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Dear Andrew Wilkie

What makes you think and very publicly enforce the PM’s opinion that a “majority of Tasmanians appear to support a pulp mill”?* Have I missed a recent poll in this matter?

Should you indirectly refer to the “Principles” hammered out between the forest industries and ENGOs, then I am sure you must have been made aware by now that the community was NOT represented in this semi- clandestine round table exercise. Sad and hurtful that it is for many of us, organisations such as the Wilderness Society and others have actively and vigorously excluded and rejected to integrate visions of forest management methods other than clear felling native forest or planting monoculture tree plantations for pulp.

It has been and is impossible to this day to represent the strong desire in many of the general community to move towards forest management methods that answer to multiple bottoms lines, are truly sustainable over centuries, provide quality jobs throughout the State, increase biodiversity, enhance quality and quantity of scarce water, avoid the use of dangerous chemicals and fertilisers, retain the viability of rural communities and offer an aesthetically pleasing environment for residents and visitor.

This is what the community wants. It’s neither outrageous nor impossible. What is outrageous is the Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal and you oppose it yourself.

What is unfortunately also outrageous is the continued brick walling of ENGOs and GREENS (of course along with industry) against a more comprehensive view of fundamental restructuring of forestry well beyond forest mining and monoculture fibre planting. A major global trend towards multiple bottom line forest management (also known as close to nature forest management) is actively ignored by the organisations to the point that people who try to introduce the subject into the scene are vilified and sidelined. This has been most explicitly the case in the lead up period to the “principles round table” in Christine Milne’s office where voices outside the EGOs were effectively silenced.

I myself contributed qualified information and thoughts at various points pre “round table” in writing but never received even an acknowledgement of receipt from a staffer.

The community has not chosen to be blackmailed into accepting either old growth forest mining or widespread monoculture fibre plantations.

Why do ENGOs and GREENS so vigourously resist a balanced, durable approach to forestry and resource management in general?

Perhaps you are independent enough to look at these options that are clearly far, far more conducive to public wellbeing than either of the solutions peddled by money hungry industries and confused conservation organisations.

I and others, more specifically qualified, are happy to brief you about sound forestry management methods any time you like. 
Understanding the full scope of forest management is as important as understanding gambling and its ramifications for the population. I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Brenner, Denison voter

*What Andrew Wilkie asked:

Mr WILKIE (3.04 pm)—My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, the Tamar River pulp mill would be Tasmania’s biggest infrastructure project, but it remains highly controversial, not least because of the complete breakdown in the state government approval process. While the majority of Tasmanians appear to support a pulp mill, many, including me, oppose this particular proposal also because it would be dirty and locally unpopular. Prime Minister, will you rule out any further federal financial assistance for the proposed Tamar River pulp mill, either directly or indirectly, including through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation? Gillard: No bid for mill funding

Forest deadline looms for greens

Forest activists and the Tasmanian forest industry are on a collision course over green expectations of an end to logging in conservation value areas by mid March.

The latest hotspot in Tasmania’s forests is in the Tyenna Valley near Maydena, where protesters say Forestry Tasmania is logging a coup that will be included in a moratorium on logging in high conservation areas.

Still Wild Still Threatened spokeswoman, Lily Leahy, said the State and Federal Governments committed to a moratorium by March 15 and her organisation will protest until that commitment is fulfilled.

But the forestry industry says there is no deadline and they’ve been backed by former union boss Bill Kelty, who’s been brought in to turn the statement of principles into a formal deal.

Environment Tasmania’s Phill Pullinger insists it’s Mr Kelty and the industry who’ve got it wrong.

“The timeline and the prescriptions around those were all clear and signed off on on the statement of principles,” Mr Pullinger said.

Forestry industry representatives have so far refused to put their position on record.

Conservationists will meet Mr Kelty in the next few days to clarify the deal.

Full ABC Online story HERE

Earlier, Gunns woos Asian giants. Tyenna Protest, HERE

Forestry Tasmania Must Co-operate
Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Greens today reiterated that the progressive moratorium on logging of high conservation value forests, as detailed in the Forest Principles of Agreement, should be implemented immediately.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that the agreed Principles make it clear that the moratorium should be fully implemented within three months.  The Greens agree with Federal Minister Tony Burke that the three month period commenced when Mr Kelty was appointed and there are now only a few short weeks to go.

“Work to get in place a moratorium on logging of high conservation value forests must begin immediately, as this is fundamental to ensuring that all the hard work and good faith invested into developing the agreed Principles continues through to the next stage,” Mr McKim said.

“It is clear in the Principles that the moratorium needs to be implemented concurrently with talks over restructuring the industry.”

“The clock is ticking, and this moratorium needs to be implemented with the same spirit of good-faith, as was demonstrated in the negotiation of the Principles of Agreement in the first place.”