Nick Clark, Geoff Easdown Mercury

THE pulp mill project was declared “dead” yesterday as leading opponents turned up the heat on Gunns Limited. Leading Australian business figure Geoffrey Cousins, an outspoken mill critic, launched a scathing response after Gunns this week pushed the start of the project out to March, well beyond deadlines set by the federal and Tasmanian governments. And Premier David Bartlett said Tasmanians deserved to know by Christmas whether or not the project was going ahead. Mr Bartlett said the Government would not extend the sovereign risk agreement with Gunns past November 30 and financial support for the project would cease on that date. Mr Cousins said the controversial project was doomed. Read more here