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Pulp Mill - ABC Online opinion article

5 May 2009

Tasmania’s forest industry peak body Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) said the ongoing misinformation campaign by anti pulp mill groups with false information is very misguided.

FIAT said the mill will employ 2500 people during the construction phase and over 1600 people will obtain their livelihood from the operations of the mill. The forest industry already directly employs 6300 Tasmanians according to Dr Jacki Schirmer’s recent report through the Cooperative Centre for Research.

FIAT CEO Mr Edwards said the pulp mill would increase the number of employed personnel in the industry.

“The extra people employed for the pulp mill project can feel secure in the knowledge they can feed their families and keep living a good life,” Mr Edwards said.

“The pulp mill would be helping to stop the predicted rising unemployment in Tasmania.


“The flow on effects to other small business operators in the area will be substantial with workers having to buy fuel, snacks, visit tourist sites and much more within the Tamar Valley.

“Children of workers will attend local schools, weekends will see workers and families heading out to local attractions around the Tamar Valley and beyond, workers and their families will dine in local restaurants and eateries and purchases for everyday living will increase in the area.

Mr Edwards said another positive for the pulp mill is export replacement.

“The woodchips processed here would be value added and economic benefits kept within the state,” he said.
Mr Edwards said anti pulp mill activists are trying to portray the pulp mill issue to international markets as a major issue within our state.

“This issue is not of the magnitude that anti pulp mill activists are trying to make it out to be,” he said.

“The recent Legislative Council elections show this quite clearly with other state issues being at the forefront of people’s minds.

Tasmanian Greens candidate and pulp mill opponent Peter Whish-Wilson gained 16.22% of the votes in the recent Legislative Council elections leaving the remaining voters punting for more important issues.


“If the pulp mill is a huge issue within this state, it is for the support of it, not the banning of it.

Mr Edwards said anti pulp mill groups were thinking more about promoting themselves than thinking about what was best for the state of Tasmania.

“In this current world economic crisis, it is bizarre to think anti pulp mill groups are campaigning to stop the mill which will provide more jobs for Tasmanians,” Mr Edwards said.

“Their campaigning is putting existing jobs in our state in jeopardy as well as preventing the establishment of new jobs.


“This is at a time of rising unemployment and at a time when people need to know their careers are secure.

FIAT said the damage these anti pulp mill groups are doing to the state is deplorable and tantamount to economic sabotage. Mr Edwards said these groups are making the state of Tasmania look foolish and anti-industry.

“What international company is ever going to be willing to invest in this State when they see the outcry over anything that can improve the economy and secure ongoing jobs for workers?

“It is appalling to think these groups are out there campaigning against an operation that will improve the Tasmanian economy and improve job prospects for Tasmanians.

“These anti pulp mill groups are obviously anti jobs, anti industry and anti economic growth for Tasmania.

FIAT said it supports people campaigning for a cause but these types of self-interest groups only hurt the residents of Tasmania. Tasmania’s forest industry peak body Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) said the ongoing misinformation campaign by anti pulp mill groups with false information is very misguided.

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