Water S.O.S Tasmania

Charles and Claire Gilmour
Chappied Creek Nintens
Fact 1.
Raw nitens – when trying to recover studs or building timber out of a nitens only the biggest trees can be used and then it must be milled immediately and then bound and strapped immediately to prevent it from uncontrollably buckling and warping and ending up like spaghetti. In quality native Tasmanian hardwoods, this does not happen, they are much more stable.
Fact 2.
It is very difficult to debark a niten, because the bark comes off in thin strips instead of sections, (which is very unusual for eucalypt) which clogs up bearings and knives on bark stripper machinery. Millers we have spoken to hate them.
Fact 3.
It is impossible to use nitens as a peeler timber as it is too pithy.
Fact 4.
Nitens when dried naturally, appear pithy. Builders have expressed, if you where using (this) to build with, you would need to frame in a day and hope to god it wouldn’t buckle.
Fact 5.
Nitens cannot be dried for firewood as it quickly turns to pith, (crumbles and disintegrates much quicker than normal eucalypt).
Fact 6.
Treating nitens - unless they are subjected to pressure treatment of 700psi or greater it is not possible to adequately penetrate the timber to a reasonable depth to ensure they will not rot. There is only one place that can do that and that is in Smithton. After FEA sent samples for testing, the nitens were still unstable and warped uncontrollably.
Fact 7.
FEA have tried pressure treating nitens at Bell Bay, where they can only pressure treat to 200psi, and have only been able to penetrate the nitens to no greater than about 5ml. Which is inadequate to ensure they will not rot.
Fact 8.
Timber should not be pressure treated unless it has been drying for 3 months, by which time the timber has buckled.
Fact 9.
Nitens have severe knots which penetrate through the entire timber.
Fact 10.
In comparison pine treated at 200 psi remains relatively stable and the knots are on the surface only.
Fact 11.
Dogwood, a natural Tasmanian understorey tree, (often found alongside Blackwood forests) when pressure treated, reputedly can last longer than pressure treated pine. It is completely destroyed and burnt when clear felled, it is not harvested. Massive tracts of dogwood in the far northwest alone have been, and will continue to be, totally destroyed in the near future. Hence this industry DOES waste more than it uses.
Fact 12.
Nitens is considered, by all the millers we have spoken to, as one of the least stable and useless timbers available.
Fact 13.
Ultimately, Nitens are really only useful to make pulp. Traditionally, pulp has been made from coniferous tree species such as pine. It creates the preferred, premium priced, long fibre grade pulp, critical for the consistency and strength required for making paper. In comparison eucalyptus, creates a lower grade short fibre pulp. Though apparently a single species pulp is still considered a higher grade to mixed fibre pulp.  Paper can only be made from long fibre pulp and cannot be made from purely short fibre. Though lower grade paper can be made from incorporating some cheaper short fibre pulp into the long fibre pulp. With the addition of financiers requiring the substantiation of the “feedlot” plantations, Gunns determination to buy Auspine and secure its plantations is obvious.
Fact 14.
There are more niten plantations in Tasmania, than any other type of tree plantation.
Fact 15.
Establishing niten plantations in state forest has brought unprecedented weeds to forest areas that previously had no such weeds.
Fact 16.
Establishment of niten plantations in state forest has caused the destruction of years of quality building timber and specialty furniture and craft timbers, tonnes of which was simply trashed, chipped or burnt.
Fact 17.
Niten plantations suck much more water than native forest.
Fact 18.
Niten plantations, overall, do not support biodiversity.
Fact 19.
Niten plantations are no where near as “eco” friendly as they are sold to be.
Fact 20.
There is only one reason to continue converting land to niten plantations and that is to have so much it will support not one, but two pulp mills.
Fact 21.
The only ones who gain the absolute most out of these plantations are Gunns and MIS investors.
Fact 22.
These trees are becoming noxious weeds in other countries.
Fact 23.
Once established niten plantations create very little employment for many years.
Fact 24.
There are a number of new pulp mills coming on line in the world in the next few years. Wood chips and pulp is the lowest end of the market. Tasmania is systematically destroying its amazingly rich and diverse forests and any chance of balancing the environment and albeit smaller, but locally more profitable, long term sustainable forest industry for the benefit of the local population for an overseas market that could have very little return. There has already been a down turn in the market, due to oversupply.  Oversupply will see our forests, ecosystems, watercatchments, which, with or without the pulp mill, will continue to be destroyed for woodchips to supply overseas pulp mills, sold cheaply. With little real, in the pocket, economic gain for Tasmanian citizens.
Fact 25.
This current forest industry has very few environmental scientific facts that can support the continued establishment of these plantations.
Fact 26.
Some millers believe marketing and selling nitens will ruin Tasmania’s reputation for any of our selectively logged quality timber. They want the nitens pulled out, roots and all, and planted back to proper forest and timber.
Fact 27.
It is not just the residue from harvesting native sawlogs that is chipped, it is the next generations building and furniture timber.
Fact 28.
Establishing niten plantations is not about growing sustainable quality timber, for local communities, it is about growing pulp wood trees for a monopoly.
Fact 29.
Dangerous Poisons which are banned in some other countries are used on and around plantations, poisons that can enter waterways and drinking water.
Fact 30.
A probable fact. Niten plantations have been stopped in state forest, because it appears, besides biodiversity issues, planting native species (though not a mixture, as was previously there) in the near future is expected to reap more money as carbon credits than wood chips. The likely scenario is although there are plenty of plantations which can feed the pulp mill, the guise of clearing more state forest to feed the mill (much just to keep it running) will also give the opportunity to replant back to native species, thus earning the extra bonus cash from carbon credits. Based on past performance, the set-up will likely see the public again being the loser.  FT has NOT been a big wealth creator for the state. BUT Gunns DOES buy mansions, vineyards and farm after farm after farm. Take a visit to one of many such places in N/W Tas, Wilmot, and see for yourself. (and the property’s for sale in between).
Fact 31.
Pulp to make paper can be sourced from much less destructive sources. 75% of the timber is wasted to retrieve just 25% of the required product. The pulp industry does not need so much lower grade, short fibre pulp destroying Tasmania’s important biodiversity and carbon sink forests.
Fact 32.
Pulp plantations have never been about jobs or the economy, it’s about greed – a money and land grab, and winning at all cost. If so wealth creating why is this industry so constantly propped up with public funds?
Fact 33.
This forest industry has not been saw log driven, it has been pulp wood plantation driven, the current push for the biggest mill in the world tells us that fact.
Fact 34.
Hardwood, (short fibre) based pulp mills, are the “cheaper” version pulp mills. Establishing such a huge, eventually, to be mainly niten based (though yet to be proven) pulp mill, is not because the environment can sustain it, it is because pulp mills have to be big to get the finance. As per the Center for International Forestry Research document:
Financing Pulp Mills - An appraisal of risk assessment and safeguard procedures - PDF REPORT HERE
Commercial financings
@ 3.3.1
"Size is a principal criterium for market access, and this is true even for new projects. E.M. Capital increased the size of its proposed mill in Estonia from 210,000 tonnes per annum to 500,000 tonnes per annum because the former figure was too small to attract financing. The mill never materialised, and the plan was formally abandoned in 2004 because the company could not find an operating partner. However, the message about size is clear.”
Key Findings
"Principally recognised as a manufacturing investment, pulp mills have a much broader impact on their environment as a result of the fibre they consume. The irreversible nature of pulp mill investments mean that the utmost effort should be made to structure the project correctly from the start.”
Unique nature of pulp mills
"Pulp mills are highly capital intensive investments that are generally made in locations close to a fibre resource, as opposed to in highly industrialised locales, close to ports and large pools of labour. They will often be the single largest investment in a wide area, unless there is a competitor upstream. Their operations will impact on the environment, in terms of demand for fibre, land and water, and in terms of increased traffic flows. A previously tranquil locale will be turned into a factory site, with significant impact on the surrounding environment. For some this spells opportunity, others find their livelihoods threatened without having the ability to adapt. When pulp mills are established in countries with low levels of relevant regulation that properly takes care of net negative beneficiaries, or where the implementation of these regulations may not be effective, they can cause considerable harm. This, combined with their de-facto irreversible nature calls for great care in their planning and establishment.”
The ultimate fact:
This current forest industry is imploding upon itself, NOT because of environmentalists, conservationists, the greens, concerned citizens. It is destroying itself because it spent more money and time trying to sell spin and dodgy facts for a very small number of greedy people than living up to its rhetoric. In trying to knee jerk reaction save itself, these super dopey forest destroyers are now bumbling and stumbling with hypocritical punch and Judas zeal, over how to change its tack in continuing to blind the public to the facts. But until there is integrity, some truthful facts from the key players running this industry, or a massive push by concerned citizens to hold the Government accountable, Tasmania will continue to be sacrificed, just add up the facts.