Media stories for January 09

31 January Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says Tasmanian timber company Gunns may have misled the Australian Stock Exchange over approval conditions for its Bell Bay pulp mill. Greens Christine Milne urged the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to investigate whether the company breached stock exchange disclosure guidelines. Canberra Times

30 January CSIRO has raised serious concerns about effluent flowing into Bass Strait from Gunns' proposed $2.2 billion pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley. The numerical modelling of water movements found effluent dispersion would be in breach of Tasmania's permit conditions on an almost daily basis. Earlier this month, Environment Minister Peter Garrett gave the green light for construction of the mill but said the facility wouldn't be permitted to operate unless it mets three outstanding marine impact requirements. Independent Weekly

30 January The Australian Greens said a report into effluent outflows from Gunns' proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill is highly embarrassing for the company. Gunns "were telling the investment community that this pulp mill would meet all environmental standards," but they "had a document in their back cupboard telling them that in fact their modelling was flawed and there was absolutely no guarantee of any of the claims they were making in relation to the effluent," Senator Milne said. Gunns says the report is no longer relevant. ABC

30 January The Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett was among environmentalists who tried to stop lumber company Gunns Ltd. from gaining government permission for a A$2 billion wood-pulp mill in Australia. Now, a year after initial approval was granted, Gunns has yet to secure financing and is seeking a partner. Gunns Chairman John Gay plans to have a partner “fairly close to being sewn up in two or so months”. The company originally aimed to have finance arranged by June 2008. Bloomberg

30 January The Federal Minister is at odds with Gunns over a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange about the fate of the controversial $2 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. Mr Garrett gave approval to all but three of the modules involving the construction and operation of the mill, saying further hydrodynamic modelling would be needed before the company could secure full approval. In a statement to the stock exchange, Gunns chairman John Gay said the company was in a "very strong" position to continue to move forward with the project. "The board believes that the mill will clearly operate within the effluent trigger levels approved by the federal minister in Module L, following advice from the CSIRO and the Independent Expert Group," Mr Gay said. The Examiner

29 January Gunns is at odds with the Rudd Government after the release of a critical report into effluent plumes from the company's planned $2.2-billion mill. The report by CSIRO's Dr Mike Herzfeld was made public by Gunns yesterday after months of resisting its release. The report found "The (64-million litre treated effluent) plume frequently undergoes extremely large, rapid, variations in position". In low current speeds the effluent would pool at the surface,"and as currents increased, it did not simply mix back to low concentrations, but would be transported many kilometres from the outfall. Gunns used the report to claim the project was likely to proceed. "We are now very confident that we will meet all future requirements of the Federal Government with this project and that there is no risk for our stakeholders in proceeding with this project," Gunns chairman John Gay said. But in a embarrassment for the company, the Rudd Government hosed down expectations. Greens Senator Christine Milne said the report showed the project would need costly tertiary treatment. WA Today

29 January Gunns Ltd has told the Australian Stock Exchange that it can meet the Federal Government's hydrodynamic modelling requirements for its proposed $2.2 billion pulp mill. Gunns Board 'believes that the mill will clearly operate within the effluent trigger levels approved by the Federal Minister in Module L, following advice from the CSIRO and the Independent Expert Group (IEG)'. Mr Gay said the company would now now be continuing with the project as quickly as possible and looking to move forward with the overall financing structure. The Examiner

27 January Mill chemicals threaten 5,000 residents of Mackenzie, British Columbia. If the chlorine-dioxide tanks at the Mackenzie pulp mill rupture, they could send a yellow cloud of deadly gas into the town of Mackenzie, threatening the lives of the 5,000 people who live there.

Used to bleach wood-pulp, chlorine dioxide is one of the most dangerous chemicals stored at the pulp mill. It's a liquid, but when concentrated chlorine dioxide is exposed to air and light, it decomposes into chlorine gas, the same gas used on soldiers in trenches in the First World War. It's heavier than air and creeps over the terrain with the prevailing winds. Diluted to 15 parts per million, it smells like bleach and causes severe throat irritation. It's considered very dangerous at 50 parts per million and at 1,000 parts per million, it causes instant death.

Mackenzie's chlorine dioxide is stored in three five-tonne tanks: 1.6 million litres of deadly chemical, safe only as long as there is money to keep the mill's power boiler operating. It's extremely volatile and cannot be moved by rail or truck. It's made at the mill site. "The only way they can get rid of it is to use it," said former Mackenzie mill worker Rod Clark. He said the province is going to have to run the Mackenzie mill to solve the problem.

Fifteen years ago at Powell River, a 600,000-litre chlorine-dioxide tank -- a little over a third of the amount stored at Mackenzie -- ruptured in what the environment ministry called the largest chemical spill in B.C. history. It sent a thick, yellowish cloud of heavier-than air gas flowing through the mill site and into nearby Malaspina Strait. Winds sent the gas cloud perilously close to the first nations village of Sliammon, three km away. Workers described the rupture as "a scene from hell" as thick clouds of the gas crept over the mill site. Vancouver Sun

Will Gunns be storing Chlorine Dioxide onsite and if so will the same threats as posed from the Canadian Mill be threatening Tamar residents?

23 January Gunns lying to Tasmanians. The Tasmanian Greens released letters sent by Gunns Ltd to Tasmanians on December 4 2008 which claims that “Gunns are only establishing plantations on cleared or existing plantation lands,” as well as photographs and overhead images of a primordial rainforest adjacent to Quamby Bluff that has been recently logged and is now being converted to plantation by Gunns. Greens Kim Booth MP said Gunns appeared to be blatantly lying in its letter sent to Tasmanians just seven weeks ago, and called on the Australian Stock Exchange to investigate. The Greens

23 January Prime Minister Kevin Rudd refused to rule out federal subsidies for a tertiary effluent treatment plant for Gunns controversial $2 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. But the Federal Government yesterday was accused of cooling its support for the mill after Mr Rudd failed to express his full support for the development saying Labor members supported the proper process being undertaken. The Examiner

22 January Gunns Ltd is examining claims it allowed insecticide alfacypermethrin sprayed on to a forest plantation to drift on to neighbouring properties and a major river. Three men claim to have suffered health impacts after being affected by drift of chemicals sprayed by a helicopter on to forest plantation in Tasmania’s Meander Valley on Tuesday afternoon. All three said they saw the chemical spray from the helicopter drift on to the River Mersey in apparent breach of Tasmania’s Forest Practice Code and directives of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. However, a Gunns spokesman said the company had consulted widely with neighbouring landowners in advance of the spraying and adhered to all legal requirements. The Australian

22 January The Greens revealed that the Weegena community was contaminated last Tuesday afternoon by a helicopter applying the insecticide Dominex Duo to Gunns’ plantations adjacent to the Mersey River in northern Tasmania, and that a number of visitors and Weegena residents (who were not notified of the intention to spray) are now exhibiting classic symptoms of poisoning. The insecticide Dominex Duo contains endocrine-disruptors, known cancer-causing agents and neurotoxins which affect the human nervous system. The Greens called on Premier David Bartlett to take control of the situation and ban all aerial spraying operations that cannot guarantee that their chemicals will remain on their own property. The label for Dominex Duo state ‘DO NOT contaminate streams, rivers, or waterways…,’ and ‘DO NOT apply or allow spray drift onto adjacent non-target aquatic areas’. The Greens

16 January The four major investors controlling 48.29% of Gunns hold fears about the structure and behaviour of the company. In January 2008, representatives of all four met with Gunns CEO John Gay and reportedly left “furious” because they believed Gay was not listening to their concerns about the Gunns business model. The investors are worried John Gay and Robin Gray have too much power in the direction in the company and greater board oversight would avoid the debt-equity issues the company was having. Most regard Gay and Gray as the main proponents of the project. Envirowire

14 January The Tasmanian Greens questioned whether Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett lied to the Tasmanian people about strengthening the penalty for any effluent breaches at Gunns’ proposed pulp mill, after Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull revealed that Minister Garrett had in fact downgraded the maximum penalty from a mill shutdown to a financial fine. Mr Booth also expressed grave fears for Tasmania’s fishing industry which relies on the clean and green brand to market fish overseas, and which will be severely harmed by ongoing marine pollution from Gunns’ proposed mill. “It now appears that Gunns and Garrett have conspired to remove the Federal Government’s ability to shutdown the mill if it breaches its effluent guidelines.” “The only real protection from the mill’s marine pollution has now been removed.” “This audacious deception about effluent breach penalties simply compounds the litany of deceit that has been foisted onto Tasmanians during the entire mill approval process,” said Mr Booth. Greens

15 January A new poll shows 62 per cent of Australians believe Environment Minister Peter Garrett should not have approved construction of the Tasmanian pulp mill before resolving concerns about its effluent. Only 21 per cent believed construction of the mill should begin before final approvals were in place. The Australian

14 January Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has told Gunns to get on with its hydrodynamic modelling for the proposed pulp mill. Turnbull said "if the mill did not meet [stringent] conditions, then they would be required to have tertiary effluent treatment." Gunns has said tertiary treatment could add more than $300 million to the total cost of the project, potentially making it unviable. The Mercury

14 January Despite the paper industry’s efforts to reduce contamination, numerous studies have shown that effluent from pulp and paper mills discharged to nearby waters is linked with plummeting fish populations, alterations in sex-hormone levels and physical characteristics of sex organs, and other changes such as reduced egg production. New findings "provide a novel and plausible mechanism by which pulp and paper mill effluents impair fish reproduction by interacting with neurotransmitter systems.” Maria Sepulveda of Purdue University said “[These findings] will inspire a lot of folks, especially in developing countries that have lots of issues with paper mill plants.” Journal of Environmental Science and Technology

13 January MIS corporations pay on average about 75% less rates per ha than genuine farmers on the same land class according to research by Alderman M. Ryan of Burnie Council. It is not only farmers but the rest of the community (residential and business etc.) have to pay much higher council rates to cover the much lower amount of rates collected from forestry plantation corporations. Tasmanian Times

12 January Opinion piece by Gunns corporate relations manager Calton Frame. It's important ... to highlight a few facts about the mill because, unfortunately, there has been little real, intelligent debate. What there has been is plenty of colour, with emotive claims from mill opponents, a green movement more often concerned with political power than environmental outcomes and a conga line of B-list celebrities looking for environmental credibility dropping into Tasmania to decry a project they have not bothered to research. Unfortunately though, we have to recognise that much of the fight over the mill has nothing to do with the mill itself or its location. In reality, it's a proxy battle against Tasmania's forest industry from people too cowardly to speak their real views against a sustainable industry that employs their neighbours and friends. The Age

12 January Opinion piece by Bob Loone. Gunns seems determined to make Tasmania the Forestry Litigation State. Litigations, unsustainable plantation forestry, systematic farm and job destruction, chemical contaminations and scenic desolation by forestry is actively working against our economy, development, prosperity, tourism, and tourism operators. Our forestry controlled government is ignoring forestry’s destruction of beautiful and unique tourist assets. Tourism is sustainable, employs three times as many people, offers much better job satisfaction, and generates more than double the economic value of forestry yet it is being sabotaged by forestry. The sound of the helicopter or light plane coming loaded with chemicals to dump in their vicinity evokes immediate fear, terror, anxiety or stress. Tasmanian Times

12 January Special Treatment for plantation growers by the state government helps MIS companies avoid their tax responsibilities. Do plantation growers pay their fair share of municipal rates. The answer in short, is they are accorded special treatment with respect to their assessed level of rates. But it is in the matter of land tax where the State Government has been seriously remiss. (Excellent detailed analysis by John Lawrence.) Tasmanian Times

11 January MIS company Great Southern heads further south with a $64m loss. GSL has been managing tree plantations since 1994. GSL is now admitting that from 1998 onwards it has had reliable information about plantation yields. Yet it continued to say that 250m3 per hectare was a reasonable yield after 10 years. For GSL to make such an admission now is quite staggering, seeing as lawyers acting for aggrieved investors have already suggested misleading and deceptive conduct by GSL and failure to make adequate disclosures at material and relevant times. Tasmanian Times

10 January Opinion piece by Peter Henning. 'The point is that when a political system “looks away”, when that becomes the shared preference, the shared group agreement, the rationalized majority opinion and the articulated propaganda for action, injustice has become institutionalized. That is what has happened in the Tasmanian polity, throughout the parliamentary Labor and Liberal parties and among like-minded independent politicians.' Tasmanian Times

10 January Controversy over the impact of managed investment schemes erupted soon after they came into existence in 1998. Investors began rushing to MIS projects, lured by the promise of upfront deductions to help ease their tax burden. Impacts include take over of prime farm land, higher land prices, lower catchment yields, pest control, fire hazards and the creation of timber monocultures and the resultant social impacts. Weekly Times Now

10 January Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett approved the pulp mill pipeline's construction and minor variations to its route. But Gunns has declined to release a map of route deviations. John Gay insisted the changed route had nothing to do with landholders refusing to allow the pipeline to cross their land. Corporate relations manager Calton Frame confirmed some of the route deviations avoided small properties whose owners would not allow the pipeline to cross their land. Many of the 60 affected land owners in the Tamar Valley have refused to sell or lease the required land easements. The Wilderness Society said the pipeline's construction remained blocked because the West Tamar and Launceston City Councils refused access across council land and several major land owners remained implacably opposed. The Mercury

10 January Tasmania Police has been accused of illegally providing personal information about protesters to Gunns Limited. The Civil Libertarian Council says police broke the Personal Information Protection Act by giving Gunns the details. The Mercury

10 January One of the State's most senior Labor politicians Senator Nick Sherry, left Bass MHR Jodie Campbell to defend herself yesterday, after her Lyons counterpart Dick Adams said she should not "sit on the fence" with the pulp mill issue. Political analyst Dr Tony McCall said that Ms Campbell was in a difficult position as she was "elected on Greens preferences and a lot of them were anti pulp mill". The Examiner

10 January Gunns is now free to build its Bell Bay pulp mill but potential lenders will wonder how prudent it is to proceed. The Business Age

10 January Peter Garrett' decision means that Gunns can fully construct the $2.2 billion mill but, because of real concerns its effluent may harm marine life in Bass Strait, is not yet allowed to flick the on switch. A bemused public was submerged in a tsunami of spin as toxic as any pulp mill effluent. Even the stock market was bewildered, with Gunns shares plummeting, rising and then falling again over subsequent days. So is the decision a green, red or amber light for the mill? The Australian

10 January The four biggest investors in Tasmanian logging company Gunns have expressed fears that its chief executive John Gay has too much power and that the Bell Bay pulp mill may be unable to find finance. Many financial analysts are questioning whether Gunns can find a partner for the project after ANZ pulled out in May last year, and it is now understood Swedish forestry company Sorda had "a good look, then walked away". The Age

9 January How has Gunns managed to aggrieve a major segment of Tasmania's community, to the extent that people are willing to put their personal security and finances on the line to stop the company's logging operations. Tasmania sits at a crucial crossroad in determining how its future will look. One would lock in forest destruction with its resultant pollution and carbon depletion, and bitter community division. The other would embrace the potential to build sustainable industries in the state and ensure its natural environment remains one of Australia's most valued natural icons. The Canberra Times

9 January Legal advice produced by the Tasmanian Greens yesterday claiming that construction of the pulp mill could not begin before all issues affecting threatened and migratory species were assessed has been dismissed by Gunns Ltd and the Federal Government. The Greens would not yet take court action based on their advice. The Examiner

9 January Bass Labor MHR Jodie Campbell was attacked by Labor Dick Adams for sitting on the fence over the pulp mill. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union were "amazed ... that she had taken the concerns from her constituents to the Federal minister and that he'd listened - what is that all about?" The Examiner

8 January Worldwide pulp downtime tops 2 million tonnes of output over the last four months of 2008. As pulp producers around the world grappled with weak demand and an oversupply of pulp, the list of firms taking market-related downtime grew to include every grade made in the industry. RISI

8 January Gunns was yesterday forced to defend itself against claims that it had misled the ASX with its statement that it could start building its pulp mill. The Wilderness Society said there were still too many unanswered questions with the proposed water pipeline from Lake Trevallyn for Gunns to say it could start construction. John Gay has said that without the pipeline there would not be a mill but a number of landholders have rejected Gunns' offer to buy an easement for the pipeline. A Gunns spokesman accused the Wilderness Society of a "campaign of lies against the pulp mill". The Examiner

7 January Managed investment scheme investors are struggling to repay Timbercorp and Great Southern Ltd loans in the midst of the current financial crisis. Overdue loan repayments to Timbercorp and Great Southern have surged. The Weekly Times

7 January Gunns hopes to begin construction within months following a positive reaction from financiers to the mill's provisional approval according to corporate relations manager Calton Frame. But pulp mill construction company John Holland  has not been told by Gunns and has no plans to start construction. Gunns had spent more than $100 million since 2004 and wasted company funds in mid-2007 when finance, employment and construction contracts for the mill had to be cancelled. Gunns claimed that every day the mill's construction was delayed past September 2007 represented a "loss to Gunns of approximately $1.076 million per day in cost escalation and loss of profits". (approx 800 days to date - TAP admin) The Mercury

7 January Actor Rebecca Gibney has revealed that her opposition to the Gunns pulp mill has led to verbal abuse and vandalising of her car. The Mercury

7 January Bass Labor MHR Jodie Campbell would not categorically say whether she supported the mill or not. Gunns sustainability manager Calton Frame reacted angrily, saying that he expected Mr Garrett to play politics to appease environmentalists but he expected support from the local member. The Examiner

7 January The federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett defended his decision to allow construction of the controversial mill to begin and said any decision to block the mill would be "irresponsible" and open the Government to claims of compensation. The Age believes that some members of the ALP, both state and federal, hope uncertainty around the project will mean the frozen credit market will kill off the $2.2 billion mill, by scaring off potential investors. The Wilderness Society said that Gunns may have misled the market in its advice when it said it had full approval to start the construction of the mill as approval for construction of a water pipeline has been refused by the West Tamar Council. The Age

7 January SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 24, 2008 - All market pulp producers want for the holidays is this enormous wall of pulp to disappear, but it won't happen anytime soon now that the industry was greeted with more bad news. Global inventories have now risen six consecutive months closing at a whopping 50 days-of-supply, up two days from the prior month. The statistics, which correspond to more than 5 million tonnes of pulp. Pulp and Paper Week (an industry website)

6 January Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard has declared "construction can start" on the controversial Gunns pulp mill despite a range of new environmental conditions slapped on the project. The Australian

6 January The future of Gunns' pulp mill remains in doubt despite a Federal Government decision to approve construction of the project. The conditions are tougher than those set out by the former Howard government environment minister Malcolm Turnbull in October 2007, which said the environmental studies could be undertaken after the mill had begun operating. John Gay said that Gunns had "significant interest" from financial institutions to back the mill. Two financial analysts expressed serious doubt about its ability to attract the $2.2 billion needed in a frozen credit market. Former adviser to John Howard and anti-pulp mill campaigner Geoffrey Cousins said the decision to delay final approval until the testing data meant "the coffin is finally shut on the mill". The Greens and the Wilderness Society is considering legal action over the two year extension. The Age

6 January Mixed responses over Garrett's decision. The Greens condemned Peter Garrett for condemning Tasmania to another two and a half years of uncertainty. Wilderness Society campaigner Paul Oosting vowed there would be mass protests if construction began without the project receiving the final tick of approval. Anti-mill campaigner Geoffrey Cousins said, "The coffin was already nailed shut on the mill". The Forest Industry Association of Tasmania said, "...the conditions placed on the final three modules will cause continuing doubt and delay". Timber Communities Australia spokesman Barry Chipman said it was a "Clayton's approval" which did nothing to reassure timber families. The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Damon Thomas said, the "...$2 billion investment is still at risk to an approval process that takes years to complete". Liberal leader Will Hodgman said the pulp mill had been the victim of a poor planning system and State Government bungling. Treasurer Michael Aird described Mr Garrett's announcement as another "important step" in the approvals process. The Mercury

6 January The Federal Government has refused to give the final green light to the $2.2 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. Mr Garrett said it was possible the pulp mill liquid waste would need to be better treated and purified but he was adamant the Government would not contribute any of the $300 million cost of adding a tertiary treatment plant to the mill's design, if it became necessary. John Gay said, "If they want tertiary treatment and it's something that we say is not necessary and that the project won't be any better for it, well . . . it's a lot of money that they are forcing on us". The Mercury

6 January Mr Garrett said the three modules still to be finalised were the most critical modules in the decision-making process. Gunns boss John Gay said, "No one can knock the mill out - it is perfect." Mr Gay said that construction would begin as soon as a financial close was reached and that would hopefully be within six months. TAP said action on a bigger scale than the Franklin Dam blockades was being prepared for when Gunns starts constructing. The Mercury

6 January Final approval for Gunns pulp mill is now more than two years away after federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett imposed new conditions, casting further doubt over the controversial project. Gunns has until March 2011 to complete detailed hydrodynamic studies to prove that 64,000tonnes of effluent to be released daily into Bass Strait will not harm marine life. Gunns had hoped to secure final approvals yesterday to aid attempts to secure finance and a joint venture partner for the stalled project. Gunns shares finished the day down 2.5per cent at $1.15. The Australian

6 January The passing of legislation by the Rudd Government last year to provide tax concessions to spur the planting of carbon-sink forests has created disquiet in many farming communities. The Rudd Government is proposing the conversion of 34 million hectares of Australian land into plantations, more than the 28 million hectares currently farmed. Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce said the legislation would turn prime agricultural land into forests, and was insane. "We're taking out the capacity of Australia to feed itself or to export food products," he said. The Australian

5 January Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has knocked back three of the required 12 environmental permits for the Gunns planned pulp mill. He estimated the minimum time taken for the marine impacts studies to be completed and responses approved by the Government would be 26 months. Greens senator Christine Milne said Gunns has failed to comply with its requirements and the 26 month extension was a "body blow to Tasmanians. "The nine approved permits allow Gunns to begin construction of the pulp mill immediately, if it chooses but the company has no assurances that the mill would ever be able to be commissioned. Gunns say it is "really happy" with the decision, because it meant the company could immediately start construction of the mill, including its effluent ocean outfall. The Mercury

5 January Gunns faces tougher conditions on federal approval for its controversial Tasmanian pulp mill, with Environment Minister Peter Garrett concerned the bar has been set too low. John Gay was quoted by The Launceston Examiner as being unwilling to accept the cost of any additional conditions. "If the Government wants to take it a step further to satisfy the public and the minority voters, then they should pay the extra in costs," he said. A Gunns spokesman insisted that its mill would be "the most environmentally friendly in the world". The Australian

5 January The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania says Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett must give Gunns the green light for its Tasmanian pulp mill without imposing extra environmental protections. Additional conditions regarding waste water to be pumped into Bass Strait would be unfair. Chief executive Terry Edwards said the 64,000 tonnes of effluent Gunns plans to pump into Bass Strait every day would be as clean as drinking water. The Wilderness Society say they would sue the government if it gave Gunns another extension. Sydney Morning Herald

5 January Forest industry sources blamed not only the global financial crisis but Gunns management for potential investors shying away. "The environmental permits are hard facts and banks like them - but that's only half the story," the source claimed. He said there was significant concern about the quality and style of management, a claim rejected by Mr Gay. The Examiner

4 January Senator Brown said "Peter Garrett, if true to form, will give the go-ahead and abandon his responsibility to the forests, to Bass Strait and to the 100,000 people in the Tamar Valley". Senator Brown said if the approvals were granted, he would invite Mr Garrett to address a public meeting in Launceston to outline the reasons for the decision. "He will get a bigger audience in Launceston than `the Oils' ever had". Mr McKim criticised comments from Gunns boss John Gay that any further environmental conditions imposed by the Federal Government should be paid for by the taxpayer. "They shouldn't expect us to keep paying all the time." Mr Gay said. The Examiner

3 January Environment Minister Peter Garrett will announce on Monday if he has decided to grant 12 remaining environmental permits to Gunns. The company has not completed the requirement for 18 months of seasonal monitoring of water movements near the proposed outfall be done to ensure effluent pollution does not harm marine life, nearby beaches or flow back up the Tamar River. However, it was believed the Gunns' final submission included aadd a tertiary treatment plant in the event of adverse results from water monitoring. This is despite previously stating the $300 million cost would render the project unviable. TAP spokesman Bob McMahon said Labor MP Jodie Campbell's political career would be over if the mill was approved. The Mercury

3 January Gunns' boss John Gay has said that jobs will go and up to $150 million worth of forestry investment will be lost if environmental permits for its Bell Bay pulp mill are not approved on Monday. Mr Gay said it would be devastating for Tasmania's economy. "There would be huge job losses in the plantation industry". "Believe me, Tasmania will go through a very, very difficult period" Mr Gay said. The Examiner

2 January Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett is expected to the approve environmental impact management plan for Gunns planned pulp mill, however guidelines for ocean outfall modelling may result in a later requirement that mill effluent be treated to tertiary standard. Gunns has repeatedly warned that such a requirement would be too costly and difficult. The Australian