Today’s announcement by Gunns shows Tasmania does not have to choose between jobs creation and forest protection. By using our plantations Tasmania can have both.

Spokesperson Rod West said “Our Common Ground has said since its inception that world timber markets are changing. Gunns announcement is proof of this.”

“We welcome Gunns’ move to make the proposed pulp mill one hundred percent plantation based. This is an important step forward,” added Mr West.

This is in line with the growing market demand and shift within the global timber industry towards plantation based products, not those derived from the destruction of native forests.

Mr West said that “It’s positive to see Gunns starting to put old fights behind them and we encourage Gunns to make the same kind of transition in the rest of its timber operations.”

“Gunns ought now complete this transition by getting out of native forests. This will also remove the conflict over the logging of these forests.”

This will be the kind of solution Tasmania needs so we can have secure jobs and our beautiful native forests.

The fibre a mill processes is an important part of sustainability, but not the only part.

First, Gunns will need to address the mill’s location in order to resolve the conflict around the mill. All opinion polls show that Tasmanians do not support a mill in the Tamar Valley.

Second, the management of it’s plantations also needs to be reviewed. In particular, they must start implementing integrated catchment management framework. This includes ending the use of pesticides which contaminates surrounding land and water.
Rod West, Our Common Ground