The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Myth busting - the Gunns pulp mill > Comments

Myth busting - the Gunns pulp mill : Comments

By Alan Ashbarry, published 31/8/2007

The Gunns pulp mill - just what is fact and what is fiction?

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. ...
  6. 11
  7. 12
  8. 13
  9. All
Rather than pulping 400 year old native forest to produce toilet paper why doesn't Tasmanian agriculture grow more hemp/cannabis/marijuana for paper production?

There are concerns about dioxins used in the paper mill processing and inaccurate costings of the project which ignore the government subsidies.
Posted by billie, Friday, 31 August 2007 9:09:43 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The problem affects the whole globe: with tonnes of chemicals being pumped into Bass Strait each year from the mill (ostensibly it will disperse), wildlife as far away as Antarctica will be affected:

"Penguin colonies as secondary sources of contamination with persistent organic pollutants":

http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/EM/article.asp?doi=B708103K

"The present study demonstrates, for the first time, that several POPs are present in elevated concentrations in an environment frequented by a non-migratory species (Adélie penguins) that spends its entire life in the Antarctic. Levels of POPs, such as p,p-DDE, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), chlordanes (CHLs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were 10 to 100-fold higher in soil samples from penguin colonies than from reference areas. This significant difference is likely related to local penguin activity, such as a higher abundance of guano and the presence of bird carcasses. This hypothesis is also supported by a higher percentage of persistent congeners (PCB 99, 118, 138 and 153) in the soil from the colonies compared to the reference areas. This profile of PCB congeners closely matched profiles seen in penguin eggs or penguin blood."

_________________________________________________________
Posted by battery, Friday, 31 August 2007 9:20:09 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Alan

The greatest myth of all is that we can go on building huge dinosaurs with an appetite for forests. These dinosaurs carry parasites who hitch a free ride on the monsters.

Some of our earliest ancestors were parasites, which goes a long way to explaining our extreme predisposition towards unhindered growth.

As parasites we were conceived, and as parasites we will miserably die when we kill off the parent organism. Does a tick really bother to learn much about the elephant?

The pulp mill is yesterday's obsession, agonised over by yesterday's men, who can't get enough of tomorrow's fake currency. And all for the sake of stuffing Japanese landfill with used copier-paper!

It's the end for this kind of stupid enterprise - no more! No More!
Posted by Chris Shaw, Carisbrook 3464, Friday, 31 August 2007 9:57:51 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The minister will conclude that there will be no environmental impact and the mill will be approved.

The millions of tons of timber removed from ancient ecosytems which the mill will need to consume will not be seen as an environmental impact.
Posted by healthwatcher, Friday, 31 August 2007 10:04:47 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Mate, a nice piece of propaganda - so nice that those swine Bolt and Akerman are quoting from it. But what about the truth? For every study or report you quote there are others that conflict with your biased and self-interested view. The pulp mill making money for Tasmania? The smart money is on the pulp mill COSTING the Tassie and Australian taxpayer more money than it will claw back through taxes. The pulp mill supporting poor, small, helpless rural communities? Wrong - the pulp mill is going to cost more jobs than it will create.

I think you will find that most of us right-minded Tasmanians are FOR the pulp mill - but not in the Tamar Valley. What you are saying by denying the alternative Hampshire site is that you, as a forester, dont give a toss about the local communities of the Valley, or the communities of Hampshire who want this mill located there.

You represent a few thousand foresters who don't care about anyone else but themselves, let alone what is good for Tasmania.

A case in point. My family has been in the forestry industry of Tasmania for more than a hundred years. We have included some champion axemen and some foresters of the year. One of these foresters of the year, a man who has worked in the industry all of his life, has recently moved away from the area my family have lived in for 130 years. He is no greenie or latte-sipping inner city pinko. He has moved away because he is disgusted with the torched earth policies of Gunns and the effect its has had on his local area.

He is not the only one.

Tasmania is now fully owned by a corporation, a small cadre of fat men made rich by scalping the Tassie taxpayer, and conning and intimidating the cowed federal parties into turning a blind eye to their abuses of power, for the sake of a few votes.

You are a disgrace to the CFMEU southern cross flag that I have proudly worn all of my life.
Posted by tockers, Friday, 31 August 2007 10:07:01 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Hi Alan,
Lots of factual information. Thanks.
It is a pity that there is so much emotion and politics in this issue.
Posted by Jennifer, Friday, 31 August 2007 10:12:09 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
My misgiving concerns future diligence rather than the current political process. During the autumn forestry burnoffs I was starting to feel crook from two weeks of fine smoke inhalation. My email to the air quality monitoring agency was essentially fobbed off. Suppose organochlorines are found in the Bass Strait scallops; will there be the same bureaucratic buck passing? Under the philosophy of Lennonism if it means hindering forest biz the rules seem to be flexible. The Premier's blatant bias when he should be at arms length gives no reason to think anything will change.
Posted by Taswegian, Friday, 31 August 2007 10:46:24 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Think about Taswegian inbreeding when you check the author's photo....same kind of moustache as the Premier.
Posted by Ponder, Friday, 31 August 2007 11:04:04 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Billie,

You asked "why doesn't Tasmanian agriculture grow more hemp/cannabis/marijuana for paper production?".

Whilst I agree that hemp should be decriminalised and that it can be a valuable resource for fibre I don't think it is wise to use hemp plantations for fibre instead of timber plantations. Timber plantations offer great positive externalities that you don't get with hemp. A stand of trees that grows for 40 years before being harvested will provide habitat for a multitude of animals and plants. The same land with hemp harvested annually will not be as eco friedly. Timber can also generally be grown economically on terrain that is not suitable for annual cropping such as hemp would require. What we need in order to ecourage more plantation farming is sound and secure property rights and guarantees that production will not be confiscated or harvesting prohibitied in 40 years time.

Regards,
Terje.
Posted by Terje, Friday, 31 August 2007 12:31:23 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Transcript with he who mistakenly considers his role as Premier "to grow the Tasmanian economy" above anything else...

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2019797.htm
Posted by Atom1, Friday, 31 August 2007 2:44:53 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Alan,
re your remark that:

"These concerns over dispersion models ignore the fact there is already treated effluent from a Victorian pulp mill (also clean and green) being discharged into Bass Strait and that this effluent is rapidly diluted (PDF 286KB)."

According to the "Report prepared on behalf of NSG Consulting
[on]
Treatment and recycling options Bell Bay Pulp Mill Project
[by]
Department of Environment and Water
7 July, 2007 Job No. J072055",
http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/notices/assessments/2007/3385/pubs/att-b6.pdf

the proposed effluent will contain about 1 microgram per litre of cadmium and 1/4 microgram per litre of mercury. These are tiny levels until you begin to conseder the volume of water being released.

Your link to
http://www.tca.org.au/EFFLUENT%20DISPERSAL%20Bass%20strait%20only%20with%20comments.pdf shows an estimated 64,000 Tonnes of effluent being released each day, according to the marine impact assessment prepared for Gunns, Toxicos document TR101006-RJF, of 23 January, 2007.

The arithmetic allows us to estimate an average daily release of about 16 kg of mercury and 64 kg of cadmium, two heavy metals which accumulate in the food chain and affect the safety of marine fish as food.

All very well to say that no fish or seabirds will feed in the vicinity of the effluent outfall, but I have my doubts. And so should you.

The remarks above about dioxins in antarctic penguins demonstrate that simple models can fall short of adequate explanations - and predictions. Chemicals move in mysterious ways through food chains.

Alan, Can you tell me where How this mercury and cadmium come to be in the effluent stream?
Posted by Sir Vivor, Friday, 31 August 2007 6:54:46 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I remember Gunns. Weren't they that Tasmanian group who loved Gods Creation so much that they dropped poison baits from helecopters to kill little possums and other little beings before the chain saws went and killed the old trees.
Posted by Gibo, Friday, 31 August 2007 7:13:42 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"Around the world pulp mills, vineyards and tourism happily coexist. They do so in British Columbia..."

I live near a pulp mill on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Though 90 million was recently put into pollution controls, we still suffer with poor air quality and ash fallout from the boilers that contaminates the surrounding areas' soil with dioxins and furans. Tourists are disgusted with the visual and air pollution and the food produced on soils has never been examined for dioxin contamination. To save the industry money in its waste management, the toxic sludge and fly ash from the pollution controls is now being landspread on public farm, forest and watershed lands throughout BC completely unregulated by our government.
Posted by Islander, Saturday, 1 September 2007 2:08:23 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"As parasites we were conceived, and as parasites we will miserably die when we kill off the parent organism."
Actually most parasites don't kill their hosts.

"The arithmetic allows us to estimate an average daily release of about 16 kg of mercury and 64 kg of cadmium, two heavy metals which accumulate in the food chain and affect the safety of marine fish as food."
You might want to check you arithmetic it is out by a factor of 1000. That should be 16g and 64g per day.

"The remarks above about dioxins in antarctic penguins demonstrate that simple models can fall short of adequate explanations - and predictions."
The remarks weren't about dioxins, they were about POP's. Not sure what the POP level of penguins has to do with this article. The dioxin levels put out by this plant are miniscule.

Seems to be a lot of very emotive (rather than fact based) misgivings about the proposed pulp mill. NIMBYism is also alive and well. If we are prepared to log the timber, chip it and send it on large boats overseas to be put through a pulp mill somewhere else, then I don't think you can argue against a pulp mill on our shores. Think of the greenhouse gases you will save by removing the transportation component of woodchips to a far off country. I won't even mention the economic stupidity of not having a pulp mill in our country as most people on OLO equate economics with evil. You guys should really be arguing against the logging of old growth forests and not wasting your time on the pulp mill.
Posted by alzo, Saturday, 1 September 2007 7:40:31 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"the net social and economic benefit for Tasmania was assessed as “positive and high”. The mill will add 2.5 per cent to Gross State Product and about $6.7 billion to the economy over the life of the project."

and how much will the shareholders/ owners of Gunns stand to make over the life of the project?
and what is it realistically and HONESTLY going to cost the taxpayer over the life of the project?

corporate greed only has one word in it's vocab .... PROFIT.
at any cost .... PERIOD.

cheers v.
p.s. has anybody noticed that the 21st century thus far, is a cess pit of absolute insanity ....?
Posted by virtual, Saturday, 1 September 2007 8:32:49 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Yes, my arithmetic is mistaken, and easily checked:

1 microgram per litre
= 1 microgram per kilogram
= 1 milligram per Tonne
= 1 gram per 1000 Tonnes

so 64,000 Tonnes per day of effluent gives 64 grams cadmium + 16 g mercury per day released.

And I regret any consequences of the error I made.

I expect that the proponents generally got their arithmetic right, but I wonder if their assumptions are so easily checked?

And I wonder if any apologies will be forthcoming, in the event that they result in accurate arithmetic giving answers that are wrong?

My guess is that we Tasmanians will be paying for the consequences of the proponents mistakes,with our time, money and quality of life.

Even the stockholders may suffer!
Posted by Sir Vivor, Saturday, 1 September 2007 10:10:20 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
It seems more myths need to be busted.

No old growth forest (as defined by the Commonwealth and State Governments in the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement) will be used as feed stock for this mill refer to all the Developers public statements and EPBC Impact statement.

Forest giants are protected in Tasmania, together with one million hectares of old growth reserved under the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement. The mills wood will come from low conservation value regrowth forest and plantations.

The mill makes pulp suitable for fine writing paper, other pulp mills around Australia make essential pulp based products such as tissues, packaging, cartons, hygienic products and newspapers. This mill is looking at a high value added market.

Seems misquoting the order of magnitude has also been a problem (as the maths can be daunting) that has been feature of the public debate. In relation to the Mercury and cadmium, Dr Drew’s report quoted importantly compares effluent loads against guideline values. His report details how and which health authority sets these values that protect the environment, marine species and human health. An extract (without footnotes) is produced below for those not wanting to download the whole report from the Pulp mill’s web site (apologies for the lack of columns and the symbol for the tiny amount of grams

Table A2.3: Comparison with adopted guidelines for protection of aquatic organisms
Substance Effluent-concentration-(ug/L) Back
ground
(ug/L) Effluent
concentration after dilution,-DV100 (ug/L)a, g Adopted-Guideline-Value-(EGV)-(95%)-(ug/L) Quotient (DV100 ÷ GV)
Metals
Cadmium 0.98 0.0 0.0098 0.7 0.01
Mercury 0.25 0.0002 0.0027 0.1 0.027
Posted by cinders, Saturday, 1 September 2007 10:22:44 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Alzo

As per usual, you peddle misinformation. Dioxins are POP's. POP's stands for Persistent Organic Pollutants and dioxins are one of the 12 "dirty dozen" listed as POP's and set down for effective control by WHO.

Australia ratified the Stockholm Convention to "control, reduce or eliminate" discharges, emissions and losses to the environment of POP's." The deadline for signatories to adhere to this edict is 2008. I see no action as yet by Australian regulators to alert pollutant companies to this edict.

Gunns appear to have proposed limits on the amount of dioxins permitted to atmosphere, however, with the current reporting procedures in Australia, I do not believe that dioxins can be effectively controlled.

Islander. Canada is also a signatory to the convention. Spreading fly ash, a known substance for a resting place for dioxins, is totally irresponsible. This practice is also carried out in Australia and is added to potting mix, soil improvers etc by the agricultural industry.

The international limits on stack emissions for dioxins in 0.1 nanograms per cubic metre. I have yet to see any enforcement of this limit on the pollutant companies, or safe disposal, when I have viewed the licence conditions. In fact, dioxins are rarely included in the licensing procedures.

Apathy and delirium is part of the culture that pervades the corporate environmental vandals' philosophy, not that of the "nimbys" as is so incorrectly reported!
Posted by dickie, Saturday, 1 September 2007 2:03:20 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
virtual says: "p.s. has anybody noticed that the 21st century thus far, is a cess pit of absolute insanity ....?"

Oh, too right brother!

This is my theory:

We old people have attained critical mass in western society. We retain a critical mass of the wealth. We retain critical mass in the decision making process.

Ergo, there is now a critical mass of greedy, selfish, stupidity afoot in the world. Mr Howard himself is the personification of this trend - the perfect figurehead - the perfect Prime Minister for his demographic.

So even as world grain supplies and fresh water supplies reach critical, we are told we MUST have the world's largest machine for eating forests - a dinosaur which will crap all over the food-chain.

Oh great! Dementia anyone?

Haven't we had enough of the Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Bushes, Howards, Lennons, Gunns, McBank CEOs and all the other psychotic incontinents yet? How many "senior moments" can the Earth take before the cleaning staff are totally overwhelmed? Will someone please tell the inmates that their Economy is down the at end of the psych ward!

The worst thing that never happened at the turn of the century, is that the young people didn't rise up and throw these demented seniors out.

- soylent green anyone? Aw, g'wan - just a nibble.
Posted by Chris Shaw, Carisbrook 3464, Saturday, 1 September 2007 9:26:46 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
There have been a lot of supposedly disparaging remarks referring to people in Sydney who want to protect native forests and question the environmental credentials of the mill as being elite "Latte drinkers" - where can't you get a latte these days? Check out McDonalds, for example.

Last year Tasmania's Shadow Attorney General called Paul Lennon a "brain damaged, alcohol-addicted thug":

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/11/02/1780037.htm

Anything surrounding forestry in Tasmania is controversial, because of the CFMEU and its connections with Labor, as well as all of the Tasmanian gentry involved in Gunns Ltd (David McQuestin, John Gay, and a past premier of Tasmania, Robin Gray).

Connections between Forestry Tasmania and the timber community are also very thick. Terry Edwards, who used to be spokesman for Forestry Tasmania, is now the chief executive of the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania.

People generally feel that the influences that the timber community have on governmental processes in Tasmania are too great and unhealthy for democracy. Local councils such as the Break O'Day municipality were overruled in their desires to see the Blue Tiers forests protected for their conservation and tourism values, but the state government pretty much declared the whole area open for clear felling. Similarly, many in the East and West Tamar regions do not deem their municipalities to be industrial estates and value the vinyards, fishing industries, and tourism assets such as the bushland up and down the Tamar River. Nobody wants a stinky mill near a tourism town such as Launceston, where the air inversion layer means smog would not escape in winter months.

________________________________________
Posted by battery, Monday, 3 September 2007 9:48:19 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
What is fact is that Alan is with the organisation "Timber Communities Australia" which is funded (in previous years to the tune of $750 000) by the pulp mill proponent Gunns Ltd.

Where should we start with Alan's myth "making"? How about his statement "The guidelines imposed mean the entire mill must operate on a hierarchy comprising waste avoidance; waste recycling/reclamation; and waste re-use. Any marine discharge at the end of these processes would have to have no significant environmental effect outside the small mixing zone." The reality of this is a proposed piping (for 40km) of massive amounts of potable fresh water from the South Esk River, to be converted into 64 000 tonnes/day of dioxin and furan polluted fluid waste emptied into Bass Strait. No environmental impact outside the small mixing zone given 64 000 tonnes/day of waste over 30 years. The "fact" is that better processes are available, but Gunns won't put up the funds.

Sorry Alan, you need some practice in making your propaganda less transparent - start with the Sun Herald.

Mike from Tas
Posted by mikefromtas, Monday, 3 September 2007 10:27:58 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
More Arithmetic for Alzo, given:

"No environmental impact outside the small mixing zone given 64 000 tonnes/day of waste over 30 years. The "fact" is that better processes are available, but Gunns won't put up the funds.

64 grams cadmium + 16 grams mercury adds up to 84 grams per day of these two heavy metals.

84 grams x 365.25 days per year x 30 years gives us around 900 kilograms of these two heavy metals added to the oufall zone.

Will this area be out of bounds for benthic and pelagic harvesting?
Posted by Sir Vivor, Monday, 3 September 2007 4:07:16 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Posted by Jennifer, Friday, 31 August 2007 10:12:09 AM:
"Hi Alan, Lots of factual information. Thanks. It is a pity that there is so much emotion and politics in this issue."

Lots of facts except the crucial one, that Alan Ashbarry & Timber Communities Australia are fully funded by the National Association of Forest Industries (Hello Gunns!!)
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Timber_Communities_Australia

But thats exactly the kind of fact PR flacks always omit. I suspect 'Jennifer' is actually Ms Jennifer Marohasy, as employed by reknown industry propaganda wurlitzer the Institute of Public Affairs.
Posted by Liam, Monday, 3 September 2007 7:02:07 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The trouble with the CFMEU is they peddle the lie that all who are against this pulp mill are against their workers, then switch off and listen to nothing said against the mill.
Open your ears and listen for once Alan, the only thing most of us are against is sitting the mill in the Tamar valley, and using non plantation timber. If you listened to the Australian scientists who have grave concerns about this Mill so would you. Instead you read the SwecoPic report ( well the bits you like of it ) and the ITS global report on the so called benefits. These reports were commissioned by the Tas. Government and they tout them as supposedly independent, but SwecoPic is a partner of the builder of the mill and the ITS report only looked at possible benefits not a proper cost/benefit analysis which would have examined the costs and set them off against the benefits.
You could have this mill with little opposition if you just looked at the facts for a change and forced Gunns to compromise and go for a smaller plantation based mill at Hampshire – where odour won’t be a problem.
But the CFMEU and Gunns are so bloody minded and confident in their ability to bully the people of Tasmania and have it all their way, that they won’t even consider compromising.
There are many of your own members now speaking out against this mill too, and there would no doubt be a lot more but for the fear of retribution from the CFMEU, Gunns and the state government.
I support Forest workers as do most of us we all use timber in our homes. Why don’t you drop the confrontationist attitude and work with the community for a result all will be happy with. Stop fueling a war and get real.
Also it will not be built in the BellBay industrial precinct, the proposed site is 6K downstream towards Launceston from there, and as you point out yourself Bell Bay is already over saturated with Heavy industry and can absorb no more.
Posted by jbee, Monday, 3 September 2007 7:45:40 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Myths indeed Mr Ashbarry!. A very selective article you have written. The mill is proposed at longreach which is 9.5km south of the bell bay precinct and 6.5km south of the relatively benign bell bay power station. The Longreach site is the most southerly and isolated heavy industry in the region, yet it will dwarf all others. The mill would be sited on a unique narrowing of the Tamar River. Directly opposite the proposed mill site is the rowella peninsula - the home of vineyards, agribusiness and aquaculture and organic producers. The 15km directly south of the rowella peninsula represents the iconic Tamar valley wine route. Tasmanias premier wine route. This stretch of the tamar on both sides of the river is now a wine and food lovers paradise, dotted with local producers, pubs and restaurants, skilled artists and craftspeople - a dozen vineyards, cellar doors, organic farms, agribusiness and many other tourist operators. All this before we even begin to talk about the many thousands of residents. The culture of this region has shifted over the last twenty years and is now the major tourist hub in the north. The Tamar Valley has been slowly allowed to de-industrialise whilst refining and cleaning up the existing industry in the industrial town of Georgetown. Georgetown is the only part of the Tamar valley that our premier has visited or attempted to engage during this whole debate. He and is government, including the tourism and environment minister Paula Wriedt who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into meeting Tamar valley tourism operators have virtually excised the Tamar Valley I have outlined above from their minds. The MAJORITY OF people in the Tamar Valley have in every forum available to them - and this has been extensively documented that they do not want this pulp mill. And they have said in even larger numbers they DISAPPROVE of the fast-track approvals process that the government has employed to ram the pulp mill through the parliament. But that is a subject for another post!
Posted by zane, Monday, 3 September 2007 9:43:18 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Have you heard that John Howard is just busting for Peter Garrett to come out and condemn the current proposal. Then Johnny Howard can play hero and move the mill from its current site to the marginal electorate of Braddon where there is dire unemployment and no treasured environment to worry about.
Posted by billie, Monday, 3 September 2007 10:09:23 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Another important dimension of the mill project is the amount of drinking water it will consume, estimated to be 26 billion litres of water each year.

There are a lot of councils in Tasmania, let alone on the mainland, who would be eager to get that kind of water supply (would help the Murray River!).

The Tasmanian government is agitating for control of water supplies to be passed from local councils to a statewide authority. Local councils would probably lose their sovereignty over their water catchments, their right to decide where their water is used, etc.

There has been talk in the past of sending water to mainland Australia via super tanker:

"TASMANIA is considering plans to export billions of litres of fresh water from its wild rivers to parched mainland cities using supertankers.

"A number of companies, including one chaired by former prime minister Bob Hawke, are negotiating to capture excess water from swollen rivers on the state's high-rainfall west coast.

"Although the Tasmanian Government was initially sceptical, state Water Minister David Llewellyn told The Weekend Australian he now believed the idea stacked up economically -- and could be used to benefit Tasmanians as well as mainland consumers."

http://www.solarsailor.com/media_070602_Tasmania.htm

______________________________
Posted by battery, Monday, 3 September 2007 11:21:38 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Any contribution to the debate on the proposed Gunns pulp mill by a member of TCA must be contextualised.
Timber Communities Australia proports to represent the "timber folk" of Tasmania yet is closely linked to and partly funded by (FIAT) the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, which is in turn funded by timber industry corporate players, predominantly Gunns. Gunns is of course the pulp mill proponent. Sorry to be a party pooper big al.
Since its inception in 1987, TCA has positioned itself as the voice of the little people caught between the conservation movement, governments and the large woodchip companies. It purports to be the authentic voice of those who are "merely seeking to make a living and keep their jobs and feed their families". Its advertisements feature stereotypes of the hard-working family--craftspeople, bee keepers, people in truck-stop cafes and children in the bush with their grandparents. Its web page says it is a grassroots organisation which `exists to encourage the sensible, balanced multiple use of our forests for the benefit of all Australians'",
In fact, it is the brainchild and mouthpiece of NAFI, the National Association of Forest Industries, headquartered in Canberra, the lobby group of Australia's logging and woodchip corporations. NAFI and Timber Communities Australia share a common headquarters in Canberra and a common executive director, Kate Carnell.
A quick look at Timber Communities Australias financial returns reveal its lack of grassroots support.
In 2001-02 only four per cent, or $43,630, of Timber Communities Australia's income came from its members. Seventy-six per cent, or $730,000 out of $965,498, was from direct industry contributions.
In the following year, 2002-03, direct contributions from industry to TCA rose to 86 per cent--$734,154 of the total of $838,977--and, conversely, member contributions fell by $4,228 to only $39,402,
I,m Sorry if I have disillusioned anyone.
cheerio
samps
Posted by samps, Monday, 3 September 2007 11:43:57 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The other giant elephant in the Gunns pulp mill room that Alan Ashbarry and others in the pro-mill axis camp which of course includes Tasmanias Lennon labor government, continue to gloss over is the approvals process ie: the shonky and deceitful way in which this project has been kept alive.- The process which recent ERMS polls showewd 64 percent of Tasmanians feel is a sham – and equally that Premier Lennons personal approval rating has slumped to 24 per cent, with 67 per cent disapproving of his performance.
This has been extensively documented.
Indeed word limits constrain one from doing justice to any essay on this topic. So I will simply submit to readers some links to articles and documents that will outline the events particulalry those since December 2006 when the behaviour of the government and the proponent began to bring about the unravelling of an RPDC process which both parties had promised the people of Tasmania would deliver them a rigorous, world class assessment process free of government interference. It was in December that Dr. Warwick Raverty and Julian Greens both resigned from Tasmanias RPDC pulp mill assessment panel. Shockingly, Julian Green the former RPDC chairman in correspondence to Raverty on 20 December 2006, 4 days before he resigned his post citing government interference said
"I tell you this, if Gunns were not a Tasmanian company, this proposal would have already been rejected. As you know we have bent over backwards to help them get it right and they just keep stuffing us around. They are just a bunch of clowns. I am really, really sorry warwick"
1. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21166686-3462,00.html
2.http://typingisnotactivism.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/mmmm-get-a-load-of-that-finnish-more-pulp-fiction-insights-from-dr-warwick-raverty/
3.http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21406490-921,00.html
4.http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21419866-3462,00.html
5.http://www.tamarpulpmill.info/latest.html (scroll down to march 2007)
6.http://www.abc.net.au/rn/nationalinterest/stories/2007/1880848.htm
7.http://tapvision.info/node/117
8.http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/s1992154.htm
9.http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22270623-27197,00.html
10.http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21431278-601,00.html

Read it and weep. We who live here do.
Posted by zane, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 1:12:04 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Alan's comments confirm the dioxin information disjunction in the pulp mill debate:

“PCDD and PCDF emissions in ECF and TCF effluents are about the same. If ECF bleaching is used, the emissions of 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF to water are lower than the limit of quantitation (US EPA Method 1613).”

This limit of quantitation is 10 pg/l based on the available technology when the limit was established. It does not ensure that dioxins will not accumulate in the environment or cause harm. Tests with greater accuracy are now available, but obviously cost more. Because of this modern mills in Canada, Sweden and Maine (US) have followed alternative regimes including continuous improvement and A-B tests requiring no detectable impact on the environment. Pulp Mills can and should operate at orders of magnitude better than 10 pg/l.
Posted by Alex of Tasmania, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 12:17:48 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
“Calculations for dioxin levels (PDF 147KB) appear to ignore international experience and have been quoted in the hope of giving this criticism legitimacy.”

This was toxicos’ attempted rebuttal to the errors identified by Prof Andrew Wadsley. However it contained a factual error of assumption; Swedish and Canadian pulp mills actually operate below 1 pg/l due to improved technology and continuous improvement, not the nominal 10 pg/l historical limit. When the actual operating performance of these mills is incorporated then the analysis of Prof Wadsley is borne out, that is there are high dioxins levels identified in some fish, but at a significantly lower level than that which occurred in the 1980s prior to the introduction of the continuous improvement regime. Prof Wadsley’s analysis utilises the EPA screening model (incorrectly applied by Toxicos) and Monte Carlo simulation.

The impacts in Sweden and Canada are based on mills where there has already been a very high pollution level in the past. This will have caused irreparable damage to the ecosystem, it is therefore inappropriate to simply assume that their effluent levels can be transposed to the low-flushing pristine five-mile-bluff environment without a proper environment impact assessment and hydrodynamic modelling.

Toxicos’ initial fundamental errors with respect to dioxin modelling, from which Gunns has been unable to extricate itself, have resulted in a flawed proposal. Without these errors it is likely that initial planning would have incorporated improved dioxin abatement technology, such as tertiary treatment to remove particulates, and a location selection which enabled the effluent outfall to be directed to a high-flushing environment.

Mr Ashbarry’s assumption is based on a prejudice that dioxins should not be a problem if the design and planning of the pulp mill is conducted professionally. While the prejudice continues, the assumptions that underpin them have been unmade by Toxicos’ mistakes and the flawed assessment process.
Posted by Alex of Tasmania, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 12:18:36 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
nice to have ashbarry contributing, given goebbels wasn't available.
Posted by bushbasher, Wednesday, 5 September 2007 4:46:04 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Looks like more myth busting is needed. The claim that 26 GL of drinking water, or irrigation water, is to be used by the mill is at odds to the announcements of the Hydro and the developer.

The water will be drawn from the Hydro’s Trevallyn power station and represents about 1% of the water that flows through the turbines. This is sold at a commercial rate and an infrastructure fee. The power station receives its water from the Trevallyn dam that is fed from three rivers, the South Esk, Macquarie and Meander and the Poatina power station. . This is after use by irrigators, after allocation for drinking water and after it has been diverted to maintain environmental flows. This water is ‘raw’ eg not treated to drinking water standard. The loss of power (less than 1 MWatt) will be more than compensated by excess power from the mill. For more information http://www.tca.org.au/Tasmanian%20Water%20Issues.pdf

There is also the claim that the mill will be heavily subsidised and will not be profitable. The subsidies listed by the LEC include the funds from the 1997 RFA, taxation treatment of MIS, funds allocated to saw millers and tourist operators under the Tasmanian community forest agreement, and the loss of value to fishing, tourism, vineyards and food production. Official government figures that show Agricultural and Fisheries production has consistently increased at about 5% a year over the past 10 years. The likely minimal impact on these important industries is examined at www.tca.org.au

The LEC profitability model, if you look at just one variable, the sale price of pulp, you can judge for your self. (Other aspects of the model may be flawed e.g. costs of the pulp wood etc, these have been ignored).
Despite obtaining information from the Macquarie Bank that pulp sold at either US$650 or US$500, the model used $500.

This is in stark contrast to Gunns A$800 (US$644) or ABARE showing import replacement cost of US$630.
Based on the mills cost of A$1,700 million, the results are:
NPV (before tax) A$m
Wells 32
Gunns 2,480
ABARE 1,972
Posted by cinders, Wednesday, 5 September 2007 10:27:54 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
alex from Tasmania appears to only want to defend Andrew Wadsley, wonder why?

After a bit of good old file searching come across a very interesting Green submission being The Greens Volume 2a: Bell Bay Pulp Mill Risk Audit Report titled
A Joint Submission to the Resource Planning and Development
Commission on Gunns’ Pulp Mill Proposal Draft Integrated Impact
Statement
Prepared by
AUSTRALIAN RISK AUDIT
1360 Huon Road
NEIKA, Tasmania 7054
Presented By
Tasmanian Greens Opposition Leader Peg Putt MHA
Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne
Monday, 25 September 2006

Even more interesting when we have a look at just who are the two co authors listed in this Greens report

Professor Andrew Wadsley PhD, MSc, Bsc(Hons). Professor Wadsley
received a BSc (Hons) and University Medal in Mathematics from the
Australian National University in 1970, an MSc from the University of
Warwick (UK) in 1972, and a PhD (Mathematics) from the University of
Warwick (UK) in 1974.

Alex Wadsley MBA, B.Ec(Hons). Mr Wadsley has a 10 year academic and
professional history in analysing risk. Academic experience includes
examining forestry and fire risk, and he has an MBA (Advanced) from the Graduate School of Management at the University of Western Australia. He is a member of the Economic Society of Australia and the Tasmanian Greens. He is currently undertaking an Economics PhD looking at exchange rates, commodity prices and purchasing price parity.

So wouldn't mind having a few bob now on just who Alex from Tasmania really is.
Posted by Bas, Wednesday, 5 September 2007 11:33:05 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
So what bas (barry chipman)? I dont care who Alex is. The fact is you will find it very difficult to dispute Alex's arguments on dioxins which are backed by the EPBC submission (http://www.cleantamar.com.au/pdf/EPBC_submission_31_08_2007_corrected_V2.pdf)
of Dr Stuart Godfrey, Dr Andrew Wadsley and Dr Warwick Raverty who was once the darling of Gunns and the tasmanian government before he blew the whistle on Gunns 2nd rate pulp mill submission and the antics of the Tasmanian government. Once again Barry Chipman attempts some sort of character assassination when his pulp mill propoganda is challenged. As for Cinders who is probably either Barry Chipman or some other hack from the TCA, if you expect people to even remotely begin to take your pro-mill arguments seriously, you will have to do better than submitting links to propoganda from rabidly pro-pulp mill logging front groups like the TCA. The fact is that Gunns and the Tasmanian woodchip industries cannot even come close to breaking even without subsidies. Just have a look at the comparative graphs between Forestry Tasmania (government arm of industry) and Gunns whom FT have transferred massive amounts of Tasmanias public forests to. Tasmania has sold its forests very cheaply and Forestry Tasmania's bottom line reflects this. It s contribution (or lack of) is nothing short of criminal miserable. It is beyond belief. Forestry Tasmania has received almost a billion dollars in handouts since the late 80s and it still can't deliver a decent return for our precious public resource. Its actually difficult to even know for sure the true state of logging operations in Tasmania and the actual relationship between government and industry - ie. how much Gunns actually pay for crown forest owned by the Australian people because of the logging industry's incredible exemption from the FOI Act. Total woodchip production figures since 2000 are officially secret in Tasmania. What we do know is that Gunns' shares were at a miserable $1.40 when the Bacon/Lennon government came to power in August 1998. Its subsequent growth has been staggering.
Posted by zane, Wednesday, 5 September 2007 4:59:34 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(continued)
If Gunns were an elite athlete you would look at their performance trajectory and be compelled to suspect performance enhancing drugs! Within four years, Gunns had recorded an increase of 199% in profits, with another 39% increase in 2002-03. With the acquisition of two rival companies, Gunns took control of more than 85% of logging in Tasmania. Five years after Bacon won government, Gunns was worth more than $1bn, with shares regularly trading in excess of $12. It had become both the largest logging company in Australia and the largest hardwood woodchip exporter in the world, its product flooding in from the state's fallen forests.
Nothing short of a royal commission is needed to expose the corruption and cronyism past and present in the tasmanian forest industry aided and abetted by the lennon labor govt. The results i believe would be explosive.
Posted by zane, Wednesday, 5 September 2007 5:01:43 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
As I have alluded to in earlier posts, it is the process, the way in which Gunns and the Tasmanian government have by seriously questionable means kept this pulp mill proposal alive that is of most concern to Tasmanians. As polls have shown. There are very serious questions of ethics in governance that have been glossed over in the quest by the Lennon government to get this project up.
For a little more context on some of the pivotal players in Gunns Pulp mill saga like Former Tasmanian Premier Robin Gray and David McQuestin - both Gunns board members, John Gay -CEO of Gunns and Premier Paul Lennon, these publicly available documents may bring some perspective. The transcript of the 1991 Carter royal commission int the Rouse bribery scandal is also a very instructive document if readers can access it.
http://www.bluetier.org/articles1/flanagan.htm
http://www.themonthly.com.au/pastIssues/index.html#
http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/tas/content/2006/s1807148.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/tas/content/2006/s1775346.htm (Brian Green is the state minister who "negotiated" the 20year wood supply deal that Gunns now has in place to supply is pulp mill. Incredibly, as of today neither the state nor federal assessments has looked at the impacts of this pulp mill on the resource -Tasmanias forests.
Posted by samps, Wednesday, 5 September 2007 8:51:29 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
When cinders say “The mill makes pulp suitable for fine writing paper, other pulp mills around Australia make essential pulp based products such as tissues, packaging, cartons, hygienic products and newspapers. This mill is looking at a high value added market” I must ask where else in the world such a fine eucalyptus fiber mill as proposed by Gunns already exists. Without a suitable pilot plant or well established mill for digesting our hardwood all calculations are just estimates, not science.

To my knowledge Gunns have never made either pulp or paper in Tasmania except perhaps in a test tube and everything we hear from the TCA now becomes mere waffle when it eventually comes to the practice.

The sad thing is some people at AMCOR are probably smiling as we debate the issue. That’s about mill shakedown time, not the delay as everybody waits for the federal environment minister to admit he’s also lost in the plot
Posted by Taz, Thursday, 6 September 2007 1:43:09 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Rockin' thread, thanks Samps for lowdown on Timber Communities Australia funding by industry (86% of $840k in 02-03!), thanks Zane, Battery, Alex of Tas for bringing real information to bear and thanks all for keeping it fairly civilised. Any bets on where to from here? What i'd really like to see is more investigation of Gunns corrupt dealings with Tas government (via a standing official corruption commission), HoWARd might even find a way to make that in his interests but could the Tasmanian Libs?
Posted by Liam, Thursday, 6 September 2007 8:07:32 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Just to add a bit more to pot I heard another myth on the TV news last night about the impact on Penguins of the pulp mill being raised at the 6th International Penguin Conference.

Dr Eric J Woehler of Birds Tasmania and a conference organizer told Southern Cross news on 5 Sep 07 that the pulp mill might contaminate the water in such a way that there is no food left for the penguins in the water, but the "fact that it wasn’t even addressed in the impact assessment for the mill"

So again did a bit of searching, went to the the the pulp mills impact Statement ( Bell Bay Pulp Mill Project, Impact Assessment under the EPBC Act) available at http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/notices/assessments/2007/3385/documents.html

And was amazed to find that it states:
A dioxin assessment was also undertaken on the Little Penguin (listed marine species) and the White-bellied sea eagle (listed threatened species). The Little Penguin was selected because it feeds on fish and squid that eat invertebrates which are in contact with sediment, and sea eagles are at the top of the food chain and theoretically have the potential to accumulate higher body burdens of dioxins than other birds. The assessment found that adverse impact are not anticipated.

So then did a double check just to confirm and bugger me found Figure 13 of the Toxikos Response on submissions citing dioxin calculation concerns that shows that effluent impact will be insignificant (available from the DEW web site.) This graph shows dioxin levels are dramatically below the US EPA toxicity reference value for the protection of aquatic animals. In law I think they say "case rests".
Posted by Bas, Thursday, 6 September 2007 11:13:19 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
More Myths that can be busted. Since 2002 there have been seven mills that have commenced operation, mainly using ECF bleaching and most using Eucalypt. Way back in 2003/04 the international search for World standards examined all the research and all the trends, the reports of these search and the standards that result from them is on the RPDC Web site. Expert consultant Beca Amec even did a further study in 2006.
Here a list of new mills together with output, feedstock, date commissioned and bleaching process:

Santa Fé, Chile 800 000 Eucalyptus 2006 ECF
Arauco, Itata, Chile (2 lines) 900 000 Eucalyptus/Pine 2006 ECF
Veracel, Brazil 900 000 Eucalyptus 2005 ECF
Hainan, China 1000 000 Mixed hardwood 2004 ECF
Valdivia, Chile 700 000 Eucalyptus/Pine 2004 ECF
Stendahl, Germany 550 000 Pine 2004 ECF/TCF
Aracruz C 700 000 Eucalyptus 2002 ECF
VCP, Jacarei, Brazil 700 000 Eucalyptus 2002 ECF

Claims on emissions to water of Chloro organic compounds in Swedish mills can just as easily be checked and “busted’ from http://miljodatabas.skogsindustrierna.org/si/main/xreport/xreport.aspx?id=30 and detailed graphical information available at web site of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation and extensively covered in the Beca Amec reports.
Posted by cinders, Thursday, 6 September 2007 11:44:09 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I notice cinders conveniently left out information the most recent government to government disputes in South America over proposed pulp mill impacts and emission standards. Cinders again fails to detail proposed effluent holding and treatment systems proposed for the Tamar mill site.

Let’s be practical and see what everybody else does apart from promotion. For some good pics of the typical technology Tasmania is buying off the shelf

http://www.pulpandpaper-technology.com/projects/pulpmills_gallery.html

Handling spills, storage and recovery are a big part of the sludge biz. Also we are yet to hear about the differences between pulp types, say globulus versus other natives round the place let alone the rapid shifts in the market place for this that and the other.

http://www.pita.co.uk/journal/2006/July06JournalPart.pdf?PHPSESSID=9c4dd566bb958b6bc0aedae2d83509ea

Nothing much changes over decades except the rush. We the consumers can each do something about that.
Posted by Taz, Thursday, 6 September 2007 3:34:20 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
No problem Liam. The national electronic media are the only forum yet to fully explore the the complete abrogation of proper process and the cronyism, deceit, secrecy and lies which the pulp mill axis camp have perpetrated to keep this highly risky 2nd rate project alive. When and if the national media choose to focus on this we may well see the downfall of our Premier much in the manner of Joh Bjielke,s and his "moonlight state". Tasmanias now former)deputy Premier Mr Brian Green, the man under whose watch (Forest Minister), the wood supply agreement between Gunns and Forestry Tasmania for the proposed mill was negotiated is already being ivestigated criminally http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,20646297-921,00.html
http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,20641941-921,00.html
Then there is the potentially criminal matter of the Premier Paul Lennon,s interference with Retired Supreme Court judge.
Christopher Wright was appointed as permanent chair of the RPDC pulp mill assessment panel to replace Julian Green who resigned on Decenmber 24th citing government interference. Green, a decent and highly respected public servant whom our premier had described as a man of integrity was also of course the man who said on 20 December 2006, 4 days before he resigned his post citing government interference said
"I tell you this, if Gunns were not a Tasmanian company, this proposal would have already been rejected. As you know we have bent over backwards to help them get it right and they just keep stuffing us around. They are just a bunch of clowns. I am really, really sorry warwick"
In March Chritopher Wright issued a statutory declaration contradictory of statements by Lennon regarding the details of a meeting which was forced by Premier Lennon on February 27, following Wright’s refusal to meet privately with Gunns’ chief John Gay
Wright said
"I got a letter from Mr Gay, writing on behalf of Gunns, in which he requested a private meeting with me to discuss aspects of the assessment process before I’d even really started the job. Now obviously it occurred to me that that was quite inappropriate and I declined to have that meeting with him"
Posted by samps, Friday, 7 September 2007 12:44:27 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(cont)Three days after the February 22 RPDC directions hearing, there was a crisis meeting held in the Premier's office. The Premier and Gunns CEO John Gay were there. Gunns were saying the RPDC’s expanded time line was unacceptable. At the Feb 22 RPDC direction hearings Chistopher Wright had told Gunns "The RPDC could no longer be expected to complete its assessment by the middle of the year. It would run until November. This was because even at this late stage the RPDC was still waiting for Gunns to comply with the RPDC’s guidelines. According the RPDC, Gunns was still in "critical non-compliance".
Christopher Wright was blunt, when he said "All or most of the delays appear to me to have resulted from Gunns' failure or inability to comply with their own prognostications ...DR Peter Mannins, from the CSIRO said "Gunns was fully informed of what was required, well before their assessment work was started. It was laid down in considerable detail and Gunns accepted that or said they accepted that process and would follow it, and said continually in meetings that I’ve been involved in, we will provide these data by such and such a deadline, and in most cases just didn’t.
Dr. Warwick Raverty who has 27 years experience as a scientist in the pulp and paper industry and also served on the RPDC pulp mill Assessment Panel as principal scientific adviser. He said
" Gunns failed twice (on 25 October 2006, and 22 February 2007) to satisfy the RPDC that they could build such a facility in the Tamar Valley without adverse impact on the environment and the community. Gunns unilaterally withdrew from the RPDC assessment process in March 2007. Rather than rejecting the proposal at this point, the Tasmanian Government invited Gunns's lawyers to assist in drafting legislation for a 'fast-track approval process' that failed to assess many of the important factors, bad smells among them, associated with kraft mills. Overnight, the Tasmanian Parliament became the State's peak planning authority. Deeply suspicious of this Government-Gunns relationship, the majority of Tasmanians who had been happy became very unhappy"
Posted by samps, Friday, 7 September 2007 12:58:10 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
samps is absolutely on the right track here.
Matt Denholm from the Australian is one of the few journalists in the country to cover the events around that fateful meeting on Feb 27 which I agree may one day lead to criminal charges being laid against the Tasmanian premier.
In that fateful meeting, Wright alleged that Lennon pressured him to abandon further public hearings, to complete the pulp mill assessment by July 31 to suit Gunns commercial timeframe, and threatened to legislatively accelerate the process. Yet on February 27, Gunns also told the ASX that they expected the assessment would conclude within a commercial time frame.
Wright said of that meeting
(start quote)"I was told that the Premier had decided that to speed the matter onward to the timetable that was suitable to Gunns, that is finality by the 31st of July, it was proposed that a new ministerial direction would be given to water down, in effect, the steps and processes that the RPDC would need to follow to make its report. And in particular I was told that public hearings would not be held. However the panel members agreed with me a) that it was impossible to complete our work by the 31st of July and b) it was completely inappropriate and unacceptable to be forbidden to hold public hearings. Obviously the status of the RPDC would have suffered immeasurably I think if we’d come along at a later date and said oh sorry, we’ve decided we’re not going to hold public hearings and we’re going to speed things up just so we can meet Gunns’ deadline. I don’t know if the Premier was doing it off his own back or bat or acting as a messenger boy for Gunns but there was never any doubt in my mind that he was a very enthusiastic supporter of the whole process and that he was anxious throughout that a process that was acceptable to Gunns should be followed" (end quote
Posted by zane, Friday, 7 September 2007 1:55:37 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(cont)
Of the events of this meeting in which Christopher Wright said that he felt compromised, pressured and leant on by an ultimatum given to him by Mr Lennon, David Porter QC says that if Mr Wright’s version of events is accepted, there is a prima facie case that the Resource Planning and Development Commission Act has been breached.

Despite the fact that Tasmania's Director of Public Prosecutions was asked to investigate, the problem in Tasmania is the DPP,s legal powers only allow him to accept referrals for investigations directly from the Attorney-General. But Attorney-General and labor cabinet mate Steve Kons has flatly and continually refused to refer the matter. Tasmanians from all sides of politics believe that this abrogation of responsibility for which the AG is paid a very handsome wage means that Minister Kons has been derelict in his duty. The only other avenue through which the matter could have been referred to the DPP would have been through an ICAC which unlike every other state in Austrlalia, Tasmania does not have.
It is not hard for a Tasmanian like myself who has followed this saga as closely as I have to prosecute a case against this corrupt pulp mill proposal. It cannot be overstated enough just how much damage has been done to public confidence in both sides of the Tasmanian government as well as Gunns LTD - the proponent because of the stench of corruption that hangs over the pulp mill assessment. These days, sadly for Gunns employees, the Tasmanian public regards Gunns as something akin to a James Hardie industries. It is an indisputable fact that Gunns ltd are universally loathed and not trusted by the majority of adult Tasmanians.

Mr Ashbarry and his pro-pulp mill mates have just opened a can of worms and I am more than happy to submit more details of this sorry saga in the next few days so that the real story of Gunns pulp mill assessment that has been thus far kept behind closed doors in Tasmania can truly go on trial on this most wonderful national forum
Posted by zane, Friday, 7 September 2007 2:06:58 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
An ICAC in Tasmania?

Children, children, children c’mon!

Only Mr Howard dare intervene.
Posted by Taz, Friday, 7 September 2007 5:55:56 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
A brief summary of deceit.

December 2006
Dr Warwick Raverty and RPDC chairman Julian Green resigned from Tasmania's Statuatory RPDC pulp mill assessment panel. In a letter leaked to the press, the RPDC chairman Julian Green said the Premier Paul Lennon had failed to protect the integrity of the assessment process and he accused the Pulp Mill task force of undermining the integrity of the commission.
Attorney Mr. Kons was caught out lieing to the Tasmanian public when he said that Mr. Green "just wanted to take early retirement and there was no pressure or underlying dissatisfaction behind the decision". Not only did Julian Greens resignation letter (http://www.tamarpulpmill.info/green.pdf) and other subsequent statements prove that the Government were lying about the reason for Mr. Green's resignation but also that they had failed to respond to warnings that the Pulpmill Task Force was undermining the integrity of the RPDC approval process. Julian Green has been described by Premier Paul Lennon as a man of the highest ability and integrity yet it was Mr. Green who blew the whistle.
Dr. Raverty called for the Tasmanian Governments "Pulpmill Taskforce" to be disbanded because its activities were in contempt of the approvals process. Dr. Raverty said that if the Premier failed to disband it then he would have absolutely no confidence in Paul Lennon as an ethical Premier and would call for his resignation. Dr. Raverty also said that the committee had become increasingly frustrated by the task force's blind promotion of the mill.
Dr Warwick Raverty also said that the location of the proposed pulp mill was the worst possible because of the surrounding population, the already polluted valley air and inversion layer. He said that the RPDC tried to persuade Gunns to build it at Hampshire, but because it would cost $20m more Gunns were sticking with Longreach.In an interview, Gunns CEO John Gay blamed the Greens for the resignations of Green and Raverty despite the fact that both gentlemen made it clear that this not the case. Mr. Gay said Gunns had satisfied the conditions in the guidelines (in spite of
Posted by samps, Saturday, 8 September 2007 11:23:38 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(cont) all the independent scientific reviews saying they had not) and that the Government should let them go ahead and build it straight away.
John Gay said that unless the mill was approved within 6 months the project would be axed. He also claimed that the RPDC had not asked them to build it at Hampshire. However, Dr. Raverty said that Julian Green had written to Gunns at least 3 times on the subject. He also said that Mr. Gay was wrong when he said that Gunns had satisfied the guidelines and that Gunns needed to improve things in several areas. Raverty said that the guidelines at Longreach were far higher than Hampshire because of the unsuitability of the location.
On the 25/1/2007, According to an article in the Tasmanian Times, the State Government were preparing legislation to remove the pulp mill assessment from the RPDC with the aim of approving it by a vote in Parliament. This would entail getting two bills through parliament - one to stop the present process and the other to approve the mill. If this happened it would break every promise ever made about the assessment process by the government and Gunns Ltd. Yet this and the fact that the independent scientific peer reviews and Dr. Raverty said that the mill as it stood was unsatisfactory did not seem to bother the State Government.
On the 1/2/2007 The State Government appointed retired Supreme Court Judge Christopher Wright as the new head of the RPDC. Premier Paul Lennon also reserved the right to change the recommendations of the RPDC if appropriate. It began to look very much as though Mr. Lennon would only accept one outcome
On the 5 Feb 2007 Dr.Warwick Raverty said that he would welcome an inquiry into the reasons for his and Julian Greens' resignation.
On the 6/2/2007 The RPDC announced the appointment of Andre Hamman as scientific advisor and Christopher Wright QC as chairman. The process could now continue as soon Gunns Ltd provide the information asked for (a week overdue already) at the Directions hearing
(To be continued)
Posted by samps, Saturday, 8 September 2007 11:26:40 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Talk about carping from samps, zane et al about the abuse of democratic process. What people don't realise (and what samps and zane et al conveniently ignore in their posts), is that under the RPDC process, the final decision on whether the pulp mill went ahead was to be made by the Premier. The RPDC could only make a recommendation.

Under the so-called "fast-track" system, both houses of parliament vote on the decision (that is people elected to make decisions on our behalf). Parliamentarians were provided with reports and studies that were also available to and used by the RPDC. That is 4 years of process was still used in making a decision. (Its called accountability - the biases of Rafferty against the mill have been bared to all since his demise - his intentions were to delay and stop the mill at all costs).

When we look closely at the recent voting in Tasmania for the pulp mill by elected politicians in the Upper House, one independent (Ruth Forrest) voted against the mill despite voting in support of the new process. Two others voted for the mill, despite voting against the new process. Isn't it great to see democracy in action and working.

The only ones who believe the democratic rights have been denied, are those who don't like the decisions of their elected representatives. There is an easy solution to this - don't vote for those people at the next election. That is called democracy - its just that some don't accept the majority will of the people. At the upcoming Federal election, Tasmanians will have their opportunity to voice their opinion on the pulp mill. Polls don't matter, votes do.

I suspect the main reason for the incessant carping by the opponents of the mill, is that they know the majority of Tasmanians support the mill and they are looking to subvert the usual democratic process to get their way.
Posted by tragedy, Sunday, 9 September 2007 7:19:57 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Tragedy and allied tragics:
Put it this way, your justifications for the chopping and changing of the process for approval of the pulp mill is no more than justification. To me, it reads like pulp fiction.

I have my standards. There are ways to get things done, and that's why the LUPA legislation and RPDC exist. That's the procedure that should have been adhered to, that's where Malcolm Turncoat should have sent Premier Lemon packing back toward, instead of making a federal case of it.

Say what you like about majorities (however you calculate them) and remember that elections and referendums do not determine truth or falsehood, honesty or guilt.

All the argument you can offer will not hide the fact that the prime consideration, the over-riding endpoint for the proponents and the current Tasmanian government, has been to get the pulp mill off and running.

And in my opinion, most of involvement of politicians, regarding the proposal and procedure, has been either spineless and/or tricky, which is to say contemptible and/or contemptible. A shame that elected Australian Democrats aren't on the ground, "Keeping the Bastards Honest". But The Greens have ticker and backbone, even if Liberals and Labor have gone to jelly.

If you were sitting on an airplane, hearing it revving up at the end of the runway, and you discovered that the aircraft maintenance just completed was of the same quality as your "democratic approval process", would you be looking forward to the rest of the journey?
Posted by Sir Vivor, Monday, 10 September 2007 10:22:01 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
You just don't get it Sir Vivor. For every opinion held one way, there is another strongly held opinion the other. People can argue the merits, the truths, the untruths etc etc etc until the cows come home but at the end of the day a decision has to be made. You can get bogged down on the processes all you like but the beauty of democracy is all people get a vote to pick their elected representatives to make important decisions on their behalf. If you don't like the decisions they make, then don't vote for them. But save us the disingenuous argument that democratic processes were not followed because no-ones right to vote has been denied nor has any elected representative's vote been denied - in fact it has been strengthened with both Houses of the Tasmanian Parliament voting on whether the pulp mill proceeds or not.

It smacks of elitism to casually dismiss other points of view and claim that yours is the only right one. I can argue the science with you Sir Vivor and easily show how the opponents of the mill have been loose with the truth in their claims and no doubt you will counter claim against me. But like I say, it will come down to a vote at an election. And Sir Vivor dear, the main reason both political parties support the pulp mill is that they know the majority of the punters support it as well. By all means try and convince the punters that they shouldn't support the mill with truthful reasoning. But don't bleat that the people's rights have been denied because there is no evidence of that. Believing you don't have enough public consultation isn't an argument against democracy - it is an argument against a decision making process. Think about it - it is simple case.

At the end of the day there are winners and there are losers. It's a pity that the people shouting the loudest about losing democratic rights are the same that don't accept the will of the people come election time.
Posted by tragedy, Monday, 10 September 2007 6:12:48 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Tragic says
"At the end of the day there are winners and there are losers. It's a pity that the people shouting the loudest about losing democratic rights are the same that don't accept the will of the people come election time."

Have I missed the point? Am I elitist? Did I say I hate pulp mills and damn the job losses? Did I complain about the results of the last election?

I can't find where I wrote those words.

No, I said that LUPA legislation and RDPC procedures should have been adhered to, and
"Say what you like about majorities (however you calculate them) and remember that elections and referendums do not determine truth or falsehood, honesty or guilt."

Elections and referendums are decision-making tools, and whether they deliver good or bad decisions was not at all my point. The RPDC process is the proper one for the circumstance.

My guess is that if a pilot, queued up on the runway, ready for take-off, found out that just-completed aircraft maintenance was shoddy, he (or she) would not call an election to decide whether to go back and get the job done right.

But, if you were the pilot, tragedy, I'm not so sure.
Posted by Sir Vivor, Monday, 10 September 2007 10:52:24 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Tragedy indeed. Where do I start.
1. 4 years of process? - This is highly misleading. In November 2004, Gunns proposed building a pulp mill in Tasmania and undertook to do feasibility studies on two potential sites: the Tamar Valley – in one of Tasmania's prime wine-growing and tourist regions, that 100,000 people call home, and Hampshire - 35 km south of Burnie at the centre of 100,000 hectares of eucalypt forests with almost no residents. In March 2007 Gunns withdrew from the RPDC assessment process. That’s 2 years and 4 months of process – not 4.
In the interim, February 2005 saw Gunns abandoned their study of the unpopulated, Hampshire site. Despite many attempts by the RPDC and official requests, Gunns failed to give any detail to any information at all on the costs estimate differentials between Hampshire and Long Reach.
Then Gunns Ltd only released its 7500 pages Integrated Impact Statement - the vehicle in which the Gunns case was presented” on the 14th of July 2006 - about a year after it was originally promised.
Gunns then failed twice in october 2006 and February 2007 to satisfy the RPDC that they could build such a facility in the Tamar Valley without adversely impacting on the environment and the community. So in March 2007 Gunns withdrew from the RPDC assessment process. It did so because it knew the Premier would rescue them with a watered down approvals process. The Premier is not a subtle man. He held a press conference within 24hrs and announced, albeit predictably that he would deliver and then he invited Gunns's lawyers to assist in drafting legislation. Which included unbelievable provisions like “
· Even criminal conduct such as bribes would not stop the mill.
· No provision for any appeal.
· It will assessed against the guidelines but only requires a recommendation.
· Consultant does not have to say if mill meets guidelines.
· No consideration of other matters like water, transport, etc.
· Total lack of transparency.
When the Parliament got down to debating the bill the Premier who knew.....
Posted by zane, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 12:28:36 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(continued)...full well from documention that he had received from the RDPC that the pulp mill proposal remained “critically deficient”, yet he allowed the Parliament to debate and approve the fast track legislation without their knowledge of this critical information..

2. Tragedy said “I suspect the main reason for the incessant carping by the opponents of the mill, is that they know the majority of Tasmanians support the mill and they are looking to subvert the usual democratic process to get their way”
Probably tragedy,s 2nd most tragic and corrupt statement thus far. There simply is not a scintilla of evidence to support this statement. There is not one poll that shows that the majority of Tasmanians want this pulp mill built in the Tamar valley. Indeed all the evidence consistently and overwhelmingly points to the opposite being the case. Here is proof. http://www.tapvision.info/node/127. No doubt the usual suspects will attempt to discredit these polls, but they will only be shooting the messengers. No doubt, If govt or industry could get one poll up showing support for the mill in the Tamar it would be trumpeted far and wide with great fanfare. They cant, so now they just lie. How tragic!

3. As for Tragedy,s comments “the biases of Rafferty against the mill have been bared to all since his demise - his intentions were to delay and stop the mill at all costs”. Mr Tragedy. I challenge you to submit your real name and repeat these accusations! Dr. Raverty was warned when he chose to continue speaking about Gunns pulp mill proposal and the activities of the Tasmanian government that he would be vilified and libelled in this way. In Tasmania, people who speak out against the establishment are warned, threatened, relegated and ostracised. That’s how things are done in Tasmania. When a person like Raverty or labor MLC Terry Martin speaks out or exposes corrupt practices; practices that are being sanctioned by the locally rich and powerful then they can expect retribution in one form or another. That’s dear lil ol Tassy
Posted by zane, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 12:31:21 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
So strong is the desire of the Tasmanian government to exclusively represent one corporations wishes over the will of the people that along the road to securing Gunns their pulp mill, our supposedly independent Premier sacrificed RPDC panelists Julian Green, Dr Warwick Raverty and former Supreme Court Judge Christopher Wright and with them the RPDC itself. All 3 men have since been attacked and vilified by either the proponent and/or the premier because they dared to blow the whistle. These men have not even opposed a pulp mill in Tasmania, (infact Raverty is very keen to see one built at hampshire), but simply concerned at the political interference.
The Lennon labor government and the liberal opposition still refuse to blame Gunns for withdrawing from the RPDC assessment, rather choosing to trash-talk and lay the boots into its own statuatory planning and assessment body and the good and decent men whom the Government themselves appointed to it. This is why Tasmanians and indeed most Australians believe that Gunns run Tasmania.
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1977339.htm
As Christopher Wright, the distinguished judge and the second RPDC chairman that Premier Paul Lennon tried to improperly influence, said. 'It was plain as the nose on my face,' Wright has said, 'that the Premier was trying to please Gunns.'
Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham who was no conservationist once said ,
“They [Gunns] run the state Labor Government, they run Paul Lennon … he wouldn’t scratch himself unless the guy who heads up Gunns told him to.” Latham would know. He went on to say
“No policy issue or set of relationships better demonstrates the ethical decline and political corruption of the Australian Labor movement than Tasmanian forestry.”

Tragedy, when the premier rewarded Gunns with a parliamentary fast track approvals process, despite clear evidence from within the RPDC telling us Gunns were in fact to blame for all the delays in the assessment process, he betrayed the trust and good faith of the Tasmanian community. The premier and Gunns had promised repeatedly from the outset that it would be the RPDC - the independent umpire - that (TBC)
Posted by samps, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 10:23:32 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(cont)....- that would throw out the bad projects.......as it turned out it was Gunns and the Premier who threw out the RPDC!
Tragedy, I think most people realise that the parliament has the power to override decisions made by statuatory planning bodies. But is a given that Tasmanians expect the Premier NOT to. NOT to "kidnap and shoot" the planning process. Not to treat the RPDC or the Parliament as a rubber stamp. NOT to act politically to push through a proposal against the advice of a team of independent experts (experts that the government appointed) who have carried out a very meticulous investigation. Unfortunately to people like tragedy and the unions and industry lobby groups who have a financial interest in the powerful logging industry, interfering with and manipulating democratic institutions and processes, statuatory bodies and public opinion are seen as legitimate means by which achieve the furtherment of their financial interests.
Indeed, the assessment of potentially dangerous complex chemical-inusdtrial plants on the scale that Gunns are proposing for Tasmania,s Tamar Valley is a prime example of why we need a dedicated body that can appoint relevant experts who have the ability to assess and adjudicate on the worthiness of a development proposal that our state will have to live with for next 100 years. Once Pulp Mills are built you cannot just up and move them. THAT is the reason why 15 years ago the Tasmanian parliament proclaimed its limitations in the specialised area of planning approvals and assessment by passing a raft of legislative and institutional arrangements to establish procedures, public input, due process and expertise within a recognised public policy and public administration framework……In other words we legislated to have an RPDC and enshrine it in law with its own act (The Resource Planning and Development Commission Act 1997). Our parliament is our most cherished democratic institution but to turn that politically representative forum into a planning approval and assessment authority, and one that does not represent the opinion of its electors is a slight on the integrity of the parliament, and its purpose.
Posted by samps, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 10:25:13 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
This coming Thursday night, ABC television's 'DIFFERENCE of OPINION' is considering this very topic.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/differenceofopinion/
Posted by clink, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 1:33:52 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Tragedy said "I suspect the main reason for the incessant carping by the opponents of the mill, is that they know the majority of Tasmanians support the mill and they are looking to subvert the usual democratic process to get their way".
Just to ram home my point about how intellectually corrupt the above statement really is, here is a link to a report about another Galaxy poll that came out yesterday showing not only Tasmanians but Australians are opposed to the building of the pulp mill 2 to 1. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,22404928-921,00.html The Galaxy poll of 1004 voters around Australia was commissioned by pulp mill opponents Investors for the Future of Tasmania. It found 41 per cent did not want the mill, 21 per cent thought it was a good idea and 38 per cent were undecided. Of the 41 per cent who opposed the mill, 64 per cent said the issue would affect their vote. And for those who missed it here is a link to summary of all other Tasmanian polls on the issue which clearly demonstrates how unpopular this project is with Tasmanians. http://www.tapvision.info/node/127
As Dr Raverty said in an interview earlier this year, "
Now, my experience of going to Launceston mainly and to Tamar is that I have yet to speak to anybody in the streets, and that’s mainly people of moderate views and dispositions – not the ‘deep green left’ – who want the mill at Long Reach. So you’ve got a situation where Gunns want it there, the Tasmanian Government wants it there, but by and large the electorate don’t want it there. The electorate, again, were prepared to wait for the RPDC decision but Gunns have unilaterally withdrawn from that process and everybody, almost to a man and a woman, is deeply suspicious of Gunns’ motives in withdrawing and insisting on the mill going into this valley which includes a lot of other ‘conflicting uses’, which include tourism, and vineyards and fisheries and so forth, all of which could be severely damaged by this mill"
Posted by zane, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 11:01:39 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
(Continued)
As for the notion of "if you dont like it then vote them out at the next election".
Well if holding elections is sum total of a governments idea of democracy then we are in trouble. Having an election but doing whatever you want with no regard for public opinion and proper process then there is only thin veil that seperates us from being a dictatorship. And dictatorial is a perfect way of describing the approach of Tasmanias Lennon labor government towards the people on the pulp mill. As one writer said
"Democracy is not what happens in parliament. Democracy is not the holding of periodic elections. These are merely the mechanisms that
we in the particular time in which we live choose to deploy as our tools for delivering democratic outcomes.....democracy is about maximising the capacity for people to be involved in a realistic way in the making of the decisions which they are thereafter required to live with".
Read these reports and then talk to me about how "democratic" Paul Lennons pulp mill assessment has been!
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1878221.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/tas/content/2006/s1880148.htm
http://www.newmatilda.com/home/articledetail.asp?ArticleID=2264
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21419227-601,00.html
http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,22342605-5006550,00.html
Posted by zane, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 11:02:20 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Personal assessment of the resource is essential to understanding the proposal

I suggest our younger policy advisors fly over strips of relevant country to gain their own impression of current land management practice versus progressive deforestation, rates of change etc.

Using this much faster low-resolution tool as I did to catch up on the current timber industry and a few other things like mining and hydro can be easier.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=bell+bay+tamar+valley&sll=-41.090842,146.812711&sspn=0.001561,0.003648&ie=UTF8&ll=-41.170901,146.918278&spn=0.09252,0.233459&t=k&z=12&om=0

Drag it east west coast to coast in thin strips. Remember the western half has virtually no agricultural soils as shown by the white gravel roads. Thanks OLO for the tip
Posted by Taz, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 5:28:02 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Dear Baz,

You're absolutely correct as to my surname (Wadsley). The 'onlineopinion' fashion seemed to be for first names and I was happy to oblige. I post under 'Alex Wadsley' on TasmanianTimes.com where you can catch my regular discussion contribution (and from where Alan's opinion piece was linked).

The full Australian Risk Audit report can be seen at:
http://tas.greens.org.au/publications/submissions/2006Sep25-SUBMISSION-PULP_MILL_DRAFT_IIS-VOLUME_2-web.pdf

It is well worth a read for a quick overview of the risks, combining my project finance and economic experience with the science and engineering expertise of my father, Prof Andrew Wadsley. Although a year old, it was this study that first identified the dioxin errors, as well as others such as the likelihood of significant cost increases . If Gunns was on top of their game, these issues would have been addressed rather than denied.

Prospective financiers are recommended to consider it with respect to understanding areas of required due diligence. Having been closely involved in the due diligence of chemical plants and other resource investments, my professional opinion is that Gunns still has a way to go to demonstrate that all the risks are covered.

Alex Wadsley
MBA B.EC (Hons)
Posted by Alex of Tasmania, Thursday, 13 September 2007 6:24:35 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
After seeing the ABC 'Difference of Opinion" tonight along with many thinking voters I believe the ALP will lose support since they sided with Howard on the pulp mill. The CFMEU caused the ALP to lose the last election by supporting Howard. They handed the Senate over to Howard. fOR WHAT! A few jobs!!Climate change is with us NOW and the sooner the major parties start to confront this the better. The Greens saw it coming at least a decade ago. I think voters all over Australia will vote on the pulp mill issue like they did on the DAMS issue years ago.
If voters vote Greens 1, ALP 2 then they will still get ALP value but also make a point that the environment is the most import issue not the economy. Clean air is a right and carbon trading is a furphy, a cop out for the business community to continue trading their dirty products so they can continue to pollute the earth's atmosphere. Australia is the greatest per capita of pollution emissions in the whole world. Clean coal is a fallacy a "what if" not a real policy based on concrete evidence- there is none! The ALP have only ever been marginally better on the environment than the liberals, they offer little hope for the future unless the Greens are there to temper them with some common sense on important world changing environment issues.
Sybil
Posted by Sybil, Friday, 14 September 2007 3:42:12 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Sybil,

re:
"Clean air is a right and carbon trading is a furphy ... "

The argument about carbon trading deserves more than such offhand dismissal.

See:
http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/recent_stuff.html
which provides a very interesting annotated bibliography on climate change and related issues. It is compiled by William Nordhaus, a Yale economist, who provides one of two policy perspective articles in the 13 July issue of AAAS Science Magazine (vol 317 pp 201 - 204).
( see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/317/5835/201
available to subscribers only, unfortunately, but the hard copy ought to be in uni libraries and maybe state libraries by now)

For example,
http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/recent_stuff.html
“After Kyoto: Alternative Mechanisms to Control Global Warming,” American Economic Review, May 2006.

This study reviews different approaches to the political and economic control of global public goods like global warming. It compares quantity-oriented control mechanisms like the Kyoto Protocol with price-type control mechanisms such as internationally harmonized carbon taxes. It concludes that price-type approaches using carbon taxes are likely to be more effective and more efficient. For the AER at the meetings, click here. For the longer background paper, click here.
http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/kyoto_long_2005.pdf"

Nordhaus and Stern appear, in their Science articles, seem to boil the matter of intragenerational and intergenerational equity to a short equation, what appears to me to be the E=mc^2 of economic theory:

r = nu times g plus rho.

Unfortunately, the assumptions, science and predictive power implicit in this relationship, the "Ramsay equation" ("see F Ramsay, Econ. J. 38, 543 (1928)") may not have firmed up to the same degree, since 1928, as the theory of relativity, or even climate science. (my humble opinion).

The Stern Report and Nordhaus's articles aren't about new climate science or resource use, they're about climate change policy in our current global economic environment.

I expect that what most concerns the current Australian government, and especially its supporters, is the effect of a particular climate change policy outlook on their investments and investors (or more neutrally, stakeholders and their stakes). Which brings us back, indirectly, to the pulp mill and our need for clean air.
Posted by Sir Vivor, Friday, 14 September 2007 9:56:48 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The Sydney Morning Herald Freedom of Information Blog had a blog on the secrecy surrounding the royalties paid to the crown for logging old growth timber in NSW state forests.

Information was hard to get but they thought the Harris Diashowa pulp mill in Eden, NSW, was paying 11 cents per ton.

So when you see the timber jinkers laden with logs heading to the woodchipper, that load is worth less than a loaf of bread.

I don't think that the proposed Gunn's Paper Mill has been properly costed - taking into account the environmental costs, the opportunity costs of lost employment in tourism and food production. The people of Tasmania will not be paid fair market value for their lost timber.
Posted by billie, Friday, 14 September 2007 10:09:29 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"Climate change is with us NOW"
Thats debatable...

"The Greens saw it coming at least a decade ago."
And they still haven't achieved anything...

"I think voters all over Australia will vote on the pulp mill issue like they did on the DAMS issue years ago."
Not this voter...goooo pulp mill

"If voters vote Greens 1"
What sorta crazy would vote this way? They might actually get a seat...*gasp*

"I don't think that the proposed Gunn's Paper Mill has been properly costed - taking into account the environmental costs, the opportunity costs of lost employment in tourism and food production."
I think it has...very comprehensively.
Posted by alzo, Friday, 14 September 2007 11:02:23 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Sadly Alzo

You don't know a POP from a VOC!
Posted by dickie, Friday, 14 September 2007 11:48:15 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
While the debate rages on, I wanted you guys to know that there are people in far away places who will also be trying to disperse the facts about the situation.

Although it may seem like this is a local or perhaps now a national issue, I would argue that it is in fact an international one.

Aside from all the arguments about the Mill being allegedly the cleanest ever built in the world- where are the trees going to come from to feed its insatiable appetite?
How many wild forests can we actually afford to lose to the paper making industry?
How many animals' habitats do we wish to see destroyed?
Haw many tourists will have to discover that in fact the forests and trees they came to see are under threat of clearf-elling and even worse poison spraying?

Some of the trees which are taken as collateral damage are not successfully grown in plantations- King Billy Pine for example.

In Scotland there are no wild forests left -they were taken hundreds of years ago. You have an incredible natural resource at your doorstep and noone on the island should be allowed to believe that they are expendable.
Posted by Nat fae Scotland, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 7:57:38 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Rest assured Nat Fae Scotland that your fears are unfounded. If you believe the spin on the forestry debate in Australia without trying to find out for yourself the facts, then your anguish will come to nought.
Posted by tragedy, Wednesday, 26 September 2007 5:37:09 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Just to quote your good self here, Tragedy "And Sir Vivor dear, the main reason both political parties support the pulp mill is that they know the majority of the punters support it as well."
Maybe you should knuckle down on some of the facts yourself. If I remember rightly, in recent petitions sent to the Tasmanian Government, there were approx 21,000 names who signed against the Mill, while just 1,900 were in support. (Forgive a few hundred here or there). I believe this may suggest that quite a few more 'punters' are in fact against the building of the Mill.

And just so I don't waste more energy in worrying unneccessarily, perhaps you could enlighten me as to how Gunns propose to feed the voracious Mill if it is not through clearfelling old-growth forest? Tasmania already has an alarmingly high rate of old growth forest clearfelling.

To quote the Infrastructure and Resource Information Service (IRIS):
http://www.iris.tas.gov.au/resource_industry/forestry/supply/processing

"In 2002-2003, Tasmanian woodchip exports exceeded 5.1 million tons.
Australian deciduous woodchip exports to Japan in 2002 totalled 7.7 million tons, so exports of hardwood chips from Tasmania accounted for no less than two-thirds of the total for all of Australia.

Tasmania is also an important source of wood- chips for Japan. Currently, most natural wood- chips used for Japanese paper production come from Australia, with Tasmania’s native forests supplying the bulk of woodchips for Japanese paper. In 2003, Tasmanian woodchips from Gunns accounted for approximately 20 per- cent of Japan’s imports of deciduous wood- chips, which serve as the main raw material for fresh pulp production. "

.....Therefore, the majority of natural woodchip imports to Japan are supporting the destruction of high conservation value forests in Tasmania by Gunns Limited. "
Posted by Nat fae Scotland, Thursday, 27 September 2007 8:18:06 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
This is exactly what I am talking about Nat Fae Scotalnd - you make the assumption that sourcing wood from native forests equals old growth and that the old growth is disappearing. Its all about perceptions and perceptions and individual biases dominate the emotional arguments about forestry in Tasmania. Debating with someone who lacks knowledge of how our ecological systems works is like trying to argue that my God exists over your God - a pointless exercise.

As far as the most support for forestry. You missed my point. My argument is the election told us the story. The biggest issue in Tassie at the last federal election was Howaard's forest policy Vs Latham's. Howard won 2 seats from Latham in Tassie at that election with an overall swing against Latham in all 5 seats. Polls mean nothing. Any fool can run a poll and any fool can construct questions to get the responses to those questions which favour the result they want. The only poll which is relevant is the voting patterns at an election. For every report or poll the greens produce, the forest industry produces their own in their favour - polls and biased reports are a mugs game and only the most ignorant punters take notice of them. Surely you are not one of those Nat Fae Scotland?
Posted by tragedy, Thursday, 27 September 2007 8:46:33 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Nat fae Scotland

if you want to know more there is a whole heap of web sites like Forestry Tasmania or Gunns Limited that can tell you about wood supply and management.

for a quick over view of the forest debate in Tasmania and a bucket more links why not read last year's article on the Tasmanian forest debate at
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=4258
Posted by cinders, Thursday, 4 October 2007 7:01:06 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Cinders: "The loss of power (less than 1 MWatt) will be more than compensated by excess power from the mill."

I thought the power generation was being claimed as reducing the CO_2 impact of the mill. This was doubtful enough when non-plantation timber was in the mix, i.e., the CO_2 being released wasn't being replaced by new trees. It is even more doubtful if you are offsetting water usage against hydro power generation, and claiming this is OK because the mill is generating power.

Hydro power when I last checked is not a significant generator of CO_2.
Posted by PhilipM, Tuesday, 9 October 2007 10:55:19 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"Hydro power when I last checked is not a significant generator of CO_2."

Maybe you check again Phil...
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7046
Posted by alzo, Tuesday, 9 October 2007 11:03:45 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Thanks alzo -- I was aware that hydro power generates some greenhouse gases from flooded vegetation but not that it was seen as significant. However this is a bigger problem in hotter climates, so I am not convinced that burning wood will be anywhere close to a neutral offset.
Posted by PhilipM, Tuesday, 9 October 2007 11:31:37 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
"However this is a bigger problem in hotter climates, so I am not convinced that burning wood will be anywhere close to a neutral offset."

Maybe somebody should tell the Brits...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/oct/15/thisweekssciencequestions.uknews
Posted by alzo, Tuesday, 9 October 2007 3:15:49 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. ...
  6. 11
  7. 12
  8. 13
  9. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy