Thursday, 29 March 2007



If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too,

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,

If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much,

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Just think about whether you could apply much of this to those who purport to "lead" us. Hats off to those who have spoken the truth, in difficult circumstances, about the pulpmill approval bill, men or otherwise, the sentiments hold true. Read Terry Martin's speech. He'd win a seat in Denison above almost all other punters.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Hey Paula...

Copyright Tandra Vale 2007 (Copyfreely protocol) - Copy freely but not for sale or profit
Sorry, here's the diagram. [Copyright Tandra Vale 2007 (Copyfreely protocol) - Copy freely but not for sale or profit]

Monday, 26 March 2007

Several burns today provide another FT tourist attraction

The sun sets behind MT Misery, through regeneration burn smoke - 26 Mar 2007
Mt Picton and the Western Arthurs largely obscured by regeneration burn smoke from Vinces Saddle - 26 Mar 2007
Burns beyond Judbury continue to obscure the view after sunset - 26 Mar 2007
Mt Picton largely obscured by regeneration burn smoke from Vinces Saddle - 26 Mar 2007

The setting sun from Vinces Saddle through regeneration burn smoke - 26 Mar 2007
Regeneration burns west and southwest of Huonville today provided mushroom clouds, some roughage for your respiration and these sunset photos. Go FT, looking after our tourist trade.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Weasel Words ease pulpmill approval

My comments on the Bill (1.9MB!) and Consultant's Brief are here.

All in all, this is a carefully crafted set of words. If I was writing a consultants brief, and wished to influence the range of outcomes the consultant could come up with, then this is how I would write it. Bear in mind that the consultant will provide a draft report, and whoever is tasked with considering the draft can make sure the consultant’s interpretation of the brief is “appropriate”. The question might be whether a consultant will want to undermine their good name by acquiescing to requests to tailor the report and use the latitude allowed by the loose language of the Act and brief.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Protest at Parliament today

Great protest today at P(p)arliament (I'm inclined to write that without a capital right now). Peter Cundall, Vica Bailey, Peg Putt and all were very convincing. No hysteria, just a lot of cool, calm, rational people who want to see democracy and due process deal with the pulpmill on its merits, of which it appears to have few. We are the national laughing stock at the moment. Very sad. Some pictures below. Tomorrow we will win the cricket, but have we lost something more important?

Pulpmill protest, Parliament House, ROYAL COMMISSION sign - 22 Mar 2007

Pulpmill protest finishing, Parliament House - 22 Mar 2007

Sign, Pulpmill protest, Parliament House 'Dioxin Dictator Dumps Democracy' - 22 Mar 2007

Alex Wadsley raises some interesting legal points about the pulpmill approval bill here, which I hope will garner some cogent responses. The bill (PDF, 1.93MB) is a tacky, cheap, rushed, piece of s--t. Anyone who votes for this should be ashamed of themselves. When will we see some honest public servants emerge to tell us some useful truths behind all this? We can hope. They can squirm. Worms!

Peg was wrong, Naa Naa Na Naaa Naa!

FT's sunset frames the Western Arthurs, from Vinces Saddle - 22 Mar 2007
Regeneration burn(s) visible from Vinces Saddle, probably Arve/Huon - 22 Mar 2007
Sunset courtesy of FT from Vinces Saddle - 22 Mar 2007
Peg reckoned they'd stopped burning coupes yesterday, and there wouldn't be any more cos 10 Days is on. Wrong Peg!! Sucked in, they slipped in another one. And must I say, this sunset was possibly even more spectacular than last night's. The strategy must be to lure tourists here with the magnificent sunsets, and hope they don't notice there's a couple of trees missing.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

More sunset spectacular, courtesy of FT

Setting sun through smoke, Huonville - 21 Mar 2007

Forestry Tasmania improves on God's creation....

Mt Picton and the Western Arthurs (just visible) from Vinces Saddle 'neath a smoke-filled sky - 21 Mar 2007

Mt Picton and the Western Arthurs (just visible) from Vinces Saddle 'neath a smoke-filled sky - 21 Mar 2007
Sunset from Huonville, through smoke - 21 Mar 2007

Sunset from Huonville, through smoke - 21 Mar 2007 Sunset from Huonville, through smoke - 21 Mar 2007
The sunsets have been only middling lately, they just haven't had that deep red colour that makes for really spectacular photos. The tourists need the opportunity to see a proper Tasmanian sunset, so once again Forestry Tasmania comes to the rescue and props up the tourist industry by providing the proper hue to the evening sky.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Warwick Raverty weighs in again

Very interesting letter in the Mercury today. Warwick Raverty highlights John Gay's lack of understanding of the pulp and paper industry. I'd been wondering about John Gay, especially after reading the interview which ended on the subject of endangered animals (excerpted below). Now it becomes clearer. John Gay is just as incompetent as Paul Lennon! A friend of mine with much greater economic and business knowledge told me bluntly that the pulpmill would "bankrupt Gunns" when I enquired of him about the economics of the mill. I thought he was probably being overly dramatic, but maybe not. Surely now the shareholders of Gunns will be asking questions. John Gay and Gunns have exposed themselves to $60M in "hedging fees", without approval for the mill, without any guarantees. They don't properly understand the pulp and paper industry on a world scale. They have apparently deliberately failed to provide the data the RPDC required, delaying their own project. While we the taxpayers of Tasmania try to remove Paul Lennon, maybe the Gunns Board need to remove Mr Gay. The crowning stupidity for Mr Gay appears to be his advice to the ASX on 27 Feb that he is confident of gaining government approval for his mill, shortly after the meeting he had with Lennon et al. Only in Tasmania would a business leader signal his inside knowledge in such an open and potentially damaging way - over-confidence is apparent.

Interview from Nine's Sunday

GRAHAM DAVIS: The chasm of perception here is obvious when you go to see logging's Mr Big. What's good for the forestry business in Tasmania is always good for the rest.How do you feel about protected species dying for your business?

JOHN GAY: Well, there's too many of them and we need to keep them at a reasonable level.

GRAHAM DAVIS: You're saying there's too many wombats and ring-tailed possums?

JOHN GAY: Yes, most certainly.

GRAHAM DAVIS: Why are they protected then? Why are they classed as endangered?

JOHN GAY: Well, because the numbers are getting too great and the ring-tailed possum is a very small proportion of this. It's usually the brush possums that are poisoned, not ring-tails.

GRAHAM DAVIS: Well, how can you say that, though, when you concede that this thing kills everything?

JOHN GAY: Well, that everything that goes there to eat, but I believe it is an acceptable practice.

GRAHAM DAVIS: It is acceptable practice to knock off all the wildlife in the surrounding areas, so that you can put your tree seedlings in?


Sunday, 18 March 2007


Clearfelled hillside, Southern Forests
Forest felled and burnt across watercourse, Southern Forests
Stream Class Definitions from The Forestry Practices Code 2000 :

Class 1

Rivers, lakes, artificial storages (other than farm dams) and tidal waters – generally those named on 1:100 000 topographical series maps.

Class 2

Creeks, streams and other watercourses from the point where their catchment exceeds 100 ha (1 km2).

Class 3

Watercourses carrying running water most of the year between the points where their catchment is from 50 to 100 ha (0.5–1 km2).

Class 4

All other watercourses carrying water for part or all of the year for most years.

A Class 4 watercourse is differentiated from a drainage depression by having at least one of the following features:
  • A gravelly, pebbly, rocky or sandy bed, indicative of flowing water;
  • An obvious gully;
  • A short steep section of streambank adjacent to the watercourse bed.
A Class 4 watercourse will often have a change in understorey vegetation from the streambank to the surrounding forest; for example, riparian/moist vegetation on streambanks—ferns, mosses, sedges.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Who's their financial advisor?

Tasmanian major projects financial advisor - From The OnionThis quote from The Australian about Gunns: "Gunns claims each six months' delay costs it $60 million in bank and hedging fees and additional construction costs."
Do they use the same financial advisors as the Hydro?

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

And what?

So if Auspine are going to leave anyway, why are we spending millions to prop them up, giving them squillions of our trees, when they're just going to up-stumps after we stop paying them to employ people? Sorry, silly question, no matter which politicians we're talking about, they all know there'll be an election eventually. Conga-line again.

Who's pulling the strings Mr Lennon?

A suckhole looking for a conga line, or at least a little boy hoping for a new toy - From Tasmanian Times Gunns pull the pulpmill, saying:

  • "The company is confident it has designed a mill that will employ the best technology in the world, a mill that meets the most stringent guidelines established by the RPDC and one that would be accepted in any other country" (Gunns notification to the ASX)

Warwick Raverty said:

  • "...Long Reach on the Tamar estuary near Bell Bay is an atrocious location for an industrial project where bad smells and noxious gases are the biggest environmental obstacles to its approval" (Mercury 9 Jan 2007)

Gunns say:

I say:

  • "Where do Gunns get off 'referring' a project to the State Government? Perhaps they ought to be 'discussing' the project with the government? I 'refer' things to people when I expect them to do a job for me or 'sort something out'."

Paul Lennon (Conga dancer extraordinaire) says:

  • " a 'range of options' will be put to Cabinet tonight now the future of the pulp mill proposed for the Tamar Valley north of Launceston has been put in government hands." (Mercury 14 Mar 2007, my emphasis)
I say:

  • "Damn good of Gunns to 'put it in government hands', we should be thankful that Gunns are happy to have this project assessed by such an august body. Thank you Mr Gay!"
I also say:


  • "Why don't we see if FEA, or someone else, would like to propose a real world-class pulpmill, or some even cleverer way of using the wood that Gunns may not be able to use?"

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Milles Track, Mt Wellington - 11 March 2007

Storm Bay from the Milles Track, Mt Wellington - 11 March 2007
Had a short walk along the Milles Track today, until it started raining. Looked like it was going to get a lot more windy and rainy.

Snow Berries, Gaultheria hispida - 11 March 2007The Snow Berries (Gaultheria hispida) are very attractive against the greens of the bush.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

And in other news....

Some quite lonely pine logs on the Burnie Wharf - 8 March 2007
This information from FEA doesn't leave me with a lot of confidence that logs won't get exported whole. Surely we could have expected the contractual arrangements to include a requirement to employ Tasmanians in downstream processing. Otherwise of course, we get an extra few million for the resource, and then spend even more propping up the industries left without any work to do. All the time using up more resource for the same economic end result.

Now small sawmillers are upset about Auspine getting cheap timber, paid for by taxpayers. "It is understood the assistance means that Auspine will pay about $12 a tonne for the resource." (Examiner 9 March 2007) While other sawmillers pay a lot more. "One sawmiller said that he paid up to $30 a tonne royalty for good quality pine sawlogs. Harvesting and transport costs are extra, he said." (Examiner 9 March 2007) I think there was more in Friday's Examiner, or Advo-CATE, but I can't find it. Silly Examiner charge people to read online!! If we keep propping up one interest group at the expense of the next, eventually we'll be importing eucalypt logs from Chile, or somewhere, so we can pile them up on clearfells, napalm them, and carry out regeneration burns! My final questions is: If there's so much demand for our pine resource, how come we have to subsidise people to use it? e-weird!!
And this is an interesting article, with an interesting addendum, which explains the later story a little better. Now, it will be interesting to see if our pine sawlogs are sawn up here, or exported for some random use overseas.

A new day dawns

I even found the woodchip pile to make an attractive photo in the sunrise.

Burnie Wharf Woodchips at sunrise, with seagulls - 9 March 2007

Burnie Wharf, logs and chips - 9 March 2007

Thursday, 8 March 2007


Moonscape - Burnie Wharf woodchip pile with rising moon - 8 March 2007

Lennon questions FEA!

This was an interesting item on ABC Tasmanian News that I don't think I read elsewhere. Paul Lennon has asked for an assurance that FEA will process logs in Tasmania. Now wasn't that in the contract? And if it wasn't, why not? And can we do anything about it now? Perhaps he'll have to sack Bob Gordon for failing to consider employment in his dealings with FEA.

Burnie Wharf Safari

Woodchips on Burnie Wharf, with truck tipper - 8 Mar 2007
Back in Burnie. The woodchips are still there. Lovely as ever. The truck tipper is interesting, and very busy. Trucks are still coming through it at 9:15pm - maybe they work all night.

Pine logs on Burnie Wharf -  - 8 Mar 2007New pine logs being unloaded on Burnie Wharf -  - 8 Mar 2007There are certainly fewer pine logs on the wharf. But all is not lost for those people employed at the Burnie port, because they're re-stocking them. I wonder which people these new logs aren't employing. The other ones weren't employing people at Auspine. None of them aren't employing people at FEA, yet. And why aren't Gunns here finding their resource - have they already locked some in? These truck owners probably don't mind. Who knows.

Logs looking strangely like saw logs, Burnie Wharf -  - 8 Mar 2007
These logs certainly looked like they weren't employing some sawmillers, rather than not employing some woodchippers.

Sunset over some of Tassie's ex-forests - 8 Mar 2007
Anyway, then the sun set on some Tassie forests which won't employ any Tasmanian sawmillers, woodchippers, paper-makers, joiners, artists or cabinet-makers, and especially no sodding smart-arse photographers!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

How will the fairytale end?

"Jarvis Cocker" on Tasmanian Times has an exciting farytale for us. There's also been a lot of effort from the government to prop up Auspine over the last couple of weeks. Now, you would have to wonder if people understand that any public money spent to assist Auspine is public subsidy of the forest industry. That is, profits made by private companies are being propped up by our money. Furthermore, a resource which is uneconomic to harvest will be made "economic" with the expenditure of our money. Which of course doesn't actually make it "economic" to harvest it. FEA have already flagged a potential issue in the way the government is falling over itself to buy the good graces of the people of Scottsdale, who, if Jarvis is right, have been led up the garden path by Mr Jakab. (However lets not forget that Mr Jakab isn't all that popular with the Piranha Bros cabal.) I wonder if FEA were offered the Strahan or King Island logs and at what price?
An interesting exercise would be to actually identify all the costs, benefits and risks of the Tasmanian forest industry, in its current structure, and see whether there's a net benefit to the state. Included in the costs would need to be all the subsidies and intangible costs which are generally ignored.
And I'm still interested to find out where Gunns are going to source the 280,000 tonnes of softwood they need for the pulpmill.