16 May, 2006

ABC: Tasmania suffers downturn in woodchip demand

The World Today
Tuesday, 16 May , 2006

Reporter: Tim Jeanes

ELEANOR HALL: In Tasmania today, the controversial proposal for a pulp mill in the state's north could be back on the table, in response to plummeting demand for Tasmanian woodchips.

The state's biggest timber company, Gunns Limited, is now cutting some timber contracts by up to 40 per cent.

And the Liberal Opposition and Tasmanian Greens are calling for a crisis meeting to help forest contractors.

Quotes from Greens Senator Bob Brown in the interview:

BOB BROWN: There must be a crisis meeting to deal with the pain that's being felt by so many contractors and workers in the industry who just 18 months ago were cheering John Howard and Paul Lennon in the run to the federal election. They're not cheering now.

BOB BROWN: Well, the one thing about the Greens is we've got a transition strategy, which would have saved the industry from this pain.

Let there be no doubt about this. The Greens and the environment movement, in particular the Wilderness Society, are going to continue to campaign to save Tasmania's old growth forests, because that's what we should doing for Australia's magnificent ecological resource in these remnant forests, but it's also the best long-term prospect as far as job creation and long-term, good quality job creation.

Through the hospitality and the tourism industries we won't have this boom and bust phenomenon.

Original article

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