Anti-mill group turns to backers

GROUPS opposed to the Tamar Valley pulp mill have said they will turn their attention towards potential proponents, after Parliament passed legislation to extend the development permits this week.

The legislation to extend the pulp mill permit out to 2017, effectively killing off a  legal challenge, was passed at the request of Gunns' receiver KordaMentha to ``remove doubts'' ahead of six shortlisted potential investors making their final bids for the project on March 31.

Wilderness Society campaign manager Vica Bayley said the task now would be to ensure all prospective investors were deterred from building the mill.

``Every group is committed to ensuring that the permits don't proceed to construction,'' Mr Bayley said.

Premier Lara Giddings said opposition to the project was from a ``vocal minority'' and others in the community were ``pulling together in support of a pulp mill''.

``There is large community support behind this, and I'm sure proponents will understand that,'' Ms Giddings said.

Ms Giddings said the news the former lead creditor, ANZ, had sold its Gunns debt to an unknown entity was ``irrelevant''.

``It's not really an issue for me whether they are there or not,'' she said.

ANZ held an estimated $200 million of the $446 million debt owed to secured creditors. Gunns total debts were about $3 billion.

 The pulp mill site is in the upper house electorate of Windermere, held by independent Ivan Dean, not in the Rosevears electorate. 

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