Turnbull decision on Gunn's mill fails Tasmania's forests

The decision by Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull to approve Gunns Ltd's Tamar Valley pulp mill is a disaster for Tasmania’s forests.

Turnbull decision on Gunn's mill fails Tasmania's forests

The decision by Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull to approve Gunns Ltd's Tamar Valley pulp mill is a disaster for Tasmania’s forests.

The Minister's approval is subject to the pulp mill meeting 24 new guidelines, but national environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Australia believes that the guidelines fail to adequately address the concerns raised by many Tasmanians about the damage this mill will cause.

Old Growth. Image copyright Peter McConchie

Apart from likely damage to the local marine environment, which will be impacted by 64,000 tonnes of effluent every day, the logging of native forests for Gunns’ mill will see around 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas polluting carbon dioxide produced each year, further driving global warming.

It is tragic that the ALP has supported the announcement, given the mill will be reliant on continued destruction of old growth forests. For Tasmania to have a world class pulp mill it must be fed by sustainably managed plantation forests and it must be closed-loop and chlorine-free. In the start-up phase of production, this mill is expected to source 80 per cent of it's wood material from Tasmania’s native forests. Given the realities of the 21 st century – growing impacts of climate change and continued loss of biodiversity - any mill based on continued destruction of high conservation forests simply cannot be supported.

Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047