Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRIES and WATER, Ms COURTNEY
A development application for a southern woodchip port is expected to be publicly advertised by the Huon Valley Council any day. It would use Crown land to transfer woodchips from a mountainous pile into huge ships docked in the stunning Port Esperance. The council's single administrator, Adriana Taylor, yesterday implied the planning decision was simply a tick-a-box process. There is a big difference between assessing a garden shed and an 800 000 tonne a year woodchip export development which will take chipped native trees from a 180 kilometre radius and utterly transform the lives and nature tourism businesses of the local community.
Administrator Taylor said there is no difference between one person or a whole council making an approval decision, yet this one woman is on the public record in support of a southern woodchip port and of the forestry industry. The Huon Valley and all Tasmania needs a range of voices to represent their interests in this major planning decision. Will you withdraw landholders' consent for Crown land consideration until after October's local government election?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. Part of Southwood Fibre's proposal for a woodchip facility located south-east of Strathblane is proposed on Crown land. Because of this, the proponent has asked for Crown land or Crown consent to lodge their development application with the Huon Valley Council. The Government is considering the proponent's request and I note that in the event of the Crown consent going through, the public will be provided the opportunity to review of provide comment as is appropriate through the council planning approval process.