Image for Triabunna: This is a matter for all Tasmanians

Triabunna Mill

This is not just a matter between Gunns and a potential buyer. It is a matter for all Tasmanians.

Triabunna has an opportunity to move out of the dirty-industry dependent dark ages if the woodchip mill site is developed and becomes part of Tasmania’s tourism inventory.

The Tasmania government cannot stay out of this sale, based on then old duck-and-weave platitudes that its a matter for commercial negotiation. The sale of this site goes to the very heart of the metamorphosis of this State into a world-class tourism destination.

Ron O’Connor and Jan Cameron personify the fight between good and bad and the continuation of the bay-polluting mill will indict Will Hodgman and Lara Giddings as leadership visionless lightweights.

Negotiations should be immediately suspended until an impact survey is undertaken, taking into consideration the social and economic benefits of mill v resort. The Department of the Environment too should demand a survey to determine the full extent of poor practices at this mill.

A long-time worker revealed to me some while ago that the mill ignores flushing guidelines and empties into Spring Bay at its whim. This alone should have been enough to have shut it down years ago.

A burst pipeline too virtually emptied the Orford water-supply during drought conditions and apparent consensus between council and Gunns never revealed the true cause of the water crisis we ratepayers endured.

A recently retired councillor intimated to me that there is a policy-dictum within council that will not allow its elected councillors to speak out on council issues when necessary ... and so we have a code of silence.

This is a macro issue with implications far beyond the impact of a closed mill on local jobs. And so far, nought but council silence.

The future of this mill and Triabunna and tourism is a microcosm of the matters related to the Tamar super-mill: tourism v industry and the never-ending suspicion of a mill whose eco-guidelines are about as relevant to bad operators as the Commandments are to sinners.

Silence from leaders in Tasmania, is the greater sin.