In his Quarterly letter to Shareholders, Managing Director John Sergeant outlines how the Smith Bay Wharf development and forestry on Kangaroo Island benefits the environment.
“In this letter, I will focus on the environmental reasons for supporting the project. Yes, we believe that the project will in fact be good for the environment. This is unusual for a major infrastructure project. The EIS contains detailed evidence supporting this view. There are four points that I want to make.
1. Plantation forestry is good for the environment
Here is a photo from the National Library of Australia, taken in February 1995 at the height of the so-called “forest wars”. The then Keating government was under pressure to protect native forests from logging … and to protect jobs in regional communities that depended on access to native forests.
Log trucks blockaded Parliament House: seemingly a no-win situation. The solution, or at least part of it, was to encourage greater investment in plantation forestry, including native species such as the Tasmanian Bluegum that grows so well on Kangaroo Island.
Most of the timber plantations on Kangaroo Island were planted as a direct result of a national initiative to lessen Australia’s dependence on unsustainable native forest logging, including through generous tax provisions. The peak years for planting on the Island were 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, when thousands of hectares of bluegum forestry were established. All of this involved planting by hand, which is still the only way of getting a good result