Tag Archive | Tasmania

The latest on the Mill

This is my pet gripe at present. If you haven’t already realised….

In the interests of a reasonable discussion I have tried to find information at various sources to give a balanced and unbias view of this topic…. However apart from the media spin and government bodies telling us how good it will be and that it is up there with worlds best pratice I have yet to find any information which will tell me let alone convince me it is safe in the areas of health, air, water, environment both land and marine….

The Federal Minister for the Environment Malcolm Turnbull has approved this mill with the support of the Federal Labor Government, but his powers only cover a few areas not the full range of environmental issues raised by this development….  

I have included the most recent press release information from The Wilderness Society and a second release which tells you what the problem is.

There are also links and references to learn more….

So please read on for whats really happening down here in Tasmania……

Scientists address unanswered questions from pulp mill assessment

The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc
Media Release
14 OCTOBER 2007

A public meeting held today in Sydney highlighted the failures and unaddressed the issues in the assessment of Gunns’ highly controversial Tasmanian pulp mill. The event featured key scientific experts and climate change campaigners and was the first opportunity for the public to have outstanding questions answered in the wake of the federal government’s approval of the pulp mill.

“This event has proved important in raising public awareness of the inadequacies of the pulp mill’s assessment and having credible scientific experts cut through the spin and highlight the environmental, social and climate change damage associated with this mill,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. 

“The mill’s appetite for native forests and the effects this would have on biodiversity, water and climate change have gone totally unassessed by either the state or federal government.”

Very conservative estimates of the carbon emissions generated by the logging needed to feed the mill indicate over 10 million tonnes of CO2 would be emitted each year. This is equivalent to 2% of Australia’s emissions or an additional 2.3 million cars on the road each year. Once more studies are completed and more understanding is gained about the amount of carbon stored in Tasmania’s forests, net emissions are expected to be found to be 2–3 times higher than this.

“Despite the two government assessments, positive spin, and considerable media coverage, the public are full of questions and outraged at the selective, narrow and inadequate assessment of such a massive industrial project,” continued Mr Bayley.

“The interest in this event demonstrates a high level of community concern and keeps the pressure on both major parties who support this destructive proposal.”

“Both the Prime Minister and opposition leader Kevin Rudd have locked their parties into backing the construction of this pulp mill despite the unaddressed scientific questions and massive community opposition,” said Mr Bayley.

“Both claim to be leading the world with policies that deal with climate change, yet both turn a blind eye to the massive carbon emissions of current logging and the additional carbon emissions that would be generated by this pulp mill.”

“Protecting existing carbon dense forests should be the first step in any credible climate change policy. Approving the pulp mill could shut the door on this option. It will commit future generations to dangerous climate change, causing worsening weather cycles such as drought and extreme fire conditions,” concluded Mr Bayley.
For more information, please contact:

Vica Bayley
Tasmanian Forest Campaigner
<!– document.write(‘Email Vica Bayley’); // –>

Why the proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill would be a disaster

 

Our forests
The pulp mill will initially be 80% based on native forest.1 It will destroy forests in the Great Western Tiers, North-East Highlands and Ben Lomond. Gunns’ woodchip exports will continue from the Hampshire and Triabunna woodchip mills.1 The combined appetites of these mills plus the pulp mill will double the current rate of woodchipping in Tasmania.1

Our ocean and beaches
Experts—including the Tasmanian Government’s own consultant, Sweco Pic—have said that Gunns failed to carry out adequate baseline studies and modelling of the effluents.2 Oceanographers have warned that the effluent will frequently blow back to shore and into the Tamar Estuary.3

Our marine life and fisheries
The 64,000 tonnes of effluent that the pulp mill will discharge into Bass Strait every day contain small quantities of dioxins and furans—some of the deadliest substances known to science.4 These build up over time in the food chain, contaminating fish, shellfish, seals and other marine life. This could damage our export fishing industry, which relies on a clean reputation.

Our wildlife
Scientists have warned that planned logging in Tasmania’s north-east threatens animals and birds with local extinction.5 These include the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, the spotted-tail quoll and the giant freshwater crayfish.

Our water
The pulp mill will consume 26 to 40 billion litres of fresh water each year.1 This is almost as much as the combined use of all water users in Northern Tasmania.6  Research shows that plantations can reduce stream flow by over 50%.7 Meanwhile, north-east Tasmania can expect a forecast reduction in rainfall of 8% over 30 years due to climate change.8 

The air of the Tamar Valley
The pulp mill will stink. ‘Fugitive emissions’ of odour from hundreds of sources within the mill’s complex will drift to homes, businesses, farms and wineries in the vicinity of the mill.9 The Australian Medical Association (Tasmanian branch) says the pulp mill ‘could cause an increase in the already existing morbidity and mortality from atmospheric pollutants’.10

Our climate
Each year the pulp mill will use four million tonnes of wood for pulping and 500,000 tonnes for burning to generate power.1 Logging of native forests to supply the mill over 25 years will produce greenhouse gases equivalent to the CO2 released by all the cars, trucks and buses in Tasmania over 80 years.11

Our economy
Independent economists have warned that the pulp mill could cost Tasmania’s economy $3.3 billion and hundreds of lost jobs in the tourism, fishing and agricultural industries. The mill has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars. If it proceeds, it could cost the taxpayer an additional $800 million.12

53% of voters in Bass oppose the pulp mill while only 35% support it. 70% of Bass voters support a chlorine-free, 100% plantation-based pulp mill at Hampshire.13

Read about the pulp mill rally at Low Head, Tasmania, on 7 October.

REFERENCES

  1. Gunns Ltd, Bell Bay Pulp Mill, Draft Integrated Impact Statement
  2. Assessment of the Gunns Limited Bell Bay Pulp Mill against the Environmental Emission Limit Guidelines, Sweco Pic, June 2007; Miotti Consulting Peer Review of Sweco Pic Report
  3. Dr Stuart Godfrey http://www.cleantamar.com.au/pulp_mill_press_release.html
  4. Gunns’ referral under the EPBC Act, April 2007
  5. University of Melbourne and Forestry Tasmania 2003; Bekessy transcripts, Wielangta court case 2006
  6. Annual Reports, Esk Water and Cradle Coast Water
  7. Trading water for carbon with biological carbon sequestration, Jackson et al. 23 December 2005 Vol 310 Science.
  8. Tasmanian Government Draft Climate Change Strategy 2006
  9. Dr Warwick Raverty
  10. Australian Medical Association Tasmania, position statements, http://www.amatas.com.au/issues/
  11. Trees—the Forgotten Solution to Climate Change, The Wilderness Society 2006
  12. Business Round Table for Economic Sustainability, http://www.lec.org.au/
  13. Newspoll 27–28 August 2007, 400 respondents
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Making it Rain

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In Tasmania our electricty comes from Hydro Tasmania. A Renewable energy source which uses water Turbines to create Electricity. There are huge manmade catchment lakes built throughout the Central Plateau areas to give a ready supply of water to keep the power on.

So how does it work?

Here in Tasmania, as well as in the Snowy Mountain Regions of New South Wales, use a method known as Cloud Seeding. 

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 Cloud seeding was first demonstrated by Schaefer from the General Electric Laboratories on 13 November 1946. The first case of documented man-made rain occurred near Bathurst, Australia in February in 1947 by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization – Australia).

This works by Flying into Cumuliform Cloud or Stratiform Cloud and depositing one of three substances in the Clouds:

Silver Iodideis very similar in structure to naturally occurring ice. Water deposits form on the surface of the silver iodide crystal and the ice crystals continue to grow as if they were naturally occurring ice crystals.

Dry Ice (CO2)acts to cool the water far beyond 0ºC thereby causing the cloud droplets in the air to freeze, thus growing as water freezes on the surface of the ice.

Hygroscopic saltsSalts (KCl, NaCl) attract the water vapour to themselves, growing larger and eventually forming into raindrops.

Hydro found that Silver Iodide is the most suitable but also can use Dry Ice.

So why not use this method to save the rest of the country from drought you may ask, I know I did:

Unfortunately not all clouds are suitable.

  • Significant levels of supercooled liquid water have to be present in the cloud.
  • The cloud must be deep enough and the temperature must be within a range suitable for seeding.
  •  The wind also has to be below a fixed value.
  • Once all the criteria are met, cloud seeding can be successfully utilised to produce rainfall.

So does Cloud Seeding Affect Rain Fall to the area outside the seeded areas?

The Short answer is NO! it does not appear to affect rainfall but please Read the report below to find out more:

The Australian Cloud Seeding Research Symposium concludes on 9 May, 2007.

The Big Question is

“IS IT HARMFUL to the environment and Humans?”

This is a huge questions. I was listening to the ABC Radio 2 weeks ago when I heard that Cloud Seeding was possible responsible for an increase in Ammonia levels heres the article:

Snowy Hydro rejects cloud seeding pollution claim

Posted Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:19pm AEST
Updated Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:18pm AEST

Snowy Hydro is casting doubt on a study that blames cloud seeding for polluting New South Wales high country lakes.

National parks and wildlife ecologist Dr Ken Green has told a Jindabyne meeting that the $20 million cloud seeding trial might be linked to a big increase in ammonia levels in alpine waterways.

Dr Green says the increased ammonia had already caused algal blooms, high nutrient levels and changes in acidity.

But Snowy Hydro spokesman Paul Johnson says there is nothing to back up the claims.

“Snowy Hydro is yet to see any scientific basis or data in relation to those statements,” he said.

“I think you have to take that into account and understand in the absence of any reporting data these claims by Dr Green are not scientifically sound at the moment.”

So This may well be the future for our water, for our farms and could well help solve the problems of Renewable energy and drought in the years to come.

What do you think?

The Great Pretender

Do you remember this Band…..Midnight Oil …..Australia’s Greatest Environmentally Active and Socially Conscious Bands of the late 20th Century.
For those who don’t Remember them or Just want to Reminise Heres a clip… Remember this concerning the aboriginal cause?

His Environmental Activism lead him to become the President of the Australian Conservative Foundation, for wilderness protection. Peter Garrett is now The Shadow Environment Minister….. All Environment Conscious people of Australia rejoiced in what seemed like a coup for the Environment a Saviour has come to the political Void.
But Alas it was all in Vain…. So what was Peter Garrett saying in regards to the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill….You should watch this……

Thousands of people and Peter Garrett Fans are astounded and disheartened the change in attitude of this man….
Have we been lied too for last 20 years or are we being lied too now…It is hard to judge….
This Would have to be biggest Back Flip in History, and although we all understand you need to tow the party line I do Believe

MR PETER GARRETT you NEED to Grow a SPINE!

Because Mr Garrett… you are a Disgrace to this Generation of Australians and the Next…

We Hope and Pray this lack of Backbone is just a rouge to get you in the door where the changes needed to change the Australian Governments record on The Environment can take place….