Gunns' Annual General Meeting - Wed 11 Nov. Lindsay St, Launceston

Drumbeat at Gunns - Show them what you really think

Download the "Drum beat" flyer from below

Bartlett’s Natural Law of Government: That Spin is inversely proportional to transparency

Rick Pilkington (Originally published on ) The continuing effect of the Gunns Pulp Mill on public life in Tasmania will be one of division. Terrible division. Supporting the project stopped being clever long ago. The kindest thing to do would be for the Bartlett Government to disconnect itself from the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill and reconnect to its line in the sand. Until the Bartlett Government or a future Hodgman Government does so, the Gunns Pulp Mill will continue to be a millstone. Connected or Divided? In 2008 Premier David Bartlett sent a clear message to the people of Tasmania that he’d had enough of the planned Gunns Tamar Valley Pulp Mill. His Government’s role in the project was over and whether the pulp mill went ahead or not, would now be determined by Gunns and its ability to get finance. The Premier told Tasmanians they would know for sure by Christmas 2008 whether the Gunns pulp mill project would or would not go ahead. The Bartlett Government appeared to have recognised it had done more than enough in meeting Gunns’ timeframe. Other stakeholders would finally be given the same certainty as Gunns. The many producers of award-winning food and wine in the Tamar Valley, where a $500 million tourism industry thrives, could now look forward to certainty and to reinvesting in, and expanding jobs-rich businesses Mr Bartlett declared: “I believe that this Parliament and, therefore the Government have done pretty much all we can and some would say too much…we have drawn a line in the sand regarding any future government involvement in this project”. When I confronted Mr Bartlett at George Town last weekend I said, “You lied to us Mr Premier. It’s there on the public record” The Premier shook his head, walked away, and mumbled something to Deputy Premier Lara Giddings. Sunday October 25 opened many peoples’ eyes to the bizzare, alternative world of media-led Government.

Civil disobedience training to stop the pulp mill

Pulp the Mill is a collective of individuals firmly committed to peacefully protest and engage in civil disobedience as one of the means to stopping the mill. We invite you to join us as a supporter, or to willingly be arrested if that is what it takes for change to come. The next Peaceful Community Protest workshop will be held in Hobart Sunday 15th November. For information email

Voters Block in action for Council elections, Oct 09

Postal voting in Tasmanian local government elections begins from between 13 to 16 October and closes 10am, Tuesday 27 October.

TAP Into A Better Tasmania (TAP) is a non-party political movement. Voters who have added their names to TAP's Voters Block have pledged not to vote for candidates who support Gunns' proposed pulp mill in the Tamar valley. The Voters Block has over 23 700 registrations and has surpassed the original target of 22 000. The number is growing steadily and the new target is 28 000. 

TAP has been contacting candidates in local council elections to ask the question "Do you support or oppose Gunns' planned pulp mill in the Tamar Valley?". Candidates who oppose the pulp mill and have given permission to publish their names are listed below.

Twenty five anti pulp mill candiates are in the local government elections for positions as councillors, deputy mayor and mayor across five northern councils.

We have made every attempt to ensure that the list is accurate but there may be one or two latecomers. Their names will be posted here as soon as possible. If there are any errors, or you would like to make a suggestion, please email Read more to see the list.


Candidates supported by the Voters Block as at 10.30pm Friday 16 October, 2009

Jobs jobs jobs! How many new pulp mill jobs?

Introduction - Why jobs?

Creation of new jobs is the central pillar in the case for winning the hearts and minds of Tasmanians for Gunns’ proposed pulp mill. Gunns’ CEO John Gay said the “mill would create jobs and long-term job security for a significant part of Tasmania's workforce” [1]. This position is echoed by the Forest Industry Association of Tasmania chairman, CFMEU forestry division, Timber Communities Australia, the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and both Liberal and Labor parties, as well as some northern council mayors.

The promise of thousands of new jobs helped ex-Premier Paul Lennon justify rescuing the ‘critically non compliant’ Gunns pulp mill in 2007 with a special act of Parliament, the Pulp Mill Assessment Act (PMAA). The other main pillar of support for quickly passing the PMAA, the urgency of Gunns’ commercial needs, has now been discredited. However, the creation of new jobs remains as the central justification for the project by Liberal and Labor. Labor is positioning itself for the 2010 March election as the pro-jobs party and the Greens as anti-jobs.

What we are asked to believe

There are several competing stories around the pulp mill proposal that we are asked to believe. We can choose to believe Gunns’ PR man Matt Horan, who says it will create 2000 construction jobs [2], or we can believe Gunns’ secret advice to the George Town Council engineer that only 1250 building workers are needed [3]. We can choose to believe Horan that the pulp mill will create “about 16,000 jobs in the future," [4] or we can believe consultant ITS Global that it will create only 292 direct long term jobs [5].

We can believe Gunns’ stated wishes that underskilled Tasmanians with no experience in pulp mills will get preference over skilled outsiders from interstate or the thousands of overseas experienced pulp workers who have been made redundant in the global downturn. Further, we can believe that the fourth largest kraft chemical pulp mill in the world will happily co-exist with fishing, tourism and nature-based activities, boutique wineries, organic food producers and farming [6].

We are also asked to believe the Liberal and Labor story that Tasmania as a provider of undifferentiated bulk commodities is better than one based on the State’s distinctive and unique attributes that give businesses in tourism, fishing, wineries, organic foods, and others a competitive edge.

The consequences of choosing to believe the wrong story are serious. So what are the job facts and which story stands up?

Join us at the TAP real community forum, George Town, 11.30am Sunday 25 Oct

Tappers are going to George Town on Sunday. The government has abandoned the health of the North Tamar - TAP hasn't! Why not travel by bus? There is a bus stop near you on route. Price $6 return. Timetable 8.20am   Deloraine - Red Line Bus Stop 8.50am  Westbury - Cross Roads (Church & Pub) 9.20am  Launceston - Metro Bus Terminal (opp Maccas) 9.40am Riverside - West Tamar Council Chambers 10.00am Legana - Woolworths Car Park 10.20am Exeter - Chemist Car Park 10.40am Beaconsfield - Memorial Hall Car Park 11.10am George Town Driver will arrange return time with passengers. Payment will be to TAP. Bookings close 12 noon Saturday. Contact Chris Hullock 0439 860 470 or email to make a booking. Please leave your phone number with Chris to confirm that the service has enough bookings and for contact by driver if necessary. The times are approximate so please wait if the bus is running late and enjoy the view. Alternatively think of our esteemed Premier David Bartlett and his mates pictured below.

Drum out the government

Join TAP’s next real community forum, not the Government pretend community forum. A peaceful gathering for a better democracy.

What Have your say from the real community forum soapbox, 2 minute speakers invited. Have some fun banging your pots and pans telling the politicians what you really think. Bring pots, pans, drums, bugles – anything to make a noise with lots of others.
Where: Port Dalrymple School, Cimitiere & Agnes Streets, George Town.
When: 11.30am Sunday, 25 October.
Why: The State Government is coming to George Town to "hear your ideas and listen to your views" about issues and concerns relevant to the Tamar Valley. Here is your  chance to tell them:

  • Voter concerns have been deliberately ignored by politicians who we pay more than $108,000 a year each to represent us. Now they want your vote.
  • The corrupted fast-track assessment looked only at benefits, not the costs including job losses in tourism, wineries, agriculture and fishing, declining property values and damage to health.
  • Most of the jobs will be for imported specialist workers not Tasmanians.
  • Millions of our taxpayer funds have already been diverted away from failing essential services (hospitals and schools) to subsidise forestry and the mill (at least $250m/year).
  • All ways of seeking compensation for harm through the courts were closed in special legislation written for Gunns.


The Beaconsfield Real Community Forum 4 October 09

Around 500 to 600 citizens came to the real Community Forum, on Sunday 4 October at the Beaconsfield Primary School and heard more than 20 speakers take the microphone against Gunns' proposed pulp mill, the corruption in Tasmanian politics, aerial spray pollution in plantations, and many more issues about the deep seated failure of government.

Armed with drums, bells, cymbals, buckets, horns, tambourines, bugles, saucepans, lids, tins, garbage bins, whistles, and anything that made a loud noise, they rose as one to create a deafening cacophony venting their anger at State Government Ministers when they arrived to "consult" the community. Twenty one were arrested for refusing to leave the grounds.

Speaking on ABC TV after the event, Premier David Bartlett claimed “I certainly support their right to peaceful protest and demonstration of that point of view. There is also a very large section of the community that recognises 40,000 new jobs.” The 40,000 jobs statistic is a brand new claim made today. Bartlett has been compelled by anger of the people to up the stakes in a game of bluff with the Tasmanian voters with his call of 40,000 new jobs.  Gunns state that only 1250 short term construction jobs and 292 long term operational jobs are required by the planned pulp mill. Bartlett's new job claim shows a desperate man making stupid mistakes.

The Real Community Forum

Come to the 'real' community forum and meet Team Bartlett and tell them what you really think.

Where: Beaconsfield Primary School, Grubb St.

When: 11am to about 4.30pm, Sunday October 4.

Why: The State Government is coming to the Beaconsfield Primary School to   "hear your ideas and listen to your views" about issues and concerns   relevant to the Tamar Valley. Most people who have applied to meet   Ministers, Members and Heads of Departments have not been granted   permission and cannot make their views known. 

Members of TAP Into A Better Tasmania see the Government's community  forum as a sham.  

The Government fully supports Gunns' planned pulp mill in the Tamar  valley despite "critical non compliance", majority opposition, a corrupted   planning process, denial of community input and promises of no more  support.  

We invite the community to join a real forum outside the Beaconsfield   Primary School to voice concerns over the biggest single threat to jobs,   clean air, health, property values, investments, and lifestyle in the Tamar  Valley, and over the risks to democracy posed by politicians who are not  interested in protecting the public. 

The Government says it wants to hear your "concerns" so here is your  chance to tell them.  

All are invited to have a say (2 mins max) on the soapbox of democracy to  the assembled crowd outside and the government on the inside. 

Sound your displeasure with the Government.

Bring your rage, bring your bells, bring you whistles, pots and pans(and ear plugs) to make a din loud enough for the  Government to really hear your "concerns" for your health, jobs and for  your future.


Click "read more" to see the magic bus time table for Beaconsfield TAP Community Forum and how to book a seat.

To W Jones, EPA, re Gunns Limited— Approval of the Draft Pulp Mill Design.

To: Environmental Protection Authority Tasmania
Mr. Warren Jones
Director of the EPA.

4th September 2009.

RE: Gunns Limited— Approval of the Draft Pulp Mill Design.

Dear Mr. Jones.

I write to you as I understand that this document has been submitted for your consideration and approval.

I wish to draw your attention to Appendix 3 of the Equator Principles (EP) document. I strongly suggest that you do not approve the Pulp Mill Design document as the statements contained in Appendix 3; the basis of the whole design is plainly erroneous.

State Government Community Forum, Beaconsfield

What: Government Ministers, Heads of Departments and local members will make themselves available to the community at Beaconsfield on Sunday 4 October.

When: 1.00pm - 4.30pm Sunday 4 Oct

Where: Beaconsfield Primary School Gym, 33 Grubb St, Beaconsfield.

The public is invited to make appointments by Friday 18 September and appointments will be confirmed Friday 25 September subject to availability.

A submission form must be completed with contact details, meeting subject and names of people participating in the appointment.

Enquiries: phone Allison Dwyer 6233 3830 or 1800 041 043.


Tasmanian Political Rot: The PMAA Revisited

Reproduced from


The recent “highly publicized” activities of Gunns at Longreach and the Trevallyn Reserve have revived and broadened public interest and public scrutiny of the now infamous PMAA and its associated permits. No need any more to spell out the name of the legislation. It’s now a well-known acronym, and continually growing in stature, but has long since left behind its aura of a model of controversially undemocratic Tasmanian legislation. It has acquired a more singular authority, as a thorough exemplar of political rot, the template for the failure of Tasmanian political processes at their worst.

The carefully orchestrated publicity between Gunns and its unfailingly fawning propaganda arm, the Launceston Examiner, has rebounded in quite spectacular fashion on both parties. The Chinese Government couldn’t have done it better.

“People not pulp mill pipeline” Community Picnic

Pipeline Picnic

Join family and friends for a Community Picnic as we come together to reclaim the Trevallyn Recreation Reserve, “our publicly owned reserve” and stop Gunns’ land clearing charade.

What to expect: Hear from Peter Cundall and other dynamic speakers, enjoy the music and each other’s company.

Venue: Trevallyn Reserve Village Green, Reatta Road, Trevallyn. It’s adjacent to Doyle’s Shelter, the HOO HOO Hut and the Dressage Arena.

Time: 12.00-2.00pm

What to bring: picnic lunch, drinks, chairs and raincoat and sunscreen.

Parking: Ample parking is available near the Green.

Amenities: Toilets and BBQ facilities are available.


Get your copy of the picnic flyer by downloading the "TAP_picnic_sept09_small_flier.pdf" file from below. You can print out the two pages  back to back and cut into 4 separate flyers for sharing with friends and others.

Mandatory reading for would-be politicians

Five compelling facts about the planned Tamar Valley pulp mill story continue to drive strong and growing community opposition to the proposal. At stake is the livelihood, health and environment of 100 000 people who live within the 55km radius odour zone. Also at stake is the future of many politicians.

MEDIA RELEASE July 8th 2009

Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has misled Parliament and should be relieved of his portfolio.

“It’s time for the Prime Minister to cut Burke loose. Not only is Burke a plagiarist, a shameless proponent of vested interest and incompetent in his portfolio, but most seriously of all, he has misled Parliament,” stated TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon.