Media reports for April 2008

27 April Argentine-Uruguayan Border. In yet another public expression of resistance to international corporate insensitivity to popular opinion, tens of thousands braved a torrential downpour, and marched against the BOTNIA pulp mill company from Finland, owner of one of Latin America’s largest and most controversial pulp mills ever. The Centre for Human Rights and Environment

24 April A Tasmanian academic warns smoke generated from forest regeneration burns could pose a worse outcome for human health than pollution from car exhausts. ABC

22 April Pressure remains intense on the State Government over possible political interference in the aborted appointment of lawyer Simon Cooper as a magistrate and the ensuing "Shreddergate" scandal. The Mercury

17 April Whistle blower Nigel Burch's statement as passed onto Greens Kim Booth for public release. "..... The shredding of the document that appointed a magistrate consequent upon a telephone call from Ms Hornsey concerned me greatly. I was particularly concerned that a crime may have been committed. I was also concerned that I needed to protect the Attorney-General, particularly in the light of his expressed concern that the Premier was instructing him to do things that he did not agree with....." Read the full statement at

16 April Tasmania's planned water and sewerage businesses could build the $60-million water pipeline to supply Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. The Mercury

12 April World renowned author Richard Flanagan writes "there is a sickness at the heart of Tasmania and it is time all Tasmanians demanded of their political representatives that it end. It is no secret in Tasmanian life that blacklisting has for some time been part and parcel of our government's practice, a method to ensure compliance and silence in the face of what is wrong, but the extent revealed this week has shocked many". The Mercury

12 April Spending on infrastructure for the proposed Gunns Ltd pulp mill was seen as the least important area for government spending, a survey for mill opponents has found. The Mercury

11 April Greens and Liberals are demanding an investigation into whether criminal conduct was involved in the alleged nobbling of a recommended judicial appointee. The Australian

11 April Embattled Premier Paul Lennon has hinted a witchhunt could be launched to catch the person who provided the shredded document that led to the resignation of former deputy premier Steve Kons. Mercury

10 April Steve Kons' departure is an attempt to save Lennnon and shore up a haemorrhaging Tasmanian government. The Australian

10 April Tasmania's Labor Government loses a second deputy premier. Mr Lennon stonewalled questions about Mr Kons' decision as attorney-general to ditch the choice of a critic of the Tamar Valley pulp mill as a new magistrate. The Age

9 April Tasmania's Deputy Premier Steve Kons has resigned after admitting misleading Parliament over the proposed appointment of a magistrate. Paul Lennon said that Mr Kons's resignation showed he was a man of strong character and there was "always a way back" for people who admit mistakes. ABC

9 April Paul Lennon has become embroiled in a new dispute linked to Gunns pulp mill following accusations that his Government intervened to prevent a critic of the mill from becoming a magistrate. The Age

9 April A bag of shredded documents rescued from a bin exposed Tasmanian Deputy Premier Steve Kons yesterday as having misled state parliament, prompting calls for his dismissal. Australian

9 April State government in crisis. Deputy premier Steve Kons last night admitted he had misled parliament over the Simon Cooper appointment scandal. The Mercury had earlier alleged that Mr Kons had indicated to Mr Cooper that he would be appointed a magistrate, and that Ms Hornsey had later told Mr Cooper she had blocked his appointment as retribution for his conduct as acting RPDC commissioner during the pulp-mill controversy. The Mercury

8 April The Tasmanian Greens believe that the Premier and the Deputy Premier have misled Parliament over the existence of a document signed by the Deputy Premier when he was Attorney General, the approval of which document was part of the process to progress the appointment of Simon Cooper as a Magistrate by then sending documents to Cabinet. Ms Putt reminded that the accusation made in the Mercury newspaper was that an intervention was made by the former Secretary of the Premier’s Department to have the intended appointment scuttled as political payback for Mr Cooper’s role in outlining the true circumstances in which Gunns withdrew their pulp mill from the RPDC, and the was document destroyed apparently to cover the tracks.

8 April Construction of the multi-million-dollar upgrade to the East Tamar and Batman Highway intersection may be delayed due to issues with farm access. Examiner Note this is pay per view.

6 April Minister Steve Kons has denied allegations of political interference in the appointment of a new magistrate. Greens leader Peg Putt said it appeared Mr Cooper had been punished for a letter he sent to the Premier in June last year concerning the RPDC's aborted assessment of the Gunns Ltd pulp-mill plan. Mercury

5 April Linda Hornsey, former secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet personally intervened last year to block the appointment of Mr Simon Cooper, RPDC executive commissioner as a new magistrate. Normally all judicial appointments are made solely by the Attorney-General and signed off by Cabinet as a rubber stamp. She is believed to have implied Mr Cooper would not become one of Tasmania's 12 magistrates because of a letter he had written to Premier Paul Lennon concerning the controversial Gunns pulp mill. Mercury

5 April Argentina: Scientists confirm that plantations dry up streams and salinise groundwater. A series of peer reviewed scientific papers confirms what local communities living near industrial tree plantations already know: industrial tree plantations suck water out of the soil and dry up streams. By Chris Lang. Published in WRM Bulletin no. 128, March 2008.

3 April The Commonwealth has appointed an independent site supervisor, Rob Joy to alert the government of any sign of environmental damage. John Gay has criticised the delays in granting permits the company needs before it can begin work on the pulp mill project. Work will not start until the full range of permits is available for submission to financiers. ABC

3 April Federal Minister Peter Garrett OKs bulk earthworks on Gunns proposed pulp mill site two months after approving vegetation clearing. The Greens said the go-ahead for bulldozing the site was environmentally irresponsible. Mercury

3 April The State Government prefers transporting logs to Gunns' proposed pulp mill by rail. Minister Kons said that $42.5 million had been allocated for upgrading and separating log truck routes from towns and tourist routes in the North-East and $118 million maintenance funding of the rail network is committed over 10 years. Examiner

2 April Hobart students close bank accounts with ANZ in opposition to the pulp mill. More than a 100 joined The Students Against the Pulp Mill rally. Mercury