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TAS Country : August 5th 2010
Don't run down dairy sector The current price for manufacturing milk in Tasmania is now the third highest on record coming into spring.' TASMANIAN dairy farmers have been getting a lot of media atten- tion lately, with a small group declaring the industry is ruined and in the process of being sold off to China. As a dairy farmer, I am well aware how difficult business con- ditions have been recently. However, some facts need to be taken into consideration when assessing these claims. Firstly, the Bonlac Supply Com- pany Supply Agreement guaran- tees Tasmanian farmers who supply milk to Fonterra (which covers two-thirds of the industry) a price equal to or better than that offered from the largest milk processor in Victoria (the Murray Goulburn Co-operative). Fonterra has frequently exceeded this re- quirement. For example, Fonterra's 2010-11 price is currently 22 cents per kilogram of milk solids higher than MG's. BSC has been active in pursuing improvements in supply arrangements with Fonterra. This season Fonterra has re- moved the Tasmanian price oper- ating cost differential and changed the seasonal ratio payment so that Tasmanian suppliers are more likely to receive additional pay- ments. Fonterra has also re- sponded to supplier calls for a clearer pricing signal by an- nouncing its opening price a month early and then implement- ing a strong price step-up in July. The current price for manufac- turing milk in Tasmania is now the third highest on record com- ing into spring. I believe the Tasmanian dairy industry has a bright future. However, the industry will only continue to grow and succeed if we can attract and retain good people. Publicly running down the in- dustry makes this all the more difficult to achieve. ALASTAIR MacDONALD BSC Director Dairy Farmer, Yolla 6 Tasmanian Country Friday, August 6, 2010 You Say firstname.lastname@example.org Reason for forest negotiation secret The letter from Foresters Institute President Peter Volker leaves one's jaw hanging (Tasmanian Country, July 30). It defies all logic that a narrow sample of environ- ment groups would insist on secrecy in the current negotiations with the log- ging industry over the in- dustry's future. It likewise defies logic that an industry with its own jurisdiction and with nearly two-thirds of Tas- mania's forests locked up for itself through the RFA and PTR arrangements, can blame a rag-tag en- vironment movement for the collapse of its massive woodchip-based oper- ations. The industry is reluc- tantly dealing with a few environment groups solely because it now desperately requires some evidence of public acceptance and en- vironmental respectability in order to achieve Forest Stewardship Council certi- fication. That acceptance is unlikely to come from an open public forum. JOHN HAYWARD Weegena Alternative to current baiting DAVID Byard's excellent reporting (Tasmanian Country, July 30) high- lights the problems land- holders face from uncon- trolled populations of native browsing animals. If the Government want- ed to stimulate agricul- tural production and re- generation of native forests, it could at the stroke of a pen, facilitate the registration of Feratox by the national regis- tration authority and guarantee both the appli- cant seeking registration and landholders that the use of Feratox will be not be hindered by red tape. The $4m 'Alternatives to 1080 Project' has been well conducted by DPIPWE. Some findings already presented are that Feratox, a cyanide based product, widely used for years in New Zealand with no im- pact on human health or non-target animal species, is the most humane con- trol method. Most would be surprised to learn that fencing alone is most in-humane and to be acceptable it must be accompanied by shooting and/or poisoning. Feratox can be delivered to target species, by way of feeding stations, from which non-target species cannot feed. Contrary to John Hay- ward's letter (Tasmanian Country, July 30) Feratox has not been used in the State for fox control. If Tasmania is to become the food basket that the Premier widely advocates, it cannot be achieved econ- omically without the use of Feratox. ARTHUR LYONS Australian Forest Growers Research has affect on forestry policy FORESTRY Tasmania works constructively with many researchers to up- grade knowledge and man- agement of ecosystems, silviculture and the en- vironment. I enjoy being a Forestry Tasmania researcher be- cause I am in a position to make positive change. There are numerous ex- amples of change in policy and management made at Forestry Tasmania as a consequence of research conducted either by our- selves or by external re- searchers, including ex- amples where forestry operations have not gone ahead due to research data showing an unacceptable level of impact to water resources or other value. Unfortunately, Forestry Tasmania has not been able to work constructive- ly with Dr Leaman. Our experience is that he re- fuses to share information about his research and monitoring.. Contrary to his words (Tasmanian Country July 23), colleagues and I have heard Dr Leaman speak on several occasions, attended the launch of his self- published book and read transcripts from a number of legal cases where he has presented as an expert wit- ness.Dr SANDRA ROBERTS Hydrology Research Officer Forestry Tasmania time for a little tough love. e ve ee tal i g ool si e . It s time to get the industry talking. 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August 12th 2010