Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Mill: Hundreds of million of dollars of losses in tourism sector mooted

Naomi Edwards

A report released today by retired actuary Naomi Edwards has identified major financial and economic risks associated with Gunns’ pulp mill, including government bail-outs, poor returns on publicly-owned forests, and reduced returns from agriculture and tourism.

The report finds that the pulp mill will not be cost-competitive against the emerging pulp producers (South America and South East Asia), and that it is likely to require ongoing support from the taxpayer to survive the pulp market, which is one of the world’s most volatile commodities. It also finds that hundreds of millions of dollars of tourism revenues could be lost if the mill causes even a minor reduction in tourism in the Launceston and Georgetown areas.

The report was prepared by retired actuary Naomi Edwards who is also a director of listed funds manager Australian Ethical. Ms Edwards is a former partner with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and was an executive director with Trowbridge Consulting. Her report will be submitted to the RPDC as a submission to the IIS later this week.

Read for yourself, download here: newEdwards_RPDC_Sep_Pulp_Mill.pdf

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Mike Adams

    October 13, 2008 at 12:02 am

    1.50 to 2.07 p.m. Monday 13th. East Tamar Hwy from Windermere to Launceston. Just seven log trucks going north, but one tailgating a white Subaru at the bottom of Main Road Dilston and another crossing double white lines at the start of Landfall hill. Local residents are aware of sensible driving by the majority of log truck drivers, but a minority have dangerous and intimidating driving habits.

    DIER still mean to have Tee junctions at both ends of the new Dilston By-Pass, despite overwhelming objections by local residents(110 submissions) and a unanimous vote by the Launceston City Council to approve roundabouts instead,( though preferring flyover connectors.)
    The matter is to be the subject of legality soon so further details of DIER nasties will have to wait.

  2. Paul Tapp

    October 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Ben’s reference to the death of his mate and the prosecution of another is the other-dimension major issue in the ongoing debate of the beastly pulp mill. I’ve been tail-gated by cowboys in giant rigs for sticking to the speed-limit through Orford. I watched a laden trailer press against a road rail for its entirety and feel intimidated by loads that look like tumbling on poorly- cambered sweeping bends. This will become a much worse nightmare state if proffered lies and greed win the day. The tourism industry here should stand united against the monsters in our midst and our Road Safety Task Force should do the right thing and resign. We are fast becoming the great red-neck State and things will worsen as cowboys breed cowboys to take their place in the big rigs. I challenge Don Burke to drive the full Tassie circuit and see if he might revise his support at the end of a harrowing holiday on our fearful roads. Once it would be a regular event to see highway inspections of log trucks, but hardly today. I also wonder if there’s a dictum not to book the truckies. Cops would only need to monitor the log-dogs as they prepare for the Black Charlie’s ascent beyond Runnymede Straight to record some hair-raising speeds.

  3. Mike Adams

    October 9, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Driving the road down to St Helens the other week we were amused to see the blacking out and repainting of centre line road markings. We suspected it was to benefit log truck drivers who previously would have crossed continuous white lines. ( Some have been photgraphed doing just that.)
    We were grateful that the log truck traffic on that road was not comparable with that of the East Tamar Highway: two days ago, mid morning we counted 15 log trucks heading north in a 20 minute drive into Launceston.

  4. Pete Godfrey

    October 8, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks Gary post 46, it may have been a bit of lateral cynicism on my part at the time but sometimes those things just turn out right.
    I have a strong gut feeling at the time about the matter wasn’t going to say told you so myself but then you did thanks.
    Ben the figures for your road study are correct from the US studies, I can’t see why the Deutche Bank Research figures are so much higher but they appeared to be a very reputable source so they are what I used in my calculations. can supply report if you are interested

  5. Garry Stannus

    October 8, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I wonder whether “very annoyed” (#19) two years down the track would care to make another comment about his/her comments, which were:

    “Pete Godfrey is way off the mark. I’ll demonstrate by reference to just one of the nonsenses he catalogued:
    He claims 280 jobs at Auspine will “probably” be destroyed.(“probably” – what a greenie precision wank word!)”

    Does “very annoyed” still feel that it was appropriate to write “what a greenie precision wank word”? Will “very annoyed” update readers on the employment situation at Auspine these days?

  6. Ben

    October 8, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Pt 2 cont’d …

    In Tasmania, road funding has historically been drawn from the public in the form of a motor tax that’s paid as a portion of the registration fee.

    Tasmanian car owners pay between $100 (4 cylinders) and $125 (6 cylinders) per annum in motor tax as part of their rego, which translates into an average of $112 in motor tax paid every year by every car owner.

    In comparison log trucks pay up to $6000 in motor tax every year as part of their rego. This $6000pa may seem a lot for road maintenance, but the log truck should actually be paying 9,600 times the amount paid by the average car, an amount totaling $1.07 million (9,600 x $112). As no logger could ever afford to pay over $1 million in motor tax, it’s apparent that log trucks cannot ever pay for all the damage they do to roads. Because the loggers cannot and will not pay for all the damage they do, taxpayers end up carrying the difference; the log truck does 9,600 times more damage than the car but only pays 53 times more in motor tax ($6000/$112).

    While fiscal costs are apparently crucial in this day and age, the lack of security for other road users is an unquantifiable cost that undoubtedly exists.

    The forest industry regularly insists that while accidents do happen, it is focused on safety. But recently we’ve heard that log truck drivers are being underpaid and subsequently overworked and that Gunns has ignored concerns over log truck stability and related rollovers.

    As someone who’s lost a friend to a log truck accident, I am constantly angered by the regular revelations that safety is secondary to profit in the forest industry. My friend was killed some years back when he met a badly loaded log truck going the other way on a Derwent Valley road. A skewiff log from the truck tore into his vehicle, fatally injuring him, before the truck continued on its journey, unaware of the tragedy in its wake. The accident badly affected everyone who knew my mate – from his extended family, friends, neighbours and colleagues through to the critical care staff at the Royal.

    He was a creative and valuable man, from the same grade and high school as Princess Mary. While she now has the chance to live a fairytale dream in a far away place, he is dead – killed by our forest industry. I still think about him today, as do many others.

    And nothing has changed. Another mate of mine has been convicted since the tragedy for chasing down and attacking a log truck that had just run him off another Derwent Valley road. The truck driver was completely unapologetic, instead saying that it wasn’t his truck that came around a blind corner on the wrong side and that my friend had turned his ute around and pursued a completely different, but identically marked, log truck.

    Since the last Tasmanian election I’ve also noticed that the diamond shaped orange safety signs attached to the overhanging logs on the backs of log trucks have become increasingly scarce. They appeared suddenly just before the last election and every truck carried them, but since the election their numbers have diminished to the stage where they are now the exception rather than the rule. Obvious and blatantly cynical greenwashing like this exposes the forest industry’s real attitude towards community safety. Their actions speak far louder than spun words.

    Whichever way you look at it, Tasmanians are being robbed blind by the current regime that cares not for the community it terrifies and divides. Nobody asked me to support log trucks via my taxes, but that is exactly what happens in this state. On a massive scale.

    Instead of building and maintaining loggers’ roads at taxpayer expense, the Tasmanian Government should be imposing a user pays system on the logging industry and spending the saved millions on essential services.

    Until then essential service funding will continue to play second fiddle to this Tasmanian Government’s most subsidised mate, the forest industry.

    (*) The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Road Test Study

  7. Ben

    October 8, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Anyone remember this?

    from: http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz/jurassic/
    (Issue No.22 July 2004)

    The real cost of log trucks

    The cost imposed on the community by log trucks has recently garnered some well deserved attention courtesy of the Dorset Council substantially raising rates this year – with another substantial rise foreshadowed next year, to pay for the damage done to their roads and bridges by log trucks.

    The Dorset issue revolves around road funding and maintenance, but there are several other costs associated with log trucks that have been shifted onto the community when they should actually be paid by the forest industry.

    Readers of the ‘Times would be aware that a number of Dynnyrne residents are kept awake on a nightly basis by log truck drivers using their noisy engine brakes in the early hours of the morning.

    Those living on major routes such as the Southern Outlet/Huon Highway, the Glen Huon Road or any road that leads to a mill or port are all paying the same cost. Pollution that badly impacts on others is illegal if caused by a normal member of the public, but when log trucks are the source authorities seem determined to turn a deaf ear.

    Dozens of minor Tasmanian roads are now experiencing the regular disruption of log truck traffic day and night with all its attendant safety and noise issues. Many of these roads are nothing more than ad hoc arrangements of bad corners and narrow sections held together by slumped or holed tarmac.

    Attempts at solving the safety issues via road reconstruction, a la the Glen Huon Road, prove just how expensive ($8 million so far for about 7 kilometres) it is to construct roads specifically for the behemoths of the logging industry. Dorset Council’s current fiscal crisis reveals the cost of maintaining these roads for log truck traffic is also out of reach for local government.

    The road maintenance difficulties facing local governments in logging areas are manifold but relate solely to one fact – road maintenance costs associated with log trucks are stupendous.

    A study by US highway and transportation officials revealed very heavy large vehicles such as log trucks cause 9,600 times more damage to the road surface than the average public car(*).

    cont’d …

  8. Graham

    October 7, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Just for the record, “The damage to a road caused by a 40 tonne truck being roughly equivalent to that from 160,000 passenger cars” is quoted in a Deutsche Bank research paper and was first calculated in the 1960s by the AASHO Road Test in the USA. It established that the pavement wear grows at approximately the fourth power of increase in axle load. This “power law” was found to apply by and large to Germany as well (references available if required) This wear can be seen throughout the state and even on suburban roads of the village of Evandale where logging in the Upper Blessington and Deddington areas has increased the number of truck movements through the historic village. Buildings that have survived almost two hundred years are being shaken to bits and tourists are commenting on the volume of log trucks traveling on roads never designed to carry 50 tonne B-doubles.
    Both the Northern Midland and Launceston councils are spending vast sums of rate payers funds to upgrade, maintain and the repair roads. LCC in excess of $200k in the Disputed Road area on the council’s southern boundary in a vain attempt to redirect log trucks away from their roads and onto those maintained by NMC. And NMC sending 160 trucks and trailers of road gravel to upgrade the roads in the Upper Blessington area. It begs the question as to who is doing who’s bidding?


    October 3, 2006 at 8:14 pm


  10. crud

    September 27, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    MAKE no mistake,the pulp mill will be approved regardless of the enviroment/health etc.

  11. Rick Pilkington

    September 27, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    You can argue all day about whether the Mill will employ ‘worlds best practice’ or be the first best or second best mill of “its type” in the world.

    Frankly I don’t give a Flying F@#*.

    Phillip Morris could come out tomorrow and tell us that they have just created the world’s healthiest tobacco cigarette and whilst that may be true, does it mean we should go out and smoke it?

    This is the wrong question and deflects from the real issues that travel along with having industry of this type in the Tamar Valley. The AMA have already touched on one of these isses this week and true to form proponents and advocates of the mill when challenged can only revert back to this tiresome promise about the mill being ‘world’s best practice’.

    This tells us nothing and really just sounds like a cheesy and rosy placard.

    I am also a health professional and in the world where I work our practice is guided by the philosphy ‘Do No Harm’. Until Gunns Ltd and the State and Federal governments promise us that this Mill will do no harm to the people, the birds, the fish, the animals, the rivers, the land, the ocean and the economy; that this Mill will leave all of those things in as good a condition as they were before the Mill was built, then it should not proceed.

    Until they can prove that more harm will be done to all of the above by not having the mill, than by having it, then it should not proceed.

  12. Brenda Rosser

    September 27, 2006 at 2:04 am

    In response to Stuart’s arguments:

    “• This higher cost is due to Gunns commitment to providing the world’s cleanest mill..”

    Did I miss something over the last 10 years? Gunns Ltd regularly engages in aerial and ground spraying of toxic chemicals close to water and houses. Gunns Ltd has clearfelled native forest and replaced it with monoculture tree plantations. Gunns Ltd has engaged in burn offs that have literally choked me out of my house and worsened my asthma.

    What your evidence of a clean-green Gunns Ltd?

    • The Bell Bay pulp mill is hardly going to compete with mills such as in Indonesia who are tearing up their rainforests and practically bleaching the orangutans as they jump from the chippers

    Excuse me? Are you saying that Gunns Ltd has not engaged in tearing up of rainforests or poisoning wildlife en-masse?

    o However Gunns mill is closer to the ports compared to the other mills

    And that’s where people tend to live too.

    • The higher unit labour costs is because they are more productive than others

    Productivity at what cost to the environment and people?

    o [inventory] Currently at 32 days which is a comfortable level

    What is the inventory of our native forests after woodchipping?

    • Pulp prices are volatile but risk can be hedged away through the use of financial instruments
    o Forwards, Swaps, currency exchanges

    Except that these financial instruments are volatile and unstable too.

    • Real pulp prices are falling due to efficiencies in the production processes driving costs down

    As long as environmental services and human health/wellbeing remain unpriced, that is.

  13. bloke

    September 27, 2006 at 1:45 am

    Re the comment in #4 “Logs are Gunns business so they must surely have a sensible and clear strategy for the increased log truck traffic…”

    Yea, right on Jon Sumby. Just like Gunns’ sensible and clear strategy for managing forests..

    Fair dinkum, tongue in cheek surely.. ?

  14. John Herbert

    September 27, 2006 at 12:00 am

    I thought I’d presented a rational argument that forestry is so indelibly part of Tasmanian heritage here that you cannot dismiss it. That was rationality last time I looked, no figures or cheesy acronyms I suppose but good old logic and you know no props just reason, is actually how the world still mainly operates. A pulp mill is a logical progression in a location with an advanced forestry industry one would think.

    Emotive arguments aside the mill will be built with modern techonolgy and will be a relatively low polluter. The economical arguments are bunk if one is acting globally as it is no better to pollute Peru as it is to pollute Tasmania. And yes you are right, I haven’t been reading the mountains of gibberish disguised as research and high end fact finding as it has been recycled more than Bob Brown’s credibility. Why don’t we just second guess ourselves on the issue until we keel over then.

    By the way I wasn’t mocking, I was just extending some your arguments to their logical end, not that I read them mind.

    Not a huge fan of the logging mentality really, but if you think they are going to want to serve low GI scones to eco turds from Europe and the states instead of logging, then you probably believe loads of air travel to Tasmania is not polluting the place up as much as anything else.

  15. Justa Bloke

    September 26, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Whilst agreeing in general with Brenda Rosser’s arguments, I must take a strong stand against her comments on mockery.

    There is no logical connection between the use of mockery and the lack of truth or a state of desperation. Whereas some (Mr H perhaps?) might attempt to use mockery as a substitute for rational discussion, there are those who delight in it for its own sake. It is quite possible, for example, to make fun of John Gay or Greg Barns while demolishing their arguments. In fact there are some who, in the case of these two gentlemen, would consider it obligatory.

    Don’t knock the mock.

  16. Stuart

    September 26, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    The Naomi Edwards report is an interesting read indeed. For such a highly proclaimed actuary she has missed out a lot of detail and obviously had an agenda in mind, something about a certain Wilderness Society?

    Anyway as no one else has really tried to clear up her misleading submission I thought I should put forward a response.

    1. The very high “cost per installed tonne” to build the pulp mill.
    • This higher cost is due to Gunns commitment to providing the world cleanest mill.

    2. The uncompetitive cost positioning of Bell Bay relative to the future market makers (Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Indonesia).
    • The Bell Bay pulp mill is hardly going to compete with mills such as in Indonesia who are tearing up their rainforests and practically bleaching the orangutans as they jump from the chippers

    Higher wood costs at Bell Bay are because the wood has to travel further to the pulp mill
    o These other mills are situated in amongst the wood catchments
    o However Gunns mill is closer to the ports compared to the other mills
    • The higher unit labour costs is because they are more productive than others
    • Freight costs are less for bell bay due to their proximity to Asia

    3. The increasing oversupply of BHKP relative to demand (despite growing demand from China).
    • Supply is measured in days of inventory being held
    o Currently at 32 days which is a comfortable level
    o 40 days would be considered an oversupply

    4. The ‘gruesome’ volatility of world pulp prices.
    • Pulp prices are volatile but risk can be hedged away through the use of financial instruments
    o Forwards, Swaps, currency exchanges
    • Real pulp prices are falling due to efficiencies in the production processes driving costs down

    Just some food for thought

  17. Toby Rowallan

    September 26, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    If you truly believe your views are correct, Mr Herbert, I’d recommend you argue rationally for them, instead of simply accusing your debating opponents of holding extreme views.

    It looks like you aren’t reading what people have written here John. I’ve noticed also that the proponents & supporters of the mill are now relying on popular opinion to justify it’s construction.

    What nonsense!

    It doesn’t matter if 99% of the population want this pulp mill built -if even a fraction of the problems raised by it’s critics were true, then it should not be built. Unfortunately for you and your attitude, far more than a fraction of them are true.

    Dismissing ‘Greenies’ as extreme, paranoid or ‘conspiracy nuts’ is a typical right wing practice but it does not invalidate their arguments.

    But whilst I won’t comment on John’s favourite conspiracies, we should remember that Robin Gray did conspire with Edmund Rouse.

    But I suppose just because something looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy, acts like a conspiracy & reads like a conspiracy, well, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a conspiracy I suppose…

  18. Brenda Rosser

    September 26, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    I note that John Herbert was unable to counter the valid arguments made in response to his mythical ‘noble worker in a boundless and healthy wilderness’ view of the ‘forest’ industry.

    Now he’s resorting to mockery as a weapon used against those who disagree with him. (Mockery is a standard tactic employed by those that can’t provide any truthful basis to their statements. It’s a move of desperation.)

    Concentrate on the arguments presented Mr Herbert.

  19. John Herbert

    September 26, 2006 at 1:11 am

    ‘Thousands of pages of gibberish’ is starting to sound like a walk in the park next ot all the docuganda style newspeak you er..’Greenies’ is it? come up with.

    Yes that right Brenda, everyone in big business is a liar an so are their families, yes 9/11 was an inside job of course. Don’t the black helicopters full of Jews keep you up at night though?

  20. Pete Godfrey

    September 25, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Sorry Very Annoyed I forgot to take into account the short attention span and lack of hindsight in most people.

    The reference to the possibility of jobs being lost at Scottsdale dates back to before the last federal election.

    You may remember that just before the election the chief of Auspine had the audacity to come out and suggest that he had plans to create more jobs in Tasmania than the pulp mill or the hardwood industry could if only he could get resource security.

    So what happened, Mr Gay immediately stopped selling Auspine products from Gunns stores and switched to selling Frenchpine products. The premier of Tasmania refused to even meet and discuss the proposition that Auspine had for massive job creation.

    Rest is history, Auspine are still trying to get a good deal on log supply.

    Why is it that Gunns state in their IIS that the pulp mill will only be viable if they can get the resource at a “competitive price”

    And then Auspine and Carter Holt Harvey are not afforded the same levels of support.

    You figure it out.

    So I suggest that you may like to learn to think outside the square that you seem to be in.

    Immediately branding me a greenie wanker just shows that you are not good at history or hindsight, some boxes are not square.

    As for a pulp market for the tops of pine trees, I am sure that a deal could be made with Norske Skog that would allow the use of such product.

    Then again pine with knot acutally looks very attractive on the floors and walls of the houses that I build to earn my living.

    Is it that an end user of timber who makes his living from building houses and using wood products does not fit into the timber worker box either.

    I have no problem admitting that some of the timber harvested in plantations and native forests is suitable for pulpwood. Alas the logs that go to the chip mill here are in the most part quite suitable for other purposes.

    In other places a pipe up the centre of a tree is not considered an impediment to it being a sawlog.

    Just a bit of history too, I have worked in sawmills, before lucas mills were popular I constructed my own portable sawmill and used it to mill timber, I have fallen trees for a neighbour who had a sawmill (he made his living from that) and I know many sawmillers who would be disgusted to see the waste resulting from what is known as “worlds best practice”.

    Oh yes I do not call a ratio of 85% pulp to 15% sawlog an acceptable ratio.

    If you want to inspect the current 3 year plan of Forestry Tas and do the maths you will see that this is what is expected.

    Sorry to hear that you are lowering yourself to greenie bashing.

    I hope that one day you will change your non de plume to “marginally annoyed’ or even better “Equanimous”.


  21. Jane

    September 24, 2006 at 5:13 am

    John Herbert says ‘Gunns has a right to exist and run itself in a free and open society’ Great let me know when we are going to have one of those in Tasmania and I might be able to agree. What there is at the moment is a closed culture of cronyism with the Mighty Gunns hiding behind thousands of pages of waffle to keep their true intentions quiet. After all we are talking about the company that has had its law suit chucked out for the 3rd time because it was thousands of pages of unintelligible gibberish.

    Forestry employs very few people directly, Tourism employs thousands. Excessive logging for the pulp mill will destroy the tourist industry – after all who wants to compete with hundreds of log trucks to look at a) plantation or b) devastation after the so called ‘harvest’

    No one is saying that trees shouldn’t be cut down – the key word is selectively.

    Finally there are at least two other pulp mills being built in Australia – who wants all this pulp? And what happens when the market collapses? In the best case Gunns would go under and Tassie would go back to being a free state

  22. David Mohr

    September 24, 2006 at 1:30 am

    The pulp mill proposal is in serious trouble. I base this statement on the following observations.

    1. The errors and omissions in the IIS are so numerous that it will take Gunns a long period of time and large sums of money to do the extra modelling and studies required to submit its final IIS. This of course depends on the RPDC discharging its responsibilities Correctly. This will lead to increased costs for the project making 1.4 billion a conservative estimate of the funds required to construct the mill.

    2. Despite the FIA’s poll showing 60% support for the mill opposition is growing especially in the Tamar Valley. Those opposed are well organised and have been able to expose the many shortcomings in the IIS. Other circumstances such as the tragic accident involving a log truck, the dioxin blunder, and leaked reports from Government departments containing disparaging remarks about the IIS will further sway public opinion.

    4. Even some of the pulp mill cheer squad such as Bruce Felmingham and the Launceston City Council are realising that this project has many flaws.

    5.Investor confidence in the company is at an all time low as is reflected in the share price.

    6.There are still questions as to how Gunns plans to finance the mill.

  23. Frank Strie

    September 23, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    Do you remember the slogan: ‘Keeping the economy in the green’?

    BRUCE DAVIS: … At the end of the day, every Government institution is accountable to Premier, the Cabinet, the Parliament, and so that’s where the real power resides.

    AIRLEY WARD: With the Premier?

    BRUCE DAVIS: With the Premier and with Parliament, yes.

    AIRLEY WARD: So who makes up the Resource Planning and Development Commission? It’s a Government body with Commissioners appointed by the Government. The only full-time member is the Executive Commissioner, who is Julian Green, and there are five part-time Commissioners. Who they are and their expertise is available on the internet. …
    For the pulp mill there will be a member from the Commonwealth appointed because the Federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act is triggered. It was the Commonwealth that helped put the stop to Wesley Vale because of concerns about the impact of discharge from the mill into Commonwealth waters in Bass Strait.

    AIRLEY WARD: You’ve mentioned a couple of phrases, “It’s pretty independent, it’s reasonably independent.” It is, nevertheless, you’ve said, it’s a Government body. How strong, at times, can the pressure be from Government?

    BRUCE DAVIS: Right at the outset of a project the Government will instruct RPDC to draw up guidelines to which the developer has to, you know, obey. But in the course of that the Government may or may not decide that certain pieces of information or certain areas are not to be dealt with by RPDC. But generally you can say that with these projects of major significance they look at the social, the economic, the political – you know, the whole range, really, of issues that are there.

    AIRLEY WARD: Do you think that, you know, it could be seen that the Government appoints Commissioners who are going to be sympathetic to the Government’s view of things?

    BRUCE DAVIS: Well I don’t think that’s really true because RPDC deals with a wide range of issues. They have to have Commissioners with sufficient public service or private sector experience to deal with very varied situations, and you don’t get to be a Commissioner without a lot of investigation into your background and past, and of course you have to declare any interest that you may have.

    AIRLEY WARD: The Government has made no bones about the fact it wants a pulp mill. Just days after Gunns announced LongReach as its chosen site, the Government’s PR machine swung into top gear in the form of a $30,000 bus roadshow. The Greens claim the touring bus will cost Tasmanian taxpayers $2 million and commentators are also questioning the move. …

    AIRLEY WARD: But is it a misinformation bus?

    John Gay and Paul Lennon announce last week that totally chlorine free was not an option. The Government also has a pulp mill task force which is headed by Bob Gordon, as executive from Forestry Tasmania. Consultants include Bruce Montgomery, the public relations man for Forest Industries. Ken Jeffries, Jim Bacon’s former chief spinner. It’s understood Mr Jeffries is the brains behind the “Keeping the Economy in the Green” insignia which is emblazoned on the touring bus. Rod Wallace, from the Government’s Media Unit, is the pulp mill communications manager.

    TONY MCCALL: It makes it very difficult for the RPDC to establish its independence and demonstrate its independence because, in essence, all the momentum for this project is being driven by the Government, when in fact it should, at this stage, now that Gunns have accepted that their project will be subject to such an assessment, it really now should be up to the RPDC to carry on that task, and that should be seen to be independent, transparent and fair.

    From: Stateline Tasmania Pulp RPDC
    Broadcast: 04/03/2005 http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/tas/content/2005/s1316313.htm

    Time will tell!

  24. Frank Strie

    September 23, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Serious suggestions
    Toxicos fails…- profoundly inaccurate, misleading and directly contradictory, false, inappropriate, invalid, unsubstantiated, …complete lack of understanding,


    September 24, 2006

    Article from: The Sunday Tasmanian
    AN “absolutely damning” indictment of an analysis by a consultant for the pulp mill planned by Gunns Ltd has come from a State Government department, says Greens MHA Kim Booth.

    Mr Booth was commenting on a leaked document that lists comments by the wildlife and marine section of the Department of Primary Industries and Water on an assessment by Toxicos of the impacts on marine life.
    He said the document put under a cloud anything Toxicos had submitted in its documentation for the environmental impact statement on the $1.4 billion mill. …
    “The proponents have now had two years to get it wrong, and it appears to be horribly wrong, to the degree it would be reasonable to abandon the project or force the proponents back to the drawing board,” Mr Booth said.

    He said the alarming draft assessment came from the department despite direction from the State Government not to be controversial in comments made.

    The draft says:

    Toxicos fails to conclude or describe the risk to seals of bioaccumulating dioxins from exposure to pulp mill effluent.
    Evidence exists that the effect of exposure is significant, “therefore the Toxicos implication is misleading and their conclusion false”.
    Toxicos states that dioxins are not significantly bioaccumulated by fish. This statement is profoundly inaccurate, misleading and directly contradictory to references cited by Toxicos and Toxicos statements.
    The method used to determine the risk of bioaccumulation in fish is inappropriate.
    The assessment using effluent concentration by Toxicos is invalid and misleading and all conclusions based on this information are unsubstantiated.
    Toxicos demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the meaning of biomagnification.

    spitting chips yet?

  25. Rick Pilkington

    September 23, 2006 at 3:57 am

    Where are the detractors? Not one dissenting voice. Where are all of the usual smartarses? Why hasnt anyone come out in any of the Tasmanian media yet (let alone the usual suspects on TT) to dispute the contents of Naomi’s submission?

    Shall we will take this as a silent nod of acknowledgement that this submission seriously undermines Gunns PM IIS and in doing so the Pulp Mill itself. This submission addresses many relevant issues that Gunns IIS does not (and should have) and in doing so raises a few serious questions, not the least of which are the ‘key economic issues” on p17 and the impact of the mill on tourism (the discussion on tourism and ‘industrial tourists’ reveals an incredible bias within the IIS).

    It would seem that the integrated impact statement wasnt so integrated after all. Does the Gunns PM IIS amount to being nothing more than a rather elaborate and expensive sales pitch?

  26. Brenda Rosser

    September 23, 2006 at 1:04 am

    Wal-Mart says to cut supplier packaging by 5 pct
    (to cut costs, act on global warming issues, etc)


    Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:26 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. , fresh from cutting the prices on generic prescription drugs, is now taking on the packaging industry.

    The world’s largest retailer said on Friday it would push its suppliers to cut the amount of packaging used in products sold through the world’s largest retailer by 5 percent under a five-year plan scheduled to begin in 2008….It estimates the move will also cut the amount spent on packaging in the global supply chain by $11 billion in that period as other suppliers and retailers follow suit.

    And Naomi Edwards says:

    ….Now consider a time when demand for the paper manufacturers’ product drops off (e.g. due to a national recession or a growth in recycled paper volumes).

    “Pulp price volatility
    Commodities normally have two main features:
    • Price tends to fall over time, in real terms
    • Price does not bear a direct relation to production costs, but moves according to market dynamics.

    …An economy that is heavily dependent on woodchip exports, will experience declining economic prosperity, year on year, but will not be subject to major shocks in any one year.

    What causes the pulp price roller coaster?
    ….Now consider a time when demand for the paper manufacturers’ product drops off (e.g. due to a national recession or a growth in recycled paper volumes).
    What do paper manufacturers do with the tied pulp that is being produced? They release it into the untied pulp market, flooding the market and depressing the price.

  27. Dave Groves

    September 22, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    I was in the front row at that debate.
    I pissed myself……Barry was such a cack!!
    Still the show rolls on …

  28. Craig Woodfall

    September 22, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    Is the tide turning ?

    The week before the RPDC Submissions close the Examiner run two substantial articles on the value of tourism in the Tamar Valley… I appreciated the balanced, albeit overdue, perspective.

    Then the Launceston City Council outlines its draft submission, basically saying, ….Pulp Mill Ok ..but we need it to be World’s Best Practice and this one isn’t. We need guarantees about pollution and our water and they are simply not there…… If the council’s job is to be representative of the people, then short of a referendum, they have probably done the best they could do to find some middle ground. If there job is to lead despite public opinion…well ..that depends on where you sit with the whole issue.

    In reality …is any of this going to make a difference to moving the project to a slighter greener stance, because it is at one extreme as it stands. I wonder what result a referendum would throw up ?

  29. very annoyed

    September 22, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    Isobelle, what Carter Holt Harvey Pine Panel Mill at Bell Bay? It provides zero jobs. Paying the previous owners too much for it (that is always guaranteed to make a business struggle) and then a fire saw it close months ago.

    Barlow’s position wasn’t very well thought through anyway but it doesn’t matter much now.

  30. Isobelle

    September 22, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    Come on very annoyed don’t try and stifle the debate with ignorant claims of ‘greenie wank words’ (have you read Gunns IIS). For the record, it appears you are wrong at least according to Ross Barlow:

    Edition 1 -SAT 31 DEC 2005, Page 009

    Mill will pulp 287 jobs, says employer


    THE use of softwood by Gunns Limited at its proposed Long Reach pulp mill could cost up to 287 jobs in the softwood industry, a major Bell Bay employer has said.
    Carter Holt Harvey Pine Panels facility manager Ross Barlow has told the Resource Planning and Development Commission that Gunns’ use of softwood could mean the loss of $175 million revenue to the state.
    Gunns plans to use about 320,000 tonnes of pine a year and has said it has no intention of importing pine pulpwood from interstate.
    Mr Barlow said there was a shortage of pine in Tasmania.
    “There is little or no surplus softwood pulp grade log or chip material available in Tasmania for the proposed pulp mill unless one or all of the current users either cease operations or decrease their existing consumption within the state,” he said.
    All existing softwood was already being further processed into value-added products in the state by existing Tasmanian sawmills, paper plants and wood panel plants.
    Two users of softwood, newsprint maker Norske Skog and CHH, take about 85 per cent of the resource.
    Carter Holt Harvey employs 115 people at the Bell Bay plant and processes 280,000 tonnes of pine for revenue of $70 million.
    “If the outcome is that pine chip goes to the pulp mill and existing operators are forced to downsize, close or relocate operations out of the state then it is possible that 287 current jobs will be lost and replaced with 68 softwood chip-based jobs at the pulp mill — a net loss of 219 jobs,” he said.
    The cost of importing material would be significantly higher than the local softwood chip supply.
    “The net effect is most likely to be the closure of existing businesses that use pine woodchip as a raw material through lack of competitiveness,” he said.
    Gunns’ change in project scope had “introduced a significant change in the envisaged raw materials for the proposed mill.”
    The CHH mill provides one job for every 2345 tonnes of chip input. In comparison, the Gunns pulp mill would provide one job for every 10,312 tonnes. Last year 120,000 tonnes of pine were exported through Tasmanian ports.
    The National Plantation Inventory shows that just 287 ha of softwood were planted in 2004 compared with 11,585 ha of hardwood.
    Gunns Limited plans to launch a managed investment scheme for softwood early in 2006.
    Pulp industry analyst Robert Eastment says Gunns will likely produce about 80,000 tonnes of softwood pulp from the 320,000 tonnes of pine.

  31. Brenda Rosser

    September 22, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    “Godfrey displays a sorry lack of understanding of the forests and wood products industry and basic economics…”

    Well tell us ‘very annoying’. What is your take on the basic economics of the woodchip industry?

    Tell us about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and how the US Government promotes unrestricted FDI around the world. Tell us how Tasmania became an international Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in order to attract foreign capital.


    Explain to the reader how these export processing zones by necessity have to exempt industry from domestic regulation. Explain how the transnational companies involved in these EPZs are protected from political risks through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

    Tell us how the US Government, the World Bank and the IMF promote international investment funds by subsidising corporate investment funds. How exactly has this led to the privatisation of publicly funded development.

    Go on, Mr Very Annoying. Be helpful with your analysis for once.

  32. very annoyed

    September 22, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Pete Godfrey is way off the mark. I’ll demonstrate by reference to just one of the nonsenses he catalogued:

    He claims 280 jobs at Auspine will “probably” be destroyed.(“probably” – what a greenie precision wank word!). Of course the truth is that you cannot grow solid wood pine without producing pulpwood (as an example, haven’t you ever wondered what happens to the substantial part of the log above the 7 or so meters of pruned zone or those trees that were not pruned at all?).

    The Tasmanian market for pine saw-logs currently suffers from the lack of a regular pulpwood market for what’s left. If the forest grower only gets a minimal return for the pine pulp wood, or even a negative return, it inevitably makes the growing of pine less attractive.

    Hence, by providing a market for pine pulp wood, the Bell Bay pulp mill will help secure jobs at Auspine, not jeopardise them.

    As a self proclaimed “timber worker” Godfrey displays a sorry lack of understanding of the forests and wood products industry and basic economics. May be if he had to admit that even intensively managed plantations give rise to a mixture of woods types including pulpwood, then he would also have to admit that harvested native forest also does the same.

  33. David Mohr

    September 22, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    In the early part of last century blokes chopping down trees didn’t clearfell, burn, poison, plant Eucalyptus nitens and spread 1080.

    This is why we have great native forests standing today with their biodiversity intact.

  34. Brenda Rosser

    September 22, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    John Herbert said: “Gunns has a right to exist and run itself in a free and open society…”

    Actually you cannot have a free and open society where a large transnational company engages in a model of forestry that doesn’t allow the natural reproduction of nature and humans.

    We don’t have a ‘forest’ industry in Tasmania. We have an ‘anti-forest’ paradigm where our native forest is acquired from Tasmanians and given over to a handful of private interests. The forest is then destroyed and then replaced by an alien monoculture species that is subjected to repeated applications of toxic chemicals in their short and unsustainable rotation times.

    The truth of the consequences of this destructive global model is hidden from the public by the industry dominated media.

    The fact is that Tasmanian native forests were left alone (relatively speaking) for a longer time than many other places. Why? Because we’re on the edge of the world and transport costs are expensive. But now the world has destroyed most of its forests and countries like Japan and China and America have to go further afield to get the woodchips that are an inherent part of an economic model constructed on the concept of over-consumption.

  35. John Herbert

    September 22, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    Logging is an indelible part of Tasmania, that is irrefutable. I’m not neccessarily a fan of big business but Gunns has a right to exist and run itself in a free and open society. In the early part of last century blokes chopping down a tree was on our twenty pound note. Sure it’s not gold like in Victoria so they got a bit richer. We have a lot of trees so there is the resource, it’s just the way it is. This neo pagan reverence of trees is relatively new phenomenon in modern times and doesn’t have local history at its heart, unlike the timber industry. I’m not saying it is perfect by any stretch but its credibility is undeniable, unlike some of its detractors.

  36. Mike Bolan

    September 21, 2006 at 11:27 pm

    Our research shows that Pete G is dead right.

    Tasmania is a small island, any resource company that grows beyond bounds is going to detract from the earning and jobs of other companys relying on those resources…in this case agriculture, tourism, fishing etc.

    Allowing one company to take everything by giving them an open book our forests and paying them to transfer our farmers land to their corporate books, is an egregious error that we will all regret deeply.

    It will hurt us all, but it will take a sensible Tasmanian future away from our kids.

  37. Pete Godfrey

    September 21, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    To John Herbert I wonder how many mindless statements it takes before the population wake up and realise that the whole jobs issue is a con.
    So we have lost 450 jobs in agriculture a year for the last 5 years in Tasmania.
    On a one way journey to the pulp mill the loaded direction the log trucks will do the equivalent of 686 years of road damage each year. And guess who pays ?
    The forests will be completely cut over in 57 years. Being a timberworker myself I am not impressed. Where are all the good special species timbers and stable furniture timbers going to come from maybe Malaysia?
    The pulp mill will bring about 280 jobs once it is running, at the same time probably destroying about 280 jobs in Scottsdale at Auspine if the pine is to be chipped.
    Sure there are lots of figures but definitely not mindless, if you took the time to do some calculations yourself you would see that the pulp mill adds up to lots of money for Gunns at the Tasmanian peoples expense.
    Just add it up.
    54 Million in subisides to the timber industry each year.
    80 million or so to help with the pulp mill.
    680 years of road repairs each year
    18 cents a litre fuel subsidies.

    So who pays?
    Yes we do.
    The Feudal system is alive and well.
    happy surfing

  38. Jason

    September 21, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Interesting that Isobelle mentions Bob Gordon’s tilt at the Connect Credit Union board. When the election to the board was occurring, posters uging a vote for Bob appeared in select Tasmanian Government office buildings.

    The posters detailed Bob’s experience and urged Connect members to vote for him, but I couldn’t help noticing that there were large gaps in the “resume” included on the poster.

    That’s right, he wasn’t proud enough of his Pulp Mill Task Force role to actually mention it. On his own poster.

    Janus would be jealous.


  39. Isobelle

    September 21, 2006 at 2:03 am

    I also heard Bob Gordon on Tim Cox.

    It has been interesting throughout the pulp mill debate that most people speaking out against the pulp mill have their background publicly questioned.

    However, I have never (this may have happened I would love to be informed so if it has) heard Tim Cox or any other journalist ask Bob Gordon about his background.

    Memeber of Timber Communities Australia?
    Years with Forestry Tasmania, what was his role there?
    Failed Labor candidate.
    On the Board of Connect Credit Union, any conflict of interest there? Probably not. But has anyone asked??

    As he is being paid by taxpayers money, money that Jason correctly points out is much needed in other areas (the 6 Million Pulp Mill Task Force budget would be much appreciated in health or education I’d imagine), I think it would be good to see journalists start to question the role of the government in spruiking for a private company.

  40. John Herbert

    September 21, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Wow those Deutsche Bank trucks must be really heavy Bob. How many mindless and uncalibrated statistics can one minority fringe movement pump out in docuganda style speak that is their current want one wonders.

  41. Brenda Rosser

    September 20, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    “Bob did “2 units” of economics during his science degree. Economics degrees usually consist of 24 units while most science degrees consist of 24 – 32 units, so I’m quite surprised Bob even mentioned his own “qualifications” … or lack thereof.”

    I did two years of economics in my HSC (I’m not sure what the university equivalent is for sure but I’ve been told that it approximates to the first year of an economics degree). Although I did well in the subject it was a struggle to answer questions in the HSC exam because the theory was mostly bullshit and I’m not very good at that.

    Things like ‘entrepreneurs determine their selling price according to a reckoning where supply meets demand’. We looked at linear graphs that showed the price being at the point of intersection of supply and demand curves. And so forth. Macroeconomics was just an extension of this rubbish. I kept asking questions of my economics teacher. He couldn’t answer them.

    I’ve NEVER met a businessman who drafted a graph of supply and demand to help him set a price.

    I highly recommend readers do an internet search for the term ‘post-autistic economics’. There’s a great website on the subject that will explain the breakdown of logic in economics very nicely.

  42. Jason

    September 20, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    I absolutely loved the taxpayer-funded Pulp Mill Task Force’s response to Naomi Edward’s findings.

    On ABC936 this week Bob Gordon of the PMTF got stuck into Ms Edwards because she is “only an actuary, not an economist.” And when Tim Cox asked Bob Gordon what HIS economic credentials were, it all came out.

    Bob did “2 units” of economics during his science degree. Economics degrees usually consist of 24 units while most science degrees consist of 24 – 32 units, so I’m quite surprised Bob even mentioned his own “qualifications” … or lack thereof. Of course, Naomi Edwards was a topline actuary and did so well in her career that she has been able to retire from her profession early. Unlike Bob Gordon.

    Unfortunately, Bob Gordon did not go on to reveal the actual Economics units that he studied. He didn’t tell us whether he passed or failed them and most tellingly, he didn’t let on that they were most likely both first year units, passable by your average high school graduate.

    The REALLY hard stuff in economics comes at the very end of the degree, when studying subjects such as econometrics (sound familiar, Bob?) and most credible economists then go on to do honours, Masters and PhD’s to supplement their qualification.

    Bob’s “two units” look pretty damn pauce in that light, don’t they. But it didn’t stop him trying to downplay the greater expertise of a far more successful person. And all paid for by the taxpayer, you and me – a great use of our scarce resources, not.

    So nice one Bob, good stuff. I’m sure the Government Communications Unit, Robin Gray and John Gay loved your performance, but will your grandchildren be so blindly generous. I suspect not.


    PS. Does anyone else think that Bob Gordon sounds more like Evan Rolley with every day that passes. Yeah, me too.

  43. Christopher Purcell

    September 20, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Even a gay boy has to agree with John Hayward; Naomi Edwards has the great legs!

    Unfortunately, i also agree with him about the decision having already been made to have a pulp mill; regardless of dissent.

    The only hope is that Naomi’s excellent report & its dire warnings is taken up by the everyday media in order to expose the sham that is Gunns Ltd.

  44. Brenda Rosser

    September 20, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    “Barry, God bless him, proffered the proposition that without paper we’d all be dragged back to the stone age or something of the like. He suggested that without it all our wisdom would need to transcribed onto “slate” ”

    This is interesting because Barry Chipman performed incredibly badly in the review of the 2020 Plantation Vision Senate Committee hearings.

    He couldn’t explain how plantations protected our environment.

    It doesn’t matter how incoherent and nonsensical the pro-business lobby are. The rape and pillage continues unabated.

    Surely it’s time to start marching in the streets to force controls on this predatory and deathly form of capitalism before it’s too late?!


  45. Frank Lee

    September 20, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    On Tuesday September 19 Barry Chipman of Timber Communities Australia chanced his luck in a public debate at the University of Tasmania in Launceston. Barry was supporting the Pulp Mill Task Force’s Bob Gordon in presenting the case that the proposed Gunns Pulp Mills would benefit Tasmania.

    To say that Barry and Bob were utterly outdone says nothing about the extent to which they were. However Barry took the prize for the evening!

    Barry, short of something important to say, used valuable time trying to win the audience over with a joke. Almost needless to say, he fluffed it and big time.

    Barry, God bless him, proffered to proposition that without paper we’d all be dragged back to the stone age or something of the like. He suggested that without it all our wisdom would need to transcribed onto “slate” heaven forbid.

    Barry even got a touch lavatorial and seemed to be suggesting that we might all be reduced to using slate instead of recycled paper for bottom wiping. Perhaps he had been experimenting prior to the evening which might explain his rather unusual gait that evening.

    Well Barry drew an enormous laugh from his audience but sadly Barry didn’t get the message that they were laughing AT him rather than with him. It is such a joy to be on a debating team with the likes of Barry opposing your position and all so vehemently.

    Barry and Bob made an excellent team with Bob trotting out the by now over worked and thoroughly discredited same old, same old, with Second Banana Barry undermining any ground he might have gained.

    The crowning glory of Barry’s performance was when he kicked a home goal. That happened when he was called upon to vote and he in fact voted against the case his team put – a truly perceptive decision.

    Both of these characters are paid to present their positions and rumour has it, somewhat handsomely.

    Apparently the Bob and Barry team were invited to participate in the debate good faith and because it was assumed they would have something cogent to say and thus pull a crowd. Well they did pull an audience of well over 200. However, under a John Howard Australia Workplace Agreement both should be expecting a tap on the shoulder sooner rather than later. It aught not to be possible to ignore such non-performances in the line of duty but anyone opposing the pulp mill proposal should be quite happy if they were.

    All in all it was a good night out for the anti pulp mill community and one presumes a rather ominous one for those who have invested their energies supporting the pulp mill proposition.

    Col Patterson

  46. lhayward

    September 20, 2006 at 11:44 am

    While Ms Edwards’ submission may seem to be a cluster bomb of reasons why the pulp mill proposal should be buried in concrete, I am confident that whiz kids Bob Gordon and Barry Chipman will offer comprehensive and systematic rebuttals to every deadly bomblet.

    Even as a layman I can see serious flaws in Ms Edwards’ arguments- the failure to factor in the cost of home improvements, the overlooking of the mill’s enormous sale price enhancement when it comes with billions in virtually free resource, profit guarantees, and staff largely paid by the public, and the presumption that the majority of Tasmanians known as the “usual suspects” should have some cut of the deal when all they have contributed is squillions.

    Edwards may have nice legs, but when it comes to deciding Tasmania’s future, it’s best left to the old boys in the tent.

    John Hayward

  47. Jon Sumby

    September 20, 2006 at 12:58 am

    Some confusing figures.
    According to the GHD appendix the daily log truck load will be 390 in the startup phase. This doesn’t seem to include in and out movements as the graph says ‘total trucks per day’. To me this means 390 trucks arriving, but I may have misread what ‘total trucks per day’ means.

    This figure is based on the model that there is no rail access for logs and the Tamar access route is used. If there is rail access the number drops to 351. This movement will be into the chip mill, as the chip mill will supply the pulp mill with feedstock.

    The IIS says that the hardpan at the chip mill accommodates 12 trucks at a time and each truck takes 11 minutes to unload. A second unloader machine will be installed so 2 trucks can be unloaded at a time. I can’t find anywhere in the IIS that says the hardpan at the chip mill will be enlarged.

    The pulp mill will operate 24 hours a day.
    Will the log supply be the same? It may be that haulage contractors may have to bid for night contracts, if that is possible.

    If we take the situation that no rail access is built the Tamar route is used and logging contractors haul 24 hours a day, it means that there will be 14.6 trucks arriving at the chip mill each hour. At 11 minutes unload time and two unloaders that gives 1 hour 20 minutes unload time to drop the logs from 14.6 trucks.

    If the log trucks can only operate in daylight then assume 8 hours of arrival. This gives 44 trucks arriving per hour. With two unloaders operating this gives 4 hours unloading time for the 44 trucks arriving each hour.

    Now reframe this: Assume there is rail access and the 351 total trucks is entry/exit movement, then this gives 150.5 trucks per day entering the chip mill.

    At a 24 hour log haulage, this is 6.25 trucks per hour. With two unloaders at 11 minutes, it gives 34 minutes of unloading. The hardpan can accommodate 12 trucks and 34 minutes unload gives room for delays.

    For an 8 hour delivery day, this means 18.8 trucks per hour. This works out, with two unloaders and 11 minutes per drop, to 1 3/4 hours unload on a hardpan that fits 12 trucks.

    Maybe I’m confused (probably): Based on the ‘no rail delievery’; the ‘Tamar route’; ‘two unloaders’; and a hardpan that fits 12 trucks and has no plans for enlargement that I can find, then the figures don’t add up.

    Either there’s a long traffic jam on the road as trucks queue for hours to unload – not a good work environment for the truckies. Or, if there is rail access and reduced truck load then it still doesn’t seem to add up, unless the log haulers are bidding for contracts to run jinkers to the mill between 2am – 6am, for example.

    If anybody can correct me, please do. I’ve been working from Vol 15; Appendix 43, pages 75-85.
    Logs are Gunns business so they must surely have a sensible and clear strategy for the increased log truck traffic and the increased demand on unloading and chip mill log delivery.

    If you can tell me where that is in the IIS (Volume, appendix, page) that would be great.

  48. Pete Godfrey

    September 19, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    To add to the woes of Tasmanian’s that will be caused by this pulp mill proposal we have the following figures to chew on. They are very conservative but very worrying.

    Based on the three year plans of Forestry Tas for 2005-6 to 2007-8 Tasmania’s state owned forests are being logged at the rate of approx 17,500 hectares per year.
    The yield from this is an average of 540 thousand cubic metres of sawlog of all categories and 3 million tons of pulp wood (half of which is from old growth forests).
    This represents a ratio of 85% pulpwood and 15% Sawlog.
    Any woodworker can tell that this is not representative of the quality of timber in Tasmania’s forests and that our forests are being mismanaged and over cut.
    The rate of logging in the State owned forests is 1.35% per annum with 0.636% of this being clearfelled.
    This represents 17,500 hectares being logged with 8,370 hectares being clearfelled.
    At this rate of logging of State forests we will need to plan on rotations of 74.07 years.
    This is too short to supply quality sawlogs to the timber users or to supply quality regrowth of special species timbers.

    At this rate of logging and to supply the required timber for the pulp mill and the proposed continued woodchip exports we need to log 45,000 hectares of Tasmanian forests per year.
    With a permanent forest estate of only 3,129,032 hectares in all of Tasmania (1.Forest Practices Authority) this would mean that we would cut over all the forest in Tasmania in 69.53 years. This does not include the logs needed for the proposed power station at the mill.
    As not all of the permanent forest estate is available for logging this figure is optimistic.
    If we were to do a rough estimate of the forest estate available for the pulp mill and export woodchip we would have approx.
    1.3 Million hectares in State Forest Control
    187 thousand hectares in Gunns Private hands
    67 thousand hectares of Gunns joint venture plantations
    approximately 1.5 million hectares of private forests that may be available in the future.(already approx 440 thousand ha are in PTR’s)

    This adds up to a loggable forest estate of 3.054 Million hectares.
    If we take a figure of 15% out for streamside reserves, swamps, roads, rivers and streams, dams, lakes etc we are left with 2,595,900 hectares for logging.
    So a recalculation on this figure gives.
    2.5959 million hectares
    45,000 hectares per year
    The whole forest would be logged in 57.68 years
    This is not Ecologically Sustainable Logging by any standard.

    Trucks and Roads
    According to a Deutsche Bank study each fully loaded log truck does the same damage to a road as 160 thousand cars. The log trucks are subsidised with an 18 cent a litre fuel rebate and as such are being subsidised to destroy the roads. The bridges and roads that the trucks are damaging are being taxpayer funded and are repaired at taxpayer expense.
    If we calculate the road damage from log trucks that will happen if the mill goes ahead we can see that this will be an enormous cost to the Tasmanian public.
    The IIS states that there will be up to 720 truck movements a day going to the pulp mill.
    It is feasible to say that some of these are chemical and lime trucks but still they are fully loaded for one way of their journey.
    So 720 x 160,000 = the equivalent to 115,200,000 Cars
    As the total population of Tasmania is less than 500,000 it would be reasonable to assume that we have in the order of 300,000 cars maximum using our roads on any day.
    The log and chemical truck movements for the pulp mill are going to do 384 times the damage than the combined passenger vehicle traffic of the whole state if they travelled the same distance.
    That means each year the trucks for the pulp mill only, will cause 384 years worth of road damage based on today’s figures.
    (These figures are conservative as most trucks would travel much further than the average car each day and not every car will be used every day)
    Most trucks would travel double the distance of the average car so these figures could realistically be doubled.

    Meaning that the trucks will do 768 times the damage of all the cars in Tasmania every day. (this is just for one pulp mill)

    This damage will be localised in the north of the state and will be particularly noticeable on the routes that lead to the pulp mill.
    We as taxpayers are already committed to spending $60 million dollars on upgrading the road to the pulp mill.
    Now we can see that the daily truck traffic to the pulp mill will probably do as much damage to our roads as the rest of the traffic in Tasmania will do in two years.

  49. john day

    September 19, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    Congratulations Naomi.

    The work you have completed should have been completed for us all by the RPDC or the Government or an independent EPA – – Just like in Scandinavian countries (and they did not tell us that either)

    I sincerely hope the RPDC and its consultants take on board and act on your submission for all Tasmanian’s sake.
    John Day.

  50. Brenda Rosser

    September 19, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    Naomi Edwards also provided valuable input into the Review of the Plantation 2020 Vision. Although noone denied the accuracy and relevancy of her claims they were totally ignored by the Federal and State Governments nevertheless.

    What we are seeing is the result of structural problems related to today’s unregulated capitalism. I’ll (partially) explain. If one country (say Indonesia) can get a competitive edge in world forestry by allowing their forests to be completely gutted then other countries (such as Australia) must follow suit in order to get the price of woodchips down to Indonesian levels or below.

    Economists are colluding in this rape of our biosphere by denying the basis of value (including monetary ones) to ‘nature’. Big business has always known that they can increase their profits by speeding up the pillage of forests and by using our air and water as a form of free sewerage disposal.

    We must reform the economists or die.

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