Image for Greens to push debate on pulp mill repeal act, rally told. Fury at ABC

The Tasmanian Greens today announced that they will bring on for debate in the upcoming session of Parliament their Pulp Mill Assessment Repeal Bill 2011 which aims to revoke the contentious Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP, who along with Greens MPs Kim Booth, Cassy O’Connor and Paul O’Halloran attended today’s Stop the Pulp Mill rally in Launceston, described the pulp mill as a white elephant, saying that its ongoing looming presence casts a shadow over Tasmania and is suffocating the state’s ability to move on and seize new opportunities for appropriate investment and development.

Greens Member for Bass and Forestry spokesperson, who addressed today’s rally on behalf of the Greens, urged the crowd to attend the Parliamentary debate in a fortnight’s time, on Wednesday the 25th of May, and to lobby their Labor and Liberal Bass representatives to stand up for the community and vote to repeal the Pulp Mill Act.

“The Greens’ Bill to revoke both the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007 and the Pulp Mill Permit established by the Act, and by doing so will implement the ongoing calls by the many thousands in the community who want the looming shadow of this controversial and divisive project gone,” Mr McKim said.

“In its recent Land Use Framework draft proposal, Northern Tasmania Development clearly states that certainty is needed one way or the other over the pulp mill so the region can move on. The Greens will give Parliament the opportunity to provide that certainty.”

“Gunns’ financial imperatives were used as the stalking horse to justify Labor ramming its ‘Pulp Mill Despite the Odds’ legislation through the State Parliament in a shonky and undemocratic manner, an excuse that has been exposed as a sham now that years later Gunns still do not have the finances to build the mill.”

“Critical issues such as air quality, water capacity, effects on native forests and catchments, road safety and infrastructure damage were not assessed, and nor was there an independent risk assessment of any potential economic damage to other vital industries such as tourism.”

“The debate on the Greens’ Bill in a fortnight’s time will provide both Labor and the Liberal parties with the opportunity to redress the massive wrong committed when they guillotined and passed the controversial and undemocratic pulp mill approvals legislation, and allow the community to move forwards,” Mr McKim said.

The Greens have consistently argued that the Gunns’ proposed pulp mill in the Tamar Valley was not part of the Agreement on Statement of Forest Principles, and should not now be considered in the current process negotiating delivery of the Principles Statement.

Debate on the Pulp Mill Assessment Repeal Bill 2011, tabled by Nick McKim MP, will occur during their Private Members Time on Wednesday May the 25th, commencing at 4pm with the vote occurring at 5:20pm.

Reference: Draft Northern Regional Land Use Planning Framework, Northern Development Tasmania, May 2011; pg 7.

• The Examiner report:

2500 Mill Protesters Hit Streets
14 May, 2011 11:10 AM

ANTI-PULP mill protesters have taken to Launceston streets this afternoon after a rally at Royal Park.

The opponents of the Gunns project dressed in black to symbolise what they say is `the death of democracy’ caused by State Parliament’s fast-tracked assessment of the $2.3 billion project.

Police estimated 2500 protesters turned out to hear campaign leaders voice their continued opposition to the mill.

Speakers included Tasmanian Greens MHA Kim Booth, celebrity gardener Peter Cundall, and Lisa Searle, of the newly-formed Code Green.

The group is responsible for yesterday’s protest, during which four activists chained themselves to a woodchip cargo ship at Bell Bay.

A parade from Royal Park to Civic Square began around 1pm, blocking traffic on Wellington, Paterson and Charles streets for half an hour.

READ THE FULL COVERAGE, INCLUDING THE FOREST INDUSTRY’S RESPONSE, IN TOMORROW’S SUNDAY EXAMINER.

Read the article HERE

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Picture: Karl Stevens

Anne:

This estimate is at least half of the number of people at today’s rally. But then what do you expect from Launceston’s Exaggerator? The crowd was estimated to be between 6000 and 7000 according to one of the ‘people counters’ I spoke to back at the park after the rally.

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Photo by Pete Godfrey, March 2007
From the archive:

Mercury, March 2007

ABOUT 4500 forestry workers and industry supporters dressed in bright oranges safety vests have gathered in Launceston for a rally in support of the proposed $1.7 billion Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. Premier Paul Lennon and Liberal leader Will Hodgman both spoke to the crowd at Royal Park in support of the contentious mill, before leaving for a mass march through Launceston’s city streets. Terry Edwards, chief executive of the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania and businessman Michael Kent, chairman of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also gave speeches.

Recorded on TT, HERE