July 26, 2011 | Graham

Will closing Tassie wood pulp mill endanger Sumatran tiger?

Will closing Tassie wood pulp mill endanger Sumatran tiger? Well it’s at least as plausible as the claim made by Greenpeace that IGA is endangering the tiger because it buys toilet paper from Asia Pulp and Paper which logs in Sumatra.

If pulp milling stops in Tasmania, demand for pulp won’t go away, and the source of supply will shift, to places like Sumatra.

Here’s Greenpeace’s justification of their claim:

Sydney, Tuesday 26 July 2011: Shocking new video footage, showing the agonising death of an endangered tiger, has been released today by Greenpeace, along with revelations linking the destruction of tiger habitats with toilet paper being sold in IGA supermarkets across Australia.

The video footage shows a Sumatran tiger, one of only around 400 remaining in the wild, caught in a wild boar trap.The tiger’s rainforest habitat is being destroyed by the notorious Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) (1), forcing the tiger to hunt for food in areas close to human activity. (2)

APP has aggressive expansion plans in Australia. Through its Australian affiliate Solaris, APP has opened a new $20 million facility in Sydney. APP’s toilet paper is being bought by IGA supermarkets and sold under the IGA-owned Black & Gold and IGA Signature brands. This contract makes IGA one of the biggest customers of APP products in Australia.

Last week Jan Cameron (founder of Kathmandu) and Graeme Wood (founder of Wotif) bought the Triabunna woodchip mill so that they could close it down. The consequences of this will be decreased supplies of woodchip from Australia and an increase in potential markets for APP and their ilk. There will always be a need for paper. It’s not as though people are going to stop wiping their bottoms after going to the toilet.

I’m waiting with baited breath for Greenpeace to announce a letter-writing campaign urging Cameron and Wood to keep the mill open. Or perhaps GetUp can organise boycotts of their businesses.

Posted by Graham at 8:10 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. This should be compulsory reading for all those that are demanding a lock up of 570,000 ha of multiple use productive forest in Tasmania.

    Over 47% of Tasmania’s forests are reserved and threatened species protected by strict forest practice codes, yet the only result of locking up Australian forest is to increase imports.

    We were told on the ABC on Monday that forests imports from the Asia Pacific region had increased by 57% since the last massive lock up of our forests.

    Comment by cinders — July 27, 2011 @ 12:10 am

  2. The Triabunna Wood Chip Mill under the terms of the sale, the new owners have to run the mill for an unspecified period (the industry is asking for till 2027) to allow the implementation of the forestry Statement of Principles. Leases have to be reassigned etc.
    I’m sure this will suffice in keeping you in toilet paper to wipe your arse with.

    Comment by pip66 — July 27, 2011 @ 4:42 am

  3. But surely toilet paper is one of many western excesses that the greens deem unsustainable.
    Finding it hard to picture Bob Brown forgoing dunny wrap.

    Comment by marco — July 27, 2011 @ 9:39 am

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