The latest announcement in the drawn out saga of the Gunns proposed pulp mill (HERE), appears to be an interesting development in this ever evolving proposal.

Shipping a million tonnes of forest, from Victoria to Tasmania each year, means around 25 ships loaded to the gunnels, or one ship a fortnight into Longreach to unload for processing.

This raises many more questions about the viability of the proposal.

For five years, financiers have avoided this project like the plague, including their primary banker.

Apparently, the risks outweigh any financial gain, and now in what seems an act of desperation, Gunns intends to transport vast swathes of forests across Bass Strait, to avoid chipping Tasmania’s native forests, additional to those they already chip for woodchip export, in what is a highly volatile and currently downward spiralling market.

This would seem to be a massive expense, not planned for, anymore than the original plan to source water for the proposed pulp mill from Pipers River, days before water restrictions were applied in 2005.

Perhaps a reason that this proposal still remains just an area of denuded land, is because of poor planning, which seems ad best ad hock, and at worst pure shemozzle.

Interest in the proposal, other than our ever acquiescent government, when the proposal first came in at a little over a billion dollars, was non existent, but now as the proposal’s estimated cost spirals out of control, with figures quoted at $2.5 billion, the question needs to be asked, “does anyone at Gunns really know what is going on, and who would touch this venture given the current circumstance and the history?”

Is this proposal a case of “make it up as you go along”, or is this evolving scenario part of a grand master plan, so cleverly disguised to make it look like the proponents have absolutely no idea where this is going, so as to completely fool the Greenies?

What could be the next development?

No doubt as the show rolls on, we will all be waiting to see which random direction, the actors and jesters ad lib the next act.