John Hayward

More alarming than the reviewer’s exposure of faults is his/her presumption that DPIW intends to keep a lid on the truth about this hyper-deadly toxin. It is a commonplace observation of scientists and technicians employed by Tasmanian government that statutory and ethical responsibilities are largely subordinated to the political ends of the government.

The scathing review, badged by the SunTas as a Greens allegation, (Greens say analysis damned)leaves little doubt of the rebel scientist’s view that such “errors” are systematic, involving misleadingn statements as well as incompetence on the part of Toxicos, the authors of that part of the IIS.

The leaked review (That leaked report) comes with departmental guidelines prescribing that comments be innocuous and emollient, phrased as helpful suggestions rather than frank criticism. The reviewer ignored them, using the forbidden bold type, italics, headings, and such wordings as “wholly incorrect”,”inconsistent”, “misleading”, and “demonstrates a complete lack of understanding for the process of bioaccumulation!”. His/her list of errata in the 8 IIS dioxin pages comes to 8 pages itself.

More alarming than the reviewer’s exposure of faults is his/her presumption that DPIW intends to keep a lid on the truth about this hyper-deadly toxin. It is a commonplace observation of scientists and technicians employed by Tasmanian government that statutory and ethical responsibilities are largely subordinated to the political ends of the government.

The hunt will be on for the reviewer and for what appears to be multiple leakers of this review simply for doing the right thing. Tasmania will probably lose yet another measure of our most critically threatened commodity — moral courage.

Meanwhile we will be exhorted by Government and Gunns to believe that all the rest of the IIS, the economics, public health, environment, and transport stuff, is every bit as benign as the sanitised version of dioxin emissions that will come through the political filters at DPIW.

The integrity of the IIS process is best exemplified by its total omission of the mill’s most devastating impact — perhaps the most intensive native forest logging in the world for the next three decades, in a time of increasing temperatures and decreasing rainfall.

The reason we are given is that this issue has been covered by the RFA, the same sort of agreement already tossed out as unsustainable in Victoria and WA for logging rates a fraction of Tasmania’s. Our RFA expires and comes up for review in 2017, at which time we will be locked into bottomless resource guarantees to the Gunns pulp mill.

So long Tas.