Pulp mill bill on fast track

LEGISLATION designed to fast-track the pulp mill will pass in a special sitting of Parliament later this month after the Liberal Party ruled out making a bid to bring down the government.

Premier Lara Giddings yesterday confirmed Parliament would be recalled on January 28 to consider ``doubt removal'' legislation to strengthen the pulp mill permits at the request of receivers tasked with selling the failed timber company's assets. 

KordaMentha wrote to the Premier in September asking for the changes to the permits but Ms Giddings refused to act until there was serious interest.

Ms Giddings released a letter from receivers KordaMentha stating the legislation would ``enhance investor confidence and increase the likelihood that the project will proceed.''  

She said now was the right time given the sale process was due to conclude at the end of March.  

``We cannot afford to wait until after the election when Parliament may not sit until May,'' Ms Giddings said.

Liberal leader Will Hodgman criticised the timing of the debate just two months out from an election but won't stand in the way of the legislation.

Mr Hodgman ruled out seizing the opportunity to bring on a no-confidence motion, which would for the first time have the potential to succeed given the Labor Green partnership is dead. 

Greens leader Nick McKim, who was dumped from cabinet yesterday, wouldn't make the same commitment but he vowed to vote against any moves to provide assistance to the ``toxic and divisive'' pulp mill. 

``It's about whether we want to continue to work together towards a new future for Tasmania or whether we'll be plunged back into the conflict and division, back into the failed business and political models of the past,'' Mr McKim said yesterday.

Greens Bass MHA Kim Booth  reportedly said he would bring on a no-confidence motion.    


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