North East Bioregional Network
Upcoming Events
Diana's Basin catchment regeneration
Native forest coupe conversion to plantation 2006-09
Conversion of Eucalypt regans forest to plantation on eastern side of Blue Tier
Reserve proposal
Unsustainable land development on Georges Bay
Unsustainable land development at Diana's Basin
Quarry at the Gardens
Quarry at the Gardens


Grants Point


Source of Carbon emissions in Tasmania
Lava of the Chaostola skipper butterfly
Swift parrot nesting site

To view larger versions of images click on thumbnails!

Restore Skyline Tier Project

We have negotiated an agreement with Rayonier to restore part of the Scamander/Beaumaris pine plantation back to native forest. Restoration work has begun on a coupe in the catchment of Dianas Basin (coastal wetland) near St. Helens.

For details of upcoming working bees go to Upcoming Events

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Nick Fitzgerald has produced Special Values reports identifying conservation values in proposed logging coupes in the Bass District. This provides us with a means of negotiating with Forestry Tasmania on a scientific basis. We are documenting cases where FT, Forest Practices Authority and Threatened Species Unit are allowing destruction of threatened species and their habitat and/or under reserved or depleted forest communities.

Concerns include:

•  Ongoing clearfelling and conversion of Eucalyptus regnans forest which has been severely depleted in the Ben Lomond Bioregion (30% in the last 10 years).

•  Poor Phytophthora cinnamomi (root rot/dieback) management practices in PC susceptible forests and its potential impact on (in particular) understorey species.

•  Woodchipping of old growth Eucalyptus amygdalina (Black Peppermint) and Eucalyptus sieberi (Ironbark) forest.

•  Logging of known Swift Parrot habitat

•  Conversion/clearfelling of prime habitat for the threatened Simsons and Bornemisszas Stag Beetle and the Giant Velvet Worm.

Over 97,000ha of native forest has been lost in Tasmania since 1996 (figure from Forest Practices Authority's Annual Report 2004/05). This figure does not include areas logged/clearfelled and regenerated to native forest.

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Reserve Proposals

We have nearly finished a reserve proposal for NE Tasmania . The reserves are based on onground surveys and the comprehensive environmental information data base we have developed over the past year. It is also based on WildCountry principles to create better ecological connectivity in North East Tasmania. If implemented the reserves would contribute towards securing an ecologically viable landscape in the region and address the current shortfall of protected areas.

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Coastal Issues

The North East Bioregional Network is putting in a submission (and will be attending hearings) opposing the rezoning of land for urban development at Scamander. A hearing will be conducted by the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC) later this year.

The land is of great scenic significance being located on the Scamander river. There is already a large surplus of subdivided and urban zoned land in the area. The North East Bioregional Network opposes urban sprawl and ribbon development in the coastal zone. Local and State Governments continue to support coastal development at any cost and in contravention of their own Planning Schemes and State Policies. Recently approved

East Coast developments such as Solas (near Triabunna) and Musselroe (near Mt William National Park) are larger than most towns on the East Coast.

The State Coastal Policy review is still yet to be completed. Tasmania is running out of time to enact legislation which will protect our precious coastline. There must be limits to growth (population and development).

link to ABC Radio National's Australia Talks 29th May program on land clearing legistlation

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The Break O'Day Council has been mining in the Mt. Pearson State Reserve. The North East Bioregional Network and the Bay of Fires Coastal Preservation Lobby have succeeded in in pressuring Mineral Resources Tasmania act on this environmental disaster. The Council has completed a rehabilitation plan for the illegal quarry and must comply with a number of conditions. Problems with the quarry go as far back as 1991. We look forward to a revegetated quarry being incorporated back into the Mt. Pearson State Reserve.

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Marine Reserves

We have sourced funding to assist us to develop a Marine Reserve proposal for the Freycinet bioregion. The RPDC is conducting the Marine Reserve process on a bioregion by bioregion basis around Tasmania . Freycinet will be the next bioregion after Bruny has been completed.

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Funding Applications

The New Holland Mouse is a threatened mammal whose stronghold is in North East Tasmania. We have applied for an Envirofund grant to carry out surveys and map suitable habitat for this cryptic and poorly researched species. The New Holland Mouse (and/or its habitat) is threatened by coastal development, predation by feral cats and Phytophthora cinnamomi.

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Recent Events

Climate Change

Adrian Whitehead from Zero Emissions Now recently spoke in St. Helens on Climate Change. Land clearing and forestry activities are the main contributors to green house emissions in Tasmania .

Threatened Species

Phil Bell and Matt Webb from Threatened Species Unit gave a presentation on threatened butterflies and the Swift parrot respectively. The following day a field trip was held to help the local community identify suitable habitat for these threatened species

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Bushfire Recovery 14/3/07. With the return of green growth and thoughts of replanting two items may be of interest to residents. Firstly, the ferocity of the fire may have destroyed much of the native seed that lies in the soil and some areas will need to be restocked by hand. Secondly, residents thinking of their own gardens may be looking for plants and support.

With restocking native vegetation the plants that will grow best in a particular area are those from that area. They have adapted over the years. The White Gums (e viminalis) in the Winifred Curtis Reserve are different from the White Gums in the Evercreech area. So when restocking, source the seeds from an area close to where you are intend to plant them .

Kate Thorn, the Break O'Day Natural Resource Officer, is seeking funds for plants and advises residents to put a request to the Red Cross for assistance. Application forms as well as the Bushfire Recovery newsletter are available at the at the Break O'Day Council website.

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Restore Skyline Tier, Scamander/Beaumaris Local residents have become concerned about Rayonier’s inability to give a firm commitment on the future of plantations on Skyline Tier. We have received funding to do a management plan to re-establish Eucalyptus sieberi (Ironbark) forest in this area.

Discussions are continuing, however, we don’t believe it is acceptable to allow such a steep and visually prominent area to be aerially sprayed and replanted with pines only to be clearfelled again in 20-30 years from now. The campaign to rehabilitate this area “Restore Skyline Tier” has begun and it is committed to restoration of this area to connect with the existing Forest Reserve and Crown Land.

If you want to see what has been happening take a drive up the Loila Tier Lookout road (traveling from Beaumaris towards St. Helens, turn left after Dianas Basin but just before the Basin Creek Bridge). If you would like to help “Restore Skyline Tier” contact Todd Dudley 63 761 049 or Christina Mackeen 63 725 485.

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South Sister It was a great relief to all concerned when a costs order against local residents opposing logging of South Sister in the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal was dismissed. The main arguments in the case were that:

  • Forestry operations would lead to increased water yields, significantly reducing land stability in an area of landslide risk.
  • Increased run-off from the Coupe leading to turbidity of local water supply.
  • Potential for long-term loss of water quantity via groundwater for St. Marys water supply.

At this stage Forestry Tasmania still appear to be intent on logging South Sister, and another Coupe in the Nicholas Range is also under threat fro7/7/09

Crown Land Assessment Project (CLAC) The CLAC process is a State Government initiative to allocate Crown Land for conservation or development purposes. The North East Bioregional Network produced an extensive report highlighting the conservation value of over 150 pieces of land.

The report was supported by complimentary submissions from the Wilderness Society and from Dr. Peter McQuillan (University of Tasmania). In hindsight the process should have been conducted as a Public Land Use Inquiry through the RPDC rather than an administrative process. This would have made the decision making process more accountable. The decision on the Break O'Day area is due in November.

We look forward to the creation of more protected areas through this process though unfortunately the CLAC team have been instructed not to give any land higher conservation status than Conservation Area unless it adjoins an existing State Reserve, Nature Reserve or National Park. This State Government directive is to ensure that mineral exploration is still allowable. This certainly taints the credibility of this project.



copyright 2007, Last update 13/10/07