Tasmanian govt on mission to Sarawak
by Zoee Hillson. Posted on October 19, 2010, Tuesday
KUCHING: The Tasmanian government is on a fact-finding mission as part of an effort to refute allegations by environmentalist against Ta Ann Holdings Berhad’s operations in the Tasmania, Australia.
Member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council Andrew Paul Harriss said yesterday that allegations by some environmental groups against Ta Ann were scathing and unreasonable.
He also said the allegations were damaging to Ta Ann and the state’s timber industry as a whole.
“It’s fair to say that some environmental groups in Tasmania have been unreasonable and too critical of Ta Ann and they have tried to bring that back to forest practices in Sarawak.
“We seek to rebut that allegation based on proper information gathering and proper technical assessment,” he said when met by reporters after paying a courtesy call on Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan at Wisma Sumber Alam here.
Harriss added that this was his third visit to the state to gain an insight intoTa Ann’s credibility and performance.
“So, we have a delegation here to understand exactly what Ta Ann logging practices are like in Sarawak and also the broader operation industry in Sarawak,” Harriss said.
“Ta Ann is a credible organisation and an organisation of integrity. I’m satisfied with that and this trip is just an upgrading of knowledge on the ongoing operations.
“We are satisfied with Ta Ann’s operations in the past and the information we gather this time confirms that satisfaction.”
He said they were very impressed with Ta Ann’s operations in Tasmania and added that the forest industry was the state’s fundamental economic driver.
“They’re employing many Tasmanians in the local community and 10 per cent of our total workforce in Tasmania is employed in the forest industry operations,” Harriss said.
He also said Tasmania was opening a wide opportunity for the forest industry operators from around the world, including from Sarawak.
VicForests director Robert Patrick Smith, Ta Ann Tasmania director David Riley and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer Datu Len Talif Salleh were also present during the courtesy call.