Thursday, 13 December 2012

Peace in Tassie forests?

A follow on article to Election time takings about the Tasmanian forest peace plan as reported in various editions of the Daily Timber News from various viewpoints including that of Jan Davis, CEO of the Tasmanian Farmers& Graziers Association.

22/11/2012 Peace deal or piece deal
Multiple sources confirmed to The Australian that green and timber groups had agreed to protect more than 503,000ha of native forests while allocating 137,000cu m of sawlogs a year to industry.
The deal followed more than two years of difficult negotiation and was being voted on by the boards of the conservation and industry groups involved in the process.

…………..The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TGFA) said the deal was no deal as it implied there was give and take and said it was a sell-out for every Tasmanian.

“It is unconscionable for a group of unelected environmental groups and industry representatives to be making decisions to lock up public resources in perpetuity,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said today.

“This is an outrage that the Legislative Council must throw out in its entirety.

“The 1600 private owners with forests covering private 27% of Tasmania’s native forest estate were given no say in this process.”

Coalition Forestry spokesman Richard Colbeck said there were many other parties that significantly impacted by “this sham process, including agriculture, mining, tourism, and furniture manufacture, and they have had absolutely no say”.

“To replace the volumes lost with plantation timber will take decades and also approximately 100,000ha of land, most likely agricultural land, of which there is about 650,000ha in the State,” he said.

“Not only will the greens campaign against the conversion of farm land to plantation, they will continue to campaign against the native forest sector,” Senator Colbeck said. “That is why Bob Brown and Peg Putt have taken up more senior positions in Markets for Change, which opposes all native forest harvesting.”

It is predicted the Federal Government could see a $7 billion windfall from Tasmania's forestry peace deal. The chance for the windfall comes after the Commonwealth committed $300 million to the deal, which reduces native forest logging. Source ABC News

Climate law expert Andrew MacIntosh, from the Australian National University, believes the deal could raise billions for the Commonwealth through international carbon credits.

He told Radio National that new rules come into effect when Australia signs the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

"The one that's relevant here is that any reduction in native forest harvesting below the levels in the 2000's results in the Australian Government getting credits," he said.

11/12/2012 Tasmanian farmers reject ‘peace plan’
Jan Davis, CEO of the Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association (TFGA) doesn’t mince words when it comes to describing the fallout from the drawn out forestry peace talks/deal in Tasmania. Source: Timberbiz

“We don’t learn from past experience in this State,” she said. “The main thing that got up everybody’s nose with the Gunn’s pulp mill episode was that due process was not followed. And here we go again.

……………“Just because somebody has promised a bucket of money if a deal is done before Christmas isn’t a reason to accept a dud outcome,” she said.

“Decisions of this magnitude need to be assessed on the basis of triple bottom line outcomes – economic, social and environmental. We’re told this ‘deal’ delivers environmental outcomes, despite the fact that more and more research shows that lock-up-and-leave approaches actually result in decreased biodiversity outcomes.


  1. Interesting - this has blown up on a day that Peter Spencer is fighting out his case in the Federal Court.... the parallels are there - no due process, no seat at the table for affected farmers, no triple bottom line, windfall for the Commonwealth in carbon credits "bought" cheap.... Fight on farmers and support Spencer - his case become more and more important. Maybe the TGFA is an organisation with real backbone

    1. I am very perplexed with the Federal Government try to shift Environmental control back to the States, goes against the grain of what Labor has been doing.
      The Green NGO’s are all against this and are attempting to come up with a solution, a solution for exactly what problem ?. Can anyone shed any light on why the sudden need to undo what the Fed’s have tried so hard to do through COAG.

  2. There are a lot of parallels, Ian.
    When I posted this discussion last night I wasn't aware that on the news today is the possible collaspe of the deal. -

    I know very little about the TGFA; I do like their comments in the media about this so called peace deal, standing up for their members who have been maginilised.

  3. Oh, no - another deathless comment just went to God. So al, back to the drawing board.
    Dale, I dips me lid to you. There you are, away from your own property for days, fighting fires in stinking heat to help others - and you come home, no doubt totally stuffed, yet find time to post new discussions here, to help build and maintain interest.
    Mate, you are either a nut, a hero, or both. Whatever, do take a few days off. Meanwhile, I am honoured to nominate you as EG's inaugural Person of the Year - if we had such an award :-)
    Cheers al

  4. Here here, well said Al but hero is more apt. Dale will probably blush and say he is just one of many volunteers but he sure takes the prize here.

    1. Fella's you are laying it on a bit thick. I'm back from being away for the weekend. This discussion is little more than copy & paste which is as much as my limited time allowed when I published it.

    2. Fair enough Dale. I'll merely add that humility is another quality to be admired in anyone. And that's coming from someone who could often do with a bit more of it1 :-)
      Cheers al

  5. In your earlier post I said our country needs people like Dale and his volunteer mates, and My wife Cathy added a little comment of her own. Hero is not a term I would use lightly, but you guys deserve it and if we buy a rural property or one in a timbered area on the coast, I sure hope we have crews like yours handy to take up the slack in the govt provided services.

  6. Media release from TFGA

    The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association says the massive amendments and insertions that the Government announced today to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill constitute a farce and have reinforced the importance of the review function of the Legislative Council.

    “These significant changes demonstrate the deficiencies in the Bill rushed through the House of Assembly in December,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said today.

    “Organisations like ours have spent the last month getting legal opinions and gathering expert advice in order to meet the Legislative Council select committee’s deadline for submissions; and to prepare to be able to speak to those submissions at the hearings this week.

    “Suddenly today the Government reveals a welter of amendments and apparently inadequate maps to identify the land that is proposed for reserves. Even signatories have yet to see any substantive detail of the proposed changes.

    “Public submissions on the Bill close on Friday. How are we supposed to address these with any understanding or insight?”

    Ms Davis said it must be going through the minds of members of the Legislative Council that this is fast becoming a comic opera.

    1. Well done TFGA! Does Australia at last have a rural organisation that is both articlate, forthright and prepared to defend the interests of its members? Can it be cloned?
      Cheers al


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