Tasmanian Times



What Effect will a 64,000 Tonne Dose of Effluent Have?

The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the sighting of a pod of migrating humpback whales off Low Head, and called on the Bartlett Government to immediately refer the presence of whales in the effluent zone for Gunns’ proposed pulp mill to the Federal Government for assessment under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Greens Pulp Mill spokesperson Kim Booth MP said Gunns Limited are proposing to dump 64,000 tonnes of toxic pulp mill effluent off Low Head on a daily basis, and the arrival of migrating whales in this exact area makes it essential that the impact of the effluent on whales be assessed under the EPBC Act.

“After years of slaughter and decades away from our state, whales are now returning to Tasmanian waters in increasing numbers every year, and their presence must be included in the assessment of impacts from the 64,000 tonnes of poisonous effluent that Gunns are proposing to pump into the water off Low Head on a daily basis,” said Mr Booth.

“Just what will happen when these whales, including mothers and their calves, arrive at Low Head only to find they are swimming from seawater into a contaminated fresh water mix coming directly from Gunn’s pulp mill?”

“Mothers and their baby calves swimming into this toxic, polluted fresh waters must surely face a potentially serious threat to their health and safety, but what about the effects of whales eating dioxin-contaminated krill as they pass along our coastline?”

“To the best of my knowledge there are no freshwater whales in the world, so what will happen to those unfortunate enough to find that their traditional migratory path has been turned into a toxic freshwater mill effluent dumping ground? Can whales actually survive in toxic fresh water effluent?”

“It is not unfair to assume that 64,000 tonnes of poisonous effluent from Gunns’ proposed pulp mill will have some seriously negative effects on mothers and their baby calves swimming through the outfall.”

“The Bartlett Government and Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett must ensure that the presence of migrating Humpback whales in Gunns’ proposed effluent zone has been thoroughly assessed, and that the 64,000 tonnes of toxic effluent that Gunns’ are proposing to emit every day does not poison these majestic creatures,” said Mr Booth.
Kim Booth MP Greens Pulp Mill Spokesperson

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  1. max

    November 10, 2009 at 1:16 am

    No one knows how far this toxic plume will spread up and down the coast, that’s what the hold up is with the Federal approval. One thing we do know is the seals will have to pack up and move from their present island, their island and feeding grounds will become uninhabitable. The Tamar River is like a set of lungs and sucks in and exhales millions of litres of water a day and the close proximity of the discharge pipe must guarantee that the Tamar River will be effected. The salmon farm will no longer need protection from the seals, they wouldn’t be able to find their way through the pollution and wouldn’t eat them if they could. If Gunns are fair dinkum in their belief that the beaches at Low Head and Greens Beach will remain the same and the Tamar River will not look like a cup of black coffee then put it in a shut down guarantee. So far they will not give any such guarantee as they are aware that what they are proposing will have detrimental effects and they think we should except their proposal just like Burnie did.

  2. Concerned Resident

    November 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    The Federal Gov’t, the State lab/lib/gunns gov’t have not given a shit for the people of the Tamar valley…what makes anyone think that they will care two hoots for the whales?????Corporate greed runs amok with our National and State leaders.
    Personally I would like to see lab/lib gov’ts gone as they are supporters of destruction…Corporate Greed at it’s worst.

  3. D.I.Nicholas

    November 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    John Gaye wants a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley
    whatever the concequences and will not be swayed.

    It doesn’t matter a shit to him how whales and
    other species will be affected by 64000 tonnes of effluent daily containing toxins and heaps of other nasties.

    He is the leader of the most destructive company ever assembled in Tasmania which has shown no commitment whatsoever to environmental values so
    i don’t think anyone should have been speaking to him one on one.

    I however wish John Gaye all the best wishes for his entry into the promised land because he will
    need all the help he can find to avoid the nasties in store for him on the journey.

    Second thoughts are that he won’t make it.

  4. Tony Saddington

    November 9, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Another visual Dave.

    Picture 3 million one litre milk cartons – every hour.

    That is the minimum amount of fresh water that will be drawn from Trevallyn dam for the mill.

  5. phill PARSONS

    November 9, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Opinions are not like arseholes, most people have the opinion of a few others.

  6. Dave Groves

    November 9, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Yes Jeff that’s true, but with all the gobbly gook they slap around…

    That is only the starting point…as production rises…

    To put the figure in to a visual context….

    A tri axle fuel tanker…those big articulated trucks you see in servos….well imagine one of those dumping it’s load each minute of every hour of every day into our pristine ocean…..

    That’s what these dingbats have in mind…..

  7. Jeff Barnard

    November 9, 2009 at 3:08 am

    Salamander, you’re out by a factor of a thousand. Not a good look. It is tonnes, not litres.

  8. salamander

    November 8, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    64,000 litres of effluent every day yet Gunns, some of the public and government still say this is “world’s best practice”, and assessed by the toughest standards in the world. Why do people believe these lies? Why is it so hard for some to think with the brain they were born with, instead of just repeating the pap they are fed?

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