Mood: don't ask
Last Saturday the Sydney Morning Herald reported this, quoting:
Mr Rudd and his environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, have been under pressure from Mr Lennon, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the logging industry to water down the party's draft forestry policy.
They want them to remove a clause giving a future Labor government the option of protecting more of Tasmania's old-growth forests.
But as Mr Garrett is likely to lose his bid to stop the party abolishing its policy not to allow new uranium mines, Mr Rudd was not going to allow him to be defeated on forests as well.
Mr Lennon told Mr Rudd that reducing logging would affect thousands of jobs and families and he did not want a repeat of events in the 2004 election campaign, when the former leader Mark Latham gave him 20 minutes' notice of the logging policy.
The uranium mining issue will be resolved today, and Mr Rudd, who wants the no-new-mines policy abolished, is expected to win.
There were concerns yesterday that if delegates broke ranks with their factions, Mr Rudd could be defeated by a Left-led push. "We need to back off," joked one Left source, wary of the consequences of rolling the leader so close to an election.
It is expected that between 180 and 190 of the 397 delegates will vote to retain the policy.
Mr Howard called the debate part of "the ritualistic phoney war of a Labor Party national conference".
In Challenger casts fight as generational battle - National - smh.com.au p5, 28-29 April 2007
Then next working day Monday we heard a strong reliance by ascendant Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd, being the awesome intellect that he is, on the science underpinning the forest protection question in Tasmania, which is the only ethical approach to take at this critical time in history, quoting here with bold added in places:
CHRIS UHLMANN: Alright, to another issue your platform calls for the further protection of old growth forests in Tasmania. When will you and Peter Garrett start campaigning on that and will a single new tree be protected under what you did on the weekend?
KEVIN RUDD: Well, we're confident that we've got the balance right in this policy. I don't think we got the balance right in the last election and I think the people of Tasmania know that. I've already admitted that we made a mistake there.
When it comes to when we'll campaign in Tassie, look I haven't sat down with Peter yet and worked that out. But we'll be down there over the coming months I'm sure.
On the question of conservation, our policy is absolutely clear-cut. We support the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement, we support the so-called RFA (Regional Forest Agreement) process, and we support conservation measures, which are contained within those processes, and we're confident that we can find...
CHRIS UHLMANN: So, contained within those processes, so you're not looking at any new trees in Tasmania, you're talking about those trees which have yet to be protected by existing agreements, there's nothing new in this.
KEVIN RUDD: What we believe we can do, through a proper scientific process articulated through those agreements, and through the methods, which are explained within those processes, identify appropriate areas for conservation over time.
But there is a proper scientific process to be gone through there. You can't simply stand outside the process, point at it and say, "Well, independently, unilaterally we're going to decide to either knock that over or protect this".
It's got to be done scientifically, there is a scientific method alive within the RFAs, and that is a process that I'm happy to support.
CHRIS UHLMANN: Kevin Rudd thank you.
Purely by chance we have been lucky to re access this priceless and historic policy statement of Australia’s cream of forest scientists just before the October 2004 election. It was part of the Earthbeat programme on Radio National axed by the ABC soon after re election of the Howard Govt in early 2005, and this particular document was lost from its sparse record of that program. A copy was contained on this writer's post on the Sydney Indy Media website which has recently become accessible again, when I thought it had been lost to the political community. The IMC post extracting the Earthbeat summary is extracted here in full with the scientists statement quoted in full, again bold added:
Submitted by via ecology action Tue, 21/09/2004 - 09:13
A group of 100 environmental scientists is calling for
high conservation forests in Tasmania to be protected, in comparison for instance to the alleged scientific approach of WWF subject of a post yesterday. Transcript still on the way but if you go to this link you can listen again ..
Saturdays at 8.30am, repeated Mondays at 2.30pm
Presented by Alexandra de Blas
More Scientists for Forests
Saturday 18 September 2004
A group of 100 environmental scientists is calling for
high conservation forests in Tasmania to be protected.
Guests on this program:
Professor Tony Norton
Head of Geospatial Science
Statement of support for change on Tasmania's forests
Presenter: Alexandra de Blas
Producer: Jackie May
Statement of support for change on Tasmania's forests
9 September 2004
The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is widely perceived in the scientific community to have failed to deliver the intended protection for environmental, wilderness and heritage values that state and federal governments committed to when they signed the National Forest Policy in 1992.
The scientific processes in the Tasmanian RFA were overwhelmed by political compromises. Established criteria for forest conservation were not fully applied. There are large areas of high conservation value forest that would have been reserved if the RFA criteria for forest conservation had been fully applied.
Logging practices and the conversion of native forests to plantations have intensified in the seven years since the signing of the RFA, resulting in record volumes of export wood chip production. This intensification, combined with the well-documented inadequacies of the conservation reserve system (exemplified by the large areas of unlogged Eucalyptus regnans tall open-forest that remain unprotected) has produced highly modified forested landscapes with diminished landscape values.
There is an urgent need for Commonwealth government intervention to significantly improve the forest reserve system and to adequately protect landscape values. We believe that the conversion of native forests to plantations is highly undesirable, and is contrary to the spirit of the RFA, the National Plantations Policy, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Australian Forestry Standard.
In light of the extensive changes that have occurred in many of the most productive forest ecosystems in Tasmania, we believe that the reserve system should be significantly extended to include all high conservation value forests.
Professor Tim Bonyhady FAAH FSSA, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Professor Ralf Buckley, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD
Professor Mark Burgman, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Professor David Gillieson, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD
Professor Richard Hobbs FAAS, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA
Professor Peter Kershaw, Monash University, Clayton, VIC
Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick AM, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Professor Charles J Krebs, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT
Professor Tony Norton, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Professor Harry Recher AM, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA
Professor Jann Williams, LaTrobe University, Bendigo, VIC
Associate Professor Jeremy Bruhl, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW
Associate Professor Brendan Mackey, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Associate Professor Nick Reid, University of New England, Armidale, NSW
Dr Deborah Rose FASSA (Senior Fellow), The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Dr Matthew Appleby, Tea Tree, TAS
Dr Colin Arrowsmith, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Dr Geoff Bedford, Cremorne, NSW
Dr Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Dr Kirsten Benkendorff, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
Dr Joe Benshemesh, Alice Springs, NT
Dr Sandra Berry, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Dr Mark Breitfuss, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, QLD
Dr Karl E C Brennan, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA
Dr Don Driscoll, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
Dr Alaric Fisher, Jingili, NT
Dr David Fraser, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Dr David Green, Rosny Park, TAS
Dr Ron Grenfell, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Dr Graeme Hastwell, CRC for Australian Weed Management, Brisbane, QLD
Dr Robert Henzell, Uraidla, SA
Dr Andrew B Hingston, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Dr Amy Jansen, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Dr Simon Jones, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Dr David Keith, Wildlife Research Institute, Sydney, NSW
Dr Dylan Korczynskyj, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA
Dr Michelle Leishman, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW
Dr Gary Luck, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW
Dr Gang-Jun Liu, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Dr Michael McCarthy, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC0
Dr Tein McDonald, Woodburn, NSW
Dr Peter McQuillan, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Dr Silke Nebel, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW
Dr Kirsten Parris, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC
Dr S. "Topa" Petit, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA
Dr Emma Pharo, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Dr Pieter Poot, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA
Dr Lynda Prior, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT
Dr Libby Robin, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Dr Jonathan Stark, Fern Tree, TAS
Dr Alan Stewart, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW
Dr Barbara Stewart, Mullumbimby, NSW
Dr Elizabeth Tasker, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW
Dr Fleur Tiver, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA
Dr Arn Tolsma, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC
Dr Rodney van der Ree, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Dr Steven Ward, Mortdale, NSW
Dr Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Mr Keith Breheny, Midway Point, TAS
Mr Christopher M Carr, Armidale, NSW
Mr Oberon Carter, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC
Mr Yung En Chee, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Mr Paul Finn, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD
Mr Garry Germon, Gloucester, NSW
Mr Tim Heard, CSIRO Entomology, Indooroopilly, QLD
Mr John Hibberd, Kestel Reserch Pty Ltd, Wapengo via Bega, NSW
Mr Daniel Hunter, Dhurringile, VIC
Mr Boris Lomov, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
Mr Michael McBain, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC
Mr Wieslawa Misiak, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Mr Julian Reid, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT
Mr Paul Rymer, Woolloomooloo, NSW
Mr Matthew Sheehan, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS
Mr Phil Spark, Tamworth, NSW
Mr Garon Staines, Terrigal, NSW
Mr Paul Thomas, Lawson, NSW
Mr Christopher van Buggenum, Thirroul, NSW
Ms Rose Andrew, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Ms Janet Cohn, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW
Ms Nicole Cranston, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT
Ms Naomi Davis, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Ms Kate Hammill, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW
Ms Jane Jelbart, University of Western Sydney, Avoca Beach, NSW
Ms Melinda Laidlaw, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD
Ms Deborah Landenberger, University of Newcastle, Elermore Vale, NSW
Ms Samantha Lloyd, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW
Ms Nicky Meeson, Midway Point, TAS
Ms Maggie Nightingale, Alice Springs, NT
Ms Shirley Pipitone, Flynn, ACT
Ms Catherine Pohlman, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD
Ms Frances Quinn, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW
Ms Sally Radford, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW
Ms Elizabeth Rickwood, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Ms Karen Ross, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW
Ms Monica Ruibal, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Ms Libby Rumpff, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Ms Justine Shaw, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
Ms Andrea White, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC
Ms Joanna Willmott, Kurrajong, NSW
Ms Jesse McCoullough, Albion Park, NSW
Miss Amanda Nascimento, Port Kembla, NSW
Contact: Professor Tony Norton ph.(03) 9925-3279; fax.(03) 9663-2517
Postscript#1: A prediction: Ruthless Rudd has been very pragmatic over the disgrace of old growth logging, but depending on how the vote goes in the federal election later this year the hammer blow on brutish logger unionist Michael O'Connor is simply delayed from this writer's point of view: More here 3/4 of the way through this 1 hour abc radio link: 2nd May 2007, Radio National, Breakfast.
One of the casualties of the ALP Conference was any policy born under the leadership of Mark Latham – and that included his Tasmanian forestry policy.
Labor concedes that Latham's approach probably cost the party two Tasmanian seats at the last election.
Now Labor is backing the Howard government's regional forest agreement in Tasmania. This is an agreement that preserves a large amount of old growth forest but allows logging and a viable timber industry.
The policy shift by Labor has pleased the forestry union, the CFMEU, which famously backed John Howard at the last election.
With the two major parties in lockstep on forests, it has been left to the Greens to argue for more preservation of old-growth forests.
Gordon Taylor reports."