Tasmanian Times


A victory

Sean Cadman

Federal Environment Minister agrees to withhold pulp mill decision until after Federal Court outcome

In what amounts to a first win in the Federal Court challenge of the assessment of Gunns’ proposed pulp mill, the Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has agreed to withhold a decision on the approval of the proposed pulp mill until after the conclusion of the Federal Court case, according to The Wilderness Society.

In today’s proceedings, where The Wilderness Society applied for an interlocutory injunction on the assessment of the mill, counsel for Minister Turnbull gave an undertaking that the Minister would make no approval decision before 6th August.

“The Wilderness Society is happy that the Minister has made this undertaking and that no decision on the approval of the pulp mill will be made until at least 6th August,” said Sean Cadman, National Forest Campaigner for The Wilderness Society.

This will provide an opportunity for the court to hear the case against the Federal Government’s decision-making process and proposed assessment.

“We have a very substantial case that will be dealt with in hearings that begin on 4th July,” said Mr Cadman.

“This is an incredibly important case for the future of Tasmania and the future of our natural environment. This pulp mill would have a devastating impact on Tasmania’s native forests and the rare and threatened animals that rely on them for a home.”

“Tasmanians deserve a fair, unbiased and legally constituted assessment process,” concluded Mr Cadman.

Cost issues are yet to be determined and will be heard by the court on 25th June.

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  1. Dr Kevin Bonham

    June 4, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    David: I think what Turnbull may really be hoping for is that the case will not be finished before the election!

  2. David Mohr

    June 4, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    So Kevin are you suggesting that Turnbull is quietly hoping the Wilderness Society challenge is successful so any decision is delayed until well after the election or better still delays cause Gunns to pull the pin?

  3. Dr Kevin Bonham

    June 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Did anyone seriously imagine Turnbull would *not* withhold the decision under these circumstances? Procedural concerns aside, the political advantages to the government in not making a decision on this little hot potato prior to the election can be safely filed under “bleeding obvious”, especially when they can offload blame for the delay to someone else (TWS).

    Usual disclaimer applies.

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