HAMPSHIRE NOT A REALISTIC OPTION


Hampshire is not a realistic option for the location of Gunns proposed pulp mill and never will be. Hampshire was researched as a possible site option along with Bell Bay at the start of the process and was found to be inferior on three out of the four assessment criteria (social, strategic planning and economic considerations) and was equally preferred on environmental considerations. The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania Chief Executive Terry Edwards said “It is futile to try and steer the debate back to Hampshire as an alternative site, one week before the conclusion of the assessment process.” “Hampshire was discounted as a possible location for this mill a long time ago after a detailed analysis of all considerations, not just economic as anti-mill campaigners are promoting.” “There were many problems with the site but transport issues played a major role in determining Bell Bay as the preferred site. A mill situated at Hampshire would have required a considerable increase in the volume of wood transported to the site as the Hampshire chip mill only processes up to 1.2 million tonnes of wood per year” said Mr. Edwards. “On a conservative estimate the Hampshire site would entail approximately 300 truck movements per day over and above the Bell Bay site for log inputs, other raw materials and finished pulp back to the wharf.” “This increase in truck movements through Burnie and Ridgley would have had unacceptable environmental and social impacts on the surrounding areas.” “The Bell Bay site has a deep water port adjacent to the mill which permits importation of raw materials and export of finished product without any truck movements on public roads.” “The Hampshire site would still entail the same effluent discharged into Bass Strait as the Bell Bay site so the same claims would be pursued as now.” “One can only conjecture on the reaction of environmental groups to a mill at Hampshire only 30 kilometres from the World Heritage area and Cradle Mountain tourist district.” “The pulp mill proposed by Gunns has been exclusively designed for the Bell Bay site at considerable expense to the proponent. Discounting the Bell Bay proposal in favour of Hampshire would kill the project immediately as the proponent would have to start the whole process again.” “This is the sole motivation of anti-mill campaigners in advocating this site. A mill proposed anywhere in Tasmania would be opposed by the Greens, the Wilderness Society and other anti-development groups.” “They opposed a mill on the North West Coast 20 years ago and they would oppose one there now.” “They are trying to promote the illusion of some ability to compromise knowing full well it is not a viable option. Throwing this old chestnut back into the debate at this stage is nothing more than another tactic.” “It must be kept in mind that no-one has a proposal for a mill to be sited at Hampshire. Anyone who believes this is an appropriate positioning for such a project can always put up a proposal.” Mr. Edwards said. forest industries logo

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