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Protecting the marine environment in the Tasmanian Pulp Mill policy process


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Vince, J 2009 , 'Protecting the marine environment in the Tasmanian Pulp Mill policy process', paper presented at the Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2009, 28-30 September, 2009, Sydney, Australia.

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This paper examines how effectively marine issues have been assessed in the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill policy process. The levels of dioxins in the effluent, their long term effects on marine life, and the ‘backwash’ of effluent back into the coastal regions and the Tamar River, are some marine issues that have become a source of contention amongst marine/fisheries lobbyists and pulp mill supporters. These issues were assessed in various degrees through the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC), Pulp Mill Assessment Act (PMAA) and Commonwealth Pulp Mill Review (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act) processes since 2003. This paper analyses the Tasmanian and Commonwealth government’s policy approaches to deal with the impact of the pulp mill on the marine ecosystem. It is argued that after the RPDC process was abandoned, the marine issues have not been a priority for the Tasmanian government. While the Commonwealth is currently reviewing the pulp mill’s impact on the marine ecosystem, it is limited to assessing the impacts under the EPBC Act. The Commonwealth review has so far not prevented the pulp mill from being built.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Vince, J
Keywords: marine environment, Tasmania, pulp mill, oceans policy
Journal or Publication Title: Australasian Political Studies Association Conference
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