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Letters to the Editor

The Editor - Mercury, Examiner, Advocate 28/08/2007

28 Aug 2007

The arguments of those opposed to the pulp mill border on the surreal. Let us put
some facts on the table.

The amount of dioxin being released from the mill each year is minute. It will, in
volume, be less than one grain of rice. Most of these substances will be discharged
in the effluent not to the air.

The level of dioxins and furans from the proposed mill is miniscule (0.111 grams)
compared with the output of these substances from existing wood heaters (0.883
grams or over 96%) in the greater Launceston area. Wood heaters seriously affect
the overall air quality in the Tamar and it is wood heaters and not the pulp mill that is
the real issue to be addressed.

The effluent from the mill, including the “grain of rice”, will be dispersed via a 3km
outlet pipe into Bass Strait, in an area where there is no commercial scallop fishery.
The Maryvale mill in Victoria has been discharging its effluent into Bass Strait for
years, with no adverse effect on the marine environment or any fishery.

The mill will be situated in an area where there are vineyards. In the premium grape
growing districts of Provence and Bordeaux, in France, vineyards inhabit the same
territory as pulp mills, with no loss of reputation, tourism attraction, or wine quality.

Those who argue for a site move to Hampshire from the Tamar for environmental
reasons are being less than honest. First, there is no proposal to do so, and anyway,
why is that site any more “environmentally appropriate”.

Industrial plant in Tasmania operates under license conditions. If those conditions
are breached, the plant is shut down. The pulp mill will operate under license
conditions, and will be treated no differently to any other industrial plant.

Those who argue that the mill will destroy Tasmania’ forests conveniently ignore the
fact that no additional timber will be cut to feed the mill – woodchips that are
presently exported as woodchips will be the feedstock for the mill.

And finally, those complaining of the fast-track process by the State Government
should reflect on the fact that it was the RPDC process that was flawed, because of
the lack of a timeline. To say that the public has been denied the opportunity for
input is wrong. The public had input into the RPDC process and that input has been
included under the present arrangements, both State and Federal.

The public needs to have the full facts and not simply the biased presentations from
the anti-mill lobby.

 

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