The Federal Government is in breach of its own Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) through refusing to rule out further Commonwealth support for the proposed Bell Bay pulp mill.
Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said that it was “duplicitous” of Federal Labor to refuse to support his Senate motion last week calling for a commitment of no further support for this project.
“The Government refused to support the motion, even though they have already committed to the measure under clause 42 of the IGA agreement, which reads – the Commonwealth’s position is that no Commonwealth funds will be paid to progress the Bell Bay pulp mill project.
“Recent media reports have quoted Ms Gillard as wanting to progress this failed proposal with further Commonwealth support, contrary to the IGA agreement her Government has signed.
“These two positions are clearly in conflict.
“The Prime Minister cannot have a bet each way on this.
“Either the government intends to be bound under the IGA or it intends to dishonour an agreement struck between itself, the Tasmanian Government and ENGO’s in good faith.”
Senator Whish-Wilson challenged the Prime Minister and Tony Burke to clarify their official position immediately, and let Tasmanians, especially those in the Tamar Valley, put this project to bed and get on with their lives.