Debate hots up on pulp mill future
Forestry industry talks and the resignation of Gunns’ chairman have restarted the debate over a proposed pulp mill in Tasmania’s north.
John Gay was with the company for 37 years and was a major driver of the proposed $2 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill.
Former premier Paul Lennon has told ABC Local Radio the current industry crisis talks and a downturn in international wood chip markets had vindicated Mr Gay’s determination.
“A mill must be built in Tasmania. If it’s not, then the forest industry will wither on the vine,” Mr Lennon said.
Australian Greens leader Bob Brown believes the mill project is still alive.
Senator Brown says Mr Gay’s departure opens the way for alternative pulp mill proposals.
“The pulp mill as conceived by John Gay is dead in the water with its chlorine with its destruction of native forests and wildlife and pollution but it doesn’t say that it’s off the drawing board,” he said.
Mr Gay’s resignation coincides with the formation of a new anti-mill group.
The Friends of the Tamar Valley’s Judith King says Mr Gay stepping down should deliver a clear signal to government that the mill is finished.
“But we also wants Gunns to deliver that signal, to say that the mill is finished.”
She says her group will work with others to stop the mill being built.