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Tassie town shocked by mill deal -

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Locals in the small Tasmanian east coast town of Triabunna are coming to terms with the news that
environmental entrepreneurs have bought the local woodchip mill and are planning to turn it into an
eco tourist resort. Some fear closing the mill will devastate the town.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The community in the small Tasmanian town of Triabunna is still trying to come
to terms with the news that the local woodchip mill has been sold to environmental entrepreneurs
who want to turn it into a eco tourist resort.

Under the sale agreement the new owners have to keep the woodchipper running for a few years but
no-one knows exactly how long the mill will stay in business.

Felicity Ogilvie reports.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Triabunna is a town that relies on the forest industry.

The industry has been struggling and so is Triabunna. Several shops in the main street have closed.

Dale Pearce is the president of the Orford Triabunna Chamber of Commerce

He says locals are still shocked by the news that the local woodchip mill has been bought by two
environmental entrepreneurs who plan to eventually turn the mill into a tourism venture.

DALE PEARCE: The reaction is probably mixed at this stage. There are some people who will embrace
that, there are local tourism operators who can see some very, very good potential longer term. But
equally we really understand in the medium term we need forestry to continue so that this community
can survive.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Graeme Elphinstone builds trailers for log trucks in his Triabunna workshop.

He says the entire native forest industry in Southern Tasmania will be shut down when the mill
closes.

GRAEME ELPHINSTONE: We're not talking just Triabunna woodchip mill. This is the forest industry in
southern Tasmania, so it's the whole of Tasmania.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The mill won't shut down straight away; there's supposed to be a transition
period. Does that give you any comfort?

GRAEME ELPHINSTONE: Well would you want to trust anyone that's- you know, like they've only got one
objective haven't they, and that's to shut it down. So it's just cruel expecting people to go on
trying to cart logs in there and chip logs knowing they're just going to have the wheels cut out
from under them. It's just wrong.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Cafe and gallery owner Britt Steiner is looking at the positives of turning to
tourism.

BRITT STEINER: We need to think about the long term opportunities that this presents. There is some
short term pain in it, but I think long term we probably need to diversify our economic base in
Triabunna.

FELICITY OGILVIE: And what has been the mood of the locals as they've been coming into your café
this week?

BRITT STEINER: There have been a lot of concerns from people. I think it's the uncertainty - that's
the worst part. You know, people getting really anxious about what the future holds.

FELICITY OGILVIE: But eco cruise tourism operator Michael Davis is troubled by the idea of the
local forestry industry being shut down.

MICHAEL DAVIS: We're faced with a moral dilemma in our society that if we don't cut a tree down in
Tasmania we encourage cutting a tree down in Borneo that may have an orangutan swinging in the
tree.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The eco tourism operator Michael Davis there, speaking to Felicity Ogilvie in
Triabunna.