Image for Giddings meeting a deflating experience

At Premier Giddings request, a delegation from TAP Into A Better Tasmania met with her in Launceston on Monday June 6th 2011.

“While the Premier may claim she has consulted with the community, what took place in that meeting revealed the enormous and apparently unbridgeable chasm that separates community aspirations and concerns from the limited and straight jacketed world view of the premier,” summed up TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon.

“Financial adviser Tom Ellison presented the premier with a devastating financial analysis of Gunns and the industry.

“John Day provided numerous examples, some extremely tragic, of how the residents of Rowella and surrounds were trapped because the pulp mill proposal has caused a property and housing market collapse in the area.

“Rod Hutchins gave compelling evidence that the pulp mill footprint is not confined to the Longreach site and surrounds, but extends across the whole of Tasmania. He argued that the iniquitous PAL policy (Protection of Agricultural Land) arose directly out of the pulp mill proposal. The aim was to restrict the rights of property owners to build on their own land so as not to fetter the expansion of monoculture tree plantation feedstock for the pulp mill. 30,000 titles are affected across the north – an example of social engineering in the Stalinist style.

“Frank Strie, forester, provided an analysis of the current parlous state of the timber industry and the shonky dealings and culture of FT.”

“Where is the inter-generational commitment?” he asked. “The horizon of discussion in Tasmania is so short-sighted.”

“Susie Clarke, a member of the Labor party, warned the premier that she was presiding over the collapse of the party because of the pulp mill obsession, the failure to honour Labor principles, and a complete disregard for community concerns.

“I spoke of the pulp mill proposal, and the whole of parliament obsession with it, as acting as a brake on investment and economic development in Tasmania. 

“Her response to the presentations was a series of platitudes indicative of having failed the comprehension test set by the community.

“The meeting was a waste of time, as expected. The upshot will be that the community will continue to develop strategies to protect itself from government actions and policies out of touch with reality.

“The big loser is Tasmania. We are missing out on so much,” concluded Bob McMahon.