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Minister Needs To Formally Rule Out Southern Port

4 Mar 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Member for Franklin

The long-awaited southern wood residues advice from Evan Rolley, released today after a five month delay, finds a southern port would be commercially unviable, and the only possible site south of Port Esperance and north of Southport would have challenging ”environmental and social factors”.

The Minister for Resources, Sarah Courtney, needs to reassure the many Huon Valley communities who have been awaiting this report’s conclusions and formally consign government support for a southern residues port to the dustbin of history.

In particular, she needs to make a formal statement ruling out government backing for a southern residues port at Lady Bay.

Residents of the Huon Valley have suffered under the threat of socially and environmentally unsustainable woodchip export facilities twice in recent years. Four years ago, a huge community backlash successfully prevented an environmentally damaging open barge woodchip export facility being established at Waterloo Bay, upstream in the Huon River.

Just last year, the Dover and Far South communities fought off a massive development proposal that would have thrust a low quality, high volume native forest woodchip export port onto beautiful Port Esperance. Both developments would have seriously damaged our clean green image, and committed southern communities to an unsustainable native woodchip industry that is not the future they want.

Minister Courtney needs to assure the Huon Valley community that any investments post-bushfires will benefit the greatest number of people, and will enhance the environment that is the valley’s greatest asset. She needs to make sure money to upgrading the Plenty Link Road does not exclusively advantage forestry, while locking out residents and tourists from this important connecting route.