Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr. Warwick Raverty responds to Launceston Mayoral reject

In todays Examiner Newspaper, (Letter to the Editor - 30th Dec 2010) Launceston Mayoral reject Ivan Dean took the stick to Dr.Warwick Raverty, a good and decent man who has devoted 25 years of his scientific career to conducting research aimed at assisting the pulp and paper industry to become sustainable. For those who dont know, Dr.Warwick Raverty is Australia's foremost guru on Kraft Pulp Mill Technology particlularly in the area of 'odours'  .
Ex cop and Tasmanian upper house MLC Ivan Deans today described Dr. Raverty's recent comments about the risks posed by fugitive odour emissions emanating from the proposed Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill as 'ill informed and alarmingly mischievous"! Ivan Dean was of course the pro-logging Mayor of Launceston who famously described an historic 10,000 strong anti-pulp mill protest in his home town Launceston as "misinformed". Not long after, Dean was embarrassingly voted out of office.

Dean's latest dismissal of Dr. Warwick Raverty’s warning of risks posed by fugitive odour emissions highlights the absurdity of Tasmania’s largest ever industrial project (Gunns Pulp Mill) being planned and assessed by Politicians instead of by an independent expert planning body. That Alderman Dean really believes a few welds could dissipate fugitive emissions and that other Kraft mills built in the last 100 years would not have employed cutting edge technology like welding (cough, cough) is quite hilarious? It also betrays incredible hubris on Alderman Deans part that he clearly sees himself more expert in Kraft Mill technology than Dr.Warwick Raverty, a man who has 25 years in the pulp and paper industry.
When once asked on the ABC if he “trusted Gunns” Ivan Dean famously replied,...................... “ Well, of course I trust that - why wouldn't you? They're a very reputable organisation in this state. They've been here for a long, long period of time. And why wouldn't they want to deliberately mislead? I couldn't see any reason for that at all and of course I accept that. And if you start doubting everything that you're told by everybody, you're not going to get too far, are you?

Scary, I know.

Hansard shows former Upper House President Don Wing, during the fast tracking of the pulp mill warning “He (Raverty) has had vast experience and ignoring his views would be to the jeopardy of anybody who chooses to do so. If the Government chooses to do so, it is on their heads”.
Clearly Ivan Dean also knows better than Don Wing.


Anyway here is the reply Dr. Raverty submitted to the Examiner Newspaper. It will be interesting to see if the pro-Gunns, pro pulp mill northern rag publish this....

....."I am sure that many Tamar Valley residents will be greatly reassured by Alderman Dean’s advice (Letters 30th Dec) that six of his fellow aldermen rejected the legitimacy of my public warning about fugitive odour from a kraft pulp mill at Long Reach. I am even more certain that the same residents would be far more reassured if Gunns’ proposal was not protected by the iniquitous Section 11 of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act. I challenge Alderman Dean and his six colleagues to provide some sort of meaningful financial guarantee to residents and businesses in the Valley in the event that he is wrong about odour from the mill. What Alderman Dean neglects to mention in his letter is that Gunns did not publish their plans for a fully welded foul gas line until the day after I issued my warning. He will search in vain for any information about this feature in Gunn’s 2006 draft IIS. So instead of suggesting my letter is ‘alarmingly mischievous’, he should be thanking me and many others who have kept pressure on Gunns (at their own expense, unlike the amply salaried Alderman Dean and his colleagues) to remedy the many deficiencies in this ill-conceived and poorly managed proposal. I remind Alderman Dean that it was I who campaigned for over a year against Gunns’ intention to install the risky ‘Integrated Chlorine Dioxide Process’, until even Sweco Pic were forced to admit that it was not Accepted Modern Technology. No, Alderman Dean and other politicians supporting this abomination have been conspicuous by their gullibility in heeding the many demonstrably false utterances of the proponent over the past 5 years and derelict in their duty to the majority of their electors. While the fully welded foul gas line is a step in the right direction, there remain many unanswered questions concerning the control of odour in this mill and other matters that Gunns refused to provide to the RPDC over a period of 2 years of questioning. Needless to say, none of these details were examined by the unprecedented ‘fast-track’ approval process that your Parliament inflicted on its own electors. Alderman Dean can rest assured that I remain unconvinced by Gunns’ latest announcements that the mill will be odour-free and he can expect further robust debate in the Council chamber in the New Year informed by me and other technical experts who remain resolute in their conviction that the quality of life of the many should not be sacrificed to the greed and collusion of a privileged few.'

Dr. Warwick Raverty

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

$500,000 per week of Tax Payer freebies to Forestry Tasmania every week for the last 5 years. Why? Where did it go and how long can Tasmania afford to carry FT?

....."FORESTRY Tasmania has hoarded $22 million of federal and state government grants it has received since 2005 as part of the five-year Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement. Confidential documents released two days before Christmas under Right to Information laws reveal Forestry Tasmania has received a massive $140 million of the $221 million handed to the Tasmanian forestry industry since 2005"......

Read about it Here ,  here ,  heresky  and  Heresky

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sue Neales on Tasmanian Politics 2010. Nick Mckim and Cassy O'Connor "obsequiously silent"

.........."Too often, Mr McKim and Ms O'Connor have been obsequiously silent in parliamentary debates, when in the past they would have been the Government's most vocal critics. Think about this year's disturbing revelations about child protection. Or about Aurora ineptness, expensive renegotiated Hawthorn football deals, prison breakouts and broken Labor election promises on capping power price rises and spending.
And when it comes to new policies, it is hard to know exactly whether Mr McKim and Ms O'Connor are having the ameliorating effect they like to claim within Cabinet, because they, like all ministers, are bound by confidentiality.
Pragmatism in return for personal power is not a look the public likes much, particularly Tasmanian Greens supporters. Many, rightly or wrongly, are hailing MP Kim Booth, who refused to be part of any deal with the Government, as the only true Greens leader left"..........Read More in The Mercury

Matt Goss wins Launceston Cycling Classic

"Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia) won the 2010 Launceston Classic criterium after a terrific lead-out from teammate Leigh Howard. It was his third Classic win, with Howard finished second and Will Clarke (Genesys Wealth Advisers) rounding out the podium in front of thousands of fans. “The race was tough and it’s excellent to get another win in front of my family and friends," Goss said. Leigh did a brilliant lead-out today and it was thanks to him we could walk away with victory."....................Read More on Here

Monday, December 27, 2010

Feel like i have been hit by a bus.........well sorta

Swam 2k at sunny riverside pool today. I found new sore bits. Why did i fall off my bike??
I feel like i have been hit by a bus......well not quite, but u get the point.
Then I dragged myself out to walk Charli this arvo. I only lasted 2km. Sore and slow. Sorry Charli.
Oh well it could have been worse.
Speaking of disaster areas. I havent seen the Australian cricket team in such bad shape since the days of World Series Cricket. For christs sake, sack the selectors and a few of the players. Ponting cant wear all the blame, but depending on the series result he could be on his last legs. I blame 20/20 cricket.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Examiner readers say no to the pulp mill. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mr Editor

Results TBC when I borrow a copy of Pat's Examiner (we don't buy the ex at my place..cough...cough)
  394 Examiner Readers say YES to a Pulp Mill in Tasmania
1613 Examiner Readers say NO to a Pulp Mill in Tasmania

Question is Mr Examiner Editor.........'Will your newspaper's reporting on the proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill now begin reflecting community sentiment or will it continue to privelege corporate and political sentiment?'

Xmas 'offie'.....OUCH!!

Well xmas was nice.
2 days in hobart with the family. Had a nice day yesterday at my sisters place eating crayfish, king prawns etc.
Was beginning to feel a bit you do....and was determined to get home to my mums place in glenorchy for a quick pre-dinner bike ride.
Headed off around 5pm onto the hobart bike paths for a quick n pleasant 30k.
At around 6ish I was near claremont, ride nearly done and dont ask me how but i stacked.
Over the handlebars i went and BANG!!, landed flat on my back. I hit my head (helmet on!!) and my helmet flicked off a few metres down the track. 
Though it wasnt meant to, it all happened so quickly.
For a short while i lay on the track groaning with my lower back ringing with pain before struggling to the feet to check that all my bits were still intact. "Are you alright mate?" slome bloke yelled over the fence. "I think so". How embarrassment!
In all my years of cycling, racing bikes, triathlons, hurtling down hills and around corners this was only my third real offie (not including when i got the speed wobbles and fell off robbie broadway's dragster in grade 7 and broke my arm). My other two falls were in Darwin, one of which resulted in a broken collar bone.
Anyway, thank god my bike escaped unscathed.
Oh yeah i was o.k too. Aside from some cuts and abrasions and feeling like i had just  been tackled by the wallabies front row!
Well that was a xmas day i wont forget in a hurry.
Back home in gravelly beach now, stiff, quite sore, but relieved that i am not lying in the hobart hospital with another broken collarbone.
Thanks Santa!!

p.s can you believe the aussie batsmen? 98??? Pathetic

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Xmas all yooz.

Merry Xmas!
Thanks to all who have participated in my blog this year (even the grumpy people). Stay safe on the roads and i hope you all find good company, lots of fun and happiness over the xmas and new year.
Rick P

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Xmas Gunns style as another mill closes, 200 jobs go. Another 300 jobs set to go in next four months......Tasmanian Loggers not satisfied with taxpayer freebie.

.............."Timber giant Gunns today closed a major woodchip mill in north-west Tasmania, leaving up to 200 timber workers out of work and another 300 likely to meet the same fate in the next four months. It is the first of several closures for the company as it tries to move away from old-growth logging and towards plantation timber. Rodney Bishop, who has been cutting down trees near his small town of Smithton for 30 years, says he and his wife Jan are closing their contracting business today"......................."The Federal Government yesterday made offers of assistance to loggers wanting to exit the industry, but only 30 of the 80 who applied were successful. Mr Bishop was one of the lucky ones. "Without putting too fine a point, I think it's a pitiful amount of money for the situation we're in," he said...........Read More Here

Tasmanian Conservation Trust says no to deficient Tasmanian Forests Peace Deal

FROM THE TCT WEBSITE..........................."On 20 October 2010, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust announced that it had decided not to endorse the Forests Statement of Principles Agreement (the Agreement) which was signed by representatives of the forest industry and three conservation groups and presented to you on the 19 October 2010. The TCT is delighted to acknowledge that the Agreement establishes considerable common ground between the industry and conservationists and this is a good basis for further negotiation. The TCT also acknowledges that the Agreement promises an astoundingly positive outcome for the protection of high conservation values of intact forests on public land, mainly in wilderness areas, and the TCT strongly supports this ambition. The Agreement is NOT, however, a complete plan for the conservation of Tasmania’s forested landscapes and the TCT has identified a number of key issues that need to be addressed in parallel to any efforts to implement the Agreement if a truly effective and comprehensive conservation outcome is to be achieved. Indeed, the principal reason why the TCT did not join others in endorsing the Agreement was because of the sheer number of omissions and their importance for the TCT and the wider Tasmanian community".

The Agreement: -

• fails to address the broader need for protection of native forests and other ecosystems for biodiversity conservation – where almost all priority issues and areas are to be found on private land
• fails to address ‘fatal flaws’ associated with ongoing attempts by Gunns Ltd to establish its Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp (BEKP) pulp mill in the Tamar Valley
• fails to make an appropriate commitment to reform land management agencies in Tasmania, especially Forestry Tasmania and the Parks and Wildlife Service, to recognise internal conflicts of interest and the intended reality of a much expanded reserve estate in Tasmania (likely to be more than 50% of the state if the reserves promised as part of the Agreement are included)
• fails to establish an appropriate, science-based process to establish prudent timetables and limitations on a transition out of disputed public native forests that clearly establishes appropriate high conservation values, the extent of such values and appropriate management of forest needed to maintain such values; and
• fails to commit to identifying and commercially exploiting the carbon benefits of protecting and restoring native forests.

Read More Here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Jordan River levee site contains a sequence virtually uninterrupted from the present to nearly 40,000 years ago". article from The Mercury

........."THE archaeologist who discovered the Jordan River levee site has slammed the State Government's approval of a four-lane Brighton bypass over the 40,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site. Tim Stone yesterday called on the Federal Government to stop the planned bridge, just as it did with the Kutikina Cave in the Wild Rivers National Park in 1983. "They stepped in for Kutikina and I cannot see why this site should be any different," Dr Stone said. "Kutikina is a significant site but the Jordan River levee site blows it out of the water, so they have to step in."
Dr Stone said the discovery of Kutikina Cave in 1983 stunned the world because it offered a snapshot of 2000 to 3000 years in the life of the most southerly people on the planet at the height of the last glacial period. In contrast, the Jordan River levee site contains a sequence virtually uninterrupted from the present to nearly 40,000 years ago, he said................Read More in The Mercury here

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Labor Greenhorn approves Brighton Bypass. Mckim says "sorry nothing we can do". Aboriginals set for a fight and accuse 'lax' Mckim of "flying under the radar"

Which planet has Tasmania's most senior left wing parliamentarian and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Nick Mckim been on whilst the Brighton Bypass issue has been unfolding?  Mckim, the Leader of the Tasmanian Green's response to the devastating decision to build a freeway over and trash part of one of the worlds most significant archaeological sites has been inadequate to say the least.

Ever the politician Mckim reminded devastated aboriginals that The Greens were ..."the only party who have consistently stated our opposition to any impacts upon the Jordan River Levee site......and  reiterated that the decision on the permits issued by Minister Wightman did not go to Cabinet".

One contributor to the Mercury's online comments railed........"What a joke Nick McKim. Your excuse that the decision "did not go to cabinet" is laughable, because if it did go to cabinet yourself and Cassy would choose not to take part in the cabinet discussions/vote - exactly as you have done in the past when you couldn't handle the heat of an earlier unrelated decision. Now that you've used the excuse "the decision didn't go to cabinet" and the excuse "we chose not to be in cabinet for the decision" What excuse will you use next time? Back when yourself and Cassy chose not to be in cabinet for a different decision you said it was because the issue wasn't important enough to risk breaking the Labor - Green alliance, with that in mind I ask you exactly what would it take for you to risk the Labor - Green alliance?...
Posted by: James 11:01am today

Todays Mercury Newspaper reported that Aboriginal Heritage Officer Aaron Everett accused Nick McKim of being "lax in his responsibility toward Aboriginal people and "staying under the radar" when it came time for real action".

The Leader of the Tasmanian Greens said of his Labor cabinet colleague's decision to approve the controversial bypass.....“We must all learn from this distressing, and potentially divisive, situation".................WHAT THE??

POTENTIALLY divisive? calling the Greens leader.

Tasmanian Aboriginal protesters are already flocking to the contested site at Brighton, 25km north of Hobart and appear ready to go to war with the Tasmanian Government. They have vowed to stand their ground and fight for as long as takes, even if that means being arrested. All the 'learning' and debriefing in the world will neither console them or bring justice.
If Gunns find a joint venture partner and build the Tamar Valley pulp mill one wonders whether the Greens leader and born again Labor mate will proffer up similarly soft and useless platitudes to another devastated community.

........"Seven metres below the planned elevated highway lies the bank of the river, where it is indisputable that ancient Aboriginal communities have moved, met and camped for epochs -- literally 36,000 thousand years before the great pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge were built. The Jordan levee silt bank is special. Because of specific geological and geographical features in the surrounding river valley it has not been disturbed, moved or dramatically altered by flood waters through the course of at least two ice ages and eons before as well.
Across the 14-hectare site, it is estimated as many as three million ancient stone tools, fireplaces, ash and bone fragments are spread deep through the soil profile.
They are the remnant traces of one of the earliest civilisations known in Australia and, indeed, across the world.
It is an extraordinary thought that these flints, axe heads and stone tools, some made from rocks found only in far distant locations, are the remains and debris of 1600 generations of Tasmanian Aboriginal people who have lived in the area.
Compare that with the maximum eight generations of white Australians who have lived on this island since 1803 and it is easy to feel like a tiny ant barely scrapping the surface of history in comparison.
Archaeologist Robert Paton, writing about his unexpected discovery in a recent issue of 40 degrees South
magazine, describes the Brighton levee bank as "one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world". "We were expecting dates of around 10,000 years. These new dates made it the oldest site in Tasmania by several thousand years, and among the oldest archaeological sites in Australia," Mr Paton writes.
"[At depths dated to the period between] 26,000 and 41,000 years, the layers of human occupation were neatly sandwiched between sandy deposits. "This was an extraordinary archaeological find. [It] gives us an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of people from so long ago and their vibrant and changing culture."
One would expect amazement, awe and pride to be the overwhelming sentiment and feeling of all Tasmanians at the discovery of such ancient evidence of early man existing on Hobart's rural doorstep.
Yet ever since the debate about the significance of the Jordan River levee bank began early this year, after Mr Paton revealed his astonishingly early dates going back 41,000 years, Tasmanians have revealed a disturbing lack of interest or curiosity -- let alone pride -- in some of man's earliest beginnings being found in Tasmania. Instead, the reaction has largely been antagonistic and abhorrently racist. The finds have been dismissed by many Tasmanians as being "only" about Aboriginal heritage -- and therefore of no interest apparently to the wider community. Overwhelmingly, the ugly sentiment expressed on website blogs such as the Mercury's, has been that Aborigines should stop whingeing and let the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources get on with building the long-awaited four-lane upgrade of the Midland Highway across the historic site for the good of all Tasmanians.
Progress rather than history -- the dominance of cars and trucks over the unique culture and heritage of the first Tasmanians, has been the base level of debate.
Just as distasteful have been the disingenuous assertions made by the department and other build-the-highway-regardless proponents who have claimed that putting a flyover slap-bang across the levee bank actually preserves and protects the precious treasures and history below"...........Read More Here

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Boat tragedy: How Australians became complicit in the horror of Christmas Island. by Richard Flanagan in The Guardian

............."I saw a person dying in front of me, and there was nothing I could do to save them," resident Kamar Ismail is reported to have said. "Babies, children, maybe three or four years old, they were hanging on to bits of timber, they were screaming 'help, help, help'." Lifejackets thrown down were tossed back by storm winds, the last illusion of a hope that had once borne the name Australia.

If 30 Australians drowned in Sydney Harbour it would be a national tragedy. But when 30 or more refugees drown off the Australian coast, it is a political question...........Read More in the 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I nearly fell off my chair when i read this. Logging industry lobby group flounders as the corporate teat is withdrawn

..........."The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) has sacked its chairman because it can not afford to pay him.FIAT lost half its income when Tasmania's largest timber company, Gunns, withdrew from the organisation in September"..............Read More Here

West Tamar Mayor Barry Easther votes down Pulp Mill elector poll. Joy Allen, Rick Shegog, Trevor Roach and John Watson join Mayor to vote down democratic poll.

Congratulations to West Tamar Councillors Karl Stevens, Christine Holmdahl, Peter Kearney and Viv Tyson for reflecting the overwhelming feeling of the West Tamar municipality and attempting to give them a voice on the pulp mill issue.

Perhaps its time for the WTC ratepayers to call another public meeting and remind the Mayor, Joy Allen, Rick Shegog, Trevor Roach and John Watson about how ratepayers feel on this issue.
Read more from page 30 on the December 14 council meeting minutes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Former Union Leader appointed as 'facilitator' in Tassie forest peace deal.

..............."The well-known union leader has been appointed as “facilitator” to try to turn a landmark statement of principles agreed by conservationists and forest companies and workers into a lasting deal. Mr Kelty told The Australian he accepted the role because he believed in the kind of push for consensus that the Hawke government initiated in the 1980s. “’I’m looking forward to it ... this (finding consensus) is a good thing for nations to do,” he said. He denied his 30 years representing the interests of workers constituted a bias in favour of timber workers over conservation outcomes. “There’s only one bias and that is to try to ensure the best outcome in terms of the public good,” he said....................Read More below in The OZ
Former Union Leader appointed as 'facilitator' in Tassie forest peace deal.

TAP spurns Gunns PR advances.

TAP warns against Gunns PR game. See TAP email below......

.......GUNNS HAVE HIRED A PR COMPANY TO PROVIDE THEM WITH A SOCIAL LICENSE. They are conducting interviews around Tasmania this week. Do NOT Speak To Pax Populus from Gunns. This is a PR firm that have promised Gunns a pulp mill 'social license'. TAP strongly advises against cooperating with them. They have been door knocking and asking for interviews etc. Gunns withdrew from the proper planning process because they knew they would be turned down. Our human rights were removed by section 11 and this conflict resolution group wants to ignore all that and give Gunns a license to operate. TAP does not want to engage with them at all. Be aware that any answers you give may be 'cherry-picked' to provide the results they want. This is the firm that interviewed residents for the original IIS. They conducted just 10 interviews in the whole Tamar valley!....

Pulp the Mill says no to Pax Populus........Pilko's inside take on the Gunns/Pax Populus PR push

Bec Gibney set to leave us.....and..... Cundall wait on protest Verdict

......"Gibney was vilified in 2007 after expressing concerns about the impact of the pulp mill on the air and water quality of the Tamar Valley, where she and Bell were raising their young son Zac. The actor said that if the pulp mill was built, she would be forced to leave the Tamar valley and Tasmania. Local bottle shop owner Sam McQuestin – a former Liberal party president and Upper House candidate for the seat of Launceston – accused Ms Gibney of being a "serial complainer" and new arrival whose family made no contribution to the Tasmanian economy.
"I don't begrudge her moving down here to live but I don't think she has a right to tell the rest of us how to live our lives, when she has only come here in the short term," Mr McQuestin said.
The popular Gibney, at the time auditioning for a pilot of the top-rating Packed to the Rafters series, responded with the threat of legal action against Mr McQuestin.
"Here we have yet another attack on the mainlanders, [who are] investing vast amounts of money with a strong belief in the valley's future, only to be boorishly vilified by someone with connections to Gunns," Gibney said in a statement at the time". ...........Read More Here

Cundall article here

Great time at Bicheno.......some news links

Great couple of days catching waves and catching up with the family at Bicheno. Redbill is one of my favourite beaches of all time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Polly Watch

A couple of months ago i argued that the Tasmanian Times had become - "A site dominated by a small band of narrow minded loony lefty mates whose politics are a weird hybrid of social insularism/Hansonism and vigilante environmentalism".

I was subseqently and rather predictably defamed and ridiculed by anonymous posters as TT relaxed its editorial grip on one or two of the sites nastier elements.
At one stage a contributor mocked me because i had argued that some of the extreme left elements were ..."a weird hybrid of social insularism/Hansonism and vigilante environmentalism".

Now with this in mind, read the thread below on TT about same sex marriage-
Pay attention to the comments by West Tamar Councillor Karl Stevens, particularly post 10 which was his response to high profile HCC greens candidate Corey Peterson. Have a good read and then consider my comments above about socially insular enviro-lefties who embrace elements of Hansonism.

Stevens comment (#10) is one of the most bizzare, illogical and offensive comments on the rights and role of Gay people in a political party i have read or heard anywhere let alone made by an elected public official who ironically hitched a ride into office on a greens ticket. See below....
.........As somebody said to me recently 'we have peak oil, peak debt, climate change, a global financial crisis, and all the greens want to do is marry each other.’ By all means, undermine the battle for Tasmanias forests yet again. Forget about the human rights abuses right here in Tasmania yet again. Instead you can all concentrate on this boutique campaign to marry in churches.We all now how abusive churches are don’t we? The ‘gay rights’ section of the greens has consistently subverted the environmental goals of the party. Whats ‘gay rights’ got to do with trees? Nothing. Why can’t the ‘gay rights’ activists stand on their own two feet for a change without clinging to mainstream environmentalists for a free ride? - (West Tamar Councillor Karl Stevens)

I also fear that Councillor Stevens comments might reflect badly on the people of the northern region.
Yes, I was one of the naieve souls who voted for Stevens. Corey Peterson I hope you can forgive me. Councillor Stevens views are not representative of the people who live in our region.

I would have like to post this comment to the Tasmanian Times thread in question however these days i have little faith in the Tasmanian Times ability or willingness to publish my comment impartially and without fear or favour as the website promises.

Check out more of Councillor Stevens bizzare comments on homosexuality Here.
....."Doctor (Bob) Brown confidently asserts, ‘Mother Nature created the same-sex phenomenon’. I must say that is only partially correct. We know for a fact that ‘endocrine disrupting’ herbicides like atrazine play havoc on the human reproductive system. I quote directly from researcher Tyrone Hayes.....(West Tamar Councillor Karl Stevens)

Gunns Logging company sends in PR firm to do dirty work. Tamar Locals go on the front how Gunns PR people regard pulp mill opponents and strategies used by corporate PR firms

A company called Pax Populus acting on behalf of Gunns LTD, has very recently begun contacting key stakeholders opposed to Gunns proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
Along with Tim Offor (the author of The Public and “Not in My Backyard” - Strategies for Engaging Angry Communities -Here ) Barbara Sharp serves as a director of Pax Populus which is the new version of 'Offor Sharp and Associates management and communication consultancy', a company that formerly advised on some of the region’s toughest stakeholder issues for the past 15 years.

Word is Barbara Sharp will be in Tasmania next Thurs and Friday in an attempt to interview individuals, Tamar Valley anti-pulp mill groups like TAP, Friends of the Tamar, Pulp the Mill and other key stakeholders opposed to Gunns proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
Apparently Barbara will be aiming to do around three dozen interviews during her short stay. Geez i'd hate to be the last interview!
However the Pax Populus Tassie PR drive may not be as busy as Barbara Sharp might have anticipated.
Apparently Sharp's initial advances have been met with a fair degree of cynicism and suspicion from battle hardened Tamar Valley locals. Word is locals are insulted that after 6 years Gunns management still refuse to speak to locals directly and that despite Managing Director Greg L'Estranges attempts to cultivate the image of a cuddlier logging company, Gunns continue to prefer propaganda and slick, expensive PR over genuine bilateral discussions with the Tasmanian people.
Pax Populus under their previous brand of Offor Sharpe and Associates played a part in Gunns’ IIS.
In their research Offor Sharp and Associates conducted a whopping 5 face to face interviews with residents at Rowella and 5 telephone interviews with local government etc.
See links for more info.


MEDIA RELEASE- Pulp the Mill.
Last week, Lucy Landon-Lane (spokeswoman for Pulp the Mill) was contacted by “Social Sustainability Advisors” firm Pax Populus on behalf of Gunns, requesting a interview as part of a series of meetings with members of the public about the proposed pulp mill.
“When I questioned the firm about the nature of the interview, who was to be involved and what questions would be asked, I was told emphatically that these details were not available to me. When discussing the fact that this firm, under its previous name of Offor Sharp and Associates, had been involved in Gunns Integrated Impact Statement, I enquired why only 10 people had then been interviewed. I politely noted that this number was hardly sufficient for best practice and was met with outright anger.
“I have decided to boycott the meeting with Pax Populus because the time to consult with the community was back when the project was being assessed by the RPDC. Gunns withdrew from the RPDC process when the project was deemed “critically non-compliant” in areas of social and environmental impacts. Withdrawal from the RPDC and subsequent creation of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act (PMAA) removed all legitimacy from the proposed mill. Without due diligence and an independent and thorough assessment process, and honest actions by the company to address social concerns there will never be a social licence for this mill. No amount of community consultations will change that. These current interviews are another example of a lack of transparent process that Gunns chooses to undertake.
“Gunns has an unfortunate history of corporate dishonesty, and this clearly is another token effort that does not meet best practice. Gunns need to understand that there are no grounds for the community to compromise on this issue, and there is no reason to meet with Pax Populus. When Gunns takes real action to address the community’s concerns (which have been totally ignored over the past 5 years), and the PMAA is repealed, I will be willing to engage.” she said.

for more information contact Lucy Landon-Lane 0417 105390

Saturday, December 4, 2010

L'Estrange continues to threaten native forest logging if Gunns dont get their way

According to AM's Felicity Ogilvie, - "The peace deal between the Tasmanian logging industry and environmentalists could get Gunns the finance it needs by easing investors concerns about community opposition to the mill".

Read More Here and Here

Perhaps if Felicity or someone else from the ABC had attended this weeks 520 strong anti-pulp mill turnout at the smallish Tailrace venue in the Tamar Valley, she may have written otherwise or at the very least included a representative from Tamar Valley based anti-pulp mill groups in this article.

If you have finished your lunch and think you can stomach 15 minutes of weasel words watch this. Tasmanian premier cold on Gunns Tamar Mill prospects.......and..........Is Paul Oosting still effective in the role of TWS Pulp Mill Campaigner? Read the link to his latest interview on ABC's AM wesbite and have your say here

Airlie Ward on ABC Tasmania's Stateline interviews the three political leaders - Bartlett, Mckim and Hodgman.- Here

Judging by Premier David Bartlett's (well....uh....oh..ah) evasive response to Airlie Ward on whether the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill will be built he clearly does not believe it will ever get built.

Premier Bartlett explained that he hoped what is one of the most expensive and invasive private industrial projects ever seen in Tasmania because it would give "certainty to forest contractors"?

Yes thats right folks, Premier Bartlett supports the one of the largest industrial projects in the Southern hemisphere and a potential game changer for so many residents and existing businesses in the Tamar Valley because it might benefit a small minority sector of the overall Tasmanian workforce?

This is an extraordinary watering down of the basis for the Labor Government's support of the pulp mill.

Gone are Lennon Labor's promises about what would now be a joint foreign owned pulp mill. A Pulp Mill proposal that has already cost the jobs of hundreds of Tasmanians before a brick has been laid on the mill site.
What has happened to Paul Lennon's bizzare promise of
  • 2 000 long-term permanent jobs and an extra $6.7 billion being added to the Tasmanian economy?
  • Economic growth and security to Tasmania, particularly to our regions. $6.7 billion increase in Tasmania's economic output over the next two and a half decades.
  • By 2030, northern Tasmania alone will be $460 million better off because of the pulp mill.
  • The pulp mill will generate almost $900 million in extra Commonwealth and State taxes.
  • Each household is likely to have $870 extra each year to spend because of the pulp mill; $870 more every year to every household in Tasmania to help out families and to make life easier for Tasmanian families. Every month, every household in Tasmania will have more than $70 extra to make ends meet, every month of every year. That is a measure of the influence this project can have on the quality of life and living standards for all Tasmanian families. That is the real benefit that the pulp mill will bring to our State.
  • An extra $100 million in accommodation and hospitality spending during the construction period. Financial benefits to the whole Tasmanian economy, to all regions of our State, and to every Tasmanian family.
  • The pulp mill will provide 3 400 direct and indirect jobs throughout Tasmania during its building phase, including 2 500 on site during the peak of construction and more than 1 600 jobs throughout Tasmania when the mill is fully operating.
  • Employment will increase over time and is expected to peak, over the life of the project, at 2 000 extra jobs throughout Tasmania. That is 2 000 families with security to plan for the future. That is 2 000 families who will not have to worry about how they are going to pay the bills or afford to send their children to school or wonder where their next meal is coming from.
I dont know about you folks but my bullshit detector dial has gone off the scale. Can you believe Lennon stood up in the parliament and said this stuff? You would have thought that God had announced he was moving to Tasmania to perform miracles.

From ABC's AM Website

FELICITY OGILVIE: Having the peace plan work is vital to Gunns in terms of trying to get the finance it needs to get the pulp mill. Will environment groups support the pulp mill?

PAUL OOSTING: In terms of projects like Gunns proposed pulp mill in the State, north of the State there are a range of environmental issues still outstanding around that that we do want to see addressed, including its impact on the marine environment. It's been one of the fundamental issues we've been concerned about from day one and that's an issue that is now before the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke. And we'll be really watching that process closely to ensure that the public and independent scientists have the opportunity to scrutinise Gunns' impact assessment material.

FELICITY OGILVIE: But if Gunns can bring the mill up to an environmental standard that the Wilderness Society endorse, will environmental groups support the pulp mill in order to protect native forests in Tasmania?

PAUL OOSTING: Well look we're not in the business of endorsing projects, we're in the business of getting environmental protection for the country and that's what we're about as part of this process. It's important to understand that the local community also has serious concerns around issues like odour and so on.

Read the entire Paul Oosting Interview Here

Cyclists ask for Care near Lanes. From The Examiner

......CYCLISTS are asking for motorists to take more care around Launceston's bike lanes after a suspected aggressive road act ended one cyclist's charity ride finish last weekend.

Launceston cyclist Hilary Ivery was participating in Sally's Ride on Sunday when she was struck down from behind in a bike lane by a blue four-wheel-drive, five kilometres from the finish line on George Town Road at Newnham.
The driver did not stop.
Ms Ivery had deep abrasions on her arms and legs and deep bruising that covered her right thigh.
"I heard a four-wheel-drive and he swerved into me and his mirror hit me," she said.........

Read More in The Examiner - Cyclists ask for Care near Lanes. From The Examiner

Friday, December 3, 2010

520 locals turn out for No Pulp Mill meeting in Northern Tasmania. ABC snubs. ABC Northern Tasmania shuns northern community. Locals furious.

"In Australia government broadcasters, by virtue of being funded from the public purse, and community broadcasters who by virtue of allowing - and at times seeking - a range of public voices lay claim to the title "public broadcasters". However the government broadcaster maintains a world-view that does not challenge the status quo and allows the privileging of certain voices such as those legitimised by previous media exposure or media strategists from special interest groups. Therefore, to provide a full range of views to be aired in the public sphere community media must seek to provide a gateway for those at the margins who are otherwise excluded from access to the media. It is only through the foregrounding of those marginal voices that informed public opinion can develop" (Bob Hope-Hume, Broadcasting and the Public in Australia)

On Wednesday night 520 Launceston and Tamar Valley locals turned out at the Tailrace centre in Riverside to make a statement against the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill.
A small media contingent turned out however the local ABC were notable for their absence.
Inded, the ABC's absence was a hot topic of discussion amongst those who attended this large gathering.

ABC Meeting Snub
The ABC's editorial/journalistic decision to ignore the event  in its lead-up, and then to not send a journalist, let alone a camera crew to the meeting, followed by ABC Northern Tasmania's daily local current affairs programme - Drive (host Roisin McCann) to snub and news or discussion around this significant community outing on was baffling to many.
The ABC's umpteenth snub of a such a large chunk of the community on such an important issue, together with ABC's well established editorial habit of priveleging the voice of the pulp mill proponent over the local community voice illustrates the public broadcasters clear disconnect with an imprtant area of the public sphere in northern tasmanian and one of the most broad based grassroots uprising ever seen in Tasmania.

Many people including some very prominent Northern Tasmanian citizens who attended the meeting were furious that the public broadcaster, particularly its northern arm was so dismissive of a significant public meeting with an unusually large turnout.

The ABC Coverage
ABC local radio news conducted a pre-recorded interview with Friends of the Tamar Valley organiser Anna Pilkington the morning after the event and ran grabs of her comment during morning news bulletins.
However Tim Cox's statewide mornings programme rejected any contact the meeting organisers, despite their approaches or any of the meetings speakers whose ranks included experts like Dr. Warwick Raverty, Launceston City Council Alderman Jeremy Ball, Conservation Lawyer Vanessa Bleyer, Underwater Photographer Norther Tasmanian marine expert John Bryan and much loved Tasmanian legend and gardeing identity Peter Cundall.
Cox only mentioned the meeting and took two random phone calls from people who attended the meeting.

The Voice of the Gunns Priveleged over the public/community stakeholder

Only a week prior on November 26, Tim Cox devoted 30 minutes to an post Gunns AGM interview with Gunns managing director Greg L'Estrange  in what the ABC wesbite described as a "rare" interview (see below). L'Estrange was able to push the case for the Pulp Mill. No representative for Tamar Valley pulp mill opponents was canvassed
............"Normally on Statewide Mornings we cover quite a number of developing news stories within the first half hour. Today Tim was in Launceston and with a change of scenery came a change of pace. For the first half hour of Statewide Mornings, Tim had a prolonged chat to Greg L'Estrange, Gunns Managing Director. They talked about pulp mills, protestors and sawmill closures - a very engaging, topical and rare extended interview"..

On October 20, Only one month prior Cox interviewed L'Estrange about what the Statement of Principles meant for the Gunns Pulp Mill...."It is a pleasure to have the CEO of Gunns on the show once again" said Cox. Cox had an extensive and in depth about the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill with Gunns MD Greg L'Estrange and its relationship with the SOP's. L'Estrange was able to push the case for the Pulp Mill.
No representative for Tamar Valley pulp mill opponents was canvassed.

On Friday October22 ABC Tasmania's Stateline Programme ran an extensive interview with Gunns MDGreg L'Estrange in which a social licence for the pulp mill was canvassed was and L'Estrange was able to push the case for the Pulp Mill. No representative for Tamar Valley pulp mill opponents was canvassed on this edition or subsequent editions of the programme.

On the 19-20th October ABC Northern Tasmania's Drive Programme the Forestry statement of principles. There was plenty of discussion about the what the SOP's meant for Gunns Tamar Valley Pulp Mill. No representative for Tamar Valley pulp mill opponents was sought to respond.

On September 17 2010 the ABC's National Interest ran a programme entitled "New-look Gunns ready for Forest Wars truce" in which Gunns MD Greg L'Estrange took centre stage and pushed the case for his pulp mill. No representative for Tamar Valley pulp mill opponents was canvassed.

On May 20 2010 ABC's statewide mornings programme ran a "forestry forum" which included an interview with Gunns MD Greg L'Estrange in which L'Estrange was able to push the case for the Pulp Mill

The pulp mill issue is the only issue in Tasmania, let alone in a small city like Launceston that can pull 500 concerned citizens on a weeknight. Wednesday's meeting was the first large dedicated "anti-pulp mill meeting/rally" in the area in around two years. The meeting was organised as a local community response to the PR campaign by Gunns and their friends in the Tasmanian Liberal party to claim a "social licence" for the pulp mill as a result of the recently signed "Statement of Principles" forestry peace deal.

That 520 local key stakeholders who vote, pay taxes and the wages of the ABC turn out in such large numbers to respond to Gunns on the biggest public issue ever to be visited on our region was not deemed newsworthy by the northern arm of the public broadcaster was bewildering to many who attended the meeting and observed the media coverage that followed.

"We are not that interested because there will be nothing new",  we were told yesterday by one Northern Tasmanian ABC presenter.
Oh really?
How could you know if you werent there Aunty?

Since Greg L'Estrange took the reigns from the media disaster that was John Gay, the Tasmanian media, most notably the ABC have fallen over themselves to give L'Estrange all the air time he wants. L'Estrange and Gunns only need mention the pulp mill, despite the fact that nothing new has happened on that front for years and the ABC will put it to air. Nothing new came out of the Gunns AGM but that didnt stop Aunty from giving the big logging company a 1/2 hr of prime radio time.

Every journalist in Tasmania wants the scalp of the Gunns CEO.
It is a coupe for any young journo to take footage and an interview with L'Estrange back to the news editor. Its a coupe for the journo and a coupe for media outlet.
Even the older hard nosed journos are falling over themselves to get an interview with Greg L'Estrange.
The Newspapers and TV want him as they have not had access to a Gunns CEO for years whilst Gay was in charge.

It should be very obvious to observers of the public broadcaster's minimal coverage of the Tailrace meeting that the voice of the public/community stakeholder ranks well below the voice of the corporate stakeholder in terms of newsworthiness. However, for paticipatory democracy to work, a range of voices on given issues need to be canvassed in the public domain. Particularly in the media and even more so through the public broadcaster

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No Pulp Mill Public Meeting News

From the ABC News Online.................."An anti-pulp mill group believes Gunn's chief executive has been sent another clear message about the unpopularity of the $2.3 billion project.
Greg L' Estrange was among more than 500 people who attended a "Friends of the Tamar" public meeting last night. Group spokeswoman, Anna Pilkington, says Mr L' Estrange would have left the meeting with the group's intentions top-of-mind. "[He would be] scared of what the community is capable of and how long they are willing to keep up this fight," she said. "That's what the community is saying they will continue to oppose this mill right to the end. "People just really want to make it clear that the CEO of Gunns, who was there in the audience, and any potential financier and the government that this mill has not got a social licence still."

Gunns chief silent at meeting

GUNNS Ltd chief Greg L'Estrange was part of an audience of more than 500 at a Launceston no pulp mill meeting last night. The managing director of the timber company that proposes building a $2.3 billion pulp mill at Bell Bay sat quietly through the two-hour public meeting as five guest speakers gave their reasons why the mill should not be built.
He stayed at the packed Riverside Tailrace Centre meeting room beside Gunns' pulp mill spokesman Calton Frame and new Bell Bay pulp mill director Timo Piilonen as Launceston City Council Alderman Jeremy Ball and long-time pulp mill opponent Peter Cundall were given standing ovations.
He also listened as Tamar Valley resident and conservation lawyer Vanessa Bleyer outlined the legal tactics still available to fight the project.
Former Tasmanian Resource Planning and Development Commission panellist Warwick Raverty talked of the challenges of building an odour-free pulp mill and underwater photographer Jon Bryan presented a series of slides of Bass Strait marine life near the entrance to the Tamar River.
Alderman Ball said before the meeting that he was surprised at the size of the crowd.
"People say that the fire has gone out of the community against this mill but I don't think so," he said. Although the Gunns representatives did not speak at the meeting, they mingled among the crowd afterwards and answered questions.
Mr L'Estrange said that he had stayed silent because it was "their meeting".
"I think that we had to take tonight's information on," he said.
"This is a sector of the community. They have a voice. We are listening to their voice."
Mr L'Estrange said that he had attended the meeting because it was important for Gunns to be part of the debate about the pulp mill

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Dr W. D. Raverty 1st December 2010
Clayton South VIC 3169


I write to give you some of my experiences in dealing with fugitive odour from Australia’s two existing kraft pulp mills over the past 30 years. I am one of very few Australian scientists who is not employed by a pulp and paper company, or an engineering consultancy, and who has direct experience of odour containment systems in kraft pulp mills and knowledge of the chemical properties and toxicology of the chemicals responsible for the odour.
I was intimately involved in commissioning the odour control system at Australia’s larger kraft pulp mill, Maryvale Mill, in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, and I played a major role in reducing the level of odour at Tumut Kraft Mill in NSW, after the Scandinavian engineers who designed the system failed to make good their promise of ‘no odour beyond the mill boundary’. Significantly for you, as residents of the Tamar Valley, one of those Scandinavian engineers, Mr Sven Lundgren, was employed by Gunns Limited to assist in designing the same section of its proposed kraft mill.
I was selected in early 2004 by the former Executive Director of the Resource Planning and Development Commission, Mr Julian Green, to join the joint Commonwealth-State RPDC advisory panel charged with updating the 1996 Commonwealth Guidelines for Bleached Eucalypt Kraft Pulp Mills and drafting the 2004 ‘Environmental Emission Limit Guidelines for any New Bleached Eucalypt Kraft Pulp Mill in Tasmania’. In conducting that work, the RPDC contracted two eminent international pulp and paper technical consultancies, Beca AMEC of Vancouver, and AF Consulting of Stockholm to provide up to date information on the widest possible range of Accepted Modern Technologies in the kraft pulping industry worldwide.

Long before Gunns’ proposal was known to members of the RPDC advisory panel, in March 2004, one of the first significant pieces of advice the panel received from the odour experts in AF Consulting was:........‘There is no such thing as an odour free kraft mill – never promise such a thing.

That advice is as valid today in 2010 as it was in 2004.
Because the kraft pulping process uses the chemical, sodium sulfide to preserve the strength of the wood fibres during the pulping process, every tonne of pulp produced results in production of 20 – 30 kilograms of an unwanted by-product - a mixture of some of the most offensive and strong smelling organic sulfides known to science, in addition to hydrogen sulfide, or rotten egg gas. In parts per billion concentrations in air, this mixture of gases causes headaches, nausea and exacerbates lung diseases such as asthma. At parts per million the gases are highly toxic and, at parts per hundred in air, the concentration range at which they typically occur in process vessels inside the mill, they are both lethal and explosive. For this reason all modern kraft mills spend many millions of dollars collecting well over 99% of this mixture (known as ‘foul gas’ by mill workers worldwide and as TRS (total reduced sulfur) by pulping technologists) and burning it to produce a mixture of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide – both of which have almost no odour at the part per billion level in air.
After the foul gas has been efficiently collected from the many ‘point sources’ in a kraft mill, it must then be conveyed through many kilometres of pipework in order to take it to the furnaces in which it is to be burnt. It is in conveying the gas (and liquids that are saturated with it – called ‘foul condensates’) where problems inevitably arise. All pipework in mills is built from relatively short sections with flanges at each end that are used to bolt the sections together. Gaskets, or seals, made from various rubber, plastic and ceramic compounds are placed between the metal pipe flanges to ensure no gas, or liquid leaks out at the join. Shafts of pumps and other equipment in the mill are sealed using similar materials. While all of these many thousands of gaskets and seals in each mill prevent gross leakage, the foul gas has the unfortunate property of permeating all useful gasket-forming materials. It usually takes around 12 months for these gaskets and seals to become fully saturated with the foul gas and, as this happens, tiny amounts of the gas diffuse into the atmosphere from thousands of pipe joins causing the so-called ‘fugitive odour’ that causes anger, frustration and illness in every community located close to a kraft pulp mill that has been inappropriately situated. Typically a kraft mill will have no fugitive odour for 6 - 12 months and then start smelling worse and worse for decades after construction.

In Victoria, the fugitive odour from Maryvale Mill – a mill that has a three tier odour control system that is arguably more effective than Gunns’ proposal (as it incorporates an emergency flare stack to burn foul gas should the second incinerator ‘flame out’) – the fugitive odour can be detected as far afield as Warragul and Sale (respectively 42 km west and 55 km east of Maryvale) under the worst weather conditions. This wide dispersion of fugitive odour is common in kraft mills worldwide and it was for this reason that the RPDC set the Regional Airshed for the Long Reach site as a an area 55 kilometres in radius centred on the proposed site for the main mill stack – and truncated on the western side, based on advice from the Bureau of Meteorology concerning prevailing wind directions and the blocking effect of the Asbestos Range.
Maryvale Mill produces kraft pulp (and therefore foul gas) at some 30% of the rate of Gunns’ proposal. Maryvale Mill started operation in 1939, but has had many upgrades since and can be considered a modern mill from an environmental standpoint. Significantly in 2008, a senior officer of the Victorian EPA told me that:....... ‘On odour grounds alone Maryvale Mill would be refused EPA approval for construction today in the Latrobe Valley if it were a new greenfield project.’

In early 2005, following the acceptance of the Environmental Emission Guidelines by both the Commonwealth and State Governments and the winding up of the RPDC advisory panel, I was selected by the RPDC to be a member of the assessment panel for Gunns proposal.
Initially I was optimistic that Gunns would select the Hampshire site for their detailed Impact Assessment, as it was the sort of remote site for which the Environmental Emission Limit Guidelines had been framed. When Gunns selected the much more environmentally challenging Long Reach site, all members of the panel were at pains to ensure that the people of the Tamar Valley were not adversely affected by the inevitable fugitive emissions from the chosen site.
To this end, Gunns was sent a letter by Julian Green in mid-2005 asking them to provide detailed information on how much odour they expected from fugitive sources and what measures they planned to minimise emissions in the Valley. No satisfactory reply was ever received during my time on the panel. This despite the fact that estimates should have been readily available based on experience at the Jinhai Kraft Mill on Hainan Island in China that started operations in 2004. Gunns staff had made a number of public statements about their proposal being very similar in size and process to the Jinhai Mill and had made frequent visits to the mill. Some weeks after that letter was sent to John Gay, Gunns Project Manager, Mr Les Baker sought a meeting with the panel to outline Gunns’ plans for background air monitoring. At that meeting, the panel made the eminently reasonable suggestion that trials of odour diffusion be conducted in the Tamar Valley under the supervision of DPIWE. Mr Baker flatly rejected the suggestion and claimed that, ‘The mill will not smell’. When asked by the panel to provide a written guarantee to that effect, Mr Baker refused and became angry. As far as I am aware, to this day Gunns has never made any meaningful estimate of the likely impact of odours coming from anywhere other than their proposed main stack.
Gunns stubbornly refuse to accept that these odours exist despite the fact that CSIRO, in their review of Gunns’ air monitoring, stated quite categorically:.........‘As pointed out in CSIRO’s Review of Air Quality A spects of Gunns Ltd “Bell Bay Pulp Mill Draft Integrated Impact Statement, July 2006 ( .au/__data/assets/pdf_file/70703/14 CSIRO Assessment of Tamar Background Air Quality CSIRO_ReviewOfGunnsDraftIIS_Final4Oct.pdf), a full assessment of potential TRS impacts should also include the possibility of fugitive emissions from the proposed mill.

Visy Pulp and Paper published data in 2004 that showed that of the total odour output from Tumut Mill, LESS THAN 5% CAME FROM THE MAIN STACK – the other 95%, that caused over 60 complaints per month from residents living up to 8 km from the mill (in a valley that is sparsely populated by Tamar standards), was from fugitive sources close to ground level. Tumut Mill at the time was one sixth the capacity of Gunns’ proposal.
Increasingly throughout my period serving on the RPDC assessment panel I became concerned that Gunns staff did not have sufficient skills to manage a project of the size and complexity of their proposal. Important questions regarding other potential problems with the mill were also blatantly ignored, as were requests to put information forward in a form that could be easily assimilated and cross referenced by the RPDC and interested members of the public. Indeed it seemed to me that Gunns had formed a view that they need only provide the RPDC with the information that they, Gunns, elected to divulge, rather than the information that the RPDC legitimately requested. It therefore came as no surprise to me in February 2007, (following the resignation of Julian Green and myself on the recommendation of the Solicitor General) that Julian’s successor, Justice Christopher Wright, judged Gunns’ information to be ‘critically deficient in a number of important areas’.
Some advocates for Gunns’ proposal have claimed that French vineyards operate in harmony close to kraft pulp mills. Like much of the information put out by advocates for the mill, these claims are complete misrepresentations of the truth. The closest kraft mill to the Bordeaux region is 30 km away and is the subject of ongoing protests from local residents about pollution of local beaches. In the Rhone Valley, the Tarascon Kraft Pulp Mill had its odour problems upgraded to ‘code red’ in 2009 by the local authorities following the failure of the mill owners to reduce the odour emissions from the mill.

In summary, fugitive odour is the single worst impact experienced by MOST PEOPLE LIVING OR WORKING CLOSE TO A KRAFT PULP MILL. In my opinion, the topography and climate of the Tamar Valley make it one of the worst possible places to site a large kraft pulp mill. Gunns is arguably the least experienced pulping company in the world. I urge you all to voice your concerns to your elected representatives and ask them to ensure that present and future generations of the people of the Tamar Valley do not have to spend the next hundred years enveloped in nauseating and irritating kraft odours.

Yours faithfully,

(Dr) Warwick Raverty

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

‘NO PULP MILL’ PUBLIC MEETING. Wednesday, December 1 2010

INVITATION TO ‘NO PULP MILL’ PUBLIC MEETING 7.30pm, 1 December 2010, Tailrace Centre, Riverside

Friends of the Tamar Valley (FTV) invite the public and the media to a ‘No Pulp Mill’ Public Meeting to be held at the Tailrace Centre, Riverside on 1 December 2010
The proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill has been the most controversial and divisive public issue since the Franklin Dam and remains the elephant in the room in terms of future peace between the logging industry, the government and the people of Tasmania.
This meeting will focus on the risks to the health and wellbeing of the residents and businesses located in the Tamar Valley and outline in particular the major economic and environmental risks associated with the Pulp Mill project.
“Any resident of the Tamar Valley or business person concerned about the effect this Pulp Mill may have on their health, their business and our region cannot afford to miss this meeting” said spokesperson for FTV Anna Pilkington. Dr Warwick Raverty is flying in from interstate specifically to outline why the Tamar Valley is the worst location for this Pulp Mill.
“Despite Gunns’ recent PR drive we believe most Tasmanians do not accept that a proposed plantation-based mill and a new CEO suddenly make the mill safe, ethical and of economic benefit to the community” said Ms Pilkington.
Speakers: Peter Cundall, Dr. Warwick Raverty (Former RPDC panelist & authority on pulp mill technology), Alderman Jeremy Ball (Launceston City Council), Jon Bryan (Underwater Photographer) & Vanessa Bleyer (Local resident, conservation lawyer)
There will be a short period for questions from the public after the Speakers.

For further information contact Anna Pilkington of FTV on 0439 899 760

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pulp bits

Did anyone hear  independent (cough,cough) pulp and paper bloke Robert Eastment, on ABC Radio Hobart last friday?
Eastment effectively said that Gunns CEO Greggles The Strange was being nice to us poor fools in tassie because in most other places in the world where pulp mills are being built the populus are just told to shut up and wear it!
Gee Bob, how is that so different than what has occurred here?
Isnt the only difference that Greg "the million dollar man" L'Estrange is trying to ram his pulp mill down our throat with a smile, better media lines and without the help of the military?
Eastments statement also hints at the fact that large kraft pulp mills tend to be constructed in regions where basic democratic rights are either not recognised or easily trampled.
Makes sense when one considers Paul Lennons hideous and roundly condemned Pulp Mill assessment act legislation with its unprecedented section 11.
Still we dear little Tasweenies whould be grateful that Greggles hasnt just ordered the government to lock us all up.
That would never happen would it?


Friday, November 26, 2010

Wilderness reaffirm opposition to Tamar mill proposal. Oosting refuses industry pleas to back Tamar Mill. Vica Bayley says mill ' too far gone to be gain social licence'.

Despite some of TWS recent clumsy attempts at treading a fine diplomatic following its peace negotiations with the logging industry, it was good to see the Wildo's protesting against the pulp mill at the Gunns AGM and reaffirming their absolute opposition to the proposed Gunns Pulp Mill in the Tamar Valley.

There is a perception that TWS are only concerned about forests in relation to the mill, however TWS continue to highlight the other serious environmental flaws in the Tamar proposal like ocean and air pollution, risks to local food and wine producers as well as the incredibly shonky political approval process and the overwhelming community opposition. Whilst there is no doubt TWS have softened their public campaign against the mill as some sort of deal to secure HCV forests, the Wilderness Society continue to vigorously campaign against the proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill behind the scenes and have pledged their absolute support and continued assistance to Tamar Valley anti-pulp mill groups.

Senior TWS forests campaigner Vica Bayley recently told ProPrint the proposed Gunns Tamar Valley mill would never win community acceptance and that the project was "too far gone to receive a social licence"."As long as the project has been approved having been fast-tracked and using inadequate processes, it can never be accepted by the community. For that, they'll have to go back to the drawing board," said Bailey

Gunns sends more workers to the wall then puts hand out for public money compo....Kim Booth furious says Gunns should pay compo and stand on own feet...Premier says no compo for Gunns

Read More Here

Read about the job cuts

Booth Spray
......Gunns Limited have already been the beneficiaries of hundreds of millions of dollars in public subsidies, they receive a virtually free wood supply due to arrangements with the out-of-control agency Forestry Tasmania, and if anyone should be paying compensation it is Gunns, not the long-suffering taxpayer," said Mr Booth.

"Gunns are restructuring because business as it stands has collapsed, and there is no way that any more public money should be paid to bail them out. Enough is enough.".....

Premier says no compo for Gunns.
.....Greens MP Kim Booth says it is a joke.

"Gunns are a rent-seeking company that's lived on the public purse for many many years and it's way past time they were weaned off the public teat and started producing profits through their own efforts rather than robbing the public purse," he said..

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gunns CEO agrees to attend Friends of the Tamar Valley No Pulp Mill meeting. Wednesday December 1st 7.30pm Tailrace Centre, Riverside.

At today's Gunns AGM a few Tamar Valley residents extended an invitation to Gunns shareholders, the Board and Gunns staff to attend next Wednesdays (Dec1) No Pulp Mill Public Meeting at 7.30pm at the Tailrace in Riverside. Greg L'Estrange reportedly said he will definitely be there. He now has an FTV flyer with written details as well.
Industrial corporations with PR problems the world over will attempt to soften up or cuddle up to communities and key stakeholders as a means to win support for their projects. No doubt L'Estrange will claim his attendance as evidence of Gunns "community consultation" on the Pulp Mill.
However local mill opponents have already shown they are in no mood to be pacified or patronised with slick corporate platitudes. Indeed, L'Estrange's pleas to a tired, cynical  and increasingly impatient community that Gunns are ready to consult 6 and 1/2years after the mill was first proposed is regargded as damage control, window dressing, ludicrous and deeply offensive in the Tamar community.
It has been said that Gunns new round of community consulation is akin to a bully beating the living daylights out of the kids at school, getting expelled, but then demanding that the school take him back, the kids forgive him because the bully now realises he needs his school certificate.

Rain does not deter 100 plus protesters fronting Gunns AGM in Launceston.......and........The Examiner's mill finance hype exposed

"Anti-pulp mill protesters have given a hostile reception to the head of Gunns, Greg L' Estrange, outside the company's annual general meeting in Launceston.....He is fronting shareholders just a day after announcing up to 150 jobs will be lost from Gunns sawmills around the state"............

Read more here - ABC News online


The Examiner gets it wrong again on mill finance

Pulp excitement once again got the better of The Examiner Newspaper, jokingly described by Launceston locals as the "Gunns Gazette" after having said EARIER TODAY ...."The announcement late yesterday came as industry pundits expected early news that Gunns finally had financial backing for the proposed $2.3 billion Bell Bay pulp mill. The company's annual meeting is in Launceston today. An announcement on pulp mill finance was expected by Christmas but sources say that it could come as early as today.....

The Examiner's willingness to believe its industry sources on the pulp mill once again saw the paper embarrassed when it REPORTED LATER... "GUNNS Limited still does not have a confirmed joint-venture partner to help it build its $2.2 billion Bell Bay pulp mill, the company told its annual meeting this morning. Gunns chairman Christopher Newman told shareholders that the company had expected to announce its preferred joint venture partner by now, but the due diligence process had taken much longer than expected"....

You've got to love that last line. "the due diligence process had taken much longer than expected".
Yeah only about 6 years guys longer!

More to come on AGM protests later.

Thursday, November 18, 2010




7.30pm, 1 December 2010

Friends of the Tamar Valley (FTV) invite the public and the media to a ‘No Pulp Mill’ Public Meeting to be held at the Tailrace Centre, Riverside on 1 December 2010
The proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill has been the most controversial and divisive public issue since the Franklin Dam and remains the elephant in the room in terms of future peace between the logging industry, the government and the people of Tasmania.
This meeting will focus on the risks to the health and wellbeing of the residents and businesses located in the Tamar Valley and outline in particular the major economic and environmental risks associated with the Pulp Mill project.
Any resident of the Tamar Valley or business person concerned about the effect this Pulp Mill may have on their health, their business and our region cannot afford to miss this meeting” said spokesperson for FTV Anna Pilkington. Dr Warwick Raverty is flying in from interstate specifically to outline why the Tamar Valley is the worst location for this Pulp Mill.
Despite Gunns’ recent PR drive we believe most Tasmanians do not accept that a proposed plantation-based mill and a new CEO suddenly make the mill safe, ethical and of economic benefit to the community” said Ms Pilkington.
Speakers: Peter Cundall, Dr. Warwick Raverty (Former RPDC panelist & authority on pulp mill technology), Alderman Jeremy Ball (Launceston City Council), Jon Bryan (Underwater Photographer) & Vanessa Bleyer (Local resident, conservation lawyer)
There will be a short period for questions from the public after the Speakers.

For further information contact Anna Pilkington of FTV on 0439 899 760 or 6394 3815

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shame on you Examiner for this callous article

Excerpts below from the Examiner online article - "Unknown reasons behind Bleaney's council resignation" - 16 Nov, 2010 08:41 AM ............
............."COUNCILLOR Alison Bleaney resigned from the Break O'Day Council yesterday, just 11 months into her three-year term.............The reason behind Cr Bleaney's resignation is unknown, as she was unavailable for comment yesterday. However, her husband Michael passed away on October 24.............Two separate Code of Conduct complaints were also recently filed against Cr Bleaney and her fellow nine councillors for not complying with the provisions of the Council Code of Conduct in performing the functions and exercising the powers of a councillor"......Read the full anonymous article here  
Note the Examiner has not provided a facility to comment on this article online.
Compare the Examiner's barbed and heartless report (above) with the ABC news report on the Bleaney resignation. (below)

From ABC online
Professional differences prompts councillor to quit -
Posted Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:56pm AEDT
A prominent Tasmanian east coast councillor and environmental campaigner has resigned from the Break O'Day Council, saying she can not work with the Mayor.
St Helens GP Dr Alison Bleaney was elected to the council in December.
She has gained a national reputation for her vocal comments about the source of chemicals and pesticides in waterways. Doctor Bleaney apologised to her backers but says she had to resign. "I really have no confidence at all in the ability of our present mayor to lead the Break O'Day Council effectively and innovatively into 2010 and beyond," she said.
The Mayor, Robert Legge, has been contacted for comment.
Doctor Bleaney says the recent deaths of her mother and husband also contributed to her decision.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pacquiao destroys Margarito. Takes eighth world title. Pacquiao fans want Floyd Mayweather next in fight of the century

See Video -  and,19528,12040_6505977,00.html

Read more Here and Pacquiao v Mayweather Here

...."In the 11th round, Pacquiao said he asked the referee to stop the fight. "My opponent looked bad, I wanted him to stop it," Pacquiao said. " I said, 'look at his face. ' I didn't want to damage him permanently. That's not what boxing's all about."....Read More Here

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Manny Pacquiao v Antono Margarito, November 14 2010 WBC super welterweight title fight

See why Manny Pacquiao is widely regarded as the worlds greatest boxer and arguably, the greatest ever
Watch these profiles of Pacquiao from CBS Sixty Minutes and Here. Read about Manny in Wikipedia.
Watch Pacquiao destroy the great Oscar De La Hoya

To see the Pacquiao v Margarito fight live go Here for pay per view

Friday, November 12, 2010

Campaign against proposed Tamar Pulp Mill set to escalate with major Public Meeting in Launceston

NO PULP MILL Public Meeting

Wednesday 1 December, 7.30 Sharp

The Tailrace Centre, West Tamar H'way, Riverside


Peter Cundall

Dr. Warwick Raverty (Former RPDC panellist & authority on pulp mill technology)

Alderman Jeremy Ball (Launceston City Council)

Jon Bryan (Underwater Photographer)

Vanessa Bleyer (local resident, conservation lawyer)

After 6 years Gunns still have no financial or social backing for the proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill

“Enough is Enough”

The proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill presents huge risks to our Health, our Environment and our Economy

It’s your community

Come and hear what Gunns aren’t telling you and why this pulp mill will never be built

Please invite all your friends to come along on the night.

Queries or offers of help? Please contact Anna Pilkington

Event organised by 'Friends of the Tamar Valley'

Thursday, November 11, 2010

West Tamar Council set for 2011 Tamar Valley Pulp Mill elector meeting proposed regarding dangerous West Tamar Highway

The excerpt below is from page 77-78 of the Council Meeting agenda for November 16 2010 as listed on the West Tamar Council Website - here - also see page 82 for motion to hold community meeting on dangerous West Tamar Highway.


1) Motion
That council authorises the holding of an elector poll to be held concurrently
with the next Council Elections (expected in October 2011).

The elector poll will ask the following question;

Do you agree with the proposed pulp mill being located in
the Tamar Valley?”

2) Background
In the recent past Tasmania has been told of the results of what was called “the forestry round table”. The outcome has been described as an historic agreement between the forestry industry stakeholders on the one hand and the environmental stakeholders on the other. The outcome has been described as a “peace deal” and a “game changer”. The information contained in the print media and discussed at some length on radio was the position of “a pulp mill” in the future of the forestry industry. The agreement supports the building of “a pulp mill” as part of the agreement. At present there is only one proposal for a pulp mill and that is Gunns
proposed pulp mill located in the Tamar Valley.

In 2005 an elector poll was held and asked exactly the same question. Why then would it make sense to have an elector poll in 2011?  The forestry round table outcomes are a “game changer”. A great deal has
happened since 2005 and the last few months have put into agreement form some of the shifts in approach that have been made by Gunns, the environmental movement, the government and the forestry industry. One of these shifts is the apparent acceptance of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.

The residents of the West Tamar municipality have not been part of the forestry round table. They are stakeholders, but have not been given any say in the outcome. Clearly the forestry industry, Gunns and environmental groups have been given a say. Contrast the position of West Tamar residents with that of the Environmental Non Government Organisations (ENGOs). For example, the ENGO’s will apparently be able to decide what constitutes high conservation value forest areas. The FSC accreditation includes a significant community input, community say in the formulation of areas to be logged, processes to be used and other issues.

The old RPDC assessment criteria back in 2005, for the proposed pulp mill, included what could broadly be described as a “getting community support for the project” criteria. Our West Tamar residents are at risk in the “forestry round table” process of being totally left out of decisions. Will the ENGO’s decide that the gains achieved in ending old growth forest logging justify the ENGO’s agreeing to support, or at least not oppose, a Tamar Valley pulp mill? Will Gunns actually do what every other major project proponent has done and put up a proposal that will attract community support? Or will they do a deal with the ENGO’s that allows a Tamar Valley pulp mill to proceed?

The purpose of running an elector poll is to put all the parties on notice that at the next West Tamar Council election the residents of the West Tamar will be able to express their view. The proposed elector poll will constrain any tendency for the stakeholders to make cosy deals among themselves. It will put the location of the Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal on the political agenda for the next eleven months.

It will provide the definitive result on the pulp mill location that the council can point to as the community position. For a pulp mill to proceed there will need to be community support. The elector poll gives the proponent the chance to work with the community over the next eleven months and then be given the opportunity to demonstrate that they have a proposal that has community support. Finally the elector poll is about giving our West Tamar residents a voice. A chance to have their say on the issue that has been very dominant for the last 6 years.

Peter Kearney, COUNCILLOR

3) Officer’s Comments

Council authorised the conducting of an elector poll on the issue of locating the proposed pulp mill in the Tamar Valley in July 2005 (refer Minute No 76/05 Notice of Motion: Cr Kearney – Elector Poll Proposed Pulp Mill).

The result of the poll was the subject of an agenda items to council in November 2005 (refer Minute No 136/05 General Manager’s Report: Results of Elector Poll Regarding the Proposed Pulp Mill Being Located in the Tamar Valley).

The results of the poll (“Do you agree with the proposed pulp mill being
located in the Tamar Valley?”) were:

YES vote 3782 votes 44.05%
NO vote 4804 votes 55.95%

The cost of the elector poll in 2005 was $6,000 therefore the expected cost
in 2011 would be approximately $6,000 - $7,000.

Ian Pearce

Sunday, November 7, 2010

KELLY SLATER WINS 10TH WORLD TITLE.....and...the great Haile Gebrselassie retires

In the Footsteps of Duke by Jake Howard, ESPN Sports

.."This might sound like a stretch, but in the 100-year pantheon of modern surf history, there are two surfers who stand head and shoulders above the rest. Considering how many characters, charlatans, icons and legends the sport has seen in the past century, that's staying a lot, but stay with me here.

The first one, who towers above all like the bronze statue that stands in Waikiki in his honor, is the great Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. The second one, who just picked up his record 10th ASP world title, is Robert Kelly Slater"...

Read More Here
Gebra' retires