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Branchline Feb 25, 2011

Big Week for FT

It's been a big week on many fronts for Forestry Tasmania. After considerable planning, an export shipment of 24,000 tonnes of mainly hardwood logs sailed from Hobart without a hitch - well, almost without a hitch. Our Export manager Bric Milligan did a sensational job of organising the transport for logs to Hobart port, without causing traffic disruptions nor keeping people awake at night. The only hitch was the antics of a young activist, who chained herself to a truck, to protest against the time it was taking for negotiators to reach agreement in the much publicised peace talks. It was one of seven incidents we dealt with during the week. Unfortunately, these illegal protests divert resources away from the work we are doing to help environmentalists and the processing sector reach a long term agreement. I guess many people would be surprised to learn that while dealing with activists, we were at the same helping the Wilderness Society map the areas it wants to nominate as high conservation value forests. There's obviously some way to go before an agreement, but silly protests only slow progress.

Now for some positive news from our Minster Bryan Green who this week announced funding of the $30,000 to undertake fuel reduction burning on King Island. Since the Victorian bush fires of 2009 rural communities are well aware of the need for strategic hazard reduction burning. The funding announced will assist in constructing firebreaks, removal of roadside slash and improved access to water storages. In conjunction with this work FT has announced it will schedule in approximately 26 kms of roadside and firebreaks to be slashed on the island. <read more>

Kilburn Netball Club is one of 18 organisations and individuals to receive sponsorship through the Community Assist Program this year. The club received sponsorship in the Pride of Tasmania category which is open to organisations which offer large-scale community benefit through contribution to sport, health and well being, science, arts, environment or business. Forestry Tasmania's sponsorship will facilitate the ongoing development of players, coaches and umpires and will contribute towards the costs associated with Kilburn's teams participating in the state-wide league. You can follow the teams progress in the 2011 season through the Kilburn blog on our website. <
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Nick and Andrew search for the world's largest freshwater crayfish in episode four of Going Bush this Saturday (12:30pm in regional Vic, NSW & Qld - 5pm Tas). They'll also take a look at special species timber and investigate the numerous free activities you can do in state forests. While you're watching have your pen handy to write down this week's code word to enter our Going Bush competition. Each week you could win fantastic prizes from our tourist attractions and both Tasmanian and interstate viewers have the chance to win two major prizes of an Adventure Forests state-wide package . If you've missed any of the episodes screened so far you can view them here <click here>

The Tasmanian winner of this weeks prize of family entry to the Tahune AirWalk with overnight accommodation at the AirWalk Lodge is Elizabeth Thackray of Devonport. Previous week's winners are Patricia Hodge of Zeehan and Mavis Calvert of Wesley Vale.

Next week, when we'll have info on the final episode in this series of Going Bush, some interesting info on wood v concrete, and why the University of Tasmania is sending our Chief Scientist to the USA to present FT research results on alternatives to clearfelling and on river health, so until next time.


Ken Jeffreys
Forestry Tasmania
GM Corporate Relations and Tourism


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