Saturday, June 13, 2009

Update on Gunns Pulp Mill in Tasmania

A dispatch from The Wilderness Society Australia....

Gunns has taken its search for a joint partner for the native forest-destroying pulp mill international.

Australia's largest woodchipping company has said it intends to make an announcement on who will be the joint venture partner for the pulp mill this month.

We now know that Swedish pulp and paper company Södra is considering becoming a partner with Gunns Ltd to build its controversial mill.

Together we helped ensure Gunns' own banker, ANZ, wouldn't fund the pulp mill.

Now we need to take urgent action to make sure Södra doesn't sign off on the destruction of Tasmania's world-class, carbon-rich native forests.

Send a message now to tell Sodra's CEO - Mr Leif Brodén - that Tasmania's world-class, carbon-rich forests are a global treasure.

Any organisation considering being involved in Gunns' pulp mill needs to be aware that they will be supporting a project which is opposed by the majority of Australians, as well as people around the world who want a safe climate and a healthy environment.

We urgently need to get as many messages to Mr Brodén as possible to ensure he understands this is the most strongly opposed project in Australia.

Act now:

And a response from Sodra.....


Swedish pulp and paper company Södra has released a statement on Gunns’ proposed pulp mill. The Wilderness Society welcomed Södra’s commitment to only consider a 100% percent Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified plantation based mill that used totally chlorine free technology (TCF) and continued to call for an alternative site to be full assessed.

“We welcome Södra’s commitment to only consider a 100% percent FSC certified, plantation based mill, that uses totally chlorine free technology (TCF), this is a clear improvement on Gunns’ environmentally destrucitvie proposal,” said Paul Oosting, pulp mill campaigner for The Wilderness Society.

“This will mean no native forests being used for pulping or to burn to generate power as part of the pulp mill,” said Mr. Oosting. “Gunns need to go back to the drawing board if they are to have any relationship with Södra.”

“If Södra are to continue to consider Gunns’ pulp mill project despite it not meeting any of the three criteria they have set then they also must fully assess alternative locations as the Tamar Valley is totally unacceptable,” said Mr Oosting.

Södra’s statement[1], released overnight says:

“If Södra is to engage in any pulp mill project, our high environmental standards have to be met. These standards includes among other things FSC certification and environmentally friendly bleaching technology (TCF preferred). TCF means totally chlorine free. Involvement in any project in the southern hemisphere would require 100 per cent plantation forest to be used.”

“This is a step in the right direction, but more will need to be done if a pulp mill in Tasmania is to be considered by Södra. The livelihoods and health of families in the Tamar Valley and Aboriginal heritage and values on the site make Gunns’ current location totally unacceptable,” concluded Mr Oosting.

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