SYLH Report - 3 months to 30th April 2017

25-Jul-2017We have completed our examination of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Plan the final form of which was released to the public late last year. Notwithstanding a reassurance in writing by the Minister for State Growth Mathew Groom dated December 2016 that the access and flexibility required by the beekeepers would be addressed in the Plan, this has not occurred.
While existing sites and access are permitted to remain no others will be allowed except in the recreation Zone, (see page 77 of the Plan). These zones are very small and already substantially accessed and used by the beekeepers. If the Plan is not amended to allow beekeepers access and sites, not only will the industry struggle to maintain its present level of honey production and pollination services, but there will be no expansion of either.
We have completed the examination of the current 3 year plans publicised by Forestry Tasmania, by adding the names of the beekeepers who license the sites. We have also now obtained an overlay of leatherwood intensity which is our initial guide as to where to look in the plans for coupes containing leatherwood stands critical for beekeepers. The review of the plans also involves identifying immature and regrowth leatherwood which will be critical to beekeepers in the future.
We rely on beekeepers in the land managed by Forestry Tasmania to alert us to areas of immature and regrowth leatherwood so that we can identify any coupes affecting these. The leatherwood intensity overlay shows only potential mature leatherwood stand. Itdoes not show immature or regrowth leatherwood and we have no other means of identifying these than by ground proofing. We have completed a review of the Planning Guidelines for Apiary Values prepared by Forestry Tasmania . Except for a small concession in adopting a definition for leatherwood, it delivers nothing to the beekeepers and is in any event a "toothless tiger", as were the Guidelines which we are trying to replace and being those prepared by Forestry Tasmania in 1980.
Working with the 1980 Guidelines close to 80% of leatherwood in the South of the State has been destroyed along with immeasurable volume of immature leatherwood. After Lindsay Bourke and Peter Norris attended a meeting with Jeremy Rockliffe, the Minister for Agriculture, (at his invitation), to discuss the importance of beekeeping and pollination to the Agricultural sector, we recommended that a letter be prepared and sent to the Minister by the TBA detailing the content of the meeting. We have prepared this and it has been sent. We pressed for this as it emphasises the important issues discussed at the meeting and puts them on the record.
Our focus is now on completing our review of the 3 year plans and discussing these with the affected beekeepers.

Bob Davey (President).

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