Unless Forestry Tasmania discovers gold it will be out of pocket when it knocks over the Mutual Valley coupe adjacent to the Blue Derby mountain bike trail.
The bike trail has recently been funded by governments to the tune of $3.4 million. The whole point of the trail is to attract tourists and help fill the employment gap left by the unprofitable forest industry.
Yet here we have FT, on its last legs in its current configuration, undermining the very industry chosen and funded by public policy makers to fill the void.
Not short of opponents FT is taking on the tourism industry as well.
The Mutual Valley coupe is larger than the contentious Lapoinya coupe with a harvest area at 66 hectares compared to 49 hectares.
There’s not much timber. The yield is well down, 150 tonnes per hectare (compared to 245 tonnes) giving an overall proposed harvest of 10,000 tonnes (12,500 tonnes at Lapoinya).
Tourism Minister Hodgman has got form when it comes to standing idly by as FT negatively impacts recently funded tourism infrastructure. The $24 million Tarkine Road project, at last starting to entice tourists west of Stanley, is about to be impacted by the proposed clearfelling of three coupes which border tourist roads, one on the Tarkine Drive itself and the other two on feeder roads.
The devastation you are now viewing was undertaken for the sole purpose of honouring loss making contracts negotiated by Forestry Tasmania.
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
• Estelle Ross in Comments HERE: There is to be a rally outside Peter Gutwein’s office cnr of Paterson and St John Streets, Launceston tomorrow March 1st at 12.30pm to demonstrate against the logging of both Lapoinya and Mutual Valley coupes.
• Pete Godrey in Comments: Thanks John, I have never believed in the bull that the South Arthur road and rebuilding of the Tayatea Bridge had anything to do with Tourism. The Tayatea bridge has been washed away a few times ( one report was 5 times) each time FT had to rebuild it to get logs out of the Sumac road area and the area to the South along the Rapid River road. There are photos on Google Earth of the Tayatea Bridge in a destroyed state. Just look up Edith Creek, follow the road down to Trowutta then go South East. The reason it was called a Tourist Road was so that the road could be upgraded, the bridges repaired and it would not cost anything from FT’s budget. I did some coupe studies on a couple of coupes along the South Arthur forest drive a few years back. The Sumac area has coupes right next to the road, lovely rainforest areas with a couple of senescent eucalypts. All trashed and burnt. They didn’t even take the eucalypt away for chipping just smashed them up with the excavators and burnt them.