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Australia: Unions seek Govt help for Gunns

Source:  Copyright 2008, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Date:  November 3, 2008
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Unions are citing the global financial crisis as they try to pressure the Tasmanian and Federal Governments to give more support for Gunns' proposed pulp mill.

Gunns executives are overseas trying to secure finance for the project but CEO John Gay has admitted it may need to wait until global credit conditions ease.

The company's sovereign risk agreement with the State Government runs out in a month and it is still waiting for several environmental approvals from the Commonwealth.

Michael O'Connor from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says the project is a vital piece of nation-building infrastructure that should be an urgent priority for government.

"We have a massive current account deficit that we need to address," he said.

"Thirteen per cent of our current account deficit is made up of forest products, and half of that is pulp and paper. We are importing billions of dollars of pulp and paper ...

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