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Letters to the Editor

John Day - 05/08/2009

5 Aug 2009

The ill-informed commentary from John Day, Chairman of the TAP group, should not be allowed to pass without comment.

Mr Day says the proposed pulp mill will stink.  He is wrong.  The mill will be subject to strict environmental controls laid down by the RPDC.  If the controls are breached, then severe penalties will apply.

Mr Day says all kraft pulp mills stink.  Again he is wrong.  Modern pulp mills employ the most up-to-date technology and do not smell, and do not pollute the water or the air. Today pulp mills are designed to operate within strict environmental controls to ensure our natural surroundings are protected.

There are many pulp mills around the world that operate in densely populated towns and cities. Pulp mills in Scandinavia for example discharge effluent into fresh water lakes such as Lake Vättern which also supplies drinking water for surrounding towns with no adverse health effects whatsoever.  In France, Portugal, Spain, Germany Chile and the USA, pulp mills chug away next door to vineyards without any adverse effect.

Mr Day refers to the Tamar Valley airshed inversion.  He does not say however that existing industry in the Bell Bay industrial zone does not adversely affect the airshed over Launceston.  Neither will this mill.

Mr Day says the mill will result in job losses.  Again he is wrong.  The mill and ancilliary industry will attract employment to the region.  Modern pulp mills provide many opportunities in many countries to sustain communities into the future with only positive impacts on other industries and businesses.  The mill will have no adverse effect on existing agricultural industry, which has been proven elsewhere to co-exist.

And his amateurish fear campaign is abhorrent.  Young people being forced to leave the State, families separated – what poppycock.  Just the opposite would be true, with expanded job opportunities being provided.

And how about the TAP survey regarding foreign control of our air, water and forests.  Such a survey would be laughable if its implications were not so serious.  Apart from the obvious falsehood in the question and the overt xenophobia it tried to generate, such a result would lead to the closure of most industrial activity in the State, including I suspect, his own business. 

The true test of Tasmanian’s attitude to the pulp mill was the recent election for Windermere where the ballot box demonstrated the views of the people that live closest to the pulp mill – the candidate who openly supported the pulp mill was elected and the candidate who openly derided the pulp mill was not!

The healthy Tasmania that he seeks is in fact sought by us all.  It will not come about by the politics of fear, innuendo and the perpetration of deliberate falsehoods.  Mr Day stands condemned by his own inaccuracies.

Dr Julian Amos
Chairman FIAT

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