Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr. Warwick Raverty responds to Launceston Mayoral reject

In todays Examiner Newspaper, (Letter to the Editor - 30th Dec 2010) Launceston Mayoral reject Ivan Dean took the stick to Dr.Warwick Raverty, a good and decent man who has devoted 25 years of his scientific career to conducting research aimed at assisting the pulp and paper industry to become sustainable. For those who dont know, Dr.Warwick Raverty is Australia's foremost guru on Kraft Pulp Mill Technology particlularly in the area of 'odours'  .
Ex cop and Tasmanian upper house MLC Ivan Deans today described Dr. Raverty's recent comments about the risks posed by fugitive odour emissions emanating from the proposed Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill as 'ill informed and alarmingly mischievous"! Ivan Dean was of course the pro-logging Mayor of Launceston who famously described an historic 10,000 strong anti-pulp mill protest in his home town Launceston as "misinformed". Not long after, Dean was embarrassingly voted out of office.

Dean's latest dismissal of Dr. Warwick Raverty’s warning of risks posed by fugitive odour emissions highlights the absurdity of Tasmania’s largest ever industrial project (Gunns Pulp Mill) being planned and assessed by Politicians instead of by an independent expert planning body. That Alderman Dean really believes a few welds could dissipate fugitive emissions and that other Kraft mills built in the last 100 years would not have employed cutting edge technology like welding (cough, cough) is quite hilarious? It also betrays incredible hubris on Alderman Deans part that he clearly sees himself more expert in Kraft Mill technology than Dr.Warwick Raverty, a man who has 25 years in the pulp and paper industry.
When once asked on the ABC if he “trusted Gunns” Ivan Dean famously replied,...................... “ Well, of course I trust that - why wouldn't you? They're a very reputable organisation in this state. They've been here for a long, long period of time. And why wouldn't they want to deliberately mislead? I couldn't see any reason for that at all and of course I accept that. And if you start doubting everything that you're told by everybody, you're not going to get too far, are you?

Scary, I know.

Hansard shows former Upper House President Don Wing, during the fast tracking of the pulp mill warning “He (Raverty) has had vast experience and ignoring his views would be to the jeopardy of anybody who chooses to do so. If the Government chooses to do so, it is on their heads”.
Clearly Ivan Dean also knows better than Don Wing.


Anyway here is the reply Dr. Raverty submitted to the Examiner Newspaper. It will be interesting to see if the pro-Gunns, pro pulp mill northern rag publish this....

....."I am sure that many Tamar Valley residents will be greatly reassured by Alderman Dean’s advice (Letters 30th Dec) that six of his fellow aldermen rejected the legitimacy of my public warning about fugitive odour from a kraft pulp mill at Long Reach. I am even more certain that the same residents would be far more reassured if Gunns’ proposal was not protected by the iniquitous Section 11 of the Pulp Mill Assessment Act. I challenge Alderman Dean and his six colleagues to provide some sort of meaningful financial guarantee to residents and businesses in the Valley in the event that he is wrong about odour from the mill. What Alderman Dean neglects to mention in his letter is that Gunns did not publish their plans for a fully welded foul gas line until the day after I issued my warning. He will search in vain for any information about this feature in Gunn’s 2006 draft IIS. So instead of suggesting my letter is ‘alarmingly mischievous’, he should be thanking me and many others who have kept pressure on Gunns (at their own expense, unlike the amply salaried Alderman Dean and his colleagues) to remedy the many deficiencies in this ill-conceived and poorly managed proposal. I remind Alderman Dean that it was I who campaigned for over a year against Gunns’ intention to install the risky ‘Integrated Chlorine Dioxide Process’, until even Sweco Pic were forced to admit that it was not Accepted Modern Technology. No, Alderman Dean and other politicians supporting this abomination have been conspicuous by their gullibility in heeding the many demonstrably false utterances of the proponent over the past 5 years and derelict in their duty to the majority of their electors. While the fully welded foul gas line is a step in the right direction, there remain many unanswered questions concerning the control of odour in this mill and other matters that Gunns refused to provide to the RPDC over a period of 2 years of questioning. Needless to say, none of these details were examined by the unprecedented ‘fast-track’ approval process that your Parliament inflicted on its own electors. Alderman Dean can rest assured that I remain unconvinced by Gunns’ latest announcements that the mill will be odour-free and he can expect further robust debate in the Council chamber in the New Year informed by me and other technical experts who remain resolute in their conviction that the quality of life of the many should not be sacrificed to the greed and collusion of a privileged few.'

Dr. Warwick Raverty

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