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  1. David Obendorf’s timeline very clearly illustrates   the REAL story is the ongoing cover-up by DDPIW and the State Government on allowing this study to proceed in the first place, allowing the data to be published, allowing any toxicologists to review it and the broad implication for Tasmanian Clean, Green
    Pristine rhetoric!

    And what about David’s last paragraph: “It is noteworthy that the devils in the region where the facial cancer was thought to have begun were not sampled (i.e. far NE Tasmania.”

    Would that have been just TOO revealing for this astonishing Third World myxo-riddled-rabbit-in-the-spotlight-led Lennon Labor government?

    Oh, god help us!

    Posted by Henry Melville  on  24/01/08  at  08:04 AM
  2. Is it true that these fire-retardants are used as wetting/binding agents for the application of the pesticides?

    Posted by christopher Purcell  on  24/01/08  at  09:18 AM
  3. The interesting issues here are (1) when does the suppression of info on threats to public health or the environment become a criminal offence and (2) does the suppression have a motive beyond concealment of government’s own negligence or ineptitude?

    It could also be the case that deviousness and dereliction may become automatic and unpremeditated responses with continuous repetition over extended periods.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john Hayward  on  24/01/08  at  11:08 AM
  4. 1.

        So called experts in the past tried to pull the wool over our eyes in regards to the (devil tumours) stating that it was because they were biting one another, well these hardy little buggers have been biting one another for thousands of bloody years and never wiped themselves out ! and once more bares testimony that human intervention via chemicals etc are the cause.
        The federal govt need to be lobbied forcefully into investigating the practice,s of the timber industry in regards to their use of same ,whilst shutting down immediately all work by Gunn,s ltd in regards to the pulp mill ,if not forever, then at least until this matter is cleared up.


    Posted by don davey  on  24/01/08  at  04:22 PM
  5. Reject terminology that softens or masks the reality of what is being done to all the species, including human, that inhabit this island. Referring to some of the most extreme bio-toxins (PCB’s) on this earth as ‘fire retardants’ is a case in point.

    Water is a fire retardant. So when PCB’s get into our water supply do we say: fire retardant has just got into our fire retardant?

    Posted by Bob McMahon  on  24/01/08  at  04:40 PM
  6. The detection of polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the body fat of Tasmanian devils should be yet another prompt to this State Government to implement environmental toxicology monitoring as the essential pre-requisite underpinning Tasmania’s clean, green & pristine image.

    For too long the processes of Government have been reactive to emerging diseases disasters in our wildlife populations, a situation that now is threatening so many species - devils, platypus and frogs. The consequences of chronic exposure to persistent organic chemicals combined with some disease-causing organisms are now being more closely considered. The adverse health effects of the persistent organic pollutants - chemicals that we are all insidiously exposed to in an increasingly consumerist world - can no longer be denied.  The detection of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, furans and PBDEs residues in high food chain animals is perhaps an inevitable trend of the accelerating pollution from human activities.

    Dubiously Tasmania is now a world leader in unusual and newly discovered wildlife diseases and yet paradoxically it also markets its dairy foods, sea foods, wine and meat on the basis purity & low or no chemical residues.

    In today’s world, consumers demand food safety information supported by chemical residue testing. Elected governments have a duty to mandate those safety standards and implement the monitoring. I call on the State and Commonwealth Government to take these toxicology findings in the Tasmanian devil very seriously and review the monitoring of chemical residues of the whole range of human foods including recreationally harvested and farmed foods.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  24/01/08  at  05:30 PM
  7. Surprise! surprise! surprise!

    Big agribusiness industry is allowed to spray very toxic pesticides over 100s of kilometres of Tasmanian communities and forests.  For decades, despite repeated pleas and demands for change by residents. Despite such culpability being breach of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and other guidelines, laws and regulations.

    The chemicals are KNOWN to drift into drinking water, creeks, rivers, streams.  They are KNOWN to be building up in the bodies of people and animals.  They are KNOWN to be closely linked to the emergence of wide range of diseases.

    Yet we have the Tasmanian Liberal leader and the Director of Public Health feigning ignorance that they didn’t expect to find these dangerous toxins at such extremely dangerous levels in the Tassie Devils.  Vomit!

    This story is really a reflection of the failure of our legal system.  That not one ordinary citizen (that I know of) found it possible to take legal action against public ‘regulator’ thugs that were clearly in breach of their duty of care.

    Pesticide Abuse in Tasmania

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  24/01/08  at  06:25 PM
  8. If it is true that these fire-retardant chemicals are used commonly as wetting or binding agents in the aerial spraying of insecticides onto monoculture plantations, such as euc. nitens, then research will probably show a link between the DFT and current forest practices in this state. I wonder how far the government will go to try and supress or delay any research into a possible link. I think this is scandalous, and all stops should be pulled out to find real answers - not just buck-passing and fobbing off.

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  24/01/08  at  09:45 PM
  9. The international interest in this and ecotoxicological issues relevant to the Tasmanian Devil is huge. Yet again our ‘clean and green’ State is being dragged / pushed into the limelight for reasons that it would prefer to avoid. The potential for human health to also be affected by these toxicants is undeniable, yet again the questions outnumber the answers, yet again there is almost no local (State) research into disease incidences and causes for these diseases.

    Prevention is better than cure and a holistic approach to public (ecosystem) health is desperately needed.

    This is now a social justice issue.

    Posted by alison bleaney  on  24/01/08  at  10:00 PM
  10. “The “Australian” yesterday revealed the chemicals, linked to thyroid and reproductive disorders and cancers, had been found at what experts described as high levels in wild devils. Wildlife biologists yesterday called for further work to determine whether the chemicals, used in computers, white goods and carpets, could be a trigger for, or a factor in, the spread of the tumour disease plaguing devils.”

    The above is all very well, however Devils don,t use carpet, nor use computers or watch television and it remains obvious to this scribe that the problem stems from the drinking water !  and the use of 1080 in order to erradicate the fox population (which after millions of dollars having been wasted has returned NO proof that such exist ) so JUST WHEN is the govt going to address the use of chemicals and pesticides by those such as the timber industry in this state, or do we humans have to contract these terrible tumours and other disorders ( if not already doing so) before ANYTHING is addressed regarding this tragedy.
                      Don Davey\
                        32 eardley st
                      03 63431531

      The old saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword”  is true the above letter and others similar by others i send to over 40 newspapers around the country, now! i dont know exactly how many contributors to this site exist ! but if we all did the same i believe there would be a positive result in time, as this and other issues need to be “out there” before the Australian public at large, also i know that my letters have been often printed ,because “google” tells me so.


    Posted by don davey  on  25/01/08  at  07:37 AM
  11. Hmmm, carcinogenic chemicals in body fats.

    Fats in milk.

    Tasmanian mammals.

    Chemicals in fats in milk and passed onto the next generation.

    Scientists only studying the genetics.

    Posted by Mark  on  25/01/08  at  10:53 AM
  12. Re #2, what is the basis for the question, ie do you have reason to believe that might be true, or are you just speculating?

    Re #4, at the time the disease first appeared there were many people claiming it was caused directly by 1080 (ie that devils were getting it because they were ingesting 1080).  This theory was obviously incorrect for very many reasons (which didn’t stop some posters to this site for flaming me for debunking it) and over time it was determined that the disease spreads contagiously from devil to devil.  Biting alone does not cause the disease, but transmits it, without which it would not have persisted.  Devils may well have experienced population crashes transmitted in the same manner before although the evidence for previous population crashes isn’t watertight in the absence of a long history of population monitoring.

    We still don’t know:

    * assuming the disease developed from a single devil or small group of devils, what caused it to appear in the first place - artificial toxin? natural toxin?  random mutation?  (etc)

    * whether any manmade chemicals lower resistance to the disease, and if so which ones.

    Dr Obendorf showed the proper level of openness to a range of possible causes of the high levels of certain chemicals when he wrote:

    “Analysis of the compositional ratios of PBDE & PCB congener profiles from devils may help to identify specific commercially available products that may have been responsible for certain high residue levels in some devils. In addition to the global distribution of these POPs through atmospheric spread and localised precipitation/deposition in cooler middle and higher latitudes, the proportions of the PCB and PBDE congeners may be diagnostically useful in determining whether any specific candidate products from Tasmanian households, land management practices (refuse management; horticulture or forestry activities) or industrial processes can be incriminated in these bioaccumulations.”

    We also do not know whether these high concentrations actually have the slightest thing to do with devil disease. 

    Despite this I see the usual suspects have gone straight for their habitual adversary, forestry, and assumed it to be the likely cause when there is nowhere near enough evidence to justify that conclusion.

    Disclaimer: all posts I make here represent my own views and not necessarily those of any other entity.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  25/01/08  at  12:16 PM
  13. One solution to the parochial ‘Hear no evil, see no evil’ approach evident in this case would be to have the persistent pollutants regulated federally, as the Federal Government would have the power through international treaties such as the Stockholm Convention.

    At the federal level there would be sufficient resources to take broad samples and identify ‘hot spots’ and sources nationally with far less incentive to exempt local large employers.

    Obviously this is through the lens of a Labor federal government that believes in the common good.

    On the pulp mill, the federal government limited its concern to federal waters. Given the insidious nature of dioxins and other persistent pollutants, an all encompassing approach is clearly necessary.

    Posted by Alex Wadsley  on  25/01/08  at  12:55 PM
  14. Examiner of Jan 22nd reported that no 1080, atrazine, simazine or chlorpyrofos had been found in preliminary studies of devil carcases.
    Based on its etymology I assumed chlorpyrofos was a fire retardant, since that was the first I’d heard of it.
    Googled it later and found it was an insecticide,an organophosphate somewhat similar to Sarin, the Tokyo terrorist subway gas, produced by Dow Chemical for household use and withdrawn in 2001 following illnesses associated with its use. Regulatory authority then authorised its use for agricultural purposes only. Latest is that farmers are suing the authority since they’re getting sick too.
    It causes an influenza type illness with weakness, anorexia and malaise and delayed liver and kidney damage. Taken internally it’s highly lethal, and is also very toxic to amphibians.
    Who is using this stuff, where and in what quantities? And who authorised its use in Tasmania?

    Posted by Mike Adams  on  25/01/08  at  02:01 PM
  15. The Department of Primary Industries (DPIW), are relying on the public to report sightings, dead or alive, of Tassie Devils.
    It is hoped that Devil “hotspots” can be identified, mapped, tested and protected from facial tumour. A contact at DPIW is;

    Caroline Donnelly
    Devil Facial Tumour Disease Program
    Wildlife Management Branch
    Department of Primary Industries & Water

    Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Ph: 03 6233 2006   Fx: 03 6233 3477

    There appears to be some evidence of roadside Devil carcases being removed along road transport routes in an attempt to hide populations that might impede industry.
    It is therefor important for the Devil and Tasmania, to report sightings so that they may be independantly logged by the DPIW.
    Remember, live or dead, a report of a Devil, an odometer reading from a fixed location, can be very helpful.

    Posted by Tony Saddington  on  25/01/08  at  05:21 PM
  16. My husband, a medical doctor and trained epidemiologist, wrote to Jim Bacon when he was Premier and the Devil Facial Tumor Disease had first come to public attention, stating that it was highly likely that man made chemicals was a significant contributing factor and requesting a response from the Government as to what they were going to do about it.  He has also raised the issue at a Gunn’s AGM (that went down really well!!) To date there has been no response to his letter from the Tasmanian Government.  So they can’t hide behind the “we didn’t know” excuse.

    Posted by Lyn  on  25/01/08  at  06:11 PM
  17. Marrawah devil at 8ppmv indicates, like in Sweden, a widespread source unless all collections are proximal to leachates from waste disposal sites.

    Note the toxin levels in 2 farmed fish species and their location in the water stream/column.

    Why has it taken more than a week to pass before a wide ranging and thorough investigation into these chemical in the devil samples and the farmed fish to be announced by the government that supposedly has the role of protecting human life.

    What is the point of a government that will not act rapidly and resolutely on this. 

    Stand by for a big launch of a tourism promo.

    Yes Minister.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  26/01/08  at  07:12 AM
  18. Regardless of whether the facial disease was initiated via 1080 or insecticide spray, it nonetheless exists. Mr Davey is right, that Devils do not use carpet or computers. Mr Adams has found a link with insecticides.

    Using the Devils as an indicator species and the widespread contamination of this poison in these animals, then the most likely conclusion is that bio accumalation occurred and the likely suspects are either farms or forestry, or both.

    Delivery of this toxin, would have to be through either water or carrion.

    What this means to us, I dread to think.

    I do believe our new Environment Minister needs to be made aware of these developments and the circumstantial evidence so far.

    Posted by Sarah Toenin  on  26/01/08  at  07:17 AM
  19. So what do you suggest Dr Bonham? Keep ignoring it or putting it on the back-burner until people forget about it, or insist on properly funded, immediate and thorough research that is openly available to all to scrutinize? (Remember, these findings were hidden until someone dug them out.)Yes, people DO tend to start blaming forestry, but only because of the deviousness and secrecy that appears to be their normal way of doing things - it always appears that there is something to hide. But you, conversely seem to expound the view that they can do no wrong - not ever! You jump to their defence whenever something like this comes up. It would be interesting to know why.

    Whatever happened to the precautionary principle in Forestry? As Brenda rightly points out they have been poisoning people and water supplies willy-nilly for decades and never get more than a slap on the wrist, or sometimes the complainants are even bought off by the perpetrators. Anyway, I think the cat is pretty much out of the bag now, and current forestry practices are on borrowed time.

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  26/01/08  at  08:18 AM
  20. Re #12, fire-retardants act by coating & wrapping the target object/vegetation to be protected with agents, to ensure more complete fire protection.  If they didn’t have thickening, wetting or binding agents they would disperse, making them ineffective.

    Ask some conventional farmers; they add it to pesticides to make them ‘stick’.

    Some pesticides may actually contain these chemicals as their binding/wetting agents.  Who knows?  The additives lists of many chemicals are ‘trade secrets’ & therefore not divulged to the end users or general public.

    As to the usual suspects going “...straight for their habitual adversary, forestry…”, maybe some of these suspects are the people who have had ‘forestry’  arrogantly knock on their doors & tell them to “lock up your dogs for a few days as we are going to 1080, oh & by the way we’ll be doing some aerial spraying”. 

    It seems that the Government has had 2 years to investigate where exactly these chemicals are coming from in order to vindicate ‘forestry’ & to stop ‘the usual suspects’ from pointing the finger at its beloved ‘forestry’.

    Maybe someone could answer this; where would ‘forestry’ be without the tax incentives & government subsidies?

    Disclaimer:  I am not a chemist so more information from others who are or have further knowledge would be appreciated.

    Posted by christopher Purcell  on  26/01/08  at  08:56 AM
  21. Dr. Bonham is right to defend the forest industry. The Tasmanian forest industry is admired and supported by people worldwide for what it is doing and has done here in Tasmania. Its reputation is second to none and that isnt just coincidence. Dr. Bonham sees that.
    I just cant understand why people are so quick to blame forestry. Why is that?
    The Forest industry has always used a few poisins but it is not the only industry that deliberately poisins animals.
    Whilst one could argue that that logging and agri-forestry in Tasmania is coast to coast and that its entrenched practice of poisining the landscape is consistent and widespead it is still not the only industry to do so.
    What about the wine industry? I reckon Gunns and the Forest industry could teach the trendies in the wine industry a thing or two about using the responsible use chemicals.
    Look you wont find Dr. Bonham complaining about the way in which the Tasmanian Government regulates and monitors the use of poisins.
    He is a scientist without an axe to grind. I dont beleive he works for the government or industry and therefore he knows that in a place like Tasmania he can speak freely.
    Dr Bonham knows that our government have always kept a very close eye on Forest practices and whilst forestry work may take place out there in the bush away from the gaze of the public the forest industry can be trusted. They just cant get away with anything. They regulate themselves very carefully. They always have and if Tasmania,s animals community could speak and you asked them about poisins they would say “what poisins?”. Tasmanian wildlife just havent had the exposure to poisins that people to think to these poisins. The forest industry is very careful where they poisin. It is also very evident from Gunns CEO John Gays public comments on Tasmanian wildlife that his company Gunns have always put the welfare of Tasmanian wildlife before business. We know that. Just ask the scientists and other independent professionals who worked on the RPDC panel about the great corporate and learning attitude that this forestry company demonstrate. They will tell you Gunns can be trusted to do the right think by the environment and so can their regulators - Premier Lennon’s government. I am sure this with Gunns are a very generous company and throw an enormous amount of money at animal and huamn charities. They do this because they care. They get nothing out if it for themselves.
    The Tasmanian government have always frowned upon the use of poisins by the Forest industry and in terms of banning poisins we use worlds best practice. The Forest industry have never been given special exemptions. They cant just kill animals will-nilly. Their use of poisins and the range of poisins the industry are allowed to use is worlds best practice.
    When was the last time you heard about accidents or deaths due to forestry poisins? Never. Thats because our Government jealously guards its clean, green reputation and would immediately move to prosecute any company involved. The fact is, the Tasmanian forest industry is, an always has been at arms length from the Tasmanian government and that is why we can all sleep safe and sound in the knowledge that the industries use of poisins is safe and will not harm the people, animals or the environment.
    It is ludicrous to assume that the Tasmanian Devil FTD may have originated because of the animals exposure to chemicals used by the Tasmanian forest industry. It is just beyond me why people would jump to that conclusion.

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  26/01/08  at  09:26 AM
  22. I would also be interested as to whether there is any links with the poison in the Devil and current fungal infections attacking and killing our frogs and platypus.

    Has platypus been tested for this poison?. If it is in the waterways, it should show in their fatty tissue in high concentrations.

    Posted by Tony Saddington  on  26/01/08  at  09:38 AM
  23. The time is ripe for the down-the-track effects of these sprays, be they wetting agents, insecticides or poisons (Not ‘poisins’)  in Tasmania to be studied independently and the results widely published. We have studies from other parts of the world showing ill effects, but there is always an escape clause available to the doubters or deniers that conditions are different here.
    Forestry/ Gunns is held to be more culpable than individual farmers because it operates on a much larger scale and has the state government’s resources behind it. In other words it should know better and demonstrate leadership.
    I would be interested to know the proportion of wetting agent used to bind these chemicals: the Tas. Fire Service when I was involved used it at c. 2% fed into the tanker’s water by spray bar. Previously to its introduction (mid nineties, from memory) detergents were sometimes used by individual brigades to increase coverage.

    Posted by Mike Adams  on  26/01/08  at  07:52 PM
  24. Sarah (#18), Mr Adams actually hasn’t found a link with insecticides at all.  His post 14 discusses reports that chlorpyrofos has *not* been found in the devil disease research, and then goes on to discuss the nature of chlorpyrofos, but provides no evidence that it has anything to do with devil disease.

    Valleywatcher, I do indeed suggest thorough research of the DFTD problem, but “thorough” and “immediate” are generally not two words that go together in science.  I think the research should primarily be into what is causing the disease to spread and how this can be ameliorated and how the survival of the species in the face of it can best be ensured.  Working out exactly how it started is also worthwhile, but may well be a wild goose chase, and is not the highest priority in conservation terms.  This said, I don’t personally believe the devil is at serious risk of extinction from this disease.  I predict that after the disease passes and devil numbers rebuild (which I think is highly likely to happen unless foxes become entrenched in large numbers) then the conservation movement will continue politicising the devil long after the apparent threat to its survival has passed.

    Your assertion that I expound the view that forestry can do no wrong is utter bunkum.  Any sufficiently large industry is bound to make some mistakes - what I am pointing out is that many of the arguments against the industry are woefully short on scientific evidence.  Before being interested in finding out why something is a fact try checking that it actually is a fact in the first place.  Better still, give the lazy stereotypes and straw-manning a permanent miss.  As for the precautionary principle, I have pointed out its defects many times before on this site, and am not really sure I can be bothered decapitating that dead duck again.

    Re #20 - as I thought, it was just speculation.  Also, I don’t care what excuses you care to offer for people’s sloppy form on issues of scientific fact - what interests me is pointing out that that sloppy form exists.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  26/01/08  at  09:37 PM
  25. As usual, the usual suspects come to the usual (wrong) conclusions. Dr Obendorf has done a pretty good job there but it would be nice to have the actual data for each animal presented, as well as any statistical analysis. I would agree with Dr O that the sample size is likely too small for any conclusions in any case.

    It should be also pointed out that whatever furan and dioxin levels there may have been in individual animals may be due to phenomenon more natural rather than man-made (eg fires, wood decomposition etc) or other non-industrial sources (eg vehicle emissions). But I am amazed that no-one hasn’t pinned this on the Mill which isn’t built yet.

    The significance of the other chemical entities depends on entirely on how widespread they are in the Devil population. It is interesting that the article describes some of these entities as synthetic POPs where, in fact, they can be derived from events such as forest fires. The PBDEs and PCBs are synthetic in origin. Why these are present is a mystery but is likely not be any intentional industrial misuse. For example, the Australian government has mandated the removal of PCBs from various industrial processes. I would suspect that they may be present due to either sloppy incineration processes or there are some waste sites that are feeding into this.

    I would suggest that there is no causal link that can be drawn to the initiation or susceptibility of particular devils to the DFTD. It had been my impression from recent work from the University that relative inbreeding and the resultant effects on the immune system played a critical role in why some Devil groups were vulnerable to the tumor. If the POPs have a role in susceptibility, can Dr O elaborate on whether the levels of these were higher in the DFTD subgroup?

    Posted by Tomas  on  26/01/08  at  09:48 PM
  26. Re 21.
    Awe..shucks, Lester, that’s such a lovely story.
    When you give up driving log trucks, you should write a book of your fairy stories and I could read them to the grandchildren.

    Posted by Lilly White  on  27/01/08  at  06:26 AM
  27. Re #24…Actually, i’d say it’s more anecdotal than speculative.  Obviously my anecdotal evidence wasn’t enough reason for me to ask such a question.  Surely every possible link should be raised at this point because nobody, in particular the government, seems to know how these chemicals are getting into the devils.  Or should only ‘scientists’ be allowed to question? 

    But then just because some farmers may use fire-retardants as surfactants doesn’t mean that ‘forestry’ would…more likely they would only use fire-retardants as just that, in order to protect their MIS plantations from fire. 

    So then, how does all this fire-retardant get into these relatively remote areas?  magic?  maybe it’s the usual suspects…

    Posted by christopher Purcell  on  27/01/08  at  12:19 PM
  28. (21)
        Well Lester !  that glowing ,sycophantic , crap regarding Bonham holds no sway with all right thinking individuals this place , so it was wasted!  and i suggest that if you think so highly of him just give him a nice sloppy kiss and leave the bullshit for somone who gives a fuck.

        I,m always amazed at the incidence of new blood willing to jump to his defence when his credibility is in question , spelling mistakes and all !

    Posted by don davey  on  27/01/08  at  02:15 PM
  29. Like Japanese whaling the Tasmanian forestry is scientifically based and sustainable. Replacing forests with plantations is scientifically based. It puts oxygen into the atmosphere and keeps carbon in trees. Just take a flight over Tasmania and you will see as many trees as there ever were. The evidence is there. Your eyes wont lie to you like the greens will. So called clear felling is not on the scale you think it is.
    You cannot argue with science. Dr. Bonham is a scientist and therefore he understands this. This is why you wont see him criticising the Tasmanian forest industry. Dr. Bonham knows that there is infact really very little to criticise. If there was, you would see Dr. Bonham challenging comments supportive of the industry in the same way he does green comments.
    But the reason you will not see this is beacuse pro-industry comment is usually not full of lies and exaggerations like green propoganda is.
    You same do-gooders who oppose traditional whaling also oppose traditional logging in Tasmania. What you latte’ sipping Hobart people dont understand is that just as whaling goes back centuries, logging also has deep and longstanding traditions in Tasmania.
    A company like Gunns is very old and if any of the family who founded the company were still alive they would tell you how proud they were of Gunns and wonderful projects like the Tamar Valley pulp mill.
    Logging gives back to Tasmania. It doesnt take like banks and insurance companies do.
    The logging industry is now home to Tasmania’s brightest and most conservation minded. Industry leaders like John Gay, Barry Chipman, Terry Edwards and Scott Mclean are a prime example of this. They are our future and deserve the special place they have in the heart of our Premier.
    You have to admit, the industry is employing more people than ever before, more hands on and labor intensive than ever and once the pulp mill is built there will be a jobs bonanza. Lets all get behind Tasmania’s future industry.

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  27/01/08  at  06:29 PM
  30. Christopher (#27), question away, but if there’s no actual evidence for the speculation then unless this is pointed out, some people here are prone to get carried away and assume things to be true.  “Is it true that <statement X> is true?” is likely to be read by some here simply as “<statement X> is true.”

    As for your claim that your evidence is anecdotal not speculative, it is only indirectly anecdotal.  You say that you’ve heard of “some conventional farmers” using binding/wetting agents in this manner, but you don’t provide any evidence linking these particular chemicals to this process in Tasmania. 

    Every possible link should be raised?  Absolutely.  There should be more attention on the full range of possible initial causes for DFTD (human-related and otherwise) instead of the usual line of pointing fingers at a limited range of politically convenient suspects. Although we know there are high levels of these particular compounds in devils we do not know that they have anything at all to do with DFTD.

    And no-one’s saying only scientists should be *allowed* to question (I note the use of “allowed”, a word that can be read as implying censorship where it doesn’t exist).  Rather,  speculations from those lacking relevant background (and especially those lacking any scientific background at all) are less likely to be accurate or useful, *especially* if those speculations are clouded by political bias.  I have kept out of proposing any one specific likely cause because while I am a scientist, I don’t have expertise relevant to this particular area.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  27/01/08  at  11:17 PM
  31. Lester Barker (paid industry spin doctor?) says: “.. It puts oxygen into the atmosphere and keeps carbon in trees…”

    Clearly the industry strategy is to repeat the big lie often enough and people will be tempted to believe it.  Hitler was a famous advocate of this technique.

    The forest-destruction industry in Tasmania (and other states) is involved in very considerable biomass burning. “The extent of biomass burning has increased significantly over the past 100 years. It is now recognized as a significant global source of atmospheric emissions..”
    See UNEP document entitled “Forest fires and biomass burning”

    The ‘forest’ industry is heavily involved in the clearing of native forests in Australia.  “Extensive clearing of native trees in Australia is making droughts hotter and is an under-recognised factor in climate change.”
    See: ‘Native trees key to cooling climate’
    Dani Cooper. ABC Science Online

    Volatile organic pollutants react with other pollutants to form ozone.  It has been observed that intensified tree farming and other land-use changes that have altered the mix of trees in the landscape and virtually every tree that grows fast—a desirable quality for forestry production—is a heavy emitter of VOCs.
    See - Princeton University document entitled: “Study: Emission of smog ingredients from trees is increasing rapidly

    Ozone accelerates global warming. 
    See: ‘Excess Ozone Chokes Plants, Accelerates Global Warming’
    by David Gutierrez ]

    In Mexico, people go without food because of the invasion of monoculture tree plantations on valuable food-producing soil
    “The eucalyptus is the perfect neoliberal tree” reasons Aviles, “It grows quickly, turns a quick profit in the global market and destroys the earth.”

    ... Cut off from government credits and besieged by middlemen (“coyotes”) who buy their crops at minimal price, the ejidos [Mexican rural communal production units] and the communities of the southeast are so in hock to the commercial banks that they are in danger of losing their equipment and even their land. Pulsar [the corporate empire of Alfonso Romo that includes brokerage houses, cigarette manufacturing, real estate in the north of Mexico, timber holdings in the south and paper production] and Planfosur [part of the Texas-based Temple Inland Corporation, which is number six on the U.S. pulp parade, the 9th biggest US landholder and number two in cardboard box production, and has an ex-CIA Director on its board of directors]  show up dangling seven-year rental contracts and cash up front.


    Meanwhile, the titular owners of the land go to work on the plantations, sowing trees (1,000 a day quota) that will eventually destroy the soil, and spraying Dirty Dozen pesticides like Lindane, at 25 pesos a day, the minimum wage. According to the Tabasco-based Southeast Center for Environmental Investigation researcher Dr. Esperanza Tunon, up until quite recently, pregnant women were welcome on the spray crews.

    ... But the nation’s food deficit is far graver [than its paper-production deficit]. Forty percent of the population suffers from some degree of malnutrition, reports the National Institute of Nutrition. For the 21 to 23 million Mexicans who now live in what UN parameters define as extreme poverty, the nutritional gap is widening. Taking food growing land out of production and renting it out to plant eucalyptus trees for the international pulp and paper market, is bad policy…it [also] increases dependency on global grain cartels like Cargill and Archer Danials Midland. Mexican corn production has dropped markedly and imports have skyrocketed since the 1994 start-up of NAFTA…”

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  27/01/08  at  11:26 PM
  32. Lester Barker is either using irony or is writing black humor.

    However if he is serious he is also severly deluded.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  28/01/08  at  07:14 AM
  33. The linked article below is currently on the ABC news website:

    New York socialites join drive to save Tasmanian Devil

    It is commendable that these people care but I wonder if these folk are aware of the possible causes of this disease?  I also wonder what the international reaction would be if the truth were known about what is going on in Tassie?

    Posted by Duncan Grant  on  28/01/08  at  07:18 AM
  34. People, people (Don, Brenda etc) Don’t you realize “Lester Barker’s” tongue is firmly planted in his cheek!

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  28/01/08  at  07:40 AM
  35. (29)
          Well of course the founders of the company may not be about, however those of the Gunn family that are ! have strongly critisized this “PULP MILL” and have actively taken part in the rallies .
          This story has been covered by the “Mercury” newspaper, however the “Examiner” have steadfastly resisted all attempts to have that appear in their paper.  One can imagine the effect that it would have on the fence sitters, notwithstanding the fact that it would help clear the mud that sticks to that once old and respected name.     


    Posted by don davey  on  28/01/08  at  09:36 AM
  36. Deforestation in South America

        has become a major problem though the continent maintains a high percentage of the earth’s ecosystem. The growing degradation is alarming. The forests including the biggest tropical rain forest, Amazon rain forest are being deforested. This a growing threat to the wildlife.

          Deforestation in South America is taking   place due to the expansion of agriculture for economic development. Expansion of industry, logging, mining, cattle pastures are also responsible for this. The effects are however different in different areas starting from degradation of land to soil erosion and also the earth’s biodiversity.

          The Amazon rain forest, which is the most biodiverse tropical rain forest. It is the home of different species of plants and animals. People also use the land here for plantation. They use pesticides and irrigation system that are harmful to the land. The chemicals also kill animals. The rain washes it into water only to kill the fishes and other species. Water balance is also hampered. Deforestation in Amazon Rain Forest leads to destruction of human life itself.

          South America Deforestation is also caused by the commercial loggers, who cut trees to sell as timber or pulp. Either selective tress are being cut down or it is done through clear cutting. In such cases all trees in a certain area are being removed. Selective cutting is quite dangerous but in this case the forest can re-grow, which is not possible in case of clear cutting.

          The competitive global economy is responsible for this Deforestation in South America as well. People exploit their only resource to become rich. This has lead to environmental loss. If people does not get conscious of their action it will soon lead to their own destruction. Deforestation in South America has to stop immediately.


    Posted by don davey  on  28/01/08  at  10:31 AM
  37. Deforestation puts Indonesia as 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter
    (Kyodo) _ Deforestation, which releases a   significant number of carbon dioxide, has put     Indonesia as the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States and China, a report released Friday said.

            According to the report, titled “Indonesia and Climate Change” and published by the World Bank and the British government, yearly emissions in Indonesia from energy, agriculture and waste all together are around 451 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e).

          “Yet, land-use change and forestry alone is estimated to release about 2,563 MtCO2e,” the report said.

            The rising carbon dioxide levels have been implicated as the primary cause of global warming since 1950 and tropical deforestation already contributes between 10 and 30 percent of global warming emissions, experts say.

    Global warming is a phenomenon, in which an increase in the temperatures of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans can lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events including floods, prolonged droughts, heat waves, hurricanes and tornados.

              Indonesia owns 10 percent of the world’s remaining tropical forests with a total area of more than 90 million hectares.

              According to the report, Indonesia has already had many good policies and legislation that favor sustainable forest management.

            “Unfortunately, the capacity of the government to implement and enforce laws is weak,” the report, released during a one-day public forum on global climate change, said.

              Therefore, prominent British climate change expert Nicholas Stern said, a policy should be designed during a U.N. conference on global warming on the resort island of Bali in December under which developed nations pay developing nations such as Indonesia and Brazil to preserve their forests.

              “I think that in the short term, it will be possible to integrate supports for fight against deforestation into a trading scheme,” Stern told the forum, saying that between US$10 billion and 15 billion extra a year can cut emissions from deforestation by around a half.

              Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said Indonesia will work out a proposal on the scheme to be submitted during the Bali talks that is expected to launch intensive talks on strengthening international cooperation to reduce emissions.

              “We all benefit from reductions in emissions and we should all contribute to the cost of doing that,” Stern said.

              The current climate change pact called the Kyoto Protocol requires industrialized countries to cut their green house gas emissions from 1990 levels by an average of 5.2 percent by 2012, and its signatories are currently negotiating a successor at the moment.

              The United States is not part of the Kyoto framework on possible adverse impacts on economic growth. It withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in April 2001.

              Experts say global warming will cause the severest damage on developing countries and small island nations where infrastructure has not been fully built up.

              It has been predicted a temperature rise of up to 6.4 C by the end of this century.

    2005 Kyodo News © Established 1945. All Rights Reserved.

        ” And these buggers are in our back yard ”               

    Posted by don davey  on  28/01/08  at  10:43 AM
  38. Brenda I can assure you there are no pro-industry spin doctors lurking on this site.
    That is just another green conspiracy theory. Just the other week I raised the issue of this website with a leading industry figure and he told me he had never heard of it. Men like Premier Lennon and John Gay have better things to do with their time than sit in front of computers surfing greeny chatrooms! Men like Gay and Lennon whom the good Dr. Bonham has defended on this website from slanderous attacks are powerful but hard working and ethical men. It tells me a lot about Dr. Bonham that he would defend these men when it come to issues of forestry. They both have the highest ethical standards unlike Bob Brown who is an enemy of science and an enemy of good forest management. There are no favourites with Premier Lennon.
    Ask anyone who works close to him. I believe that Premier Lennon considers ALL Tasmanians when he makes any decision, including building pulp mills. I think he understands that by world standards Tasmanians are living in poverty and we need projects like the pulp mill to improve our ailing living standards. If that means we lose a little of our clean, green gloss then thats the sacrifice that he is willing to make for us. Good on him I say

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  28/01/08  at  11:39 AM
  39. I assure you Phillip there is no irony here.
    It is you that is deluded. Why cant you people just realise that there are good people out there in Tasmania who believe in the logging industry? A good friend of mind put me on to this website. He also told me about the wonderful work Dr Kevin Bonham is doing defending our industry.
    Dr Bonham obviously believes in the work of companies like Gunns and your own publicly owned Forestry Tasmania. That is why he is so vigilant in his defence of us. I am sure that he would rather not spend his time arguing with greens on this very bias website but he clearly cares deeply about the reputation of forestry which in Tasmania is based 100% on science. Just as whaling in Japan is.
    I can tell you now he is highly respected within the industry and that is something for which he can hold his head high. Our industry is a hard marker and it takes years to gain respect. So the Mr Daveys and Rossers of the world can make all the smart remarks they like but that will not deter me. Things are going to change around here very soon. I will be alerting more of my pro-logging science friends about this site and you greens will soon have to tidy up your arguments or you will be made look very foolish by more experts like Dr Bonham.

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  28/01/08  at  04:45 PM
  40. Lester, do you really believe that Premier Lennon is so unaware of the real world that he thinks Tasmanians are living in poverty by world standards?  Do you think that he has never heard of Africa, South-East Asia, Latin America, dozens of Indigenous communities in Northern and Central Australia, even the slums of Europe?

    You malign this hard-working politician by asserting such rubbish.  Paul Lennon is intelligent and keeps abreast of current affairs.  Regardless of what people who post on Tas Times might think of his abominable policies and questionable practices, he is not as stupid as you make him out to be.

    Posted by Justa Bloke  on  28/01/08  at  05:30 PM
  41. I thought for a moment that Lester Barker was serious. Now I realise his comments must be a parody. He should get out more…

    Posted by Mike Adams  on  28/01/08  at  05:57 PM
  42. Lester Barker has taken the art of satire to new heights. Thank you! I haven’t laughed so hard in ages!!!

    Posted by Duncan Grant  on  28/01/08  at  06:39 PM
  43. I have grave doubts as to whether Barker actually exists !  and if so ! he certainly has a “serious” crush on bonham ! of all people .

    Posted by don davey  on  28/01/08  at  06:59 PM
  44. Is Lester Barker actually Will Hodgman?

    Posted by David Mohr  on  29/01/08  at  07:35 AM
  45. (39)
        O.K !  sucked in Barker ! or bonhead ! or whoever you are !  i must agree with (34),(41) and (42) no ” SANE ” person could possibly hold those views in the real world. 

    Posted by don davey  on  29/01/08  at  08:14 AM
  46. (39)
        ” I will alerting more of my pro logging Science friends———blah,blah, blah”———-
      bring it on wanker !

    Posted by don davey  on  29/01/08  at  01:24 PM
  47. Just finished watching the last episode of that excellent ABC program “strange days on planet earth ” which dealt with the effects of “RUN OFF” into streams and rivers and eventually the sea , and
    it should have converted any pessimist as to the damage being done.

    Posted by don davey  on  29/01/08  at  08:29 PM
  48. ‘Lester Barker’!!! now did’nt he have a great comedy show last century?, well its good to see him back, and has’nt lost his touch either.

    Lester, you will be slightly more credible as a ‘poisons’ expert when you learn to spell the effing word.

    Posted by Billy White  on  30/01/08  at  10:58 AM
  49. In response to Don Davey’s comment #47. Spot on Don. But you’ll have to get your ear closer to the ground because late last year we (TAP and Dr Alison Bleaney and Dr Frank Nicklason) organized a trail blazing forum at Launceston’s Tailrace Centre feauturing Prof Tyrone Hayes, the world atrazine expert, featured on last night’s programme. The visit of Prof Hayes got very good media coverage - in fact the WIN report, put together by Peter Gilligan, was superb. So Don, and anyone else interested in what’s going on should get on the TAP email contact list by sending in your request to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Furthermore TAP in 2008 will have monthly open public forums. In January we dealt with MIS schemes and the guest speakers were Robert Belcher from SACA (Sustainable Agricultural Communities Australia) and Mike Bolan (complex systems consultant). The February forum will delve into alternative uses for OUR FORESTS. Stay in touch.
    Bob McMahon

    Posted by Bob McMahon  on  30/01/08  at  07:36 PM
  50. Ah, science, that great catchall defense for the basis of every arguement where something can be measured.

    The status of the humpback whale is vulnerable and yet ‘science’ is being used to justify the killing of 50 by Japoanese whalers, now postponed.

    The fin whale, of which 50 are programmed for slaughter this year in the interests of ‘science’ is IUCN Red Book listed as Endangered and as Vulnerable by the Austrlaian EPBC Act 1999.

    I would have thought their status would have restrained the methods used to collect samples from the population.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  30/01/08  at  07:48 PM
  51. Oh for goodness sake, it’s the Bester of Larker. The Best Lark. It’s a comedy. It’s not real. The lesson is to read between the lines.

    Posted by Charles and Claire Gilmour  on  30/01/08  at  08:14 PM
  52. Lester, dear, I think you are just misunderstood. I am not a supporter of your ideals or a great fan of the Premier, but I admire your passion.( I am fairly passionate myself)!
    How do you know so much about the mysterious Dr Bonham? Have you met at school or worked together?
    I think that you may have inside information, but you just tease! ( I tease too)!
    Where is that nice “Tomas”?
    Think happy thoughts everyone!

    Posted by Sarah Toenin  on  30/01/08  at  09:37 PM
  53. Tony Saddington (comment #22) asks:  Has platypus been tested for this poison? If it is in the waterways, it should show in their fatty tissue in high concentrations.

    Yes, Tony several persistent organic pollutants are present in the fat of Tasmanian platypus; these include the organochlorinne pesticides - DDT, DDE; the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and Dioxins. These aquatic mammals are at the top of the freshwater food chain. Platypus from large Hydro lakes like Lake Pedder contain these chemicals and the forensic signature of the PCB congeners present in the platypus fat from these sites is remarkably consistent with the commonly used coolant oils used in high voltage transformers - Aroclor 1254 and Clophen A50. There is reported data for significant industrial pollution with PCBs in central north Tasmania and there are a number of reports from road construction and maintenance workers that old transformer oils were applied to dirt roads in the vicinity of hydro-electric installations & water impoundments over many years “to settle dust”.

    The PCB levels in platypus at Lake Pedder, in central north and north-west Tasmania were particularly high (up to 17.3 part per million!!!). The soil contamination at these hotspot locations would be substantial and lead to contamination of the lake ecology. These findings are reported in a PhD thesis submitted to UTAS in 2001 by Dr Niall Stewart. The totally unknown and untested human health risk relate to PCBs residues in freshwater trout that fishers catch and consume from these lakes.

    Re: Comment # 25 from Tomas Rignoli, he asks: If the POPs have a role in susceptibility [to DFT], can Dr O elaborate on whether the levels of these were higher in the DFTD subgroup?

    Firstly Tomas only one of the 16 devils tested came from a known DFT-free area of Tasmania. As Professor Hamish McCallum, the senior scientist to the DFTD program stated on the ABC talkback radio on 23 January 2008, the preliminary analysis doesn’t demonstrate a direct association between the devils with grossly-visible facial tumours and the POPs residues in their body fat. That was his preliminary response. It is not known whether any of these chemicals cause devils to be immuno-compromised or whether devils with higher concentrations would be more likely allow transferred cancer cells from an DFT-infectious devil to establish and grow as a tumour.

    Secondly, Tomas on your suggestion that dioxins are derived from forest fires, it would be useful to review the technical literature and consider the diagnostic research now being done by ecotoxicologists to forensically identify hotspots of contamination and the man-made synthetic sources of these residues in wildlife and foods derived from POPs-contaminated environments.

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  30/01/08  at  10:53 PM
  54. (52) 
        careful now Sarah ! you musn,t get Lester all hot and bothered now !    then! on the other hand your probably quite safe as on appearances Lester swings with the other crowd, assuming that his sycophantic fantasizing is any guide.
      p.s. are you really a tease ?

    Posted by don davey  on  31/01/08  at  01:25 AM
  55. Les Barker???  Opps!!! Who the hell are you?
    I thought that you were that “man muffin”,- Les Baker.

    Posted by Sarah Toenin  on  31/01/08  at  06:56 AM
  56. Much has been made of the devil tumours and as to whether there could be a correlation with poisons, ,insecticides, run off etc, and i would like to know if ANY studies have taken place in determining as to whether cancer’s ,tumours and the like have been found to be more prevalent in the Tasmanian Human population as distinct to other states in Australia or if more Humans are presenting with these afflictions TODAY than say 30——40 years ago ? and if not then,  should there be ?

    Posted by don davey  on  31/01/08  at  06:12 PM
  57. Yes, “Lester Barker” is quite obviously a pisstake and a rather heavy-handed and clumsy one at that (if nothing else, it’s the lines about Japanese whaling - an obvious and failed guilt by analogy attempt - that give it away).  But the joke, intended to be on me, is actually on Don and Brenda for falling for it.  That they did so while some of the other usual suspects saw through it underlines my view that they are particularly clueless, even by the cluelessness levels of the TT peanut gallery.

    The person writing this feeble attempt at satire clearly hasn’t done much research on their target.  For instance I am accused of defending John Gay on this website.  I can’t recall making a single positive evaluation of Mr Gay’s character on this site or indeed anywhere else.  I have pointed out that an interview involving Mr Gay and one Graham Davis has been repeatedly taken out of context by some lazy green correspondents, but my point in doing so is not to make Mr Gay look good but to point out that Graham Davis asked a factually incorrect question and many clueless greens have jumped to false conclusions on that basis.

    I do indeed, however, defend Paul Lennon on some issues, while disagreeing with him on others.  And I will note that it was Paul Lennon who once defended my science on the public record at a time when Bob Brown was proving himself to be an enemy of science on that particular issue by opposing it. Of course I was completely vindicated in that matter - court case won, species delisted in Tasmania and downlisted by IUCN (eight years later, sigh!), and Bob Brown effectively (albeit unknowingly by the forcer) forced to read a letter of correction into Hansard to avoid getting in hot water for misleading the Senate.  So sometimes when “Lester Barker” attempts satire, he accidentally ends up telling the truth.

    Another example is “Men like Premier Lennon and John Gay have better things to do with their time than sit in front of computers surfing greeny chatrooms!”  Couldn’t have put it better myself ;)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  31/01/08  at  08:11 PM
  58. Well it’s now very obvious to me what poor Dr. Bonham has to put up with. One attempts to introduce objective, scientific and factual information and is quickly met with ridicule and cynicism. No wonder our government are so reluctant to have public hearings into very important projects like the pulp mill. I agree with Liberal senator Doug Parkinson who said that the government has become too hung up on transparency and openness.

    I like good old Premier Reece’s attitude to the building of HEC dams “If the experts say that we need a dam and we should put it here or there, well who am I to argue. They are the experts they should know”.

    Thank goodness that Premier Lemnon, who is not afraid to be guided by industry experts, is now freed up to devote himself as an advocate for the people’s pulp mill. I think he realises that his many other parliamentary responsibilities were obstructing his ability to ensure that this most crucial government project is built.
    Independent observers and the bosses of the companies like Gunns are now telling us the future is looking bright for those in the logging industry just like in Canada. Sure, there may be some pain for the fuckwits who can’t operate the big machines, but I trust the likes of Mr Gay and our Union reps to ensure that not a single job is lost. Gunns have assured the indusry that should there be a downturn in woodchip sales our jobs will be protected and Gunns (being the incredibly successful and loyal Tasmanian company) will wear some of the pain. How do we know this? Because the logging industry is one big close-knit community. It is a community of battlers. Of hard workers. Of people who worked there way through the schools system and probably could have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, top scientists etc but instead chose a career in the logging industry. From DPAC to the most lowly paid worker, there is absolute loyalty and care. Infact, the logging comunity is essentially the REAL Tasmanian community. Premier Lennon understands this. That is why he regularly visits Georgetown which is the heart and soul of the true Tamar Valley. He is clearly not appreciated by the artsy-fartsy shardonay sippers and other trendies in the valley and so he doesn’t bother.

    The Tasman Peninsula is an example of another real Tasmanian community. Here you won’t see the hand of large corporations like McDonalds or Woolworths. This is a real timber community. Thanks to the RFA, logging has accellerated in the last 10 years to the point where timber harvesting is now highly visible. We are out and proud so to speak (I can’t quite remember who coined that phrase but I know a lot of blokes in the industry are using it) and Minister Wriedt, unlike her green counterparts, is not ashamed of this and has moved to repossess the Three Capes Bushwalk from local greenies and capitalise on the appeal of this multiple use forest. Visitors will now come away from the fortescue bay area having had the unique experience of seeing an authentic Tasmanian clearfell (Australias biggest), some of Australias highest sea-cliffs and the foraging Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle.

    According the latest research environmental tourists are looking for balance. With the help of the Tasmanian tourist industry the Forest industry can deliver this. Thank goodness Premier Lennon and Deputy Premier Rolley are building a Tasmania where logging and Tourism can work hand in hand to deliver shareholders and communities a sustainable future.

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  31/01/08  at  10:53 PM
  59. 57; Didn’t I see another thread in which you were defending Lester Barker (as a new poster)from the indignation of DD?
    He was a bit less heavy handed then but I remember being highly amused at the time.

    Posted by Steve  on  01/02/08  at  10:15 AM
  60. Once again bonham misses the point accusing myself and others of taking Barker seriously, (he obviously did not read my post,s)

        Barker may well be having a laugh ! however it is in poor taste over such a serious issue that affects so many and i, for one do not find any humour in his crap, as do some others, as there “ARE” many “fence sitters” who will take his words seriously.

        I came to site originally because i passionately believe that this mill is a dangerous exercise ,and anyone who thinks it is just a wank and uses it to get their jollies needs to FUCK
    off !

    Posted by don davey  on  01/02/08  at  10:51 AM
  61. Hey Lester, ol’ tiger you must be waiting for a call from Rod Scott at the Governmemt Media Liaison Office; you’re a born natural media stunt-man!

    Get in amongst the other gold-diggers and wear those golden handcuffs with pride! You ARE a true-believing legend!

    Posted by David Obendorf  on  01/02/08  at  11:13 AM
  62. At last! In Lester we have finally found the magisterial Tasmanian voice to silence the endless sniping at our leaders, and their parliamentary employees.

    With the weight of Lester’s authority, there seems little choice but to embrace Dr Kev’s inspired intuition that DFTD will just clear up like another head cold, along with attendent suggestions that the cocktail of aerosol carcinogens and endocrine disrupters we all receive gratis could be doing anyone any harm.

    The only question worth debating would seem to be the identity of Lester himself.  While some readers believe they detect stylistic influences as disparate as Colonel Blimp and Yosemite Sam, I’m convinced that it could only have come from the well-oiled VIP tent of Tasmania Inc.

    John Hayward

    Posted by john Hayward  on  01/02/08  at  02:53 PM
  63. Yes John H, Bonnie boy has a real allie and like himself Lester is a real intellecual heavy hitter. I have to agree with Don that Lesters’ crush on Bonnie is quite sweet. It reminds me of the same crush that super annoyed and Tomas had on Bonnie. I have to admit to being a little jealous of al the attention he is getting. Still, he is a proven superstar of science and in the best traditions of legal prosecuters a champion defender of the indefensible. Congratulations Kevvy.

    Posted by Pilko  on  02/02/08  at  08:46 AM
  64. Don, the jokes still on you mate.  KB is right.  The ones who got sucked in(and one in particular who still remains sucked in) sit on Lester’s side of the fence! It’s a worry.

    Posted by Lister  on  02/02/08  at  09:07 AM
  65. Not quite, Steve (#59).  You can see my comments at various points on the threads and and what I was doing was simply pointing out that while Don Davey complains about me being supposedly abusive to those who insist on picking fights with me, he himself was quite happy to be abusive to a new poster who had not provoked him personally in any way.  It’s true that at first “Lester” was doing a better job of it - from his early posts it was not easy to tell if it was a pisstake or a sycophant.  That’s why I didn’t respond to them except to point out that Davey doesn’t practice what he preaches.  There is another example of Don’s double standards in #28 where he (certainly one of the five worst punctuators over the age of 25 on the whole internet) unleashes, of all things, a spelling flame!

    Don’s lame defence attempt in #60 is no good - the troll clearly sucked him in as can be seen by #28 where he gives no indication whatsoever that he is dealing with a pisstake. 

    Wayward (#61) - wrong as ever, what “attendent suggestions?”  I frequently question the dubious standards of argument and evidence employed by the anti-chemical scare brigade, but this is not the same thing as assuming that specific chemicals are harmless.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  02/02/08  at  11:13 AM
  66. Aaaah, that hopeless sarcastic dimwit Pilkingtroll talking about “a real intellecual[sic] heavy hitter.” Love the irony (#63).

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  02/02/08  at  02:45 PM
  67. 65; Good grief Kevin you didn’t have to go the trouble of digging up the threads in question!
    I remember at the time thinking you were being suckered which afforded me a good chuckle. Good chuckles are good for the soul so lets leave it at that. Mind you I’m not so sure that good chuckles at someone else’s expense are all that good for the soul but I enjoyed it regardless!
    The worrying thing to me is just how heavy handed Lester has to be before some people realise he’s taking the piss. I’m not sure whether this means I should resurrect my gold brick business or if it’s simply an indication of the spin people have come to expect from the forestry industry?

    Posted by Steve  on  02/02/08  at  03:52 PM
  68. Digging up the threads in question wasn’t much trouble at all, Steve.  I knew that “Lester Barker” hadn’t posted on many threads so I simply typed “Lester Barker” into the advanced search function and found them immediately.  Naturally you would want to believe I was being suckered at the time but there’s no actual evidence of that.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  02/02/08  at  05:55 PM
  69. All right I own up ...
    I am really the old Paul Lemnon - ask Tomas. Have to have some fun before I retire…

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  02/02/08  at  09:28 PM
  70. Lester Barkers vision for the Tamar Valley (part 1 and 2)
    I am extremely disappointed that Dr. Bonham and others have taken the view that I am a “pisstake” - whatever that means? I really do feel insulted by this. So self-absorbed is this silly website it actually cannot comprehend that people like myself hold the views that I do!
    I would agree however with Dr Bonham about Mr Rosser and Davey. They are a couple of dumbarses.
    Dr. Bonham should continue to defend Mr. Gay. I do hope that he is not cowed by green threats and bullying. It takes great courage to defend John Gay in Tasmania beacsue it seems that everybody wants to bash the tall poppy. Look at Minister Green and White. The names and reputations of these good public servants have been blackened by a green witch hunt. Even the media (except for the superb !) are always trying to trick Mr Gay into saying something that will make him look silly. This is not easy to do as john is a pretty bright bloke. Most people would acknowledge that John comes across quite well in the media although lately he seems to have developed a rather unfortunate paunch. I do hope that he keeps his business here in Tasmania. He has been to hell and back to bring this mill to Tasmania. He wasnt really anticipating the obstructions to the mill that have arisen because of rabid green elements.
    Perhaps I can offer a bit of advice to the greens around here? Instead of devoting so much energy insulting me and trying to stop the Georgetown pulp mill why not write to Premier Lennon and Deputy Premier Rolley and plead with them to look at ways to add subsidies to Gunns and the peoples mill. We subsidise the unemployed. Why should we not subsidise the employed? People seem to forget that this pulp mill is a joint venture between the Tasmanian government and Gunns. Ask yourselves taxpayers of Tasmania, would you rather the people in the logging industry sitting at home on big fat payouts from the Mark Lathams of this world, or even worse - on the dole. Or would you rather loggers out there doing an honest days work? Ask yourselves people? Would you rather loggers working and therefore the forests working or not?
    We Tasmanians need to appreciate that without Gunns and logging, it would not be getting the significant road and rail subsidies and the very lucrative opportunity to invest in tree plantations. Look at what Gunns is bringing to Tasmania and its brand just through its woodchip ventures. Plantations are turning farmers from paupers into princes. Gunns are handing out hefty patments left right and centre to struggling farmers. Tasmania enjoys the unique situation where water is free, in endless supplies and not heavily regulated so there is no need for exhaustive environmental studies every time you want to use some. And forestry is planting more trees than it logs and trees hold water which means that there will be more water and forests available for people to enjoy. I’m sorry to make so much sense people!

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  02/02/08  at  10:37 PM
  71. Can i also return to the tourist industry which I believe stands to benefit from industrial tourism which will result from the peoples mill and all the blokes who will fill up local Launceston pubs. In my opinion, the tourism industry should be promoting the mill alongside small ventures like the wine route and cataract gorge. “Hey folks come and see the world biggest pulp mill, its nearly 2km long and it towers 200m above water level, one of the biggest industrial projects in the whole southern hemisphere”, “Right alongside one of Australias premier wine regions”. Now there is a slogan! Very few places in the world will offer the opportunity to see a pulp mill of this size. You know, I am particualrly excited (as i know many Rowella resident are) about night-time viewings of the Gunns mill with its array of lighting that will create a silhouette similar to that of Port Hedland. This will undoubedly rival the spectacle of big city lights and it will also hide the ugly side of industry which might be visible in daylight hours. My dream would be to see a tamar valley tourism brochure with a picture of a wine-maker like Peter Wilson standing shoulder to shoulder with a logger and toasting the mill. I’m sure that if Peter pitched that idea to minister wriedt or deputy premier rolley they would throw all the resources of government behind it.
    A contructive approach such as this would please the government. Surely it is this type of olive skin that the shardonay set need to reach out with to heal the wounds that Malcolm Turnbull caused. As for the so called ‘odour problem’ - well that myth was nothing more than a sour grapes campaign engineered by a certain disloyal industry scientist who was thrown off the approvals panel because of his green leanings. I made my feelings clear to this green mole, this saboteur when i bumped into him on the mainland last year!! Lets just say he is lucky that he didnt bump into one of the industries rougher diamonds!
    Lets face it Tasmania, the pulp mill will be a sentinel of progress and a mainstay of the Tamar Valley that will draw the community together for decades or until the unlikely event that Gunns fall on hard times, closes the pulp mill and lays off hundreds of workers. In the unlikely event that such a situation arose I,m sure the government would do the responsible thing and step in with a new type of subsidy or a rescue package like they did with incat and the spirit 3 which of course are now both enjoying great success.
    No longer will visitors who tour the region overlook local Industry. They will see the prosperity and diversity that it brings Tasmanians who would otherwise be starving in shanties and caves. Lets face it. This is a huge turning point. Its a pulp mill or bust. A pulp mill or back to the dark old days when there were fewer people employed in the logging industry.

    Posted by Lester Barker  on  02/02/08  at  10:43 PM
  72. 68; You know me Kevin, I’m just a green lefty and I’d never let the truth get in the way of a good chuckle!

    Posted by Steve  on  03/02/08  at  09:14 AM
  73. Lester ! your pretty good at what you do ! and unlike some i have to admit at times to not being absolutely sure as to where your loyalties lay, however the last piece (71) clinches it.
      Contrary to a would be doctors opinions i reckon i,m reasonably canny,  and if that doesn,t tell you anything ,then let , me explain :  we as a group can not stand on our laurels, and if we are to beat these bastards ,we need every able minded ,and bodied, individual to fight this thing and to this point you have had your jollies,  however as mentioned in a previous post, this is becoming more serious each day and there are many fence sitters who will not see through your subterfuge ! and we are going to need every individual we can muster.
      This “IS” an extremely serious and contentious issue and it is hoped you will see where i,m coming from with my concerns.

    Posted by don davey  on  03/02/08  at  09:54 AM
  74. Dear Don,
    Darling, please get someone to show you where the apostophe is on your keyboard - your use of commas instead of apostrophes is driving me nuts!

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  03/02/08  at  07:34 PM
  75. Lester!  i still haven’t discounted that your having a coupla bob each way,  which is not a good look !

    Posted by don davey  on  04/02/08  at  12:08 AM
  76. (49)
        Thanks Bob , problem is ive been to hospital 3 times over the past 6 months, the last for a back reconstruction ! and i am at present confined to these 4 walls hence the amount of posts ! so the only way one keeps an ear to the ground at this time is through this medium.


    Posted by don davey  on  04/02/08  at  10:01 AM
  77. Sorry to hear that you are laid up, Don. Hope your recovery is swift and complete. Perhaps when you are fully recovered you can come and check out a TAP meeting - I think you would be truly amazed at the size, vitality and the sheer talent that we have harnessed. You’d be very welcome.

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  05/02/08  at  07:40 AM
  78. (770
          Thanks for the thought V.W. ! mind you it was all my own fault ! a few weeks previous i had a game of golf with my mate “Fred”  and he had a stroke on the third , so for the rest of the day,  it was “drive”,  drag fred !  “drive, ” drag fred drive——

    Posted by don davey  on  05/02/08  at  04:27 PM
  79. He…he…he…he! Don - the image of you on the golf course dragging “Fred” around had me in stitches! Oh…...........I hope “Fred” OK. I think we are a bit off thread, don’t you? What was it again? Oh yes! DFT and such and possible links to forestry practices…..............

    Posted by Valleywatcher  on  05/02/08  at  08:26 PM





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