Image for Pulp Mill Assessment Act, Green economy and democracy shape Greens agenda. Bill tabled.

The Tasmanian Greens today flagged their Green Economy and Democracy package as an important step towards banning political donations from gaming, alcohol and smoking outlets, and continuing Tasmania’s economic transition out of an over-reliance on resource extraction.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said the Party will also present an opportunity for both the Labor and Liberal Parties to undo previous mistakes, and restore faith in the democratic system, by supporting a repeal of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 when the Greens’ Bill is tabled.

Mr McKim also announced that the Greens’ shadow portfolios had undergone a review in the lead up to Parliament, based on the experience of last year’s Parliamentary session.

“The Tasmanian Greens believe that it is essential that Tasmania not only has the debate but continues the transition that is already underway in our economy, away from an over reliance of resource extraction into 21st century low carbon, clean, green and clever economic sectors,” Mr McKim said.

“So in my Leaders’ address this week I will be detailing the steps to develop a Green economy for the state.”

Mr McKim said that the Greens’ Strengthening Democracy Package would include the following proposals:
• Ban donations from gaming, alcohol and tobacco companies
• Legislate for the immediate disclosure of state-based political donations
• Investigate state public funding of election campaigns, along with a cop on expenditure allowable by both candidates and registered political parties contesting House of Assembly elections
• Amend the state Electoral Act 2004 regarding the disclosure of third party political donations
• Legislate for Fixed Four year Terms for the House of Assembly
• Strengthen the state Lobbyist Register

“A fundamental flaw in the current political donation system has yet again been highlighted by the figures released by the Australian Electoral Commission, where 10 months after last years state election, Tasmanians finally get to see which corporates donated to which political party seeking government.”

“The discovery that the Liberal Party remains the only major political party prepared to accept donations from cigarette and tobacco corporations puts a new slant on how genuine they are when it comes to good public health policies.”

“It has been a unanimous decision also by the Tasmanian Greens party room to not have shadow portfolio holders for positions that Greens’ Ministers hold, as well as distribute the Leaders portfolios previously held by myself.”

“This is about the Greens Party Room expressing trust in its Ministerial representatives to act as Greens’ Ministers should.”

“This does not mean that Greens’ backbenchers will not continue to ask questions of all Ministers, across all areas of concern, just as Labor backbenchers do not specifically shadow one of their Ministers.”

“Also, this week the Tasmanian Greens will table our Bill to repeal the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 to right a wrong in the implementation of this Act and urge both Labor and Liberal parties to support a repeal to restore the public’s faith in our ability as a Parliament to be fair and democratic.”

“We are going in to bat for the people of the Tamar Valley,” Mr McKim said.

Download: : Shadow Portfolio Updates list:

First published: 2011-03-08 01:47 AM



Opportunity to Right a Wrong &Put End to Pulp Mill

Nick McKim MP
Greens Leader
Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Tasmanian Greens today tabled their Pulp Mill Assessment Repeal Bill 2011 in Parliament to revoke the contentious Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said that the Greens’ Bill will both revoke the Pulp Mill Assessment Act and also the Pulp Mill Permit that is established under provisions contained in the Act.

“The Greens’ Bill to revoke the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007, will implement the call by 500 people who attended a Launceston public meeting last week to repeal the contentious piece of legislation rammed through by the then-Premier Paul Lennon last year when Gunns’ pulled out of the Resource Planning and Development Commission process,” Mr McKim said.

“When Labor’s anti-democratic legislation was rammed through the State parliament three years ago with Liberal support, we were told time was of the essence for the proponent, an excuse that has been exposed as a shame now that years have passed and Gunns’ project is not much further advanced.”

“Paul Lennon’s controversial Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 was fast tracked through Parliament, and was passed after Gunns’ withdrawal from the RPDC assessment, but without Mr Lennon divulging to Parliament at the time that Gunns withdrew due to RPDC concerns that their documentation was critically deficient.”

“Gunns’ financial imperatives were used as the stalking horse to justify Labor’s ‘Pulp Mill Despite the Odds’ legislation getting rammed through the State Parliament in an outrageous and undemocratic manner.”

“The debate at the time failed to assess critical issues such as air quality, water capacity, effects on native forests and catchments, road safety and infrastructure damage.”

“Nor was there an independent risk assessment of any potential economic damage to other vital industries such as tourism.”

“The current legislation also contains an anti-democratic clause removing all rights for affected parties to seek review of the Act or compensation for damages resulting from the operation of the mill.”

“Removing the fundamental common law rights to seek judicial review and/or compensation for damages caused as a result of the operation of the mill is the behaviour that Australians condemn when carried out by dictatorships in other countries.”

“This Bill provides both Labor and Liberal with the opportunity to redress the massive wrong committed when they guillotined and passed the controversial and undemocratic pulp mill approvals legislation,” Mr McKim said.

Download the bill, read for yourself: