JAMES CROTTY, Independent Labor candidate for Pembroke
Ralphs Bay and the pulp mill are symptomatic of the lack of proper process which is fracturing the Tasmanian community.
The pulp mill is the wrong mill in the wrong place, approved by a contemptible parliamentary process.
We need a timber industry, we need employment, we need a community healed.
The question is do we need Gunns and its current forestry practices?
Rather than bringing the community together to achieve consensual and good outcomes from the use of public assets, far too often we have allowed interest groups to pervert proper process.
The underlying issue of appropriate forest practices remains to be resolved.
The attitude that continues the bitter divide is exemplified in Ralphs Bay; and the pulp mill process.
Despite forest practices being the subject of a rigorous Regional Forest Agreement process, little has changed.
Green complaints remain as vociferous and valid now as they were 10 years ago.
Workers in the industry still work too long, too hard, for too little return, with no security.
Gunns now has a stranglehold over the industry and control of a priceless public asset which provides little return to the public purse.
It is time to bring an end to the division and attempt an alternative, sustainable approach to forestry.
We need to develop speciality timbers to a greater degree, further value-adding to production; and the further development of Tasmania’s acclaimed furniture and design industries.
Responsibility for election comment is taken by James Crotty, 174 Macquarie St, Hobart 7000