Tasmanian Times


Mr Green, log trucks, pulp mills

Byan Green (Monday) revealed that rail services are not required for the pulp mill, raising questions about the possibility of 70,000-odd logtruck trips per year in and out of the pulp mill site.

It also raises questions about the impact of these movements and the inclusion, or not, of these impacts in the proposal documentation.

JOURNALIST: Are you concerned about impact [of cancelled rail services] on the pulp mill?

BRYAN GREEN: It’s my understanding that discussions between rail and the pulp mill proponents have ensured that the pulp mill can be serviced adequately without rail.

JOURNO: It was said in the project statement that they could guarantee people living in the area that most of the logs would come into the pulp mill by rail instead of road and road movements have been estimated at 35,000 movements per year, if they all have to come by road. Now that is obviously going to put the project in a different light to many people.

BRYAN GREEN: Bell Bay is serviced from a range of catchments right now, predominantly by road and we’re talking about an equivalent tonnage of woodchips.

That’s right, it is apparent that Minister Green doesn’t care if Tamar residents face an extra 35,000 logtruck “movements” per year as a result of their new pulp mill.

By the way, one logtruck “movement” involves one delivery and one return trip. In my book, that makes 35,000 trips one way and 35,000 the other way, which used to equal 70,000 when I went to school.

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  1. phill Parsons

    October 9, 2005 at 1:06 am

    Surely no one is surprised. One truck or 1 billion trucks, Lord Gay wants one and whatever it takes from his mates, one will be built.

    Share value must be served, ego must be stroked, and favours returned. Thanks, 4 million times is the old mates’ payback.

    One can hardly wait until the dust settles and they decide on a mill, its size including the area of land, its type of process, its water source [although that seems to be fixed now] and its effluent disposal [incl air] and the whole goes before the planning tribunal for its rubber stamp or special act of parliament if the stampers cannot in all honesty foist the proposal on the residents.

    Upper house roll over, no sex please.

    It escapes logic why they didn’t propose to stick it out the back of Burnie, perhaps that is mill #2. Which locals would have objected.

    Can it can only be to perpetuate division in the community that the Lord himself has need to see it out of his office window.

    PS: How widely known was Latham’s plan for the Tasmanian forests, did it leak allowing the counter plan to be well prepared. or is that just paranoia. Well, insiders, any hints or even that well known categorical denial.

  2. L Colquhoun & M Stuart-Mackenzie

    October 6, 2005 at 4:27 am

    Newspaper photos and TV footage of gridlock out of New Orleans during the attempted Katrina evacuation are a timely reminder to even small Australian cities like Hobart and Launceston of the folly of relying 100% on private motor vehicles for emergency people movement, and that going further down the US road of sending mass transit to a cul-de-sac is not the way to go.

    Our venerable early 1920s Harmsworth’s Atlas of the World & Pictorial Gazetteer has a map of central New Orleans showing at least ten railroad stations at the termini of lines leading out of NO, with the Mississippi delta having a network of lines to the hinterland. How much quicker it would have been 80 years ago to do a rapid evacuation with quicker marshalling of crew, drivers and passengers.

    A similar network is shown in the 1920s Galveston hinterland, and a 1990s atlas shows much of it still there. But, guess what ! In typical US fashion, rail is only for freight, and the museum interstate passenger “service” called Amtrak is either for leisurely foreign tourists or local losers, and, what’s more, there are powerful congressional lobbies itching to send it permanently to a siding in railroad heaven.

    Passenger rail in lightly-populated Tasmania may possibly never return – though, with petrol prices soaring, who can tell ? – but all moves to downgrade Metro bus services should be strongly resisted. Besides, with all this cheap Hydro-electricity Tasmania keeps talking up, why not electrify the network’s main lines ?

    And remember – it’s not just the conservative parties that destroy public transport: ALP administrations in NSW and Victoria have been at it for decades.

    Interestingly, the follwoing article was published in the NY Times – perhaps the Seppos are starting to realise that, in something like the words of the Joni Mitchell song, “you don’t know what you’ve lost till it’s gone”: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/28/opinion/28white.html?th&emc=th

    PS: in mid-1998, as “aliens” [in more ways than one, it often seemed] we thoroughly enjoyed a two-month stint of Amtraking round America [visit: http://www.amtrak.com]. We went NY-Montreal & Quebec-NY-Washington DC-Richmond VA-Savannah GA-New Orleans-Chicago-Dodge City*-Pine AZ (find that on your maps !)-San Diego-SF and can recommended it as a generally hassle-free way of seeing that country, even if there’s usually fewer than one train a day, and being on time is not a priority.

    * where, in a two-storey building, we found The Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame and Gunfighter Museum !!

    Leonard Colquhoun and
    Margaret Stuart-Mackenzie


  3. Dave Groves

    October 4, 2005 at 2:03 pm

    I love the smell of diesel in the morning (apologies to Apocalypse Now).

    With the Minister’s confirmation that the Longreach pulp mill proposal will see our mainly native forests dragged into the site exclusively by log trucks, the pall of diesel will hang through the Tamar Valley day and night and as this announcement comes to light our Premier is in Japan talking up the sale of woodchips.

    Working on the proponent’s minimum output of 810,000 ADT pulp per annum and allowing a 40 tonne payload per truck, that gives well over 80,000 deliveries per year or a truck movement every 3 minutes, 24 hours per day for the next 30 to 50 years.

    Imagine living on one of the truck routes to the mill. The non-stop noise, smell and debris would be terrible.

    Imagine driving the East Tamar Highway or the Bridport Road for example.

    At least there will be some employment prospects for windscreen repairers, panel beaters, road workers (They can slip in an out of the traffic) and fast food outlets (but they’ll have to be quick).

    For now, sit back, stare at your white knuckles and don’t forget to duck.

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