Tasmanian Times


Pulp mill protest targets Swedish Embassy

TIM BIRCH, Wilderness Society

Producers of organic and fine foods and wine from the Tamar Valley today presented a range of their products to the Swedish Ambassador in Canberra as well as a letter for the Swedish Government to highlight the risks involved if Swedish company Sodra gets involved in the proposed pulp mill in Tasmania.

Campaigners against the pulp mill also displayed a banner calling on Sodra to not become a partner with Gunns while it is still destroying Tasmania’s high conservation value native forests.

Tim Birch, Wilderness Society Campaigner, welcomed Sodra’s commitment in recent days to only consider involvement in a pulp mill that uses plantation-based, 100 per cent Forest Stewardship Council certified timber, and chlorine-free technology, but said many important issues remain unresolved about the proposed pulp mill.

“Pollution of Bass Strait and damage to the local economy will also occur if this pulp mill goes ahead in the Tamar Valley.”

Tamar Valley resident and business owner Lucy Land-Lane presented the hamper of food and wine to the ambassador and said: “I want the Swedish Government and Sodra to know that the future of families and working people in Tasmania is under threat from this pulp mill.”

In April 2009, Gunns announced to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) that it intends to make an announcement on who will be the joint venture partner for the pulp mill at the end of June.

The Wilderness Society this week exposed Sodra’s discussions with Gunns over the proposed pulp mill and their joining the project as a possible joint venture partner.

Sodra issued a public statement on Friday stating any involvement it has with the pulp mill would only occur if 100 Forest Stewardship Council per cent certified, plantation timber is used and if the mill uses totally chlorine free technology.

“Given this statement, The Wilderness Society believes that Gunns’ current proposal for the pulp mill needs to go back to the drawing board,” Mr Birch said.

Mr Birch said the high risk to local clean, green business in the Tamar Valley meant that another site for the pulp mill should now urgently be pursued.

Pic 01: Tamar Valley resident from Tasmania, Australia, and business owner Lucy Land-Lane presented a hamper of organic and fine food and wine to the Swedish Embassy in Canberra, highlighting the risk a proposed pulp mill nearby would have on the local economy.
Pic 02: Protesters outside the Swedish embassy in Canberra, Australia, highlight community concerns about the potential involvement of Swedish company Sodra in the controversial proposed pulp mill in Tasmania.

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  1. Second Fiddle

    June 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    “Tasmanian Times” an opera to be. In progress.

  2. Gerry Mander

    June 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I like the way Lester manages to expose the fact that the government, forestry and Gunns have their brains at the wrong end of their spine.

  3. Wayne

    June 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I spent the night dreaming about Princess Mary.

    Only someone as brilliant as Lester who really THINKS when he gets into the shower would have come up with talking to her.

    And those eight sodding dragons. I’ve heard that there aren’t just 8 of them, it’s a great big cooperative with 40000 members. Most of them are in Scantinavela but actually they go right across Southern Europe all the way from Vienna to Shanghai. And they’ve got bankers in Iceland! That sort of person could easily find a few billion for Gunns.

    If Mary isn’t strong enough herself she’s married to this powerful Prince who sails around in his yacht and tells the whole country what to do. I reckon she could get him to pull it off.

  4. Richard Butler

    June 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Yes. Apparently they have meetings and stuff, and pass round a biscuit. There’s usually a queue ! Sadly Ive been told Sorend always ends up standing throughout the meetings, ‘though.

  5. pilko

    June 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Ah finally toilet humour has arrived on Tasmanian Times. Onya Lester.

  6. Ian

    June 16, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Sore end was enjoying the ride, it hurt when they pulled out,John Gay’s on his back, this is turning into high farce.
    I think Lester deserves his position as head of Woodchip Cum Unities!

  7. Wayne

    June 16, 2009 at 1:06 am

    You people that think Lester is joking better go and have another think. I don’t believe a serious spokesperson like that would make jokes while he has the lawful livelihoods of all his hard working members and Mr Gay riding on his back.

    I’m not a member of Woodchip Cummunities Australia but I went to one of their parties once. If you weren’t there you just wouldn’t believe some of the fun stuff that goes on when those guys get together. There are a few loose cannons amongst them but generally they are just really rough diamonds, the assault of the earth.

  8. john hayward

    June 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I have a hunch that Lester, in the footsteps of Woodworker, is auditioning for a government appointment. I’m prepared to support him, so long as the post is that of Governor. With financial constraints as they are, we should be looking for a woodchip industry watchdog who is cheaper to feed than the incumbent.

    John Hayward

  9. Change Agent

    June 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    How do you read Bovine excreter,#3??
    Just look at this process http://www.google.com/finance?q=ASX:GNS for change.
    This said it for me:
    “Iva Sorend today had just finished her daily conference call with Gunns chairman John Gay. Mrs Sorend’ said her contact with Mr Gay had left her feeling ‘excited’.” There you have it, it’s all about short term satisfaction, a kind of daily emotional fix, not about inter-generational care.
    Anyhow, someone like a Dragon or 7to8 Dragons may lift the ball onto the high bar-bank for JohnPaul. Actually these Dragons may throw that bar-bank even higher! Do you remember what Pauli wanted,can you remember the economical Green insignia on the Pulpmill Information Bus?
    The brainchild of the friendly and very honest Ken Jeffries?
    You may remember some questions about an interdependent RPDC by the ABC’s AIRLEY WARD on Stateline?
    A.W.”You’ve mentioned a couple of phrases, “It’s pretty independent, it’s reasonably independent.” It is, nevertheless, you’ve said, it’s a Government body. How strong, at times, can the pressure be from Government?”

    AIRLEY WARD: The Government has made no bones about the fact it wants a pulp mill. Just days after Gunns announced Longreach as its chosen site, the Government’s PR machine swung into top gear in the form of a $30,000 bus roadshow. The Greens claim the touring bus will cost Tasmanian taxpayers $2 million and commentators are also questioning the move.

    AIRLEY WARD asked: But is it a misinformation bus?

    John Gay and Paul Lennon announce last week that totally chlorine free was not an option. The Government also has a pulp mill task force which is headed by Bob Gordon, as executive from Forestry Tasmania. Consultants include Bruce Montgomery, the public relations man for Forest Industries. Ken Jeffries, Jim Bacon’s former chief spinner. It’s understood Mr Jeffries is the brains behind the “Keeping the Economy in the Green” insignia which is emblazoned on the touring bus. Rod Wallace, from the Government’s Media Unit, is the pulp mill communications manager. ”

    Södra possibly know by now, how ‘clever and kind’ the political machine works down in Hobart.
    The 7-8 Dragons possibly read this http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/images/uploads/newEdwards_RPDC_Sep_Pulp_Mill.pdf

    Who is greener here?
    Terry Edwards or Naomi Edwards?

  10. Valleywatcher

    June 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    OMG Lester! I had to read your post several times to make sure I got all the nuances – my sides are still aching………thanks for the much-needed belly-laugh!

  11. emily

    June 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Oooh, that was a biggie Lester. The steams rising and my olfactory nerves are twitching as I type

  12. Neil Smith

    June 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Lester, you’ve really got the Extreme Greenie Extremist society wailing this time.

    John Gay is an extremely lucky man to have such a stalwart rooting for him.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Brenton

    June 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I think Swedish companies are in for a VERY difficult time in Australia if Sodra supports Gunns!

  14. Lily

    June 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    You are very funny Lester!
    I hope Rupert’s wife and secretary Ive a Sore-end has a nice comfortable chair…!

  15. Annie

    June 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the daily laugh, Lester – your posts are gems. Please keep ’em coming.
    Iva Sorend, indeed!

  16. Jim Welsh

    June 15, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I have never read so much Bovine excreter in all my life! Sodra isn`t siding with the Greens it is merely expressing the fact that they have best practice and expect any prospective joint venture
    partner to follow the same.

  17. Buck

    June 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Calling yourselves “Woodchip Communities” says it all.

  18. Lester Barker

    June 15, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Woodchip Communities Australia condemns the wilderness society and Tamar Valley organist Lucy Landon- Lane who today forced their way onto the grounds of the Swedish Embassy in Canberra and gave them a letter, organic walnuts and a banner.

    WCA believes the aim of the protest was to blackmail pulp and paper giant Sodra into not getting involved in the Gunns pulp mill. By doing this the Greens are once again setting about destroying the jobs of woodchip dependent families.

    WCA believes Australia’s anti-terrorism laws should be revoked against the Wilderness Society as their actions have threatened the close friendship between Sweden and Australia.

    WCA will be writing to crown Princess Mary of Sweden this week and asking her to make direct representation on behalf of woodchip dependent families to Sodra , the Australian Embassy and the Australian High Emission in Sweden.

    Sodra were poised to become Gunns joint pulp mill partner until the Wilderness society lobbied them not to. Now Sodra said that the mill wouldn’t be up to Sodra’s standards.

    Asked how he felt about the news, Independent Pulp and Paper annalist Rupert Sorend’ said, “It hurt” when Sodra pulled out!
    “It was rough as I was excited there for a while and enjoying the ride” said Sorend’.

    The Independent Sorend’ from independent Swedish consultancy Sorend’ and Sorend’ has told WCA that pulp and paper giant Sodra could still invest in the Bell Bay pulp mill despite setting tough preconditions.
    Mr Sorend says the differences between what Gunns mill is and what Sodra want aren’t insurmountable. ‘They can move the mill to Hampshire if that’s what the Wilderness Society want’. “I’m sure the Australian taxpayer will be thrilled about shelling out more subsidies to Gunns,” said Sorend.
    However since taking up the state governments offer of an alternative assessment process in 2007 Gunns have had their plantations on an intensive programme of thrive and dynamic lifter and volumes are increasing. Sorend’ also believes that any investment opportunity offered to Sodra would be so risk free that they wouldn’t be deterred by some chlorine.

    However when WCA spoke to Sorends wife and independent secretary Iva Sorend today she had just finished her daily conference call with Gunns chairman John Gay. Mrs Sorend’ said her contact with Mr Gay had left her feeling ‘excited’.
    Whilst Sodra is now no certainty I am liking what I am hearing out of Finland said Mrs Sorend’. It would appear that Gay is now in discussions with Finnish pulp and paper Giant ‘8 Dragons’

    “I think if 8 Dragons signed on it wouldn’t be a suprise party,” said Mr’s Sorend.
    “Chlorine, would be acceptable to 8 Dragons. They are not so averse to the use of the chemical processes that Gunns has in place, I think it would be quite acceptable, yes.”

    Over the weekend WCA members from all over Tasmania have written thousands of emails to Sodra expressing their disappointment at the fact that Sodra have sided with the Greens and in doing so humiliated environmentally friendly woodchip company Gunns

    Lester Barker
    Woodchip Communities Australia

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