South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

Scientific reports

update for 2005/05/02

Scientific experts have now made their final visits to the area to conduct more field studies. All reports have been submitted to EDO and will be submitted to the Tribunal as requested by May 6, 2005. Forestry Tasmania will then have until 17th May to respond to the reports and submit their evidence.

The field studies went well with Ralph Rallings and David Stapledon combing the area both on and around the coupe for previous landslides. Many have been found and documented (reports will be forthcoming at a later date).

Various other witnesses have submitted evidence to the Tribunal including local residents and applicants as well as people previously living in the area (for up to 65 years in the past!)

The evidence is overwhelming with many landslides having been observed, and possible effects on groundwater system documented.

Exclusion zone

Forestry Tasmania have refused to remove the exclusion zone on the coupe despite numerous attempts to have it removed. Two applicants have been given permission to be on the coupe between April 12 and May 6 only and another five applicants have been given permission to accompany experts only during the above mentioned period. Hence after May 6, the area will again be a total exclusion zone for all applicants and visitors. This is rather outrageous considering there is NO reason why people cannot be on the coupe.

Inclusion in Howard's 170,000 hectare pre-election promise

Despite continued lobbying to both Federal and State Ministers, it is unsure whether South Sister will be included in the 170,000 hectares promised by the Howard government. It is claimed by some that because it is not "old growth" forest, it does not fit the criteria however the Federal Ministers of Environment and Forestry have agreed that this area does have conservation values which they are interested in. It is hoped that the area will be included and if so, would be the icing on the cake.

More details will be available once the evidence has been submitted.

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