South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister

letter to fpa

Dr Frances Daily
7 October, 2005

Isobel Stanley
Forest Practices Authority

Dear Ms Stanley,

Letter to FPA seeking variation to Plan

I would like to request a variation to the Forest Practice Plan for Coupe NI 114A at South Sister, near St Marys.

The Cardiff Mine is an abandoned coal mine which lies in the south eastern part of this coupe (see map attached). If one explores this area, extensive subsidence is seen. The blue flagging tape (demarcating harvestable from excluded area) runs through this region with areas of subsidence on both sides of this blue tape.

In an email from Denise Gaughwin (Forest Practices Board) to Andrew Crowden (Forestry Tasmania) on July 28, 2003, Ms Gaughwin mentioned the following:

'The prescriptions that you have outlined to manage the heritage values of the Cardiff mine are endorsed with the provision that these will be marked on the ground prior to operations commencing. As you are aware, coal mines are particularly sensitive to collapse if the workings were shallow. As well as the heritage matters it would well to stay at some distance from these.'

In Forestry Tasmania's Natural and Cultural Values Evaluation Sheet No. 4 "Cultural Heritage" dated July 28, 2003 there is a notation regarding the Cardiff Coal Mine. It states:

'Exclude coal mining workings/trenches/spoil heaps near eastern coupe boundary from roading and harvesting operation.
These excluded workings will be marked by taping off the area on site and the taped line will be kept well clear of workings due to risk of collapse of coal mines under dolerite talus.'

Despite these recommendations, as mentioned above, the blue tape runs through the area of subsidence rather than excluding the entire area from harvesting. The holes observed include very small holes (1 foot in diameter), up to lengths 10 to 12 metres long (see map of the area, photos and coordinates of some areas of subsidence which have been plotted on the map below).

As well as the Cardiff Mine being of historical significance, I consider the region of subsidence to be a danger should the harvesting contractors fall trees in this area.

I trust you will consider this matter and have the plan amended accordingly.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,


Dr Frances Daily
(email redacted)

[ten photos were included with this letter, of which one is linked here]

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