Greens in Tasmania‏,

An email from a Tasmanian reader

I live in Tasmania and have investments in George Town, which is near the proposed Pulp Mill in Bell Bay. As you might know Gunns Pty Ltd have been trying to put the mill into reality for some 7 years and have obtained all the permits, conducted all the studies etc in face of concerted and continuous Green opposition. The impoverished Northern Tasmania has been waiting with bated breath for the mill, particularly with threats to the Bell Bay Aluminium and Manganese plants due to poor profit results and lack of competitiveness. As you might know, the Greens have orchestrated a virtual destruction of the $1 billion a year Tasmanian timber industry, under their many peace deals which are never good enough, and now they are decimating grazing in Tasmania with what amounts to a practical ban on 1080, causing a wallaby plague with some 60-70% of loss of pasture in most areas. More on this later, if you are interested.

As you might know, Gunns have been falling over themselves trying to appease the Greens and obtain a "social licence", causing a huge financial damage to the company with no perceptible results. Gunns have, however, attracted attention of a billionaire investor, a Mr Chandler, of the RCC company. He was willing to buy 40% of Gunns for $150 million which would enable Gunns to start getting out of debt and eventually find a venture partner for the $2 billion mill.. The announcement was made in early February inst. The negotiations then appeared to proceed to an inexorable investment conclusion.

The greens saw a great opportunity to put themselves on the map, both in Tas and federally. Mr Bob Brown wrote a letter to Mr Chandler where he was apparently clearly trying to deter him from investing in Gunns. Mr Chandler's offsiders then came to Tasmania some two weeks ago, where they met local politicians including the Green Leader Mr McKim. He is actually a Minister for Education and also Prisons in the Green Labour government here. He, and other Greens, were strangely quiet after the meetings, quite unlike the usual howls of protest against greedy capitalists, as one would expect.

The Chandler corporation announced today that they are pulling out of the deal. They made no comment as to why.

I have no doubt that the local Greens have frightened Mr Chandler so much with their threats, that he decided that the investment was too exposed to public noise dangers. The Tas Greens have sabotaged business deals here many times in exactly the same fashion. They have caused a drop of woodchip production here to one fifth of the previous figures whilst other states have increased theirs, by going to Japan and telling them things along the lines that there are hardly any trees left here, (about 50% of the land mass is now locked away from forestry activities) and that forestry practices are defective, which they are not (see ABC interview with forestry financial consultant, Mr Eastman). They went to London to explain to the Olympic Games organisers that they should break the contract for buying parqueting wood from Tasmania since the company involved was using "native forest" (now meaning anything which is not a plantation under 20 years old, apparently). They have done similar things to Harvey Norman, I believe.

These are boycotts of business, normally prohibited under the Consumer and Competition Act 2010. If, however, the dominant purpose of this conduct is substantially related to environmental protection, the boycott protagonist is exempt (section 45DD). This effectively gives the environmentalists "a licence to lie" (Mark Poynter, forestry industry spokesman).

I think that we have a real fifth column here of the most savage variety, whose only interest is attention, publicity and fund seeking. For this they are clearly prepared to sacrifice anybody who wishes to advance himself or his community by remunerative activity. Now that the climate gurus are on the run, it may be time to turn to some other shocking practices of the Greens.

End of email

Tasmania: Greenie job destruction => reduced government revenue => deep cuts in health care

SENIOR surgeons fear budget cuts will cause catastrophic damage to the long-term viability of the state's healthcare system.

They also believe patients are being driven to near suicide, the cuts are too deep, there has been a lack of consultation on cuts and one hospital could be closed in the state's North-West.

The statements were presented to a parliamentary inquiry into budget cuts by Medical Staff Association chairman Frank Nicklason.

Dr Nicklason said senior staff had serious concerns that cuts to elective surgery would put patients' health at risk. "There are a lot of ways there can be negative impacts from delayed surgery," he said. "My overwhelming experience is that people are having to wait far too long."

A 50-year-old Hobart woman on a waiting list for serious arthritis in her knee had even contemplated suicide because she could no longer work, he said. "She got so desperate she was going to get in her car and drive into a tree."

He said the waiting list for elective surgery could be better prioritised. "I am not sure if at this stage we are doing this well enough," he said. Dr Nicklason said a drop in elective surgeries could see specialist staff heading to other states for opportunities and experience.

"A surgeon is nothing if they can't maintain their skills and reputation," he said. "A worrying number of people were considering leaving the hospital. Some specialists can't be replaced."

He said there were widespread fears that if specialist staff left in the next few years amid serious budget cuts it could take a decade or more to replace them.

Staff understood the difficulties facing governments with shrinking GST revenue and growing health needs. But, staff felt there had not been enough consultation about cuts, Dr Nicklason said.

He said there was a general consensus the state did not need the bureaucracy of three separate health networks and the Mersey Hospital could be merged with the North-West Regional Hospital in Burnie.


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