To the Honourable Sarah Courtney,
Re Development Application for Southwood Fibres Export Facility Strathblane.
I am deeply saddened by the news that the Liberal Govt has given consent for Crown Land i.e. public land to be used by a private developer for a wood chip port at Dover.
What right does the Govt have to do this without consultation of the community that will bear the brunt of this development?
A development that will cost local jobs, degrade the environment and turn what could be Tasmania’s most beautiful coastal town into an industrial wood chip port. The beautiful bay will be trashed, log trucks will clog our roads - one every 5 minutes, and the peaceful nature of the town will be ruined with bulldozers operating 24/7
Lack of consultation seems to be a theme here. The developer, in all the 18 months of planning did not once consult the community, and today has still withheld information about what it intends to do. He has avoided public meetings and sought to divide the community.
The only consultation that the community is allowed, is a 28 day window once the development application goes public.
Just 28 days to digest a highly complex 500 page document with a HUGE impact on the local and surrounding communities. There is more consultation time allowed for putting a strip of trees in a suburban street. At least they can be removed. Once this port is given the go ahead, there is no going back.
To add insult to injury the planning process does not take into account social and economic impacts. Its possible this proposal could be passed with absolutely no regard for the devastation it will cause the community. I wonder if its a co-incidence that the Huon Valley has no elected representatives at the time that this goes to council. No-one to fight for the community point of view.
Dover is thriving at the moment with a growing tourism and aquaculture industry - both of which rely on Tasmania’s clean and green reputation. Young families are moving back in, cafes and shops are opening. All this will be destroyed if the wood chip port goes ahead. Dover doesn’t want it, Dover doesn’t need it. Premier Hodgkin says forestry and tourism need to co-exist. This is not possible with this proposal.
There is an alternative. If you have to wood chip our plantations - the lowest value product possible - take it by forest road to New Norfolk and then by rail to Burnie. It may cost plantation owners a bit more than if it were shipped from Dover, but why should multinational companies profit from Dovers loss?