MEDIA RELEASE July 8th 2009

Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has misled Parliament and should be relieved of his portfolio.

“It’s time for the Prime Minister to cut Burke loose. Not only is Burke a plagiarist, a shameless proponent of vested interest and incompetent in his portfolio, but most seriously of all, he has misled Parliament,” stated TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon. 

“Having nakedly plagiarized the Gunns website in his pulp mill spruiking speech to Parliament on June 24, he also misled Parliament by claiming the mill would create 8000 long-term jobs.

“Not even John Gay, the notorious amplifier of the benefits of the proposed pulp mill claims that number of jobs. In a puff piece published in the Examiner July 7, Gay claims 1600 long-term jobs.

“With Burke and Gay making wildly different job claims, it’s about time Burke was made to account for the missing 6400 jobs, and then clean out his desk and move to the back benches,” continued McMahon.

“He went too far in spruiking the supposed benefits of the proposed mill and has paid no heed to the costs, risks and impacts on existing agricultural and fishing businesses in Tasmania should the mill go ahead.

“Just like his predecessor Eric Abetz, only the Forestry part of Minister Burke’s portfolio interests him. Agriculture in the Tamar region and the Bass Strait fishery can all go to hell as far as this man is concerned.” 

A community delegation organized by TAP Into A Better Tasmania will be attending the ALP National Conference in Sydney July 30 – August 1 to demand Burke’s removal from his portfolio and the appointment of someone who really cares for food production in Australia.

Contact Bob McMahon 0448 547290 or (03) 63944225

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