Tiwi Islands – Northern Territory

Archive for the ‘Great Southern’ Category

Tiwi Bombers logs

Posted by tiwiccbb on October 22, 2009


Bombers ask for patience as oval issues dealt with

NT News

October 21st 2009

Bombers chairman Allan McGill has called for patience as Tiwi Oval on Bathurst Island continues to be developed as an NTFL venue.

McGill was responding to criticism of the oval surface after home games against St Marys and Waratahs.

Most of the criticism centres around the hardness of the ground and several uneven areas.

A chronic lack of shade and proper changeroom facilities have also been a problem.

“I think people have to understand we are still developing the ground after its $1.5 million upgrade,” McGill said.

“I agree the surface is hard and we’ll be talking to the shire about that.

“It obviously needs more watering but that will have to be paid for so we’ll have to discuss that with them. The shade is definitely a problem, even though we’ve erected some bush-type shelters around the ground on matchdays.

“There were 20 trees planted around the oval that don’t seem to be doing too well, so we will have to start them again.”

McGill said there was an offer from a prospective sponsor to erect permanent sail-type shades at the ground.

Those plans include using logs from the Tiwi Islands as the foundation for the shadecloth.

McGill agreed the changeroom facilities were not ideal, but conceded not a lot could be done in the immediate future.

Visiting clubs change at a school near the oval while the Tiwi side has access to the swimming pool and its rooms.

“We don’t have the money as a club so it will have to come from somewhere else,” he said.

“But it’s important to note we are only in our second season of hosting matches and third game overall, so there will be changes.”


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Ian Macdonald – tiwi college Oct 09

Posted by tiwiccbb on October 7, 2009

Reference: Forestry and mining operations on the Tiwi Islands

On Page  17,  Senator  Ian MacDonald implies that Great Southern funding or “forestry money” built Tiwi College. In fact , the College with its very few students, its turbulent and troubled short history and staff of non tiwi Christian evangelists, was funded by the Federal Govt  – up to at least $15 million since 2007. The money was given to the college on (mad) Mal Brough’s controversial condition that Nguiu TOs on Bathurst Island signed a 99 year lease for their town.


Reference: Forestry and mining operations on the Tiwi Islands

“Senator IAN MACDONALD- …The Tiwi Islanders have got money out of Great Southern. In fact we saw a school they built out of forestry money. So long as things happened, the Tiwi Islanders were happy with the deal that they had struck and they had had very good advice from very good lawyers andothers in relation to that….”



Tiwi College Construction

The Australian Government has contributed $13.9 million towards the construction of a new community managed boarding college for 200 secondary students across Year 7 to Year 12 in the Tiwi Islands, to be located at Pickertaramoor, Melville Island.


more recently in 2009


Tiwi College MELVILLE ISLAND Library $850,000.00


http://www.ntacc.com.au/acction/ACCtion_Jun07_web.pdfNTACC FUNDING

Great News for the Tiwis
$743,764 approved for the Tiwi College Resource Centre
Funding has been granted to the Tiwi Land Council to establish
a quality regional residential College to improve the educational
outcomes of young Tiwi people.
The site chosen for the College is Pickertaramoor which is central
to Melville Island.
Over the next five years it will develop into the fourth largest
community on the island, and will be the centre for regional
commerce, enterprise, and health delivery, in additional to
education and training. The College, once established is to be
a major employer of Tiwi people and form the basis for the
revitalisation of Tiwi culture.
This project is linked to a Shared Responsibility Agreement with
the NT Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination.


As for “forestry money” going towards the school, who would know? if you read the transcripts Tiwi Senate Hearings – Melville Is, Darwin, Canberra 2009
you will also gather that there is no way of knowing, for Tiwi people or investigators where the “forestry money” (lease payments) went after entering TLC coffers.


Ian MacDonald has been involved with the Tiwi Forestry project since at least 2003 as Federal Forestry  Minister. eg…

Tiwi Islands to host final forestry strategy workshop

Posted Tue Sep 2, 2003 3:01pm AEST
Updated Tue Sep 2, 2003 3:02pm AEST

Pirlangimpi on the Tiwi Islands will tomorrow host the final consultation workshop of the Federal Government’s National Indigenous Forestry Strategy.

Federal Forestry Minister Ian Macdonald says the strategy is jointly run by the Department of Forestry and ATSIC.

He says it is designed to boost the involvement of Indigenous people in the sector.

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

Tiwi CEO John Hicks says $80 million needed Oct 09

Posted by tiwiccbb on October 6, 2009

Lex Hall | October 06, 2009

Article from:  The Australian

TRADITIONAL owners on the Northern Territory’s Tiwi Islands are looking for new investors to support a $275 million forestry project that environmentalists say is a white elephant.

Prior to its collapse earlier this year, forestry group Great Southern Plantations ran the 30,000ha acacia forest on Melville Island, north of Darwin.

Receivers McGrath Nichol last week ended their lease agreement, handing control of the $275m asset to the Tiwi Land Trust.

The project, seen by some as a means of beating welfare dependency, is now in the hands of Tiwi landowners, who will manage the project for the next four years.

Despite the withdrawal of support from a banking consortium last month, Tiwi Land Council chief executive John Hicks said global demand for woodchips indicated the scheme was “clearly a viable operation”. “We have got it debt-free,” Mr Hicks said. “And it has a minimal rate of return of between 15 and 30 per cent.”

The plantations will be harvested on decade-long cycles and landowners now have title to all fixed assets, including the camp headquarters, sewerage farm, port infrastructure, and airstrips. The TLC estimates it will need $80m to manage the plantation to maturity in 2013 and fix the Melville Island wharf so the trees can be exported.

Mr Hicks said at least 15 private investors had indicated they were prepared to support the group in the run-up to the first harvest in 2013.

Mr Hicks said the 20 staff on the operation had been retained and that the plant had the potential to create 660 jobs in associated industries.

He said he was also hopeful of securing $500,000 a year in commonwealth funding for controlled burning and other maintenance work that needed to be carried out.

The controversial venture has already fallen victim to a cyclone and Great Southern was last year ordered to pay $4m for breaching environmental guidelines.

NT Environment Centre head Stuart Blanch questioned the viability of the project, saying it “stinks like a white elephant”. Mr Blanch said Tiwi islanders should knock down the plantation and return the land to natural bush to try to gain an income from a future carbon trading scheme and tourism.

“There are other opportunities for indigenous people to make money — and destroying the land isn’t one of them.”

The Australian Plantation Products & Paper Industry Council said the plantation had the potential to return a profit. APPPIC manager of plantation investment Alan Cummine said that despite the global slowdown there was still demand for acacia products.

“The species that’s being grown by the Tiwi islanders, acacia mangium, is the main species that’s used by the Indonesian paper and pulp industry, which actually supplies a lot of Australia’s photocopy paper.

“So it’s recognised pulpwood species for quality paper production.”

Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research director Jon Altman said the Tiwi needed to explore all options for those living on the islands.

“If they have undertaken due diligence and see existing plantations as an unencumbered prospect then they should pursue it,” Professor Altman said. “But with realism, not as some silver bullet for Tiwi disadvantage.”

A spokeswoman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin declined to say whether the government would contribute to the scheme.

“The Australian government believes the future of the Tiwi forests is a matter for the Tiwi Land Council to negotiate with potential alternative operators in the private sector,” the spokeswoman said.


..McGrathNicol… October 5th, 2009

“…The Tiwi Island operations are commercially unviable. The operating costs and capital expenditure requirements are extremely high. As we have been without funding for the Tiwi Island operations from 30 September 2009, we have commenced cessation of these operations. We also wrote to the landlords, the Tiwi Land Council, on 30 September 2009 advising that we will not be accepting any liability for the lease costs from 30 September 2009.
On 1 October 2009 the Tiwi Land Council terminated all head leases on the Tiwi Islands, relying on a clause contained in the head leases which entitled the landlord to terminate in the event of the insolvency of GSMAL. As a result of the termination of the head leases, investors with woodlots located on the Tiwi Islands will no longer have a licence or sub-lease in relation to their woodlot.
There is a high risk that the exercise of this right by the Tiwi Land Council will mean the loss of the Scheme timber on that land and any future harvest proceeds for investors.
A list of woodlots located on the Tiwi Islands has been posted on the investor portal (http://investors.great-southern.com.au). If you have not registered for the portal, please refer to the Great Southern website http://www.great-southern.com.au/investoronlineaccess.aspx) which details how to register.
Any investors with woodlots on the Tiwi Islands must carefully make their own assessment of the issues outlined in the Circular and should consider seeking independent legal advice. In particular, investors may want to obtain legal advice as to their ability to obtain a court order reinstating a terminated lease, subject to any conditions the court sees fit to impose.
Should you have any questions please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the Great Southern website (www.great-southern.com.au). Alternatively, specific questions may be emailed to gsp@great-southern.com.au or to fm-gs@mcgrathnicol.com or you may call the Investor Hotline on 1800 258 348…”

Posted in Abetz, Blogroll, buffer, Christine Milne, environment, Global initiative on Forests and Climate, Great Southern, Howard, Indigenous, Landclearing, Northern Territory, Rudd, Tiwi Islands, Tiwi Red, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

DAFF approval of tiwi forest project under Ian MacDonald always excessive

Posted by tiwiccbb on September 25, 2009





Sites above contain endless company propaganda copy pasted and disseminated by Senator Ian MacDonald’s previous dept DAFF  for the failed Tiwi Forest “Project” (ie; 300sq kms of irreplaceable old growth Tiwi forests rapidly clear felled over 4 years under Ian MacDonald’s watch – for what…?)

from Tiwi Senate Hearings 2009 see site:  http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/S12232.pdf
“Senator IAN MACDONALD—Senator Troeth has clarified some of the issues. As you
gentlemen would know, I was the Minister for Forestry and Conservation and I was surprised at the Darwin hearings to be told that our department had put lots of money into it and very significantly supported it, but I think you have confirmed to Senator Troeth that the department of forestry had no financial involvement in this project. Is that correct?
Mr Quinlivan—Yes, that is correct.
Senator IAN MACDONALD—I seem to recall that I actually visited it as minister for forestry, and I was very, very supportive of what I think is a great project, but there was an allegation made that:
The department of forestry put out regular newsletters extolling how fantastic the Tiwi forestry project was and how it was setting a shining, new model for forestry activities on Indigenous lands in Northern Australia and how it was producing millions of dollars of benefits for traditional owners, including through the sale of logs to Asia.
I certainly hope we did that and that we were supporting it, but my recollection is that perhaps it was in a departmental newsletter once or twice but that there was no long involvement of the department in the Tiwi Islands forestry project. Do you recall?… ”


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

Tiwi low quality Plantations Face Grim Future September 09

Posted by tiwiccbb on September 14, 2009


Future grim for Tiwi plantation


September 11th, 2009

THE Tiwi forestry plantation seems doomed to collapse after a banking consortium withdrew support yesterday.

Great Southern ran the enterprise until it went bust earlier this year.

The Tiwi Land Council had hoped to find a new operator and keep the plantation going.

But the banking consortium – CBA, ANZ, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Bank of Western Australia – said it would only support the project until September 30.

Land council chairman Robert Tipungwuti accused the banks of being “cents-wise, dollar-dumb”.

He said the price of woodchips on the world market guaranteed the banks would ultimately “realise their investment”.

Mr Tipungwuti said the 30,000ha forest was now in danger of being wiped out by bushfires.

“The Tiwi forest is different to the other Great Southern projects,” Mr Tipungwuti said. “It is on Aboriginal land.

“Since the receivers were appointed, Tiwi people have worked with technical experts – formerly Great Southern employees – to maintain the environment through fire and weed control.

“This small and effective team should be left in place during the rest of the fire season and throughout the following wet season, for both environmental and financial reasons.”

The Environment Centre said the business model for the forestry was based on tax breaks and harvesting high-value eucalypts, not on woodchips.

Co-ordinator Stuart Blanch said: “Locals tell us the variety of acacia seed used was wrong, the trees haven’t been pruned enough … and there isn’t enough rainfall during the dry season to get the year-round growth needed.”

“We think there are more jobs in returning the plantation to bush than trying to keep a white elephant afloat,” he said.

Posted in buffer, Christine Milne, environment, Global initiative on Forests and Climate, Great Southern, Howard, Indigenous, Landclearing, Northern Territory, Rudd, Tiwi Islands, Tiwi Red | 2 Comments »