Dr Chris Beadle Canberra Times
HAVING observed the pulp mill debate in the media and watched it approach its climax this week I am concerned that a crucial issue is being neglected. whether Tasmania’s production forests produce enough wood to supply a world-scale pulp mill for the next few decades I have examined three key documents that were produced as part of the assessment process for the pulp mill: Gunns’ integrated impact statement; an expert witness statement prepared for Gunns; and an independent review of the impact statement on wood flow assumptions prepared for the Resource Planning and Development Commission. I conclude that projected wood flows may not meet the requirements of the mill over its lifetime, and that supplying large amounts of wood to a pulp mill neglects consideration of existing and new opportunities to add greater value to wood. Kraft pulp mills, once operational, require wood on a continuous basis.