South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister Correspondence

fpa backtracks

From: Frances Daily
To: Graham Wilkinson
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2006 11:15 PM
[email addresses redacted]

Dear Graham,

Subject: FPA going back on their word

Thanks for your email of last week. I was however very disappointed to read your conclusion that 'In view of the above, I must inform you that I do not find anything in your emails of 3rd and 10th February 2006 that would justify the expenditure of further public monies and resources on continuing investigations. To the contrary, the recent work done by Dr McIntosh only serves to confirm our original findings that the proposed operations have negligible environmental risk.'

I will save my comments (and corrections) about Dr McIntosh's latest report for another email. In this email I would like here to point out to you that you wrote to me on February 25, 2005 and stated:

'I also advise you that the FPB will continue to consider any new information that is relevant to the logging of the coupe.'

In my email to you of February 9, 2006 I gave you new information about the following:

However your email below states that you cannot ' ... justify the expenditure of further public monies and resources on continuing investigations'. You completely ignored my 'new' evidence and hid again behind the costs incurred by FT and FPA in this case!

Why did you state that you would continue to consider any new information that is relevant to the logging of the coupe?
Why should further public monies be an excuse when local residents' water supply, local residents' livelihoods etc are at risk?
The royalties of the coupe are so little in comparison to the damage that may occur if harvesting is to proceed. Is this a reason to ignore new evidence and not spend more public money?!

Despite many concerns by the local community about harvesting on the coupe, FPA failed to consider many of these concerns prior to certification of the plan and the only option open to us post certification, was to find a jurisdiction that would enable us to have our concerns heard i.e. RMPAT. As we followed this course, the issues we had raised regarding inappropriate certification were put on hold. Due then to the unintended withdrawal from RMPAT, we were then able to again pursue the issue of certification of the plan.

Can I remind you that there have been two variations to the FPP of Coupe NI 114A which was originally signed on January 5, 2005?
BOTH of these variations have come about because of information provided to FPA (then FPB) by myself (Feb 5, 2005 and again regarding subsidence over Cardiff Mine on October 7, 2005) and Environmental Defender's Office (Feb 1, 2005).
If there have been two variations to the plan, how thorough and careful was the planning in preparation for the certification?

You often comment that
1) various '... internal and external specialists' have been consulted and written reports about the coupe; however these 'expert assessments' were not provided prior to the certification of the plan i.e. the FPP was certified using 'expert reports' from FT's Sandra Roberts (who in her own words claimed 'I never pretended to be a geohydrologist') and FPA's Dr McIntosh. External reports were sought after certification, the majority of which were sought for the RMPAT hearing
2) 'sufficient funds have already been spent on investigating the coupe'. Does this mean that genuine concerns should be ignored because the costs to FT/FPA are 'too much'?

I am stunned by the lack of readiness to ascertain whether 1) subsidence has occurred over the Jubilee Mine and 2) verification of the changes to groundwater observed by myself (and others) since roading nearly one year ago.

I find it quite incredible that despite your claim that 'FPB will continue to consider any new information' my 'new' evidence outlined in my email of February 9, has been side stepped and ignored! It is obvious that there is (and probably never has been) any willingness on the part of FPA to seriously investigate any new claims.

One can only ask why
1) FPA now go back on their word and refuse to investigate new claims
2) the Tasmanian experts, Mineral Resources Tasmania are not invited to give advice about topics which are their speciality (subsidence, geology, groundwater etc) (you continually avoid answering this question) and
3) why requests to sit together and discuss these issues with various experts and other stake-holders is also constantly ignored (in essence refused).

As a professional I find the lack of interest in solving this problem extremely unprofessional and disheartening.
I had considered you to be a fair and honest person however your lack of diligence in following up this new evidence is extremely disappointing and regretful. I can only assume that FPA may have something to cover up.

I implore you to answer these questions above as soon as possible.

Frances Daily

Cc: Isobel Stanley
Paul Lennon
Bryan Green
Rene Hidding
David Llewellyn
Michael Polley
Michael Hodgman
Tim Morris
Peg Putt
Environment Defenders Office
David Clement
Matt Denholm
Sue Neales

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