GRAEME WELLS, School of Economics and Finance, University of Tasmania.
It has become commonplace for proponents of projects or supporters of a particular government policy to commission consultants’ reports and to issue press releases purporting to represent the argument contained therein. We rely on the integrity of these summary representations. As non-experts, we are often in no position to evaluate the consultant’s report for ourselves. A well-informed public debate requires an element of trust by the non-expert majority. That trust has long since evaporated in the debate over the economic impact of Gunns’ pulp mill. Too often proponents of the mill either misrepresent their own consultants’ reports, or reveal that they don’t understand them
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