Sunday 1 August 2010. TAP media release
"Internal polling of the northern Tasmanian 63 telephone district shows a clear majority of the electorate is less likely to vote for a political party that intends to support Gunns proposed pulp mill with taxpayer funds," said TAP Into A Better Tasmania spokesman, Rod Hutchins.
Sunday 1 August 2010. TAP media release
Following your impromptu meeting with TAP members at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 2 July, we wish to explain further our concerns and what we believe is required to fix the turmoil created by your predecessor over Gunns’ proposed pulp mill.
By Mike Bolan. Published 22 June 2010 on www.tasmaniantimes.com
If someone wanted to damage you, your property, your lifestyle, your future and/or your business how would you feel about it if they also expected you to pay them to cause the damage?
That’s basically why so many Tasmanians oppose forestry as it’s conducted here.
“Private discussions between environmentalists and forest industry groups to solve conflict over logging in the State are doomed to fail if the wide-ranging concerns of the public are not considered”, said John Day, spokesman for the community group TAP Into A Better Tasmania.
The proposed forestry roundtable to thrash out a way forward for the industry in Tasmania has been sidelined in favour of private talks between environmentalists and the timber sector.
30 March 2010 The Launceston-based timber company has appointed advisers to fast-track a restructure of the business into four separate entities - the pulp mill, plantations, sawmilling and its other assets including Mitre 10, wine and construction.
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.
30 January 2010 Tasmanian timber company Gunns has dropped legal action against a group of conservationists. The company took action in 2004 against 17 environmentalists and three organisations, claiming they had hurt its business by protesting, trespassing and damaging machinery. Now Gunns has announced it will pay $155,000 towards the legal costs of the four remaining defendants to end the proceedings. ABC
22 January 2010 The State Government paid $239,000 for an under-road crossing for Gunns Limited's pulp mill water pipeline shortly before Premier David Bartlett drew his "line in the sand" to end government support for the project by November 30 that year. Pulp mill project manager Les Baker asked Department of Economic Development secretary Norm McIlfatrick for help to pay for the box culvert under the Batman Highway-East Tamar Highway interchange in April 2008. Mr Baker pleaded that Gunns was under "extreme financial pressure". Gunns reported a $64.5 million profit for the 2007-08 financial year. Mercury
22 January 2010 Minister David Llewellyn's business trip to Japan has been labelled a mercy dash to keep timber giant Gunns' woodchip industry alive. And timber industry sources yesterday confirmed that the subject of discussion at meetings between Mr Llewellyn, Japanese business interests and Gunn's executive chairman John Gay would be woodchips. Industry sources say that Mr Gay would be trying to regain markets for his company's woodchips. Gunns refused to comment. Examiner
8 January 2010 The long-term wood supply agreement between Forestry Tasmania and Gunns will not be renegotiated to exclude native timber. Gunns announced that its proposed $2.5billion pulp mill would operate totally on plantation timber, sparking calls from The Wilderness Society to renegotiate the wood supply deal to exclude native forest woodchips. The Wilderness Society says the wood supply deal locks in more than one million tonnes of native forest wood for the next 20 years. Gunns spokesman Matt Horan said yesterday that operations outside of the pulp mill were reliant on the wood supply deal and that it would not be renegotiated. Mr Horan would not comment on the cost implications of the decision to make the pulp mill feedstock 100 per cent plantation wood. Examiner
19 December Japanese companies have demanded Tasmania provide them with Forest Stewardship Council accredited woodchips. Forestry Tasmania and Tasmania's dominant timber company Gunns Limited have previously shunned the internationally recognised FSC certification standard because of its close links with global green groups. Forestry Tasmania developed its own alternative, the Australian Forestry Standard, to prove to its customers that all timber logged and sold from the state came from sustainably managed forests.
The expanding area of plantations intended to feed the proposed pulp mill, is already having a major impact on the state.
Plantations lock in water shortages. Over 40 of Tasmania’s 48 water catchments are affected by thirsty plantation trees drawing water out of the ground and lowering the water table. Consumption of water by expanding plantations in the headwaters affects everyone downstream. When plantations exceed 8% of the catchment area, river flow audits show declining water levels particularly during dry summer months as evaporation rates increase (D. Leaman).
Plantations compete for water with irrigators, farmers, domestic consumers and the environmental flows needed to sustain river health. Changes in land use to plantations lock in patterns of water consumption for decades, at a time of declining rainfall from climate disruption. Tax subsidised plantations are taking water that could be used to make Tasmania the food bowl of Australia.
Here is the online copy of the first edition [Summer 09/2010] of TAP's newspaper. You can download a pdf of the four A3 sized pages at the bottom and print off copies.
Its purpose is to detail in newspaper format how the proposed pulp mill, the fourth-largest kraft pulp mill in the world, threatens the health, jobs, lifestyle and investments of the community.