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More legal action over pulp mill approval -

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TONY EASTLEY: Well, as we mentioned, it's only day three of the federal election campaign and
already the Tasmanian pulp mill looks like re-emerging as a contentious issue.

Plans by the timber company, Gunns, to build Australia's biggest pulp mill in the Tamar Valley just
north of Launceston have been approved by both the federal and state governments, but the fight to
stop the project is far from over.

The Wilderness Society is going back to the Federal Court today to challenge the process under
which the Federal Environment Minister approved the mill.

In August, a Federal Court judge ruled against the Society's challenge but today, the appeal will
be heard by the full bench of the Federal Court in Hobart.

Felicity Ogilvie reports.

FELICITY OGILVIE: If the three judges who make up the full bench of the Federal Court find in
favour of the Wilderness Society, it could stop the pulp mill being built.

The Society will argue that the Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, should have set up
a whole new assessment of the pulp mill when Gunns pulled out of the original process in March.

Wilderness Society campaigner Sean Cadman.

SEAN CADMAN: The company who's got a major proposal up for assessment in an agreed process can
withdraw from that process for its own strategic reasons, whatever they are and then go and seek an
easier process which is what happened this time.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The CEO of the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, Terry Edwards, says
there was nothing wrong with the process and the court action is nothing more than a vexatious
attempt to stop the mill.

TERRY EDWARDS: It certainly seems to me that the grounds advanced by the Wilderness Society are
vexatious and are really designed to do no more than to create a nuisance but if the full court
were to determine that the assessment process was invalid and had to start de novo (Latin: over
again) as it were then I suspect that it could well spell the end of this project.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Wilderness Society will also argue that Malcolm Turnbull broke the Federal
Environment laws he used to assess the mill by failing to take into account the effect on
Tasmania's forests.

SEAN CADMAN: If you in order to supply this mill have to increase the intensity of logging then
that will inevitably have a massive impact on forest bio-diversity and that that wasn't assessed
was a travesty.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Wood supply wasn't assessed by the Federal Government because it is covered by
the Regional Forest Agreement or (RFA) where set tonnages of trees are logged every year.

Terry Edwards says under the RFA there would be enough wood to supply the pulp mill.

TERRY EDWARDS: The comment about whether or not forests should or should not have been part of an
assessment under the EPBCA (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) by Minister
Turnbull is clearly dealt with by the Act. It seems extraordinary that the Wilderness Society on
the one hand saying that the Minister didn't apply the Act and another hand arguing that the
Minister should have gone beyond the Act and sought to regulate activities which are specifically
state responsibilities.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Environment Minister's office says it's inappropriate to comment on matters
before the court. The Wilderness Society says if it loses the appeal, it's prepared to take the
fight to the High Court.

TONY EASTLEY: In Hobart, Felicity Ogilvie reporting.