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Branchline Nov 11, 2010

Branchline 11/11/2011

One of our guests at our annual corporate drinks last week sent in a lovely note to say how much he enjoyed the function, and in acknowledging the uncertainty confronting the industry, suggested that we should "Relax and enjoy the crisis."

It's anything but relaxing and enjoyable to be confronted by such monumental changes, but we understand his point that even in such challenging times, we can't be distracted from getting the things done that we need to keep the business running on a day to day basis.

Of course, many of our senior managers are working flat out behind the scenes to help make the Statement of Principles agreed by industry and ENGOs workable, and to play a role in helping to achieve a sustainable forest industry going forward.

Outside of those discussions, there's also plenty happening within FT.

Water quality is important to many Tasmanians, and it's certainly an issue we take seriously here at Forestry Tasmania. Our staff follow strict guidelines whenever chemicals need to be applied in plantations, and are vigilant in monitoring nearby rivers and streams for contamination. Now we are set to make our water monitoring even more stringent, with the introduction of new water samplers and measurement procedures. This new project will ensure that our water monitoring program continues to develop in line with the latest scientific research.

Another area in which our staff strive for excellence is in the regeneration of native forests, and to encourage friendly competition between Districts, we established the Gilbert-Cunningham Trophy seven years ago to recognise outstanding achievements in this field. The annual award has become highly coveted by our silvicultural staff around the State, and was this year awarded to Derwent District, which achieved an exceptional 100 per cent success rate in regenerating harvested coupes.

On a lighter note, the renowned US blues musician, Wolf Mail, has become an ambassador of sorts for Tasmania's special timbers. So impressed was he with local luthier Mark Gilbert's 'Thylacine' guitar, which features myrtle supplied by Island Specialty Timbers, that it has become a 'Wolf Mail signature' for his Australian gigs.

On the tourism front, we have appointed a new manager for the Tahune AirWalk and the Forest and Heritage Centre at Geeveston. Roland Schibig is already making some big changes, including an upgrade to the menu at Tahune and, through a partnership with the Southern Design Centre, having a wood craftsman located within the Forest and Heritage Centre. If you haven't been to Tahune for a while, now is a good time to re-acquaint yourself with one of Tassie's top ten attractions. Roland will be at the Huon Show on Saturday, so if you are going, make sure you introduce yourself.

A note for the diary: Professor Brad Potts of UTas and FT's Dr Dean Williams will be giving the next Forestry Talk on the use of genetics to protect plantation forests from pests and diseases. Join us at our Melville Street Headquarters on Wednesday 17 November at 1.00pm.

And finally, don't forget that Going Bush series three is back for an encore season starting tomorrow at 5.00pm on Southern Cross.

Until next time,

Ken Jeffreys
General Manager Corporate Relations and Tourism
Forestry Tasmania


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