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Branchline May 20, 2011


Hard work pays off for FT

I am very pleased to let you know that Forestry Tasmania has today begun loading a 23,000-tonne shipment of export peeler logs for China.

I’m on record as stating that Forestry Tasmania will not spare any effort in securing new markets for our wood products. Our efforts are now starting to pay off.

This shipment is good news for the Tasmanian forest industry as it faces a very challenging time. It will help to ease the pressure on forest contractors and restore their confidence that a strong market still exists for our wood products. (read more)

Nevertheless, I can identify with the high levels of anxiety being felt amongst our industry colleagues at the moment. Some of this anxiety, regrettably but understandably, spilled over last night at a community meeting in Huonville.

One must understand the frustrations felt by our employees and contractors, who are routinely confronted with illegal and unsafe protests in their places of legal employment. (read more).

We were also disappointed the Wilderness Society walked away from the round table talks this week, but we are still hopeful they can progress.

However, a word of caution: we shouldn’t have an agreement for the sake of an agreement.

Any deal needs to be based on a sound foundation, as our General Manager Corporate Relations and Tourism, Ken Jeffreys, recently pointed out in an opinion piece for the Mercury newspaper. (click here).

If you don’t have the time to read Ken’s piece, retired forester Paul Smith takes just 45 seconds to explain the same issue. (click here).

I believe these pieces are particularly thought-provoking in light of the International Day for Biological Diversity this Sunday. Marking the International Year of Forests, the theme this year is Forest Biodiversity.

As Ken’s article and Paul’s video show, biodiversity is one of the key values we manage on state forests. To take just one example, Forestry Tasmania holds the largest collection of forest insects in the Southern Hemisphere. Why? Insects are one of the most diverse groups of plants or animals in Tasmanian forests, and we not only want to know more about the links between forest management and biodiversity, but to apply that knowledge. To learn more about the Collection, click here.

And to finish on a lighter note, tourists and locals again have access to the Sandspit Forest Reserve and an alternative route between the Tasman Peninsula and the East Coast, with the re-opening of the Wielangta Road on 6 May. As our General Manager Operations Steve Whiteley noted, the road is important to many stakeholders and its re-opening is cause for celebration. (read more)

Until next time,

Bob Gordon
Managing Director
Forestry Tasmania



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