Mandatory reading for would-be politicians

Five compelling facts about the planned Tamar Valley pulp mill story continue to drive strong and growing community opposition to the proposal. At stake is the livelihood, health and environment of 100 000 people who live within the 55km radius odour zone. Also at stake is the future of many politicians.

Five compelling facts
  1. Siting the world’s fourth-largest kraft pulp mill in a picturesque valley that traps pollution and is home to 100 000 people.
  2. Refusal by the government to assess the socio-economic costs including job losses in tourism, wineries, agriculture and fishing, declining property values and damage to health.
  3. Corrupted government fast-track assessment including paying a foreign pulp mill maker for ‘approval’, and legislating to block taxpayers from seeking damages.
  4. Government acceptance of spurious reasons for Gunns’ withdrawal from independent assessment when critical deficiencies were due to be exposed.
  5. The diversion of government funds away from failing essential services (hospitals and schools) to subsidise forestry and the mill (between $250m and $360m/year).

The Tasmanian government has used taxpayers’ money to give major advantages to one industry while simultaneously denying the community any input into the planning or approval of a potentially hazardous industry in their midst, and denying access to legal redress or help in mounting a case against the project.

Instead of using the power of government to protect and nurture the citizens, the ALP government has used their powers to neuter their citizens and potentially place them, and their families, in danger with the only possible purposes appearing to be to advantage party donors or blindly adhere to dogma.

And what good has all of this principle-free decision making done to the ALP government in Tasmania? They are now widely on-the-nose and are in fear of their position at the next election.