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

Environment

Mill: my great distress

Guy Van Cleave, M.S.

It was with great distress that I learned of plans to construct a pulp mill near the entrance of the Tamar River. North of my home in central California a so called environmentally friendly pulp mill has negatively affected the tourist appeal, property values, water and air quality, and fisheries of the entire bay. Under certain wind conditions the nearby town becomes uninhabitable. Don’t the people of the region realize the jewel they have in the Tamar River and its estuary? Certainly the long term health, beauty, and economic welfare of many is worth more than the short term economic gain of a few. How long will irreplaceable natural resources be sacrificed? The water issue alone is a no-brainer. It appears that Launceston and most of the country I have seen on this trip is water stressed. Don’t pulp mills require thousands of litres (which isn’t just used, it is converted to toxic effluent)?

19 February 2007

To the Editor:

This is my second trip to your lovely island. Five years ago I was captivated by the green countryside, the magnificent forests, the spectacular scenery of the national parks, the charm of Launceston, and the general environmental awareness of the populace; I knew I had to return.

It was with great distress that I learned of plans to construct a pulp mill near the entrance of the Tamar River. North of my home in central California a so called environmentally friendly pulp mill has negatively affected the tourist appeal, property values, water and air quality, and fisheries of the entire bay. Under certain wind conditions the nearby town becomes uninhabitable. Don’t the people of the region realize the jewel they have in the Tamar River and its estuary? Certainly the long term health, beauty, and economic welfare of many is worth more than the short term economic gain of a few. How long will irreplaceable natural resources be sacrificed? The water issue alone is a no-brainer. It appears that Launceston and most of the country I have seen on this trip is water stressed. Don’t pulp mills require thousands of litres (which isn’t just used, it is converted to toxic effluent)?

I am moved to write this letter because I want to visit again. As a global citizen I urge Tasmanians to take a close look at the mistakes we have made in California and other parts of the world. I can’t understand how under any circumstance this pulp mill would provide long term benefits to Tasmania.

Guy Van Cleave, M.S.

Professor of Biology
Columbia College
Sonora, CA

First, on Tasmanian Times: Mill: Finnish finance

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Joy Elizabeth

    February 25, 2007 at 10:22 am

    At last our state government has got it right when it comes to
    employment strategies.

    The proposal to truck logs from Strahan to Scottsdale to keep Auspine
    operating, will see dozens of extra log-truck drivers and maintenance
    workers etc., in work. Add to that the trucking of logs from
    Scottsdale from milling in Bell Bay, and the trucking industry will
    boom.

    Then of course there will be loads of extra employment in maintaining
    the roads worn out by all those log trucks, and somewhere there has to
    be employment generated by all that extra fuel that will be needed for
    those long runs.

    And of course there’ll be extra employment for medical, ambulance and
    ancillary workers dealing with all those victims of log vehicle road
    accidents, especially those unsuspecting tourists on the Cradle
    Mountain Link Road.

    Well done Mr Lennon. Only a great mind could come up with such a
    sophisticated plan.

    Joy Elizabeth
    Newnham Tas 7248

  2. David Alford

    February 21, 2007 at 6:40 am

    I also have spent my holidays Tasmania for several years now, and as a tourist have spent perhaps $20,000 in the Launceston-George Town municipalities. I mention this, not because it’s a great sum, but to make the point my tourism dollars have benefited local merchants. As in all tourism dollars, the money benefits many others eventually.

    What is the local cost when a percentage of all tourism goes elsewhere?

    Because the Tamar area is so precious, I am dumbfounded by the proposed pulp mill in this lovely area.

    Since I often stay in Launceston, I’m aware of the unique atmospheric conditions there and further down the Tamar River Valley. Can someone explain why the wonderful people of this area are not better protecting their natural assets…and health??

    How does one put on a price on air and water quality? On the economic value of protecting local produce (fruit, fish, and dairy)?

    Why aren’t the citizens of Launcestion, Georgetown, the Tamar Valley, and indeed all of Tasmania more actively fighting this?

    All local merchants should be aware, this pulp mill will extract a cost in green tourism dollars. No one in their right mind wants to spend their hard earned vacation dollars in an environmentally degraded area especially if the air quality drops below a certain point.

    Years ago I lived in Oregon and saw how large areas of that beautiful state (quite similar to Tasmania) were blighted by pulp mills. I still remember the stench! Generally, these mills were located considerable distances from tourism spots. That is not the case with the Gunn mill, as it is right in the center of the highly promoted Tamar Valley.

    Tasmania wake up before it is too late! Don’t take this lying down! The Gunn’s mill is your “tipping point”!

    David Alford
    Green Valley, Arizona

  3. David Mohr

    February 20, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Well said Whish! Let’s hope the public hearings go ahead. Gunns are worried of what might come out if their IIS is put under the spotlight!

  4. Whish

    February 19, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Guy, what would be really helpful for us down here would be specific information on the mill you reference in your letter ie what type of mill it is, hopw old exactly is the technology, what company runs it, what documented permit violations have occured, history of fines, contact details for monitoring groups etc. The Surfrider Foundation, a group I help represent here in Tasmania, have fought many battles against polluting Pulp Mills in California, and have recently helped in overturning a permit application in Florida for the Buckeye Paper Mill to rechannel its effluent from the Fenholloway River to the sea..the judge ruled that the mill had polluted the river system and had caused measurable fecundity issues with local fish, and was trying to “transfer the problem” from the river to the sea…Case studies such as these, are invaluable to us down here fighting the fight, especially if we get to front a panel of scientists (with the RPDC. If you want to help please post more specific information, cheers Peter

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