Wombat Forest Meeting

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 11:50
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URGENT CALL TO THE FOUR WHEEL DRIVING COMMUNITY!

CONCERNING THE 3RD WOMBAT FOREST ASSEMBLY

APRIL 16TH FROM 10:00 AM TO 4:00 PM

DAYLESFORD SECONDARY COLLEGE

PRESIDENTS, LEADERS AND SECRETARIES!

PLEASE IMMEDIATELY SEND THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR INTERESTED NETWORKS MARKED URGENT!

Dear friends and colleagues

First, please accept my apologies if you receive this more than once. I realise that some of you may be on two or more mailing lists - sorry.

Second, some of you are aware that a third Wombat Forest Assembly is fast approaching - April 16th, Daylesford Secondary College - starting at 9:30 am!! We have had very little notice of this meeting even though the venue has been booked for many weeks, and we've made repeated requests for information. The locals of Daylesford - many of them - have been aware of this assembly for quite some time, but I heard from Tim Anderson (Community Development Officer) last Thursday (March 31st) that the media releases were only going out that very day - they went out late Friday! This is far too late and just unacceptable. I do wonder sometimes whether the habitual short notice of meetings concerning the Wombat CFM process is a deliberate ploy to make it difficult for non-local enthusiasts, or non-greens to get to meetings. I don't know, but I wonder about it a lot.

The Council of Stewards meetings have been conducted in an open forum format - anyone can turn up, and the chair has been routinely taking questions from the floor from observers - a breach of trust in the process agreed to at stakeholder meetings. I'm not kidding. Why have elected council members having a scheduled meeting where Joe Bloggs can interject from the peanut gallery, get up and have a say and even instruct a council member from the peanut gallery how to vote on motions that are put to the stewards. One "observer" even addressed the chair of the Council meeting recently abusing the chair with complete impugnity. Not only that, one working group, in particular, has two delegates at meetings, one on the interchange bench at Council meetings who then swaps places with the elected member so that he can have his say at the table - it's a really neat way of having two elected councillors for the price of one. This is not good enough. If TFRO did this there would be howls of "hijacking!". As the meetings are in this open format, I have decided to forward minutes of meetings to you who I know are interested in a healthy and viable Wombat State Forest. As there is no secret about meetings, the minutes are attached. Council meetings have become a standard community joke with little in the way of accountable format to date - despite excuses that the sawlog issue has consumed much time. I don't accept this as good reason for the poor running of meetings and the lack of accountability. TFRO executives met with Tim Anderson last Thursday and with the chair, Michael Chesire to discuss these matters. They both assured us the meetings would be tightened up and run properly from now on. We certainly hope so.

A crucial meeting is coming up on April 16th - AND WE NEED ALL FOUR WHEEL DRIVERS AVAILABLE TO BE PRESENT TO EXPRESS INTELLIGENT OPINIONS AND BE PART OF AN ACCOUNTABLE AND FUNCTIONAL CFM PROCESS. THIS IS NOT A PROTEST. IT IS NOT AN OPPORTUNITY TO ABUSE AN OPPONENT. THAT'S NOT ON! BUT IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOICE OUR DISAPPROVAL - NOT OF CFM, WHICH WE'RE ALL FOR - BUT OF ABUSES OF THE PROCESS BY A FEW WHO ARE DETERMINED TO MANIPULATE CFM, POLITICISING IT FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH ENDS. IT IS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO POSITIVELY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY PARTICIPATE AND TO HEAR FIRSTHAND WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND TO SHOW YOUR HAND IN SUPPORT OF SENSIBLE AND SHARED OUTCOMES FOR THE CONSERVATION (NOT PROTECTION) OF THE WOMBAT ENVIRONMENT. TFRO will make a presentation in the afternoon sessions. We need to express our support for a sensible and genuinely inclusive CFM process and speak against the politics of exclusion. There are still some myopic dark green elements that are not interested in fair play, or even listening to other points of view, they're only interested in their own outcomes and ultra-left philosophical views.

We have not seen an agenda for this assembly, but I have attached a media release received on Sunday by email - it gives basic information, but not that much.

WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND ON APRIL 16TH - NOT TO PROTEST - BUT TO SIGNAL TO OUR DETRACTORS THAT WE ARE VITALLY INTERESTED IN SENSIBLE CFM FOR ALL, AND NOT JUST FOR THE GREEN FEW. CFM IS VITALLY IMPORTANT - WE NEED TO SUPPORT IT AND DO OUR BIT TO MAKE IT WORK. YOUR PRESENCE WILL SIGNAL THAT AND MAKE A STATEMENT THAT WE WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO ENSURE CFM WORKS WITH INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, AND BY INCLUDING EVERYONE'S OPINIONS AND IDEAS - AND THAT IT IS NOT ABUSED AND HIJACKED BY OTHERS. WE ARE ALSO CONCERNED THAT THE MEETING WILL TRY TO ADOPT RULES AND BY-LAWS (WE HAVE NO DIRECT PROOF OF THIS, BUT WE HAVE HEARD STRONG RUMOURS FROM RELIABLE SOURCES THAT THIS WILL BE ATTEMPED), AND WE NEED TO STOP THIS UNTIL SUCH TIME AS CFM IS DEFINED AND A STRATEGIC PLAN ADOPTED. WE ARE NOT - AND NEVER HAVE BEEN AGAINST PROPER RULES AND EVEN INCORPORATION AS AN ASSOCIATION, BUT, AT THE RIGHT TIME AND IN THE RIGHT WAY. BY-LAWS, AS WRITTEN UP BY CHRIS MURPHY, A FORMER INTERIM STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER, ARE SIMPLY NOT WARRANTED IN OUR VIEW - AND WE REJECT HIS DRAFT OUT OF HAND. The model rules, recommended by the Department of Consumer Affairs are more than sufficient. But these should be used when we know what the heck CFM is being defined as - at present no one knows. There's no agreement on what CFM actually is - but lots of opinions. We need to ensure no one can try to sneak these in the back door, and so, your vote/opinion is important, if the issue arises. These meetings must express an opinion. If we are not there in sufficient numbers someone else will express an opinion that may go against all we've been trying to achieve, and may damage genuine CFM outcomes. PLEASE BE THERE - AS MANY AS POSSIBLE.

"WHAT IF THERE ARE TOO MANY OF US? WON'T WE BE ACCUSED OF HIJACKING?" We are often accused of many things. If we have numbers that mean we'd overwhelm other groups, in the interests of fairness and democracy, we will manage things so as to limit our numbers taking seats, just as we offered to do on May 1st last year. It is important that locals realise we're there as much for them as anyone else. We'll manage our numbers if needed so as not to be unfair to anyone - we're not interested in unfairness and abuses of process.

"WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME WHEN I ATTEND?" - Simple! Polite, respectful participation. No arguments, no intimidation, no rudeness, but express your opinion with respect, intelligence and conviction. Do not get sucked into silly arguments with others - if others want to be rude, let them. Cop it and remember the CFM cause is more important. Remember: we want to help build a strong and viable CFM for all Victoria.

"IS THERE NOTHING GOOD HAPPENING WITH CFM?" Yes there is! Many people are working hard to make it work. Several working groups are shaping some fantastic outcomes. However, our concern remains with a few who have undue influence in the process and who continue to abuse trust and processes. They must be held accountable.

JOIN US AT DAYLESFORD ON APRIL 16TH. NOT TO PROTEST, BUT TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT WE'RE SERIOUS ABOUT CFM - FOR EVERYONE, AND MOST OF ALL, THE FOREST.

If you can indicate numbers coming from your networks this would be helpful. Below you will find an enma

Kind regards to all ..

Milton Oliver

Convenor: Tracks, Forest Roads and Operations workingf group

0412 368 918

9740 9145









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Reply By: Wombat - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 12:03

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 12:03
"Below you will find an enma" . . . I wondered what that slight pressure was!
AnswerID: 105259

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