Media reports for November 08

28 November Ringarooma residents called for a moratorium on plantation aerial spraying in the district two days after Gunns contractors sprayed plantations in the town's water supply catchment. People expressed worries about their water but were afraid to speak out for fear of being branded "redneck greenies." A number of local residents had developed cancer in the past couple of years and a large number of stock had died for no apparent reason. The Examiner

27 November Gunns' has lashed out at "ill-informed" Government ministers casting doubt on the $2.2 billion pulp mill. The Mercury

27 November Tasmania's peak industry lobby group has urged Government members to be 'terribly careful' when making public comments about Gunns' proposed pulp mill in the current climate. Timber industry analyst Robert Eastment said comments from Ministers Giddings and Singh had not helped Gunns secure financing for the $2 billion pulp mill. Mr Gay says the company will be ready to begin building the mill once it gains finance and the remaining Federal Government approvals. The Examiner

27 November Gunns chairman John Gay accused government ministers of making "ill-informed and negative" comments about the pulp mill after newly announced Cabinet member Lisa Singh said the project's future was "not looking that rosy", describing the pulp mill as being "in the past". The Examiner

26 November Gunns has sold 33,000 hectares of softwood plantation in South Australia and Victoria to GMO Renewable Resources. A legal challenge to the Tasmanian Government’s assessment of Gunns' pulp mill proposal will be heard in the Supreme Court in March or April. Part of the Pulp Mill Act prevents landowners from receiving compensation if they are adversely affected by the planned mill.

25 November Gunns sells 75 per cent of its Victorian and SA softwood plantations for $175.2m to GMO Renewable Resources. Proceeds of the sale would be used to reduce bank debt and improves the company's prospects of getting finance for its proposed $2.2 billion Bell Bay project. The Examiner

25 November Premier David Bartlett has ruled out legislating to help Gunns obtain land for a water pipeline to its proposed pulp mill. Gunns is still negotiating with a number of landowners and has faced opposition from the West Tamar Council in obtaining land easements for the crucial water pipeline. The Mercury

25 November Shares in Gunns have dropped a further 13 per cent to 64.5 cents in trading. Share analyst, Tom Ellison, says uncertainty about the pulp mill has contributed to the fall. "They're fairly and squarely in takeover territory at the moment," he said. Yahoo Finance

24 November Mercury Editorial. 'Gunns must be dreaming when it still talks about building the pulp mill. Rarely before has the adage of ending "not with a bang but a whimper" been more true than in Tasmania today as the pulp mill saga winds to a tortuous close. On at least four levels now, the contentious mill with its sub-standard, lower than world best practice environmental standards, would appear to be dead.' The Mercury

24 November Gunns' proposed pulp mill is probably sunk, says Deputy Premier Lara Giddings. "Already the pulp mill steering committee within the Government has been disbanded, the sovereign risk agreement is coming to an end and basically this pulp mill is really in the hands of the company and its financiers," she said. Her comments came as a crowd of 2000 Tasmanians intent on killing off the controversial $2.2bn mill literally drew a line in the sand at Kingston Beach yesterday to galvanise their campaign with a massive Mexican wave and shouting "No pulp mill". The Mercury

24 November Deputy Premier Lara Giddings has become the first State Government minister to cast doubt on the $2 billion Gunns pulp mill, saying yesterday that there was less chance now of it being built. The Examiner

22 November Gunns has suffered another blow to its plans for a $2.2 billion pulp mill. The company will not seek an extension to a Sovereign Risk agreement that would have paid $15 million if Forestry Tasmania could not deliver the wood under the Long Term Wood Supply Agreement because of a change in Government policy. Gunns' share price plunged this week from $1.17 to close at 75c, cutting market capitalisation to just over $500 million. The Mercury

21 November The Greens said that in light of the problems with the pulp mill, Premier David Bartlett must instruct Forestry Tasmania to terminate the wood supply agreement in accordance with his ‘line in the sand’ commitment. Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said “If David Bartlett is serious about drawing a line in the sand he would have the wood supply agreement cancelled and use the opportunity to re-evaluate our forests for their carbon value” Mr McKim said. The Greens

21 November Gunns' pulp mill project is fast going backwards, the Wilderness Society says after the timber giant announced it will not seek to renew a state government Sovereign Risk wood supply agreement. On another front, landowners opposed to the mill are refusing to allow the company an easement across their properties for a water pipeline crucial to the mill's operation. Gunns rejected speculation that its controversial Bell Bay pulp mill was in doubt after fervent mill project supporter, former Tasmanian premier Paul Lennon, said it appeared the project "may not be alive". Daily Telegraph

21 November Gunns' $2.2 billion pulp mill could founder over the inability to gain access to land worth $7802 for its water pipe. In October, the West Tamar Council voted unanimously against allowing Gunns to acquire an easement over council land for the pipe from Lake Trevallyn to Bell Bay. There is also opposition from landowners on the East Tamar to giving Gunns access to land for the pipe. The Solicitor-General has advised that the council and other land owners have the right to refuse or grant access. The government said that the issue has to be to be resolved by Gunns and the council. Gunns say they will continue to talk to all owners of public and private land on the pipe route. The Mercury

20 November Just when it seemed the proposed pulp mill might slip off the agenda, new revelations have emerged to reignite the political intrigue surrounding the controversial project. This week, a parliamentary committee heard of sworn evidence from planning chief Simon Cooper that ex-premier Paul Lennon had not been telling the truth about events leading up to the fast-tracking of the mill. The evidence strengthened suspicions that Tasmanians were conned about the Lennon government's reasons for fast-tracking the mill and fuelled calls for a royal commission. (A brilliant piece by The Australian's Matthew Denholm that Paul Lennon and John Gay will not want to read). The Australian

20 November Gunns anticipates Federal Government approval for the $2.2 billion pulp mill will be provided in January next year but he did not indicate when finance would be provided for the project. The Mercury

19 November Gunns has rejected suggestions that its controversial Bell Bay pulp mill is in doubt, saying construction will begin once financing is secured. Despite the wood chipper's reassurances, Gunns shares fell nearly 18% yesterday. The fall was connected to reports that fervent mill project supporter, former Tasmanian premier Paul Lennon, said it appeared the project "may not be alive". The Age

18 November A new poll shows 73 per cent of Tasmanians want the State Government to get out of Gunns' proposed pulp mill. The survey of 1000 adults by EMRS showed only 20 per cent wanted the support to continue while 3 per cent were unsure and 4 per cent said "it depends". Forestry Tasmania said it would stick with the Long Term Pulpwood Supply Agreement despite its major condition, that mill construction start by June 2008, being unfulfilled. The Mercury

17 November The collapse of Managed Investment Schemes. Leonie Wood has written another revealing episode in The Age concerning the collapse of Environinvest an MIS company. It’s interesting to see how the plot is unfolding. A similar scenario might well confront Great Southern Ltd (GSL) and possibly other forestry companies. The Forests and Forest Industry Council are looking into it with the assistance of Evan Rolley. These are the guys that helped formulate the existing policy, then didn’t see the train wreck coming, yet nevertheless are being asked to help with rehabilitation. Unbelievable. Tasmanian Times

13 November The Tasmanian Greens called on the Bartlett Government to acknowledge Tasmania’s public hospital system is in urgent need of resources and funding. While the Tasmanian government continues to subsidise Gunns and unsustainable forestry operations waiting lists are unacceptably long with too many Tasmanians are waiting years, stressed and in pain, for routine surgery. The Greens

12 November The former deputy premier and attorney-general Steve Kons has accused Christopher Wright, a former judge who was brought in to head the pulp mill assessment process, of using his role as pulp mill assessor as a "money-making exercise". Wright only threatened to resign after he said he felt "pressured" and "leaned on" by former Premier Paul Lennon to speed up the assessment process. University of Tasmania lecturer in corporate governance Tom Baxter said Mr Kons had used the committee as a "coward's castle". The Mercury

11 November Premier David Bartlett must cancel pulp mill permits in the wake of Paul Lennon's comments that the Government should have done more work on the site before Gunns chose the Tamar Valley. It was an effective admission the mill was being built in the wrong place, the Tasmanian Greens said. Gunns said it remained committed to building the mill at Bell Bay, which they said was the most environmentally and economically viable location. The Mercury

10 November Gunns' pulp mill should have been built near Burnie, not the Tamar Valley, says former premier Paul Lennon. He spoke out about the beleaguered Gunns pulp mill, now on hold after five years of protests, political fallout and problems obtaining finance for the $2.2 billion project. He said opposition in the North was too great for the planned Bell Bay project. The Mercury

9 November Ex premier Paul Lennon has conceded in hindsight that the State Government should have determined the site for the pulp mill before expressions of interest for a proponent were sought in 2004. When asked whether he saw the Bell Bay site as the major issue that's hindered the mill's progress, Mr Lennon replied: "For a lot of people it is yes. The Examiner

8 November Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has been accused of letting Gunns off the hook over marine environmental conditions the company must meet before its pulp mill project can proceed. The Wilderness Society is concerned the impact on marine life and the fishing industry will not be assessed until after an approval decision. ABC

7 November Greens' Senator Christine Milne attacked the Rudd Government for its ‘approve first, ask questions later' pulp mill policy announced two days after its Community Cabinet meeting in the Tamar Valley. "For Prime Minister Rudd and Minister Garrett to now say that they are prepared to approve the pulp mill before the hydrodynamic modelling is done is tantamount to saying that Gunns can proceed regardless of where the effluent goes or the damage it does. The Greens

6 November Leighton Holdings Chief Executive, Wal King said that he has no idea if Gunns pulp mill project will proceed and says it's unlikely an agreement with Gunns as prefered contractor would still be valid. "We don't have any knowledge now of where they are with their funding you know particularly after I've made comments they keep us further away from them," said Mr King. A spokesperson for Gunns says the mill is ready for construction pending environmental approvals and finance being secured. ABC

6 November Once again, the pulp mill issue has been brought into the media spotlight in ABC's "Australian Story". With one side claiming that the other is spinning the truth, it is hard for us to make a valid conclusion. Just who is telling the truth? Who is in the wrong and why? Horizon Communication

3 November Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union called for the Government to focus on facilitating the Gunns pulp mill because the jobs such projects involved would "fire-proof" large parts of the economy. The Australian

1 NovemberThe ANZ bank has rejected the South Australia Penola pulp mill proposal, delivering a potentially decisive blow to the controversial $1.5 billion project . Local opposition to the Penola mill centred on the potential for plantation forests to drain groundwater supplies. The Australian

1 November Editorial. Is this the end of the Tamar Valley pulp mill? Timber company Gunns Ltd says no but some mill opponents believe it is. The Mercury

1 November East Tamar landowners on Gunns' proposed pipeline route are in no hurry to make a decision to sell land because of indefinite delays on financing the planned $2.2 billion pulp mill. John Gay does not expect all Tamar Valley landowners to agree to easement acquisition along the 30km section of the East Tamar. The TAP group believes landholders owning 19km of land along the route will not agree to Gunns' offer. The Mercury