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Notice given 7 November 2008

767  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—

(1) Were any of the hydrodynamic modelling reports, including addendums, and any additional modelling reports prepared by consultants on behalf of Gunns Limited for the pulp mill at Long Reach in Tasmania, peer reviewed by any: (a) specialists within the department; if so: (i) by whom, and (ii) what were their findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations; and (b) third parties; if so: (i) by whom, and (ii) what were their findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations.

(2) Did any of the hydrodynamic modelling reports including addendums and any additional modelling reports prepared by consultants on behalf of Gunns Limited for the pulp mill at Long Reach contain any assumptions; if so, what was each assumption.

768  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—In regard to condition 26 and modules B and C of the Environmental Impact Management Plan for the Gunns Limited pulp mill in Tasmania:

(1) What is ‘zero tolerance’ and how will it be achieved.

(2) How and within what area/locale will existing threatened and endangered species populations be recorded, documented and compared against the construction impact of the pulp mill.

(3) What is the radius in kilometres from the mill site for ‘zero tolerance’.

(4) Does ‘zero tolerance’ extend to construction crew traffic including, but not limited to, four-wheel drive and private vehicles.

(5) Is the ‘zero tolerance’ assessment self-regulating.

(6) If road kill is found and it is a threatened or endangered species, are there any mitigation mechanisms in place; if so, what.

(7) Taking into consideration those employees that will come from interstate, overseas and Tasmania: how will all employees recognise a threatened or endangered species.

(8) (a) How is compliance and non-compliance to be monitored and reported; and (b) what penalties are in place for non-compliance in regard to threatened and endangered species.

(9) Considering that Gunns Limited did not complete the road kill module B, (condition 26) as directed by the Chief Scientist Dr Jim Peacock, has the Minister lowered the bar with implementing ‘zero tolerance’ and abandoned the Government’s commitment to a ‘most rigorous’ assessment process.

(10) Does the Government’s current threatened and endangered species assessment process satisfy the intent of the Chief Scientist.

(11) Given that apparently only one study has been performed and acknowledged at Low Head near the pipeline outfall, and given that the Minister for Climate Change and Water has assured Parliament that research identifying habitat/population locations of the threatened green and gold frog have been performed along the proposed pipeline route: where, when and who performed the other studies.

 

 (12) What measures are in place for newly identified green and gold frog populations if they are found near the pulp mill site or associated infrastructure (i.e. pipeline).

773  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Has the department or any of its agencies carried out work since 2004 on the: (a) carbon sequestration potential of Kyoto-compliant plantations or native forest restoration; (b) effect of emissions trading (or a carbon tax) on existing Kyoto-compliant plantations, in respect of rotation lengths and their use for wood production; (c) relationship between carbon price and the rate and extent of plantation establishment and native forest restoration if these activities are included in the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme; (d) impact of tax deductions for carbon sinks and/or managed investment schemes on the rate and extent of plantation establishment and native forest restoration; (e) impact on wood production from native forests as a result of including Kyoto-compliant plantations in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

(2) (a) Can a list be provided of all projects, consultancies, publications or other work relating to question (1) above, giving the title, authors, date, cost (if a consultancy) and a brief summary; and (b) can a copy of each report, publication or document be provided.

774  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—

(1) Further to the answer to question on notice no. 558 (Senate Hansard , 27 August 2008, p. 3 975), concerning the Gunns Limited pipeline and populations of the green and gold frog, the department’s response indicated that the frog survey has been conducted and completed: can the Minister now confirm the presence of green and gold frogs ( Litoria raniformis ) in the Dilston and Windermere areas.

(2) (a) Has the green and gold frog survey been completed to the Minister’s satisfaction as directed by the Chief Scientist; and (b) what were the dates, locality and times of the surveys, and who conducted each one.

(3) In the absence of data, can the Minister confirm that the Dilston, Windermere, Hillwood and Landfall areas will be suitably surveyed for the presence of the green and gold frog.

(4) In the absence of data, can the Minister confirm that the entire region proposed for the length of the Gunns Limited pipeline will be surveyed for green and gold frog populations and other threatened species.

(5) Can the Minister give an assurance that the area to be affected by the Gunns Limited pipeline and the East Tamar Highway Dilston bypass will be surveyed for the amphibian chytrid fungus prior to any formal approval or the commencement of actual development work.