Posts Tagged ‘Maydena’

The Observer Tree… a Tasmanian promise

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” 

~ attributed to Goethe.

Miranda – Defender of Tasmania’s Forest Heritage
at the foot of ‘The Observer Tree
Mount Mueller Forest, Styx Valley, Tasmania
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One young Tasmanian woman, charged with a deep commitment to her natural island heritage, continues to be prepared to do more to protect Tasmanian old growth forests than most Tasmanians.  Miranda Gibson of Still Wild Still Threatened is certainly prepared to do more than the current (read ‘temporary‘) Premier of Tasmania Lara Giddings, and more than the current (read ‘temporary‘) Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who have quickly turned their backs on Tasmanians to more populist party-political issues of the day.

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Tasmania’s Forest Wars
– what the Intergovernmental Agreement is supposed to resolve.

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Gillard and Giddings in breach of Tasmania’s 2011 Forest Agreement

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Tasmanians are condemning government delinquency on meeting the conservation goals contained in the Gillard Labor Government’s Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) signed and promised to all Tasmanians in Launceston on 7th August 2011.

Giddings and Gillard
– hollow Labor promises

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IGA Clause 25 states:

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‘The State will immediately place the 430,000 ha of native forest identified in Attachment A (other than any areas which are not State forest) from the 572,000 ha nominated by ENGOs through the Statement of Principles process, into Informal Reserves.’

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IGA Clause 27 states:

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‘In the event that Forestry Tasmania reports that it cannot meet contractual requirements from production resources outside the nominated 430,000 ha the Governments will undertake the following steps. First, an independent expert will be jointly appointed by the Governments to review scheduling and other relevant data and attempt to reschedule harvesting activities so as to meet the requirements of contracts and maintain the interim protection of 430,000 ha. In the event that the independent expert concludes it is impossible to achieve this, the Commonwealth will compensate the contract holder for the value of lost profits and unavoidable costs.’

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Gillard’s fly-in to Launceston on 7th August 2011 to sign and celebrate the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement with Labor mate Giddings was not a mere plaque unveiling, it was a Tasmanian landmark agreement to provide certainty for Tasmania’s forestry industry, support local jobs and communities, and protect the state’s ancient forests.  It deserves the respect of commitment and follow through on promise.

On the one hand it has funded Forestry and its associated families hundreds of millions and with a dignified exit from logging and transition to alternate trades.  On the other hand Gillard’s Forest Agreement guarantees protection for Tasmania’s natural but threatened heritage – its most iconic ancient forests, immediately placing 430,000 hectares of iconic old growth native forest into informal reserve – the Styx, Upper Florentine, Huon, Picton and Weld Valleys and the Great Western Tiers, Tarkine and Wielangta.

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Gillard’s promise made to the Australian people (Prime Minister Gillard’s official website):

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These forests will not be accessed for harvest while verification takes place..

Well, verification is still taking place.  And Bill Kelty, who brokered the deal, seems to have run to the hills.

Such a landmark State-wide agreement that promises a ‘strong foundation‘ is hollow if the leadership waddles off to be distracted  by other issue so the day, without the committed delegation of trusted lieutenants to see through on implementation.  Predecessor PM Kevin Rudd failed classically on the implementation phase of his policy – insulation being his and Garrett’s multi-million dollar incompetent legacy.

“The Australian and Tasmanian governments are taking too long to implement the intergovernmental agreement. If they can get their act together to offer contractors exit packages then they can honour the conservation agreement as well.” Greens Senator Bob Brown has said.  “Four months later not one hectare has been protected and Forestry Tasmania continues to fell these magnificent trees as fast as they can put the roads in. All up, more than 10km2 of our wild forests will be destroyed“, Greens Senator Brown said.

All political leaders, while dancing on mountains of power and influence, pragmatically realise that their time in office is temporary.  Status quo is not a characteristic of modern democratic politics.  What matters most in political careers is legacy.  Australia’s current Prime Minister Julia Gillard is starting to stare that legacy in the face as she allows Premier Lara Giddings to breaking the $276 million promise by backing Forestry Tasmania’s current logging of the 430,000 hectares of old growth forest protected under the Gillard Government’s Agreement.

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Tasmanian Betrayal

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Gillard and Giddings have allowed Forestry Tasmania to log the protected 430,000 hectares, ignoring the prescribed compensation requirement.  Gillard and Giddings have blatantly reneged on their core promise in the Agreement to cease logging and to protect these forests.  Gillard and Giddings have betrayed the Tasmanian and Australian people.  They have no mandate to stay in power.  Their broken promises are to be their legacies.

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Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around”  

~ Abdul Kalam, President of India (b.1931)

 

Styx Valley Giants being massacred by State logger ‘Forestry Tasmania’

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Tasmania sells itself as ‘the natural state’. But there is a gap between rhetoric and reality as logging of old-growth forests continues – to international dismay.

“And they have these big logs, and you just know they are coming from old-growth forests…I don’t think I could take living there and seeing them every day knowing (the trees) are going mostly to woodchips.”  ~ Larraine Herrick or Tumbarumba, Snowy Mountains, New South Wales.

But the Styx has been, and (is continuing) to be, logged by the timber industry in a state in which questions have been repeatedly raised about whether cronyism, corruption and deception underlie the management of forests.  Only discovered in 2002, El Grande was a Eucalyptus regnans with a 19-metre circumference. Last autumn (2003), it was killed when a regeneration burn went wrong.  Its demise helped fuel a midwinter protest that drew more than 2000 people to the Styx Valley. There, The Wilderness Society and Greenpeace began a tree-sit, 65 metres up a threatened giant eucalypt called Gandalf Staff.

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[Source: ‘Tasmania: seeing the wood but not the trees‘, by Melissa Fyfe and Andrew Darby, The Age Newspaper, 20040313, ^http://www.theage.com.au/news/science/tasmania-seeing-the-wood-but-not-the-trees/2004/03/13/1078594604573.html]
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‘El Grande’
Australia’s largest tree burned to death in 2003 by Forestry Tasmania’s incompetence

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Tasmanian forests activist organisation Still Wild Still Threatened have called on the Federal and State governments to honour a $276 million forest deal made on 7th August 2011.

“This deal has already seen $35 million delivered to Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Ltd. without protecting a single tree” said Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Ali Alishah.

“It is clear that by backing Forestry Tasmania’s destructive practices within the identified 430,000 ha area of high conservation value native forest, the State and Federal Governments are in direct violation of Clauses 25 and 27 of their own Inter Governmental Agreement.” said Mr. Alishah.

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The Observer Tree

Miranda Gibson on top of  The Observer Tree
Totally committed to Tasmanian Forests,
unlike Gillard and Giddings hollow words.

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Still Wild Still Threatened have this week launched a new tool in the fight to protect Tasmania’s forests today, unveiling the ‘ObserverTree‘, a 17-storey high tree sit and media centre equipped with the technology to record footage of logging operations and stream these images live to the world via the internet.

The Observer Tree is located in the Styx Forest below Mt Mueller, in Tasmania’s western wilderness, part of the 430,000 ha of forest that was supposed to receive immediate protection under the federal-state agreement on forests (the IGA). The Observer Tree is situated at the head of a section of Styx Forest currently targeted for logging by Forestry Tasmania.

 
‘Observer Tree’ location
^http://observertree.org/2011/12/15/observertree-on-google-maps/

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Teacher, author and forest activist, Miranda Gibson, has vowed to occupy the tree-platform continuously, until real protection is secured for Tasmania’s forests. Ms Gibson will maintain a daily blog and upload video updates during her stay in the tree, documenting the struggle to protect Tasmania’s forests to concerned people all over the globe.

‘We have used the internet to connect this spectacular patch of threatened Tasmanian forest to the world. The Observer Tree will transmit images and information about the value of the thousands of hectares of forest that remain threatened if Julia Gillard does not keep her word. People across Australia and the globe will have the opportunity to view bear witness to the wasteful destruction of these forests and hear from the people fighting to protect them,’ said Ms Gibson.

For the first time their actual logging will be broadcast live internationally via the web.

Website:    ^http://www.observertree.org
Facebook:  ^http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/ObserverTree/152795598158969

Download Google Earth  (93MB):    GoTo: ^http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/

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Google Earth’s satellite image of the Observer Tree in dense old-growth, adjacent to Forestry Tasmania’s fresh logging road
(click photo to enlarge)

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Close up image
(click photo to enlarge)

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Monday:  Forestry Tasmania attacks the Styx Forest  

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On Monday 12th December 2011, State forest ‘nazi logger’, Forestry Tasmania, under the command of District Officer (Gauführer) Steve Whitely, rolled in its contracted ‘ecodeath-squad’ into the western end of the magnificent Styx Valley.  The targeted forest area is situated at the base of Tasmania’s prominent and wild Mt Mueller on the border of the World Heritage Area.  It is situated about 25 km west of the infamous logging town of Maydena.

Directing the logging – Forestry Tasmania’s Steve Whiteley
[Source: Southern Cross Television, 20111214]

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In true forest nazi style, Forestry Tasmania’s targeted forest area is branded as coupe ‘TN 044B‘.

Logging Nazi in and destroying the Styx Valley Forest
Monday 12th December 2011, in direct breach of Prime Minister Gillard’s Forest Agreement.

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This ‘Madill’ feller buncher was getting well stuck into the Styx Valley last Monday morning just below the Observer Tree.  The hydraulic arm clamps onto the trunk of the tree while a cutting mechanism severs the tree at the stump. The machine then lifts the tree, lowers the tree into a horizontal position, and drops the tree on a bunch of logs piled on the ground.  The industrial machinery has all the efficiency of a Nazi death factory.

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Foresty Tasmania is operating in direct contradiction of IGA Clauses 25 and 27.  The coupes within the 430,000 ha of high conservation value forest are not to be logged under any condition.  The IGA prescribes that relevant customers and contractors are to be granted compensation and million have been set aside for this purpose.  Foresty Tasmania under Gauführer Steve Whitely is out of control.  He is driving ecological apocalypse in Tasmania’s southern forests. He has become a Walter E. Kurtz.

Walter E. Kurtz – unhinged, his methods unsound.

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