Royal Park

May. 14th, 2011 03:51 pm
xenith: (Black Scales)
Some photos from rally today. Feeling grumpy so I'm not inclined to put words on them, but I think the focus of the rally is fairly obvious.


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xenith: (Black Scales)
There hasn't been an anti-pulp mill gathering of any size in a while. A lot of smaller events, but the last one I seem to have photos of (and I always take photos) is from November 2007. I think they might be getting warmed up again. There's a big rally planned for Hobart in May.


This was one was at the Batman Bridge, over the Tamar.

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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)
I suppose I should mention we've had a state government for a week now. It seems that state governments are actually important for going to interstate meetings, making statements to the media and jumping up and down when large companies threaten to close.

The way it happened is the Governor held discussions with the leaders of parties (they being the former premier, Bartlett, who had announced his party would step down if the Liberals got the greater percentage of the votes, and the former opposition leader, Hodgman, whose party got the greater percentage of votes) and after much deliberation announced that Bartlett would return as premier. So now boys and girls, we know what the role of a vice-regal governor is, right?

The week or two were taken up with negotiations to form the actual cabinet with insufficient Labor MPs to take on all the ministries, but it's done now, with the cabinet containing two one Green minister (the first in the country, we kept getting told) and a Treasurer who said he would not serve in a Government that included any Greens.

So, minority government for the next four years. If they can make it that far. It shall be... interesting.

Also, potentially interesting, the Gunns restructure with a subsidary company, headed by their former chairman, taking responsibility for their plantations and pulp mill development.
xenith: (Black Scales)
Embassy targeted by pulp mill protest

Pulp maker Sodra is considering a joint-venture partnership with Gunns in the Tamar Valley mill but says it would have to meet stricter conditions.

About 40 people have rallied outside the Swedish embassy in Canberra, this morning.

The Wilderness Society's Tim Burch says Tamar Valley food and wine has been delivered to the Ambassador.

It beats street riots ;) There was a bit in yesterday's news about the conditions:

Sodra may still invest in Gunns' pulp mill: analyst

Sodra says any mill it's involved with will have to use 100-percent plantation timber, be totally chlorine-free, and certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

Is it possible there might be a resolution that is satisfactory to both sides? Admittedly, plantations come with their own problems but still...
xenith: (Black Scales)
In today's news:

Forest workers counter anti-pulp mill ads

The forest workers union in Tasmania has launched an international campaign to help secure finance for Gunns' $1.5 billion pulp mill.

But at the bottom of that story, is a few paragraphs on last week's Legislative Council* election for Windermere (East Tamar & part of Launceston).

Mr Frame [spokesman for CFMEU I think, story is a bit ambiguous] also says the re-election of pulp mill supporter Ivan Dean shows there is broad community support for the mill.

Mr Dean won almost 40 per cent of the primary vote in the Upper House election for Windermere last weekend.

"I think the election results from Windermere in the Legislative Council on the weekend indicate that really they want this development to proceed, and they want to bring a sustainable value adding employment opportunity to Tasmania."

That the incumbent got less than half the first preference votes shows that there is broad community support for an issue that wasn't brought up (that I noticed) during the campaign? Yep, that would be my conclusion too.

It doesn't even get a mention on the Green candidates' leaflet. Actually, I brought said leaflet inside and read it, and tossed it aside because it was vague about what he actually stood for. It wasn't until I got to the polling booth and they gave me a bit of paper with the five candidates names on it, that I discovered his affiliation. On looking at it later, there is the party's logo in one corner. Very low key. (Mr Whish-Wilson possibly needs to rethink his advertising material if he ever stand for election again.) The whole damn election was low key. That the incumbent was returned isn't much of a surprise. That he got not much more than 1/3 of the vote on first preferences does suggest there is some dissatisfaction among voters though.

*State Upper House, elections are held every 6 years but only 2 or 3 districts each time
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)
Final environmental decision on pulp mill on monday

The federal government will approve or reject Gunns' proposed northern Tasmanian pulp mill in a few days.

The Environment Minister's assessment of the mill will be completed by Monday.

The Minister, Peter Garrett, needs to approve 16 environmental modules for the mill to proceed.

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.

One more

Aug. 29th, 2008 09:56 am
xenith: (Default)
OK I promise to change the subject. I will post on something else today. But first this news link.


Aug. 27th, 2008 10:30 pm
xenith: (Feather Eye)
Might change that to the Mercury's version. Makes it sounds much more dramatic.

Public ejected after mill Bill is pulped by pollies

More than 250 people were ejected from the parliamentary gallery yesterday after they turned their backs on the major parties in a dramatic protest against the pulp mill.

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


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