Mar 6, 2012

In Tassie politics, it’s hard to see the sense from the trees

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings seeks to offer some insights today into the island's future in her annual State of the State address. The forests remain top of the agenda, writes Bruce Montgomery.

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings seeks to offer some insights today into the island’s future in her annual State of the State address.


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10 thoughts on “In Tassie politics, it’s hard to see the sense from the trees

  1. Bo Gainsbourg

    As woodchipping rates in Australia skyrocketed, employment crashed. More forest was being chipped for less jobs. If Bruce thinks that’s a good economic model he should take up a position at the Australian….oh…wait…

  2. Microseris

    Parliament had control of forest policy in Tasmania and where did that end up? Rampant corruption with both sides of politics in bed with Gunns. Liberal premier Robin Gray, who was exposed during the trial of Edmund Rouse who attempted to bribe a Labor MP to keep Liberals in power, with Rouse giving Gray a “donation” of $10,000 which he kept in his wardrobe! Gray later ended up on the Gunns board. And a Labor premier having his house renovated by a Gunns subsidiary. Governments were merely Gunns puppets.

    The industry blew their chance as well, wasting unfettered access to a public asset by converting huge areas of high conservation value forests into clear cut wastelands for woodchips, then replanting non indigenous species so the ecological function of these forests were lost forever.

    The public made it quite clear during the Gunns period they don’t want their forests destroyed for the benefit of vested interests. This is currently the case in Victoria where VicForests makes a loss of several million dollars each year and in return we have 6,000 ha of forest destroyed. Why are we subsidising these fools?

    This sort of partisan rubbish may have passed with the audience at The Australian, but won’t wash here.

  3. Freja

    That’s some of the worst execution of writing I’ve read from a news source in a very long time.

    Just talking about the style, not the obvious political bias.

    Crikey, please don’t do that to us again.

  4. mattsui

    I think it’s good that Crikey publishes articles like this. It shows us what the straw men are made of and helps them (Crikey) to water down their wacko lefty image.
    If Tasmanian Tourism is only on the soft because the dollar is high, it stands to reason that the apple isle will return to economic form along with the rest of the world.
    Laying waste to the forests in the mean time is probably a little short-sighted.

  5. johnd

    “All this confronts Giddings, a committed and competent politician…”

    I can’t believe I read that! Lara is committed only to the next election and various interest groups, and is one of the worst premiers Tasmania has ever had. Her only saving grace is that she is not out-right corrupt, like some premiers in recent memory.
    Moreover, her bowing to forest industries and the TCCI continues, doing nothing unless these two groups agree to it.
    She continues to demonstrate how out of touch with reality she is. After all, if Tasmania has the financial problems she claims, then she was a very active member of the government that caused it. Not once has she apologised for her appalling performance.

  6. Michael Rowland

    I thought it was a rubbish piece of writing too.

  7. The Old Bill

    I for one am doing my bit for our poor Tasmanian cousins and supporting a clean green sustainable Tasmanian Industry. Please join me in a healthy Tasmanian Smoked Salmon Snack. ( It’s on special at present at your local supermarket.)

  8. AR

    Tassie was/is a good example, writ small, of what happens when corporations rules governments. How different to the mainland where…. oh…

  9. Thalas Loramar

    I suppose what we should do is scrap the forest peace deal, let Ta Ann cut and clear and burn the irreplacable old growth carbon stores, and subsidise them to do so by giving away the wood for free as we have always done. Wood that no one wants to buy anyway.

    What does this achieve? The government effectively trades priceless old growth forest for a few hundred jobs. Why not just pay the loggers to sit at home? It would cost the same amount of money. It would save the forests.

    That’s what the peace deal is about. But the looggers at Forestry Tas can’t get their heads around that fact.


    Its good Crikey seeks to broaden its content by sourcing stories from freelancers, however with comment such as. “Nick McKim, undermines international confidence in Tasmania’s ability to provide sustainably produced forest products at the same time as his Labor colleagues seek to save those markets; ” the credibility of this writer hits the floor. The Tassy timber industry is a woodchip driven industry and it is on the rocks, a victim of the flooded international market for low value woodchips – the main product of the Tassy “sustainable” timber industry. The industry is clearly not economically sustainable and doesn’t even get to first base on a measure of ecologically sustainabitly. So perhaps next time Crikey looks for a “freelancer” from Tassy they select one with a basic knowledge of the issue they are writing – that would make the articles worth reading.

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