Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has called on Forests Minister Tony Burke to explain to Parliament why he copied Gunns’ propaganda in his major ministerial statement in the House of Representatives last week.
Analysis of Mr Burke’s ministerial statement made in the House of Representatives revealed the extent to which the Federal Minister was repeating highly questionable claims about the pulp mill project.
“It appears he has simply parroted inflated Gunns’ jobs propaganda – when in fact the proper independent role of a Minister is to carefully assess such claims, particularly when burning and pulping forests is a net jobs destroyer.”
Senator Brown said that the closeness between the Minister’s statements and those of Gunns called for a re-assessment of the suitability of the appointment of Gunns’ chairman Mr John Gay to the Pulp and Paper Industry Strategy Group, announced recently.
“Minister Burke needs to get an independent, scientifically rigorous view of the value of Australia’s forests – not one from vested interests who gain from their destruction.”
Comparison of statements:
1. “At around $1.5 billion in capital expenditure, the proposed mill will be the largest ever investment by the private sector in Tasmania, and the largest ever by the forestry sector in Australia” (Gunns LTD) http://www.gunnspulpmill.com.au/factsheets/Facts_Update_Sep.pdf)
“At up to $2 billion in capital expenditure, the mill would be the largest ever private
sector investment in Tasmania, and the largest ever by Australia’s forest industry”. (The Hon Tony Burke, MP Wednesday, 24 June 2009)
2. “The project will add around $6.7 billion, or 2.5 per cent to the Tasmanian economy”.(Gunns LTD) http://www.gunnspulpmill.com.au/factsheets/Facts_Update_Sep.pdf)
“The mill will add an estimated $6.7 billion to Tasmania’s economy”. (The Hon Tony Burke, MP Wednesday, 24 June 2009)
3. “Construction of the Pulp Mill and flow-on investment will create some 8000 direct and
indirect jobs spread across the trades and other areas. A further 1500 to 1600 additional direct and indirect jobs will be created during the Pulp Mill’s operation”. (Gunns LTD) http://www.gunnspulpmill.com.au/factsheets/Facts_Update_Sep.pdf)
“Construction of the mill and flow-on investment would create some 8,000 direct and indirect jobs spread across the trades and other areas. Another 1,500 jobs would be created during operation.”. (The Hon Tony Burke, MP Wednesday, 24 June 2009)