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Pulp mill effluent concern grows.

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Senator Christine Milne

Pulp mill effluent concern grows

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Campbell urged to act

Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania Christine Milne today called on federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell to use his powers to safeguard the Bass Strait marine ecosystem from the threat of toxic effluent from Gunns' proposed pulp mill.

Senator Milne delivered cards to the Minister from hundreds of concerned citizens who are calling on Senator Campbell to act. The cards were launched three months ago, on World Environment Day.

"Gunns' proposed pulp mill in northern Tasmania poses an unacceptable risk to the marine environment of Bass Strait and the wildlife and fishing industry that rely on it," Senator Milne said in Canberra.

"The cards I gave to Senator Campbell today are an expression of public concern about the pulp mill. Cards are arriving at my office every day as more and more people learn about the negative impacts of the pulp mill project.

"Of particular concern is the build up of effluent in Bass Strait, and its cumulative impact. The pulp mill could pump up to 30 billion litres of toxic effluent into Bass Strait every year, including up to 220 tonnes of organocholorines. The effluent will be discharged near Tenth Island, an important Australian Fur Seal breeding colony.

"The integrated impact statement (IIS) does not take into account the impacts of climate change on the marine ecosystem or the way in which warm surface temperature may well change the dilution and distribution pattern of the effluent.

"These concerns have been reinforced this week by oceanographer Paul Sandery who said that the pulp mill IIS failed to take account of seasonal flushing patterns.

"This is not the kind of project for Tasmania. The state's economic future should be based on protecting, not destroying, our unique natural environment.

"Minister Campbell has the responsibility and power to prevent this pulp mill from proceeding. His failure to do so will further demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act."

Contact: Katrina Willis 03 6234 4566 or 0437 587 562