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.