Media release 28 June 09. Who is the government working for, foreign operatives or the Tasmanian public?

“Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke last week flagged using taxpayer subsidies to make it more attractive to foreign operatives to take control of Gunns’ planned pulp mill and Tasmania's resources” said TAP Into A Better Tasmania spokesman, Bob McMahon.

But a new state-wide EMRS poll shows two in every three Tasmanians don’t want the planned Tamar Valley pulp mill to go ahead because it will result in foreign operatives effectively controlling Tasmanian water, land and forests.

The poll was commissioned in mid-June by TAP Into a Better Tasmania. Of the 800 Tasmanians surveyed, 65% said “no” the government should not allow the pulp mill to go ahead if it results in foreign control, 26% said “yes”, and 9% were unsure.

Bob McMahon said, “The recent endorsement of Gunns’ pulp mill by the Federal Minister Tony Burke shows Labor is working for effective foreign control of our land, water and forests. But according to the latest EMRS poll, Tasmanians overwhelmingly don’t want it”.

“Labor should know better than to rely on those with a conflict of interest in Gunns and the CFMEU for advice to get behind a project that has failed to analyse the risks, failed to make a proper business case, and failed the best interests of Tasmanians,” Mr McMahon said.

"If this was a reputable business it would have attracted reputable finance. It did not. The ANZ, quickly followed by other Australian and foreign banks wanted nothing to do with it. That's why Gunns are trawling the world with cap in hand looking for a ‘Khemlani’. That's why the CFMEU dominated federal Labor are spruiking the mill on John Gay's behalf. What Minister Burke is doing is far more serious than what Rudd and Swan have been accused of over the car dealer John Grant affair," he continued.

For further information contact:
Bob McMahon
Spokesperson for TAP Into A Better Tasmania