Media release from the Tasmanian Greens
Received by email today from TAP (Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill):
URGENT ACTION NEEDED ON THIS ONE PLEASE!
There is a very small window of opportunity to act on the information contained in this media release, so please find a moment or two this evening (if you read it in time), or tomorrow, to phone, email, write, or dispatch by carrier pigeon, your outrage at the latest skulduggery Paul and his cohorts want to ram through parliament in their effort to please Gunns, and ruin the lives of the rest of us.
I'm advised by Kim that the few previous occasions when proposals have been put to the Upper House before the Lower House, they have been equally potentially contentious, and hardly beneficial to the majority of the state's citizens.
It's really important to flood editorial inboxes with emails about this one, and jam Tim Cox's phone lines. Use Kim's quotes to really expose the breathtaking, blatant disregard for you, me, and every Tasmanian bar one. John Gay.
It's also important that you lobby all members of the Legislative Council - especially Kerry Finch.
Please spread the word to everyone you can and ask them to phone, write, email or shout from the rooftops.
And watch this space, 'cos Shreddergate ain't over yet . . . .
Power to your pens & keyboards folks.
WATER AND SEWERAGE REGIONAL AUTHORITIES PIPELINE FOR GUNNS
Government Must Rule Out Devious Scheme
Kim Booth MP
Greens Shadow Pulp Mill spokesperson
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
The Tasmanian Greens today called or the Lennon government to rule out that the two Water and Sewerage reform Bills, the Water and Sewerage Corporations Bill 2008 and the Water and Sewerage Industry Bill 2008, which have been tabled in the Legislative Council and are scheduled for debate this week, will be used as a back-door option to enable Gunns' pulp mill pipeline to be paid for by one of the new proposed Regional Authorities.
Greens Pulp Mill spokesperson and member for Bass Kim Booth MHA said that the Water and Sewerage Corporations Bill 2008 Bill, creates the three Regional Authorities which will take control of council sewerage and water assets, and have the power to borrow money and construct further infrastructure.
Mr Booth also called on the Legislative Council to scrutinise closely the legislation to examine the potential for the Regional Authorities to be used to provide Gunns' the pulp mill pipelines, and if so to amend the Bills to prohibit the use of public funds and acquisition for private projects.
"The government must rule out the use of the Regional Boards as a means of overcoming impediments to the construction of the Gunns' water pipeline to Long Reach and the effluent pipe to its Bass strait dumping ground of polluted pulp mill waste," Mr Booth said.
"This appears to be part of a carefully crafted and devious Lennon government strategy to overcome impediments to Gunns, with both access and finance solutions for their polluting mill proposal."
"The creation of an authority will give acquisition rights to resume private property for the benefit of a private project without any need to come before Parliament and without breathing a word about Gunns."
"The assets of the ratepayers of the region will also be available as collateral for a loan to finance Gunns' pipelines which will then keep it off the government's balance sheets and leave a debt swinging over the heads of the public whether the mill proceeds or goes belly up in the future."
"Even more serious is the transfer of liability to the public in the event of a pipeline failure or water shortage forcing the mill to shut down, which could then expose the public to compensation to Gunns for loss of production, or indeed closure."
"It also may well transfer liability for any pollution that emanates from the effluent pipeline into Bass Strait, particularly if any sewerage were added to the mill effluent."
"The government must rule out the construction of Gunns pipeline by the Regional Board and ensure that a specific amendment, outlawing the use of public funds and acquisition for private projects, is included in the Bill before it leaves the Legislate Council."
"If Lennon Labor is not prepared to rule out such a contrivance then this will simply prove the proposition that this has been a carefully crafted and devious strategy to facilitate Gunns project dressed up in the public interest, just as the Gunns' water supply was provided for at public expense through the Meander Dam," Mr Booth said.
The Greens have also called on the government to be open to still accepting necessary amendments to the Water and Sewerage reform Bills in the Lower House, should new matters of concern come to light after the Bills leave the Legislative Council.