South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

Sistergate Correspondence

request for statement of reasons from fpa

Isobel Stanley
Forest Practices Authority
30 Patrick St
17th January 2006

Dear Ms Stanley,


I refer to the letter of 20/02/05 to the Chief Forest Practices Officer that was attached to my letter to you of 13/1/06, a letter to which Mr Wilkinson provided no response.

A copy of this letter was provided on the same date to the Managing Director of Forestry Tasmania, Mr Evan Rolley. Again, no response was received, despite the allegation that a scientist employed by Forestry Tasmania had admitted that she was not qualified to perform the task requested of her by Mr Rosevears, the Planning Coordinator of Coupe NI114A at South Sister, and that, as a consequence, her advice relied upon for certification of FPP PWJ 0010 had no scientific merit, and that the Plan was accordingly defective in respect of the protection of water, as required by the Forest Practices Code.

Allegations were made in that letter concerning Dr Roberts of Forestry Tasmania, and Dr McIntosh of the Forest Practices Board, that the conclusions reached in reports prepared by them and relied upon in preparing the Plan had no scientific justification . These allegations were based on documented evidence. And yet neither the Chief Forest Practices Officer Mr Wilkinson nor the Managing Director of Forestry Tasmania Mr Evan Rolley even acknowledged the letter concerned , let alone provided a response.

This same letter referred to Mr Wilkinson's implied assertions that he possessed professional qualifications in hydrology, which would allow him to state that he and Dr McIntosh were of the same opinion and 'we stand by our earlier advice' in respect of scientific matters regarding the water values of the coupe.

In this respect, I attach a copy of a letter of 7th January 2006 from Mr Wilkinson to Mr and Mrs Witton of Dublin Town which confirms the identification of Mr Wilkinson with Dr McIntosh. In the space of a letter of only 6 lines he identifies himself with Dr McIntosh 5 times, when he refers to 'Dr McIntosh and I', 'in our view', 'we stand by our earlier advice', and 'we do not believe' (twice). These are not collegiate references, they indicate a symbiotic relationship between an administrator and a scientist in which the administrator is clearly claiming scientific qualifications which he does not possess, and is failing to ensure an independent assessment of scientific matters in dispute.

Sec 24A of the Forest Practices Act 1985 allows the Authority to revoke Plan PWJ 0010 for any reason it considers sufficient. You have been provided with documented evidence and requested to revoke the Plan on the basis of the information supplied to you. You have made a decision as stated in your letter of 3rd January 2006 'I do not support any further review by the Forest Practices Authority'. This is a decision of an administrative character made under an enactment. You have refused to consider the revocation of a certified Plan.

I reside within the Water District of St Marys. I derive my potable water from the town water supply which is sourced from a bore supplied by groundwater. There is strong scientific evidence that a significant proportion of the water supplying the bore is derived from an area of South Sister underneath and adjacent to Coupe NI114A. The Forest Practices Plan for this coupe contains no assessment of the groundwater system of the area and no relevant or adequate prescriptions for the protection of that system from the impact of forest operations. I am a person aggrieved by your decision.

Your decision was an improper exercise of power under Sec 17(2)(e) and Sec 20 (b)(d) and(e) of the Judicial Review Act 2000 in that you failed to take into account relevant considerations, you exercised your discretionary power in bad faith, and at the direction of another person. Further, under Sec 17(2)(a) of the Act you breached the rules of natural justice in making that decision, and you failed to observe procedures required by law relating to the making of the decision (Sec 17(2)(b).

Accordingly, as allowed by Sec 29 of the Act, I request that you provide me with a Statement of Reasons as to why you made the decision advised in your letter dated 3rd January 2006 ( but not received until 13th January 2006) that 'I do not support any further review by the Forest Practices Authority'.


No response for days

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