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TAS Country : February 16th 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012 Tasmanian Country 7 News Forest war needs leadership TFGA matters with Jan Davis REPERCUSSIONS: Protesters outside Ta Ann's headquarters. Activist pressure overseas has led to the loss of 50 per cent of the company's Japanese market. IF you had been where I have this week, you would know that our far- mers are seething about the continued destruction of Tasmania's important sustainable forestry industry. I watched the ABC's 7.30 Report last Friday night with great interest. Local industry expert Robert East- ment was interviewed about repeated claims that the Tasmanian forest in- dustry is moribund because markets have collapsed. Eastment presented clear evidence that this is simply not the case. What has collapsed is the demand for Tasmanian timber products, because our brand has been tainted by the activities of extremist groups deter- mined to destroy markets for these products. Eastment's figures showed that 531,000 tonnes of woodchips left Tas- mania in the September quarter of 2005. In the December quarter of 2011, this figure had fallen to 96,000 tonnes. At the same time, woodchip exports from NSW, Victoria and WA have increased. These states increased their market share, selling more than 700,000 tonnes to Japan, China and Taiwan in the final quarter of 2011. So other Australian states have increased their sales by even more than the quantities lost here over the same period. That doesn't sound to me like the market has disappeared. Eastment agrees. ''The Japanese market is still there,'' he said. ''It is still a strong market. ''Tasmania has been excluded to the gain of other Australian states.'' The price is also still there. It has been stable at between $180 and $190 a tonne since 2005. The other fact no one seems to be aware of is that 15 per cent of the woodchips exported from NSW, Vic- toria and WA are from native forests, not plantations. Overseas buyers see no problem with that mix from those states, so why do they discriminate against Tasmanian woodchips? The reason? ''Tasmania's name has been sullied and trashed,'' says East- ment. And he is right on the money. But that is only part of the damage these activists are inflicting on Tas- mania -- and Tasmanians. Ta Ann is a producer of world-class veneer timbers. The company an- nounced earlier this week that activist pressure overseas has resulted in the loss of 50 per cent of its Japanese market at the hands of these eco-terrorists. As a result, the company is cutting production at its two plants in Tas- mania. This decision translates to the loss of 40 jobs at its Huon and Smithton mills, and a further loss of critical mass for the already struggling forestry industry. The TFGA was not a party to the Inter-Governmental Agreement on for- ests (IGA) because we were told private forests were not within its ambit. We have said all along that this is naive -- and we are right. There is now clear evidence that there has been an impact on markets for private forest products and that the decline in sales is hitting farm businesses hard. We have also made it clear that, in our view, the whole IGA process is flawed because environmentalists cannot be trusted to stick to a deal -- they always have another agenda to pursue. These groups have made it clear that once public forests have been finally and totally locked up, private forest resources will be next. A few days ago, 12 of the 15 members of the Legislative Council publicly declared they would not sanction any further creation of forest reserves under the flawed IGA while this economic terrorism persists and while the economic future of Tasmania and the livelihoods of many Tasmanians are trashed. We say all power to the leadership shown by those 12 members of the Legislative Council. Thank goodness they are there, and thank goodness they are free to speak their minds and act accordingly. Premier Lara Giddings must stop talking down the forestry industry in Tasmania. She must take control of this situation, and fast. Greens leader Nick McKim must be called to account for his support for the outrageous misrepresentations made overseas by environmental groups that unashamedly want to bring this im- portant and sustainable Tasmanian industry to its knees. Without strong political leadership in this fraught issue, peace in the forests will remain an unachievable aim. You can watch the interview with Robert Eastment at http:/ /www.abc.net.au/news/ 2012-02-10/woodchip-demand/3824290. Designing a garden NOTED landscape de- signers Peter Cooper and Tim Barbour will run a workshop on garden de- sign at Mole Creek on February 26. They will join join Scott and Deb Wilson at their magnificent property Old Wesley Dale for the event from 10am-4pm. Tickets are $80, which includes morning and afternoon tea. A gardening with roses workshop will be held at Rosedown, 134 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk, on March 4. Roses are synonymous with the garden at Rose- down, home of rosarian Brenda Triffitt. Tickets cost $50, which includes morning tea. Lunch is not included at either event. For details, go to www.opengarden.org.au Olive field day THE Tasmanian Olive Council is holding a field day at the Cradle Coast grove of Carol and Tony O'Neill from 11am on March 4. Last year the grove won an award for hav- ing the best olive oil in Australia. On display will be the grove and the O'Neills' processing plant. Sev- eral interstate compan- ies will also be present- ing their products for olive harvest and grove maintenance. Details: Rob Goddard 6393 7856 or Geoff Price 6265 3619. Enquiries: Allan 0409 210 628 or Paul 0418318989 Come along and see the TasVawt 10kw in operation and learn more about these exciting Wind Turbines new to Australia. Location: 238 Upper Stowport Road, Stowport BBQ lunch & refreshments supplied 2036319-120217 REMINDER: Open Day This Saturday 18th February 10am-2pm 2035283-120217 "Innovations in pasture technology" Wednesday 22nd February 9.30am -- 3.00pm Launceston Football Club - Windsor Park, Riverside This SEMINAR will outline some of the new technologies available to Australian livestock producers, and focus the economic spotlight on their ability to improve farm returns. 9.30am morning tea/coffee available 10.00am Introduction 10.10am Fodder beet -- a 40t DM/ha option in 5 months! 3 way forage blends for winter production. David Wisewould, South West Agronomy 10.50am Innovations in Subclovers -- Focus on improved pest & disease tolerance. Dr Phil Nicholls, senior plant breeder, DAFWA Perth 11.40am Innovations in Perennial Ryegrasses & Festuloliums. Jason Hill, Agronomist, Cropmark Seeds 12.30pm Lunch 1.15pm New options in other grasses. Mike Gout, Seed Force Pty Ltd 2.00pm The importance of preparation in ensuring best establishment Andrew Cook, Seed Force agronomist, Launceston 2.30pm The role of quality and the economics of innovation adoption Mike Gout, Seed Force Pty Ltd 3.00pm Finish For catering purposes please RSVP by Monday 19th February to: Andrew Cook 0427 339 536 or email@example.com
February 9th 2012
February 23rd 2012