In the news

Mar. 4th, 2011 01:24 pm
xenith: (Black Scales)
Continuing my intermittent series of updates :)

Yesterday morning:

Pulp mill's final hurdle today

Tasmania's forestry industry is anticipating a critical green light for the pulp mill planned in the state's North.

The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, will release his decision today about the $2.5 billion project's effect on marine life in Commonwealth waters

Gunns wants 'tougher controls': decision delayed

The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has extended the deadline making a decision on the proposed Tasmanian pulp mill by another week.

Mr Burke says the Gunns company contacted his department yesterday asking for tougher environmental controls.

He says another week is needed to examine the changes the company has requested.


Green MP threatens Tas Government over mill

Bass Greens MHA, Kim Booth says he will withdraw support for the Government if it offers to underwrite the project, or seeks to support it in other ways using public money.
"Were Lara Giddings, for example, as Premier to provide support for the mill either covertly or overtly by legislation or funding for that project then that government would be a Dead Man Walking because ultimately a no-confidence motion ..I would support a no confidence motion in that government because I could no longer support them," he said.
xenith: (Default)
Probably a headline that most people wouldn't think twice about but... !!!

Gunns to stop using 1080 poison
xenith: (Black Scales)
This weeks it's been all about timber company Gunns.

They sold off their hardware shops to Woolworths, their shares crashed to a 10 year or 20 year low (depending on which news story you read, or maybe both) and John Gay quit completely followed by speculation on the future of their pulp mill development and the share price rising again.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Pulp mill shipment a 'step forward'

A cargo ship, the Beluga Finesse, docked at the Bell Bay port this [Thursday] afternoon and is believed to be carrying large turbine parts from China for the mill's power generator.

[Forest Industries] association's Julian Amos says it shows the project is moving ahead.

He says most Tasmanians support the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
Ruth Groom from the Wilderness Society says Gunns is taking a huge gamble purchasing equipment for the mill, without having a financial backer. "I think this equipment is going to sit on this wharf until it rusts."
The Greens leader Nick McKim says the Gunns mill does not have the public's support and should not be built. "Gunns can continue to negotiate and continue to ship equipment in all they like. The simple fact is the mill doesn't have a social licence, it doesn't have the support of the community and it just shouldn't be built," he said.


This one comes with a slideshow, courtesy of the Examiner.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Gunns still optimistic in finding mill partner

Tasmania's timber giant Gunns has indicated it is still searching overseas for a joint-venture partner to build its controversial pulp mill proposed for the Tamar Valley.

Gunns' latest statement to the Stock Exchange says it expects to announce finance for the $2 billion project by the end of this month.

In February, Gunns chairman John Gay told the stock market construction of the pulp mill would start as soon as financial closure was achieved.

xenith: (Black Scales)
Gunns statement to ASX 'potentially misleading'

Yesterday's claim by Gunns that it will gain final approval for its Tasmanian pulp mill from the Government has been described as "potentially misleading" by Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

After releasing a CSIRO report which was critical of the mill's effluent plumes yesterday, Gunns made a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in which it said it would meet environmental requirements and it would be continuing with the project "as quickly as possible".

Speaking to Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast, Mr Garrett says it will be at least another 18 months before modelling on the impacts of effluent can be completed and a decision made on the fate of the mill.

"I was surprised by Gunns' statement yesterday to the ASX given that the conditions "L", "M" and N which are the critical conditions in the Gunns approval have not yet been approved by me," he said.

"Until such time that we are confident the dispersal of effluent and any of the other issues that arise as a consequence of the dispersal of effluent into the marine waters are properly identified and whether any additional conditions are required to ensure that there aren't impacts on matters of national environment significance, then no approval for this mill can be given," he said.


Gunns effluent report embarrassing: Greens

The Australian Greens claim a report into effluent outflows from Gunns' proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill is highly embarrassing for the company.

(Senator Christine Milne) says the document confirms big problems with the proposed mill's effluent, because the Bass Strait discharge site is too shallow and doesn't flush:

Gunns Sustainability Manager, Calton Frame, says the Herzfeld Report is over 12 months old.

"We've also released the context of the information so it's clear that that report is now superseded," Mr Frame said.

xenith: (Default)
You can probably guess what the local (state) news is all about now. See!

And this story in particular doesn't promise that it's going to get any quieter in a hurry. :\

This story was also interesting, in a different way.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Garrett delays pulp mill approval

Gunns will now have to resubmit the rejected three modules by March 3 to continue the approvals process.

The three modules rejected by Mr Garrett relate to the commissioning, monitoring and operation of the mill.

Module L in particular deals with hydrodynamic modelling and the impact of mill effluent on the marine environment.

Mr Garrett says he will not make a final decision on the mill until the modelling has been completed, which was a requirement of approval.

And in further news, Gunns' shares dropped again.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Singh quiet on mill after swearing-in

Tasmania's newest Cabinet Minister Lisa Singh has reined in her comments about Gunns proposed pulp mill.

Ms Singh's recent comments that the pulp mill is almost a thing of the past yesterday earned her the wrath of Gunns boss John Gay, who said her comments were misinformed.

Today Ms Singh was more careful in her comments, borrowing Mr Bartlett's mantra that the future of the mill is now in the hands of Gunns and its financiers.

Gunns takes aim at Labor

The State Government has been forced to reiterate its support for Gunns pulp mill after the company claimed Cabinet ministers were using the $2 billion development to score political points.

Gunns chairman John Gay accused ministers of making "ill-informed and negative" comments about the pulp mill after newly announced Cabinet member Lisa Singh said the project's future was "not looking that rosy", describing the pulp mill as being "in the past".

Ms Singh's comments came just days after Deputy Premier Lara Giddings said there was "less and less chance" of the mill being built in the current economic climate.


Not sure how long the Examiner keeps its articles online, so ABC's version of that:

Aird reassures Gunns on pulp mill support

Tasmania's Treasurer has reassured the timber company Gunns that the State Government supports its two billion dollar pulp mill project.

Gunns' chairman John Gay has criticised two Government ministers for suggesting the project won't go ahead.

Newly-appointed Government Minister, Lisa Singh and the Deputy Premier Lara Giddings have both suggested the pulp mill project is uncertain. John Gay has released a statement describing their comments as ill-informed and negative.

Pulp Mill

Nov. 20th, 2008 11:50 am
xenith: (Black Scales)
From today & yesterday:

Gunns shares dive

Shares in Tasmanian timber company Gunns have plunged more than 20 per cent to just 85 cents in morning trade.

Yesterday former Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon conceded Gunns' proposed $2 billion pulp mill appears to have been shelved.


Gunns denies pulp mill shelved

The timber company Gunns has dismissed a comment by the former Tasmanian Premier, Paul Lennon, that its pulp mill project is on hold.

Gunns preoccupied with mill project: Analyst

A Tasmanian financial commentator has accused the timber company Gunns of being preoccupied with building its proposed pulp mill to the detriment of its economic performance.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Wrong spot, says Lennon

Tasmania's pulp mill should have been built near Burnie, not the Tamar Valley, says former premier Paul Lennon.

Mr Lennon has spoken out about the beleaguered Gunns pulp mill, now on hold after five years of protests, political fallout and problems obtaining finance for the $2.2 billion project.

xenith: (Feather Eye)
From ABC News

Gunns shares recover ground

Shares in the Tasmanian timber company Gunns rallied late this afternoon to close at $1.40.

Earlier in the day the stock had been trading for as little as $1.27.

The price fell 16.5 per cent yesterday when trade resumed after a two-week lay off.

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett isn't offering an opinion on whether the Federal Government should give timber company Gunns more time to show its proposed pulp mill can meet environmental guidelines.

The Federal Environment Department has confirmed that Gunns is seeking an extension of its October the fourth deadline to finalise Commonwealth planning approvals for the two-billion-dollar mill.

A spokesman for the Environment Minister Peter Garrett says the request will be considered in accordance with the act.

Mr Bartlett isn't getting involved in the federal assessment.

"It's a matter entirely for Peter Garrett," he said.

"I don't know the ins and out of the working of his legislation and his decision making process," Mr Bartlett said.

Mr Bartlett has said the State Government's support for the project will end in three months if construction hasn't started.
xenith: (Default)
Launceston's City Park

Parliament House is undergoing some building work, so Parliament is sitting up north, in the Albert Hall, which is on the edge of the City Park.

You might notice the placards & banners are targeted at politicians more so than usual (or maybe not from these photos, they tended to be smaller signs).

In the park )
In the street )
In the square )
xenith: (Feather Eye)
There's been a bit about Gunns & their pulp mill in the news this week, so I'll see if I can hit the main points.

Trading halt on Gunns shares

The Australian Stock Exchange has announced a halt on the trading of Gunns shares. The halt comes ahead of an announcement by the company. Gunns' falling share price has re-ignited speculation about the company going into partnership with an overseas pulp and paper company to build its Tamar Valley pulp mill. Shares in the Tasmanian timber company fell four per cent yesterday, resulting in a total fall this week of more than 25 per cent. There is speculation the company may announce a rights issue in coming days to raise capital. Timber industry analyst Robert Eastment has told ABC Local Radio that Gunns has flagged Scandanavian pulp and paper company Sodra as a possible business partner. More

Gunns court payout

Greens Senator, Bob Brown, says the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday ordered Gunns to pay $52,000 to himself and former Tasmanian Greens leader, Peg Putt, after it failed to proceed with civil charges in the so-called Gunns 20 case.

Gunns initially wanted to sue 20 conservationists on the grounds that their anti-logging activities damaged the company's business, but it later dropped the claims.

Mill's climate change impact positive: Gunns

A representative of timber company Gunns has told a public forum in Launceston the proposed pulp mill would have a positive effect on climate change. More than 200 people attended last night's forum organised by Environment Tasmania to explore issues surrounding the mill and climate change.

Gunns Resource and Sustainability Manager, Carlton Frame, told the forum the proposed pulp mill at Bell Bay would make a positive contribution by generating clean and green electricity which would replace fossil fuel energy, and through reducing transport emissions.

Legal attack on pulp mill launched

Three Tamar Valley business operators have lodged applications with the Supreme Court of Tasmania seeking to force the Tasmanian Government to reveal its reasons for granting the pulp mill permit. More
xenith: (Default)
Gunns are denying it & ANZ claim it hasn't been decided yet, but this is appearing in/on various news places.
xenith: (Default)
Cyberactivist : noun a person using internet campaigning tools to bring about social or political change.

Dear Friend

I've just made a pledge to protect our forests and oceans from the proposed pulp mill. You can help by spending 60 seconds of your time as I have just done. I urge you to make a pulp mill pledge now.

Take Action:

Act now and pledge your commitment to stopping the pulp mill

Send this to a friend

Tasmanian woodchipping giant Gunns Ltd wants to build a massive chemical pulp mill in northern Tasmania. This forest-hungry pulp mill will be a disaster for our climate, wildlife and future. It will also dump thousands of tonnes of poisonous effluent into Bass Strait every day, threatening marine life, tourism and the fishing industry.

State and Federal governments have ignored the wishes of the Tasmanian people and approved the pulp mill. Not only that, they have ignored the inevitable impacts of the pulp mill on our forests, oceans, air, wildlife and water.

Yet there are many hurdles that the mill has to overcome before it can be built. The mill has yet to be given the go ahead by Gunns' board. Finance for the mill is yet to be secured. Major scientific questions remain unanswered – in particular, whether the pulp mill's effluent can be safely dispersed. Unless the Federal Environment Minister ticks off on those scientific, studies a big question mark hangs over the mill's go-ahead.

The ANZ Bank is considering financing the pulp mill. It is carrying out its own assessment of the mill's impact on the Tasmanian environment and community. Now is therefore a crucial time for the bank to be shown the depth of opposition to the mill's environmental impacts.

Perpetual is the largest shareholder in Gunns. This financial institution is therefore in a strong position to encourage Gunns to adopt policies that will protect Tasmania's environment and community. The Wilderness Society believes that Perpetual has a responsibility – as a company profiting from Gunns' activities – to consider the environmental impacts of Gunns' operations and proposals.

You can help influence these major corporate players in the pulp-mill decision-making process. We also need to put the pressure on Australia's new Environment Minister - Peter Garrett. The pledge has been designed to demonstrate people's commitment to protecting Tasmania's environment from the pulp mill. It will also build capacity for future peaceful protests.

Now is your chance to have your say!

You can also send and/or share your own thoughts and opinion, by completing the My Personal Message section of our cyberaction. This will grow into a compendium of public opinion on the proposed pulp mill.

Take Action

Act now and pledge your commitment to stopping the pulp mill

Read your comments

Send this message to a friend

Please pledge your commitment today and tell Minister Garrett, the ANZ bank and Perpetual what you think about the proposed pulp mill. Your voice is vital to ensuring the success of this action.
Thank you for your action - every voice counts!

Geoff Law
Tasmanian Campaign Coordinator
The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc
xenith: (Default)
Results of the local government elections were in today's paper. Every two years, half of the alderman stand for election (4 years terms) and the mayor & deputy mayor are (re)elected each time. This time around, seems all the mayors across the state were re-elected except in Launceston. Dean lost, although he still got re-elected as an alderman.

The Examiner: Ivan Dean concedes anti-mill impact.
ABC: Alderman Dean does not think his support for the mill was the reason he lost.

On the subject of the pulp mill, I missed this when it was in the news. Work has started to remove three protesters from the top of the Batman Bridge in Northern Tasmania.

In today's news: Fund manager Perpetual has defended its investment in timber giant Gunns, the company planning to build a controversial pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar valley.

And more on Gunns: Tasmanian timber company Gunns has offered to drop its lawsuit against 14 anti-logging campaigners if they agree never again to interfere with the company's operations.

And totally unrelated to any of the above, it's 90 years since the Light Horse Brigade's charge on Beersheba.
xenith: (Coiled)
I forgot to post last Thursday when the reports on the pulp-mill were released.

Govt backs Gunns pulp mill despite guidelines not met

An environmental report into Gunns' proposed $1.5 billion pulp mill has found the development fails to meet all of Tasmania's environmental guidelines.

But the Government says the assessment of the mill will proceed.

That came as surprise to everyone, I'm sure.

Gunns welcome pulp mill reports

Gunns' chairman John Gay says they confirm the company's world's best practice approach to the development of the $1.5 billion pulp mill.

Near enough is obviously good enough.

Premier sells pulp mill safety

Greens Leader, Peg Putt has dismissed the environmental assessment.
"These reports have taken Gunns' claims as gospel," she said.

Tourism operator questions pulp mill reports

Vineyard operator Peter Whish-Wilson says [the report by] ITS points out the potential for negative regional tourism impacts, due to loss of amenity, negative visual perceptions and possible odour.

However, he says it also proposes there would be no tourism loss to the state overall, because the tourists would go elsewhere.

So it's OK because the number of tourist dollars will remain the same, even if it screws any tourist operators in the Tamar Valley? If that's the approach the state government considers acceptable...

Timber transport concerns for northern mayors

The George Town Mayor, Doug Burt, says he's pleased the State Government will continue to pressure the Commonwealth to help upgrade rail networks to take the pressure off roads.

It's not all bad then. Getting log trucks off the roads is a Good Thing.
xenith: (Coloured scales)
10,000 in pulp mill protest

"A massive crowd turned out in Launceston yesterday to rally against Gunns Ltd's proposed pulp mill in one of the biggest protests the state has seen since the Franklin dam debate."

Have photos 24 of them )

Gunns again

Apr. 4th, 2007 01:59 pm
xenith: (Woolly eye)
"Tasmanian timber giant Gunns' fourth attempt to sue environmentalists and green groups [because their protests are hurting business] will be allowed to proceed after the Victorian Supreme Court lifted a stay of proceedings." Although they were "ordered to pay some costs for six defendants dismissed from the case, including Greens Senator Bob Brown and the party's Tasmanian leader Peg Putt". ABC News Online

No comment.


xenith: (Default)

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