Directors Report August 2016

The TCT is proud to announce a new sponsor, having recently received $5000 from TyreCycle to kick-start our Tasmanian Tyre Cleanup Program. TyreCycle is Australia’s largest recycler of tyres, processing more than XX million tyres per year and the company is dedicated to finding profitable and sustainable uses for end of life car and truck tyres. The TCT will use this funding to start our program to clean up car tyres where they have been inappropriately stored or illegally dumped. The goals of this program are to remove this dangerous legacy problem and to prevent this problem from occuring by encouraging all end of use tyres to be sent for recycling.

Vale Malcolm Roberts

A past president of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and long-time member, Malcolm Grant OAM, died on 14 August 2015. At ninety years of age, Malcolm lived a full life and maintained a long commitment to the environment movement and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the many people who worked with him over the years. A Tasmanian by birth, he also had a love of travel and worked from 1947 to 1958 in Bavaria and Switzerland, then travelled to England where he met his wife Linley.  On returning to Tasmania, they married in 1959.

Three Capes Track

The eastern section of the Three Capes Track on the Tasman Peninsula was officially opened on 17 September and immediately received a flurry of bookings and self congratulatory comments from the state government that it provided a world class experience. This half of the 3CT starts near Port Arthur before heading to Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy and finishing at Fortesque Bay.

Launceston Environment Centre Closes

Recently a small piece in the Launceston Examiner (July 22, 2015) marked the closure of the Launceston Environment Centre (LEC) after 41 years of community service. This was a sad reminder to me of when as Chairman I presented my 6th Annual Report for 2002-03. I recalled the small band of dedicated volunteers, including Hon. Secretary Dr John Wilson and Brian O’Byrne as Treasurer, who had been willing to staff the Charles Street office, to manage the many projects, seek funds for new projects, make submissions on State policies and new developments, support local individuals and community groups with heritage and environmental concerns, represent the LEC on numerous committees that dealt with the local environment, heritage and local government planning issues, as well provide input on the development of the then new Northern Regional Natural Resource Management Association.

Tasmanian Cat Management Reference Group

The first meeting of the Tasmanian Cat Management Reference Group was held on 19 June 2015. The reference group was established by the Minister for Primary Industries, Jeremy Rockliff, and includes representatives from the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, RSPCA, Hobart Cat Centre, Australian Veterinary Association, Cat Association of Tasmania, Landcare Tasmania, Local Government Association of Tasmania, NRM North, Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the University of Tasmania.

Ansons Bay forest clearing

In the last newsletter we outlined our concerns about a proposal to clear 1804 hectares of native forest on private land near Ansons Bay in north-east Tasmania and how, just two weeks before clearing was to commence, the TCT successfully intervened to notify the Australian Government of the operation. They in turn notified the landowner of his legal obligations. To date no clearing has occurred at the site.

Liberal antipathy to environment protection

The state budget allocation of $8 million over the next two years to the Parks and Wildlife Service for infrastructure in parks and reserves may be a mixed blessing. The media release by Minister Matthew Groom made it very clear that the ‘new’ funding for parks and reserves is for built infrastructure management and we have received confirmation from the minister’s office that funding is for ‘replacement’ and ‘refurbishment’ and not for ‘new’ infrastructure.

South Arm Primary School Car Tyre Clean-up

On 12 April this year the TCT held a very successful volunteer event to clean and remove unwanted car tyres in and around to the South Arm Primary School in Hobart’s eastern shore. A total of 616 tyres were collected and taken to Longford where they will soon be shredded and sent to Tyrecycle’s facility in Melbourne for recycling. This was probably the first stand-alone tyre clean-up event held in Tasmania.

Seals and Tasmanian Aquaculture

There is no question that seals are a serious potential problem for fish farms. There is also no question that relocating or killing seals is a bad response. To a Tasmanian seal, whether it is a New Zealand fur seal or an Australian fur seal, farmed salmon is like a cross between a Big Mac and heroin, (although salmon may be a healthier food choice than a Big Mac).

Rosny Hill Development 2015

The state government has been keen for Tasmania to be ‘open to development’ and part of this push is to ‘unlock national parks and other reserves’. It seems that the government has a very keen collaborator in the Clarence City Council (CCC). Perhaps the most ambitious proposal for a development on reserved land (that has progressed beyond the concept stage) since the Tasmanian Liberal government was elected is the one by Hunter Developments’ proposal for a tourism development in the Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area (Rosny Hill NRA).