A tourism consortium has come forward with a plan to buy Gunns’ woodchip mill at Triabunna on Tasmania’s east coast.
The founder of the online accommodation site, Wotif, Graham Wood, and philanthropist, Jan Cameron, are leading the group which wants to turn the mill site into a tourism hub.
The woodchip mill is on the market under Gunns’ plans to raise capital for its Tamar Valley Pulp Mill project.
Mr Wood says the deep water port and proximity to Maria Island make it an attractive tourist proposition and he wants to visit Triabunna to explain his vision to locals.
He says the mill would continue to operate for a transition period to comply with the forest peace talks deal to stop harvesting native timber from public forests.
“If we can co-operate with the industry and run it for a period of time we’d be more that happy to do that if it’s feasible,” said Mr Wood.
Mr Wood says the consortium has identified a gap in the east coast tourism market.
“That part of Tasmania is very short of marina facilities and frankly there aren’t enough poeple being drawn there,” he said.
“We see the site being much better value for Tasmania in the long term as a tourism hub than as an industrial complex.”
Mr Wood and Ms Cameron both flew into the state today to further the proposal and say they have already had some discussions with Gunns.