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Potential Pulp Mill funders warned of next cost blow-out: tertiary treatment.

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Potential Pulp Mill funders warned of next cost blow-out: tertiary treatment

Canberra, Wednesday, 3September 2008 Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today used a Matter of Public Importance debate in the Senate to call once again for the release of the Herzfeld Report into the proposed Gunns Pulp Mill’s likely pollution impacts and the need for tertiary treatment of its waste.

Senator Milne said “The Government, aided and abetted by the Opposition in the Senate, is still refusing to release a hydrodynamic modelling report by Michael Herzfeld, a member of the Pulp Mill independent expert group.

“I am told that the report identifies over 160 chemicals of interest in the proposed Pulp Mill’s effluent, including phytotoxins and dioxins.

“If the Government releases this report, and the report says what I expect it to say, that Gunns cannot comply with its requirements, it will have to spend more money on tertiary treatment of its effluent stream. This will be a further $50-500 million cost to Gunns, including for acquiring more land for settling ponds.

“Everyone Gunns is talking to about funding needs to know that the cost will blow out even further when it becomes clear that tertiary treatment will be required.

“Everyone around the world is doing tertiary treatment of effluent from pulp mills. We must do it here, too, and Gunns must not be allowed to tell its prospective funders that it can get away without it.

“Gunns has held successive State and Federal governments to ransom and made fools of them.

“When they said they would pull out if all approvals were not through by July 31 2007, everyone fell over themselves to compromise assessment processes accordingly. Here we are in September 2008 and the company still hasn't got the money to build the mill. The Tasmanian and Federal Governments compromised democratic and environmental processes for nothing.

“It is time to end this sorry saga once and for all and let Tasmania move ahead into our clean, green and clever future.”

Today’s speech can be downloaded from:

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

Tim Hollo Media Adviser Senator Christine Milne ph: (02) 6277 3588 mob: 0437 587 562

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