Pulp mill tax relief slammed

TAX relief for a potential pulp mill proponent is "notionally insane" and "grossly arrogant and irresponsible", according to Greens Bass MHA Kim Booth.

Premier Lara Giddings confirmed on Saturday that any company willing to build the Bell Bay pulp mill could benefit from up to $15 million a year in payroll tax relief if construction began within the next term of a Labor government. The relief would be for the duration of construction, with an assumption it would take three years and create an estimated 3000 jobs.

The offer came as polling conducted by The Examiner showed 43.4 per cent of Tasmanians supported a pulp mill at the Bell Bay site, and 51.4 per cent supported a pulp mill elsewhere in the state.

Mr Booth said he thought the poll "conclusively backs up that Tasmanians don't want a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley".

He said the Greens would pledge to repeal the legislation passed in January to extend the pulp mill permits as soon as parliament returned.

Mr Booth said to provide $45million in tax relief to an unknown foreign purchaser was "the worst corporate welfare you can imagine".

Deputy Liberal Leader Jeremy Rockliff said the Liberals would be supporting the pulp mill by offering Tasmanians majority government.

"Without a proponent this is a $45 million unfunded thought bubble from Labor and it shows how desperate they are," Mr Rockliff said.

Seven interested buyers are understood to still be considering the assets of former timber company Gunns.


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