Media reports for January 08

30 January 2008 The Tasmanian Government will be asked by the Burnie City Council to suspend establishment of all tree plantations on agricultural land classes one to four, until they know more about their effect on the environment. Classes one to three are prime agricultural land, while class four is general agricultural land. Go to the ABC. 29 January 2008 A new report by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research finds the economic benefits of the Gunns pulp mill have been vastly overstated. Gunns's economic claims could be explained only by modelling errors or else "unjustified adjustment of the model results that make the case for the pulp mill more favourable". NIEIR concludes the mill will most likely cost the economy $300 million. Gunns CEO John Gay said "I think the economics of this mill are fantastic," and dismissed the report as "claptrap". Go to The Australian newspaper. 28 January 2008 John Gay has dismissed predictions that the company's planned Tasmanian pulp mill will be troubled by an increasingly competitive international market. Go to the ABC. 28 January 2008 Consultant URS Australia warns that the price and demand for Tasmanian native forest woodchips will continue to fall. Increased global competition will hamper efforts to crack into emerging markets. Gunns pulp mill would reduce but not avoid the need to cut some of Tasmania's 130 logging and log truck contractors. It will assist only those contractors operating "within an economic haul distance of the mill". The URS report warns that even if the mill is built, it will face stiff competition from low-cost pulp producers in South America. Read The Australian newspaper. 23 January 2008 The George Town Council has received a petition signed by 1,000 people supporting the Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill. Go to the ABC. 22 January 2008 High levels of potentially carcinogenic flame retardant chemicals have been found in Tasmanian devils, a discovery certain to fuel a global campaign to ban their use. Flame retardants are commonly found in computers, white goods, carpets and foam in bedding and furniture. Read The Australian newspaper. 21 January 2008 More than three months after federal approval for Gunns' $2 billion pulp mill, final building contracts, finance, construction approvals and boardroom endorsement have yet to be locked in. The ANZ Bank requires Gunns to provide further information before it decides whether to commit. Environment Minister Peter Garrett also wants further information before signing off construction approval. A joint venture of construction companies formed to build the mill declined to comment or publicly commit to the project. Without approvals, the Gunns board has been unable to make a decision, however, the company insisted the project remained "on track". See The Australian newspaper. 20 January 2008 More than 85% of the 1.59 million cubic metres of Victoria's native forests logged in 2006/07 was turned into woodchips, sawdust and waste. Despite claims the industry is based on providing sawlogs for Victoria's building needs, this type of wood accounted for only 11.9% of the amount logged, with the remaining 2.8% turned into shipping pallets. The Sunday Age reported in December that VicForests sold last year's harvest for $99 million but reported a $17,000 loss. See The Age newspaper. 19 Jan 2008 A South Australian country council has moved to toughen its dealings with the controversial developer of the proposed $1.5billion Protavia pulp mill, suspending work on an access road and demanding payment of an outstanding bill. Go to The Australian 18 January 2008 GOVERNMENT HIDES GUNNS PULP MILL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION The Tasmanian Greens today accused the Lennon government of keeping secret vital information on the formulation of a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) for Gunns’ pulp mill after the refusal of the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment (DTAE) to release documents under Freedom of Information laws and their rejection of a subsequent appeal lodged with the lead agency on environmental management of the pulp mill site, construction and operation. Go to The Greens. 18 Jan 2008 The Greens say Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment relating to the construction of the Bell Bay pulp mill were rejected last year, and an appeal against the decision also failed. What is the Government hiding? Go to the ABC 18 Jan 2008 Canada. Vancouver Island’s forest industry, is facing widespread layoffs, companies in difficulties, mills for sale or simply being closed, crippling fibre costs on the pulp and paper side. Go to Business examiner Vancouver 17 Jan 2008 HELSINKI. Stora Enso said it would forge ahead with the closure of Finnish paper and pulp mills, cutting 985 of its staff. The papermaker had warned in October some 1,100 jobs could go as part of a plan to close its Kemijarvi pulp mill and Summa paper mill to save money. Go to 14 Jan 2008 The Premier's reluctance to move forward on a climate change strategy for Tasmania is a godsend for the woodchippers and pulp mill proponents. Go to The Greens media release 14 Jan 2008 Paul Lennon's time as premier is about to be cut short by an extraordinary lack of good governance and abrogation of proper process, particularly in relation to the State government's approval of the Tamar Valley pulp mill. Read The Mercury 11 January 2008 The Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, is to make a decision on a permit for vegetation clearing on the pulp mill site within days. Gunns needs the Commonwealth permit before it can start preparing the site for construction Go to the ABC 10 January 2008 Another log truck rollover, Southern Outlet Launceston. Motor cyclist and passenger just escape being crushed. Read The Examiner 8 January 2008 Workers at the site of Gunns proposed pulp mill cleared vegetation and damaged a creek bed in the course of making access tracks to drill water bores. GUNNS has been cleared of any breach of its pulp mill permit conditions by the States' Environmental management director, John Mollison. Reported by The Examiner 5 January 2008 Fast-tracking of the South Australia's planned Penola pulp mill has been compared to Gunns's bitterly contested pulp mill planned for northern Tasmania. Read The Australian

Related pages Gunns Tamar valley pulp mill, key issues

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