Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 445 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

At the same time the Chief Minister should be looking at the long-term benefits of the ACT region and the Australian community at large. I commend the motion to the house.

MS DUNDAS (6.04): I rise to support this motion on behalf of the Australian Democrats. In doing so, I acknowledge the work already done on this issue by my New South Wales parliamentary colleague Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans MLC, and the Democrats member Linda Chapman, who has worked tirelessly on stopping the Mogo charcoal plant since initial proposals. I wish them both well at the rally outside New South Wales parliament that is taking place next Wednesday.

I am truly disappointed at the quality of the submissions sent by our Chief Minister to the Premier of New South Wales. In fact, if I was a teacher I would give him a C minus, not only for his submission but also for his actions in the chamber today and yesterday. The Chief Minister acknowledges that many concerns are being raised through community groups and debates through the press and goes on to point out potential problems in regard to tourism and traffic congestion, with passing mention of the environmental problems. It is true that there will be effects on both tourism and traffic congestion. However, the effect on the forests is worth more than a passing mention in the submission.

The community outrage by residents of both the South Coast and the Canberra region needs to be most strongly expressed by this government's submission. The Chief Minister will recall that in late November the Wilderness Society organised the first of a series of public events, and more than 150 Canberra people voiced their unanimous opposition against the proposed charcoal plant. Yesterday, in the Sydney Morning Herald, James Woodward wrote, "Attendance at protest marches has been unprecedented" and noted that residents new to the South Coast, lifelong South Coast residents and the Chamber of Commerce were all radical opponents of this project.

A record number of submissions have been sent to the New South Wales Department of Urban Affairs and Planning on this proposed plant. Over 1,400 oppose the establishment of the plant. I believe that only nine favour the plant.

Some of the effects that the Chief Minister may look at in his revised submission would be the effects on the biodiversity of logging. Australian Silicon, the company involved, is looking at using species such as bloodwood and ironbark that are generally not logged in this area.

The Chief Minister could also look at the harmful effects on native habitat of using timber waste. This timber waste would consist of hollows and all that remains from logging in state forests. As we should all be aware, animals like to use these hollows and all the organic material as it decomposes as nutrients into the soil. However, this would all just be scooped up and taken to the smelter.

This motion before the Assembly arose out of a question to the Chief Minister. Part of his answer at the time was:

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .