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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Pulp Mill Environment Assessment Agreement Signed


November 7, 1996
(152/96)

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has signed an agreement with the Tasmanian Government outlining the joint environmental impact assessment process for the proposed Taiwan Pulp and Paper Corporation pulp mill project in northern Tasmania.

The agreement provides for a single assessment of the likely environmental, social, economic and community effects of the project.

The cooperative approach will ensure a comprehensive and rigorous examination of the proposal, to meet both Commonwealth and Tasmanian legislative needs.

The agreement is yet another example of the new Commonwealth Government working with State Governments to ensure the effective and efficient environmental assessment of important projects.

The assessment process, involving the preparation of a full environmental impact statement, will ensure full public involvement at all key stages during the examination of the project. Draft guidelines for the EIS will be made available for public review.

TPPC is currently investigating the feasibility of a world-scale bleached eucalypt kraft pulp mill in northern Tasmania. The Tasmanian Premier and TPPC signed a Memorandum of Understanding initiating a $3 million feasibility study for the project in June 1996.

Phase 1 of the study is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will identify the viability of the project, expected technologies to be used and the possible location.

If TPPC proceed with the proposal following the Phase 1 study, they will undertake the detailed environmental studies required in the agreement signed by the Commonwealth and Tasmania.

The Commonwealth published Environmental Guidelines for New Bleached Eucalypt Kraft Pulp Mills in 1995 which set forward the minimum environmental standards to be achieved by the project.

The Commonwealth is committed to encouraging sensible development in accordance with strict environmental safeguards.

Media contact: Matt Brown (Minister) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515

John Ashe (Department) 06 274 1444

Commonwealth of Australia