Letter 3 from TAP to RPDC re Directions Hearing

Executive Commissioner
Executive Commissioner RPDC
GPO Box 1691
Hobart TAS 7001

Robert McMahon
Chairman of TAP Inc.

Dear Executive Commissioner

Re: Directions Hearing

Members of Tasmanians Against the Pulpmill Inc. [TAP] wish to be present at the RPDC Directions Hearing on Wednesday 25th October. We also request permission to address the RPDC.

The pulp mill proposal presents an unprecedented risk management problem for Tasmania with huge potential economic, environmental and political costs that will impact on the sustainability of the Tasmanian environment, our communities and the businesses that depend on a clean green image for continued profitability.

We wish to see the findings regarding impacts arising from the proposed pulp mill presented in a way in which individuals can relate to, ie worst case scenarios. For example:
- the impact on the surrounding community of a flue gas explosion (recognised insurance risk) in the 120m high smoke stack;
- the impacts on fisheries of toxic effluent in Bass Strait;
- the impacts of ground-water depletion arising from intensification of plantations for wood supply;
- the impact on tourism ventures of increased log truck movements.

Thus far the IIS has given us blanks (issue not addressed such as flue gas explosions, ground-water depletion, declining tourism) or averaged data (such as toxic effluent impacts) which obscures the real scale of damage. This is not acceptable.

The shortcomings of the draft IIS show that the proponent is not able to assess all the impacts in a meaningful and an integrated manner and the worst case scenarios should be assessed by independent qualified third parties.

If the shortcomings of the draft IIS are not addressed, there is a significant risk of poor decision making with regard to the approval and appropriate conditions to be attached to the proposal leading to accusations of poor management of the process and bias in favour of the proponent. None of these outcomes is helpful in meeting the objectives of the legislative framework of RPDC and promoting quality decision making for a sustainable future.

Yours sincerely

Robert McMahon
On behalf of TAP Inc. membership