Government-Gunns Watch

Announcements by governments, independent bodies and Gunns are monitored here.


Wilkie - Parliamentary question on federal funding for Gunns

Gunns' Plans Revealed - FOI documents

FSC Assessment

Plantation Growers Update

Who is Timo Piilonen?

The Launceston City Council relationship with Gunns' proposed pulp mill

State government position on benchmarks for “significant progress”

State Government Sovereign Risk Agreement and Wood Supply Agreement with Gunns

Federal Government Environmental Impact Management Plan and Modules

Failures of Module C - Roadkill Survey Report by TAP Research



Hansard report of Andrew Wilkie's question to Prime Minister Gillard re federal funding for Gunns 24.02.11.


The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, today asked the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to rule out any further federal financial assistance for the proposed Tamar River pulp mill, either directly or indirectly, including through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

Mr WILKIE (3.04 pm)—My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, the Tamar River pulp mill would be Tasmania’s biggest infrastructure project, but it remains highly controversial, not least because of the complete breakdown in the state government approval process. While the majority of Tasmanians appear to support a pulp mill, many, including me, oppose this particular proposal also because it would be dirty and locally unpopular. Prime Minister, will you rule out any further federal financial assistance for the proposed Tamar River pulp mill, either directly or indirectly, including through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation?

Ms GILLARD—I thank the member for Denison for his question. I say to the member for Denison on the question of federal financial assistance that I am advised that no application has been made for funding under the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. On the question of the approval process: it is important to remind the House that that is not determined by cabinet; that is actually the obligation of the minister under the relevant piece of environmental legislation, and that legislation is, of course, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. I can also advise the House that Gunns have made public statements to indicate that, if the pulp mill does secure that environmental approval from the minister, the company plans to meet conditions that are stricter than those set out in the approval; so, if they get the approval, they have publicly stated that they intend to do better.

It is also important to note that the Tasmanian community is at the moment in a different position to the past. For generations everything around forestry in Tasmania has been characterised by conflict—and the member referred in his question to me that this has been a very divisive issue for the Tasmanian community. As he is aware, in an historic move several months ago the industry, union, community and environmental representatives sat down and started to work through a process to reach agreement on the future of forestry. They have produced a statement of principles. As I said in December last year, those involved have worked through a very complicated thing, a thing very much characterised by division. The fact that they have patiently done so is a credit to all of them.

That statement does include a commitment to a strong, sustainable timber industry, including a pulp mill, and a commitment to the progressive implementation of a moratorium on the logging of high-conservation value forests. This is not a government agreement; it was brokered by community, union, industry and stakeholder groups. Therefore, I view our role as a supportive role to bring that agreement to fruition and into life. In that regard we have announced, working with the Tasmanian government, the appointment of Mr Bill Kelty as an independent facilitator. He has been working through as an honest broker with the various stakeholder groups and is very well received by them.

On the process from here: as I understand the work involved that Mr Kelty is now facilitating, the stakeholder groups are planning to consult further to resolve outstanding issues. I understand there remains a great deal of goodwill. It is too early to say whether or not the statement of principles will form a lasting settlement of these difficult and divisive issues, but I am hopeful. I say to the member for Denison that there is cause for some cautious optimism.

See public comments in  Tasmanian Times


Gunns' Plans Revealed - FOI documents released by John West on Tasmanian Times

These documents were released under FOI rules and are in the public domain as information in the public interest.

The documents date around 2008, however, they are still in play, and very current, as they mainly relate to the final module for approval for the proposed pulp mill, which is likely to be approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) in the next month or so.

These documents describe Gunns’ alterations to the final plan, their proposed marine pollution monitoring and management, pollution trigger levels and other issues.Some of these documents have been heavily censored.

As they have been released into the public domain, these documents have been released on Tasmanian Times for the public. These documents show the final position of Gunns on some issues, and the state-of-play for the final marine assessment.

See Gunns' Plans Revealed.


FSC Assessment

Gunns' attempts to gain FSC accreditation run into problems. The Rainforest Alliance conducted two separate and distinct evaluations of Gunns Limited (Gunns) in July 2010 using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. These two evaluations were
1. A forest management pre-assessment using the Rainforest Alliance/SmartWood FSC Interim Standards for Assessing Forest Management in Australia, and
2. A controlled wood evaluation using the international FSC Controlled Wood Standard for Forest Management Enterprises (FSC-STD-30-010).

The results and current status of these two evaluations are summarized below in this document. Summaries of pre-assessments and controlled wood evaluations are not typically distributed to the public insofar as this is not required by the FSC. However, the Rainforest Alliance and Gunns believe that given the significant public interest in Gunns’ FSC evaluations, it is important to keep stakeholders informed of the process.

The FSC pre-assessment identified a number of major barriers to future attainment of an FSC certificate.

The Rainforest Alliance has issued major corrective action requests  to Gunns in order to correct the major nonconformities and therefore has not issued Gunns a FSC controlled wood certificate. Gunns has 'temporarily' removed Tasmania from an upcoming assessment  to allow sufficient time to close out the major nonconformities.

See FSC Assessment.

Plantation Growers Update


Grower Update GPL Woodlot Projects & ex-GSMAL Plantation forestry schemes Nov 2010.

Key extracts from Update.

'Australia’s historical major trading partner Japan moves away from woodchips sourced from natural forests, the exports of plantation grown woodchips are also being heavily impacted. Japan is reducing its pulp and paper processing capacity as a consequence of the ongoing effects of the global financial crisis and due to supply coming on-stream from newer, more efficient pulp mills in China, South Africa and South America. Customers for ocean traded woodchips are also showing a strong preference for woodchips sourced from FSC certified sources.'

'The long term best interests of Growers in GPL’s Woodlot Projects are served by Gunns Limited being successful in establishing a modern, efficient and globally competitive pulp mill at Bell Bay.'

'As you are aware GNS is devoting considerable resources to a project aimed at achieving FSC certification for its managed plantations (including those of Growers in both the GPL Woodlot Projects and the ex-GSMAL plantation schemes) in Tasmania, the Green Triangle and Western Australia.' 

See Grower Update.

Who is Timo Piilonen?

Jorge Daniel Taillant Presidente Soluciones Sustentables

Gunns has hired Finnish national Timo Piilonen as Pulp Mill Director Southern Star Corporation to deliver the Bell Bay Mill. And while Gunns touts his credentials and ability to build a “world scale pulp mill”, Piilonen is really known for his hard and inflexible positions maintained during a very conflictive mega kraft pulp mill project that went up in South America nearly five years ago and that continues to generate serious local conflict.

Piilonen’s claim to fame is his management of the Finnish company’s Oy Metsa Botnia’s Orion Project on the Argentine-Uruguayan border. Orion has brought ample profits for the pulp mill company but at a cost of billions of dollars in losses and strife to local communities and international trade due to a border conflict caused by the mill’s disastrous handling of local consultations and diplomatic relations with host countries, principally at the hands of the Finnish Piilonen. A permanent road went up to protest Piillonen’s project in 2006, and it has never left, locking otherwise friendly communities in an unmanageable dispute.

Piilonen was manager of the project that shook the pulp mill industry like no other ever has, bringing development finance stalwarts like the IFC to its knees, following the discovery that Botnia and IFC had failed miserably in its due diligence to safeguard social and environmental norms. Communities and the Argentine government contested the early Environmental Impact Assessments presented by Botnia, finding serious gaps and inconsistencies, which the IFC tried to cover up and later recognized.

Piilonen was the mastermind of Botnia ’s implementation in the midst of one of the most controversial pulp mill projects the world has ever seen. Despite claims that it has the most modern technology, the Orion project never achieved its social license to operate, and the vast majority of the community affected and impacted by Orion, to this day, massively oppose Botnia.

The Orion project attracted early financial support from the World Bank’s IFC and MIGA who helped Botnia amass the heavy investment, exceeding US$1 billion that Piilonen would need to build the “world class mill”.

Banks such as ING of the Netherlands came to the table with hundreds of millions of dollars, only to walk away when the social and environmental conflict surrounding Piilonen’s mill began to surface, showing serious problems with local consultations, pollution estimates, as well as lacking knowledge of the local economy and culture. After the independent ombudsman of the World Bank (the Compliance Advisory Ombudsman, CAO) agreed with local communities that Botnia and the IFC had failed to properly consult stakeholders, ING walked away with US$480 million, leaving the finance to other banks like Nordea, a Nordic multinational bank willing to take the risks of the sort of irreconcilable conflict brought by Piilonen’s project.

Piilonen along with IFC staff misinformed the World Bank’s Board of Directors in 2005, indicating that the Orion project had “broad public support”. Ten days later, local communities came out in droves, exceeding 50,000, in a peaceful march across the international bridge and waters of the Uruguay River displaying anger and opposition against the Botnia project, which threatened their pristine environmental ecosystem and eco-tourism industry which depends on clean air, water and rich environmental ecosystems. That march was the largest known environmental march against a World Bank-financed project, and just maybe, the largest environmental march of any kind. The next year 80,000 marched. They year after that 100,000, and the marches repeat themselves each year with similar numbers, the last of which occurred last month seeing some 80,000 people against the Orion project (now owned by UPM).

Piilonen’s management of the Botnia mill is seen in the pulp mill industry as shrewd and hardline, which is what is typically needed to confront communities resisting the sort of pollution typical of pulp mill production, heavy in contaminating chemicals that accrue in ecosystems. Piilonen has shown nerves of steel in his capacity to stonewall even the most staunch government intervention. Uruguay’s former President, Tabaret Vasquez, when confronted by his Argentine counterpart Nestor Kirchner to make Botnia come to the table said, “I’ve got my hands tied with Botnia, they refuse to negotiate”.

Piilonen’s attitude, bowing to no-one, is extremely well-respected in the pulp mill industry, which is probably why Gunns has brought him aboard due to the growing opposition to the Gunns Tamar Valley project.

In Uruguay and Argentina, Piilonen is well known for his unwillingness to engage with local communities, environmental groups or even the national government across the border, which had to resort to an international legal complaint against Uruguay due to Botnia’s hard line stance.

Piilonen’s addition to the Gunns team clearly reflects the company’s position vis a vis any community or even State intervention to hold the company accountable. Botnia’s first Head of Communications which served under Piilonen, Marko Janhunen commented to local environmental groups indicating that after Botnia’s pulp mill conflict in Uruguay, investments around the world in pulp mills will never be the same.

Jorge Daniel Taillant

Presidente Soluciones Sustentables

Founder and Former President

Center for Human Rights and Environment

The Launceston City Council relationship with Gunns' proposed pulp mill. Motions and voting record of aldermen.
18 May 2009 - a motion to write to Gunns to clarify critical issues with regard to the threat posed by fugitive odours from the Pulp Mill was lost 4 votes to 8.

Below is an extract from page 52 of the minutes of Council meeting 18 May 2009.

11.1 Gunns - Fugitive Odours To consider a Motion from Alderman Ball on fugitive odours that may be emitted from the proposed Gunns pulp mill. RECOMMENDATION:

1) That in accordance with Launceston City Council (LCC) fulfilling its Duty of Care with regard to the health and safety of the municipality and Tamar Valley residents and in the interests of safe-guarding the economic wellbeing of businesses in the valley, as well as the wider Tamar Valley brand; and in view of the fact that odour is a problem for large Kraft Pulp Mills world-wide, including the Stendahl mill that has been used as an example of ‘best-practice’, and given that the impact of odour is a serious health issue; LCC undertakes to formally write to Gunns Ltd to clarify critical issues with regard to the threat posed by fugitive odours from the Pulp Mill.

2) That LCC requests that responses to each of the questions below be provided to council within 30 days and that the responses provided be stand alone documents and information that is specifically related to the questions, not directing LCC to the Gunns Draft Integrated Impact Statement (IIS).

3) That the questions to be asked are as follows:

a) Given that the overwhelming majority of odour problems occur from fugitive emissions from Pulp Mills on various points around the Mill (i.e. seals, pipe joins and other points) what assessment has Gunns Ltd made re the threat posed by fugitive odours from the Long Reach Mill?

b) Who undertook this assessment and what were the Terms of Reference or scope?

c) What methodology underpinned this assessment? d) Was this assessment peer reviewed?

e) Given that odours from the Maryvale mill in Victoria have been known to impact on towns 35 km away how far will the odour from the Long Reach plant be anticipated to travel?

f) Which mill of comparable size is Gunns Ltd claiming is odour free now that the Stendahl mill has been proven to have odour issues?

g) Can it be confirmed that the third burner technology that Gunns Ltd is proposing is only to be used to mitigate odours in the pulp mill stack, odours which usually make up only a small percentage of pulp mill odour, and consequently the technology does not address fugitive odours?

h) In the event that odour issues from the Pulp Mill negatively impact the health and well being of residents, the viability of surrounding businesses and the Launceston and Tamar Valley brand, how will Gunns Ltd provide means of redress?

i) Provide evidence, in line with the applicable Australian Standard, of a formal risk assessment of the potential impact of odour produced by the Mill (inclusive of fugitive emissions).

j) If it is claimed that the Mill odour will not impact on the health and wellbeing of residents and businesses in a 55 kilometre radius, please provide a statement in writing guaranteeing this claim.

The substantive motion (Res 1) was put and lost 4:8.

For vote -  Ball,  Norton,  Armitage, Sands

Against vote -  Dean,  Beams,  McKendrick,  Peck,  Shipp,  Waddle,  Van Zetten.

Abstained Did not vote -  Nott

20 November 2007 - Withdrawal of support for pulp mill was passed 7 votes to 5.

The Launceston City Council withdrew support for Gunns' pulp mill as reported in The Examiner 20 November 2007.

For vote: Ball, van Zetten, Armitage, Sands, Nott, Norton and Shipp.

Against vote: Dean, Peck, McKendrick, Waddle, Beams.

State government position on benchmarks for “significant progress” re Gunns’ proposed pulp mill (Sep 09)

The term “significant progress” term was embedded only in the Sovereign Risk agreement between the State Treasury and Gunns. Gunns had to make significant progress with the construction of the pulp mill for a written $15million guarantee against the supply of wood for the project by government. This was originally June 2008, amended to November 2008 and then withdrawn by the government when construction did not start and Gunns said it was not needed anyway.

However, under the Wood Supply agreement there are benchmarks which also have already been varied twice. Here is the link to the 180 page wood supply agreement.

Two bench marks concerning the start of construction and secondly the start of pulp manufacture are in the contract ( pages 3 to 4 and pages 10 to 11 in the original contract and variation deed respectively).

These are now - construction to start by 30 November 2010 and pulp manufacture to start by 31 December 2012. Construction on the pulp mill site - in the PMA Act 2007 and Working Permits is defined and includes vegetation clearance.

They will vary these dates again, as even if construction started in November 2010 production would not start in December 2012 - there would not be enough time to build and start production in this time frame. (Gunns states that construction will take 2.5 years).

In addition, in the variation deed, another set of benchmarks have been added which were not in the original contract. These require Gunns to give notice if the Gunns’ Board publicly abandons plans to construct the pulp mill or construction does not commence before the 1st of January 2011.

The Wood Supply agreement is a very flexible document. Almost every important factor in this agreement can be varied between the parties at any time.

State Government Sovereign Risk Agreement and Wood Supply Agreement with Gunns

November 30, 2008 is a key date for the status of both the $15m Sovereign Risk Agreement and the 20 year Wood Supply Agreement between the State Government, Forestry Tasmania and Gunns.

The Government has said it has drawn a "line in the sand" of no further assistance to Gunns past November 30. However, author Peter Henning has pointed out "It is clear ...  that the Bartlett government and the Hodgman opposition will ignore the interests of the people and communities of the Tamar Valley in whatever further legislative or regulatory action the Parliament takes on behalf of Gunns. That is a foregone conclusion, as has been consistently demonstrated in all their actions in relation to the pulp mill." See for the full article.

The secret shadowy history of the Agreements below shows the rotten heart of “parliamentary democracy” in Tasmania.

Sovereign Risk Agreement

5 May, 2008 - The Treasurer, Michael Aird, announced that the State Government signed a tripartite sovereign risk agreement with Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Ltd in January 2008. This agreement was kept confidential for four months. The agreement relates to the wood supply agreement between Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Ltd and provides for compensation of a maximum of $15 million over the 20-year life of the Agreement if Forestry Tasmania cannot supply the wood. The compensation will be considered if both Houses of Parliament pass a law that directly results in Forestry Tasmania failing to supply wood under the terms of the Wood Supply Agreement.

The Agreement ties the hands of a future governments, especially in the context of carbon trading to control climate change likely to offer huge financial rewards for not logging Tasmanian forests.

The Pulp Mill Assessment Act blocks any person or business adversely affected by the pulp mill from seeking compensation. The agreement can be viewed at the Government tenders website .

Tuesday 18 June 2008 - The Treasurer, Michael Aird revealed that Gunns requested an extension to the sovereign risk agreement condition that construction of the pulp mill start prior for June 30, 2008. Gunns requested to extend the start-up condition agreement to November 30, 2008.

Wood Supply Agreement

On the 26 February 2008, one week after Premier Lennon asked the Rudd Government's climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, to examine how forestry affects warming, Forestry Tasmania sealed a twenty year wood supply deal with Gunns. The Gunns Pulp Mill Wood Supply Agreement was negotiated in secret, the two agreements - "Sawlog and Other Products Supply Agreement", and the "Long Term Pulpwood Supply Agreement" - sign away 1.5 million cubic metres of timber each year, for two decades. Neither agreement makes any reference to climate change and the certainty that native forest logging will become commercially unviable once markets fix a true price on carbon.

18 June 2008 - Forestry Tasmania extended the wood supply agreement from June 30 to November 30 2008 to enable the company to comply with the wood supply agreement contractual conditions.

29 August 2008 - Forestry Tasmania released a statement stating that "The Long Term Pulpwood Supply Agreement contains a clause which would allow either Gunns Ltd or Forestry Tasmania to give notice to terminate or re-negotiate the contract if construction of the proposed pulp mill was not underway by November 30." See .

Federal Government Environmental Impact Management Plan and Modules

Pulp mill modules - state of play (as of  5 November 2008)
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett's approval for the pulp mill project is subject to the preparation and approval of an Environmental Impact Management Plan (EIMP). This EIMP is being submitted by Gunns in a series of 16 modules. Each module of the EIMP must comply with the 48 conditions of
approval for the pulp mill.

Four modules have been approved:
Module A - Overview
Module B - Vegetation clearing mill site and wharf access
Module C - Bulk earthworks mill site
Module E - Construction of the accommodation facility located on the outskirts of George Town.

Thus only four of the 16 modules have been approved.

Note the deadline to have the modules finalised has been extended from October 4 2008 to January 5, 2009. Gunns will have until January 5, 2009 to complete the Environmental Impact Management Plan (EIMP) for its proposed pulp mill. Minister Garrett could extend this deadline but he has no legal obligation to do so.

Failures of Module C - Roadkill Survey Report by TAP Research

 Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett, has signed off on the road kill element of the Gunns’ Pulp Mill's Environmental Impact Management Plan despite the process and data being fatally flawed, missing numerous animals including three Tasmanian devils.


Commonwealth pulp mill approval (module and conditions)

Minister Garrett’s flawed acceptance of Gunns’ work

Deficiencies in Gunns’ survey

TAP roadkill survey conclusions


Despite the Chief Scientist's clear requirement for 3 months of daily monitoring of all five routes to the proposed pulp mill, Gunns only monitored part of two routes for 24 days.

Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill (TAP) have conducted more complete monitoring on one of the routes, recording many more animals, including several threatened species. See the TAP Roadkill Survey Findings available as a download below.

Senator Milne said "The more detailed monitoring of road kill around the pulp mill site has found a tragic toll including three Tasmanian devils, five spotted tailed quolls, seven eastern barred bandicoots and a masked owl. It is horrible to contemplate how many more threatened animals would be killed if the mill were built, with log trucks hurtling down every route, every day.

"These appalling revelations about road kill around the pulp mill site make a mockery of Peter Garrett's assurances that he would only sign off each environmental assessment module once it fully addressed the approval conditions.

"Gunns' road kill monitoring utterly failed to meet the requirements of the Chief Scientist and the approval conditions, and yet Peter Garrett has signed off on it.

"This raises very serious questions about the other three modules of the Environmental Impact Management Plan that Mr Garrett has already signed off on, as well as the remaining 12 modules that he recently gave Gunns five extra months to complete.

"If Gunns cannot be trusted to properly complete a basic road kill survey, and Mr Garrett cannot be trusted to require it, how can either be trusted on issues as complex as toxic effluent mixing in Bass Strait?"

Commonwealth pulp mill approval (module and conditions)

Approval for the pulp mill project by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, is subject to the preparation and approval of an Environmental Impact Management Plan (EIMP). This EIMP is being submitted by Gunns in a series of 16 modules. Each module of the EIMP must comply with the 48 conditions of approval for the pulp mill. To date 4 modules have been approved (i.e. finalised) including Condition 26, which is part of Module C (approved 2 April 2008).

Condition 26 of Module C

Page 22 of Condition 26  reads: " Establishment of baseline surveys to assess risks associated with road kill of listed terrestrial species, especially Tasmanian Devils and Spot-tailed Quolls Baseline monitoring of roadkill along the East Tamar highway and other major access routes for construction should commence immediately. On a daily basis, the roads should be driven and all roadkill data collected, identified to species and the location recorded using GPS. Three months of data before construction commences, analysed in relation to known seasonal variation elsewhere in Tasmania, is a minimum requirement."

To manage the risks to listed threatened species associated with roadkill, Gunns Limited must, in accordance with the EIMP:

  1. Immediately following the date of this approval, establish baseline monitoring of roadkill along the East Tamar highway and other major access routes for construction.
  2. Monitor roadkill and implement response strategies, as necessary, in accordance with the EIMP if the number of road killed mammals exceeds the trigger levels in the EIMP Module C.

Module C contains the work commissioned by Gunns to meet Condition 26. A consulting firm, Genames, was commissioned to undertake a 3-month baseline survey of roadkill on the East Tamar Highway. A report (Genames [February 2008] Baseline Roadkill Monitoring Programme for Bell Bay Alliance. Report prepared for Gunns Ltd) has been provided to DEWHA and is attached in Module C as Appendix F. Monitoring and response strategies are described in section 3b of Module C .

Minister Garrett’s flawed acceptance of Gunns’ work

Garrett stated in a Media Release on the 8 September 2008 “that every finalised module fully addresses all the relevant environmental matters set out in the 48 approval conditions for the proposed mill”. TAP has found that this is not the case for Condition 26 as there are significant deficiencies in Gunns’ survey methodology. If this is the case for a basic roadkill survey, what are Gunns and the Commonwealth government missing in their other assessments of the mill?

Deficiencies uncovered in Gunns’ survey

1. Three EPBC listed species were recorded by TAP but only two by Gunns. Gunns’ consultants did not record the Tasmanian devil. This may have been a reflection of their inadequate survey methodology.

2. Gunns only monitored once every four days instead of seven days per week. In Gunns’ report (Bell Bay Pulp Mill Environmental Impact Management Plan Module C: Mill site bulk earthworks, Table 3: absolute count of carcases by date within zones) Gunns' consultant surveyed on only 24 days of the 90 days recommended by the chief scientist, i.e. the survey was grossly incomplete. For time, data is incomplete for 73% of the recommended three month daily monitoring program. (i.e. (24/90 x 100 = 27%. 100 - 27 = 73%). See Page 1 of Appendix F, Module C located at page 53 of 62 last paragraph.

3. Gunns’ data were collected over only 8 kms of the total 33 kms that Gunns had nominated for monitoring for the first five of twenty four sampling days. For distance, Gunns’ data is 76% (i.e. 8 km of the 33 km) incomplete for this period. Gunns later extended the length of road sampled to 33kms from the sixth sampling run. So for half (i.e. nine of the 18 sampling zones which represents the vast majority of the distance - 25 km - not monitored of the 33 km) of the sampling zones they did not monitor for five of the 24 sampling days. See Figure 1 and Table 1, Appendix F of the Module C located at pages 58 and 59.

4. There is Gunns' data for part of only two of the five “major roads associated with construction, commissioning and operation” (Rec. as required by the Chief Scientist. The five major access routes to the planned mill are:

  • East Tamar Highway – George Town south to the mill*
  • East Tamar Highway – Launceston to the pulp mill site*
  • Batman Bridge road approach
  • Exeter to Devonport
  • West Tamar Highway

* Gunns only surveyed part of two of the major access routes to the mill. That is, from Bridport junction south to the mill site and from the mill site south to Dilston junction.  This is especially surprising given that the workers accommodation facility is to be located at George Town. See Figure 1 map page 58 in Module C

TAP roadkill survey conclusions

Conclusions TAP conclude that Gunns has not complied with Condition 26. The main differences between the Gunns’ survey and the TAP survey are:

  • Gunns surveyed for less time than the TAP surveyed.
  • Gunns only surveyed part of two of the five major access routes to the mill.
  • Three EPBC listed species were recorded by TAP but only two by Gunns. Gunns’ consultants did not record the Tasmanian devil.

TAP roadkill survey methodology

The survey was conducted daily from October 21 2007 until the 1 May 2008 by TAP Research to help ensure Gunns’ compliance with Condition 26.

Survey usually started at 8 am and continued for up to two hours, depending on road kill levels.

The surveys were conducted along both sides of 22 km’s of the East Tamar Highway from Darymple Road, Mt Direction, to Mowbray junction on the outskirts of Launceston.

All specimens were photographed (majority of photos were dated) and GPS located as per the Chief Scientist’s recommendations. The threatened species records were verified (all specimens were photographed and GPS located) by threatened species experts such as Dr Sally Bryant and the State Government’s Devil Taskforce.

The data was collated by date, species and location onto a spreadsheet prior to analysis.

TAP roadkill survey findings

The total road kill for the period from 21/10/007 to 1/5/08 was 655 animals and birds of all species. Species of interest (endangered, vulnerable, threatened) totals:

  • Eastern Barred Bandicoot = 7 carcasses
  • Spotted Tail Quoll = 5
  • Tasmanian Devil = 3
  • Masked Owl = 1

Eastern Barred Bandicoot – Listed Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Spotted Tail Quoll - Rare on Tasmania's Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 and Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Tasmanian Devil - Endangered on Tasmania's Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 and Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Masked Owl - Endangered on Tasmania's Threatened Species Protection Act 1995

TAP Roadkill Survey Findings.pdf7.23 KB