In response to the Labor and Liberal MPs voting against the repeal of the PMAA, Stephani Taylor, member of Pulp the Mill and resident of the “Sacrificial Zone” on the Tamar River, handed a letter to the front desk of Parliament containing the following:
May 25, 2011
TO ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WHO VOTED AGAINST THE REPEAL OF THE PULP MILL ASSESSMENT ACT
We speak on behalf of all Tasmanians who oppose the proposed pulp mill and the corrupt process which resulted in the formation of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act (PMAA), which Gunns’ lawyers are known to have helped create.
IF this pulp mill goes ahead, we will hold you personally and legally responsible for any deaths which occur as a result of thousands of extra log trucks and trucks carrying chemicals for the pulp mill;
We will hold you personally and legally responsible for any deaths from respiratory disease as a result from the air pollution produced from the pulp mill;
We will hold you personally and legally responsible for the collapse of the fishing industry which relies on unpolluted water in Bass Strait;
We will hold you personally and legally responsible for massive property devaluation within what is known as the Sacrificial Zone;
We will hold you personally and legally responsible when sustainable businesses in the Tamar Valley face bankruptcy as a result of the effects of this pulp mill.
We are vulnerable, our children are vulnerable, our grand children are vulnerable but you continue to ignore us; and with your continued support for the Pulp Mill Assessment Act you deny us our constitutional rights to legal redress if we are adversely affected by this stinking mill.
We will take action to ensure you meet your responsibilities to the Tasmanian community should any death, business collapse or property devaluation occur due to inaction on your part.
The Tasmanian community will not be ignored by its elected representatives. The Tamar Valley pulp mill will never be built, and Tasmanians will fight for the return of their democratic rights. We will never give up our peaceful campaign to stop this pulp mill.
Pulp the Mill Inc.
LABOR AND LIBERALS COMBINE TO DEFEAT PULP MILL REPEAL BILL
Missed Opportunity to Restore Community Confidence in Democratic Process
Nick McKim MP
The Tasmanian Greens today described as a disappointing and wasted opportunity the failure of both the Labor and Liberal parties to support the Greens’ Pulp Mill Assessment Repeal Bill 2011, which would have repealed the sweetheart deal done for Gunns Ltd that had done so much to tarnish Tasmania’s reputation when it was rammed through the Parliament in 2007.
Greens Leader Nick McKim said that the failure of the Labor and Liberal parties to support the Greens’ Bill was a missed opportunity to restore the faith of the Tasmanian community in the processes of their Parliament.
Mr McKim also said that the Greens’ Bill, tabled on 8 March 2011, would have revoked Paul Lennon’s controversial Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 as well as the Pulp Mill Permit established under the provisions contained in that Act.
“Labor’s anti-democratic approach in ramming the controversial Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 through Parliament was a low point for democracy in Tasmania,” Mr McKim said.
“We all vividly remember the then-Premier Paul Lennon guillotining debate, gagging the House of Assembly and depriving elected representatives of their capacity to scrutinize thoroughly the Act.”
“The 2007 debate failed to assess critical issues such as air quality, water capacity, effects on native forests and catchments, road safety and infrastructure damage, which was left to the Parliament to consider once Gunns withdrew from the RPDC process.”
“The Labor and Liberal parties have made sure that this draconian Act remains in place, depriving Tasmanians of their fundamental right to seek a review or for affected parties to receive appropriate compensation”.
“Not only have the Labor and Liberal parties continued to sell out the people of the Tamar Valley, they have also continued to sell out the Tasmanian democratic process,” Mr McKim said.
Mr McKim also pointed out that in a desperate attempt to defend the indefensible, the Liberal Member for Bass, Mr Gutwein, instead of arguing the Liberal’s case to not vote for the Repeal Bill, resorted to rewriting the public record by pretending to forget that Labor had made very clear in April 2010 that they were not going to negotiate on policy.
“It is very telling when someone fails to address the issue at hand but instead resorts to deflection to chew up their time. Mr Gutwein also conveniently forgot to state in this context that the Liberals refused to negotiate at all,” Mr McKim said.