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Legal advice: Gunns cannot start pulp mill construction

Contrary to the assurance to Gunns from Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Greens have released legal advice that the construction of Gunns' pulp mill cannot begin before all issues affecting threatened and migratory species have been assessed.

This, in turn, requires the hydrodynamic modelling of mill effluent pouring into Bass Strait to be completed.

The advice was provided to Tasmanian Greens Senator Christine Milne by Bleyer Lawyers and released today by Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown (attached).

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Estimates hearings: Great Barrier Reef

STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTSGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Discussion Senator MILNE—I am very interested to know what the current impacts of climate change are on the reef. I would like to start with the surface temperature. Could you tell us how the water temperature has changed—if it has changed—over the last decade and what the trend line is? What is the threshold that has triggered a bleaching event in the past? Are we anywhere near that in terms of average temperatures now?

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Quarantine Service Estimates hearings: abalone virus

STANDING COMMITTEE ON RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORTAustralian Quarantine Inspection Service Discussion Senator MILNE—I wanted to ask about the abalone virus. Is it appropriate to do so now? CHAIR—Yes. I am sorry, Senator Milne, it was a bit hard to hear. What virus? Senator MILNE—Ganglioneuritis, or the abalone virus, in Bass Strait. I have had quite a lot of correspondence from the abalone divers around the country, who are very unhappy with the lack of intervention from the Victorian government in relation to containing this virus.

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Return to order: Gunns Pulp Mill FOI


Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (4.03 p.m.)-I move:

That there be laid on the table, no later than 4 pm on 28 August 2008, the report prepared for the Federal Government by Dr Michael Herzfeld, a Coastal Environmental Modeller with the Marine and Atmospheric Research section of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in conjunction with the Gunns Pulp Mill Independent Expert Group on the potential marine impact of effluent from the Gunns pulp mill.

Question put.

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Garrett must release critical CSIRO pulp mill report: stop protecting Gunns

Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne today called on Environment Minister Peter Garrett to release a CSIRO report relating to Gunns' intention to dump 64,000 tonnes of effluent into Bass Strait per day and the probabilities of it exceeding the allowable effluent concentration.

Senator Milne's FOI request to release this CSIRO report was rejected on the basis that it may impact on Gunns' commercial interest, after first being blocked on the basis of exorbitant costs and bureaucratic processes.

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World Heritage listing for New Caledonian reefs

Australian Greens Senator and Vice President of the IUCN World Conservation Union, Christine Milne, is delighted by the World Heritage listing today of the New Caledonian coral reefs, lagoon and associated ecosystems, after a long campaign by local organisations and international NGOs.

Senator Milne said, “This wonderful result is testament to the power of a group of passionate people dedicating themselves to a vital cause.

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Greens call for answers over whale stranding

The Australian Greens today called on the federal government to explain what exercises or tests naval vessels were carrying out near Marion Bay in Tasmania and what seismic testing is taking place in Bass Strait after a second group of whales was stranded.  
Tasmanian Senator Christine Milne said she was deeply concerned about the stranding of up to 110 whales in Marion Bay in the past two days.

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