Mixed views on pulp mill lobby trip

OPPOSITION Leader Will Hodgman's trip to Canberra to lobby his federal leaders for support for the controversial pulp mill has been met with mixed reactions.

Mr Hodgman met Coalition leaders yesterday to explore options for Commonwealth assistance to get the Tamar Valley pulp mill off the ground.

Mr Hodgman named pursuing federal assistance for the pulp mill as the top priority for the trip.

The round of meetings between state and federal Liberal leaders comes in the middle of the first stage of a sale process for the failed timber company Gunns' assets, including the pulp mill's Long Reach site and permits.

Premier Lara Giddings said it was about time the Opposition Leader grasped the pulp mill's importance, accusing him of being a "dodger rather than a doer".

"I'm not sure how much credibility he has supporting the pulp mill project when he couldn't even be bothered turning up to be briefed by the company that is currently selling the pulp mill project just a few weeks ago," Ms Giddings said.

"That follows the infamous snubbing of a meeting with Richard Chandler Corporation, which was considering investing in the project, where Mr Hodgman instead headed off to the Launceston Cup."

She hoped Mr Hodgman had more on his agenda for the talks, urging him to demand his federal colleagues get on with the stalled Tasmanian NBN rollout.

Mr Hodgman described yesterday's meetings as "encouraging".

Greens leader Nick McKim said Mr Hodgman's "begging- bowl trip" showed he had warped political priorities.

"Mr Hodgman has dusted off the old begging bowl and gone to grovel at Tony Abbott's feet for taxpayers' money to gamble on a doomed pulp mill in the Tamar Valley," Mr McKim said.

"The markets have already shunned the pulp mill, but Will Hodgman thinks taxpayers should wear the risk instead."

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