SYLH Report to Members - 2004 - 2009


Action – 2004 - 2009

  • 2005 – meetings between non beekeeeping industry representatives and southern beekeepers to explore how to stop the destruction of the resource and thereby safeguard the beekeeping, pollination and related industries
  • 2005 – creation of an incorporated association (saveyourleatherwoodhoney ass), to be a lobby/publicity group - main object – “to stop the clearfelling and burning of the accessible leatherwood resource in tasmania”. This incorporation was financed by a non beekeeping business.
  • 2005 – association website created and refined with initial set up cost being largely met by a non beekeeping business
  • 2005 - the association prepares a data base of all media outlets and contacts, all relevant politicians and their parties, all horticulturalists relying on pollination services, ffic reps including the chairperson, forestry tasmania and its involved officers
  • The association surveys all of its horticultural members to establish the value of pollination to their businesses
  • 2005 – 2008 – the association commenced and persisted with dealing with the main obstacle to recognition of the leatherwood issue, that is, the lack of knowledge by the public, politicians, horticulturalists and forestry tasmania officers
  • 2005 – 2008 - production of media releases


  • Conference presentations 
  • interviews/lobbying with politician
  • Commencement of coupe inspections based on inspection of forestry
  • Tasmania`s timber harvesting plans
  • Production of submissions to forestry tasmania for coupe boundary
  • Amendments to or cancellation/moratorium of harvesting in
  • Leatherwood rich coupes
  • Attending field days and holding an inaugural field day of its own
  • Dealing with all responses to submissions
  • Publicising negative or lack of response to submissions
  • Together with the tba prepare a submission by the tba to the commonwealth inquiry into the honey bee industry in australia
  • Intensify media reporting and submissions to all relevant parties on the resource issue in the south of the state
  • Commence preliminary negotiations with forestry tasmania planners as to how they could plan the timber harvesting without destroying the leatherwood resource
  • Consider the recommendations of the commonwealth inquiry and how hey may be used in the publicity campaign
  • Research and prepare a financial model of the value of the honey bee industry to tasmania


  • Beginning of a reaction from the main players, mostly negative, in denial and highly critical of the association`s activities
  • Negative/critical reaction achieved what we had previously failed to achieve, which was a higher publicity profile
  • For a while during 2006, 2007 and early 2008, interviews and media publications were there for the asking and we, with the beekeepers, used that opportunity to get the message across, ( the media loves a dispute particularly if it involves the government or forestry tasmania)
  • We have always been and continue to be grateful for the opportunity given by media outlets to report on the resource status and the effect of timber harvesting on that resource in the south
  • Coupe by coupe inspections and negotiations with forestry tasmania were beginning to achieve some preservation of leatherwood in forest coupes beginning with the huon district
  • The minister`s involvement through forestry tasmania, encouraging the reaching of agreement with the beekeeepers on the retention of the leatherwood resource
  • Forestry tasmania indicates that they want to get away from the coupe by coupe guerilla warfare approach which
  • Previously was occurring on a regular basis – they want more peaceful certainty for their planners and less adverse publicity
  • Negotiations commence with forestry tasmania to examine ways in which all of the commercial leatherwood resource in the wedge block can be preserved
  • Agreement is reached that the wedge agreement will be legally enforceable – the first time any such agreement has had that feature other than the 2003 community forest agreement relating to the forest industry and forest industry jobs. All previous agreements and guidelines involving the beekeepers and forestry tasmania have been voluntary with no accountability involved
  • In the meantime the coupe by coupe inspection process is continuing in those coupes in the huon district still containing commercial stands of leatherwood and in other blocks in the derwent district – it appears that the content of the negotiations of the wedge agreement are having a positive influence on the dealings with the planners and managers in other districts/blocks
  • The production of the material to support the submissions to the commonwealth inquiry and the wedge agreement is now proving very useful in making a case for the retention of all other commercial leatherwood stands in the south and in fact in the whole of tasmania

The future

  • Finalise the agreement for the wedge
  • Develop a case for the new wedge harvesting practises to be adopted state wide – something already discussed positively on a preliminary basis with forestry tasmania
  • Widen our membership base to ensure the association can represent the entire state and be in a position to carry out its objectives as required in all areas of state forest containing commercial stands of leatherwood
  • Seek funding and other assistance from the rural industries research and development corporation – preliminary contact has been made with the corporation wihch has invited the association to apply for suitable research and development projects, in particular those relating to resource access security, (this would be most likely done in conjunctio with the tba)
  • Continue the existing close relationship with the tba on all matters touching resource security
  • Continue to publicise on a world wide basis, (with tasmania as the main focus), the leatherwood resource issue and the timber harvesting effect on that