I am with Valleywatcher and other similar comments.
However, there is another key issue that has continually been avoided in the discussion that makes a mockery of the speculation from AFR about public compensation for Gunns and other forest contractors.
Apart from its work over the last decade in falling trees, Gunns has also clear-fallen a big swathe of Tasmania’s forest contractors. How many of the forest contractors currently facing bankruptcy are, or were, under contract to Gunns? What percentage of the total capacity in the industry do these contracts represent? Let’s get those figures on the table?
It is widely discussed within the industry that Gunns coerced contractors to take on contracts, where all the risk was with the contractor. They backed the coercion with bold statements that THE MILL WILL BE BUILT – and if you ain’t with us now, you won’t be with us then. The signing of the pulp mill wood supply agreement caused a flurry of investment.
Now Gunns dumps and runs, leaving the contractors with huge debts, worthless contracts and no future. Gunns expect to be paid compensation for doing this!
Apart from the contract coercion, there was muscling of other sorts. I am personally aware of an employee who was sacked, for refusing an employer’s directive to attend a rally in support of Gunns. This employer has now been the recipient of compensation “to exit the industry with dignity” in the last round of the payouts sham. What about the poor bloody employee?
This crappy dealing must be exposed. Burke and Kelty – proud Labor boyos – should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to such industrial muscle. Where is discussion of the need for investigation of dodgy contract practices?
I lay the blame for the current bankruptcies amongst the contracting sector squarely at Gunns feet. Someone prove me wrong. Otherwise, let Gunns pick up the tab for any further compensation.