Fears of Timber Shortage

The Mercury 18/12/2013

Apologies for continuing the political stuff, but as I say forestry is politics here in Tasmania. The two are unfortunately inseparable, and the damage continues.

Amongst the many news stories on forestry in today’s newspaper was this one about special timbers (of which blackwood is the predominant species).

The Mercury181213s

It’s just the same predictable rhetoric, scare mongering and posturing that surrounds so much of the so called forestry “debate” in Tasmania.

Will there be a specialty timbers supply shortage in Tasmania in the near future?


Does either the specialty timbers industry or the Government have a long-term, viable solution to this problem (that has been coming for decades)?


Is it possible to sustainably harvest specialty timbers from our public native forests?

A very common question, and at the most basic elementary level the answer is yes (trees do grow and can theoretically be harvested). But as soon as you try and move to the next point of logic you quickly become overwhelmed by the technical, commercial, political and social challenges. Even with all the goodwill and trust in the world it would be a difficult task. But there is very little trust and goodwill in Tasmania. So the chances of this happening successfully are exactly zero! Impossible!! To try this would set Tasmania up for yet another forestry train wreck. Haven’t we had enough of those already?

Is either the specialty timbers industry or the Government interested in supporting a farmer-based blackwood growers cooperative, to build and grow the industry on a fully commercial basis?

No! Not yet at least.

And the Government is “working as hard as possible to provide solutions for the special species sector.”

I don’t think so!

So the iconic Tasmanian special timbers industry continues on its merry way towards it’s own private mini train wreck, to emulate the magnificent train wreck that has befallen the greater forest industry here in Tasmania.

For readers from outside Tasmania this must appear like some weird Hollywood script. Welcome to Tasmania folks!

One response to “Fears of Timber Shortage

  1. Oh and don’t forget. All of this madness happens at taxpayers expense, thanks to the non-profit, non-commercial special timbers State forest policy. If there’s any commercial logic in the forest industry I have yet to find it.

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