Gunns mill seeks operators

ENVIRONMENTALISTS Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood, the new owners of the Gunns Triabunna woodchip mill in Tasmania, will seek expressions of interest in coming weeks for an operator after reaching agreement with state-backed Tasmanian Ports over wharf leasing.

The Triabunna site has been closed for several months after the entrepreneurial pair bought the asset from Gunns for $10 million in a last-minute sale which took both industry and investors by surprise and ­essentially stopped nearly all old-growth logging in the state.

“We have today [Friday] received the paperwork from TasPorts,” Ms Cameron told The Australian Financial Review.

“We will put a tender out within two weeks to find an operator to run the mill. It will run under new guidelines as to the Forest Agreement so there will not be any old growth [logs] going through it.

“We don’t envisage it will be operating long term because this is only a transition piece to help the industry through this period.”

The deal has been controversial, given the mill’s importance. Gunns bowed out of native forest logging as part of a major restructure as it focuses on getting its $2.3 billion pulp mill off the ground.

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