SYLH Presidents Report Year Ending 30th June 2017


We have begun a shift away from strictly wood production harvesting and coupe assessment, to a mix of 3 year plan assessment and assisting/advising the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association (TBA), in their dealings with Minister Barnett, Minister Groom Minister Rockliffe and Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STTAS) (previously Forestry Tasmania).

Your President together with Lindsay Bourke and Peter Norris (President and Vice President respectively of the TBA) has attended 3 meetings with the Ministers and/or their advisers and 2 phone meetings with senior Stakeholder Liaison officers at STTAS.

It seems clear that the Government is determined to find enough leatherwood resource in the current wood harvesting areas and in Reserves to satisfy the requirements of the Beekeeping and Pollination Industries in meeting the planned expansion of the Agricultural sector through pollination. The Government is carrying out major infrastructure development aimed at delivering a large increase in water available for irrigation, to deliver a twofold increase in Agricultural sector production by 2020 and a tenfold increase by 2050. They now know that this is not possible without a corresponding increase in pollination services delivered by beekeepers. This knowledge became known to the Government after it had become committed to the irrigation infrastructure development.

While the beekeepers involved in pollination know that such resource is not available outside the Wilderness World Heritage areas and may not even be available and accessible in those areas, the Government wishes to exhaust this investigation. We have advised the Government that the Industry stands ready to ground proof any areas which they believe may hold mature and unutilised leatherwood.

We are in active discussion with SSTAS in an attempt to settle the draft Guidelines for Apiary Management on land managed for Wood Harvesting. Both sides are focused on resolving the outstanding differences between the parties, so as to allow wood harvesting and leatherwood retention to operate side by side successfully and sustainably.

While the beekeepers have always lobbied for this result it is the first time that STTAS and the Government have the same goal.

We have completed a summary of the latest 3 year plan for the Southern District and advised all the beekeepers who are potentially affected by the coupes shown on the plan. A few ground inspections have already taken place or are planned. For further background to the years work I refer you to the reports of August 2016 and April 2017 published in earlier news letter.

I am grateful for the support of our Executive and all our members and thank you all. Progress to achieving the objects set out in our constitution is slow but continues unabated.

Bob Davey (President).