The recent proposal for a new woodchip export facility in southern Tasmania rallied together many community members in opposition. The night after 300 community members attended a public meeting and a number of motions opposing the facility were passed, the proponent withdrew the proposal. In the words of the woodchip dump proponent the proposal for Dover is ‘dead in the water’.
The public meeting was organised by Huon Valley Council after 1200 petitioners called for it. The first and definitive motion of the night, moved by Dover resident Jen Hadaway, saw an overwhelming majority of ratepayers vote ‘No’ to the woodchip facility. Subsequent motions by the minority of facility supporters present were voted down by the large majority.
In less than 24 hours after the proponent dumped the woodchip proposal, the Tasmanian government announced they have commissioned Evan Rolley, to assist the investigation of ‘strategic options’ for continuing to log, woodchip, and burn native forests in Southern Tasmania, keep the Southwood industrial forests destruction centre open on the banks of the Huon River and continue to prop up the controversial Borneo logging giant Ta Ann who is based at Southwood. Export facility proponent Mr Neville-Smith told ABC news that the State Government assured him it would help his company find a new southern site for the woodchip export facility.
Who is Evan Rolley? Former Managing Director at Forestry Tasmania, 1990 – 2006. Then Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet for eleven months in 2007/08. Director of Tasports for 6 years 2009-15. More controversially still the Executive Director of Ta Ann Tasmania since 2012. Recently appointed the chairperson for Private Forests Tasmania, in the past month. He most recently served as VDL Farms’ chief executive 2011 – 17. On the side he received $136 000 from Ta Ann when they purchased about 300 cases from his vineyard, while he was employed as their Executive Director.
All of this comes as SUStainable Timber Tasmania has released their logging and woodchipping plans for the next three years in Tasmania, including large areas of critically endangered Swift Parrot habitat, tracts of forest with giant eucalypts and habitat for rare and endangered species in southern Tasmania.
Our campaign team will continue to advocate for protection of native forests and endangered species habitat and an end to woodchipping, logging and burning of these precious ecosystems.