been excommunicated by JNS there’s not a lot you can do.

    I thought there were more public meetings mooted in the scheme of things ..

  41. Robin Charles Halton

    May 18, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    #7 … Geoffrey, basically I am just interested in their plan. It still may be early days to announce the next stage for the public!

    Over the past few years there had been truckloads of HWP 1st thinning on a daily basis coming though Hobart heading northwards!

    I am not aware of the ages and quantity of the HWP’s in the Huon area, both on private and Crown

    FT would have pruned HWP on its inventory that would produce wood above pulpwood grade.

    I am hesitant to have a guess at this point in time the proposed usage. Maybe Ta Ann should be looking at this resource to ease their requirement from native regrowth forests with the possible expectation that better grade wood may not be carted up north to Hermal at Hampshire!

    We will have to wait and see.

    Re roading upgrades, I was down Dover way late last winter with my wife who was photographing Adamsons Peak and the Southern ranges, then capped with snow, and we noticed a major highway and entry to Hopetoun Road upgrade with slip lanes at the top of the Glendevie hill. I would think it has something to do with relieving traffic flow to allow cars to safely pass heavy traffic!

    Hopetoun Rd is a major forestry road into Hopetoun and Esperance forest blocks from the Huon highway, nevertheless I am none the wiser on future cartage routes planned for the general area.

    Patience in the meantime, and all shall be revealed eventually as I would expect the overall plan for NSP is quite complex re harvesting schedules and transportation from the forests, notwithstanding the Raminea export wharf development!
    Its a massive project to undertake for the State.

  42. Geoffrey Swan

    May 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    #5 …In my phone call with the man himself – JNS, he told me it would make no sense to transport any timber from South of Hobart to the North, and only timber from the South would go to Southwood.

    As I have stated before on TT … his message to me when I asked him to tell us where the timber is being harvested, and which roads will they traverse to get to Southwood, he said to me “it is not a requirement to provide truck movement for incoming trucks to Southwood through the DA process.”

    Maybe someone more influential, or in the know, can urge James to give us some more information. Why is everything so bloody secretive ?

    In the ABC report this week he was quoted as saying “Despite the allegations that we have been secretive, we have put everything we can on the website.”

    James appears to have removed his email account jns@smartfibre.com.au and in writing to his other email account jns@falcon1.com.au I find that he will not respond.

    Very open and transparent, is Mr Neville Smith.

  43. Geoffrey Swan

    May 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    #4 … I’m never too far away from TT, Martin … but there’s not a lot that rocks my boat of late.

    Your explanation sounds educated, but for the life of me I simply cannot fathom where all this magical plantation timber resource is coming from. My understanding is that pulp trees are harvested after 15 years of growth.

    I’ve been reading some old Southwood papers, and FT at the time advised there were 200,000 tonnes per annum available. Fast forward, and NSP are telling us they will be harvesting enough plantation timber to meet their plan of 800,000 tonnes per annum – and this is all from within a 142 km radius of Southwood.

    JNS will not tell me where all this resource is coming from, and from my contact with STT it appears they do not know, or cannot tell me, or will not tell me.

    Is someone smoking something MJF ?

  44. Robin Charles Halton

    May 18, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    MJF … Exactly that is what I thought too, it’s a ‘distance to market’ issue for Southern HWP’s logs to be expected to be carted all the way to Hampshire.

    Good point MJF, better logs from the south, exported from PO Hobart.

    I look forward to viewing some actual plans for the NSP venture at Raminea. I’m very interested in the existing forestry roading network connectivity from the Styx- Plenty Link- Upper Huon rural settlements – crossing Arve rd and then southwards towards Raminea.

    Where will the cut off point be for northbound wood versus southward bound. As there has to be both a practical and economic carting distance, southbound basically south of the Derwent River with the exception of some from Upper Derwent Valley!

    Lower Midlands and East Coast wood including the two peninsulas, northbound would expect to reduce log traffic using Southern outlet as the grind through the city up to Mt Nelson and again up the Southern Outlet to Vince’s Saddle does not sound feasible to me!

    We need to see more info from NSP!

  45. MjF

    May 18, 2018 at 3:00 am

    $3
    Reality check Geoffrey and might I say, good to see you re-invigorated.

    Have you been following the Chameleon Tree story ? That’s an cracker, fabricated by a certain blinkered green idealogue cave dweller about a ficticious tree that’s never been recorded, photographed, located or mapped to prove it’s existence.

    More a fairytale really. Why do people bother ?

    I digress.

    The best quality logs from northern plantations will go into cross laminated timber. There will still be plenty of inferior log left for chips. These plantations are on the best soils and enjoy plenty of water so they are superior to southern plantations. These are generally growing on poorer soils in a (still) drier climate and simply haven’t grown as well and never will.

    The southern plantations will still produce some good quality logs but given the distance separation from Hampshire, I expect those logs will be exported ex Hobart port as a more cost effective exercise.

  46. Geoffrey Swan

    May 17, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    #2 … It is also a very curious thing Trevor, that plantation timbers from the North are suitable for a high value cross lamination product .. yet the plantation timbers in the South are only suitable for low value woodchip. (- Danny Peet, from Smartfibre)

    Trees ain’t trees …

  47. TGC

    May 17, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    It is of interest that the proposed Hampshire Saw Mill (North west coast) may face opposition as being a project to which nobody objects – except that it is in the wrong place.
    Shades of the Tamar Pulp Mill – which opponents said should have been at Hampshire.

  48. Geoffrey Swan

    May 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I refer readers to this story of log trucks in the Derwent Valley: http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/Oh-god-Too-Many-Trucks-/

    Of huge concern to the many residents of the Huon Valley, and indeed almost every town South of Hobart, is the log truck traffic that will carry the feeder logs to the Southwood Mill in Lonnavale. In order to meet their anticipated 800,000 tonnes per year of woodchip, they will transporting at least that same volume of whole logs throughout residential roads, past schools and businesses, down Main Street Huonville, along Glen Huon Road – at an estimated truck every 5 minutes, 24/7 every day of the year apart from Christmas Day.

    This will be a disaster for Southern Tasmania.

    Add to that the carcinogenic exhaust fumes from millions of litres of toxic diesel fuel and the health impacts will be staggering

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