There’s some interesting feedback from the Apple Isle on the news in The Mercury
last week that “well-known Hobart journalist and communications
specialist Bruce Montgomery has resigned suddenly from the Forests and
Forest Industry Council, claiming his efforts to improve the image of
the industry struck continual resistance.”

The Mercury reports: “Mr Montgomery was appointed to work for the
council two years ago by then-deputy premier and forests minister Paul
Lennon, who wanted the problem of the poor image and reputation of
Tasmania’s forestry industry fixed. ‘But it proved to be an impossible
task,’ Mr Montgomery said…”

The words “pushing”, “sh*t” and “uphill” have figured prominently when
Monty’s resignation has come up over coffee or drinks over the weekend.

Most analyses have said something like this: that the majority of
Tasmanians want forest industries and know they matter for their state
– but are also sick and tired of the redneck, conservative and bullying
attitude of industry leaders (ie Gunn’s John Gay).

Tasmania’s political and media types say their fellow Vandemonians are
reserved and conservative, that they prefer to settle debates with
positive compromises, not by revving up the chainsaws.

They feel Montgomery knew this and threw in the towel after being
unable to soften forestry’s approach despite two years of trying.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey