South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister Correspondence

geomorphology evaluation

Senior Geomorphologist
Forest Practices Authority
30 Patrick Street
HOBART 7000
23 Jan 2006

Dear Sir,

COUPE NII4A - FPP PWJ 0010, SOUTH SISTER,

I refer to the Geomorphology Evaluation for the above coupe, which states that the site characteristic of dolerite talus over sandstone and coal layers is considered to be potentially significant.

While the Plan for this coupe contained limited exclusions along the north eastern and eastern boundary because of such layering, including the old Cardiff mine, recently it has been necessary to vary the Plan to extend this area due to new evidence submitted by local residents. This raises further concerns about the thoroughness of planning of this particular coupe.

No reference has been made in the evaluation to the existence of the Jubilee Mine underlying the coupe. Would you please advise why this feature has not been evaluated in planning the coupe and taken into account in the Plan, given the significance of sandstone and coal layers over coal layers?

Further, I refer you to an article 'Geomorphology- How Big is your Catchment?' by Dr Kevin Kiernan which appeared in Forest Practice News Vol 3 No 4., stressing the need for careful field checking and evaluation to reduce the potential for error in catchment delineation, referring to terrain, geological structures, faults, groundwater pathways, springs, drainage patterns etc., particularly in respect of dolerite hillslopes. These issues are so identical with the site characteristics of South Sister and coupe NI114A that it is difficult to understand why the geomorphological evaluation of the coupe has not addressed them, given the consistent and repeated complaints to the Board by residents about the potential for forest operations on coupe NI114A to adversely impact on water values, particularly yield.

While water matters should be addressed by the Senior Scientist Soil and Water, it is clear that the Senior Geomorphologist should also have been closely involved in this particular site. I ask :-

  1. Were you requested by either Mr Andrew Crowden or by the Planning Coordinator of Forestry Tasmania, Mr P Rosevears, to provide advice in respect of this catchment with regard to how groundwater moves through the landscape of the coupe and connected areas?
  2. If not, having regard to the above article, and the characteristics of the coupe area, and that it is universally acknowledged that the hydrology of the area is subsurface, in your professional opinion should you have been consulted in this matter?
  3. Do you believe that the issues raised on the public record by your predecessor, Dr Kiernan, are of direct relevance to the coupe and surrounding areas in assessing the impact of forest operations on the environment of the coupe and connected areas?
  4. In your professional opinion, should monitoring and evaluation of the coupe have been carried out to allow specific site information to be obtained with regard to the nature and physical characteristics of the groundwater system of the coupe, in order to determine whether measures were needed to be included in the plan to protect that system?

I ask for your response to these questions.

Yours sincerely

D W CLEMENT
For and on behalf of Save Our Sisters

We have received no response for days

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