xenith: (Default)
Monday's Mercury had a story regarding a real estate developer who thought North Hobart's football oval could be replaced by facilities more beneficial to real estate developers. It contained this paragraph:

Mr Harris said the circa 1921 oval's history could be preserved by relocating the George Miller stand and scoreboard to the TCA, creating pathways named Cazaly, Plaister, Gorringe and Hudson Way and constructing a sporting monument."

Rest of story
xenith: (Black Scales)
A big surprise to everyone involved, I'm sure.

Greens fail in bid to stop bypass bridge

A last-ditch attempt by the Greens to have work halted on a controversial road bypass near Hobart has failed.

The party claims Labor's steps to protect the Jordan River Levee site do not go far enough and amount to cultural vandalism.

The Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Nick McKim, moved a motion yesterday to block the construction of a bridge over 40,000-year-old Aboriginal relics, north of Hobart.


Aborigines step up bypass protest

Aborigines trying to block work on a section of the Brighton road Bypass near Hobart are digging in after their first protest since construction permits were approved.

xenith: (Black Scales)
Updates on another news story I was posting stuff about, from the Mercury. No real progress either way, but lots of sabre rattling (spear rattling?).

This is from last weekend, but it seems a good way to gain general support.

Bypass tour bid to win help
The Tasmanian Aboriginal community will hold an open day at the Jordan River levee site on Saturday in the hope of gathering support for the Brighton bypass protest.

And the latest news story, so I am up to date.

Aborigines firm on heritage

About 200 people attended a peaceful but vocal rally held by Tasmania's Aboriginal community outside Parliament House in Hobart yesterday

In the news

Mar. 4th, 2011 01:24 pm
xenith: (Black Scales)
Continuing my intermittent series of updates :)

Yesterday morning:

Pulp mill's final hurdle today

Tasmania's forestry industry is anticipating a critical green light for the pulp mill planned in the state's North.

The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, will release his decision today about the $2.5 billion project's effect on marine life in Commonwealth waters

Gunns wants 'tougher controls': decision delayed

The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has extended the deadline making a decision on the proposed Tasmanian pulp mill by another week.

Mr Burke says the Gunns company contacted his department yesterday asking for tougher environmental controls.

He says another week is needed to examine the changes the company has requested.


Green MP threatens Tas Government over mill

Bass Greens MHA, Kim Booth says he will withdraw support for the Government if it offers to underwrite the project, or seeks to support it in other ways using public money.
"Were Lara Giddings, for example, as Premier to provide support for the mill either covertly or overtly by legislation or funding for that project then that government would be a Dead Man Walking because ultimately a no-confidence motion ..I would support a no confidence motion in that government because I could no longer support them," he said.
xenith: (Black Scales)
As a follow up to this post in October

Govt approves bridge over ancient artefact site

The Tasmanian Government has decided to push ahead with plans to build a bridge over a 42,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site in the state's south.

From ABC News
xenith: (Black Scales)
The deadline for public comment on the Brighton Bypass was last Friday. Have not seen anything in the news since then. Latest news coverage is from last Wednesday

Aborigines in bypass camp protest

"It is the first time we have come down here in 200 years and enjoyed the site and it is spiritual," [Trudy Maluga from TAC] said.

"It was a magnificent feeling and it has given us the strength to fight from this site until the end."

The Brighton Bypass is the four lane highway being constructed the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) to bypass Brighton, the last town on the Midlands Hwy. I assume the grand plan is to eventually bypass all the towns along this route. The central towns were passed by a couple of decades ago and now they're working on the southern bit.

Aboriginal heritage investigations across the Brighton Bypass alignment commenced in 1990s. However the site at the Jordan River was not identified until late 2008 when it was described as a surface scatter of approximately 20 artefacts with potential for subsurface values due to the nature of the landscape feature.

A subsurface investigation on the Jordan River levee commenced in early August 2009.

DIER's consultants completed an archaeological investigation of the Jordan River levee in February 2010. A final report on the investigation was made available on 2nd August 2010.

From DIER's "Fact Sheet 4: Archaeology & Definition of the site" (PDF).

The report that came back said things like:

However, the real value of the JRL sequence is that it provides a rare insight into a period of human history during the Last Ice Age, of which little if know, either in Tasmania or on the Australian mainland. This is particularly the case at open sites with nearly all older Tasmanian sites being rock shelters


The JRL site was utilized by highly mobile prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups. The lack of locally available raw material forced groups to bring their own raw material to the site, to conserver these raw materials and to continue to transport those items that were not exhausted for future use elsewhere. The primary activities undertaken at the site were tool maintenance and rejuvenation, with very low levels of manufacture also present. … The presence of Aboriginal flaked pieces of glass at the JRL site provides evidence of a connection between Aboriginal and European occupation at the site during the historic period. This site with its sound stratigraphic profile and dates extending from ~41,000 years through to the European contact period is remarkable.

(Both quotes from Final Archaeological Report - Executive Summary(PDF))

DIER claim that by moving a couple of pylons here and using different transport techniques there and using light vehicles to do this bit, they can still build their bridge with hopefully minimal disturbance to the site and the baits used won't affect the bird life-- oops, different department. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) aren't impressed by that solution. They've submitted an application (PDF) to the Minister for the Environment, to have the site protected, which has some interesting reading in it. One bit:

While Aborigines today still proudly honour their cultural past, the full manifestations of Aboriginal existence for the tens of thousands of years before 1800 are relatively unrecognised. The site has the potential to reveal some of these stories and important information about traditional practices and elements of the daily lifestyles of the people who camped, made tools, hunted, gathered resources travelled through, met other Aboriginal groups, traded, and so on in the Jordan River valley.

According to their website, similar content was used in applications for World Heritage Listing and National Heritage Listing, and an application for entry to the Tasmania Heritage Register was made. If any of those are successful, it should resolve the issue. Heritage trumps most arguments.

It seems there are alternative routes that could be used, but of course they'd cost more. Earlier this month, the Federal Infrastructure Minister visited the site.

"I have been calling for months now that this site be granted National Heritage listing and the road alignment be adjusted a little to leave this site untouched."
Independent Andrew Wilkie

"We can put a road alignment, a bridge, elsewhere. We cannot replace this internationally significant site."
Greens leader Bob Brown

DIER's and other documents are available here
TAC's documents are available here
xenith: (Coloured scales)
I finally got around to tracking down a copy of the "Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles to Lead to an Agreement"

The Wilderness Society has the Statement of Principles in an easy to read format.

There's a copy of full 4 page document (a list of the stakeholders, the above Principles and what is expected from the State/Federal governments) available as a Scribd document on the ABC site which I can apparently embed (but it's likely to upset Friends pages and stupid council Internet filters if I want to look at my LJ on other computers for some reason.)

So I'll put it after cut. )

But will anything come of it? So far it's been revealed that five pockets of high conservation value forest in Tasmania that environmentalists want protected have already been harvested and logging of native forests could take up to 30 years to accomplish.

Interesting times ahead.
xenith: (Default)
Probably a headline that most people wouldn't think twice about but... !!!

Gunns to stop using 1080 poison
xenith: (Black Scales)
This weeks it's been all about timber company Gunns.

They sold off their hardware shops to Woolworths, their shares crashed to a 10 year or 20 year low (depending on which news story you read, or maybe both) and John Gay quit completely followed by speculation on the future of their pulp mill development and the share price rising again.
xenith: (Black Scales)
LJ isn't letting me select photos to post so to fill in the gap, some news stories! Exciting! Yes!

OK :) But one comes out of yesterday's post, one is an update on an ongoing topic and one is a ! news story.

I haven't been posting on the pulp mill lately because it's been the same-old, but this develops further it could be interesting.

Claims pulp mill under threat if boss resigns

A shareholder push for the resignation of Gunns chairman John Gay is being seen by analysts as a threat to the company's proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill.

When I wrote yesterday's post, I was wondering if there was anything like this about. Well, it worked last election!

Labor hangs up on anti-Green phone ads

Contradictions have emerged within the Tasmanian Labor Party about whether the Premier was aware of automated phone calls to voters warning them about the Greens.

The pre-recorded message, dubbed a robocall, says the Greens want to legalise heroin and give violent criminals the right to vote.


I wish I could find the original news story for this:

Pizza delivery attack ends in jail

A Tasmanian man who attacked a fast food delivery driver with a plastic cricket bat and took his pizzas has been sentenced to nine months in jail.
xenith: (Black Scales)
I thought this was interesting.

In what police describe as a world first, DNA taken from a leech has been used to catch and convict a man who robbed a 71-year-old woman at her home in 2001. More

Probably more details in other news services.

Oh yes, in the Sydney Morning Herald: Cold case: leech brings armed robber to justice


Aug. 14th, 2009 01:22 pm
xenith: (Default)
We have flooded rivers. Not bad flooding fortuntely, but interesting.

The bridge in the photo on that article is the same one as here.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Embassy targeted by pulp mill protest

Pulp maker Sodra is considering a joint-venture partnership with Gunns in the Tamar Valley mill but says it would have to meet stricter conditions.

About 40 people have rallied outside the Swedish embassy in Canberra, this morning.

The Wilderness Society's Tim Burch says Tamar Valley food and wine has been delivered to the Ambassador.

It beats street riots ;) There was a bit in yesterday's news about the conditions:

Sodra may still invest in Gunns' pulp mill: analyst

Sodra says any mill it's involved with will have to use 100-percent plantation timber, be totally chlorine-free, and certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

Is it possible there might be a resolution that is satisfactory to both sides? Admittedly, plantations come with their own problems but still...
xenith: (Black Scales)
In today's news:

Forest workers counter anti-pulp mill ads

The forest workers union in Tasmania has launched an international campaign to help secure finance for Gunns' $1.5 billion pulp mill.

But at the bottom of that story, is a few paragraphs on last week's Legislative Council* election for Windermere (East Tamar & part of Launceston).

Mr Frame [spokesman for CFMEU I think, story is a bit ambiguous] also says the re-election of pulp mill supporter Ivan Dean shows there is broad community support for the mill.

Mr Dean won almost 40 per cent of the primary vote in the Upper House election for Windermere last weekend.

"I think the election results from Windermere in the Legislative Council on the weekend indicate that really they want this development to proceed, and they want to bring a sustainable value adding employment opportunity to Tasmania."

That the incumbent got less than half the first preference votes shows that there is broad community support for an issue that wasn't brought up (that I noticed) during the campaign? Yep, that would be my conclusion too.

It doesn't even get a mention on the Green candidates' leaflet. Actually, I brought said leaflet inside and read it, and tossed it aside because it was vague about what he actually stood for. It wasn't until I got to the polling booth and they gave me a bit of paper with the five candidates names on it, that I discovered his affiliation. On looking at it later, there is the party's logo in one corner. Very low key. (Mr Whish-Wilson possibly needs to rethink his advertising material if he ever stand for election again.) The whole damn election was low key. That the incumbent was returned isn't much of a surprise. That he got not much more than 1/3 of the vote on first preferences does suggest there is some dissatisfaction among voters though.

*State Upper House, elections are held every 6 years but only 2 or 3 districts each time
xenith: (Black Scales)
Pulp mill shipment a 'step forward'

A cargo ship, the Beluga Finesse, docked at the Bell Bay port this [Thursday] afternoon and is believed to be carrying large turbine parts from China for the mill's power generator.

[Forest Industries] association's Julian Amos says it shows the project is moving ahead.

He says most Tasmanians support the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
Ruth Groom from the Wilderness Society says Gunns is taking a huge gamble purchasing equipment for the mill, without having a financial backer. "I think this equipment is going to sit on this wharf until it rusts."
The Greens leader Nick McKim says the Gunns mill does not have the public's support and should not be built. "Gunns can continue to negotiate and continue to ship equipment in all they like. The simple fact is the mill doesn't have a social licence, it doesn't have the support of the community and it just shouldn't be built," he said.


This one comes with a slideshow, courtesy of the Examiner.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Gunns still optimistic in finding mill partner

Tasmania's timber giant Gunns has indicated it is still searching overseas for a joint-venture partner to build its controversial pulp mill proposed for the Tamar Valley.

Gunns' latest statement to the Stock Exchange says it expects to announce finance for the $2 billion project by the end of this month.

In February, Gunns chairman John Gay told the stock market construction of the pulp mill would start as soon as financial closure was achieved.

xenith: (Default)
I was wondering on this just this morning:

Hot and cold records set in January

The Tasmanian weather bureau has described January as a month of extraordinary weather conditions.

Records were set for the state's coldest and hottest days for the first month of the year.

xenith: (Black Scales)
Gunns statement to ASX 'potentially misleading'

Yesterday's claim by Gunns that it will gain final approval for its Tasmanian pulp mill from the Government has been described as "potentially misleading" by Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

After releasing a CSIRO report which was critical of the mill's effluent plumes yesterday, Gunns made a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in which it said it would meet environmental requirements and it would be continuing with the project "as quickly as possible".

Speaking to Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast, Mr Garrett says it will be at least another 18 months before modelling on the impacts of effluent can be completed and a decision made on the fate of the mill.

"I was surprised by Gunns' statement yesterday to the ASX given that the conditions "L", "M" and N which are the critical conditions in the Gunns approval have not yet been approved by me," he said.

"Until such time that we are confident the dispersal of effluent and any of the other issues that arise as a consequence of the dispersal of effluent into the marine waters are properly identified and whether any additional conditions are required to ensure that there aren't impacts on matters of national environment significance, then no approval for this mill can be given," he said.


Gunns effluent report embarrassing: Greens

The Australian Greens claim a report into effluent outflows from Gunns' proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill is highly embarrassing for the company.

(Senator Christine Milne) says the document confirms big problems with the proposed mill's effluent, because the Bass Strait discharge site is too shallow and doesn't flush:

Gunns Sustainability Manager, Calton Frame, says the Herzfeld Report is over 12 months old.

"We've also released the context of the information so it's clear that that report is now superseded," Mr Frame said.

xenith: (Default)
Mawson expedition returns with second prize

A group of Antarctic expeditioners is confident of finding more artefacts belonging to Sir Douglas Mawson when they return to the icy continent in December.

The Mawson Hut Foundation group field leader, Ian Godfrey, said efforts to find Mawson's plane eluded them, but they did find its seat which remains in Antarctica.

xenith: (Default)
You can probably guess what the local (state) news is all about now. See!

And this story in particular doesn't promise that it's going to get any quieter in a hurry. :\

This story was also interesting, in a different way.


xenith: (Default)

Most Popular Tags


RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags