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Death knell for Bell Bay

The Bell Bay pulp mill is dead, after a decade of controversy which divided Tasmania. Source: The Mercury

Permits for the controversial mill have been handed back by Gunns Ltd receivers Korda Mentha, State Parliament has heard.

The $2.3 billion project, which dominated Tasmanian political discourse for nearly a decade, was proposed in 2003.

Gunns Ltd spent about $230 million on research and obtaining the permits before collapsing in 2012.

Gunns bankers ANZ bank would not finance the mill and the company attempted to bring in partners without success.

State Growth Minister Peter Gutwein said the permits were handed back six weeks ago.

“The pulp mill project is over,” he told Parliament.

He condemned the Greens for their opposition to the pulp mill.

“Greens member after Greens member have built their career on tearing down projects like that. It would have provided thousands of jobs,” he said.

The permits to build the mill lapsed in August and Korda Mentha said it would not contest the lapsing because there was no prospect of a developer being interested.