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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

11 March 2005

Commonwealth expert on panel to assess proposed Tasmanian pulp mill

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today nominated Mr John Ashe as the Australian Government's nominee for a panel to assess the proposed Pulp Mill in northern Tasmania.

An Evaluation Panel will be established through the Tasmanian Resource Planning and Development Commission to assess the pulp mill proposal, which requires both the Australian and Tasmanian governments' environmental approval.

"The governments have agreed to cooperate in the assessment of the pulp mill, and Mr Ashe's nomination by the Australian Government is an important step in moving to the establishment of the assessment panel," Senator Campbell said.

"This will be a very important assessment process because this project has the potential for substantial economic benefits for Tasmania, but must not have a significant environmental impact on this beautiful state.

"Mr Ashe brings a wide range of skills and formal qualifications, and extensive experience on similar projects such as a joint Australian government and state assessment of the Basslink electricity interconnector project.

"Mr Ashe's extensive and successful record in projects relating to domestic and international environmental policy and legislative issues resulted in him being awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours for 'outstanding public service through the management of the Commonwealth's environmental impact assessment legislation'," Senator Campbell said.

In addition to a Master of Environmental Law from the Australian National University, he has qualifications in economics and business administration. Mr Ashe has been recognised by his peers as a Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and is a member of the Institute's Council and Executive. He is also an active member of the International Association for Impact Assessment.

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia