South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister News

update 24 january, 2006

The South Sister is still hanging on but we fear it will only be days or weeks before the chainsaws arrive.

Despite having evidence that Forestry Tasmania's experts presented misleading and false information about key features within the coupe in September, 2005, the 'independent' watchdog, Forest Practices Authority (FPA) have ignored this information and continue to support Forestry Tasmania's decision to log the area where a previous landslide has occurred.

The Chair of the FPA, Isobel Stanley recently wrote and addressed a single letter to both David Clement and Frances Daily (both SOS members) despite numerous yet separate letters to her from them both regarding South Sister! (see reports/articles page). Stanley's letter was received on January 13, 2006 more than three months after the first letter regarding South Sister (October 7, 2005) was sent to her.

David Clement's letters to her had focussed on groundwater issues and Frances' letters focussed on landslip and subsidence. Despite this, they received a joint letter!

The ongoing contempt FPA has for the concerns of SOS are startling.

Requests for a meeting between experts have been denied and FPA (Stanley) has stated that '... I do not support any further review by the Forest Practice Authority'.

Requests for Mineral Resources Tasmania or an independent enquiry have been ignored. The general public, despite legitimate concerns have no effective channel where they have the opportunity to voice their opinions.

The Minister, Bryan Green continues to ignore the issues and passes letters received over to FT! There appears to be no intention to thoroughly investigate the misleading evidence as recommended by Engineer, Ralph Rallings when he outlined his concerns to the Minister in a letter in December (and again on January 9, 2006). He is still awaiting a reply to both letters.

Further correspondence from David and Frances to Minister Green are yet to be answered.

Save our Sisters' legal representative, Environmental Defender's Office still awaits replies from letters to FPA's Chair, Isobel Stanley (letter sent in November with a follow up early January - both of which have not yet been replied to) asking for revocation or variation of the forest practices plan after the submission of new evidence by FT.

Numerous other letters 1 2 3 to Chief Forest Practices Officer and politicians are also yet to be answered.

The only good news is that a small part of the coupe will be excluded from harvesting due to significant subsidence. After alerting FPA to the presence of subsidence within the harvestable boundaries, FT has finally admitted that the total area of subsidence over Cardiff Mine should be excluded from the coupe. A variation to the plan is expected. BUT this variation only comes about after more than 2 years of 'careful and thorough planning' by FT!!

Despite FT and FPA's constant reminders to SOS that they have 'carefully and thoroughly planned the harvesting plan for this coupe', they failed on numerous occasions to identify subsidence (some holes measuring up to 12 m long) over the Cardiff mine.

FT also failed to identify an old large landslide in the north eastern zone, more than 20 water seepage points on the coupe, the 300 acre Jubilee mine below the coupe ...

The 'careful and thorough' planning procedure is laughable.

Please join the fight. FT and experts working for them have presented misleading and false information yet they are getting away with it.

Please ring or write to politicians, FPA, FT. Ring talkback radio, write letters to the Editor etc. The more the public learn about the so called 'democracy' in Tasmania the better.

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