South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister Correspondence

call for dismisal of fpa board

The Hon Bryan Green
Minister for Infrastructure Energy & Resources
PO Box 1470
16th January 2006

Dear Minister,

RE: Failure of Due Diligence, Selective Use of Evidence, Lack of Qualifications, Incompetence, Gross Errors, Speculation, Lack of Scientific Method, Omissions, False and Misleading Information, Irrelevant Argument, Unsubstantiated Conclusions, and Failure of due process

These are allegations involving Dr S Roberts, Dr P McIntosh, Mr P Rosevears and Mr G Wilkinson, employees of Forestry Tasmania and the Forest Practices Authority, relating to matters relevant to the certification of a Forest Practices Plan, contained in the attached copies of letters to the Chair of the Forest Practices Authority, Isobel Stanley.

Also attached is a copy of a communication from Ms Stanley of 3rd January 2006, together with my reply of 13th January 2006. I repeat my response to her :-

'it is not possible to reconcile the response you have provided with any advice that could have been given relating to the issues I have raised, as your response is totally irrelevant to these issues.'

In response to detailed and evidenced allegations of incompetence, lack of qualification, selective and misleading statements, and other matters involving employees of the Board and Forestry Tasmania, The Board of the Forest Practices Authority has constructed a deceptive and spurious statement about 'lack of agreement between specialists', designed to avoid the evidence provided to it, contained within emails, letters and reports. The Board has engaged itself in a cover-up.

As just one example at the most basic level, what 'lack of agreement between specialists' is involved in Dr McIntosh stating in one report that a coupe of 150ha in a catchment of 220,000ha represents 0.1% of the catchment, but in another report referring to exactly the same location as comprising a coupe area of 120ha and representing 4% of a catchment of 30km². The only disagreement is between Dr McIntosh with Dr McIntosh! One might have expected a claim by the FPA of a typographical error on his part (except that he refers in yet another report to the same catchment as now being 22km²), but not of 'disagreement between specialists'. This is a gross error, incompetence, and false and misleading information at the most elementary level, yet the Board of the FPA fails entirely to respond to the matter. I ask that you dismiss the Board for failure to perform its duty, and in the circumstance that the Board acted upon the advice of Mr Wilkinson that he also be relieved of his position.

The identification of Mr Wilkinson with Dr McIntosh (referred to in my letter of 20/02/05 copied to Ms Stanley on 13/01/06) is even more clearly shown in the attached letter of January 7, 2006 from Mr Wilkinson to Mr and Mrs Witton, when he refers to 'Dr McIntosh and I', 'in our view', 'we stand by our earlier advice', 'we do not believe', and 'we do not believe'. In a short 6 line letter the symbiotic relationship between administrator and scientist could not be more clearly expressed.

In every representation made to the (then) Forest Practices Board about opinions and statements expressed by Dr McIntosh, regarding water in the matter of Coupe NI 114A, Mr Wilkinson has simply referred them to Dr McIntosh, who should never have been required to approve his own work. Mr Wilkinson has been consistently derelict in his duty to obtain an independent peer review of claims of flaws in the work of Dr McIntosh, particularly as Dr McIntosh has no qualifications in hydrology, despite his title of Senior Scientist Soil and Water.

I have attached copies of all correspondence between myself and the Forest Practices Authority between 22/12/05 and today, so that you are fully informed on this matter.

I also draw to your attention formal documented complaints made to the FPA on 7/11/05 and 4/1/06 in respect of false and misleading statements, inadequate scientific justification and the creation of fictitious statements and arguments involving Dr McIntosh. These are separate representations to those made by me, made by qualified experts in their fields, but are part of the same cloth and so it should be on the public record that you are aware of them. I emphasise, however, that the issues I raise are raised independently, stand on their own merits, and that response to these issues should remain separate from matters raised by anyone else. In this respect I refer you to my reply to Isobel Stanley of 13th January regarding her lack of courtesy and professionalism in linking my correspondence to another person's complaint involving other issues and providing a joint reply!

I repeat my request that you dismiss the Board of the Authority which has failed in its duty to address with due diligence specific and documented allegations made in respect of deficiencies within the administration of the forest practices system, has demonstrated a lack of professional competence in the performance of its duties in this matter, and has demonstrated a willingness to deceive by providing an irrelevant, misleading and false reason to justify a decision.

As this is a matter of public interest, your early acknowledgement of my letter would be appreciated.

Yours sincerely


No response for days

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