Media reports Februray 2010

27 February 2010 Gunns says research involving genetics at a Ridgley site it acquired in 2002 never led to genetically engineered plantation gums - an assurance now supported by the State Government. (However), the 2000 edition of 40 Degrees South refers to the "new research centre and forest nursery expansion at Ridgley" "complementing" each other because a company involved, Associated Forest Holdings (AFH), had become "world leaders in genetically modifying E. nitens to improve cold tolerance and pulp fibre yield". A Gunns spokesman said there was nothing to fear. E. nitens were thrust into the spotlight this week after it was claimed, following recent testing organised by St Helens GP Alison Bleaney, that plantation E. nitens (possibly genetically altered) and their leaves might have caused toxic water impacting on public health in St Helens and on nearby farmed oysters. Advocate

26 February 2010 The Tasmanian Government has been criticised for announcing a plan to sell an extra 800,000 tonnes of woodchips to Asia, before the sale had been finalised. The Government said it would prevent an eight week shut down at two Gunns' mills, and save about 150 forest contractor jobs. But contractors say they were given false hope, because the shut downs are going ahead and people are losing their jobs.ABC

24 February 2010 The Australian Stock Exchange has grilled Gunns on its profit drop and when the company first became aware of declining profits. The "please explain" was issued on Tuesday afternoon and the timber company had until 9.30am today to answer questions about when Gunns knew its profit for the first half of the year would be 98.7 per cent lower than the previous corresponding period. Mercury

24 February 2010 Gunns hammered as profits dive. Gunns has taken a half-year share price thumping that casts doubt on support for a group still to close on its pulp mill project. Gunns shares plummeted 21 per cent to 69.5c, the lowest level since the depths of the financial crisis, and a far cry from their 2005 high of $4.75. SMH

20 February 2010 Key opponents of the Gunns pulp mill are ready to embrace the $2.5billion project - if it meets conditions set down by potential Swedish joint venture partner Sodra. A leading opponent of the proposed mill, Sydney businessman Geoffrey Cousins, told The Weekend Australian he was ready to swing behind it, if Gunns accepted Sodra's conditions. These included that Gunns obtain top-flight environmental certification for pulp wood from the Forest Stewardship Council. Gunns would also have to address marine pollution issues by adopting chlorine-free technology or an equivalent. Australian

12 February 2010 Tasmania's forest contractors breathed a sigh of relief as the State Government yesterday announced an agreement to sell 800,000 tonnes of woodchips into Asian markets. Energy and Resources Minister David Llewellyn made the announcement, which is expected to save about 150 forestry contractor jobs, at a meeting of industry representatives at Campbell Town. Mr Llewellyn said a number of issues were discussed at the meeting and another meeting would be held next week. The agreement came after the forestry industry was thrown into disarray when Gunns announced the temporary closure of its Tamar Valley mill at Longreach for up to eight weeks.Examiner

9 February 2010 The State Government has compulsorily acquired land on the East Tamar earmarked for the Gunns' pulp mill pipeline. Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act reveal Gunns has been negotiating with the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources for more than two years for the pipeline to be accommodated in the road reserve for the Dilston Bypass. The negotiations between DIER and Gunns continued despite Premier David Bartlett's "line in the sand" statement in July 2008 which indicated an end to Government support. Mercury

3 February 2010 Peter Cundall, the former host of the ABC's Gardening Australia program, has used the publicity surrounding his court appearance to accuse logging company Gunns and the Tasmanian Parliament of corruption. Cundall says the proof that Gunns helped write the legislation is that they have not denied it. Gunns is not commenting on Cundall's claim that the company used corrupt means to get its pulp mill approved. ABC