Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A response to Bruce Montgomery in Crikey

'Politicians fiddle while the economy burns' suggests Bruce - Here and Here.

You write like this a unique phenomena in politics Bruce.

Unfortunately Bruce's Crikey article - (Bruce Montgomery is a former logging industry spin doctor -Communications Manager of the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Industry Council ) only focusses on one sector of the Tassie economy - Forestry - giving his interstate readers the impression that the logging industry plays a more imporatnt role in the future of the Tasmanian economy than it actually does.

Not so according to Tasmanian businessman Andrew Scobie, a recent head of Tasmania's peak business lobby - The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (TCCI).

This is what Andrew Scobie told ABC radio last week about the logging industry, an industry described in Bruce Mongomery's Crikey piece as Tasmania's 'major growth industry'
..................."Foresty Tasmania has been showing an inappropriate rate of return to its shareholders (the tasmanian people) for such a long time now and has really only been a smoke and mirrors mechanism for the redistribution of public wealth ie: taxation being taken from Australians, not Tasmanians, but Australians and distributed to an industry which frankly doesnt have a future".................."The frank reality is that Forestry Tasmania has simply been a mechanism for the distribution of public wealth to an underwriting of an unsustainable industry. Now that may or may not be a factual representation of the entirety of the history of Forestry in Tasmania but its certainly has been a characterisation of its recent performance..................."There is almost absolute consenus that the Australian dollar is going to stay at or about where it is for the forseeable future ie: for next 20-30 years. The consequence of that is that there is no future for the export of forestry products, we dont have a competitive position. If we dont have a competitive position that Forestry in Tasmania is going to have to be structurally adjusted (Andrew Scobie 2/03/12).

The subtext of much of Bruce's Crikey rant, is essentially taken from the same song-sheet recently used by the Liberals, the President of the upper house and most other mates of the Tasmanian logging industry.................."The Tasmanian economy (logging...cough,cough) is rooted because of two greens cabinet ministers and a few unruly kids in koala suits".

Because Greens cabinet minister Nick Mckim & Cassy O'Connor express an alternate view on forestry Bruce says - " they march to the beat of their own drum". Oh the horror of it all Bruce!

The truth is Cassy O'Connor, the Minister for Human Services, Community Development, Aboriginal Affairs & Climate Change rarely speaks out on Forestry related issues and has been a staunch public defender of her labor cabinet colleagues. Indeed since the advent of the Labor/Greens minority govt Nick Mckims Greens have been in lockstep with Labor on most legislation and demonstrably less combative with Labor in and outside the parlaiment often to the disgust of greens supporters.

Bruce, it's also widely accepted that Cassy O'Connor and Nick Mckim hold cabinet positions is because the Labor alternatives don't bear thinking about.

You know that Bruce, we all know that.

Both O'Connor and Mckim are widely regarded as experienced, conscientous parliamentarians and highly competent in their demanding ministerial portfolios. The interests of Tasmania are best served by constructing the most competent government possible not one that is ideologically pure. There is also the minor matter that the Labor/Green minority government was returned by the people of Tasmania who were fully aware of the lack of talent & experience in government ranks.

The political campaign to have the two Greens sacked from cabinet pays no regard to the potentially serious social consequences for the community of removing two well performing ministers and handing their portfolios, which include Education, Corrections, Human Services & Aboriginal affairs to inexperienced and potentially incapable backbenchers.
This campaign and the wider campaign for a fresh election is a really just a backlash or reaction to the effectiveness of environmental campaigns in exposing Tasmanian logging industry spin O/S. It is being driven by a coalition of logging industry, business and Liberal party mates. One only has to check into certain social media sites to see this.

Marching to the beat of their own drum Bruce?

Sounds like a good starting point for an article on Tasmania's state owned Forestry Company, Forestry Tasmania.


No comments:

Post a Comment