Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, I want to talk about an email that you received from Craig and Sue Walker in relation to logging on Quamby Bluff. I am not sure if you can recall the email, but it relates to logging operations right up to the boundary of the World Heritage Area, and what Mr and Mrs Walker are seeking from you, given that this has left a significant ugly scar on a really popular tourist route. I think even you would think that we need to preserve our visual landscape.
Please provide your assurance that your government business enterprise will ensure that the prescriptions on the unlogged remainder of the HU304Y will be upheld and that additional prescriptions will be applied to protect what is left on Quamby Bluff's visual amenity - and I have pictures here of the logging scar if anyone wants to see them - but also that FT will ensure that adjoining coupe HU304A will have prescriptions that preserve what's left of the visual amenity as well as preserving the habitat and hydrological features of the coupe, including headwaters that feed into the Meander River.
Does this ring any bells to you? Can you give those assurances to Mr and Mr Walker living in the foothills of the beautiful Quamby Bluff?
Mr ELLIS - We have received their correspondence and have responded to them as well. It is an operational matter for STT and they harvest in line with their forest practices plans and it is part of a three-year plan, done to the highest standards. It is important to note that the forest will be regrown, as is every forest harvested.
Ms O'CONNOR - How long do you think it will take that forest to regrow?
Mr ELLIS - That is an operational matter for STT.
Ms O'CONNOR - You don't know. You disrespect scientists but you don't know how long it takes a forest to grow back.
Mr ELLIS - Of course it depends on what you mean by regrowth, Ms O'Connor, because they continue growing and at what point would you consider it regrown? Broadly speaking, Quamby Bluff and the area has been Forestry land for many years. It has been harvested before and the visual amenity of which they speak I think is testament to the work of our foresters in regrowing that forest, of which they are so quite rightly fond and proud. I'll pass over to the STT team to add any further operational matters.
Mr WHITELEY - Our operations teams, including the stakeholder team, are well aware of this - we have the same pictures there.
Ms O'CONNOR - Has any assurance been given to the Walkers?
Mr WHITELEY - I am not sure about locally, but certainly in terms of visual management there we are in communication with them and understand their concerns.
The visual landscape is clearly very important to the way we schedule impacts in the landscape. We seek to mitigate by spreading over time various changes and the nature of the harvesting to take place, leaving a canopy - we've got various means by which we do that. I would expect that because there has been an area harvested there will not be adjacent harvesting until the visual landscape matters have been able to be dealt with.