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.