Govt Deceives Public Over Pulp Mill “Approval”

Yesterday, it was reported in The Australian that the Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett announced new conditions for the Gunns pulp mill project – effectively withholding final approval for a vital environmental impact management plan.

Gunns has until March 2011 to complete detailed hydrodynamic studies to prove that 64,000 tonnes of effluent to be released daily into Bass Strait will not harm marine life.

This means that final approval for the EIMP will not occur for at least a further 26 months.

Furthermore, it was reported by the ABC that Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says the proposed $2 billion mill in the Tamar Valley cannot go ahead until more studies are undertaken on its potential impacts to marine environments.

“National environment legislation requires that I take a precautionary approach to environmental protection,” he said in a statement.

“I am not satisfied, with that in mind and informed by the advice of the Independent Expert Group (IEG), that I can grant final approval for this mill without fully understanding its potential environmental impacts.

“That includes having a thorough understanding of the potential impacts of the mill’s effluent discharge on Commonwealth marine waters and absolute confidence in the proposed management and response strategies that are proposed to put in place to protect the environment.”

A new condition will also be put on the mill meaning Gunns could be liable for criminal and civil penalties if the mill is approved and breaks defined “environmental limits”.

While Garrett has clearly stated that the mill cannot “be approved” until these conditions are met, it has come as a shock to many that Gunns can still proceed with construction.

Acting PM Julia Gillard, confirmed on Channel Seven news this morning that Gunns can commence construction of the mill without the prior completion of the additional studies required and the environmental modelling assessed.

What we have is two opposing announcements from the Government, one yesterday from Peter Garrett who was suggesting that the mill could not “be approved” until the additional environmental requirements and been completed and assessed while Julia Gillard is today stating that construction can now commence.

Garrett carefully neglected to mention yesterday that construction could now commence.

What we have now is a government that is prepared to give a major industrial project “approval” to go ahead without actually giving it “approval” and without knowing the potential environmental damage it may cause once completed.

Frankly I’m disgusted by the way in which the Government has attempted to mislead the Australian public with such a duplicitous and misleading approach in attempting to appease those who are clearly, and quite rightly concerned about the unknown environmental damage this mill could cause, while at the same time giving the project the green light to commence construction as soon as Gunns wants to.

  reb.

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67 Responses

  1. Actually, they’re not really conflicting statements, although they are designed to be deliberately misleading. It is possible to approve construction of a pulp mill facility, without approving an operational pulp mill. It will be up to Gunns to ensure they have met all environmental conditions – otherwise they will have a very expensive white elephent on their hands.

  2. FFS reb, The thing can’t operate, it can only being constructed. The forests and water are safe for the moment.

    Yes a fully constructed mill will put pressure on the Government to approve it once completed but financiers are going to be reluctant to put money into a project that isn’t approved to operate.

    Further: A new condition will also be put on the mill meaning Gunns could be liable for criminal and civil penalties if the mill is approved and breaks defined “environmental limits”.

    This new condition is a good move. The rule of law is being applied and Garrett, through the new conditions, has given the community greater enforcement powers. If you don’t like it – lobby for legislative amendment or ways to get a better mill approved. It was your State Government which really approved the Mill and not Garrett – direct your anger where it is most deserved.

  3. And sorry everyone for the confusion with multiple threads. reb and myself are in different parts of the country and sometimes great minds think alike. 😛

  4. I think the way this has been announced is consistent with the way Peter Garrett handles things. It’s another farce! Did he really think that no one would notice that construction of this mill could go ahead? It would have come across much better if he had stated all the relevant information in his announcement. Instead it appears that he was trying to deceive the public. Not a good look.

  5. The message Garrett was sending yesterday was that he was not approving the pulp mill to go ahead.

    Today, Gillard is saying it can commence construction anytime.

    Sure, if you want to be pedantic, one can argue that the statements are not contraditory, however they were definitely misleading.

    Dave55:

    “FFS reb, The thing can’t operate, it can only being constructed. ”

    Do you seriously believe that the Government would shut it down after construction has been completed?

    Dave, if I want to build a house, I have to first get planning approval from Council (based on plans, soil tests etc) and the Building approval BEFORE one brick can be laid.

    In this case, the Government has given approval to proceed with construction without even knowing all of the planning details or the consequences of the final result.

  6. “FFS reb, The thing can’t operate, it can only being constructed.”

    FFS Dave, construction is a big first step to become operational.

  7. “It was your State Government which really approved the Mill and not Garrett – direct your anger where it is most deserved”

    We did.

    The former State Premier Paul Lennon who colluded with Gunns Boss John Gay to usurp the RPDC process for assessing the mill was ousted after his “popularity” dropped to 17%.

  8. Yes they can construct the mill..they just can’t discharge anything until they meet the very high standard set by Garrett. Without being able to discharge, they obviously can’t operate.

    You are spot on Dave55.

  9. reb @ 5 and Alistair @ 6

    Do you seriously believe that the Government would shut it down after construction has been completed?

    I have already acknowledged that this is going to be problematic for Garrett.

    A few things to point out:
    1. Construction of the Mill (but not operation) doesn’t require EPBC Act approval. Garret probably has little or no jurisdiction to halt construction. This is differrrent to State Planning Laws which apply to construction as well so reb, your analogy to a house is not legally correct in this instance.
    2. The staged approval process was put in place by Turnbull, not Garrett. As noted above, Garrett had very little legal room to move to prevent construction and even those aspects of construction that he could regulate were reasonably easy for the design modules to be competed to a standard that Garrett could not have reasonably refused to approve.

    reb, you are letting your emotions and ideoological opposition to the mill get in the way of a reasoned consideration of the legal framework within which Garrett must operate. I can appreciate criticism of the framework but I will defend Garrett on this one because he has very little room to move and what little room he does have has been used to impove the performance standards for the operational mill.

  10. As for the spin aspect, so what. Everyone expected Garrett to approve the modules before him. He announced that he haddn’t approved 3 of them and that further studies were required. That was the major news announcement; the ability to construct the mill was old news. Gunns then announce (to avoid a further slide in their share price) that constructuion can still commence (and could have months ago). Gillard and Garrett have simply responded to the outcries similar to those we have seen on this blog about the ability to construct and correct a misperception in the community and cklear up an apparent difference between Garrett’s statement and Gunns statement when, as ToSY points out above, there was no difference in statements.

    Oh and if we are going to criticise spin, why not look up the Greens’ comments about why Garrett’s decision was so wrong. Spin isn’t solely restricted to Labor and Gunns in this issue.

  11. What happened to Pete’s “Bark Hut” philosophy?

  12. Dave55

    “reb, you are letting your emotions and ideoological opposition to the mill get in the way of a reasoned consideration of the legal framework within which Garrett must operate. ”

    I’m open to criticism, however I am critical of the way in which the entire “approval” process has been a sham from the very beginning, not “just the legal framework that Garrett must operate within”.

    “As for the spin aspect, so what.”

    “So what?” Do you mean you’re happy with a Government that yesterday declared categorically that the mill cannot proceed, but today says it can?

    That’s not just “spin” Dave, it’s delibarately duplicitous and misleading.

  13. Min @ 8:

    “Yes they can construct the mill..they just can’t discharge anything until they meet the very high standard set by Garrett. Without being able to discharge, they obviously can’t operate. ”

    I disagree. How will they know what is going to be discharged until it is in fact operational?

  14. “discharge” – it sounds like something my doctor gives me pills to clear up.

    Let’s call it what it really is: pollution

  15. reb
    I’m open to criticism, however I am critical of the way in which the entire “approval” process has been a sham from the very beginning, not “just the legal framework that Garrett must operate within”.

    But tell me reb, what exactly has Garrett done wrong (apart from some ‘duplicitious and misleading comments)? Neither Labor nor the previous Government changed the Cth. law to sut the Gunns project like the State Government did (something I have been strongly critical of and I know that you are as well). Both have worked within the EPBC framework and, while Turnbull is probably open to genuine criticisism for granting any approval without the modelling required by the conditions, both have applied that law as it stood. Garrett had the further burden of having to implement a flawed approval granted by Turnbull which required further staged approvals for various aspects of the project. He has so far done this appropriately (from a legal perspective), including rejecting modules that didn’t come up to scratch and imposing additional conditions to improve civil and criminal enforcement opportunities.

    If this project has highlighted problems with the EPBC Act then we should be aiming to fix that. Garrett has previously said he will do this. So I ask, what has Garrett done wrong on this issue?

  16. joni

    not all discharge is pollution (ie if the dischage substance is the same as the receiving substance) but, in this case you’re right.

  17. “But tell me reb, what exactly has Garrett done wrong (apart from some ‘duplicitious and misleading comments)?”

    What, the ‘duplicitious and misleading comments’ from the government aren’t sufficiently worthy of criticism in their own right?

  18. If I may answer for reb (and I am sure he will answer for himself too), it is the fact that Garrett did not say the full truth yesterday when he made his announcement.

    The is one thing that we complained about with the former government, and that we will complain about with the current one.

    It is the omission of vital detail that get’s us annoyed. If he told the “whole truth” then we would not have a problem with Garrett.

  19. Here is Garrett’s media release from yesterday:

    http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/garrett/2009/mr20090105.html

    The media release states:
    Mr Garrett said he had given his approval to nine further modules of the environmental management plan which relate to the construction of the mill and its associated infrastructure. This brings to 13 the number of modules approved.

    This was from the press conference:

    http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/garrett/2009/sp20090105.html

    Approval of remaining construction modules

    Today I informed Gunns Limited that I have approved a number of modules relating to the construction of the proposed pulp mill.

    I am satisfied that each module addresses the relevant conditions of Malcolm Turnbull’s approval.

    The 9 modules I have approved today relate only to the construction of the mill and its associated infrastructure.

    I don’t see how Garrett failed to tell the whole truth. The simple fact is that the media reports of the approval did not convey this aspect of his media release or press statement. This is the fault of the reporters, nott Garrett.

    I must say that I’m actually suprised that the media release and press statement are as detailed as they are, I fully expected the construction bit to be burried in the body somewhere but it’s pretty bloody clear.

  20. joni @ 18.

    Exactly.

    and Dave, I have read the media release. No where does it suggest that construction can start immediately.

    In fact, on the contrary even the title of the media release is misleading – “.No mill approval until detailed environmental studies completed”

    If you want to blame the messenger (ie the media) fine. However, I would ask how did the media overwhelmingly respond with headlines yesterday that the mill was not going ahead.

    As I state in my post :

    Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says the proposed $2 billion mill in the Tamar Valley cannot go ahead until more studies are undertaken on its potential impacts to marine environments

    http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2009/01/05/2459504.htm

  21. This from Christine Milne:
    “Federal Minister Peter Garrett’s decision to effectively give Gunn’s an extension of two more years to do the hydro dynamic modelling in Bass Strait is a body blow to Tasmanians and puts the pulp mill squarely on the 2010 federal election agenda,” Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne said today.

    “It has been obvious from day one that a chlorine dioxide bleaching pulp mill would pollute Bass Strait and that tertiary treatment would be required,” Senator Milne said. “Gunn’s has had since 2004 to prove otherwise but has failed to do so.”

    “My campaign for the release of the Hertzfeld report put the federal minister on notice that the community knows that Bass Strait does not flush quickly and that the pulp mill would never achieve the dilution and dispersion that would be required.”

    “It should not have required a long drawn out FOI battle, which is still ongoing, to force the government’s hand to take a more serious look at the hydro dynamic modelling in the Environment Impact Management Plan (EIMP).”

    “Why does the federal minister think that in two more years Gunns can prove what they have not been able to prove for the past four?”

    “Gunns are clearly angling for the taxpayers to have to pay for the tertiary treatment and Mr Rudd should unequivocally guarantee that no federal money will be on the table.”

    “Minister Garrett should have rejected the (EIMP) today on the basis Gunn’s failed to comply with its requirements and put an end to the misery Tasmanian’s have had to suffer since Gunn’s announced its pulp mill in 2004.”

    “This pulp mill and the relationship of its proponents with the Tasmanian Labor Government has poisoned the body politic in Tasmania for long enough.”

    “Nobody in the Tamar Valley, the tourism industry, the wine industry or the fishing industry can get on with their lives because of the looming threat that this polluting pulp mill poses.”

  22. Joni and Reb:

    Have emailed to blogocrats a copy of Gunns’s ASX Release and Mr Garrett’s letter to Gunns (was going to post them but together they are quite long). Perhaps you know a way to link to them.

  23. In your post you note:
    Garrett carefully neglected to mention yesterday that construction could now commence.

    Anyone reading that statement and the media release can understand that construction of the mill has been approved. Approval means ‘can commence so the statement in your post above is incorrect. Garret knows that it’s politically stupid to say that construction can commence immediately so why say it – it isn’t necessary and everyone knows that Gunns don’t have the finance to do it ‘immediately’ anyway. If you want to somehow criticise him for not using the word ‘immediately’ and make this a hanging offence, I think you’re clucting at straws.

    Besides, the concerns relate not to the construction of the mill but to its operation, (predominately) where it sources timber, the transport routes, dispersion of emissions from the stacks and water pollution. The mill can’t operate until the further approvals are given so until then, it just a building and all these other things are just potential concerns if the ‘building’ gets approval to operate as a mill. As Garrett said this morning and maiks it quite clear in his press statement and media release, Gunns run the risk of having a building they can’t use if the commence construction now and the modules and modelling aren’t up to scratch. His knocking back of these 3 models leads me to think that he is serious about this.

  24. Sorry,
    Anyone reading that statement … should be Anybody reading the press statement …

  25. Dave it is clear that we are not going to agree on this matter which is fine.

    I agree that it would’ve been politically stupid for Garrett to admit that the pulp mill could now be built.

    That’s part of the issue. His credibility as Minister for the Environment is already in tatters, so it was politically astute of him not to mention this, but at the same time it was dishonest in omitting that fact.

    In his own words:

    “No mill approval until detailed environmental studies completed”

    So “not approved” yesterday according to Garrett (to save his political @rse), “approved for construction” today by Julia Gillard.

    As I maintain ‘deliberately duplicitous and misleading”.

  26. reb,

    Explain to me what harm there is in giving Gunns more time to do hydrodynamic moddelling and come up with an EIMP that addresses the environmental concerns. They can’t operate without it so the only people harmed by the extension are Gunns.

    Milne make some comment about farmers and fishers being faced with uncertainty about whether or not the plant will go ahead and this affecting land prices etc, but seriously, this was a problem if the EIMP had been approved, deferrral doesn’t make this worse. What’s more, the additional conditions making the emissions limits more enforceable and gives the landholder much greater certainty about the impacts that can occur if the Mill eventually does go ahead. These limits are based on what are known to be acceptable.

    Milne just wants the mill killed dead – fair enough, there are others posting here who think the same. My point though is that Milne is saying that she doesn’t think the emission standards can be acheived- well what is the harm in trying to work out whether that is infact the case. Mere speculation is a f#@k’n piss poor way to make political decisions.

  27. Thanks Tony. I’m not sure how to link them but maybe joni might…

    Cheers

  28. Dave,

    My post isn’t about whether the mill should go ahead or not.

    It’s about the fact that yesterday Peter Garrett announced that the pulp mill had not been approved. But then today Julia Gillard says it has.

    I repeat, in his own words:

    “No mill approval until detailed environmental studies completed”

    Today, Julia GIllard says it is approved.

  29. OK reb, I’ll leave it at that built I still think you are being pretty harsh on him. Comparred to other environment Ministers in the past he has been pretty good IMO – at least his decision are legally defensible and he seems to be seeking a lot of good expert advice (and no that isn’t tautoly – there are a lot of shit ‘experts’ out there).

    His biggest problem (and probably why you see his credibility as beig in tatters) is that he has a much higher profile than other Ministers due to our much higher expectations of him. I can’t think of anything he has done that is environmentally bad. There are things that have disappointed people (Gunns obviously and also the Dredging of Port Phillip Bay) but so far these haven’t turned out to be as damaging as people expected. He has done a better job on the Gunns stuff than Turnbull did – that’s for sure.

  30. reb, my post @ 26 was about what Milne said, not your substantive post. I was trying to work out what your point was in posting her statement – I also posted it without seeing your post at 25.

    I still reckon he publically stated yesterday that construction was approved so I honestly don’t see what you think Gillard has added to Garret’s statements yesterday. I didn’t read the press releases until today and I can understand your post based on the media reports in the Herald, News, ABC etc which al ssemed to suggest what you posted was correct. My point was that this was pretty sloppy reporting and that I don’t think Garrett was as deceptive as you make out, it’s just that the media reporting made it seem that this was the case.

  31. bloody hell my spelling has gone to shit without a spell checker. 😦

  32. Sorry about the formatting changes in the thread – my Windo$e machine here is having some emotional issues (and I think it might have wiped a paragraph from reb’s post – sowwy)

  33. I have been away from government and all the aggro of politics for some time but I still find Garrett’s Press Release and Statement to Press Conference very interesting. (They should be read together because they are both essential to the strategy). Certainly a fine example of very tight media management.

    It seems to me every word has been very carefully selected and approved by those who understand fully the intricacies of the legalities and also the politics. Sliced, diced, minced and they carefully reconstituted. A very professional job.

    I note also that unlike the ‘normal’ Press Release, there is no Presser’s name attached for further or follow-up comment. The Presser’s name (and mobile number) is usually provided so that anyone from the MSM can make a call and get clarification if clarification is desired. That’s the first time I have seen that approach, but maybe it is the norm in the Rudd Government. (Does anyone know?)

    I think on this occasion, the powers that be didn’t want too much discussion. They wanted the ‘headline’ to be the first reading as it were. And they got their wish.

    I suspect the average punter thinks Garrett is a hero and that status will last for a year or two which is one hell of a long time in politics.

  34. Nature 5:

    “I think on this occasion, the powers that be didn’t want too much discussion. They wanted the ‘headline’ to be the first reading as it were. And they got their wish.”

    Totally agree!

    “I suspect the average punter thinks Garrett is a hero and that status will last for a year or two which is one hell of a long time in politics.”

    Hmmm, I think his status as a hero lasted 24 hours. From the moment he announced that the pulp mill (and the headlines that followed) declared that he wasn’t approving the pulp mill up until this morning when Gillard said it was approved.

  35. It wont be built – no one will cough up 2bill.

  36. “No mill approval until detailed environmental studies completed”

    What’s contradictory about that statement?

    It doesn’t say construction or operation, if anything you can criticise him for being vague. Right now Garrett is not giving any approval until the environmental study is complete, so the statement is correct.

    Garrett said on ABC Breakfast this morning the media have been wrong in their reporting and that if they wanted to Gunns could have started construction last February.

  37. “No mill approval until detailed environmental studies completed”

    “vague?”

    It sounds like a pretty categorical statement to me.

    He might be clarifying his position today Adrian, but yesterday the media was reporting that this meant the pulp mill wasn’t going ahead until the environmental studies had been completed.

    But let’s blame the media for pretty much all jumping to the same incorrect conclusion. I wonder how they all managed to reach the same incorrect assumption?

  38. Tom of Melbourne

    “It wont be built – no one will cough up 2bill.”

    That’s my gut impression as well. ANZ ran a mile for fear of a customer revolt but maybe a venture capital group might be found. How profitable is a pulp mill any way?

    Reb:

    “I think his status as a hero lasted 24 hours.”

    Maybe among the ‘informed’ but in my experience the average punter doesn’t follow stories that closely. Once an idea gets planted, it is very difficult to shift. Take the US public and 9/11, many, if not most, still think Saddam was responsible.

    There’s nothing as powerful as the first headline. At best Mr and Mrs Joe Average are now ‘confused’ but they possibly know that little will happen for two years. Yawn. Now what’s on TV tonight?

    36. Adrian:

    “so the statement is correct.”

    Sure is. There’s not a word out of place. Bit like Bush et al, they never said Sadam was responsible for 9/11, They just used references to 9/11 and references to Saddam in the same speech and surprise, surprise, the punters connected the dots.

  39. Apparently John Gay’s still not happy…

    “Mr Gay rejected the notion yesterday’s announcement was a setback for the mill.”

    “He accused Mr Garrett of playing politics, of trying to keep his “greenie friends” onside while also minimising the impact of his decision commercially on Gunns in recent letters and conversations. ”

    “Mr Garrett said that if the required hydrodynamic modelling studies indicated effluent from the mill would have an unacceptable impact on Bass Strait, it was possible the liquid waste would need to be better treated and purified.”

    “But he was adamant the Government would not contribute any of the $300 million cost of adding a tertiary treatment plant to the mill’s design, if it became necessary.”

    “The goalposts haven’t been moved — my view is that the Government has provided Gunns with more than adequate co-operation and interaction,” Mr Garrett said.

    Mr Gay believes differently.

    “If they want tertiary treatment and it’s something that we say is not necessary and that the project won’t be any better for it, well . . . it’s a lot of money that they are forcing on us,” he said.

    http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2009/01/06/48095_tasmania-news.html

  40. Thank heavens Reb. And now you have it.

  41. Reb I should have added..Gunns now needs to come up with $300M but have to come up with an acceptable discharge plan by 2011. Anyone want to throw their money Gunns’ way? No, of course not. Gunns now have an ‘approval’ that isn’t worth sixpence.

  42. Min

    I doubt that Gunns will be able to secure funding for the project in the current economic climate.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, their own bank ANZ refused to back it.

    And as Tom of Melbourne says, who’s going to front up with $2 billion for its construction, when it still doesn’t have 100% approval?

    John Gay continues to maintain the charade that it will go ahead purely to protect Gunns’ share price.

    And his off the cuff remark about Garrett wanting to keep his “greenie friends” onside just serves to illustrate the calibre of the man.

  43. oh, and I should’ve added that the ANZ side-stepped the project when it was estimated to cost $1.2 billion.

    It’s now estimated at a cost of $2.5 billion.

    Who’s going to rock up with that sort of dosh?

  44. Reb. This is precisely it. Garrett, hamstrung by decisions of the previous government is left with only a couple of options. Garrett follows through placing onerous conditions, but allowing them 2 years to front up or shut up.

    The fact that Gay mentions ‘greenie friends’ re Garrett speaks volumes. Gay fronts the press thanking Garrett, then p’d off, says that it’s all about Garrett’s greenie friends.

    I personally am completely p’d off by all the negative press re Garrett. The Howard government identified him as ‘a weak link’.. I should imagine that likewise on this blog I am also ‘a weak link’..all fluff and no substance. Well at least this is how I’m being treated except for a couple of nice people.

  45. Heard a statement on the radio from a Tasmanian commercial fisherman that may have bearing on what Garrett is on about and more importantly why Garrett keeps referring to the IEG science advice. Doesn’t bode well for Gunns as it means they will have to install a tertiary treatment plant, and probably knew that all along but have been attempting to circumvent the environmental processes as they have been all along.

    The fisherman stated that every time there was heavy rain and stormy weather the bottom of the bay got churned up and sediment from it moved into Bass Strait and along the coast depositing in distinct areas. This meant that if Gunns had its way in discharging the mill’s effluent at the planned outfall then that 64(?) tonnes of effluent a day would not disperse but end up concentrating in distinct areas, much of it currently used by commercial fisheries and others that are Commonwealth conservation areas.

    Had anybody got the figure for the amount of discharge? I’m fairly certain I heard the fisherman say 64 tonnes per day.

    Also remember that Gunns got the Tasmanian taxpayer to fund the discharge pipeline on the lines that Gunns wanted to discharge near to the mill to cut down costs, but because of the environmental constraints put on them by the Tassie government they were required to discharge several kilometres away. As it was a government requirement then the government should pay for it, which the Tassie government agreed to.

  46. “I should imagine that likewise on this blog I am also ‘a weak link’..all fluff and no substance. Well at least this is how I’m being treated except for a couple of nice people.”

    Min, no way are you a “weak link” and I certainltly beat you hands down in the all fluff and no substance department!!

    And please, if anyone says something is personally directed at you, please let me or etiquette officer joni know, and we’ll sort it out.

    Blogocrats is a place for everyone to express themselves. and that definitely includes you Min.

    🙂

  47. Adrian, exactly right.

    Gunns wanted the effluent pipeline to extend 30 kilometres from the mill into the Bass strait.

    Question.

    If the effluent is going to almost as pure as drinking water, as Gunns claim, why the need for the discharge to be 30km offshore?

  48. hear hear, reb

    You definately contribute a lot to this blog min – and so we do need to have some restraint from the swearing.

  49. Adrian, try 64,000 tonnes every day to process four million tonnes of woodchips.

  50. 49.

    That’s a hell of a lot of environmental damage over a very large area of air, land and water.

  51. Adrian, by my calculations to move that much timber per day at say 20 tonne per truck load there would have to be two hundred thousand loads on the road every day.

    As I’ve been saying for a while, no financial institution will touch them because it is not sustainable…after twenty five years there will not be enough mature trees left to feed the mill.

    Think about the viability when an ETS comes in to play.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=IzYvtTOVlUA

  52. From faq at Gunns’s link here scaper:

    http://www.gunnspulpmill.com.au/

    How much wood will be processed in the proposed pulp mill?
    The pulp mill will not require additional intensification of forestry operations. It will instead divert resource that otherwise would have been exported in chip form to the pulp mill for value-added processing. In the initial stages of operation, about 3.2 million green tonnes of pulp wood per year will be processed.

    So, assuming 365 days a year operation, that’s around 8767 green tonnes per day. (Divided by 20 tonne truckloads = 438 truckloads per day.)

  53. Tony, you are correct by that link…I got my figures from Reb’s link above.

    Do you dispute the 64,000 tonnes of effluent that will be pumped into the ocean per day?

  54. Meanwhile Japan – one of the world’s major manufacturers of paper – has stated it will not import woodchips that have been harvested from old growth forests.

    John Gay blames “the greenies”.

  55. 53. Scaper

    Don’t know. Do you have a link toh estimated discharge per tonne processed?

  56. Reb, the same greenies that oppose whaling???

    LOL!

  57. 54. reb

    That shouldn’t affect Gunns because (according to their faq):

    What sort of wood will be processed in the proposed pulp mill?
    The primary wood source for this project will be plantation-grown eucalypts, regrowth forest eucalypts and a small proportion of plantation pine. No old growth logs will be used in the pulp mill.

  58. Tony, well I can not use the link that Reb provided because that got the daily consumption wrong.

    This is like the whole CC debate…two much conflicting information to an extent that the real truth of the matter has been lost.

    I’ll see what I can dig up tomorrow.

  59. NP scaper. BTW, what comment number was reb’s link?

  60. scaper:

    “Adrian, try 64,000 tonnes every day to process four million tonnes of woodchips”

    The 64,000 tonnes every day seems like the right figure, but the four million tonnes is a per annum figure not a daily figure. Try 15 000 tonnes a day assuming some downtime.

    I am sure that some will argue that in ‘world environment terms’ it is better to have the plant in Australia under relatively strict controls rather than in, say Cambodia, where almost anything goes.

    What’s the answer to that argument?

    Is it the case that all pulp mills should be banned? If so, then what is the paper substitute? Is it the case that we don’y give a stuff about the rest of the world and just want to be NIMBYs? Is it the case that we want the mill in Tasmania but at a different location?

    Anyone want to provide some conceptual clarity?

  61. Well Nature 5, I think you have identified a dilemma. Do we have industry here and subject it to rigorous regulation, or do we simply leave the industry to the environmentally destructive policies elsewhere?

    In any event this won’t go ahead, no one is going to spend $2bn+ on a project that will be dogged by political intrigue and manoeuvring, protests that will border on sabotage etc.

    I wouldn’t invest in it, who would? By leaving it hanging, the government has effectively killed it off.

    Fair enough, leave the roads clear of logging trucks for those of us that prefer not to be tailgated while driving from winery to antique shop.

  62. Good to hear from you Tom. I noted that you’ve been on holiday away from the dust etc. And now I understand you are under cover. I swear I saw you on SBS tonight at 6.00 PM on the Dakar. What’s it like to ride one of those motorcycles at such speeds in such conditions? Lol.

    As for:

    “the government has effectively killed it off”

    Maybe. Certainly, Cousins thinks so.

    Nevertheless, I think the dilemma is real enough. Still waiting for solutions.

    Good of you to post after such an arduous trip.

  63. The whole Pulp Mill process has frustrated me from the start and this is just another half answer from the Federal Government. It also shows how pathetic Garrett is on Environmental issues.

    I write a blog myself
    http://www.mutatedpixelations.wordpress.com

    nothing more than a young malcontent ranting occasionally, but feel free to check it out

  64. Now the real mettle of Peter Garrett will be exposed, where he can’t shuffle back to previously implemented process and hand pass back to the company.

    With the McArthur River Mine (MRM) where the company wants to divert 6km of pristine topical river, basically destroying it, and a full bench Federal Court decision , Garrett has to make a firm decision on this one way or another, either in favour of destroying a pristine river system or in favour of the traditional owners who want to preserve it.

  65. “McArthur River ”

    Not sure how pristine that River is? But not in favor of the proposal.

    Have you ever been there? Not that it matters in terms of yours or mine POV.

    BTW, Garrett will only be a minor player in this decision. This will be a Government decision not a Garrett decision

  66. “Fair enough, leave the roads clear of logging trucks for those of us that prefer not to be tailgated while driving from winery to antique shop.”

    Hi Tom (62) try driving your children to school, or putting them on the school bus, whilst being tail-gated by log trucks – very scary! But even more frightening, being tail-gated by trucks carrying the chemicals necessary to turn our beautiful forests into pulp. This will most likely be the future for those of us living in the Tamar Valley.

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