Call for referendum on Tas. pulp mill

The Socialist Alliance condemned the recent decision by federal environment minister Tony Burke to give final approval to Gunns' Tamar Valley pulp mill, located near Launceston, in a March 24 statement.

Socialist Alliance spokesperson Susan Austin said: “We could never support the Gunns pulp mill in the Tamar Valley , due to the corrupt nature with which it was approved.

“In addition, we oppose it because of its likely toxic effects on the environment and the community.”

Many other community and environment groups have expressed grave concern about the pulp mill, which they say will produce toxic effluent, odours, air pollution and greenhouse emissions. It will also intensify of an already-harmful plantation industry in the state.

“The permits for the mill must be revoked by the state and federal governments. Approval for any pulp mill needs to pass a rigorous, independent scientific assessment,” Austin said.

“Further, we believe that this and all other pulp mill proposals should be subjected to a Tasmania-wide referendum. This is a much more accurate way to determine the social license for any pulp mill and will allow everyone to have a say about whether we want a pulp mill or not.

“There will be no jobs on a dead planet. There are many ways that the government can support jobs and the environment, but supporting this toxic, job-poor project is definitely not one of them.”