Greens call for pulp mill referendum and intend to move no confidence motion in Government
THE Greens have confirmed their intentions to move a no confidence motion in the Government today when they table legislation to remove doubt about the legal validity of the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill permit.
Greens leader Nick McKim said the party would also move an amendment to the pulp mill Bill so that it could not begin unless it received support at a referendum on the legislation, to be held in conjunction with the coming election.
“All Tasmanians deserve to have a say on this toxic and divisive legislation and that’s why the Greens will move to give the Tasmanian people the chance to kill it off for once and for all,” he said.
“While Labor and Liberal dance to the tune of a faceless corporation which is only interested in the bottom line, the Greens will stand up to give Tasmanians a chance to create our own future by rejecting this toxic legislation.
“This is about far more than just a toxic and divisive pulp mill.
“It is about whether we want to continue the transformation into a prosperous future based on the things that make Tasmania unique and different to the rest of the world or whether we want to lock ourselves into ongoing public subsidies of bulk, undifferentiated commodity exports that have held us back so badly in the past.”
Parliament was recalled for a special sitting this week and the doubts removal Bill is expected to be debated late into the night to avoid extra sitting days.
Permits for the $2.3 billion pulp mill are being sold as part of the consolidation of failed timber company Gunns by receiver KordaMentha, which says six potential buyers are interested in the mill.
Premier Lara Giddings said the legislation was important to the viability of the pulp mill.
“It’s unfortunate that here we have the Liberal and Labor parties standing side by side to ensure that we get the legislative framework right, that can allow a pulp mill to be built in this state,” she said.
Liberal forestry spokesman Peter Gutwein said recalling Parliament was just another ploy by the Government.
“If Labor were serious about the doubts removal Bill, they would have brought it to Parliament last year when KordaMentha asked them to,” he said.
“Labor want to create an image of distancing themselves from the Greens before the election so they can win just enough seats to get back into bed with them after the election.”
A “no pulp mill” rally will be held today on Parliament Lawns at 12.30pm. Speakers will include gardening guru Peter Cundall, Nick McKim, Tasmanian Conservation Trust director Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre secretary Ruth Langford and No Pulp Mill Alliance spokeswoman Lucy Langdon-Lane.
So the moment has arrived! The Greens lose their portfolios and take their retaliation to push for a vote of no confidence should Labor push ahead with fast tracking amendments to the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill bill. So I wonder if this means that the proposed election date of March 15 may be earlier?