University Of Tasmania
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Planning versus power: Tasmania's forest policy network and Gunn's Tamar valley pulp mill

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 04:41 authored by Frederick GaleFrederick Gale
When Gunns announced its intention to build a pulp mill at Bell Bay in Northern Tasmania in mid-2004, it plunged the state into a socio-political crisis from which it has yet to recover. The proposal has re-opened the state’s forest wars—barely healed from the bruising battle over the state’s Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA)—further polarising the community. As each faction battles for the hearts and minds of ‘ordinary’ Tasmanians, the truism that truth is its first victim of warfare is once again illustrated. For the past five years Tasmanians have been bombarded with claims and counterclaims concerning the pulp mill’s economic, social and environmental impacts (i.e. via the Government sponsored Pulp Mill Task Force newsletters and contributors to the online newspaper Tasmanian Times). A concerted media blitz by the government, Gunns and unions spruiking the mill’s benefits has been countered by a diverse array of sources ranging from conservationists to religious figures to academics. In this paper, I do not intend to assess the merits of the arguments made by these two protagonists. Instead, I aim to take advantage of the opportunity the pulp mill presents to analyse the actors, institutions and ideologies of Tasmania’s forest policy network.


Publication title

Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2009, Refereed papers




School of Social Sciences


Australian Political Studies Association

Place of publication

Event title

APSA Conference

Event Venue

Macquarie University, Sydney

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Government and politics not elsewhere classified

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    University Of Tasmania