19 March, 2007

ABC ONLINE: Lennon says Gunns agrees to new pulp mill process

ABC Online
Monday, March 19, 2007

The Tasmanian Government says Gunns has agreed to take part in the new assessment of its $1.5 billion pulp mill.

The Government hopes to put an end-of-August deadline on the assessment.

The Premier, Paul Lennon, says it would be impossible for a new assessment of the mill to meet the timber company's end-of-financial year deadline.

"The 31st of August was the date that would allow us to achieve a responsible and sensible examination of the data," he said.

But he says Gunns has agreed to the new approach.

Mr Lennon maintains he does not see the need for public hearings, and that Parliamentarians will only have three sitting days to consider the final report before voting on whether the pulp mill should proceed.

The Premier hopes to have details of selection criteria for the new consultants ready by the time Parliament's Lower House debates the bill on Thursday.

Mr Lennon says the Federal Government will need to conduct its own assessment to ensure the mill meets Commonwealth guidelines.

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