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The Forum > Article Comments > Pulp fiction > Comments

Pulp fiction : Comments

By David Leigh, published 30/5/2011

The State Government and the Liberal opposition have united in their bid to continue the madness of Tasmania's pulped future.

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When will online opinion stop publishing poorly researched articles from this author? This one is riddled with errors, even the radical Tasmanian times has already shown up these nonsense claims.

In an embarrassing admission two years ago one of the anti pulp mill activists on Tasmania Times
“Some of what we have been given to understand for the last two and a half years has been incorrect. Section 11 of the PMAA 2007 was never about stopping people seeking redress for injury or damage as a result of the construction or operation of the pulp mill.

The original PMA Bill which was introduced into Parliament contained a different Section 11(1) where any action etc relating to or arising from the PMA Act was precluded. In order to guarantee the people’s access to common-law rights for actions etc to do with injury or damages, the Bill was amended in the Legislative Council so that these rights were provided for while yet limiting the ability to attack the assessment/approval process with the object of delaying or stopping the project”

The facts behind the Act and its passage through Parliament can be seen from the following extracts from Hansard of the Legislative:
Mr WILKINSON - Mr Deputy Chairman, I move -

That clause 11 subclause (1) be amended, ... to ensure that people who may suffer loss or damage as a result of something arising out of the process are not in any way stopped from making a claim against the person who is the negligent party.
I understand that that amendment went back to the draftsman and to the Solicitor-General. The Solicitor-General believed, along with the draftsman and the advisers, that that intent were encompassed in the amendment that you see before you."

It seems more than a coincidence that this bit of fiction has been generated at the same time the greens tried to repeal the Act in State Parliament that was defeated in the House of Assembly. This was democracy at its best, showing the majority overcame the minority of green and anti mill voters.
Posted by cinders, Monday, 30 May 2011 3:50:14 PM
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Cinders, you know, I knew you would be the first to comment... Isn't telepathy a wondrous thing? You appear to tie yourself in knots with your own argument. First you state that Section 11 of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act (PMAA) has been changed to protect the public and then you argue that the adjudicators felt that the act was self explanatory and already protected those impacted by the implementation of said act. Which is it? You also argue that when both major parties voted to leave the act unchanged it was "democracy at its best". I'm confused. Under the Westminster System of democracy a bill has to read and then debated, before it is voted upon. Then, following discussion and possible amendments, it is read a second time. Tasmania seems to have reinvented the wheel in this regard because no such process took place. Just as with the previous instance in Launceston, when Kim Booth read the bill, it was not debated or discussed, just voted upon. In that instance 250 members of the public turned their backs on the parliamentarians, from the Gallery, in a show of disgust for the lack of democracy shown. The Government's answer on that occasion was not to debate the bill but call in armed police officers to remove the public. Is that what you call democracy Cinders?
Posted by David Leigh, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 2:52:10 PM
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Incidentally Cinders, the research for my article was taken from RISI - - There are many stories in that online magazine that paint a true picture of the forest industry globally and not the sheltered view of the Tasmanian players. Carbon is also to become a major issue in the not too distant future and forest practices, Tasmanian style, will come under extreme scrutiny. If the Garnaut Review 2011 is anything to go on, forestry, Gunns' and Forestry Tasmania style, will be a definite no no and will be carbon taxed out of existence. And... Just to add to your woes, a map in today's issue of RISI shows all but one of the pulp and paper mills in Japan have been damaged by the recent earthquake and tsunami. China is in drought and therefore suffering water shortages and the rest of the world is finding it tough financially, as my article states, which begs the question should this illusive mill ever get built where will you sell your wares?
Posted by David Leigh, Thursday, 2 June 2011 11:22:47 AM
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The Pulp Mill Assessment Bill was amended to protect the common law rights of Tasmanians to sue for damages by the Legislative council using words drafted by the parliament draftsman and examined by the Solicitor General. David, I’m not sure what you are on about so lets just check the time line as recorded in Hansard to clarify:

In November 2003 the Tasmanian Government asked the RPDC to establish emission standards for a modern kraft pulp mill.

In October 2004 these new standards were adopted

On 22 November 2004 the RPDC was tasked to conduct an integrated assessment of social, economic and environmental impacts of the mill.

On 14 March 2007 (after two and a half years, a completed IIS, hundreds of public submissions, an exchange of letters asking for more information, resignations due to claims of bias of one panel member, and the Chair who claimed political interference and two directions hearings), the pulp mill developer withdrew from the RPDC assessment process because of financial pressure directly related to the RPDC's being unable to give a definite end date for the assessment.

On 19 March 2007, the Cabinet approved the Pulp Mill Assessment Bill 2007, setting up an alternate proper process for assessment against the guidelines and seeking final approval by both Houses of Parliament.

On 22 March 2007 The Bill was read a second time and debated in the House of Assembly from 11.45 am to 6 pm, then 7 pm to about 9.30 pm. It then went into committee stage where each clause was examined unit 1.52 am.

On 28 March 2007 at 7.13 pm the bill was read a second time in the Legislative Council. Debate was adjourned at 11.03 pm and recommenced the next day at 10.16 am until 3.15 pm when each clause was examined in committee.

As stated, it was then the Legislative Council amended Clause 11 to protect the common law rights of Tasmanians.

On 17 April 2007, the House of Assembly accepted those amendments prior to the Bill being passed to become the PMAA.

Democracy at its best!
Posted by cinders, Thursday, 2 June 2011 1:56:27 PM
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Cinders, I agree with you up until 14 March 2007, with the exception of public submissions. No public input was allowed in the process. From that point on Cinders, despite what might be recorded, former high court judge Christopher Wright resigned due to political interference and so too did Dr Warwick Raverty, the chief scientist. I interviewed Dr Raverty in Melbourne in 2008 and he said the whole process was totally flawed and undemocratic. What occurred from that point forward and following Gunns' withdrawal from the process, was an emergency meeting of parliament, which sat all night, to fast track the planning process. The body charged with the duty of planning was ignored and the government that had no experience in planning, processed the application. All references to surrounding homes and businesses, the forests and the water supply was removed (these were the very things the former CEO and Chief Scientist asked to be included) There was no public consultation until after the decisions had been made and then I think it was only a very short period and in any case no notice was taken of public concerns. Cinders ( are you ashamed of your real name by the way?) The recorded facts are not representative of the truth as you well know. This was a corrupt process by a corrupt government, doing the bidding of a limited company that has no official connection with government. No matter how you try to pretty it up it will always stink.
Posted by David Leigh, Friday, 3 June 2011 10:35:10 AM
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