Hansard of the
Tuesday 25th November 2003
PULP MILL PROPOSAL
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, I want to make a few
comments about the renewed debate that has started in Tasmania
about a possible pulp mill project.
I believe that such a debate is totally premature and those
jumping the gun are risking a re run of the bitter arguments
over the Wesley Vale pulp mill project. Let us be clear: the
State Government has announced a review of environmental guidelines
for bleached kraft pulp mills. The Deputy Premier in announcing
the review on 13 November explained that there had been significant
advances in pulp mill technology in the eight years since
the last guidelines in 1995.
One of these significant advances was the development of
total chlorine free or elemental chlorine free pulp processing
systems in Scandinavia. That review is expected to be completed
by May next year. There will then be a period of public comment
on the new guidelines. Comment on the new guidelines, Mr President,
not on a proposed pulp mill; that would be at least a further
12 months down the track.
I suggest that the time for any new debate about pulp mills
in Tasmania is after the review is completed so let us keep
an open mind until then; let us have a debate based on facts
not prejudice. While any debate about the latest facts is
premature, so is any debate about the location of a pulp mill.
Let us have a proposal first. It has long been suggested that
Bell Bay, just east of the boundary of my electorate of Rosevears,
is an ideal site.
Mr Aird - Talk about premature!
Mr FINCH - No, no - our GBE committee A visited Bell Bay
last week on other business, but I noted that Bell Bay is
an existing industrial area and it is ideally situated near
the north-eastern Tasmania's big pulpwood reserves and it
is an ideal site for more value-adding forestry products or
There is a strong argument by the forestry industry, Mr President,
that any proposal for value-adding to our existing woodchip
output should be accompanied by other value-adding projects.
Let us look at all such ideas. A pulp mill, of course, is
only the first stage in value-adding woodchip. Perhaps any
pulp mill proposal should also be evaluated with a possible
paper mill. Mr President, I feel confident that the proposed
review of the environmental guidelines will be exactly that,
that all the environmental consequences of any processing
method will be examined in great detail. Any environmental
consequences of any industrial project on the Tamar are of
great interest to my constituents who run vineyards with a
clean, green image; conduct tourism ventures; and run fish
farms in the Tamar, but I am confident that the people of
Rosevears will await the facts before discussing the implications
of any development in the Tamar Valley.
Ms Thorp - Just what I like, an optimist.
Mr FINCH - Mr President, I would expect the environmental
review to be followed by a full analysis of the social and
economic impacts. The people of the Tamar Valley will want
the full picture. They will want to weigh the economic benefits
from any industrial development -
Ms Thorp - They'll have to be able to see through the fog.
Mr FINCH - with the possible effects on other industries
such as wine, tourism, aquaculture - and the fog.
This, Mr President, is a debate we must have but, I strongly
suggest, not yet.