99, 100, change hands Robert. So many words, and no substance what so ever.Posted by eagle eye on 29/06/09 at 05:21 PM
Unfortunately, Robert, because of the very debauched process, the controversy surrounding this project will NEVER, NEVER go away.Posted by Annie on 29/06/09 at 05:34 PM
I wish you’d do the RIGHT thing RG and stop talking up this dirty, rotten pulp mill. We already have enough industrial pollution in our water and air. Our endangered species are struggling to survive. Shame on you and your kind! Is that emotional enough?Posted by Maddie on 29/06/09 at 05:38 PM
Ahhh…Robert’s let the cat out of the bag! The reason why a new push is emerging from the Federal Government & the CFMEU to get the pulp mill built. Obviously, too many of their mates have lost money in Timbercorp’s & Great Southern’s scandalous collapses & a way of recouping some of their mates lost money is for Gunns to buy Timbercorp’s & Great Southern’s trees for use in the pulp mill. All done using taxpayers money of course.
Mates…ya gotta have mates…in high places.Posted by Christopher Purcell on 29/06/09 at 06:00 PM
Good financial advice costs money. Unfortunately, the only person to make money is usually the financial advisor.Posted by Mark on 29/06/09 at 06:48 PM
Does anyone else find it offensive, the way Gottliebsen almost wets himself spruiking the mill, the moment any potentially positive news hits the headlines?
It’s a puzzle to me why someone in his position appears so beholden to Gunns. Perhaps I just see things through green tinted glasses, but his commenting appears very unbalanced in this area?Posted by Steve on 29/06/09 at 07:44 PM
Does Mr G always take the word of the salespeople when recommending investments to his readers?
After listening to all of the hype and spruiking about how a pulp mill will magically save Tasmania and all who sail in her, what option does anyone have but to hurl every milligram of their combined weight behind such a future oriented project?Posted by Mike Bolan on 29/06/09 at 08:14 PM
Questions for ROBERT GOTTLIEBSEN, Business Spectator
(1) Can Gunns sell pulp without F s c certification on the world market.
500 thousand tonnes of wood a year is required for the wood fired power station, will this come from plantation timber.
If only plantation timber will be used, will Gunns drop the 20 year wood
supply agreement.Posted by wondering on 29/06/09 at 08:45 PM
I would be ashamed to have a job where I am paid to write swill and drivel.
Take a leaf:
“Take away the scientific research, community input, ignore raw data, baseline studies, remove subsidies, legislative obstacles and environmental regulation and the proposed pulp mill may scrape through if there is a financier somewhere in the world who has been asleep for the last four and a half years”.
I cannot believe that this person could write what he does and not have his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.
In fact I have a suspicion that Lester Barker may be his alter ego….bit like Dame Edna and Les Patterson.
This bit is the clincher for me….I love it!
“Gunns have clearly been able to satisfy the European group that this is an operation that will be based on plantation timber and will not pose a serious pollution problem for the Tamar River”.
I wonder how they have been able to satisfy the “European group”, in fact I wonder how this individual knows more about this than the shareholders or the ASX?
I would also like to know how he knows the operation will be “based on plantation timber” when Forestry says otherwise.
……And the bit about no serious pollution for the Tamar….is he willing to put both his nuts on a block for this claim?
Name calling is not me, but in this case I am going to have to go with “Tommy Tanker”.Posted by Dave Groves on 29/06/09 at 09:03 PM
Ah! Lets not get emotional about the pulp mill.By Gunns own reckoning there will be an increase in road fatalities. Lets not get emotional about the pulp mill, many Doctors and medical experts have documented how adversely the health of the local population will be affected. How adversely the local businesses will have their enterprises and way of life affected. LETS NOT GET EMOTIONAL! are you kidding?
When your child is on a school bus confronting large log trucks….GET EMOTIONAL!!
When little Johnnie or Jane are coughing their little hearts out….GET EMOTIONAL!!
When you have spent a lifetime building a lifestyle for you and your families and are now in peril of having it taken away….GET EMOTIONAL,
GET BLOODY EMOTIONAL!!!!!Posted by Jim Welsh on 29/06/09 at 09:40 PM
And so the wheel turns… Robert, you have learned nothing from the last round. Gunns has given you its word that this project is sustainable and you accept it. Carlton Frame dishes out the spin and you buy it. It is advisable to investigate any product before you agree to sell it, especially one that is so on the nose.
As I said before, come down to Tasmania and let us show you how unsustainable it is. The carbon credits are a myth, the mill’s production process is chlorine-based and therefore unacceptable to any European investor and there can never be enough plantation timber in Tasmania to feed it.
Gunns has already had a severe impact on dairy farming, by converting it to plantation. What land is not converted is being subjected to drought, because blue gums are drinking the water table dry. Native forest are still being converted to plantation, despite claims by Gunns they are not.
Another point you may wish to consider is Copenhagen, late this year. Deforestation is on the agenda for carbon emissions and global demands will overturn Gunns 19th century methods, leaving those who have bought the dream severely out of pocket.
David Leigh.Posted by David Leigh on 29/06/09 at 10:12 PM
Gottliebsen - How dare you patronise those with greater care for the Tasmanian old growth forests, the water and the air, the flora and fauna.
Take away all the emotion ? As if the emotion is not an appropriate response to a leadership group within a publicly listed company that wouldnt know the truth if it fell over it.
The emotion is an appropriate and intuitive response to an organisation whose time was over in the 1970s. Even members of the Gunns family are ashamed of the business that shares their name.
Your opening sentence is patronising, and as paternally useful as Michael Jackson was as a father to Blanket.
Bury the project - and the emotion will slowly dissipate - but not before.
Any time - ANY TIME you want to meet those who have had their capacity to proceed against the mill under the pulp mill assessment act - ANY TIME - then we can arrange it for you in a heart beat. And you can look them in the eyes and tell them this project is a good thing.
Face it Robert - youre another vanilla depth media jerk.Posted by Richard Butler on 29/06/09 at 11:08 PM
There isn’t enough cells in the state prison system to hold the number of people that will stop this.Posted by Luke Vanzino on 29/06/09 at 11:58 PM
Someone organise a function so we can ask the above questions directly. I’ve heard that they’ll throw in Vince Sorrenti if we book before the end of the financial year.Posted by Sos on 30/06/09 at 12:04 AM
The only thing that’s ‘world class’ about this pulp mill is the amount of cr*p Gunns have produced in their futile efforts to persuade us all how good it will be. RG’s decision to present such a biased article is an indication of very sloppy journalism and suggests his reputation as a financial expert is extremely questionable. This piece is so biased it’s breathtaking.Posted by anne on 30/06/09 at 06:19 AM
Politics and the practice of law, the (2) most likely professions to engage in telling lies.
A quick snap into history will quickly reinforce this statement of fact.
Though there is room among these for the inclusion of another practice, try the forestry industry as a candidate?
From the top through to the minor levels of people involved in this activity, will you find the practices so warmly engaged in, as so fancied by the above (2).
Soon financial speculators, financial reporters and those other market manipulating sooth-sayers will be wanting entry into this exclusive arena to better display their professional incompetence along with their non-existent ethics.Posted by William Boeder on 30/06/09 at 07:47 AM
This announcement is totally predictable - consider the date!
Tuesday is the end of the financial year, when all the balance sheets “come home to roost” for the year. John Hawkins said it, and I remind everyone, If Gunns don’t have a prospect in the wings, they must crystalise the money spent this far on the project, and write it off. It is no longer an asset, but a loss.
OOps! might this make Gunns insolvent?
And if Gunns follows the road of Timbercorp etc, where does the enmeshed Tasmanian Govt stand?
Of course Gunns has to have a prospect investor in the wings!
I wonder what Robert Gottliebson’s got at stake? Friendship? It doesn’t cost him anything to ‘get it wrong’ as a journalist. Or maybe he has deeper interests?
On a political front, interesting that right after the Federal Govt slashed the GST revenue for Tassie, the Environment Dept was ‘scrapped’ Garret could stop the mill if the will was there, so why doesn’t he?
Do the Feds want the State to walk away? .. and they won’t (CAN’T)
Are we seeing a little tit for tat here?
(“If you guys down south don’t bight the bullet and ‘can’ the thing we’ll cut your revenue!” ...... “Well if you cut our revenue we’ll cut our environment budget and say we can’t afford it and you guys up north are to blame”
Wonder where it will all end…........
Congratulations to Bob McMahon and TAP for keeping the focus.Posted by geraldine de Burgh-Day on 30/06/09 at 08:19 AM
No independent financial commentator with a reasonable supply of brain cells would write this drivel.Posted by Snowy on 30/06/09 at 09:54 AM
#12 Frankly I am amazed at your tolerance, I just hope RG is equally as tolerant of you and your views. If he isn’t he should sue your nasty little ass off!
(That comment has been retrospectively moderated: Ed)Posted by dave on 30/06/09 at 10:49 AM
Geraldine (#17), I think John Lawrence said it first on TT - Gunns has tax to pay on $133 million of income from sale of Auspine’s trees in South Australia - unless it can find an offsetting deduction. Writing off what they have spent to date on pulp mill preparations/promotion would be their best bet - but to do so means abandoning plans for (the) pulp mill.
What I want to know (John?) is, do they have to make that decision today, or can they wait until the last day for lodging their tax return, whenever that may be? Is there an essential difference between corporate and personal tax law in this regard?Posted by Neil Smith on 30/06/09 at 01:21 PM
Decisions should be made in a rational way, not on emotion as so many here advocate. Period. If my main emotion was hate would i be right to make a decision based on that?Posted by Gillsy on 30/06/09 at 03:46 PM
#21…Why did Lennon decide to lean on the RPDC process? I don’t blame him completely. The poor guy was a puppet, and he’s since made it clear that Bell Bay is the wrong place.Posted by Sos on 30/06/09 at 06:32 PM
Gillsy, if your main emotion was hate, you would not be right to base a decision on that. But most people whose main emotion IS hate do exactly that.
But that aside, all that “rational” means is that a person makes operational decisions using correct logic, based on a prior decision as to what is in that individual’s best interests. What that prior decision is depends on how the person feels.
If John Gay, for example, thinks he would like more money, he might decide that the best way to get it is to pay people to cut down more trees for him (because that is what he knows most about, perhaps). In working how to cut the most trees in the shortest possible time he would act in a perfectly rational fashion. He’d also be acting rationally in putting as much pressure on governments as possible to forestall any possible move by them to stop him. But his ultimate driver would actually be an emotion, that of avarice.
The same applies to most actions of companies who deal with the exploitation of non-renewable resources, and many other companies too. Senior managers would proceed in a perfectly rational manner (they may even have gone to Harvard and got an MBA in the process of learning how to do so), but their reasons for acting are likely to be based on the desire of shareholders (or, much more commonly, the executives themselves) to accrue more money and/or status.
John Ralston Saul wrote a whole book (“Voltaire’s Bastards”) about the perverse uses to which rationality has been put since the days of the so-called Enlightenment. The implication being that poor Voltaire, credited with first seeing the superiority of using one’s brain instead of mindlessly obeying the edicts of the Church, would be turning in his grave.
Rationality has its place, but its use should be based on a set of honestly felt (i.e. emotional) concepts of what is good about the world and what is worth preserving. And what is bad and therefore should be phased (or stamped) out. Perhaps something related to the biblical golden rule idea that what is in my own best interests is what is good for most other people too, and which promises a liveable planet for future generations as well. Which, despite the rhetoric of Lennon etc, is most unlikely to be the motivation of those who proposed a pulp mill for the Tamar Valley.Posted by Neil Smith on 30/06/09 at 06:40 PM
Gillsy, # 21.
People as they are born react accordingly to that which surrounds them, or as in this case, that which is thrust upon them by entities that are hell-bent on stripping our resources, altering our views and understandings of life, and, appear to gain by such sinister actions.
Thus the emotions that stir the anger within us, coupled with the evident originating commentaries as now frequently presenting, further compels the need within in us all to write of our personal disquietudes we see as so displeasing to our fellow man.
I do not see this as a human failing or a weakness, for example, in the stance of the military general who watches alone and forlorn, to the decimation of his troops and the ruin of the mission as so urgently charged upon him, to seek out and to correct the hostile evils threatening upon the people all.
Is this not life in the true form?Posted by William Boeder on 30/06/09 at 07:44 PM
(21) Gillsy - Rational implies balance. There has been no balance. As Lennon kept, and his boy wonder Bartlett keeps implying … it is them alone that know better … that their way and only their way is what is good for the public, instead of listening to a balanced, let alone experienced point of view.
As an example … once upon a time the company I co owned, employed a young graduate in computer programming. We were building programs to run mining trucks without an operator. His attitude was … but it should work, his view was that even without the experience the bare codes would fix it all. He couldn’t understand why all the number crunching didn’t actually create something that worked. His way didn’t work, it never would, because you have to get out there and experience it, to know the in and outs and that gives you the balance to create something that really works … long term.
We are not children, to be lectured to. … to be told our experiences are worthless. And that makes people angry, especially when they have their lives, their businesses, their dreams, their childrens potential threatened. When people are poisoned, smoked out, have their water supply threatened, their potential to grow threatened … it is emotional. We are not robots…. Yet! Thank goodness.Posted by Claire and Charles Gilmour on 30/06/09 at 07:55 PM
In answer to Neil (#20) may I offer the following observations?
For a period, all Gunns’ announcements re the pulp mill were on the basis that Gunns would go it alone and they were negotiating with various banking syndicates blah blah.
Then on the 3rd Feb 2009 Gunns sold 33,000 hectares of radiata for $173 million, a figure which they’d previously indicated as being pre tax.
The amount of tax payable was not revealed, but looking at old Auspine accounts, it’s quite possible the tax bill might be $50 million.
On 28th Feb 2009 in the half yearly accounts Gunns raised the possibility of “expensing a substantial proportion of the $125.5 million included in capital works in progress”.
In other words writing off the mill development costs incurred to date.
Also contained in the six monthly report was the first hint of a Joint Venture arrangement. Gunns indicated it had received a number of expressions of interest from Joint Venture Partners.
So at the same time they revealed the possible extent of their tax problem, Gunns changed tack to include the possibility of a Joint Venture arrangement.
This was the first mention of a Joint Venture.
The term ‘Joint Venture’ has quite a specific meaning.
Joint Venturers maintain their separate entities. They agree to do certain things, to share expenses in a certain way, to split income as agreed.
They are not partners in the strict legal sense.
They are not shareholders in a separate Company.
They are separate entities who have reached an agreement to do certain things.
Given the flurry of activity that occurs in the commercial world in the last week of June, almost all tax related, it is not unreasonable to conclude when one sees an announcement dated 29th June that tax has been an important consideration.
There can be no doubt that Gunns is honouring a prior commitment to inform ASX prior to June about mill developments, but that deadline was self imposed. The ASX merely require continuous disclosure, not disclosure by a certain date.
In order for Gunns to write off mill development costs they need to abandon, sell or otherwise dispose of the mill project.
Clearly they haven’t abandoned the project.
Or sold the project.
But have they otherwise disposed of the project?
The 29th June announcement said they’d “made a decision to proceed with one Company”.
Who knows what the Joint Venture arrangement might be.
Because Joint Venturers are not normally considered to be associated parties, Gunns may have ‘otherwise disposed’ of their pulp mill development costs to their ‘preferred partner’.
Does the PMAA permit this? Can other permits be transferred?
Or will Gunns remain the responsible party under the JV arrangement for all the deals so far reached?
It’s disappointing that the forensic bloodhounds from the fourth estate haven’t been able to do more than a cut and paste from the latest media release.
What sort of JV is contemplated? Who will be responsible for what?
Has the ASX announcement of 29th June reflected in a different accounting treatment of the capitalised mill costs in Gunns’ books?
The short answer to Neil (#20) is, no I don’t think Gunns can retrospectively abandon the mill project. It would have to be done prior to June 30th.
But have they otherwise disposed of the project? At least as far as their proposed Joint Venture arrangement might be.
We’ll soon know.Posted by John Lawrence on 30/06/09 at 09:05 PM
#21 Says who?Posted by pilko on 30/06/09 at 09:15 PM
22: Lennon’s weak recant on the site of the mill does not make him innocent, or just a puppet. A smidgin of brain work at the time would have shown him that this might be a bad idea - and the determination with which he rammed it through parliament (remember the forced late night vote, and the great and shameful backdown of Lisa Singh?) showed that he really didn’t give a toss.
This was his baby, and he would do everything he could to see it happened. As for the result - why should he care? It’s all just to get on the front page! It’s politics, not economics.Posted by salamander on 30/06/09 at 09:46 PM
Gillsy #21 is typical of the “backs to the wall” adversarial reactionary concepts of the lunatic right. The opponents to the mill are not “hating” as you claim, they are exercising their right to oppose an obviously odorous (pun intended) insane industrial nightmare.You are the one who is being emotional suggesting that hatred has anything to do with the issue.Unless of course you are playing “devil’s advocate” in which case let’s go with the old christian edict-hate the sin, not the sinner.Posted by Ian on 01/07/09 at 07:48 AM
I’m intrigued by the argument that wanting clean air, clean water and some nice trees around the place to keep the carbon dioxide down is considered irrational. Even if Gunns do exactly what they say they’re going to do, this mill is going to stink the place up, and Gunns have repeatedly demonstrated that nothing they say about this mill can be believed.
If a complete lack of trust is an emotion, then guilty as charged.Posted by dev on 01/07/09 at 08:23 AM
#27 - Gillsy, that’s who. And we all take notice of Gillsy’s pontifications, do we not?Posted by Valleywatcher on 01/07/09 at 09:49 AM
Whether or not this be the appropriate place for the following comments, here goes!
The interesting news of the moment is that Gunns are still seeking around 100 million dollars from 1 of Australia’s Banks, to stump up their equity shortfall.
Interesting this is when each of Australia’s Banks have a necessary obligation to the World-wide Equator Principles, or some such other similar environmental harm prohibiting complexity about them.
So the plot rolls on to get this stink-house, (now they will in fact be relying on natural forested timber, as opposed to their prior fooling the people statements,) construction up and further ruining the environment.
Such is the contempt held toward this ruinous enterprise that this latest obstacle is yet to negotiated.Posted by William Boeder on 01/07/09 at 10:06 AM
Something has been concerning me ! and that is we all believe , wish, hope, that we are indeed in the majority in not wanting this atrocity, but something keeps needling me that there may many more investors that we know and that the reason they have seemed “in the past” to be in minority is that they are ashamed to admit to their sell out of the state for monetary gain !
I hope I’m not being alarmist ! but we all know of human frailty when it involves the pocket.
d.d.Posted by don davey on 01/07/09 at 10:48 AM
#21; ALL thought is emotional, as ALL thought is actually just ego, no matter how hard our egos’ try to convince us otherwise.
So the emotional card that the proponents of this travesty of injustice are trying to play against the opponents is null & void.
Otherwise we could say the same thing about this company & it’s shareholders. That is, that they are just being greedy (an emotion) in wanting to make more money when they are already very rich (monetarily) people.
Go ahead & try playing this card & see it flipped back at you.Posted by Christopher Purcell on 01/07/09 at 11:29 AM
Do you reckon there’s going to be a lott o’ broke greenie’s around Don #33?Posted by Ian on 01/07/09 at 11:37 AM
#28…If it were merely “politics, not economics”, wouldn’t he be better off shutting up? What benefit to him is there in sending “his baby” out for adoption now?Posted by Sos on 01/07/09 at 12:29 PM
#34…So there is a god then? (play that card, sunshine)Posted by Sos on 01/07/09 at 12:57 PM