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Friday, December 02, 2005

Truth a Casualty In Green Pulp Mill Campaigning -

Truth a Casualty In Green Pulp Mill Campaigning - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings called on the Wilderness Society to stop resorting to a divisive and sensationalist campaign designed to deliberately instil fear in the community through misrepresentation of the facts about the proposed pulp mill.

?The Wilderness Society has widely distributed glossy printed material ahead of the rally opposing the pulp mill. Unfortunately that material contains claims that are simply wrong,? Ms Giddings said.

?I give the Wilderness Society full marks for spin. Their presentation is slick and clever in its selection of images but beneath the veneer is a dishonest propaganda campaign?.

Ms Giddings said the selective use of language and images allowed the authors to make broad-sweeping and inaccurate allegations.

?The worst example of the propaganda is an artist?s impression of what a pulp mill looks like.

?The illustration deliberately gives the impression the mill will discharge an ugly coloured effluent into the Tamar River.

?First, no discharge will go into the Tamar and second, experience overseas has shown that the discharge will be virtually clear.?

?They talk of ?toxic compounds in a cocktail of chemicals?. The truth, of course, is that effluent levels will need to meet emission standards which the CSIRO has endorsed as being the most stringent in the world.

?If the proposed mill were likely to release a toxic cocktail of compounds, it won?t be built and nor should it be.

?The Wilderness Society suggest the level of dioxins released in mill discharge will be harmful. The scientific fact is that dioxin levels from both Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) or Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) mills can?t be detected, unlike for example, in cigarette smoke.

?In Finland, mills providing a model for the Bell Bay proposal discharge their effluent direct into a lake system from which local residents catch and eat their fish with the full endorsement of the country?s tough health and environmental agencies.

?The Wilderness Society claims in their brochure that there will be a ?significant adverse impact on the environment,? even though they know the emission guidelines are deliberately set to protect the environment from significant adverse impacts.

?They claim that our old-growth forests are still threatened. They fail to acknowledge over 90 per cent of the State?s old-growth forests are permanently protected and will never be logged.

?The Wilderness Society ought to tell Tasmanians the facts.

?The fact is that if approved by the independent RPDC, the pulp mill will represent a $1.3 billion investment in our State which will contribute $600 million each year to the Tasmanian economy.

?More importantly it will provide 1,500 Tasmanians with jobs.

?And because the proposed pulp mill will need to meet the world's toughest environmental standards, Tasmania can enjoy the jobs growth and economic benefits without sacrificing the environment.

?I urge Tasmanians not to succumb to an unfounded fear campaign and await the outcome of the independent assessment before drawing conclusions about the proposed pulp mill?.


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