I would ask you to vote against the proposed pulpmill.
We already have a viable long-term forestry industry. Rather than further intensification of the same industry, we should be aiming for diversity of products for economic development, rather than depending on a monoculture chip and pulp industry.
Wouldn't it be better to put our energy into industries that complement our well-being rather than risk it. World wood chip prices are falling and hence the recent rise of pulpmills in the world. Inevitably, world pulp prices will be the next to fall.
I cannot understand why the State Government has chosen to bury its head in the sand, with regard to all the risks this mill produces.
The only thing that advocates can say in support of the pulpmill is the economic potential and yet independent analysis show this potential not, to be, the case.
Considering all the negative impacts of this proposed mill, I find it reprehensible that the government has not done a risk analysis of a project of this size. Why not - Are they afraid of the answer? (Note- The ITSGlobal report was a benefits analysis so no risks were analysed there).
Another appalling indictment of this Government is the get-this-project-thru-at-any-cost mentality. Their interference of the RPDC, the bypassing of the RPDC, the watering down and complete omission of some of the guidelines for assessment, the lack of independence of companies chosen to do the assessments, the lack of risk analysis, and then, when their compromised assessments show all guidelines cannot be passed, a set of permits, which effectively allow breaches to occur. The American Tobacco Industry has a lot to learn.
But not to stop there, the Government shows its contempt for councillors by
1) not allowing a conscience vote
2) not allowing councillors to make permit amendments (except by Gunns)
3) not allowing sufficient time for adequate view of the aforementioned permits by councillors or the general public.
The major permits regarding detectible emissions (for instance, the monitoring of the milk of dairy cows in the immediate pulp mill area, for dioxins, furans and the like) do not guarantee closure of the mill or include any guarantee of compensation for local affected businesses.
A random quote from Hansard, I noticed (Thursday 21st June 2007)
Ms WRIEDT - No, it is still with the DPP. On the public record we had been somewhat frustrated by Gunns Ltd providing some of the information that the Environment division required in order to proceed with that investigation and so there was a delay. It was back in September last year, I think, or maybe even earlier, June last year that the burn occurred.
CHAIR - So are you telling me that our legislation is not strong enough for you to demand that a company within 14 days provide you with the required information? Is that a difficulty we have in current legislation?
Dr JONES - We have the powers to require information but, as you would be well aware, I guess, the people who have very good legal advice can often find ways of perhaps delaying or frustrating that process and we are still working through that.
This inspiring state of affairs is exactly why the general public has no faith in permits.
Other permit conditions that, because of the looseness of the wording and lack of definition, should not be allowed to occur:-
* A pollution event does not shut down the mill or even mean a breach of conditions, so long as Gunns reports the breach.
* Extraordinarily, even a suspension of the Pulp Mill Permit (due to breaches of permits and conditions) will NOT result in a shutdown of the mill.
* Air and liquid effluent emission limits were watered down after Gunns got to see the draft Permit. For example, allowable levels of nitrous oxides now exceed the RPDC emission limit guidelines.
In considering all of these circumstances I would hope that all Councillors would have to vote against this mill proposal, on the grounds of common sense and in response to the calls by the public majority (according to all polls).
Eric Ollier - Concerned Tasmanian