South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister

update nov. 26, 2005

Despite SOS withdrawing from The Resource Management and Appeals Tribunal Hearing on September 30, 2005, lobbying of Forestry Tasmania (FT), Forest Practices Authority (FPA) and Minister of Forests Bryan Green continues, to have the proposed logging of Coupe NI 114A stopped.

 

1) Ralph Rallings, Engineer working on behalf of SOS declared in a letter to Environmental Defender's Office (EDO) that

'... Supplementary Report on Soil & Land Stability Issues on Coupe N1114A and Surrounding Steepland of 27 September 2005 (McIntosh/Weldon) .... contains information that is both false and misleading in the extreme. This inaccurate information is not peripheral but is central to an understanding of Slide B and to the whole Zone E.'

This letter has been forwarded to the Chair of the Forest Practices Authority Ms Isobel Stanley along with a letter from EDO on November 7, 2005 stating that

'We request that the Forest Practices Authority consider revoking or varying the forest practices plan to prevent harvesting in risk areas (particularly Zone E, as described by Mr Rallings). We request that forestry operations on the coupe not commence until the Forest Practices Authority has considered what action to take in this matter.'

EDO, as of November 28, 2005 had not received a reply.

 

2) FPA have also been asked by SOS to

(a) and (b) were answered by Chris Mitchell, Acting Chief Forest Practices Officer as Ms Stanley (Chair of the Forest Practices Authority) and the Deputy Chair (Mr Graham Wilkinson - Chief Forest Practices Officer) were away when the letters were received. Chris Mitchell denied the request for a meeting between experts, FT, SOS, FPA and MRT saying that

'The Authorities view is that it is not prepared to take part in any such meeting as it is satisfied with the expert evidence it has received and considers that the Forest Practices Plan for coupe NI114A at South Sister adequately addresses the issues of land stability and groundwater supplies.'

As yet (November 26, 2005) there is no reply for letter (c)

An FPA Board of Directors meeting was held last November 17th, 2005 and it is hoped that this issue was raised and discussed in an objective manner.

 

3) FT has made a costs application claiming $140,000 from SOS applicants. The applicants have responded and the matter is now before the Tribunal for determination. Naturally, all SOS members consider that the time and money spent on the investigation should have been incurred by FT prior to certification of the FPP.

 

4) A letter has been sent to Bryan Green (October 20, 2005) requesting him

'... to ask Forestry Tasmania to immediately withdraw the current Forest Practices Plan for Coupe NI 114A'.

A reply is awaited.

 

5) At least one letter has been sent to FT putting them on notice regarding residents' water supply.

FT has indicated that they still intend to log this coupe but a start up date is yet to be announced. Obviously we are still very concerned that they will ignore the information provided to them and will enter the coupe unhindered in the very near future.

The exclusion zone remains in place and it is likely that the time will be extended well into 2006.

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