South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

Index of Articles

articles, reports, correspondence ...


'Sistergate' - the coverup

Proof of Evidence

Community Audit


Reports/Letters about Landslips/Water/Erosion

Reports/Letters on Flora, Fauna and other environmental issues

Correspondence with Ministers/FPA/FPB/Forestry Tasmania/Council

Other articles of interest

External articles

'SISTERGATE' - the coverup Top of page

1. 2005/11/07 - EDO writes to FPA about serious concerns over the veracity of new evidence presented by Forestry Tasmania [no reply for days]

2. 2005/12/22 - Letter to FPA accusing Forestry Tasmania of demonstrating failure of due diligence in obtaining and assessing relevant information. [see response to next item]

3. 2005/12/22 - E-mail to Forest Practices Authority pointing out 'significant errors' in Forestry's Proof of Evidence [joint response to this and above item - dated January 3 received on January 13]

4. 2006/01/03 - Letter to FPA pointing out inconsistencies in their scientist's opinions [received joint response to this and another letter]

5. 2006/01/04 - Letter to Member for Lyons requesting review of correspondence. [no reply for days]

6. 2006/01/06 - R. A. Rallings reviews Forestry Tasmania experts submissions; as well as an April 2006 update.

7. 2006/01/10 - E-mail to Minister Green requesting action on Ralph Rallings review of Forestry submissions
[received the usual non-commital response on 2006/03/23]

8. 2006/01/13 - Letter to Chair, Forest Practices Authority expression dissatisfaction with circular of 2006/01/03. [letter acknowledged]

9. 2006/01/16 - Letter to the Minister requesting dismissal of Forest Practices Authority Board [No reply for days]

10. 2006/01/16 - E-mail to Chair, FPA expressing dissatisfaction with response to previous email [responded with suggestion addressing complaint to ombudsman]

11. 2006/01/16 - Letter to the Member for Lyons regarding the lack of qualifications, independence, experience and judgement of the Senior Scientist, Soil and Water, of the Forest Practices Authority to address water issues. [no reply for days]

12. 2006/01/17 - Letter to Chair, Forest Practices Authority requesting Statement of Reasons for decision to refuse review of Plan [letter acknowledged but no reasons provided]

13. 2006/02/20 - Letter in respect of a failure of due process by Ms I Stanley, Dr P Davies and Mr G Wilkinson of FPA. [responded 2006/02/24]


In preparing for the Final Hearing at RMPAT, applicants were required to present expert opinions from scientists why harvesting the South Sister coupe would lead to environmental nuisance and harm. The following scientists volunteered their time and expertise:
[Some of the maps and diagrams referred to are copyright and we are unable to provide them; we acknowledge with thanks permission from Mineral Resources Tasmania to use their maps.]

David Stapledon B.Sc., M.Sc.

Geotechnical Consultant & former Professor of Applied Geology, University of South Australia, Adelaide

Ralph Rallings ME. FIE(Aust)., CPEng.

Geotechnical Engineer with 43 years of experience and the only Tasmanian on the National Disaster Mitigation Program Landslide Taskforce.

David Leaman B.Sc. Ph.D.


Owen Ingles B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.S.C., F.I.E.Aust., M.I.E., M.A.I.E., C.Eng., C.Chem., C.P.Eng.

Soil Engineering and Risk Management Consultant


1. Community Audit of Coupe NI114A [Responded]

2. Letter to Mr. Graham Wilkinson, Chief Forest Practices Officer to revoke the plan [responded 2005/02/25]

LEGAL Top of page

1. 2005/03/04 - Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal (RMPAT) hands down its first decision

2. 2005/03/18 - RMPAT decision to proceed to a hearing

3. 2005/03/08 - Email from Environmental Defender's Office to State Attorney General. Responded 2005/03/31.

4. 2005/03/08 - Email from Environmental Defender's Office to Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment. Responded

5. 2006/08/25 - RMPAT rejects Forestry Tasmania Costs Appliation.

6. 2006/12/07 - Appeal to RMPAT over ministerial decision, the positive response and the grounds for appeal

2006/12/22 - Abovementioned 'positive response' is now the subject of a Supreme Court appeal by the Minister!
culminating in an appeal to the ... Privy Council?


1. David Stapledon, with 53 years' experience of engineering projects on slopes, including work on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, commenting on the disputes between David Leaman and FPB (2004/10/06), as well as providing information about risk of recurrence of landslips (2005/01/30)

2. R. A. Rallings on landslide risk assessment

3. Owen Ingles' letter recommending the necessity for risk analysis prior to logging, his detailed paper which appeared in Upper Catchment Issues and his most recent warning to exercise caution (2005/02/16) in logging within high intensity rainfall areas with geologically unsound bases. Results of soil sample performed in January 2007.

4. D. Leaman: South Sister Hydrology, his response to FPB criticisms (2003/12/04) and his final assessment (2005/01/23). And we have a letter comparing South Sister with Koonya (2005/02/07).

5. 2005/01/31 - Leonie van der Maesen, Geomorphologist, expresses her opinion.

6. 2005/01/07 - Letter from Mineral Resources Tasmania on aspects of geology and hydrology of South Sister region.

7. 2005/03/07 - R. A. Rallings writes to the Minister of "a gross folly" committed by Forestry Tasmania in his field of expertise. [responded]


1. 2004/09 - Peter B. McQuillan's draft report on South Sister entomology together with a report on a nocturnal survey available as .rtf (194 KB)

2. Peter B. McQuillan's notes on the line of parapatry

3. Alastair Richardson's letter on the line of parapatry including a map, and the coordinates

4. 2004/12 - T. Dudley's Environmental Assessment and Botanical Survey.

5. 2005/01/26 - S. Lloyd reports on the bird life on South Sister

6. 2005/1/31 - Letter from Gintaras Kantvilas on the importance of this area for lichens


1. 2005/01/28 - Letter to FPB requesting a variation/revocation of Plan PWJ 0010. [Responded 2005/02/25]

2. 2005/02/17 - Concern at the lack of acknowledgement and response to above letter. [Responded]

3. 2005/02/06 - Email to Mr. Steve Manson, District Forest Manager, by a community member in response to FT's call for submissions. [No reply for days]

4. 2005/02/13 - Workplace health and safety concerns brought to the attention of Forestry Tasmania. [Responded with "comments will be considered in our review of comments passed on to us last week"]

5. 2005/02/13 - Email to member for Lyons pointing out negligence and incompetence in preparation and certification of Forest Practices Plan. [No reply for days]

6. 2005/02/14 - Email to Bass District Manager over potential danger to contractors and employees working on this coupe arising from landslides.

7. 2005/02/16 -Email to Chief Forest Practices Officer regarding the failure of hazard identification on South Sister [No reply for days]

8. 2005/02/16 - Email to Bass District Manager on failure to identify mine workings below proposed coupe [No reply for days]

9. 2005/02/17 - Email to Chief Forest Practices Officer expressing concern at lack of response [responded]

10. 2005/02/17 - Email to Forestry Tasmania regarding its failure to consult fully with the community. [No reply for days]

11. 2005/02/18 - Email to District Forest Manager querying if adequate thought had been given to contingency plans for uncontrolled fire. [No response for days]

12. 2005/02/20 - Letter to Chief Forest Practices Officer pointing out its failure to consider relevant issues over water. [No reply for days]

13. 2005/02/21 - Formal complaint lodged with Forest Practices Board over breach of FPB Code of Practice. [Acknowledged and responded to]

14. 2005/02/21 - Letter to Chief Forest Practices Officer pointing out apparent discrepancies in Plan. [No reply for days]

15. 2005/03/11 - Letter to Council's Manager Development Services requesting issue of Environmental Protection Notice [responded, refusing to do so]

16. 2005/05/25 - Letter to Chief Forest Practices Officer requesting details of plan to protect lichen. [responded]

17. 2005/06/15 - Letter to Mr Mark Wapstra, Senior Ecologist, Forest Practices Board requesting a personal visit to flag lichen habitat under threat. [responded]

18. 2005/06/22 - Another letter to Mr Mark Wapstra, Senior Ecologist, Forest Practices Board on protection of lichen habitat.

19. 2005/10/07 - Letter to FPA/FPB seeking variation to Plan [responded; planning to exclude all subsidence areas above Cardiff Mine].

20. 2005/10/20 - Letter to Bryan Green, Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources requesting withdrawal of the current Forest Practices Plan for Coupe NI 114A. [Responded, with the usual platitudes]

21. 2005/10/24 - Letter to FPA/FPB requesting meeting of experts. [responded with refusal]

22. 2005/11/13 - Letter to Chris Mitchell, Acting Chief Forest Practices Officer recommending Forestry Tasmania refrain from logging the coupe until an independent survey has been carried out. [No response for days].

23. 2005/11/30 - Letter to Mercury on their article covering claims of trees being spiked on South Sister, our Media Release - and Richard Flanagan's 2002 comment on 'The Oldest Trick in Politics'. Followed some weeks later by a letter from former forestry minister to current minister on aspects of the case

24. 2006/01/03 - Letter to the Minister urging ministerial intervention. [non-committal response]

25. 2006/01/16 - E-mail to Mr. G. Wilkinson of FPA inviting him to visit South Sister for personal observation [Responded with '.... would be happy to re-visit the area if any new and significant matters are brought forward'.]

26. 2006/01/17 - Email to C. Mitchell thank him for excluding Cardiff Mine subsidence area from logging plan

27. 2006/01/23 - Letter to Senior Geomorphologist,Forest Practices Authority regarding geomorphology evaluation [No response for days]

28. 2006/01/23 - Letter to Senior Archaeologist, Forest Practices Authority regarding cultural heritage values [No response for days]

29. 2006/01/23 - Letter to Senior Landscape Planner, Forest Practices Authority regarding landscape evaluation [No response for days]

30. 2006/01/23 - Letter to Chief Forest Practices Officer, Forest Practices Authority requesting response to earlier letter of January 28, 2005 [responded]

31. 2006/01/24 - Letter from former forestry minister to current forestry minister on aspects of the 'spiking' controversy

32. 2006/01/26 - Email to Chief Forest Practices Officer explaining reasons for withdrawing from Tribunal and restating our concerns [responded]

33. 2006/02/02 - email to Chief Forest Practices Officer reiterating need for review by external experts [responded]

34. 2006/02/09 - Email to Chief Forest Practices Officer pointing out subsidence within coupe probably related to Jubilee Mine workings

35. 2006/02/10 - Letter to Chief Forest Practices Officer on Forestry Tasmania's failure to recognize subsidence areas within proposed coupe

36. 2006/02/20 - Email to Chief Forest Practices Officer on attempt to backtrack over earlier offer [responded]

37. 2006/02/21 - FPA asked to declare intentions [referred letter to FPA]

38. 2006/02/21 - Some comments on FPA expert McIntosh's report

39. 2006/03/09 - Complaint to ombudsman over Forest Practices Board's refusal to consider relevant issues in preparation of logging plan (rtf, 85KB). [case dismissed]

40. 2006/09/15 - Letter to federal minister for environment requesting intervention [No response for days]

41. 2006/10/05 - Letter to Minister for Primary Industries and Water requesting action to ensure the survival of endangered species

42. 2006/10/13 - Letter to Chief Forest Practices Officer on latest fauna discoveries on South Sister [No response for days]

43. 2006/12/06 - Appeal to RMPAT seeking extension of time to appeal ministerial decision; RMPAT decision in SOS favour


1. The Declaration of the people of the catchment

2. History of the South Sister campaign

3. Swapping forests for hamburgers or 'How to run a Government Enterprise'.


1. 'The Rape of Tasmania'; 'The Oldest Trick in Politics' and 'Take it Back' - the April 1 2007 speech by Richard Flanagan.

2. The Manning Transcript - largish pdf file (455 kB) amounting to 80 typed pages.

3. R. Brown provided a short history of politics in Tasmania.

4. Timber Workers for Forests (TWFF) has done a study of biodiversity loss on the Weld Valley. We provide a summary as well as the original article (792 KB in pdf)

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