Miranda’s Daily Blog – Day 6

Day 6 – Following on from yesterdays blog – today a report was released that makes it quiet clear that Ta Ann are one of the driving forces behind the on-going destruction of high conservation value forests.

The Report of Independent Expert Schedulers: appointed under the Tasmanian Forests Inter-Governmental Agreement was released today by Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck. The report was developed as part of the IGA process, Forestry Tasmania claimed that they were unable to reschedule logging operations out of the 430,000 hectares ear-marked for protection. This lead to independent verifiers to asses these claims and produce this report.

The report indicated that Forestry Tasmania did indeed have intentions to log at least 34 coupes in the area that is meant to be under a conservation agreement. The report indicated that contracts, one of the major ones being with Ta Ann, could not be met outside of the proposed reserve area.

This report confirms that Ta Ann are a major blocker to forest protection due to their contract for 265,000 cubic metres of wood a year, which is unable to be met outside of the area allocated for protection. In fact, the report proved that a much larger amount of forest is going to Ta Ann than this, because to produce 265,000 cubic meters of peeler billets they are actually taking 330,000 cubic meters of wood.

It will be interesting to see if Forestry Tasmania attempts to use this report to justify their continued logging in high conservation value areas. Rather then provide a reason to continue forest destruction this report provides evidence that the government must now use to enact Clause 27 of the IGA. This clause in the agreement states that if contracts cannot be meet outside the 430,000 hectares then compensation would be given instead. There is no option in this agreement for logging to continue in those areas, regardless of the contracts. The contractual requirements of Forestry Tasmania will be fulfilled through the compensation process.

It is the failure of Forestry Tasmania to do adequate preparation for rescheduling that has lead to this situation where contracts are not able to be meet elsewhere. They were given the work to a long time ago, yet have not managed to reschedule any significant number of operations. This is interesting considering they were recently given millions of dollars of tax payers money to do this work! In fact millions they received was taken out of the budget that had been allocated to oversee conservation outcomes and manage the new reserves. How ironic that it went instead to FT, who have done nothing but continue to log in areas that are meant to be protected by a conservation agreement by now.

It is interesting too that Senator Colbeck claims the IGA to be a sham. The only thing that is making the IGA a sham right now is the fact that the government has failed to actually implement any of the conservation outcomes that are clearly outline in it.

Senator Colbeck claims that there “will never be peace” due to protest actions by myself and other environment groups. I would say that it is the bulldozers and chainsaws that are ripping apart this valley that are disrupting the peace, wouldn’t you? My presence here is simply documenting and exposing that disruption to the world. It would seem that the real culprit in this situation is Julia Gillard, signing a deal and then not honouring it is certainly one way to destabilise the integrity of the entire IGA process. And so, yes, I would agree with Senator Colbeck on that point – the IGA is in risk of being a complete sham.

All this talk of “peace” in the forests takes on a whole new meaning when you sit here in the middle of a logging coupe and day after day hear the sound of trees falling. There will be no peace in the forests for the Tasmanian devils, spotted tailed quolls or white goshawks… there will be no peace in the forests for these 400 year old trees… there will be no peace in the forest for me here in this tree-sit… so long as the chainsaws continue.

Till tomorrow – take care. Miranda.

Download Schedulers Report

Posted on December 19, 2011, in Daily Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I was out for a quiet cycle after the rain this evening and found myself at the Domain. Mostly hidden from public view hundreds of logs (peeler billets) being sorted for loading onto a Ta Ann ship. What a third world sham economy we have! Shipping out our natural heritage as whole logs. Macquarie wharf, just behind the sewerage treatment plant. Go take a look at our old growth forest departing.

  2. Thank you again Miranda for being there and keeping us informed…….Peace – a powerful word I hope it comes to our beauitful old growth forest, the fauna and flora and the humans xxxxxx

  3. In fact, there are over 40 logging coupes that have been completed since September, are being logged, or are scheduled within the 430,000 ha planned for ‘immediate protection’. They occupy over twenty square kilometres and sound the death knell for forests in the Styx, Tyenna, Ben Lomond, Tarkine and south-west.

  4. Miranda you are my hero, forest defender. Thank you for keeping us informed. If it wasn’t for you the rest of us would not know what is really happening to our forests. Thank you for bringing Mount Mueller to our homes via the internet, very special. Love you so much!!!

  5. I can’t find the so-called Report anywhere. Do you have a link to it? There was a link posted in Tas Times, but it didn’t work. I’ve looked for it all over the place. Senator Colbeck’s website … no luck. Other places … no luck. Who has a copy of it? Can you post a link?

  6. Thanks, here’s a response:
    Thank you for the link to the Report.

    Senator Colbeck doesn’t appear to understand the implications of the Oct 2011 Schedulers’ Report. Its brief is:

    The Independent Expert Schedulers (IES) were appointed on 20th September 2011 by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to determine what harvesting work is currently occurring in coupes within the ENGO-nominated 430,000 ha area (identified area); the contractual wood supply that this harvesting is required to meet; and whether there are practical alternatives [sic] coupes outside the 430,000 ha area (and preferably outside the 572,000 ha area) for meeting these contractual wood supply requirements. The intention of this work is to reschedule harvesting work outside the 430,000 ha rea to the maximum extent possible, but also to identify what harvesting work cannot be rescheduled and is required to meet demonstrated wood supply requirements. The terms of reference for this work (set out below) were provided by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments with the intention of informing decisions relating to key elements of clauses 18, 26 and 27 of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, 7th August 2011 (TFIA).”

    It is the function of those writing the Report to brief the two Governments on decisions relating to 3 of the IGA [TFIA] Clauses, one of which is Clause 27. Senator Colbeck seems to have missed the point.

    Here is Clause 27:

    Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement:

    Clause 27: “During the independent verification process, in the event that Forestry Tasmania reports that it cannot meet contractual requirements from production resources outside the nominated 430, 000 hectares, the Governments will undertake the following steps. First, an independent expert will be jointly appointed by the Governments to review scheduling and other relevant data and attempt to reschedule harvesting activities so as to meet the requirements of contracts and maintain the interim protection of the 430, 000 hectares. In the event that the independent expert concludes that it is impossible to achieve this through rescheduling on a reasonable commercial basis or through sourcing alternative supplies, the Commonwealth will compensate the contract holder for the value of lost profits and unavoidable costs. Any such costs will be met, in the first instance, from within the $7 million payment in financial year 2011-12 referred to in Clause 35.” Signed by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Premier Lara Giddings, 7th August 2011.

    Click to access tasmanian-forests-intergovernmental-agreement.pdf

    The point is clear: Colbeck, Giddings, Gillard (and Gordon?) seem to be paralysed by the import of what was signed. They are actually supposed to stop logging in the 430k. I put the with the name Gordon, because FT doesn’t seem to be paralysed, they are logging in spite of the IGA.

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