Image for Is the pulp mill an issue in council elections?

In the coming local government elections, there are 421 candidates seeking election as Councillors, Deputy Mayors and Mayors to the Councils of 29 Local Government areas. Three of those 421 candidates have included reference to the pulp mill in their candidate statements. These three candidates are from 2 of Tasmania’s 29 Local Government Areas.

Candidate Amy Tyler (candidate for Launceston City Council) in her statement included that she “...will work to advance sustainable development, not a pulp mill…”

Candidate Mark Price (candidate for West Tamar Council) in his statement wrote “I will not support a pulp mill in Tasmania or in the Tamar Valley that will affect the environment”

Candidate Sven Wiener (candidate for West Tamar Council) in his statement included “...opposing the currently proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill ...  rather than encouraging mega-scale heavy industry of the type proposed for Long Reach”

In phone and internet enquiries*, the following candidates expressed opposition to the construction of the Gunns pulp mill at Long Reach:

Hobart City Council: Helen Burnet (for Mayor), Madeleine Charles, Ron Christie (also standing for Deputy Mayor), Philip Cocker, Antony De Lara, Bill Harvey (also for Deputy Mayor), Corey Peterson, Eva Ruzicka, Peter Sexton (for Mayor) and Tiina-Liisa Sexton.

Launceston City Council: Jeremy Ball (also standing for Deputy Mayor), Tom Ellison, Clare Jokuszies, Alex Petrovsky, Susan Stavros and Amy Tyler.

Meander Valley Council: Ian Howard (also standing for Mayor), Bob Loone (standing for Deputy Mayor) and Deborah White.

West Tamar Council: Peter Kearney (for Mayor), Luke Salmon, Karl Stevens, Sven Wiener and Tim Woinarski.


What can we learn from the above information? Is the construction of the pulp mill a local government election issue? Going on the candidate statements published by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, the answer that first comes to mind is: ‘No, it doesn’t seem to be an issue’. It gets mentioned by three candidates out of 421, from two of the 29 local government areas.

Is this a valid conclusion? I suppose it could be argued that in a general sense, the pulp mill is not a local government issue - with the exception of those Councils within whose boundaries the mill construction would occur. They are George Town Council, Launceston City Council and West Tamar Council. With perhaps one exception, George Town candidates did not refer to the pulp mill construction in their candidate statements, and in that one case it was to obliquely refer to the value to the state of George Town’s industrial zone. Of course, we might also expect that other nearby councils might be affected in some way by the mill and so we could expect that some candidates might have mentioned this in their statements - this did not occur.

Turning to the other information above showing that a number of candidates when asked, have expressed opposition to the construction of the mill, I think we can conclude that the mill is a local government issue for some candidates, though for a variety of possible reasons, perhaps not warranting inclusion in their candidate’s statements. Perhaps we could call it a latent issue in West Tamar and Launceston. How do we regard Hobart, where a number of candidates have expressed opposition to the construction of the mill? Is it because as residents of the State’s capital, they have possibly a wider view than other aspirants elsewhere?

It will be interesting to see how these and other candidates fare in the forthcoming local government elections.

*These enquiries did not extend to all candidates in all local government areas.

Written by Garry Stannus,
LIFFEY. TAS. 7301.

Gunns Ltd Share Price HERE

• How the ABC reported the ‘jump’ in Share Price ...

Gunns shares up

Gunns’ shares opened at 14.5 cents this morning, but have since jumped to 16 cents.

Financial analyst Matthew Torenius says Gunns has benefited from an overall lift in the ASX 200 of about half a percent.

“Gunns is fairly low now and trades on half cent increments,” he said.

“But the other benefit that is happening is the fact that the market has been quite strong over the last few days, we’re up another 22 points today and Gunns is getting a little bit of a lift off that.”

First published: 2011-10-11 01:38 AM

• Sunday, October 16, via Anne: Council Candidates Against The Pulp Mill

Ballot papers must be received by the Tas Electoral Commission or council offices, by 10AM on Tue 25 October. Voting is not compulsory. To the best of TAP’s knowledge candidates on this list are against the Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal.

Phone list of candidates - 63338872
More info here:

          KEARNEY, Peter (Mayor)
          SALMON, Luke
          STEVENS, Karl
          WIENER, Sven
          WOINARSKI, Tim 
          BALL, Jeremy (Alderman & Deputy Mayor)
          ELLISON, Tom
          JOKUSZIES, Clare
          PETROVSKY, Alex
          STAVROS, Susan
          TYLER, Amy

Meander Valley Council:
      Howard, Ian (Councillor and Mayor)
      Loone, Bob (Deputy Mayor only)
      White, Deborah (Councillor)

Hobart City Council:
      BURNET, Helen (for Mayor only)
      CHARLES, Madeleine
      CHRISTIE, Ron (for Deputy Mayor & Alderman)
      COCKER, Philip
      DE LARA, Antony
      HARVEY, Bill (for Deputy Mayor & Alderman)
      PETERSON, Corey
      Ruzicka, Eva
      SEXTON, Peter (Mayor only)
      SEXTON, Tiina-Liisa
  Break O’Day
      NICHOLS, Peter
      RUBENACH, Hannah
      JOHNS, Reon  
Authorised by Ross Story 283 Gravelly Beach Road 7276