Bryan GreenActing Premier Bryan Green has backed Forestry Tasmania’s bid to operate the Triabunna woodchip mill as a last resort.
Nanjing Night Net

He said Forestry Tasmania’s willingness to operate the mill if no suitable private operator could be found would test if the new owners were serious about reopening the mill.

On Thursday, the mill’s general manager Alec Marr said Forestry Tasmania would have to stop logging within 572,000 hectares before it would even consider its application.

Mr Green said Mr Marr’s expectations were unreasonable.

“Ruling out any party at this stage as a possible operator of the Triabunna mill is disingenuous and pre-empts the work of the verification group which is assessing proposed high conservation value forests,” Mr Green said.

The forestry industry is already preparing for the likelihood of the Triabunna mill remaining closed and investigating alternative options, but Mr Green said it was vital it be opened as quickly as possible.

Liberal forestry spokesman Peter Gutwein said the permanent closure of Triabunna would provide the government with an opportunity to walk away from the forestry inter-governmental agreement.

But Greens forestry spokesman Kim Booth said the “industrial dinosaur” was irrelevant to the success of the inter-governmental agreement and the transition out of high conservation forests.

“It’s preposterous that Forestry Tasmania would even contemplate such a ridiculous move,” Mr Booth said.

Forestry Tasmania and Aprin Logging, which tried to buy the mill from Gunns earlier this year, are among about eight companies to respond to the call from Triabunna Investments for expressions of interest.

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