Presidents Report - Year Ending 30th June 2007


This has been the second full year of operation for the Association.

The first year was concerned with creating a profile and presence in the public arena, opening lines of communication with players in the Forest Harvesting Industry and beginning our involvement with the media. The second year has been one of consolidating our media contacts, becoming more active in that part of the environmental debate involving forestry operations, ( leatherwood in particular ), systematically monitoring the harvesting of forest coupes in the South of Tasmania, assisting with the preparation of a Tasmanian submission to the Commonwealth Inquiry into the Honey Bee Industry in Australia and lobbying with Governments and their departments and Forest Industry groups on the issue of leatherwood retention.

Details of this year`s activities have been reported to our members in our newsletters. Our most recent activities have been outlined in a recent release to the media.  We are now assisting the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association with the preparation of a joint submission to Forestry Tasmania for inclusion of reference to leatherwood retention in the new Forest Management Plan.

This Plan, when drawn and implemented, will set up a State Wide Strategy for management of State Forest for the next ten years. A draft of the Plan will be made public by Forestry Tasmania later this year. Monitoring of harvesting of leatherwood rich forest coupes continues in conjunction with the relevant beekeepers. This will continue to be our focus over the next few months. Any detected departure from the voluntary leatherwood retention strategy which Forestry Tasmania have stated they will always follow, will be brought to the attention of the relevant Minister and the media, and pursued vigorously with Forestry Tasmania.

We are still hopeful that a legally enforceable resource protection protocol will be inserted in the Forest Practices Code this year. It seems that our first objectives of publicising and politicising the leatherwood issue and lobbying for a change in forest harvesting plan preparation, have been partially successful. Continued monitoring and follow up will however be required and a regular basis. This process is very time consuming and costly in terms of plan search and printing and travelling. The resources of the Association are vital to the ongoing nature of this work. This may not be as public as in the past but we are leaving no doubt in the relevant parties minds that our presence will continue and that we are not “going away”. As long as beekeepers and their pollination customers can gain a benefit from our activities, then we will continue our monitoring, lobbying and publicity role.

I am grateful for the invaluable support of the Association Committee and all our members during the year.

Bob Davey.