2009 YEAR OF RECKONING - Bob McMahon, TAP spokesman

The TAP Army campaigned on many fronts in 2008. There were many victories but despite heroic efforts by the Tasmanian community the war continues. We have entered the fifth year of the campaign. We are undefeated but we are not yet victorious. Enjoy your Christmas and New Year break because much will be asked of you in 2009 to fashion Tasmania into the enlightened  island we know it can become. "Reculer pour mieux sauter " means "to withdraw in order to maker a bigger leap". Make the most of your leave in the company of family and friends because early in the New Year it's back to the front line for us all, with new armaments and increased resolve.

2009, like 1989 across Europe, promises to be the year of reckoning for the world as well as Tasmania. The old financial order is collapsing and the worst is yet to come.

We have in Tasmania suffered under the dark extremism of a Labor government which on the one hand closes a cancer ward and on the other throws tens of millions of our dollars at a race track; on the one hand, it props up the logging industry and Gunns Ltd to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually but denies a ten million dollar loan to keep ACL Bearings and 189 jobs afloat; on the one hand, it presides in dithering helplessness over the decline in public health, aged care, railways, public housing and public education, while, with passionate intensity it promotes an AFL football team. An infatuation with circuses has always been the historic indicator of a society in decline, a society that has lost its way.

The State and Federal Labor obsession with the pulp mill is driving the Tamar Region into recession. People have held off investing here because of the threat of the pulp mill. The property market in the Tamar Valley collapsed years ago.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett has an opportunity on January 5th 2009 to turn that around by refusing to grant the remaining approvals for the Gunns' mill.

BUT the indicators are not good. The approvals Garrett has granted so far have been on a "nod and a wink" basis. TAP proved that with its own Road Kill Monitoring Survey, by comparison with which the Gunns version was feeble and inadequate. Yet Garrett signed off on it and granted an extension to Jan 5th 2009 for the completion of the modules Gunns failed to complete by the original deadline.

Tasmanians will remind Garrett, Rudd and our federal representative, MHA Jodie Campbell, what the implications will be if Garrett grants the final approvals for the mill. They will come to understand that the community resolved years ago NOT to have this pulp mill. They will come to understand that the Tasmanian community is mobilised to deploy its full resources to defend  lives, businesses, jobs, families, health and property against state and corporate acts of terrorism. If Garret grants the approvals he will have declared war on the people of Tasmania. We will have no choice but to defend ourselves. Should he refuse the approvals and refuses further extensions to Gunns, icons of Peter Garrett will be worshipped across the nation.


When: Friday Jan 2nd 2009 from 11.00am - 12.00pm.
Where: MHA Jodie Campbell's Office 100 St Johns St Launceston, (opposite the Post Office)
Why: To make it clear to Rudd and the Labor Government that if Garrett grants the approvals it will be a betrayal of the Tasmanian people. To make it abundantly clear to Jodie Campbell that if Garrett grants the approvals her political career is over. We will defend ourselves.


When: Tuesday Jan 6th 2009 at 12.00pm.
Where: Jodie Campbell's office, 100 St John St Launceston.
Why: Celebration or Condemnation of Garrett's decision.

Bob McMahon.