Australian government approves Tasmanian pulp mill

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Australian government has announced that the Gunns pulp mill will go ahead. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement, claiming that the mill would be subject to stringent restrictions. “I have accepted the independent, scientific advice of the Chief Scientist and his panel of scientific experts and have released his report, together with my decision today,” Mr Turnbull said in a media release.

In a media release issued by Peter Garrett and Kerry O'Brien, Labor stated that they supported the decision. "Federal Labor has always supported a world class mill for Tasmania that achieves best practice environmental outcomes and reduces woodchip exports in favour of economically beneficial downstream value adding processing," the statement said. However, Labor criticised Malcolm Turnbull's handling of the decision process. "The original assessment process put in place by Mr Turnbull was completely inadequate – a fact he was forced to concede when he belatedly sought advice from the Chief Scientist."

Prime Minister John Howard stood by Turnbull. "I think Mr Turnbull has handled this splendidly. He's consulted the Chief Scientist, he's announced a decision which reflects the advice of the Chief Scientist, and the Opposition has got to say where it really stands," he said in an interview.

The Greens criticised the decision. “Today’s pulp mill decision is yet another approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for a proposal which will damage the environment,” said environmental lawyer and Greens Senate candidate for Queensland Larissa Waters.

Sources

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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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