Live coverage of pulp mill permit debate


A SECOND attempt by Greens Leader Nick McKim to move a no confidence motion in the government has failed, after the Government and Opposition voted together to continue debate on the pulp mill legislation.

Mr McKim missed the call to raise a no confidence motion when the Pulp Mill Assessment Amendment Bill was tabled earlier today.

He moved during his second reading speech on the legislation this afternoon to suspend debate to allow for a debate on the motion.

"We accept, given public statements, that it's unlikely a no confidence motion should be passed," Mr McKim said.

"But that doesn't mean they should not be debated."

Leader of Government Business Michelle O'Byrne said she rejected Mr McKim's suggestion that he had been denied his democratic right to move a no confidence motion, just because he missed his call.

"It is not a rubber stamp every time it does not go Mr McKim's way,'' Ms O'Byrne said.

Ms O'Byrne said The Greens comments about the toxicity of the project were false.

"I bring my children up in the Tamar Valley. I would not support a proposal that I thought

was going to damage their health, their well being,'' she said.

UPDATE: 2.30pm

Greens Leader Nick McKim is furious after his attempt to move a no-confidence motion in the government was thwarted.

Speaker Michael Polley ruled Mr McKim was not fast enough to stand up and missed his chance to move it before debate on the pulp mill legislation began. 

Mr McKim maintained he was first on his feet, but Mr Polley stood by his ruling. 

Instead, Mr McKim used his speech against the pulp mill legislation to table the text of his no-confidence motion, but he won't get another chance to attempt to have a debate on it until after the legislation is voted on. 

UPDATE: 12pm

LABOR and the Liberals have joined forces to ensure legislation to shore up the Tamar Valley pulp mill permit will be debated in full today.

Liberal and Labor politicians vote together to suspend standing orders in Parliament this morning. Photo: Calla Wahlquist

Liberal and Labor politicians vote together to suspend standing orders in Parliament this morning. Photo: Calla Wahlquist

The Greens have accused the major parties of forming a new coalition to "collude" to force through the Pulp Mill Assessment Amendment Bill, which will extend the permit to 2017 and remove the requirement for "substantial work" to have begun within four years of the 2007 permit, effectively quashing a Supreme Court challenge by the Tasmanian Conservation Trust.

Greens Leader Nick McKim said the major parties would "no doubt" move to guillotine debate on the legislation.

"Mr Speaker, the Tasmanian people deserve to know once again that on the alter of the pulp mill democracy has been sacrificed," Mr McKim said.

Premier Lara Giddings said the legislation would ensure jobs based on Tasmanian plantation resource remained in Tasmania.

"Twenty people support a pulp mill in this house," Ms Giddings said.

"Five oppose it. But that does not make it toxic, that does make it divisive."

Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said his party supported the legislation, but said holding parliament this week was a political stunt devised to help Labor and The Greens hold enough seats to form another minority government.

Mr Hodgman said if it was not for fear of The Greens, Ms Giddings would have brought on this legislation in November when KordaMentha first requested it.

Ms Giddings said she would not form another minority partnership with The Greens.


State parliament will return today to debate contentious legislation to extend the Tamar Valley pulp mill permit.

If enacted, the legislation will overrule any legal challenge to the mill permits.

From about 11.30am today, The Examiner Online will cover the debate in parliament live, with reporter Calla Wahlquist blogging what is expected to be an emotion-charged sitting.

Greens leader Nick McKim has already said his party intends moving a motion of no confidence in the State Government over the proposed legislation.



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