FOR some time now I have been trying to understand why both major political parties are so enthusiastic about the pulp mill.
While it is said to use state-of-the-art technology, perhaps for a kraft type mill this is true but, not for paper mills generally.
It is an open loop process.
It is polluting with the ocean outflow delivering highly toxic dioxins into Bass Strait and the waste burnt to generate electricity producing carbon dioxide.
It will smell, they all do, with the two most offensive odours exempted from EPA specifications and control by act of parliament.It will not employ large numbers to operate, any designer worth his salt will engineer out as much labour as possible.
Construction will doubtless be done by overseas and interstate organisations that have the expertise and resources that don’t exist in Tasmania.
Plant and equipment will also come from outside Tasmania and that is where the money will go.
So what is the attraction?
The answer, in my view, is that both parties see it as their saviour.
Neither party has the slightest notion of how to stimulate Tasmania’s economy, they are bereft of any vision beyond digging it up or chopping it down both of which are OK, but finite and outdated.
The evaluation process was corrupted by politics early on and continues to be so.
The Liberal party railed against an earlier Labour government for fast tracking and, therefore corrupting, the evaluation and approval process but since then silence from the Opposition side of the house has been deafening.
This is a far too important and potentially divisive issue to be left in the hands of politicians, a referendum would give all Tasmanians a voice on a subject that will shape our future.
— ARCH ROBINSON, Legana.