Week 23, on ABC's Tas Country Hour: It seems Evan knows!
Change of leadership for Forestry Tasmania
By Sally Dakis
The managing director of Forestry Tasmania is retiring. Evan Rolley has told the board he won't seek to renew his contract when it expires in December. Mr Rolley will work as a consultant from next year, focussing on expanding national and international markets. Evan Rolley has been the longest serving CEO for Forestry Tasmania, at 16 years. Despite the global softening of wood chip prices and a recent report by Comsec warning of business risk, Evan Rolley says the Gunns proposal is the "best chance" for a pulp mill of any proponents. "You don't make a business decision on a one year set of numbers - you've got to look at the longer term trends, to look at where the opportunities are. I know the company has looked very carefully at what is happening in SE Asia, at where their growth might be, and they've also looked at their relative competitiveness."
In this report: Evan Rolley, Forestry Tasmania
Was it a business decision to sue 20 critics?Who gives the forests away to be relative competitive?
Sawmillers adjusting to industry change
By Sally Dakis
Federal Forestry Minister Eric Abetz is joining with Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister and Deputy Premier Bryan Green to announce a series of grants for timber operators this lunch time. The 13 grants are part of the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement, and will go to both the forest contracting and sawmilling sector as it "retools", as timber supply moves from old growth to plantation grown timber. The venue for the launch is Whiteline Timbers at Mowbray near Launceston, which has received $257,000 to invest in vacuum drying kilns to add value to native timbers.
In this report: Rosemary Grant, Launceston rural reporter.
Beetle triggers softwood woodchip glut
By Keva Gocher
We've heard of butter mountains and wine lakes, now there's a global softwood glut forcing prices down for Australian timber exporters. Australia's oldest hardwood chipper has abandoned plans to enter the global softwood chip market as Canada floods the world market forcing prices down to 20 per cent below Australian production costs. The Canadian media is full of debate on the cause of the beetle's mass impact on forestry, is it global warming keeping temperatures up and allowing the beetles to thrive, or is it forestry management practises that create a monoculture allowing insect spread unchecked, or is it fire management regimes that don't allow a natural burning of the forest. Whatever the cause the Canadian beetle kill is so extensive that whole regions of softwoods are being "salvage harvested". The beetle dies when trees are cut down and processed. It's estimated 100,000 trees a year will have to be cut down in Canada just to keep the infested area from expanding. In British Columbia, 4.1 million hectares of forest was removed over winter to help check the beetles progress, and 45,000 pines were removed. Vince Phillips from Australia's oldest woodchip company at Eden, NSW says softwood pulp prices are plummeting as Canada floods the world market at below cost of production.
In this report: Vince Phillips, corporate affairs manager, South East Fibre Exports.