Tiwi Islands – Northern Territory

Archive for October, 2007

Crikey – 5 October 2007

Posted by laurenmellor83 on October 8, 2007

14. Melville Island forestry: Rainforest? What rainforest?

By Charles Roche, who is actively opposed to landclearing for plantations in Australia, and works on the issue for the Environment Centre of the Northern Territory

Great Southern Plantations may want to blame “mapping technology” for some of its breaches of landclearing regulations on Melville Island (as Crikey reported yesterday), but perhaps it should just learn how to count.

Condition 3 of the Commonwealth approval for the landclearing and plantation establishment states: The proponents will not undertake future clearing on treeless plains, riparian areas, water courses, or rainforests, and the following buffers are incorporated into site selection

  • wet rainforest patches: 400m

A recent site inspection (September 2007) clearly shows that condition three has been breached. Clearing has occurred within 200m of the high conservation value small rainforest patches. The photo below is from Melville Island and clearly show the 200m blunder. If you want to find where Great Southern went wrong then go to Google Earth and find 0668514, 8729476 or S11 o 29’21.1, E 130 o 32’41.9. Maybe the decision to ignore the condition and clear anyway was also made by an unskilled backpacker. Click here to see where the Tiwi islands are and see an older, similar breach.

It will be interesting to see what penalty is handed out for these flagrant breaches and whether Great Southern will be given permission to clear the additional 40,000 hectares they are seeking. And if anyone is wondering who supports this project, the Howard Government are fully supportive of the landclearing operation even though they oppose similar operations in the Pacific, but the Rudd opposition has yet to declare a position either way. More info at http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=033ce412-9ac4-49b4-9b83-31eb094b3c15&rid=fcf87d17-8e24-443a-a90c-72785cbca39c

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Posted in environment, Global initiative on Forests and Climate, Great Southern, Howard, Indigenous, Landclearing, Northern Territory, Rudd, Tiwi Islands | Leave a Comment »

Crikey – 4 October 2007

Posted by laurenmellor83 on October 8, 2007

3. Praise the woodchips and pass the backpackers

Darwin insider Henri Ivrey writes:Australia’s largest promoter of forestry-based Managed Investment Schemes—Great Southern Plantations—has been using unskilled foreign backpackers to carry out land clearing operations in sensitive savannah forests on Melville Island. According to the ABC’s Background Briefing, Great Southern is now facing prosecution by Commonwealth authorities over substantial breaches of federal environmental conditions on its wood chipping operation. The breaches include failure to comply with the 11 conditions former federal environment minister Robert Hill imposed on the project.In the ABC program, Great Southern blames “mapping technology” to explain why it bulldozed sensitive buffer zones approaching rain forest pockets.

A backpacker’s travel blog suggests otherwise.Writing his travel diary (see among others here), Birmingham lad Niki Maguire recounts his employment as an unskilled “land evaluation officer” by Great Southern Plantations for six months this year, after arriving in Darwin with only “$15 to my name”. He obviously had the time of his life, but in recounting his traveller’s tales, he reveals an approach to managing the Tiwi traditional lands that don’t meet the company’s rhetoric. From the last day of March:Hey guys! Well its finally Happened. The reason i flew into the Northern Territory has worked out for me and I have landed a job on Melville island a hundred times better than I thought I would have! There was me thinking I’d be doing the typical Planting and picking of fruit that most backpackers do but instead I have taken a step up the ladder and onto the steps of Agricultural Planning. I’m top of the food Chain Baby mooooooooooooohahahahaha xXx

An ecstatic Niki goes on:… the week started out with the basic sorting of sites we would visit for the week as possibilities only due to excessive rainfall on the island! … The Monday and Tuesday were a little bit bit different for me! Usually, as I’m not qualified I get to go out with Rob and make a few decisions based on wether the ground or the routes for the walk are good enough for the day but the Monday in question I was as good as in charge! I went out with a guy called Chris who knows what he’s doing but is as new to it as me (but with Qualifications). So off we go in the Troopy (jeep) to this site up in the middle of the island called Andra 12 where we were to walk the typical 10km in search of rainforest through the creeks!! The day went great and I got to make the route decisions which is cool as I’ve only been here 14 days working! … The second day was pretty much the same going back to the same site but this time with Rob I guess to check how we had got on!! On our say so from the day before we had almost as good as rejected the block but we needed official checking! OOOOoh and we got it!! My first Rejection … and let me tell you it doesn’t happen often hahah i wish!!Read the full story on our website

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Posted in environment, Global initiative on Forests and Climate, Great Southern, Howard, Landclearing, Northern Territory, Rudd, Tiwi Islands, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »