ANZ BANK REMAINS ON NOTICE

WHERE: ANZ Bank branches in Launceston, Hobart, Sydney & Melbourne

WHEN: 1pm – 2pm on Wednesday, 25th January 2012

ANZ branches around the country will be targeted tomorrow by the community seeking to halt Tasmanian logging company Gunns Ltd’s controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill.

ANZ Bank is due to make a decision about extending a debt facility to Gunns at the end of the month.

Rallies will be held by the No Pulp Mill Alliance, (of which Friends of the Tamar Valley is a member) outside major ANZ Bank branches in Launceston, Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne, and information about the Bank’s financing of Gunns given to bank customers as ANZ is put on notice that an ongoing nationwide campaign will result, should it continue to provide financial support for Gunns.

“Gunns’ proposed pulp mill development will be environmentally disastrous. It will pollute our marine environment, threaten iconic wildlife, and emit large volumes of toxic foul gases. This proposed pulp mill will never receive a social licence from either the Tamar Valley, or wider Australian communities, and ANZ should withdraw all funding for Gunns immediately,” said Anne Layton-Bennett, spokesperson for FTV.

No Pulp Mill Alliance member groups have warned they will revive the strong 2008 campaign opposing ANZ’s funding of the project, and will undertake direct actions, petitions and other initiatives if the bank facilitates an extension of Gunns’ debts, and prolongs the uncertainty Tasmanians have been forced to live with for the past eight years.

Check today’s Share Price HERE

Earlier on Tasmanian Times: Warning to the ANZ

• Conservationists’ occupy Ta Ann Tasmania’s Huon Valley Mill

This morning 25 conservationists have entered Ta Ann Tasmania’s Huon Valley mill.

“We are conducting a peaceful occupation of Ta Ann’s logging mill to protest the ongoing destruction of High Conservation Value forests (HCV) in Tasmania for this multi-national logging giant,” Said Ms Jenny Weber

“Japanese customers and the general public are being lied to about Ta Ann’s source of timber. The Tasmanian Government’s own reports show Ta ann is the major driver for logging in old growth and HCV forests. Claims that they only use trees less than 70years old fail to acknowledge that many of these come from within Tasmania’s ancient forests, ” said Ms Weber

Media Update

Twenty five people walked in to the Ta Ann Tasmania mill today and held a two hour peaceful protest completely shutting down operations. Conservationists then left after Police arrived and order them to leave or face arrest.

“Today’s protest was held to demonstrate against Ta Ann’s trashing of Tasmania’s native forests. We believe Ta Ann’s Japanese customers do not want to contribute to the destruction of endangered species habitat or old growth ecosystems.Ta Ann is on notice that their lies will continue to be exposed by conservationists,” said Ms Weber.

“Our Campaign against Ta Ann is only just beginning with a public demonstration outside of their head office in Hobart planned for next Monday at noon,” said Ms Weber.

Jenny Weber
Spokesperson, Huon Valley Environment Centre.

First published: 2012-01-24 04:00 AM

• Wednesday, FTV: ANZ Bank remains on notice

ANZ branches around the country will be targeted between 1pm – 2pm today by the community seeking to halt Tasmanian logging company Gunns Ltd’s controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill.

ANZ Bank is due to make a decision about extending a debt facility to Gunns at the end of the month.

Lunchtime rallies will be held by the No Pulp Mill Alliance, (of which Friends of the Tamar Valley is a member) outside major ANZ Bank branches in Launceston*, Hobart*, Sydney* and Melbourne*, as ANZ is put on notice that an ongoing nationwide campaign will result, should it continue to provide financial support for Gunns.

“Gunns’ proposed pulp mill development will be environmentally disastrous. It will polluteour marine environment, threaten iconic wildlife, and emit large volumes of toxic foul gases. This proposed pulp mill will never receive a social licence from either the Tamar Valley, or widerAustralian communities, and ANZ should withdraw all funding for Gunns immediately,” said Anne Layton-Bennett, spokesperson for FTV.

No Pulp Mill Alliance member groups have warned they will revive the strong 2008 campaign opposing ANZ’s funding of the project, and will undertake direct actions, petitions and other initiatives if the bank facilitates an extension of Gunns’ debts, and prolongs the uncertainty Tasmanians have been forced to live with for the past eight years.

“At the end of June last year Gunns’ debts totalled $628 million, of which $350 million is due to be paid by 30th January. FTV understands that work currently taking place on the proposed pulp mill site is being financed by the ANZ, so despite the official line claiming ANZ won’t provide finance for the pulp mill, it’s only thanks to the bank that Gunns is still standing,” said Ms Layton-Bennett.

With Gunns’ share price at its lowest ever, and a recent market capitalisation of less than $100 million, Gunns is in serious financial trouble. By its own admission it is now wholly reliant on the proposed pulp mill, and there is no Plan B.

Gunns’ Chairman stated in his Annual General Meeting speech in November 2011 that Gunns was in discussion with ANZ to extend its debt with the objective of providing: “financing terms which facilitate the completion of the asset sale program and financial close of the Bell Bay pulp mill project”.

“Member groups of the No Pulp Mill Alliance warn ANZ that any announcement involving an extension of Gunns’ debt facility will result in a national campaign to alert ANZ customers that the bank is contravening the Equator Principles to which it is a proud signatory, by backing a flawed and polluting pulp mill,” Ms Layton-Bennett concluded.

*ANZ Launceston, Corner Brisbane & George Streets, Launceston
*ANZ Hobart, Corner Collins & Elizabeth Streets, Hobart
*ANZ Melbourne, Corner Collins & Queen Streets, Melbourne
*ANZ Sydney, 665 George Street, Sydney

Reference:  http://www.gunns.com.au/Content/uploads/documents/COMBINEDManagingDirectorsSpeechAGM2011FINAL.pdf(p24. Dot point 4)