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The Forum > Article Comments > An opportunity looking for a home > Comments

An opportunity looking for a home : Comments

By Ken Boundy, published 23/7/2007

By pursuing a pro-logging, pro-pulp mill agenda in Tasmania, both main political parties fail to see the election-winning potential they are passing up.

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I totally agree with you.
Unfortunately the Guns corporate is a friend of Mr Howard, who has given millions of dollars to this irresponsible corporation. No hope with Howard.
Mr Rudd, has declared himself as an economic conservative, and is very fearful of moving away from centre politics, a position he took to steal Mr Howard's thunder, to appease the corporates.
We unfortunately have become a business first country, helped by the media with the insistence and domination by Mr Howard. It will take a major shift in the human condition, to turn this around.
There is an opportunity for the major players to make gains in Tasmania and kindle the flame in other parts of Australia, however being so close to the election, it would take great courage, and both parties have shown they lack courage.
I hope the voters will do an about face to save the day for our environment, locally and globally.
We will need voters to use their vote for a people friendly Senate, marking every box below the line, this is our only hope, for changes to occur with current policies.
So there is an opportunity for voters as well, to bring some sanity into the political mess which currently exists.
Posted by Sarah101, Monday, 23 July 2007 11:38:53 AM
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didn't these seats change hands because labor suggested logging should be curtailed? this writer would demonstrate a total disregard for the reality of parliamentary politics, except that he imagines the liblabs are going to shake hands and come to a bipartisan green policy, just to appease mainlanders who have their own local issues. that's not disregard, that's fantasizing.

it doesn't work that way in a parliamentary monarchy. and don't try to give howard or rudd lessons on how to win an election. that's the only thing you can be sure they know already.

your masters are busy lining you up for the vote muster. form an orderly queue, keep the "baaaa-ing" down to a murmur, and move forward as the dogs direct. you'll be happier if you don't try to think about the management of the country- that's for your betters.
Posted by DEMOS, Monday, 23 July 2007 12:33:28 PM
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What if the great expansion of plantations really isn't about woodchips at all? What if they were planting them to create an alternative source of energy in our time now of peak oil. If they are doing this it can't be sustained as these trees deplete the soil very quickly and, because they are monocultures, are prone to disease outbreaks. The Tasmanian government is moving at present to prevent people building on their own rural land titles. This is also a land-grab for the 'elite'.

Peak oil. Think about that. We're in it now.

That's why America began the Iraq and Afghanstan war. Now that we've reached this point the current economic paradigm of perpetual growth, urban living, consumer culture. All of this has to end.

Where are our governments on this one?? Why aren't they implementing our move to the land? We have more than enough land to live on and grow crops on. But we have to make the move now.

Think about what the war in Iraq really represented. Our government's readiness to commit genocide on a grand scale in order to save the existence of the large corporations. And the media in Australia went along with the lie (it is, after all, another corporation). See:
'Murdoch's Hotline to Blair'

Don't believe what your read in the press. Don't think for a moment that the Australian people actually had their voices heard in the last election. The federal polls are secret ballots and thus liable to be rigged.
Posted by Nature, Monday, 23 July 2007 7:10:36 PM
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To Ken Boundy I say what unsubstantiated garbage! With your eyes feeled, you may just see the pulp mill from most points within a five kilometer radius - if you are looking in the right direction! Tasmania is over 6.5 million hectares, which is more than enough to get lost in. The mill will meet stringent guidelines, including impact on the atmosphere and nearby Bass Strait. Even the wineries in the district will have to look closely to see any impact. Most tourists will not notice it, unless it is pointed out to them. Given the promotion of all Tasmania has to offer, how many potential tourists will be saying "hang on, I can't go there, they have built a pulp mill." Not many. Out in the forests, no change will be discernable. The Regional Forest Agreement and the Forest Practices Code will still apply. The Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Act will still apply, as will the Community Forest Agreement, and a multitude of other requirements. I say this as a woodworker who uses Tasmania's Special Timbers to create value-added products for sale to tourists. We in Tasmania make world class products that are recognised by visitors as substantially contributing to a visit to Tasmania. What does the Wilderness Society say? They call us 'trinket makers', and 'human shields' for Forestry Tasmania. What a phoenomenal insult. Who put them in place? When can we get an opportunity to vote them out? Look at what is happening to us. In the 2005 Community Forest Agreement, the area of Special Timbers Management Units was cut from 143,000 ha down to 71,000 ha, and the ammount of actual old growth was boosted to just over one million hectares! There was not a murmur of thanks, and now the machinery of protest is calling just as loudly for more. We can not keep doing this every time the ballot box comes around without ourselves becoming extinct! Who is screaming about the pulp mill and bad-mouthing Tasmania all around the planet? They are the ones the tourism advocates need to take the axe to...
Posted by teredo, Monday, 23 July 2007 10:37:40 PM
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The Labor policy may be good or bad policy (I haven't had time to read it in detail, but I'm skeptical). However, it was not required to win Bass and Braddon.

At present, the few polls that have been taken indicate that the Labor party would re-take both lost seats in Tassie, and pick up to 3 senate seats (prob ALP 3, Libs/Nats 2, Greens 1). A brief discussion of this from pollbludger on this is here:

With the threat of work choices, and the dramatic explusion of the Tasmanian section of the CFMEU from the main body, Tasmanian forestry workers are unlikely to vote for the Libs again. It seems very likely that Labor would once again hold all 5 Tassie seats, with or without the new forestry policy.

My feeling (with no evidence to back it up) is that the ALP could have taken a softer line on this (more towards the "moderate" Greens the author speaks of) without alienating the forestry industry. I think this is an opertunity wasted for a change, however slight, in the wrangling over Tassie's forests.
Posted by ChrisC, Monday, 23 July 2007 11:07:13 PM
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To Ken Boundy great article.
To Teredo. People against the mill are not against timber workers they are against that mill in that place, and the total disposal of democracy by this, the most suspect state government Australia has ever seen.

We all need timber workers and respect them, the main threat to timber workers jobs are giant timber companies, to them every worker they can shed is another dollar in their pocket, they are not about jobs, they are about profit. There were more jobs in timber before these corporate giants came along. More forestry workers, timber mills & small family companies all doing well.

The mill will not be forced to meet anything but loose guidelines which are loosened every time the proponent bleats. Take just two aspects, first the stink or TRS emissions as they are called, the proposed mill only has to comply with emissions rules from the stack - that is only 2% of the smell from a mill, the other 98% that seeps out is not covered at all, so wont that be nice. Next the air pollution, in a valley with an acknowledged inversion and air quality problem - the proponent wants to put in a mill, and a power station burning half off the timber that goes to the mill to run it. The Tamar valley pollution already kills people there and does not meet National air quality guidelines regularly.

Never has a government been so totally out of control and unrepresentative of its people.
3 to 4000 paid demonstrators in favour of the mill roll out on a paid day off work with free transport laid on for them, and the premier calls it a great turn out and lends his support.
But when 10 to 12,000 people demonstrate against the mill in their own time and pay their own way there Premier Lennon dismisses them as a minority of anti everything greenies. For perspective, an equivalent rally by % of State population would see 124,000 people marching in Sydney or 100,000 in Melbourne. No small number is it!
Posted by jbee, Tuesday, 24 July 2007 11:20:39 AM
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