First published August 30
Red letter day and reckon we can all break out the champagne, or whatever is the beverage of your choice.
This (below) from today’s (Wed) Oz which spells it out in black and white really.
Congratulations to everyone who helped achieve this result, one I suspect few ever imagined would actually happen. Just shows the strength of people power. Well done to you all!
Yaaaayyy!! and congratulations and thanks to all who helped make this result happen - whatever action you did, and however small you think it may have been. Every single thing contributed towards this result.
Special thanks too to all our Greens MPs, with heartfelt thanks to former Bass MP Kim Booth who was so involved in the campaign and worked tirelessly to expose the corrupted process at both a political and corporate level.
Now … for The Party! Several of them - Watch this space!!
Gunns pulp mill finally dead, buried and site for sale
• MATTHEW DENHOLM
• The Australian
• 12:00AM August 30, 2017
After 14 years of bitter division, protests, legal and boardroom stoushes and the demise of a major listed company, the Gunns Ltd Tasmanian pulp mill is finally dead.
The $2.5 billion project — first hatched in 2003 — was consigned to history last night by Gunns’s receivers, Korda Mentha, who confirmed the pulp mill permit effectively expires today with no buyers to hand.
KordaMentha partner Bryan Webster told The Australian the pulp mill site, at Long Reach in the Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania, would now be sold for different uses.
“The pulp mill permit lapses this week and KordaMentha will proceed with the sale process for the land — the 600ha site including 50ha of cleared land,” Mr Webster said.
Gunns Ltd, the now failed timber giant, first proposed the world-scale pulp mill in 2003, provoking a major environmental and community battle over its initial plans to use native forests as feed-stock, as well as pollution concerns. When the project struggled to clear planning -hurdles, former Labor premier Paul Lennon infamously fast-tracked its approval through parliament after an assessment by hand-picked consultants.
After former Gunns chairman John Gay was deposed by shareholders in 2010, chief executive Greg L’Estrange tried to win back hearts and minds, but a white-knight investor withdrew and Gunns sank into administration in 2012, followed by liquidation.
KordaMentha had hoped to resurrect the project, pushing then Labor premier Lara Giddings to introduce legislation in 2014 to quash a court challenge to the mill permit and extend it to today, but with the plantation estate needed to feed the mill no longer available, the project lacked sufficient feed-stock.
Mr Gay this week told The Australian he accepted the mill was dead.
Opponents of the pulp mill were jubilant last night. “I’d like to congratulate the local community because it was the people who stopped this pulp mill,” said Wilderness Society campaign director Vica Bayley. “It was the people who stood up for their air-shed, for their marine environment, for their local amenity and for their forests, and ultimately defeated the biggest company in Tasmania. They also defeated a government that was willing to corrupt the process to further a commercial interest.”
Tasmanian Liberal Treasurer Peter Gutwein made it clear the project had reached the end of the line. “We’ve been one of its strongest backers … but we’ve made it clear if the pulp mill is to go ahead, it needs to go forward under its own steam.”
Mr Gutwein promised the government would work with any job-creating proponent for the site.
Over the years, KordaMentha is understood to have had several parties interested in the land, including for a proposed wind farm, but it is not known how close a sale may be.
• Vica Bayley, Wilderness Society: Pulp mill and its process to stand as a symbol of how not to do business in Tasmania The confirmation from Gunns’ receivers that it accepts today’s expiration of permits to build and operate the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, and will proceed with a sale of the proposed site unencumbered by the permits, is welcome and a testament to the long and drawn out community campaign to protect the Tamar Valley, its environments, amenity and future. With ongoing controversies over salmon farming in Tasmania, 4WD tracks on the takayna coast, aggressive legislation to progress an offensive cable car on kunanyi/Mt Wellington and politically-driven attempts to log oldgrowth rainforests from within Tasmania’s reserve estate, the demise of the pulp mill stands as a stark monument to a failed modus-operandi. ‘To welcome the final demise of the pulp mill would be the understatement of the last 14 years of campaigns against the mill,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society …
• Peg Putt, Markets for Change: Pulp Mill Permit Expiry Welcomed – Call To Repeal The Pulp Mill Assessment Act … “Finally, the Pulp Mill Permit has expired after plans for the project were first revealed in 2003 by then Greens Leader Peg Putt, now the CEO of Markets for Change. That must be the end of this toxic, ill-conceived project,” Ms Putt said. “The pulp mill relied three times on life support delivered by a mostly captive Parliament. It’s time to switch that support off.” “The pulp mill has never had a social licence and threatened tremendous damage to the environment.” …
• Susan McMahon in Comments: halle-bloody-lujiah. Been hanging out for this day for years now. I think the Labor/Liberal parties would have hoped that it quietly slipped by without so much as a peep. No chance of that! Too many of us have had bottles of champagne on ice for too long. I just wish my late husband (Bob) was here to see it …