Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friends of the Tamar Valley tell Gunns its pulp mill is no friend of Tasmanians

‘Friends of the Tamar Valley’ - MEDIA RELEASE: 17/10/2010
Tamar Community group ‘Friends of the Tamar Valley’ today called on the State and Federal governments to withdraw permits for the proposed Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill.

This follows comments made by Gunns Ltd CEO Greg L’Estrange this weekend that improvements could be made for better effluent treatment and extra measures to reduce air pollution and odour.
“Over the past six years Tasmanians have received mixed messages from Gunns and its political supporters about whether the pulp mill will pollute. One day it will, the next it might, and the next it won’t – all depending on fits with the agenda of the day” said FTV spokesperson Anna Pilkington.

Greg L’Estrange has effectively admitted that the mill will pollute and that it will smell.

The Tasmanian Government’s own air quality strategy primarily exists because Launceston and the Tamar Valley have some of the worst air pollution in Australia during winter. Former RPDC pulp mill assessment panel expert Dr Warwick Raverty said that because of this the Tamar Valley is the worst possible place for a world scale Kraft pulp and chemical factory. We also know from Dr Raverty and others that there exists no Kraft pulp mill in the world that doesn’t smell.

Ms Pilkington continued, “For six years Gunns have assiduously avoided sitting down with and listening to pulp mill opponents who live in the Tamar Valley and nothing has changed in that respect despite the way Gunns are attempting to present themselves in the media through their latest PR campaign. Gunns and the Tasmanian government continue to grossly understate the ill-feeling in the Tasmanian community towards this project. and for Gunns to expect opponents to suddenly accept the pulp mill is tantamount to a bully expecting his victims to forgive, forget and live happily ever after together”.

The fact is that Gunns are now in damage control and desperate for a community pardon before its upcoming AGM.
“This simply will not happen. Gunns may save the company and it may well reform itself into a more socially responsible and ethical timber company, however it must accept that the pulp mill project is irretrievably damaged in the eyes of Tasmanians” Ms Pilkington concluded

CONTACT: Anna Pilkington. Mobile: 0439 899 760

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