Lennon mill fire returned

11/05/2018 Posted by admin

LAUNCESTON Mayor Albert van Zetten has defended his leadership after criticism from former Premier Paul Lennon. In an opinion piece published in The Examiner yesterday, Mr Lennon called on the Launceston City Council to pressure the Federal Government to finalise the last requirements for Gunns’ $2.2 billion pulp mill project. Mr Lennon said the project could stave off a recession, referencing the ITS Global report, which forecast significant economic benefits. But he said it was time for “local leadership” to get behind the project. “There has been a lack of will to support Gunns to get a decision,” Mr Lennon wrote. The council resolved to withdraw its support for the mill in November 2007. Yesterday, Ald. van Zetten said he subscribed to a different style of leadership than Mr Lennon, and he believed the council had shown leadership. “Our reason for withdrawing support for the mill was that the five major issues of transport, air quality, health, water and compliance [were not] thoroughly investigated and addressed by the fast-track assessment process,” Alderman van Zetten said. Alderman Jeremy Ball said he had been surprised by Mr Lennon’s comments. “Mr Lennon quotes from the ITS Global report, which sounds convincing until you actually read that report,” Ald. Ball said. “On page 8 of that report it states that it is not a cost benefit analysis. It was only asked to look at the benefits of the project, not the costs or risks. “That has been the problem with Mr Lennon’s approach both inside government and now outside government – he has never wanted to honestly acknowledge the risks associated with the project and they are real.”
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