Media stories for August 2009

27 August Twenty-five Tasmanians were arrested today as they peacefully protested outside the State Parliament House in Hobart. They had assembled to demand the establishment of a Royal Commission into the corruption surrounding the Pulp Mill process and repeal the Pulp Mill Assessment Act. Tasmanian Times

27 August The Greens today said that Premier David Bartlett was in real trouble over a position he took a year ago when he stated in Parliament, that if the pulp will was in any way a threat to the health of the people of the Tamar Valley he would not support it;as evidence from the Resource Planning and Development Commission’s (RPDC) own documents stated that health risks were probable. On August 27 2008 the Premier stated in parliament “If I believed based on the science that this pulp mill…provided a threat to the health and wellbeing of the people of Tasmania and the Tamar valley, I would not support it. That is a fact…” Greens Pulp Mill spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that research undertaken by RPDC consultants’ UniQuest spelled serious trouble for the Premier’s stance, as not only did they find that there were so many uncertainties around the lack of data provided by Gunns that air borne pollution could not be estimated, but the report further stated that there were already health problems in George Town, probably caused by air pollution and the Pulp Mill would add to this pollution. The Greens

22 August The Tasmanian Greens described Gunns' decision to begin clearing an area of public reserve inside the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area as an obscene charade, given that Gunns have no finance for their pulp mill project, no access for their pipeline, no federal permission to dump effluent in Bass Strait, and no social licence to build their toxic and divisive pulp mill. Greens Pulp Mill spokesperson Kim Booth MP said the Labor and Liberal parties, who voted to excise part of the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area in 2007 on Gunns? behalf, should hang their heads in shame as the chainsaws move onto land that should still be a public reserve. The Greens

8 August A Galaxy Poll of 1100 people, commissioned by the Greens, found 74 per cent were against the construction of the controversial Gunns pulp mill with only 14 per cent in favour. The remaining 12 per cent were not sure. Greens leader Bob Brown said the poll was proof the federal and state governments were out of touch with the common people. The Mercury

8 August The Greens have been accused of using misleading information in a national poll that shows overwhelming opposition to Gunns' $2.2 billion pulp mill. Forest Industry Association of Tasmania chairman Julian Amos said the Greens were being "deliberately loose with the truth". "The Greens knew the majority of Australians would support the mill if they mentioned it was plantation based". The Examiner

7 August The Greens have accused Gunns of misleading the public with a statement that it would start clearing land at Trevallyn and on a private East Tamar property for its pulp mill water pipeline. Gunns has said it aims to start slashing work at the sites before the end of the month, following its start of slashing at the pulp mill site at Bell Bay on Monday. The Examiner

4 August Gunns has begun "early site works" at the Bell Bay pulp mill site at a rate of 1ha a day. The Wilderness Society spokesman Paul Oosting said "This is a move to create the illusion that its pulp mill project is still on track," he said. "The project lacks funding, full government approvals and legal access to land." The Mercury