Sinced the anti-logging campaigns of the 1970s, growing timber in Australia has been a controversial business. In Tasmania the industry is often accused of converting too much of its forests to wood chip which is exported to Japan for not very much money.
Interestingly the same environmental lobby that criticises the export of wood chip, is also against the building of a pulp mill which would allow the wood chip to be converted to paper in Tasmania rather than Japan.
The Tasmania Minister for Planning recently contracted two independent consultants to undertake an assessment and review of the proposed new Gunns Limited Pulp Mill proposal, pursuant to the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007.
SWECO PIC has undertaken an assessment of the project against the Environmental Emission Limit Guidelines for any New Bleached Kraft Eucalypt Pulp Mill in Tasmania and concluded 92 percent of guidelines are met by the project with the remaining able to be addressed through permit conditions.
SWECO is a Swedish based consultancy and the report entitled ‘Assesment of the Gunns Limited Bell Bay Pulp Mill Against the Environmental Emission Limit Guidelines’, published 25 June 2007 is available at http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/justice/pulpmillassessment/sweco_pic_report
ITS Global has undertaken a review of the net social and economic benefits of the proposed mill concluding that the mill will add approximately 2.5 percent to annual Gross State Product which in lump sum terms is equivalent to $6.7 billion in net present value terms to 2030. The pulp mill is also assessed as broadening and strengthening the industrial base of the Tasmanian economy. The report is available at http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/82282/Final_ITS_Global_Report.pdf .
Both reports and supporting information are also available for download at http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/justice/pulpmillassessment
Given these reports, you would have to be simply anti-development and investment in Tasmania to oppose the pulp mill.