Image for Mill sale hinges on forestry peace deal

Tasmanian timber company, Gunns Limited, has confirmed it has a conditional buyer for its Triabunna wood chip mill.

A Tasmanian consortium headed by a local transport operator, Aprin Pty Ltd, signed off on the deal last week.

Aprin’s owner Ron O’Connor says he wants to keep the mill open because it’s vital for the forest industry.

Gunns has told the Australian Securities Exchange the sale is conditional on the satisfactory implementation of the forests peace deal.

Meanwhile, the Resource Minister Bryan Green has confirmed in Parliament Forestry Tasmania will supply the Triabunna mill.

“Of course they’re going to pay for it, it’s a commercial arrangement, Mr Speaker,” he said.

“But yes, I can confirm that Forestry Tasmania has provided Aprin with a letter effectively confirming that they would supply the mill.”

ABC Online HERE

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• Jenny Webber, Huon Valley Environment Centre:   3 arrests in Picton protests 14/6/11. “Three conservationists were today arrested defending old growth forests in the Picton Valley. They have been refused Police bail and will appear before the Magistrate’s court in Hobart,” said Ms Jenny Weber, Huon Valley Environment Centre.

Earlier Media Release:

Tuesday June 14 2011

Forest Protest in Tasmania’s Southern Forests Today New Old Growth Logging road blocked by conservationists in Tasmania’s Picton Valley

Forest conservationists have today set up a protest blockade in the Picton Valley, southern Tasmania.  A new 2.6 km logging road is being pushed into a remote tract of old growth forest. Eleven people are taking part in the protest and one person is atop a road blocking tripod.

“Today’s action is taking place to highlight the failure of a questionable moratorium to protect old growth wilderness forests and we are calling for a halt to this road building immediately,”  Jenny Weber said, spokesperson for Huon Valley Environment Centre.

“Huon Valley Environment Centre is very concerned that this new road has started, and we are questioning are these forests going to be logged for Malaysian logging giant Ta Ann? Is Tasmania going to lose more old growth forests because the State government has locked us in to a contract with this logging giant until 2027? Tasmania is still loosing old growth forests in a last minute gasp for air by an industry that is dying,” Jenny Weber said.

“Premier Lara Giddings and her Government is failing to protect these globally significant forests, and now we have native forest logging locked in with the announcement that a logging consortium is purchasing Triabunna wood chip mill. What future does Triabunna woodchip mill and a long term contract for Ta Ann provide for ancient ecosystems in Tasmania’s southern forests that are being lost every day?” Jenny Weber said.

“The ecological consequences of the logging of these old growth forests, contribute to a global loss of native forests, pushing wildlife to the brink of extinction and contribute to climate change.
This fragile ecosystem is in the hands of a industry that is in crisis who is wantonly destroying old growth forests.  They should be formally protected as a national park,” Jenny Weber said.

The Picton 4 extension where today’s protest is occurring is a logging road being built to access a 90 ha area of tall eucalyptus old growth forest that is due to be clear felled using cable logging practices.
A total of 4km of roads will be pushed in to these old growth forests, the new roads will cross eleven streams. This forest area being opened up for logging is contiguous with the Tasmanian World Heritage Area.

Location of the coupe PC018C that is being accessed can be viewed on the following map.
http://lynxgeos.com/TasCoupeMap/#