Special Timbers

What a relief! As a woodworker using Tasmania’s unique special timbers to create value-added products for sale to tourists through local retailers, my spirits were lifted high upon hearing the Labor Party’s forest policy for Tasmania. It confirms the common sense of the Community Forest Agreement that was negotiated between the Federal Government and the Tasmanian Government between October 2004 and April 2005. Latham’s plan would have sent us to extinction, and Howard’s response would have almost sent us there as well. The salvaged situation meant that our Special Timbers Management Units were ultimately reduced from 143,000 hectares to 71,000 hectares, but other areas remained available. Meanwhile, the area of actual old growth in reserves swelled to over one million hectares! How much is enough? Hooray for consensus! Now we don’t need to be constantly looking over our shoulders. Now we can get on with managing our forests carefully and properly, and in the knowledge that future generations of woodworkers can also experience the joy of working with these beautiful timbers. (incidentally, the last piece of deep red Myrtle harvested before the Tarkine lock-up passed through the four-sided moulder in a saw mill in Smithton earlier this week. No other Myrtle remaining available has the same depth of colour.) The Wilderness Society has never hidden its preference for ultimately no native forest logging, (total annihilation for people like me!). Notice how the Wilderness Society and the Greens never seem to disagree? Doesn’t this make the Green’s forest policy look fraudulent? And how can they claim to want to increase the value adding while simultaneously wanting to decrease the volume of timber being made available? How could you vote for that? Let’s face it, we will continue to have a timber industry, whether they like it, or not! Get used to it, and get over it.

George Harris
44 Strickland Avenue
South Hobart 7004