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Branchline Mar 4, 2011

Round Table Discussions Continue

with our regular Branchline author Ken Jeffreys away on well earned leave, I've decided to step into the breech and lend my 'writing skills' to our eNewsletter, so let's have a brief look at a few things that are happening at the moment.

The Bill Kelty round table discussions are continuing. Forestry Tasmania is not a party to the principles, but we strongly support the effort of the parties to develop a negotiated outcome to present to Government. A team led by Steve Whiteley has been working with the Environmental Non Government Organisations (ENGOs) and the processing industry to refine the ENGO-defined high conservation forests (HCV) and to assess wood flow implications. We are also working on what areas that are currently scheduled for logging could be deferred if Gunns ceased its native forest sawmilling activities. Some groups appear to want to derail the negotiations, and that is regrettable, but Forestry Tasmania will continue to assist the process with its expertise and professional approach.

FT has now completed a full assessment of the damage caused by January's floods in northern Tasmania. With costs in excess of half a million dollars to restore the infrastructure, unfortunately a number of popular recreational areas will be inaccessible until alternative funding is sourced. As you are aware FT is preparing an application for payment of the Community Services Obligation it delivers. Our last audited accounts identified $9 million that it costs FT to manage formal reserves for which we receive no income.<read more>

I don't get to see much TV these days, but a TV show I'm very passionate about is Going Bush. Try and catch this week's fifth and final episode on Saturday. Hosts Nick and Andrew will be looking at LiDAR, a 3D technology used for forest mapping, plus there's the story on FT's Trees on Farms initiative and I'm keen to see their feature on shingle splitting. <read more>

AS from today a range of specialty timber logs and stumps is available for sale by tender from the new Island Specialty Timbers outlet at Smithton. A total of 26 specialty timber logs and stumps are available including eight blackwood, nine myrtle, one sassafras, one leatherwood, two figured eucalypt, two paper-bark, two tea-tree and one dorrel. <read more>

Global concern surrounding forests and carbon and how carbon storage may offset the effects of greenhouse emission is topical. So I am pleased to announce FT's carbon research officer Ian Riley has been awarded a Forest and Wood Products Australia graduate scholarship to research carbon stocks in Tasmania's native forests. <read more>

FT sponsors 18 organisations and individuals through our Community Assist Program and for our major sponsor the Football Federation of Tasmania we are hosting an in-house celebration for family and friends to kick off the 2011 season. <read more>

Recently I became aware of some international developments that might interest you; firstly from Quebec 'Wood versus concrete - which would you choose?' <read more>, and a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that timber harvesting under that state's comprehensive forestry standards is not only appropriate under the law, but also advances the fight against climate change. <read more>

While on subjects international, FT's Chief Scientist, Dr Steve Read is presenting two papers at the "Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability: Navigating the Complexities of Global Change" conference in Arizona (U.S.A) during March. Steve's trip is sponsored by the Landscape Logic Research Hub at the University of Tasmania. <read more>

The second 20/20 cricket game between our Huon and Derwent/HO districts was an entertaining affair. It featured an innings in which Huon's Peter Pepper was peppered with fast rising deliveries (by a leg spinner) and showed his capacity to deal with difficulties. Lindsay Wilson (Mr Safety) managed to avoid unsafe circumstances by batting for several overs without the ball hitting the bat. <read more>

I'd like to finish up with a personal plea for support in raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. Dr Simon Grove, FTs conservation biologist was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia around this time last year, but the good news is there's no longer any sign of the leukaemia and his hair's grown back! Simon is now offering to shave it off to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation, and I hope you might consider sponsoring Simon and his nine year old son Ben for this very worthwhile cause. <read more>


Bob Gordon
Managing Director
Forestry Tasmania


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