South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister

public consultation failure

From: David Clement
To: Mr. Steve Manson
Cc: EDO, Mr. A. Lohrey, Ms. F. Daily, Ms. J. Weston, Ms. M. Casey
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 8:41 AM
[email addresses redacted]

Subject: Public Consultation - South Sister

Mr Manson,

I was unable to accept the advice of Dr Frances Daily that you had told her that Forestry Tasmania was intending to start road operations at South Sister within a few days!

This would represent such a fundamental breach of your undertaking to consult with the local community to resolve issues of concern regarding the Forest Practices Plan that it would justify calling for an enquiry into your behaviour having regard to the requirements to consult under the Code and the Forestry Act 1920, let alone any consideration of breach of undertaking and personal ethics.

Forestry Tasmania requested a meeting with local residents to show the Forest Practices Plan for the coupe and provide an opportunity for comment. The range, depth and seriousness of the concerns raised at the meeting in respect of the Plan were such that you requested those present at the meeting to make written representations to you to be received by start of business on Monday 7th February.

I made such representations, and am aware that a number of other people did likewise. To date, I have received no acknowledgment of these representations, nor any response or answers to the issues raised, nor to my knowledge has anybody else. It follows that to ask for representations involves acknowledgment, response and resolution of the issues raised in those representations, and resolution can only involve discussion between the parties, not simply a unilateral determination by one party.This process is being ignored and hijacked by your stated intention to proceed with operations within the next few days.

I really do not want to involve myself or you in pursuing this as an issue of failure of duty by an officer of a Government Business enterprise, but if necessary I will do so to the utmost limit of my energy and capacity. We have only met personally at the meeting on 28th January, but I do not believe that my ability to assess a person is so defective that you are proposing to undertake this course of action, and I am hoping that Dr Daily misunderstood your remarks.

Once you requested the submission of representations you committed Forestry Tasmania to undertake a process that involves reasonable and adequate resolution of the issues raised, which must involve response and at least one more bilateral meeting to demonstrate that every reasonable effort has been made to accommodate the issues raised. Certainly such a process cannot be indefinite , and it would be unreasonable of residents to expect any further extension of the process. However, the suggested course of action to proceed with operations without completing the consultation process would represent such a gross breach of public duty by Forestry Tasmania that I hope the situation has been misunderstood.

I look forward to your early response, so that this issue can be clarified and resolved.

David Clement

We have been waiting days for a reply.

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