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Statement on Tasmanian pulp mill

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The Hon Tony Burke MP Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Statement on Tasmanian pulp mill

Media release

3 March 2011

On 5 January, 2009 the then Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett set March 3, 2011 as the final date for a decision on the three remaining modules of the environmental impact management plan submitted by Gunns for the proposed pulp mill at Bell Bay, Tasmania.

Today I am extending that deadline for a further week until March 10, 2011.

Yesterday, representatives from Gunns contacted my department and indicated that the company was seeking tougher environmental controls than were contained in the original application.

The company further sought that these more stringent environmental controls be incorporated with the other decisions I am to make on the environmental impact management plan.

My department needs to assess these proposed variations to the original pulp mill proposal and allow the Independent Expert Group to examine these variations.

I expect these processes will be complete, and I will be in a position to consider updated advice from my department, next week.