MEDIA RELEASE 24 October 2007
AUSTRALIA-WIDE EVENTS AT ANZ BANK BRANCHES HIGHLIGHT INVESTMENT IN PULP MILL AND LOGGING
ANZ customers informed about how their money is being used to destroy Tasmania’s native forests.
Information events were held today to inform the public of the ANZ Bank’s involvement in the destruction of Tasmania’s native forests and its potential role in funding Gunns’ proposed pulp mill. Public information sessions were held outside ANZ branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Launceston, and Newcastle.
The ANZ has been banker for Gunns Limited since 1995. It recently released a line of credit to the company of $1.5 billion. In addition, the ANZ is currently considering financing Gunns’ controversial pulp mill in the Tamar Valley, despite inadequate assessment including no studies on the impact of logging on forests or climate change.
“ANZ customers were today informed of how their money is being used in the destruction of Tasmania’s native forests and in contributing to climate change,” said Paul Oosting, pulp mill campaigner for The Wilderness Society.
“This is the beginning of a campaign to encourage the ANZ to use their involvement with Gunns to insist the logging company stop its environmentally, socially and economically destructive logging practices of clearfelling and burning of high conservation value forest, poisoning native wildlife and emitting massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.”
“The ANZ has a choice. It can either fund a pulp mill that will be environmentally damaging or it can encourage Gunns to develop a pulp mill that is totally chlorine-free and 100% plantation-based, in an appropriate location and accepted by the community,” said Mr Oosting.
“We are calling on customers of the ANZ bank to get involved in the move to protect Tasmania’s forest and combat climate change by urging their bank not to invest their money in a company with a track record of destructive environmental practice and litigating against people who work to see that environment protected.”
Logging causes climate change and the pulp mill will consume vast areas of unprotected native forest releasing stored carbon as emissions. Just feeding the pulp mill would represent the equivalent of putting at least an extra 2.3 million cars on the road each year,” concluded Mr Oosting.