TASMANIA: Water into wine
FOR 27 years Yvonne and Noel Gerke ran a transport business, hauling logs from Tasmania’s forests to mills grinding woodchips for customers in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. Then came the global financial downturn as well as campaigns to protect Tasmania’s native forests (see article). It clobbered the timber industry. “We employed 45 people until it crashed and burned,” says Ms Gerke. Four years ago the Gerkes took a payout from Australia’s federal government to quit logging. They are now gambling on another commodity: water.