The Minister for Crown Lands, Sarah Courtney, is rushing to ‘green light’ a controversial industrial woodchip port application for southern Tasmania, ahead of Local Government elections in October.

Ms Courtney’s Crown Land consent for the development application to proceed lays the final decision about restarting the southern native woodchipping industry in the hand of just one person, Adriana Taylor.

Ms Taylor is the Liberal Government-appointed Administrator of the Huon Valley Council, and openly supports the southern woodchip port and the native forestry industry at large.

If this Southwood Fibre development proceeds, the stunning Port Esperance will be eclipsed by a monstrous woodchip pile, dwarfing the small tourist town of Dover. This application has far reaching impacts for the local community and the wider Huon Valley.

There will be a large increase in heavy vehicle traffic, as native trees will be taken from an 180km radius to be exported as chips of logs. It will transform the quite town of Dover from a nature tourism precinct into an industrial port.

The government should withdraw Crown Land consent until after the Local Government elections. The Huon Valley community have a right to be represented by a democratically-elected council on a development that will transform the lives of hundreds of Huon Valley residents, and the wilderness of southern native forests.