You are here

TasPorts - Wood Products

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 1 December 2022

Tags: TasPorts, Native Forest Logging

Ms O'CONNOR - With the greatest of respect, it matters more what the locals would think of a stadium than people who arrive in cruise ships full of COVID-19, but I'll move on.

Is it possible to have some data on the amount of wood products exported from TasPorts facilities broken down by native forest plantation, whole logs, chips and containers? Or do you want me to put that on notice?

Mr DONALD - We will put that on notice and we'll have to check our contractual commitments, Ms O'Connor, with respect to the provision of that information. If we are able to provide it, we will.

Ms O'CONNOR - Sure. We are not asking you for the name of companies or to breach any commercial-in-confidence provisions, we're simply looking for the data on native forest plantations, whole logs, chips and containers.

Mr DONALD - I understand the question. I just want to make sure that we don't breach a contract. It's quite simple.

Ms O'CONNOR - Sure.

Mr DONALD - If we are able to, I'm very happy to provide it.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is it possible to tell the committee which country is the major destination for native forest products from Tasmania?

Mr DONALD - I wouldn't know the answer.

Ms O'CONNOR - Who would know the answer to that?

Mr DONALD - I would say the customers do.

Ms O'CONNOR - Okay, all right.

Mr FERGUSON - Ms O'Connor, as we take that question on notice, I'll also mention I don't know if we'll even possess the information as to what the nature of the harvesting was of those different kinds of forest products, native versus plantation. The CEO's comfortable taking it on notice. If you understand that we may have restriction on what we can provide, I'm also happy to confirm that.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, minister. If the restriction relates to a commercial-in-confidence because of a particular company that might be named, we're not interested in company names, we're simply interested in the data. I can't see why that would be sensitive information.

Mr FERGUSON - I appreciate that.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is it possible to tell the committee which forestry companies are primarily responsible for the unsightly log pile on Macquarie Wharf?

Mr DONALD - We have one current customer for the southern export terminal. I'll have to check that we can name who that company is.

Ms O'CONNOR - I wouldn't have thought that was commercial-in-confidence. It's a massive wood pile.

Mr DONALD - I would have to disagree with you. I don't believe it's a massive log pile.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, we've been there before, of course. I guess it just depends on your sensibility.

Mr DONALD - I think our approach is extremely sensible.

Ms O'CONNOR - I’m not talking about what's sensible or not, it's about a sensibility. For some local residents, seeing the log pile there is something that they find unsightly. They know where those trees came from: ecosystems and forests. Is that a question that I can also put on notice: which forestry company is responsible for the log pile on the wharf? Do you know what volume it can get to, how large it could be, what the capacity is?

Mr DONALD - We designed a facility that was driven to optimise throughput. Our approach was to design an infrastructure and service model with our joint venture partners, Q Ports, which was a low capital injection from both organisations, a constrained footprint that was designed to motivate throughput, not to be a storage facility, not to be a storage yard, but it is all about throughput.

To answer your question, ultimately there would be capacity for up to one million tonnes per annum to move through the facility. Pre-COVID-19 and pre-global tensions, geopolitical tensions, we were getting around 225 to 230 000 tonnes per annum. We are largely back to 100 000 tonnes per annum.

Ms O'CONNOR - Great, that is really good news, it is shrinking.