Letter 12 re ANZ funding Gunns’ pulp mill. TAP letter and ANZ response

Mr. J. McFarlane


100 Queen Street Melbourne VIC 3000

10 June 2007

Dear Mr. McFarlane,

Re Gunns' proposed pulp mill in Tamar valley

I am writing on behalf of TAP (Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill). We wish to clarify your current position on the pulp mill.

The assessment process has the perception of being tainted after Gunns dumped the publicly trusted RPDC process and was rewarded by a much less robust one by a firm, SWECO, that has close connections to Gunns' advisers, Jakko Poyry, and Gunns' equipment suppliers, Andritz. Not only that, there is a perception of collusion between Gunns, the Tasmanian and Federal Governments to avoid the critical eye of the RPDC and push this project through against public opinion.

We have read your website which says that a decision on supporting Gunns Ltd proposed pulp mill will only be made after the mill has been 'assessed' by the Tasmanian Government yet Gunns have been saying in recent interviews that the ANZ is supporting the mill as an underwriter of the project (Eureka Interview with John Gay). Obviously someone is not telling the truth. We would like to know what is going on.

As a group we will oppose if necessary any decision by the ANZ Bank to support the building of this mill by:

1/. Dissemination of the facts via our extensive email network and websites.

2/. Full page newspaper adverts probably formatted as an open letter to the ANZ asking why you are supporting a project that:

  • Will have a detrimental effect on many businesses and home owners in the Tamar valley
  • Will ruin one of the most beautiful places in Australia as a tourist destination with foul smelling odours. (See enclosed report of very latest pulp mill which has equipment from the same manufacturer as Gunns - Andritz).
  • Could ruin Tasmania's lucrative fishing industry.
  • Is only supported by 36% of the population (latest opinion poll).

3/. Briefing an appropriate person to address your next AGM on this subject.

Please write and let us know how you stand on this issue. If Gunns are wrong then please inform them as they could be misleading shareholders and stakeholders.



ANZ reply July 3 2007

Dear sir,

Thank you for your letter to John McFarlane received on 12 June 2007, which he has referred to me for a response.

We acknowledge TAP's concerns about the development of the proposed Bell Bay Pulp Mill, including the potential effect it could have on local industries and home owners in the Tamar Valley.

The decision of whether to fund any major project with potential environmental impact involves many complex questions for ANZ, impacting a wide range of stakeholders with differing perspectives on the proposal. In response to your specific query, ANZ has not committed to fund the proposed pulp mill project.

Before we can make any final decision on funding, Gunns Limited must obtain the required approvals from the Tasmanian and Federal Governments. Any government approval may also impose conditions on the design or operation of the mill which will need to be factored into ANZ's final assessment.

Thank you again for raising the concerns of TAP.

Gerard Brown,Group General Manager Corporate Affairs, is available to discuss this issue in more detail with you, either over the phone, or in person.

Please contact Gerard on 03 9273-6414 if this would be helpful to you.

Yours sincerely

Peter Hodgson

Group Managing Director, Institutional

Email: Peter.Hodgson@anz.com

Unfortunately it looks like

Unfortunately it looks like they're taking the approach "If it's OK by the government, then it's OK by us." This would indemnify them against challenges to their compliance to the Equator Principles.
However, I personally know a loot of people who will be closing their ANZ account if they do go ahead with the funding.