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The Tasmanian Greens today described the revelation that a third of the TCCI’s membership do not support Gunns’ Bell Bay Pulp Mill as a massive slap in the face for the project.

Greens Leader Nick McKim said that the result showed that even among Tasmania’s business establishment, there is significant opposition to the project.

“Gunns would undoubtedly be disappointed at the very soft support for its pulp mill by the members of Tasmania’s peak large-business group,” said Mr McKim.

“Tasmania’s business establishment is clearly coming around to the realisation that the state’s economic future should not rely on undifferentiated bulk commodity exports but in the ongoing transition to a more diversified and therefore more resilient economy.”

“Last month, Tasmania’s grassroots Small Business Council praised the Forests Intergovernmental Agreement for its “considerable merit” and the Council seems to recognise this transition, a process which the IGA is helping so that workers moving out of native forestry and the regions they live in have a new start.”

“The TCCI supported the Government’s tough Budget, which reinforces that history that the Greens have continually stepped up to the plate to put the Budget back on a sustainable footing, after the fiscal indiscipline of successive majority governments.”

“Private sector investment is continuing to climb after four quarters of growth. The notably-objective Australian Bureau of Statistic’s June report on business investment in Tasmania showed investment was up more than 15%, compared to 9.4% nationally. The ABS report also showed that the jobless rate had fallen by 1,900 to a two-year low of 13,300 and that recorded merchandise exports of $3.17billion for the year to July 2011 were 5.7% higher than the previous year.”

“Instead of praise for Tasmania’s economy holding its own, we have Robert Wallace’s last-century mentality which has seen him adopting old-style, divisive and stereotypical attacks.

Tasmania has moved on and so should Mr Wallace,” said Mr McKim.