Barry Chipman

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Barry Chipman is the Tasmanian State Co-ordinator of Timber Communities Australia (TCA), a front group for the Australian timber industry.

Logging activism

In 2004, Chipman told ABC TV's Four Corners in a program on logging in Tasmania's forests that the membership of TCA is largely drawn from people who work in the forest industry. "And our forest industry happens to include Gunns and Forestry Tasmania. We're very proud of that fact. A lot of our members are involved in both those organisations," he said. [1]

Chipman makes no apology for attrracting the bulk of its funding from logging companies rather than the membership. "We're not going to go to the fishing industry for our funding. The most logical place for us to seek funding from is the industry that we're part of," he told reporter, Ticky Fullerton.

In an online forum after the Four Corners program Chipman outlinied his background. "I have worked in our forest industry since leaving school in 1969. I've been a log barker, tree faller, skidder & log loader operator, been a fuel distributor, cut and sold fire wood and for the last 12 years been a member of a great national family now called Timber Communities Australia," he wrote.

In an interview with Sue Neales, a reporter from the Hobart newspaper, the Mercury, on Gunns cutting long term supply contracts by 40%, Chipman said that: "When you have situations like this, it identifies good operators. You never want to see someone leave the industry but, like any industry, there are good and bad operators. But it's not an easy world." [2] These comments infuriated the contractors and workers who had had their contracts slashed and lost work due the cuts, the same workers TCA and Chipman claim to represent.

"Forest Contractors Association chairman Rodney Bishop said he was also discouraged by the treatment of contractors. He said some operators had had their contracts severed after 20 years of loyal service," he told The Examiner. [3]

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