Tasmanian Times

Media Release

Ted Mead’s comments about VicForests and its FSC Controlled Wood audit …


I read with respect Ted Mead’s comments about VicForests and its FSC Controlled Wood audit (27 November): HERE


I would clarify, however, that unlike substitute like plastics, metals and cement, or timber sourced from the developing world, the Victorian native timber industry is renewable, with a dramatically better carbon outcome.  Indeed, timber is the ultimate renewable and what we harvest we regrow.


We also provide livelihoods to 2500 regional workers, protects species, are carbon friendly, and supply the creation of beautiful products that adorns most of our homes, and lock up carbon.


We protect threatened species. A 13-hectare exclusion radius (6 MCG fields) protects Leadbeater’s possum colonies and connects them to food and forest corridors; high densities of Greater Gliders in the eastern Victoria attract a 100-hectare exclusion zone.


Where no prescription is required, we voluntarily apply our own by protecting habitats.


In a recent coupe, more than 60 per cent of forest and 98 per cent of habitat trees were retained.


Of course, we already hold Responsible Wood certification, which is endorsed by the global Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – the biggest such system in the world


Despite Mr Mead’s assertion that we have applied for a separate Forest Stewardship Council certification three times; in fact, the recent audit was the second: the first audit was in 2008.


We are acting in the four out of 23 areas where the last FSC audit identified a key non-conformance.  And we have committed to achieving the FSC Controlled Wood standard by 2020.


Alex Messina, VicForests General Manager, Corporate Affairs

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


  1. William Boeder

    December 14, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Ted … in response to this matter, I’m concerned that both the Tasmanian and Victorian State governments have legalised the destruction of our state’s Old Growth native forests without concern for the indigenous wildlife species and the need for each state to have our forest lung.


    No amount of rhetoric can dispute that the more each state’s forests are slain, the lesser is each state’s forests capable of converting Carbon Dioxide into life-giving Oxygen. This is where the evil hypocrisy of governments blatantly ignores facts proven by scientists around this world.

    This ugly engagement is little more than the legitimising of a criminal activity.

    Claiming that the slaughter of an important life-giving element is more about providing jobs for a small number of hard done by people is typical of the blatant hypocrisy being shoved down the necks of our state’s citizens.

  2. Mjf

    December 4, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    ‘Mouthpiece’, suggests the ever observant Spike. Yes, I think that not unreasonable under the circumstances. The scorecard reads 3 mouthpieces to 1 on this string.

    I do like Goldstein’s romantic notion of Middle Ages harvesting by the peasantry. Impoverished labourers bound by the feudal system and employed as tenant farmers on their lord’s estates to bolster their already fabulous wealth. Serfs through exploitation being driven further and further into debt and squalor.

    A nice touch (by overlooking the ugly reality of the embedded class system) to commence hammering the crucifixion nails into Messina’s unblemished public servant palms. Good work, Emmanuel.

    • spikey

      December 6, 2018 at 11:56 am

      I observe that you may as well be a mouthpiece for our disgraceful, unsustainable coal industry also, Mr Fitch.

      Bravo. You sure back some winners. Your bread’s certainly buttered.

      I wonder which way up it will land?

  3. spikey

    December 4, 2018 at 7:08 am

    well that certainly got clearfelled
    and burned baby, totally burnt
    bravo Emmanuel

    poor show vic forests
    and mouthpiece Alex
    lucky you’ve got ‘worlds best practice’
    to make you look good

  4. Emmanuel Goldstein

    December 4, 2018 at 1:37 am

    I read with contempt Alex Messina’s comments about comments, VicForests and its FSC Controlled Wood audit (27 November).

    Alex Messina is not qualified to hold an opinion, let alone articulate a position on any aspect of forestry or science more broadly. He wouldn’t know a broadaxe from a Stihl 066. His qualifications are in Arts and his working experience is limited to swaying and shaping public opinions in print, initially through journalism, seamlessly morphing into a corporate apologist specialising in semantics, here: https://au.linkedin.com/in/alex-messina-97b26a18

    His predictable carbon copy argument commences with the blatant lie that current forestry practice is ‘renewable’, and he spruiks a better ’carbon outcome’ than third world slash and burn techniques.

    Alex Messina claims ‘what we harvest we regrow’. Harvest is a 13th century term derived from Autumn, the time to gather and pluck. It conjures an image of a stout serf, scythe in hand, swishing stalks into barley bales in late summer having drilled seed in the spring, patted the earth down upon it, and lovingly tended and watered it until rich, ripe and full. Totally divorced from the petroleum subsidised caterpillar bulldozers tearing the earth, pushing in roads to further raze, pollute, deface, despoil, poison, slash, crush and destroy. Current corporate forestry has nothing in common with traditional foresters or woodsman. It is a profit-driven extraction industry with a single bottom line, profit for the rich .. not the workers who toil to serve their well heeled masters securing private profits from public loss.

    Alex Messina omits to mention why Vic Forests failed certification in 2008. He would have us believe the industrial forestry machine is squeaky clean and ‘environmentally friendly’. Of course he finishes with claims of action to rectify and a brighter future for all to share, or so he would have us believe.

    He is nothing more than a well paid corporate propagandist engaging in spin to justify the wholesale destruction of what remains of our forests. Messina speaks for what has been shrewdly termed a ‘Government Enterprise’ .. Vic Forests, an entity structured to avoid government responsibility for the handing over of many hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars to who knows where, destroying the very thing they claim to protect.

  5. Ted Mead

    December 3, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Well Alex, I may have been misinformed about the number of FSC attempts VicForests has applied for. My source was from media who you’d think would have it correct.

    So it could still mean 3 strikes and you are out after the next application rejection.

    There’s a high chance a fair chunk of those high conservation forests will be protected by 2020, and if they aren’t then the rejection of FSC will seem inevitable.

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