Pulp mill permit may be declared invalid - buyers be aware

The Tasmanian Conservation Trust today issued a statement reminding investors who may be interested in buying the Tamar Valley pulp mill permit that the TCT’s Supreme Court case challenging the validity of the permit is still underway.

The TCT Director Peter McGlone today said that: ‘It is only fair to tell potential investors that if they buy the pulp mill permit and the TCT later wins it’s court case, the permit would be invalid and have no commercial value. The pulp mill could not be constructed without another permit being issued.’

On 1 November 2013 KordaMetha initiated an expression of interest process for the Tasmanian assets of Gunns Ltd, including ‘A ‘ready to build’ pulp mill project’ which has ‘State and Federal Government permits’. 

On 25 October 2011, the TCT initiated proceedings in the Tasmanian Supreme Court seeking a court determination that the permit for the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill had lapsed because the proponent, Gunns Ltd, had failed to meet the permit condition that the project be substantially commenced by the end of August 2011.

 With Gunns Ltd being liquidated and likely to be wound up, any litigation relating to the validity of the pulp mill project would need to be commenced against any entity that took ownership of the pulp mill permit.

 ‘The TCT remains 100% committed to this legal challenge and we will do everything in our power to win and have the pulp mill permit declared invalid,’ Mr McGlone continued.

 ‘Potential investors should take notice that the TCT remains committed to this court case and has solid grounds for its legal challenge’.

In April 2012 the Supreme Court dismissed an application by Gunns Ltd that the TCT should be required to pay a security deposit to the court in the event that TCT loses and cannot pay Gunns' costs.

 ‘We were very encouraged that Associate Justice Holt, in making this decision, concluded that the TCT’s ‘case has not been shown as lacking merit or weak,’ Mr McGlone concluded.