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  1. Without a doubt the industry apologists will now cry loudly about how hard done by Gunns is by this decision. This is despite previously telling everyone else to adhere to the decisions of the umpire. What they will also ignore is the fact that state government staff advised Gunns in early 2005 that this type of hydrodynamic modelling would be needed. They will complain about the ‘unworkable’ 26 month delay, yet the company could have started doing this work 4 years ago! This company still fails to understand that due process is about doing things properly and to sufficient standard, irrespective of whatever wishful thinking is in the latest press release.


    Posted by Cheshire  on  05/01/09  at  01:31 PM
  2. So,at least Garrett has not given Gunns complete approval and is making them complete modelling that should have been done at the outset as part of a IIS.  However, this means that the residents of the Tamar Valley have to live on with the stress and anxiety of this proposal over our heads, continued uncertainty and financial loss for another two years.

    This means that what will have to do in the meantime is change our pollies as the opportunity arises, put aside our fears and uncertainty and invest in the Valley so that if the day comes that approval can or will be given, there will be more people with more to lose, so much so that no government will be able to give approval for a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. We need more people in Tassie who will stand up and fight the old ways.  The fight has begun and must continue.

    Then again, I shouldn’t worry because Mr Gay said the other day, that further delays and costs would mean the end of the project.  Or is this just another one of his many attempts and bullying and the continuation of his lying ways.  How about it John?  How about doing us all a favor, accept the carcass you are sitting on is dead and let us all get on with our lives!

    Posted by bev  on  05/01/09  at  01:41 PM
  3. When is an extension not an extension?

    Posted by Steve  on  05/01/09  at  01:48 PM
  4. The sad part of all this is that many hundreds of people will still find their lives and businesses on hold for a further 26 months.

    Who is really being hard done by and held to ransom?

    Posted by (Rocky)  on  05/01/09  at  02:35 PM
  5. It is telling that the Minister does the right thing and everyone is shocked.

    Posted by emily  on  05/01/09  at  02:53 PM
  6. Gunns have been given approval to commence work on the Pulp Mill see Gunns media release to the Stock Exchange.Once they get started who is going to stop them, the only problem for Gay is the money.No money no mill, he will give away all Gunns equity in this project to proceed then it is up to the FIRB to give approval that will be interesting.

    Posted by john hawkins  on  05/01/09  at  03:16 PM
  7. Au contraire.

    The mills opponents, due to the extended uncertainty, are more likely to fold their tents and move to greener pastures, a good outcome for the constructors of this dumb and dirty mill.

    In 2 years Gunns may be able to borrow the money on the back of a recovering economy. Complaints, if there are any, will be to gee up their troops.

    In the menatime the extension resolves their crisis of finance in that the money spent to date does not have to be written off so the balance sheet looks okay.

    Making the mill an election issue may seem like a repeat of the latham 2004 election but they have to take into account a much more savvy electorate facing climate instability and a government that let them down.

    The dirty tactics of the last state election will have to be taken national with the Greens blamed for everything that could ever go wrong.

    Unfortunately for the old parties and the vested interests that pull their strings this excuse is wearing thin as the evidence makes the old parties promises more clearly hollow and distorted.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  05/01/09  at  03:49 PM
  8. Don’t’ be jubilant yet… the mill has been approved - all the modules EXCEPT for the effluent disposal are approved.

    Don’t for a moment think this decision is ‘banning’ the mill.

    There is likely still a long and testing battle ahead before this mill can be considered a no-go.


    Posted by Casey  on  05/01/09  at  03:52 PM
  9. Garrett is concerned only about Commonwealth waters. What does this say about Tasmania’s environmental standards when the effluent pipeline was carefully sited to end in waters under state jurisdiction and avoid besmirching the Commonwealth’s?
    And the state government lay down and let it happen.
    ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass.’

    Posted by Mike Adams  on  05/01/09  at  04:51 PM
  10. Garrett has given the pulp mill the green light.

    It says so in black and white.

    A man who rode the environmental wave to fortune and fame and sang so passionately about dying on your feet rather than living on your knees has had his achilles cut and fallen to into the dirt like an old sheep.

    As Garrett lies in the dust our forests are clearfelled faster than any other time in history. Corporate beggars ever keen have their hands foraging in the taxpayers’ pockets while our elected leaders puff to the orders of their corporate overlords.

    Life and business in the greater Launceston area remains on hold for now as yet another lifeline is tossed to the sinking forest pillagers.

    Can they last another two years without a bailout?

    The show rolls on.

    Posted by Dave Groves  on  05/01/09  at  07:20 PM
  11. I suspect that Garrett took his strongly legislative view to avoid conflict with the union (Union, an association of gullible workers in twilight industries) colleagues in cabinet - Ferguson, Gillard, Wong etc. - who would have jumped on him if he’d tried anything stronger: for example protecting threatened species in the clearfelled and plantation areas of Tas., or if he’d cut the mill off at the knees for exceeding the time limit.
    As for his claims that he couldn’t do anything about Turnbull’s earlier decisions; that’s taurine dung and he knows it. Otherwise Rudd etc, couldn’t have done anything about Howard’s Workplace laws.
    I suppose we, and Jodie, should be grateful for small mercies, given what many of us anticipated.
    I’d give him four out of ten.

    Posted by Mike Adams  on  05/01/09  at  07:27 PM
  12. Okay Peter Garrett, mate.  We all know that you fell heavily on that bloodied and corroded activist sword of yours when you ventured over to the dark side of party politics.

    Well Pete, mate, I reckon that you are well and truly back in town.  Your media performances today were jazzy, confident, and full of biffo.  I fully expected you to rip off that daggy brown jacket to expose your ‘I’m Reeeely Sorry Tamar Valley’ slogans.  The open necked shirt, the aggressive walk, the proud as a peacock stare down the camera…yep, Peter Garrett, I reckon that you are one happy ALP Minister tonight.

    On the ABC TV 7.30 Report this evening, the Peter Garrett I used to respect and applaud put in an appearance, and geez he went well.  Called the interviewer ‘mate’ twice, dressed and spoke like an activist, and for the first time since he publicly committed to the ALP, looked like he actually believed what he was saying.

    Maybe it is time to cut Peter Garrett a little bit of slack now.  He did some pretty good stuff today, within the bounds of portfolio and legislative abilities.  I reckon that the pulp mill annoyance is done-and-dusted, so let’s get over that, and move our activist time and energies to some other projects.

    We could even try to save the whales. Whaddayah reckon, Peter, mate?

    Posted by Deborah Wilson  on  05/01/09  at  08:03 PM
  13. If nothing else, Minister Garrett’s decision beautifully underlines the farce of the State Government’s fast track process.

    Do we remember all the fatuous re-assurances when we were launched onto the fast track?  “No problems”, said hand-picked Sweco Pik.  “No problems!” echoed the vacuous intelligentisia of our State’s elected mainstream, who assured us that they could handle the complex science of this matter far more efficiently than the expert panel of the RPDC.”  All six hundred pages within 2 days – and don’t you worry about that.

    Why the further delay now?

    Well either Minister Garrett , together with his Department, the Independent Expert Panel and Tasmania’s RPDC are fools, or every elected State and Federal politician within the Lab/Lib ranks are proven fools.  Let’s take a poll shall we?

    From the very start, the Fast Track Farce has been nothing more than a cheap negotiating stunt conducted by third class negotiators.
    Tasmania will suffer no ill-effect if the current Tamar Mill proposal is blocked.  We own the forests the proposal depends upon for its success.  If the proposition is as hot as Mr. Gay suggests, I am sure we can screw a better deal.  Following Mr. Garrett’s findings, Premier Bartlett should pull the wood-supply agreement pending satisfactory completion of the Commonwealth provisions.

    If no-one else can bring this sorry episode to a close, then Prime Minister Rudd should now step in and tell them all to bugger off and do the job properly!  We have all wasted enough time, money and emotion on the current proposal.

    Ben Quin

    Posted by Ben Quin  on  05/01/09  at  08:11 PM
  14. Peter Garrett: “I think it would be reckless of a subsequent government to completely overturn a decision-making process ... that was put in place by a previous government,” he told ABC Television

    “No one would expect us to do that for this project or any others.” ...,25197,24876558-12377,00.html

    I am asking; ” Who is no one??” I know many who do expect to do the right thing and stop this mad crook proposal. There are many issues that need to be assessed, and he would know it only too well.

    “No One?? What a cheap throw away line, typical for Garrett by now. The ABC’s 7:30 Reporter was good, he sked the right questions, but slipprey Peter wiggled his way along…

    Posted by Frank  on  05/01/09  at  08:55 PM
  15. Having only been a visitor to your beautiful state I believe there is so much to lose for your state by allowing this polluting monster to be built.Tourists from overseas & interstate will not want to travel to Tasmania to smell foul air & see denuded forests. Tasmanias economy will only flourish if it remains pristine & beautiful. Down with the Pulp Mill.

    Posted by ray mogridge  on  05/01/09  at  10:08 PM
  16. Garret the maggot has done nothing but save his skinny arse ! 
        He knows by sitting the fence in this way ,he survives in the short term and I’ll wager his ex band members think even less of his treachery than I do.
        Here’s hoping fellow combatants are not taken in and keep , memories of his past performances and send him packing with the rest of this motley Labor crew.

        Lib’s ! get off your arse’s ! get shot of Tunbull ! install “Costello” now ! allowing him to consolidate his position before this coming, or most definitely the next election.

    Posted by don davey  on  06/01/09  at  03:51 AM
  17. Deborah Wilson I refer you to the mountain pygmy possum to measure garretts concern about the Environment. its fate as an endangered sppecies is entirely in the ‘Minister’s’ hands. The EPBC Act requires him to stop all threats.

    The same government describes the threat, global warming. This government has expert advice that to be effective Australia should opt for a 25% reduction of GHG emosiions by 2020 as part of a high developed world targets and a target for the developind [China, India and Brazil].

    The 5% target makes Minister Garrett, on the available evidence in breach of his own act. I cannot see him pushing for international legal action to stop whaling.

    Basically Labor on major environmental matters lied its way into national government to capture wavering Green votes and preferences although the electorate may have voted Howard out without that. he had lost touch.

    I expect Labor to let down the environment on a regular basis.


    Posted by phill Parsons  on  06/01/09  at  05:22 AM
  18. Peter Garrett is reported in The Australian as saying:


    Mr Garrett said the previous federal Liberal government provided the basic approval for the mill in 2007, and he couldn’t go back on that decision.

    “I think it would be reckless of a subsequent government to completely overturn a decision-making process ... that was put in place by a previous government,” he told ABC Television.

    “No one would expect us to do that for this project or any others.”


    Readers may recall the previous federal Liberal Government (under dial-up Telecommunications Minister Helen Coonan) awarded Singtel Optus Communications just under 1 BILLION dollars of Australian Taxpayers money to build a wi-max technology wireless broadband network.

    It was the then new Labour government - the one current minister for heavy industry oops Environment Garrett belongs to that reversed that decision and cancelled the project.

    Like all things politic - when it comes to making the big decisions -there is a kind of ethics and integrity known only to politicians.

    Garretts current position takes him conveniently to neutral corner, with almost enough time for the global credit crunch to recover, and liquidity to flow for large projects - such as chemical pulp mills in far-away places.

    When leadership is called for - when an environment provides context and opportunity - those who would be leaders are often found still with their year 7 shorts on.

    Why should we be surprised. Garretts deferral means nothing. Dont attach any hope or meaning into the situation - for nothing has really changed.

    Richard Butler.

    Posted by Richard Butler  on  06/01/09  at  06:57 AM
  19. Already the bleating has started about how unfair it is that the assessment process should take so long, blatantly ignoring Gunns’ own role in blowing the timeframe out of the water. The company is also wailing about the cost. The Sydney Morning Herald ( reports that “The company believes that further environmental studies should be paid for by the Government because it has already invested $100 million in the project.” This mirrors comments made in the local press over the weekend.

    As described under comment 1, they just do not get it. The amount of spending should be irrelevant to approval. Getting it right is what counts, whether it is done at half or double the cost. How efficient they are is up to them. They should consider that doing it properly instead of trying to find ways around the process would have been cheaper. Gunns obviously wants to win the match just by turning up, but this time does not own the umpire. They need to go back and do what they were told was needed at the outset.


    Posted by Cheshire  on  06/01/09  at  07:04 AM
  20. Garrett’s two bob each way decision on the mill is bad enough. But when put in context with other decisions he and other Ministers have made concerning the environmentn it gets far worse. It is clear that Garrett and Penny Wong, whose performance when matched on her previous rhetoric is abysmal, are under orders. We all know that Rudd is a control freak, and there is no way he’d allow any of his ministers to make their own decisions. Look at Garrett’s record:

      - approved expanding SA’s Beverley uranium   mine
      - approved dredging Port Philip Bay at severe risk of disturbing a 100 years’ sludge and muck to allow large ships easier access
    - not convinced the Styx forests need protecting
    - after macho talk refused to do anything at all about illegal Japanese whaling in Australian waters

    And I haven’t said a thing yet about climate change, miniscule support for renewable energy, not only giving heavy industry open slather on greenhouse emissions but rewarding the greatest polluters ...

    I needn’t go on. Rudd is puppetmaster in all of this. He has turned what were once good people into snivelling lapdogs in order to serve his own private agenda of sucking up to big business. We have John Howard II on our backs, except this one smiles. Oh for the days when politicians had guts and would stand by their beliefs.

    Posted by John Biggs  on  06/01/09  at  10:19 AM
  21. At first I found it hard to fathom Gunns apparent elation to Garrett’s public announcement which he attempted to dress up as a toughening of the guidelines.

    However when I read the amicable tone of his letter to Gunns and watched him being interviewed on the 7.30 Report last night the penny dropped that he has given Gunns the green light to commence construction of the mill on the “understanding” that the Federal Govt will pick up the multi million dollar tab for the tertiary effluent system which will inevitably be required as a result of the hydro dynamic modelling.

    The Rudd Govt must take us for fools if they expect us to believe that they would not allow the mill to operate after it has been constructed, no matter the results of the modelling.

    The only positive outcome from Garrett’s decision is that Tasmanians now have the ideal opportunity at the State Election in 2010 to vote out every single pulp mill supporting Labor and Liberal MP so that the odious Pulp Mill Assessement Act can be repealed and put us on the path to a bold new environmentally and economically sustainable future

    Posted by PB  on  06/01/09  at  03:00 PM
  22. Why has it taken so long for the Lawyers for Forests legal challenge to be decided? Weren’t the hearings last June? Does Garrett’s decision to request Gunns do their modelling negate any of the grounds of this challenge?

    Posted by David Mohr  on  06/01/09  at  08:13 PM
  23. I would like to pose three questions through the medium of your most capable readership. Gunns is believed to have some 200,000 hectares of plantations, firstly do they pay rates on farmland as they are by their own admission tree farmers, or is some form of exemption claimed, secondly do they pay the Fire Brigade Levy and finally how do they compute their Land Tax liabilties? If they are excused or pay at reduced rates any of these imposts, by a collusive State Government can I as a real farmer gain the same exemptions,if so how, and if not, why not? I have taken a legal opinion over a class action against Forestry Tasmania re the wood supply agreement and unfortunately it is not possible.

    Posted by john hawkins  on  06/01/09  at  08:58 PM
  24. #20 Voters with environmental concerns were suckered into voting for or preferencing Labor in ‘07.  Apart from symbolic support for Kyoto, we having nothing. In fact, I think we are now worse off. At least we knew what we were dealing with when the Howard government was in power.  The Greens need to seriously consider who they preference in the next election. Rudd is a fraud.

    Posted by Duncan Grant  on  07/01/09  at  06:01 AM
  25. “I think it would be reckless of a subsequent government to completely overturn a decision-making process ... that was put in place by a previous government,” he told ABC Television.

    “No one would expect us to do that for this project or any others.”

    Memory’s a bit selective, isn’t it? How about ‘Workplace Agreements?’

    Posted by Gerry Mander  on  07/01/09  at  07:25 AM
  26. On the subjec of land taxes as Gunns take up land they get the previous owners to make the land a Private Timber Reserve before they buy it or before they lease it. Private Timber Reserves are exempt from Land Tax.
    Rates are charged at the unimproved capital value on plantations as well so they save bucket loads there.
    When they have bought farms they have either subdivied off the houses and sold them to avoid higher rates, or bulldozed the outbuildings such as dairies.
    Under the PAL policy they are not being prevented from destroying the farm buildings and sub dividing the land to sell of the houses. That is one reason for their opposition to the PAL policy.

    Posted by Pete Godfrey  on  07/01/09  at  05:33 PM
  27. Do you not get the awful feeling that despite three years of exposed lies, mis-information and corporate/government collusion, we are still headed in the same direction.

    Even with the massive groundswell against the Pulp Mill. Even with the relentless exposure of the lies and propaganda being dished out to the public, it is still business as usual for the Mill proponents.

    Should it not worry all those who care, that despite not having the necessary landholders permission for the pipeline, Gunns and their compliant Government Ministers seem uncaring and unmoved by what I believe to be the potential achilles heel for the whole Pulp Mill project?

    From the outset lobbying, lies and collusion have cloaked this whole filthy project.  With volumes of weasel words the electors have been effectively kept in the dark about decisions and the misleading bullshit is still flowing as freely as ever.

    Be scared people, for even though we have spoken out and tried every democratic means possible to be heard above the corrupt processes. The hand-basket we are travelling in still remains unchanged and is still going to hell!

    Posted by (Rocky)  on  08/01/09  at  09:07 AM
  28. In last Friday’s Mercury, there was an article in the business section, stating that there were at least 5 pulp mills (plus more on the horizon)closing down around the planet.I can’t believe that Gunns are still pushing hard for this mill,if the worldwide trend is the opposite.Don’t they have accountants?For all those non believers out there, just type in ‘pulp mills closing’ into Google, and see for yourself.

    Posted by Nemo  on  08/01/09  at  10:20 AM
  29. Dear editor

    How wonderfully refreshing it is to hear that Jodie Campbell MHA actually took the pulp mill concerns of people in Bass to Minister Peter Garrett (Examiner 9/1).

    My so-called representative, Dick Adams, has repeatedly ignored my concerns and so has failed to measure up to his job description. As one of the people who pays his wages I feel it is time to vote for someone who does what his electorate demands.

    Lyons electorate

    Posted by Michael  on  13/01/09  at  08:03 AM





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