APM, AMCOR, Australian Paper, Paperlinx, whatever you want to call this huge Latrobe Valley pulp and paper mill, they clearly have very close connections with the state and federal governments. Donations and gifts flow freely between them (see the article here on political donations from woodchip companies).
In April, while touring Gippsland’s now marginal seat of McMillan, John Howard gave another half a million dollars of federal money for Australian Paper to conduct a feasibility study into expanding into a monster pulp and paper mill at Maryvale. The expansion plans have been on the table for over a year and we believe are connected very closely with Neville Smith, who is closely connected with Philip Toyne, Trish Caswell, EcoSelelct and the push for certification of logging native forests. The latest Forest Bill (see article this issue) is also tailored to benefit his welfare and that of Paperlinx/Australian Paper.
The plot thickens
The connection between Paperlinx/Australian Paper and Neville Smith’s mill is obvious; NST is the largest sawmill in the entire country. That means it’s licence for logs is huge – and we all know that for every sawlog cut there is about nine left as ‘waste’, and for every one of those few sawlogs milled, it produces about 60% wasted bits. So there needs to be a market – preferably nearby – that can mop-up all this ‘waste’ of forests. It’s called a ‘symbiotic relationship’ in biology.
Jill / Latrobe Valley Express 19/4/04