Greens fail to stop vote on pulp mill bill


NO Greens' delaying tactics could stop the inevitable passage of pulp mill doubts removal legislation through Tasmania's lower house late last night.

Labor and the Liberals combined to cut short debate on the legislation that will quash any legal threats to the pulp mill permits and give a buyer of the pulp mill until 2017 to start work.

The Greens tried unsuccessfully twice to move a no-confidence motion in the government, refer the legislation to a committee for further examination and amend it to allow a referendum on the issue to occur on the same day as the March 15 state election.

After six hours of debate, Deputy Premier Bryan Green moved to introduce a time limit, forcing a final vote to be taken about 11pm.

The Liberal Party supported the legislation, but questioned the timing of it.

"What we're seeing today is nothing to do with the pulp mill, it's all to do with politics," Liberal leader Will Hodman told Parliament.

 Lara Giddings
"Twenty people support a pulp mill in this house. Five oppose it. But that does not make it toxic, that does not make it divisive."
 Peter Gutwein
"The time that this should have been debated is before the (Expressions of Interest) process started. Who didn't come through the gate? Who did we lose, because we didn't have this legislation?"
 Nick McKim
"I have no doubt Labor and their new minority partners the Liberal Party will collude to guillotine debate ... this is corruption written large."
 Michelle O'Byrne
"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."
 Vica Bayley
"This legislation has brought down a premier, it has brought down a deputy premier ... it has brought down its biggest champion of all, which was its proponent, Gunns."

Mr Green accused Labor's former minority government partners of pointless filibustering.

Greens leader Nick McKim was furious that debate was gagged.

"This is fundamentally undemocratic," Mr McKim said.

"Here we have Labor colluding with the Liberals to ram through a licence to pollute.

"I believe this pulp mill could kill people," he told Parliament.

The changes to the original 2007 pulp mill act were requested by Gunns receiver KordaMentha to improve the chances of selling the permit.

KordaMentha is in talks with six potential buyers of the failed timber company's assets, but not all are interested in the pulp mill.

The sale process is due to conclude by March 31.

Earlier, Speaker Michael Polley ruled Mr McKim was beaten to his feet by Leader of Government Business Michelle O'Byrne, missing his opportunity to move a no-confidence motion in the government before the start of debate on the pulp mill legislation.

Mr McKim maintained he got in first but Mr Polley stood by his original decision.

Labor and the Liberals blocked Mr McKim's second attempt to bring on the no- confidence motion.


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