Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Gunns CEO or his PR people? Another bizzare and ill advised spray for Richard Flanagan and Tasmanian pulp mill opponents.

Below are just a few of the pearls of wisdom postulated by Gunns CEO Greg L'Estrange in a Bizzare and ill advised PR piece published on ABC's 'The Drum Unleashed'

...."For opponents to present the pulp mill as “the next Franklin” is a gross misrepresentation of the environmental values of the Tamar Valley. To represent it as such insults the passions and convictions of the thousands of people who took to the bulldozers to stop an icon of pristine wilderness from being inundated".

....."The genesis for the Forest Agreement talks was the initiative shown by veteran forest campaigner Sean Cadman approaching me to see if some sort of peace might not be found on my taking over the CEO’s role at Gunns. An outbreak of peace I would like to continue".

...."They are acting in good faith, and recognising that their central goals of secure high conservation value forests and jobs and businesses in remaining forestry, are ones worth having. Mr Flanagan has no skin in this game. The Forest Agreement talks are possibly too complex for Mr Flanagan’s simple view of the world. The forestry sector doesn’t have an eloquent and engaged (or enraged) fiction writer to carry forward their case to a mainland audience, but they are no less passionate, and no less concerned about the prospect of the pulp mill being sacrificed on the altar of opponents’ distaste for Gunns".

The biggest day of Sport in Belgium - The Tour of Flanders. Sunday April 3 live on SBS from 10.30pm

A Preview

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Greens Minister Cassy O'Connor toes Labor Government line on Thorp....and....Wilkie says Mckims Greens compromised

Wilkie on Mckim's Greens
Greens toe Labor Government line on Thorps confidentiality breach

Greens MP Cassy O'Connor needs to think very hard about who put her in the Tasmanian Parliament.
For O'Connor to deliberately ignore Thorp's clear breach of confidentiality in relation to Thorps non reappointment of former Kids Commissioner Paul Mason is simply gutless, a betrayal of traditional green party values and not in the tradition of courageous Greens parliamentarians like Peg Putt and Christine Milne.
Its one thing to deliver stable government but its another thing to sell out the values of the people of who put you in the Parliament. Cassy dont tell me that you do not understand the concept of confidentiality.
Any person going through a process of applying for employment in the public or private sector has the basic right to expect that potential employers will keep the details of that persons application confidential.
For Minister Thorp to trumpet to the world confidential details and outcomes of Paul Masons job application process and to do so for political gain is not only a clear breach of the ministerial code of conduct but also a clear breach of confidentiality, professional ethics and decency. For Cassy O'Connor to pretend she does not understand this just for the sake of not upsetting her Labor cabinet colleagues should be deeply concerning to Green party supporters.
Former Premier David Bartlett thought he was gods gift to Tasmanian politics but ended up on the scrapheap way before time, simply because he said he believed one thing but all to often did another. O'Connor will quickly find herself going the same way if she continues to put the interests of Labor ahead of Greens voters.

Earlier - Cassy O'Connor and Lara get huggy


650 people pack Tailrace centre in Launceston to protest Gunns Proposed Pulp Mill.........ABC snub.

See Picture Essay above.

Why was our local ABC a no show for the second time in 4 months?
Why was this stunning local turnout not deemed as newsworthy by the ABC?
Despite the commercial networks, the Examiner Newspaper and commercial radio covering these large community meetings, the public broadcaster, which likes to describe its local news coverage as "local and in depth" has now failed to send a journo or news crew to either of the two recent pulp mill public meetings in the Tamar Valley.
I want to state from the outset that i do not blame the journos in any way for this.
Indeed, i do believe that if it were left to the journos these meetings would have been covered.

Between the December public meeting and last nights meeting 1200 local people have turned out on a work night. Tasmanians rarely venture out on a week night in such large numbers to discuss or protests public issues.
Each of these large community turnouts on arguably the biggest issue in Tasmanian public life since the Franklin.are highly significant and historic in the Launceston and Tamar Valley area. After the mill saga is done and dusted local people will talk about the large pulp mill rallys and meetings in Launceston and it will be a long time before the region sees the community coming out in numbers like this again.

When the organisers of FTV's December public meeting approached ABC Northern Tasmania's news and currents affairs 'Drive' program (who have now ignore both meetings in their own backyard) they were told by its presenter at the time "oh no its unlikely we will cover the meeting at all unless there is something new". We explained that we were expecting a crowd of 4-500 (we got 520) and that we thought the fact that the Launceston community was turning out in such large numbers warranted some acknowledgement by the local ABC current affairs program. Our pleas fell on deaf ears. You would have thought the fact that ABC Northern Tasmania's local community meeting in such large numbers on the most important local issue ever seen in the region would be reason enough for Aunty to investigate and cover the event. If Gunns had hosted the meeting i guarantee you the ABC would have been there, because for some reason an audience with the powerful and elusive Gunns CEO is a more valuable news commodity to the public broadcaster than an audience with local people.

Around a week ago two of the tailrace meeting organisers who were handing out adverstising leaflets in Launcseton ran into Fiona Reynolds, State Director of ABC and former Ed Examiner. They had a good chat and asked Reynolds if the ABC would be attending the tailrace meeting. Reynolds said she would ensure the ABC were there to cover the Tailrace meeting.

Not only did the ABC not show again, but it was not covered on ABC radio news nor was it covered on the Northern Tasmania's Drive program.

Of all Tasmania's news broadcasters the ABC, our public taxpayer funded broadcaster should be out there covering significant community meetings like the 650 strong meeting we saw last night in Launceston. Even if certain people at the ABC are 'over it' or dont find the issue sexy anymore and even if it means copping backlash from local media peers, local politicians, logging industry executives and lobbyists.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bike Talk

40km this a.m around Gravelly Beach, Rosevears, Exeter. Love cycling in the Tamar Valley in Autumn.
This Sunday night (April 3) sees another of cyclings 5 monuments, a feature race of Europes Spring classics, The Tour of Flanders (also known as the Ronde van Vlaanderen) from Belgium. The Tour of Flanders was conceived in 1913 and is famous for its short steep cobbled sections. This years favourite is last years winner and 2 time Paris Roubaix winner, Fabian Cancellara. Watch out for Launceston's Matt Goss who has just come off a win in the first of this years monuments, The Milan-San Remo.
You can catch the Tour of Flanders this Sunday night from 9.30 on Eurosport or 10.30 on SBS.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Master Builders call for state government to 'fast track' pulp mill. think they already have fast tracked the Pulp Mill Mister Master Builder
Read More Here

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I believe Lance Armstrong doped. by a fan

"When I told my daughter that I believed that Lance Armstrong had doped, she didn’t have much to say. She had more important things on her mind, had a big homework project going—writing a clerihew using her own name. But she knows in her 12-year-old way what Lance Armstrong means to me. She knows that I met him before she was born, that I spent most of a year away from her so I could follow him around the world
and write a book about his comeback, that I think he, along with a few guys with funnier names she often can’t remember, such as Coppi and Anquetil and Zoetemelk and Merckx, was beautiful on a bicycle. She’s
heard me talk, for years now, to and about people who confront cancer or their deaths or that of their beloved with more strength because of him. She knows that group includes her own mother. She knows I’ve
been on television telling Jim Lehrer or Larry King or John Roberts that I believed he didn’t dope or, sometimes, that we couldn’t know if he’d ever doped. She knows that Armstrong has called our house and
left messages and her friends overheard and thought that was really nuts so he must be cool even if her dad likes him. She knows that I am embarrassed to have once owned a signed Lance Armstrong lunch box. She knows that I talked to him last time I was down in Austin. She knows I’ve been sick to my stomach lately. ■ For all of those reasons and whatever unknowable simple moralities operate in a child’s mind, she summoned a moment of empathy for her father and asked, “How does that make you feel?” ■ “I don’t know,” I said, which was both true and false. It encompassed the chaos of everything I was feeling but identified none of it. I figured I should pick one emotion, so I said, “Accepting that Lance cheated makes me want to cry. A 46-year-old guy. Can you imagine that?” ■ But Natalie had already gone back to her life’s own pressing matters. And I was stuck with mine". Read More Here

The failure of government to govern has paralyzed the state writes Steve Biddulph

Does corruption really matter ? Future students of governance will see Tasmania as a perfect case study in how perverting planning laws can bring a whole island unstuck. The debacle over a forest agreement is just the latest proof that when governments don’t keep to the rules, chaos is the natural outcome.
The Kelty negotiations are about to collapse, though none of the parties will yet admit that. Such an undemocratic activity was doomed from the start, because it excluded too many voices. The Wilderness Society cannot deliver peace in the forests, because the community of concern over all those issues - farming, fisheries, health, water, tourism, small and medium business, the whole appeal and identity of Tasmania in the world, is far wider than they can represent. And most critically of all, nobody elected them to do so.
The situation is beyond surreal; an almost insolvent company bargains with a small group of NGO’s, to decide the fate of half a million hectares of irreplaceable forest ecosystems, essentially the most precious asset that Tasmania possesses. Our shared natural estate is used as a blackmail price for the largest chemical pulp mill in the southern hemisphere, against resolute opposition that has only grown stronger with the passing years. New community groups opposing both logging and the mill are springing up every day. Not since the fight against convict transportation have so many Tasmanians been so aroused over the future of their way of life. Planning laws exist for a reason, in fact they are one of the primary functions of government. They create certainty for people to build their homes, grow their businesses, protect their health and plan their futures. Without them, no sound sustainable development can take place. (Competent first world investors give a wide berth to corrupt jurisdictions, they know that the rules cannot be trusted). The RPDC is the body that carries out large project evaluation, for all our protection. When Lennon arranged a quick pass for a failed proposal, and both Liberal and Labor voted this through, they took the environment question to a much larger one of democracy itself.
Peaceful civil disobedience on a large scale is being planned far into the future by groups from across the state who care about our land use and societal future. Those who will flood into Hobart in coming months will be strengthened by the knowledge that they stand for the rule of law. We will have our own pro-democracy movement, and eventually it will win. As with the Franklin victory, our appeal as a place to live, invest in, or visit, will benefit far more than ever would come from being the Pulp Island of Paul Lennon’s dreams.
What is the way forward ? It must be to restore due process at the point where it was broken. Corrupting the RPDC process cost the career of Premier Lennon, and left Labor discredited, unable to govern in its own right. David Bartlett promised a line in the sand, but was unable to hold that line. Lara Giddings acts like a throwback to the Lennon era - a 1950’s worldview that big industry will save us, despite growing evidence worldwide that the complete opposite is true.
Calls to repeal the PMAA are growing more frequent, not less. It was the point where public trust was lost. While government remains too weak, or as some are arguing, too intellectually challenged to understand the need for strong laws, we will be vulnerable to third rate companies seeing Tasmania as easy pickings. Gunns may well disappear, but the problem will not be solved. Until we act like a first world jurisdiction, competent and businesslike investors will stay well clear. A UN report several years ago into the failure of the Pacific rim nations to thrive economically identified “big man politics, cronyism, and corruption” as the obstacle to long term investment, proper development, and an end to the continuing poverty of its people’s”. Sound familiar ?
Tasmania is still a beautiful place. But only just. Seen from the air, forestry has made it look like an animal dying of mange. The green places are few now. And they are immeasurably precious. The Pulp Mill is the turning point, the end, or the beginning, of a good future. Thats what people sense now, and its why their opposition will only grow more fierce.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Richard Flanagan - Holding up Gunns Through Secret Deals

Gunns, once the billion dollar super company of Tasmania, is today on its knees and needing its pulp mill — a project now seven years old and still without finance — to simply stay in existence. Its share price is abysmal and it reportedly owes millions to its principal supplier of trees, Forestry Tasmania.
Ironically, to get a funding partner that will help finance the mill Gunns now desperately needs the support of conservationists — the much-vaunted social licence.
Last year, with their markets collapsing and their industry in crisis, the Tasmanian forest industry sued for peace with the conservationists and began talks about getting out of native forest logging. Gunns pulp mill was never meant to be part of these discussions.
But the worst kept secret of recent months is that Gunns sought to play those negotiating on behalf of the environment movement like a cat with a mouse. Bill Kelty — recently appointed by the Federal government to facilitate these talks — has finally made the secret deal the conservationists were offered public and explicit.
The deal is staggering: in return for the ending of native forest logging environmentalists must support the pulp mill. Or put another way, no pulp mill, no ending of old growth logging. By publicly putting a gun to the head of environmental groups, Kelty is revealed as a fixer for the problems of Gunns rather than of Tasmania, going so far as meeting with potential joint venture partners for the Gunns mill.
Gunns and those around it had believed that some environmental concessions would see opposition to the mill largely disappear. But after seven long years, that opposition is stronger, larger and angrier than ever. The threats of mass civil disobedience are real, and Tasmanian police have already made preparations for a Franklin River campaign level of mass arrests should the mill commence construction.
When a few weeks ago word of the possible deal began to leak out, it became clear that this deal could not be stitched up privately. In going public with what is a threat, Kelty would seem to have been forced by the clear anger within Tasmania generally at the revived prospect of the Gunns pulp mill.
For in Tasmania loathing of Gunns is deep seated and widely held, and there is little support for either Gunns pulp mill or old growth logging. That loathing is closely entwined with the contempt they feel for the Tasmanian Labor government, which shares similar popularity ratings with the NSW Labor government.
In its various incarnations over the last 12 years, it has always given the appearance of a government that understood its principal role as a government to bankroll, support and run protection for Gunns, no matter what the cost to the Tasmanian people. The dying former premier Jim Bacon rang anti-mill opponent Peter Cundall in the last weeks of his life to tell him that the forestry lobby had simply been too strong for him to oppose. Bill Kelty has covered himself in ignominy by doing what Tasmanians now understand to be the only purpose of Labor apparatchiks in Tasmania: to keep propping up a company for which not even the markets now have any use. Was Bill Kelty appointed by the Federal government to help Tasmanians out of the decades long conflict over the forests, or to perpetuate it by breathing life back into the dying monster of the pulp mill? What made him think his brief extended to talking to prospective joint venture partners to Gunns?
What was he seeking from these companies?
Why is he proposing what would appear to be another fast track assessment of the mill?
What is the amount of subsidy and support taxpayers will be expected to dole out yet again to Gunns after the hundreds of millions they have already rorted, and is he seeking to gain a consensus of support for these? Or was he assuring the joint venture partners he would deliver the necessary social contract by forcing the issue with a devil’s choice for the conservationists?
Whatever the answers to the questions, Kelty’s is a shameful position that perpetuates so much that is so wrong in Tasmanian public life.
Like other exotic species before him, he appears to have been felled by the island’s chainsaw Camorra. For as well as being duped by Gunns, Kelty would appear to have been dudded by the Tasmanian government. Kelty has failed to get any commitment from the Tasmanian government to do anything to halt the logging of high conservation value forests, nor any sign of them doing anything to achieve that end in the future. As you read this, high conservation value forests in iconic areas continue being clearfelled and the annual autumn napalming has begun.
New Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings made the most concise, if Marie Antoinette-ish, statement of the government’s position last month, when she declared that before the GFC the Gunns pulp mill was the icing on the cake, whereas now it was the whole cake.
If it is, it’s one now all over Bill Kelty’s face.
Was his role to help reform the industry here, or merely to keep the old rackets running? Because the old racket, and the corruption of public life that flowed from it, have to end if Tasmania is ever to move forward.
While in Tasmania, Kelty is said to have been fond of recounting, parable like, an anecdote about Teddy Kennedy on his deathbed regretting not cutting a compromise deal on medical insurance in the 1970s.
That’s an American story, which admittedly seem in vogue with national Labor figures at the moment.
Here’s an Australian story.
In the late 1970s, the then Tasmanian Labor government, faced with growing opposition to its plan to dam the Franklin River, offered Tasmanians a referendum in which they could choose either a dam on the Franklin River or a dam on the nearby Gordon River.
The conservationist response, No Dams, shaped not only the triangle designed to house the slogan but the future of politics in Australia. It helped bring Labor to federal power in 1983 and the Accord of which Bill Kelty is rightly so proud.
Sometimes a deal is not the best option. Sometimes no deal at all is the realistic choice. And sometimes that leads to a better world. Who knows what regrets Bill Kelty might have on his deathbed?
First Published Here

They're gettin antsy about the mill down at The EX.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kelty statement puts the pressure on Wildo's/ET as peace deal backlash against the Wilderness Society intensifies

Sue Neales in The Mercury
More environment/community groups go public against forest deal mess
In recent times we have seen environment and community leaders like Richard Flanagan, Peter Cundall and Lucy landon LaneKim Booth Dr Alison Bleaney, Bob McMahonPeter Whish WilsonSteve Biddulph,  Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Huon Valley Environment Centre, Christine Milne, Bob Brown and now Geoffrey Cousins expressing serious concerns about the current trajectory of the increasingly fraught Tasmanian Forests Peace Deal and in particular the involvement of the Wilderness Society. As a member of the Tamar Valley based anti-pulp mill group Friends of the Tamar Valley i can also say that there is unanimous lack of support for the SOP's as they currently stand and outrage at some of the weaselly public language and the blatant disloyalty by The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania in relation to the negotiations. The Tasmania media have also savaged the conduct of the two peak environment groups in relation to the forests deal.
The furtherment of conservation in Tasmania will not be served if Pulp Mill warfare is entrenched, nor will it be served if these two conservation organisations are destroyed through member backlash over an unpopular deal to trade the Tamar Valley for HCV's.
Its time for The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania to walk away from a forests deal that has become toxic to their organisations and untenable in terms of the wider Tasmanian community.


"Australia's nutbars congregate to protest the carbon tax"

"The nutbars of the Eastern seaboard of Australia all congregated in Canberra yesterday with some 3000 of the more odious, Tea Party wannabes this country can muster massing in Canberra to stage a rally against the proposed carbon tax. Fuelled by a mixture of misinformation and misdirected anger, this was the culmination of Tony Abbott's call for a "people's revolution" on the matter, a cry taken up and propagated by the AM talkback set, chief among them, of course, the mighty Alan Jones. Just to be absolutely clear, this is the same man that facilitated the Cronulla riots of some five years ago, so why exactly he's still being allowed to lead political movements is beyond me. Tony Abbott was on hand to address the adoring crowds, although it was hard to ignore the charming signs reading "Ju-liar: Bob Brown's Bitch" hovering behind his head. Similarly difficult to ignore was the number of signs for whom carbon seemed to take the backseat to worries about immigration ("Illegals stay, Ozzies Pay") and indeed the presence of Pauline Hanson herself, who these days is so politically noxious that she may as well have visible herpes. Grim. You'll forgive a certain amount of snarkiness and bias in the preceding paragraph, but whatever the merits for or against a carbon tax - and there is much to be debated on the issue - this empty, raucous, occasionally sexist/racist gesture does nothing to advance our democracy or contribute anything to the present debate. A dreary farce"

Read here -The Vine

Save Our Mercury

"So, you might be wondering why having editorial jobs shifted to Melbourne would be such a bad thing. With each axed job, the Mercury loses touch with its community. In 2009, 15 editorial staff - reporters, sub-editors and photographers - were made redundant. The editorial department, responsible for gathering and presenting your news, is now a skeleton staff. Reporters have less time to verify information. The paper is more dependent on information from public relations firms. This means more spin and less reliable news purely because there are not enough people doing the work.............Read More Here

Permanent Link to the Save Our Mercury site under my Links menu.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This is a must read. More damning Gunns Pulp Mill Leaks.........and.........The Australian Newspaper's naieve editorial on the Gunns Pulp Mill

Christine Milne's speech today to the Federal Senate on Gunns Pulp Mill. (excerpts from leaked correspondence between Gunns and consultants in italics)

Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (1.29 pm) —As I stand here in the Senate today, Tasmania’s forests are still falling. That may well be news to people around Australia who have been hearing that there is a negotiation going on between the logging industry and the environment movement about ending the logging of high conservation value forests in Tasmania and that there had been an expectation that a moratorium would be in place by 15 March. It has not occurred. The logging goes on. It is absolutely disingenuous to say you have a moratorium when you continue to log coupes in identified high conservation areas and then pretend that somehow progress is being made. It is a real concern that what we have in Tasmania is the moratorium you have when you are not having a moratorium.

Worse still, as we continue to see these magnificent forests falling, are the reports in the media today suggesting that Mr Bill Kelty, who has been appointed as the mediator or to report on the status of the talks, has suddenly put the pulp mill on the table as being the price for conservation of forests in Tasmania. That was not, is not now and will never be acceptable. When the forest principles document was signed, it said there could be one pulp mill in Tasmania. There was a specific understanding between all parties that that was not the Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar Valley.
Senator Brown and I put out a statement last night making it very clear that we do not support the Gunns pulp mill and that it is wrong to now try and lob it into the middle of these talks, suggesting that forest protection is conditional on the Gunns pulp mill. It is not and it will not be. We will not be accepting that pulp mill.
I will explain why, especially in the light of the fact that this has been going on for seven years. People have lost sight of what the people in the Tamar Valley have had to put up with over that time—in fact, what all of Tasmania has had to put up with over that time. Gunns proposed in 2004 that they would build a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. They said it would be 100 per cent plantation based. They said it would be totally chlorine free. Those two promises were made at the very start by John Gay, who was both the chairman of the board and the CEO of the company in 2004. That was the pledge at the time. The Tasmanian government then fell into line very quickly and ran around with their pulp mill task force. They appointed Bob Gordon from Forestry Tasmania to the task force to go out and run a propaganda campaign supporting the mill on behalf of Gunns.
Bob Gordon actually went on the radio and said that because there was an inversion layer in the Tamar Valley in the wintertime, which we all know, the stacks from the pulp mill would be so high that they would go up above the inversion layer and the pollution would go out into the atmosphere and not be trapped under the inversion layer in the wintertime—a patently stupid comment to make, but he made it in that capacity at that time. At the time he also said that there was no doubt that the effluent that would spew out of the pulp mill into Bass Strait would disperse. His logic and evidence for that was from a then recent shipwreck in Tasmania from which the lifeboats washed up somewhere on Flinders Island. He said that proved that the pulp mill effluent would disperse. That is the kind of nonsense we had to put up with in Tasmania at the beginning of the process. It was so bad that the chair of the RPDC, the appropriate body for assessing the pulp mill, wrote to the Premier at the time, Premier Lennon, and said, ‘Stop your task force going out there spreading propaganda. It is jeopardising a proper assessment of the process.’ That is how bad it was.
So I was amused when I saw the Australian taking exception to my statement that the Tasmanian government was a company quisling. Let me tell you that it certainly is a company quisling. There has never been a time when Gunns has said, ‘Jump’ and the government has failed to jump accordingly. They have never stood up to Gunns. Even former Premier Bartlett’s famous ‘line in the sand’ was washed away pretty quickly when Gunns insisted it be washed away.
Right back in 1989, there was a consultant’s report that said that the Tamar Valley was unsuitable for a pulp mill for two reasons: (1) that the atmospheric inversion in the wintertime would trap the emissions from the mill and cause pollution of the valley, and (2) that Bass Strait off the Tamar is too shallow to be able to achieve the dispersion and dilution that is necessary for the effluent. That is why it was unacceptable in 1989 and nothing about the depth of Bass Strait or the topography of the Tamar Valley has changed in that time. What has changed is the desperation of Gunns to get a pulp mill up. They wanted it there because of the transport economics. That is all it is about. It is not about the amenity of the Tamar Valley at all. They imposed that pulp mill on the Tamar because their economics wanted it there and they tried to fit up the environmental conditions to make it acceptable.

We know this now from leaked documents that have become available. One of these leaked documents says: - "The process is critical to the defence of the Bell Bay site. If we are seen to be pushing flimsy arguments I believe there is a real risk you could be asked to better justify the choice of sites (ie undertake a detailed site selection process) which will result in additional costs and time delays. The site selection documentation is already significantly deficient in what is required in the Guidelines, given that a detailed assessment process did not take place. We only have some flora and fauna memos, a heritage memo and a very brief desktop report conducted by JP to substantiate the claim that Bell Bay is the preferred site".

The leaked document goes on to say that the documentation falls well short of guideline requirements and:

"Drawing attention to these deficiencies would not be beneficial".

No, indeed it would not. It would tell the community there was never a proper assessment of the site in the first place.

In fact these documents say: - "As Tony Dale and Julian Green have repeatedly stated, Addressing Section 5 (Site Selection) of the Guidelines is a critical requirement … The assessment process undertaken and documented by Gunns falls well short of the Guideline requirement and assessment which would be typically undertaken for such a project. By tampering or attempting to enhance that process you run a serious risk of jeopardising the validity of the site selection and consequently threatening the project approvals".

Absolutely right. That is correspondence between Gunns and the consultants. The consultants were clearly being told here, and the consultants were also telling Gunns, that they were on very flimsy ground indeed. Interestingly, they go on to say: - It is the marginal difference in rankings of Hampshire vs. Bell Bay the greens will run a hundred miles an hour with. They will quote ... saying that Hampshire is a better site from an environmental perspective based on

that is blacked out in this— and not Gunns. This is a Gunns project where we have everything at risk and you have not. It will be the Gunns staff that defend this position in he hearings and ... Your people are clearly not taking note ... Please make the changes in accordance with our instructions".

Les Baker
General Manager - Bell Bay Pulp Mill Project,
Executive Director - Gunns Plantations.
Very clearly, there was never a process to assess the site. Then in March 2007, Gunns insisted that they pull out of the process because be RPDC was taking too long—in other words, it was too detailed. They knew they could not meet those site selection guidelines so they pulled out, making up a pathetic excuse that it was taking too long, that they had to have a fast-tracked process—an abuse of the process—and it would cost a million dollars a day while the deferral went on. That was in March 2007. It has cost them many millions of dollars and we are now in 2011. That was merely John Gay and Gunns instructing Premier Lennon at the time to blow up the proper assessment process, to put a fast-tracked process in place because Gunns could not withstand the assessment rigour which was going to be required.
The Australian then launch into this and suggest it has been a seven-year process involving deliberations by three federal ministers, and so on. They go on to say that there is a proper democratic process—there was not a proper democratic process; there was a fast-tracked process by a government, there was a quisling of the company and it corrupted the process. From that day onwards there was no community support because they saw what had gone on.
There is also discussion about social licence. Why are they so desperate to get the environment movement or the Greens to say something positive about their Gunns pulp mill project? It is because there is not a single, respectable joint venture partner anywhere in the world who will touch this toxic project as long as they recognise that the community is opposed to it. And there will be protests against it because it is not in an appropriate site for a pulp mill and because it will pollute. It will put organochlorins into Bass Strait. Far from the promised totally chlorine free process, we now have an elemental chlorine free light process, which we are supposed to welcome. Well, I don’t. They promised it would be totally chlorine free and it should be totally chlorine free.
Secondly, it is a craft process which is a sulfur process. There will be fugitive emissions of rotten egg gas in a valley famous for its food, wines and tourism. That is just unacceptable. Yesterday we had the Western Australian EPA rejecting a coalmine in the Margaret River area because it is seriously a conflict of interest between Margaret River and what it stands for and a coalmine. They can see that clearly in Western Australia and this is precisely the same. There are 30 vineyards and a wine route in the Tamar Valley which the federal government put $100,000 into promoting. You cannot put a stinking pulp mill into the middle of a winegrowing area and expect to maintain your reputation. Margaret River understands that, the Western Australian government understands that and the Western Australian EPA understands that; the Tasmanian government and the Tasmanian EPA clearly do not understand that, but the people of the Tamar Valley understand that absolutely, which is why they continue to oppose this project.
It is absolutely imperative that we get some clear understanding about what is going on and this notion of social licence. That mill will never have a social licence in Tasmania because the process approving it was corrupted. It goes right back to the time of the Howard government when Minister Turnbull was the federal minister. In the original discussions with the Tasmanian government, there was a deliberate decision to minimise the level of oversight the Commonwealth would have of this project and left the rest to Tasmanian knowing full well that the Tasmanian government would never pursue a rigorous assessment. Tasmanians got that message loud and clear when the RPDC process was abandoned at the behest of Gunns and the premiere of the day fast tracked the project at the behest of the company and foisted this onto a valley where it is not wanted and where there will never be a social licence.
For the benefit of the Australian, who does not understand the concept of the social licence, in order to make any timber or paper product today you need FSC—Forest Stewardship Council certification. Part of that is community support through the social chamber of the FSC. Gunns are never going to have that for a project like this. Joint venture partners need to be on notice that the community does not accept this pulp mill. We have had nothing but double-talk from the company and from Forestry Tasmania throughout this entire process. We now have a forest agency in Tasmania which is on its knees in spite of the millions the Commonwealth has provided to it over time. It gives away the Tasmanian forests and the Tasmanian people have had enough. They want their high conservation value forest protected. They want the logging industry out of native forests. They want to make sure that downstream processing in Tasmania is ecologically sustainable and appropriately assessed, not what we have had put on the table as a result of this Gunns proposal.
It is lazy, disingenuous, disrespectful and abusive of people in the Tamar Valley to say, ‘This has been going on for seven years. For goodness sake, get over it. Just accept the pulp mill.’ You would not accept a development which was shoved into your backyard and undermined your industries when there was not a proper assessment process and for which, as these documents demonstrate, they did not do a proper assessment of the site in the first place. It would not have met the site selection guidelines. That is something the Commonwealth clearly needs to get into its head in terms of supporting this particular project and Bill Kelty needs to get the idea out of his head at once that protecting native forests is some kind of trade-off for agreement for the pulp mill. There is no social licence, no support, and Senator Bob Brown and I have made perfectly clear, from the point of view of the Australian Greens, that we will not and do not support the Gunns process. It was corruptly approved and has to go back to square one if they want there to be any hope of getting social approval for this mill.
The Australain Newspapers Editorial referred to by Milne (below)
........"Accusing the Tasmanian government of being a "company quisling" may get brownie points with the GetUp! crowd but it's an undergraduate comment from a mature politician. And what exactly does Senator Milne mean when she says Gunns does not have a "social licence" to operate a mill? Under our system of government, companies must conform to specific legislated requirements in situations such as these. Those requirements are formulated through a democratic process in which elected governments decide the economic, social and environmental trade-offs for development. The Greens should respect the decision".......Full Editorial Here

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Richard Flanagan Speech at Batman Bridge Anti Pulp Mill Protest on You Tube....and....You Tube video of over 1000 Protesters taking to the Bridge

One Thousand Pulp Mill protesters on Batman Bridge
Richard Flanagan Part 1
Richard Flanagan Part 2
Richard Flanagan Part 3

1600 Anti-pulp mill Protesters gather at Batman Bridge. "A fantastic show of community strength and unity" says Lucy Landon Lane.........and........A Power Greater than Money: Richard Flanagans speech delivered today at the Batman Bridge a community rallies, Gunns million dollar CEO talks up his Noosa holiday home.

Over 1600 protesters gathered at the Batman Bridge Reserve today to voice their continued opposition to the Tamar Valley pulp mill. The Peaceful Community Protest, organised by Pulp the Mill, included speakers from all the anti-pulp mill groups as well as Peter Cundall, Richard Flanagan and Kim Booth, in a show of unity and strength. Lucy Landon-Lane, spokeswoman from Pulp the Mill said, “Today was a fantastic show of community strength and unity in the fight against the pulp mill. As a symbolic act of crossing these troubled waters to success, all protesters walked along the Batman Bridge with their banners. There were so many people that when we spanned the bridge, we couldn’t fit everyone on and had to start coming back the other side.” “Peter Cundall and Richard Flanagan both received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic and vocal crowd, sending a loud message to Gunns, potential joint venture partners and the Government that the community is gathering momentum and solidarity for the final phase of the campaign and will not stop until this pulp mill is dead.” she said.

We will never give up! Never. never give up!” said Peter Cundall to an adoring crowd.
'The Power greater than Money'
Richard Flanagan - Batman Reserve anti pulp mill rally, Sunday March 20 2011.
......"Seven long years ago Paul Lennon and John Gay decided they would build their pulp mill. The people did not agree. They tried to silence us, to intimidate us, to threaten us, to break us and destroy us. Lately they’ve even tried to flatter us and to divide us. And after seven long years I am here today to say Gunns has still not won. And I am here today to say if it takes another seven years Gunns will never win.
For seven long years we have had arrayed against us on all sides the immense power of great parties, of governments, of unions, of paid up cronies in media and front groups.
And all that combined power was in craven servitude to the wealth of one company. That wealth was stolen from our forests and our taxes, and it was made from the selling of our soul.
To get their mill in the face of the people’s opposition, they perverted Parliament, they cowed the public service, they sued some, assassinated the characters of others, they spat on our laws and even had their lawyers write new ones that placed their mill beyond the law, they stacked every sphere of public life, every board and department, with their despicable bullying cronies.
Yet the paradox is that this battle destroyed not us, but them. It destroyed Paul Lennon. It destroyed Robin Gray. It destroyed John Gay. It will destroy Greg L’Estrange. But we are still here. And, after seven long years, we are stronger than ever. Gunns did not win then, they will not win now, and they will never win.
To agree to this mill is to say to everyone in Tasmania—every man, woman and child—that in the end might is right, greed is good, that the only law is the dollar, and that the corruption of our public life is not just acceptable but the only way to get anything done in Tasmania"..........Full Speech Here.
Gunns Million dollar man's 'Noosa Holiday Home'

1500 people rally against Gunns Pulp mill at Batman Bridge

Launcestons Matt Goss wins Milan San Remo. You little bewdy Gossy!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Swimming makes me hungry.

After a 3.1km swim (longest swim in a while) at the Launceston Acquatic (where i was stunned to see to teenagers humping in the spa- maybe i shouldnt be surprised) i undid all the good work and chowed down on 1 pie, 2 hot dogs and some fruit to salve my conscience. I still may break open the chocolate yet.
Milan-San Remo tonight. Cant wait. Must not fall asleep. Big anti-pulp mill protest up the road from my house tomorrow. Hope to see lots of people coming in from different parts of Tassie.

Protest at Batman Bridge: Sunday March 20 11.30am

Pulp the Mill has organized a Peaceful Community Protest at the Batman Bridge Reserve tomorrow (March 20) at 11.30 to show the unity and strength of community opposition to the pulp mill.

Speakers will include Peter Cundall, Richard Flanagan, Kim Booth, Vica Bayley and representatives from all anti-mill groups. At the end of the speeches, all protesters will be encouraged to line up along the footpath of the bridge to show that the community can and will cross these troubled waters and be triumphant.
Peter Cundall says, “If this mill is allowed to go ahead, everything clean, quiet and beautiful in the Tamar Valley will be relentlessly destroyed – and our children will suffer most of all. Only the people can stop this happening.”
Spokeswoman for Pulp the Mill, Lucy Landon-Lane commented on Gunns latest report which claimed that the mill will inject $10 billion into the states’ economy over the life of the mill, “Gunns commissioned Insight Economics Pty Ltd, at Monash University, to undertake a study of the potential economic impact of its proposed pulp mill but the analysis in this report is based on comprehensive data provided by Gunns. It therefore is not independent in any way. It did not assess the serious negative impacts on the existing sustainable businesses in the valley which rely on a clean environment.” .“It is important to note that the results show the gross impacts on the economy of the investment in the pulp mill. That is, no adjustments were made to Government or private household budgets to provide for the expenditure on the mill. This essentially means that the model assumes that no other investments are abandoned as a result of the mill. The study also does not take into account the subsidies that it will receive from Government; the health impacts it will impose on the community or the negative impacts on our environment.” She said.  “If the state government was prepared to inject the same amount of money into our health system, education and sustainable agriculture, then more jobs would be created and our economy would flourish.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

Great Bike Ride....and....classic songs

45km ride from gravelly beach into riverside (woolies) and return. Wind picked up on way home (always does..bugger). Getting stronger. Averages still crappola but spending more time in the saddle (my increasingly gruesome under carriage is testament to this). Love riding in the Tamar Valley.
Looking forward to a late night tomorrow night watching the first of this years Cycling Monuments -  the 298km Milan-San Remo one day classic.

My favourite Neil Diamond song
An awesome cover of my 2nd fave. Neil Diamond song


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Logging Industry in fighting. Little Birdy tells me key industry players have pulled out of forest peace talks. News out Friday.

Now this wouldnt have anything to do with the fact that the pulp mill friendly elements in TWS have either gone or been emasculated with a reinvigorated TWS now giving an unconditional red light to the pulp mill?
A deal on the tamar pulp mill was clearly the goal of Gunns and key logging industry players. But did the "old mates" of industry and tasmanian politics want much more? Remember these questions

Pulp mill protest moved to Batman Bridge Reserve, 11.30 am this Sunday March 20

Pulp mill protest moved to Batman Bridge Reserve
11.30 am, Sunday March 20

Pulp the Mill has decided to move this weekend’s Peaceful Community Protest to the iconic location at the Batman Bridge Reserve. Lucy Landon-Lane, spokeswoman for Pulp the Mill, said “We have been overwhelmed with support for this event. When we first decided to do this protest on the pulp mill site we thought we might get 100 people, but it is now apparent that this figure is hugely underestimated.”
After the last on-site protest on March 6, when huge banners were unfurled by 40 protesters, Gunns publicly announced that they had no problem with people going onto the site. However, Gunns called Pulp the Mill last Friday when it heard of the protest and made it quite clear they would ask the police to move protesters on if they attempted to go on site. Protest organisers, who had organised this event in good faith, say the decision to move is purely a matter of logistics. “This event, with speakers from all anti-mill groups, was never intended to be a large, arrestable action, which is what would happen if we tried to hold it there now,” Lucy Landon-Lane said. “The intention of this event is to show the strength and unity of the community. All the people who attend the protest on Sunday are so opposed to this mill that they are prepared to engage in civil disobedience to protest about this corrupt mill when the time is right.” Pulp the Mill urges everyone who is opposed to this corrupt and polluting project to be present this Sunday at the Batman Bridge Reserve at 11.30 am this Sunday March 20. Together we can and will stop the pulp mill in the Tamar.

Alberto Contador on training and racing with Richie Porte

Here and Here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Former RPDC pulp mill assessment chief breaks silence. Christopher Wrights brilliant rebuke for former FIAT chief.

Read More Here

More evidence of abuse of process. LEAKED EMAIL ON GUNNS PULP MILL SITE.


Gunns mill figures are Tasmanian Government figures. Bryan Green parrots Gunns economic forecast as fact in mill debate. LIVE debate updates here...

Follow this thread as i bring updates from todays parliamentary debate.

  • Bryan Green parrots Gunns economic fugures as "prepared by the company" as fact in mill debate. Tasmanian Deputy Premier says Gunns says that 3100 Tasmanians will get jobs through mill. That means that DP is suggesting mill will virtually double the existing jobs in Tasmanian logging industry.
  • Green suggests every sector of the Tasmanian economy will 'fizz' because of Gunns Mill.
  • Bryan Green infers that current log truck traffic arising from plantations will be the same as Log Truck traffic to mill. Dismisses concern about impacts of log truck traffic on Tamar Valley roads and public safety. "They will be on the road regardless of whether they go the woodchipper, wharf etc or pulp mill" says Bryan Green. (Bloggers Note: ya kind of missed the point Bryan. All plantation log truck traffic in Tasmania and coming into Tasmania via the ports will have a single destination - The Tamar Valley. Pulp mill log truck traffic will be concentrated in and around the Tamar Valley).
  • Bryan Green flags further Government support for mill via infrastrcuture
  • Peter Gutwein grandstanding and not addressing  the issues raised by Kim Booth
  • Labor and Liberal refused to address any of issus raised.
  • Liberal and Labor vote down Greens motion.

Thats all well and good but when will the Wilderness Society resume its no pulp mill campaign?

..........."THE Wilderness Society has clarified its position on the Gunns pulp mill, telling a public forum in Hobart it is implacably opposed to the mill proposed for the Tamar Valley. Wilderness Society spokesman Vica Bayley told the Hobart Town Hall meeting last night that his organisation would never approve the contentious pulp mill, regardless of any future changes to its design or operations. He said the "corrupted" approval process for the mill made it forever unacceptable.
The strong statement followed a week of internal disputes within the local environment movement over the role of environmentalists involved in the Kelty round-table forest peace deal with the industry. Anti-pulp mill campaigners and Tamar Valley residents last week feared the Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania and the Australian Conservation Foundation were prepared to approve a more environmentally friendly Gunns mill as part of a deal to protect 550,000ha of high-conservation-value public forests".............Read More Here

Watch this space


More evidence of abuse of process in the Tasmanian Governments pulp mill assessment process. Damning report about siting of Gunns Pulp Mill in Tamar Valley.........and.........Follow Parliamentary webcast of Greens private members motion on unassessed areas of the proposed Gunns Tamar Valley Pulp Mill

Parliamentary Webcast Here
15 March 2011
Kim Booth MP on tomorrow to move - That the House notes that the following areas of risk from the proposed Gunns’ pulp mill for Longreach have not been properly assessed via an independent process:
1. The bio accumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the state’s coastal waters and marine areas, and potential contamination of fish stocks which has been raised as a concern by those in the Tasmanian fishing industry;
2. The distribution and long term effects of fine particle pollution on residents in the Tamar Valley;
3. Noise and odour impacts;
4. The long term effects on catchment hydrology, water yields and availability;
5. The effect on the social and economic viability of rural and regional communities;
6. The infrastructure damage to roads and bridges by log and chemical truck traffic;
7. Disaster management;
8. Site selection, particularly in context of impacts upon local amenity and other businesses in the Tamar valley; and
9. The social and economic costs of the project to the state and in particular the Tamar valley.


From the Launceston Examiner .......

.......The letter said there was very little documented evidence to meet the Resource, Planning and Development Commission guidelines. "The assessment process undertaken by Gunns falls well short of the guideline requirements and assessment which would typically be undertaken for such a project," it said.
"By tampering or attempting to enhance that process you run a serious risk of jeopardising the validity of the site selection and consequently threatening the project approvals."
The consultant's name was blacked out in the document, along with identifying references to their company. Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth said it was more evidence Gunns had manipulated the assessment process, and then pulled out when it became clear it was going to fail the RPDC guidelines.
Mr Booth has moved a motion - to be debated today - calling for the Pulp Mill Assessment Act to be repealed because a number of risk areas had not been properly assessed. The consultant's letter said they had been instructed not to use certain methodologies in assessing the best site - between Longreach and Hampshire near Burnie. The letter also said information was collected from the Department of Primary Industries, Water and the Environment, but was not used in the assessment. "Whilst the outcomes may not be what you want (the consultants are) protecting Gunns' interests by presenting the most defendable outcome from the data available," it said    Read More Here

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Seal of Approval for Gunns Pulp Mill

Watch Video Here - yikes!! I was nervous just watching this very brave and beautiful underwater protest at the shark infested seal colony at tenth island, just of the coast of northern tasmania. Kudos! (pics above)

Funny Stuff


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gunns boss' approvals Hubris: - Greg L'Estrange show first signs of stress as he attacks Richard Flanagan in Hobart Mercury........and ............Sue Neales blows the whistle on Gunns Native Forest logging plans and Wilderness Society's deceit.

........"While Gunns and Mr Burke have guaranteed the pulp mill will only use plantation timber, what will be the source of the 500,000 tonnes of woodchips annually needed to fuel the wood-fired power station on site? Why was Mr L'Estrange in Japan last week negotiating the price of native forest woodchip exports with Japanese pulp and paper companies if Gunns intends to exit all native forest logging and woodchipping?....... Read More Here
Graeme Wells, School of Economics and Finance, University of Tasmania on compensation for Gunns wood supply contracts - Here.
............See Gunns Native Forest Wood supply agreement with the Tasmanian Government Here and Heresky and the very handy Deed of Variation agreed to in December 2008 by The Tasmanian Government and Gunns to change the clauses in the wood supply agreements which required Gunns to commence the pulp mill on a certain date. These dates were changed because Gunns had failed to attract a financier and get the pulp mill started.

At this delicate stage of the Gunns Pulp Mill saga, Hobart, home to Tasmania's greatest concentration of pulp mill opponents will be in no mood to pick up Hobart Mercury and cop a lecture from Greg L'Estrange the $1Million dollar chief (will make an extra $1Million if the Tamar Valley pulp mill is built) of Gunns - Austrlalia's most reviled logging company. Nor will the readers of Tasmania's greenest tinged newspaper take kindly to the Gunns boss unloading on one of Hobart and Tasmanias most popular and revered citizens Richard Flanagan. For a hubristic Greg L'Estrange with federal approvals now in pocket to gloat that his logging company is still determined to impose their project on a state that clearly does not want it will only further enrage already angry pulp mill opponents. L'Estrange's ill advised opinion piece is the slick CEO's first real PR faux pas since he took over from John Gay. Will we now see a more aggressive and intolerant Gunns boss with his much wanted pulp mill approvals in hand?

Sue Neales serves it up to the "deceitful" Wilderness Society and asks the hard questions about the pulp mill - Here


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Examiner appears to have stuffed up on Pulp Mill pipeline story........and a Little Birdy told me about a Gunns Phone survey

TPOS readers may have seen This report in today’s Examiner reporting that Gunns have secured their pipeline and indeed had a section laid along the East Tamar bypass – at Gunns own expense.
The story allegedly came from a staffer with DIER who appears to have confused the pipeline with the $340,000- Batman bridge culvert. What the?? The Examiner has then run with this story.
Little birdy tells me that DIER has confirmed today that an error was made and that there has been no pipeline for Gunns pulp mill laid. Pipes were laid for the ageing Esk water pipeline, (now Ben Lomond water), alongside the bypass. The Examiner article also claims Gunns have secured access to all the land needed to run their pipeline across. This is also disputed.
Watch this space.
A little birdy told me their household were surveyed by gunns via a phone survey.

Questions were:
  • What are your thoughts on the Govts new forestry agreement. Rate how you feel about it! 1-stongly disagree-10 strong agree
  • Are you for/against Gunns pulp mill?
  • What is your understanding of the pulpmill (personal Knowledge) 1-5
  • Where have you gained your knowledge?
  • What source would you trust the most? Newspapers, TV, Radio, conservation groups, Gunns, Forestry groups.
  • Which do you trust the least?
  • What effect do you think the pulpmill will have on (1-very poor, poor,neutral, good, 5-very good)-air quality, roads, smell, the economy, employment
  • What is your opinion on Gunns as a local Tasmanian Community Industry ( or something like that)
  • Is it your understanding that the woodsupply for the pulp mill will be native, plantation timber?
So look out for a Gunns PR survey coming to you!


Gunns PR backfires as Tasmanian Conservation Trust complains to stock exchange..........and...........Tasmanian's against the Pulp Mill's Community forest restoration project on abandoned pulp mill site.

Listen world today Last Item on programme.

TAP's Community forest restoration project on abandoned pulp mill site Here

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Swim......anti-pulp mill protest at Brady's Lookout.....Gunns phone survey...........Mckim must clarify Greens position on pulp mill no confidence motion

Nice swim at Riverside this a.m 2.4km. Frustrating at the moment as my swimming pace has dropped off from recent years. I'm close to 1 minute down over a km on where i'm used to being. For years i've been able to comfortably roll through 1km in around 15 minutes but at present i'd have to push very hard to break 16. Thats what happens when the training tapers off. Could be worse i suppose. Just need to knuckle down and the speed will return.
On the way to swimming i noticed anti-pulp mill group TAP congregating on Bradys Lookout for a protest. The media appeared to be in attendance so keep you eye on the local news tonight. Little birdy told me there was nother anti-mill protest on the Longreach site today. Will keep an eye out for that one also. Great work from all these protesters. Very few people you talk to in Launceston want the mill to go ahead in the Tamar. The sooner it is put to death and our region can focus on other less polluting job creating projects the better.
Little birdy told me tonight that Gunns are conducting a phone survey. If the bastards ring me during my dinner, why i'll.............
Mckim must clarify the understanding arrived at in yesterdays party room meeting.
Its time for Mckim to follow the courageous Kim Booth and in the long tradition of Green parliamentary warriors like Peg Putt, Bob Brown and Christine Milne, nail his colors to the mast.

Mckim needs to clarify whether he has in fact left the door open to a no confidence motion if the Tasmanian government gives further taxpayer support to the mill, as per Kim Booths definition of malfeasance and corruption?  If not, is the announcement about a Pulp Mill assessment act repeal bill, (which will inevitably be defeated), the harmless trade off by Mckim intended to placate Kim Booth and pulp mill opponenents?


Mckim "weakly wimp" on Pulp Mill.

.........Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said Mr McKim would destroy his own party for his own self-interest. "Kim Booth's position is categorical but it looks like Nick McKim will weakly wimp out and excuse himself from Cabinet when the pulp mill is discussed to protect his ministerial salary," he said............

Read More Here

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What Would Happen? What IF?

  • What if senior logging industry lobbyists, senior figures in FT, powerful former politicians and powerful former board members of a certain large woodchip company were REALLY, TRULY happy for Gunns to fall over?
  • What if these same people didnt like the new Gunns CEO and his mamby pamby plans to establish Gunns as a girly plantation based company that was reasonably civil to people instead of suing them?
  • What if they liked the old guard more and wanted to see the new Gunns fail? 
  • What if these same people were happy to see Gunns and that stupid greeny driven forest peace deal fail because they believed that forest policy should be dictated to the community and not arrived at peacefully?
  • What if these same people wanted Tasmania to just continue logging native forest ad nauseum and sold to whom ever will buy it?
  • What if these same people were closely aligned in their aims and objectives with a large political party?
  • What if some of these people were perhaps consulting?? and connected to say a large asian pulp and paper company and fancied the idea of a native forest based pulp mill in Tasmania?
  • Nah. Thats crazy!
  • What if these people were happy to see Gunns fall over and Tasmania have a %100 foreign owned native forest based pulp mill say run by a big asian pulp and paper company?
  • What if we were faced with the bizarre situation where the only people effectively giving Gunns and its hugely unpopular pulp mill a lifeline were Environment Groups.
  • What if these Environment Groups starting behaving like environment groups instead of small l Logging insdustry advocates?
  • What if these Environment Groups said the price to be paid for trying to save native forests through the current forests peace deal is to high and too all encompassing?
  • What if these Environmental groups were faithful to their members, supporters and the people of the Tamar Valley and said we will 'never ever, not under any circumstances, ever support a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley and instead resumed a vigorous campaign against the project?
  • What would happen to Gunns and the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill?
  • What would happen to these Environmental groups and their increasingly damaged brands?

Nice ride this morning

Out riding this a.m it seemed no matter which way i rode there was a headwind. Hmm does that mean i'm not fit? Anyway, 42km through Rosevears, Exeter, Gravelly Beach in early Autumn sun. Not a long ride but its a good start. Anyway, you cant beat quiet roads and a scenic riverside. I even stopped in at a garage sale on the way home and picked up some bargains.


Richard Flanagan slams Tamar Valley Pulp Mill and naieve ENGO's

Read More In The Mercury

Friday, March 4, 2011

Booth warns Wilderness Society off Mill game. Peter Cundall, Lucy Landon Lane furious with ENGO's. ET's Phil Pullinger furious with The Australian Newspaper saying ET does not and will not support proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.

Booth in The ExaminerHere

Peter Cundall, Lucy Landon Lane in The OZ Here

This blog can report that this afternoon Environment Tasmania's Phil Pullinger wrote to Tamar Valley anti-pulp mill groups saying he had made it crystal clear to The Australian's Matt Denholm that Environment Tasmania is not in the business of giving 'endorsements' to industrial projects and does not support and will not be supporting the Tamar mill, but Denholm had chosen not to report that in The OZ article. Pullinger said today he contacted The OZ and complained about the Denholm article requesting that this is corrected by the paper, and that Environment Tasmania's position is clearly stated in any future articles. This afternoon Environment Tasmania also sent a media release to Tamar Valley anti-mill groups saying, - “Environment Tasmania, however, is not in the business of giving endorsement to industrial projects, and does not support and will not support the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill,”


FELICITY OGILVIE: Now there are some members of the Tamar Valley who are worried that as part of the peace plan to stop the conflict in Tasmania's forest that environmental groups will support the pulp mill in return for the protection of old growth forests and that they've been sold down the river so to speak.

KIM BOOTH: I think that's a reasonable fear. What I am hearing in the background is that there are some sections of the Wilderness Society who would be prepared to sell out and do a deal with the devil on that basis. We would not support that. I would absolutely advise any environment group who thought that they may need to do a deal like that and sacrifice their principles to keep well away from it because they will lose all credibility as an environment group
Listen Here

Greens MP Kim Booth tells Giddings Labor he will bring down Tasmanian Government if there is any further taxpayer support for mill..........and......internal email from TWS national campaign director Lyndon Schneiders - "Let me be clear on this - TWS will not support the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill".......and TWS pulp mill campaigner and forest peace deal negotiator resigns for Get Up job

10 days ago on this blog I called on the Greens to give the Giddings government an ultimatum over the pulp mill this  Here.

Kim Booth's ultimatum here and Here and Greens MP threatens to bring down Government. Listen on ABC's World Today Programme

Internal email from TWS national campaign director Lyndon Schneiders: - "Let me be clear on this - TWS will not support the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill. TWS, ACF and ET will be issuing a media statement to reaffirm our position shortly. The TWS Tasmanian forest campaigners will be meeting on Monday to discuss the overall strategy and direction for the Tasmanian forest campaign including the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill"  (Lyndon Schneiders March 4 2011)

and....... TWS pulp mill campaigner and forest peace deal negotiator Paul Oosting has resigned from TWS for a job with Get Up

Wilderness Society bewildering support for Gunns alienating Greens, anti-mill groups

.........."Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke yesterday gave the company a week's extension on final environmental approvals for the mill in the Tamar Valley outside Launceston after Gunns said it would legally bind itself to improved effluent standards and to use only timber from plantations. These are key demands of The Wilderness Society and other environment groups, whose support Gunns needs if it is to obtain the Forest Stewardship Council certification demanded by investors. In return for the green groups' endorsement of the mill and government compensation, Gunns is willing to surrender its contract rights to 220,000 cubic metres of native forest sawlogs a year. This would underwrite a final peace deal in Tasmania's forests, ending 30 years of conflict, by freeing up enough native timber to sustain the existing sawmills while protecting an extra 600,000ha of forests..........TWS, Environment Tasmania and the Australian Conservation Foundation welcomed the Gunns pledge to improve effluent standards and promised to support them if the details released next week matched the commitment..........However, The Australian has learned that in meetings with Gunns, mill opponents have suggested ways of rebuilding community trust, including holding public hearings on areas of concern and agreeing to a strong independent monitoring body to track mill operations". Read More here

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hands up who thinks the Federal Environment Minister wont green light the mill? Have a read of some of Tony Burke's recent parliamentary efforts for Gunns.

This blogger lead the nation in exposing Tony Burke's pulp mill jobs fiasco.

Here and Here

1 week extension on Gunns federal approvals takes mill saga into the realms of high farce. This is nothing more than a media stunt.

After a 3 1/2 year federal assessment, on the day that a final decision was to be handed down by Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke on Gunns proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill we are told by Tony Burkes department that he has extended the decision deadline by another week saying that Gunns had contacted his department yesterday asking for "tougher environmental controls". Minister Burke whose party are avowed supporters of the unpopular project said another week is needed to examine the changes the company has requested.
Does anyone really buy Gunns 1 minute to midnight plea to make their life harder?
Make no mistake the circus has started. This is nothing more than a media stunt and the fact that Mr Burke's department is complicit in this little ruse is quiet disgraceful and simply an insult to the intelligence of Australians.
Dont expect any hard questioning by the Tasmanian media on this one.
Check out the wording of Gunns MR. Looks like Pax are being made to earn their keep.
You can guarantee that Gunns wont name the so called "community and environmental groups" who have "supposedly" help "allegedly" green their mill.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wilkie bustin heads in canberra on pulp mill

Page 60 ( = page 45 of transcript) of PDF doc.
Read More Here

The Wilderness Society opposed to the Tamar Valley Pulp mill proposal? Opposed in deed or in word only TWS?

I say that i am opposed to a lot of things that i'm not actually doing anything about, which kind of makes my opposition meaningless. War, cruelty to animals, collingwood etc. You know, all the usual stuff we are against. My question to the Wilderness Society is what are you actually DOING these days to 'oppose' the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill? Aside from saying it a lot, not much by the looks.

Read More Here about how the wilderness society oppose the proposed tamar pulp mill.