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18 Aug 2011

Gunns Blatantly Lies To The ASX. Anatomy Of The August 18 Release

On August 18 2011, two weeks into an unnecessary trading halt, Gunns MD Greg L'Estrange blatantly lies to the Australian Stock Exchange. You can find Australia's most dysfunctional market update here. It starts with a lie by company secretary Wayne Chapman. "Please find attached a media release regarding the Triabunna mill sale." Hello? Where in the following two pages does it mention 'Triabunna'? It doesn't. Lie one. "Gunns Limited Managing Director, Mr Greg L’Estrange, today welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s decision to appoint a probity auditor to review Gunns’ contracts but sought assurances that the process would be expedited to end the onerous uncertainty the decision has created." Greg, if this is an 'onerous uncertainty' for Gunns then why do you welcome it? This is also a desperate ultimatum for the premier to hand-over taxpayers cash. "Mr L’Estrange said the transparency that an audit process should bring was welcomed but was concerned with recent comments made about Gunns involvement in the Forest Agreements process." So Greg welcomes transparency does he? Then why did he support an agreement that was totally secret, by invitation only and non transparent? Lie two. "We feel misled. We were asked to take part in a process to end the 30 year conflict over Tasmania’s native forestry,” Mr L’Estrange said." So who asked Gunns to take part in this process? We were told the process was initiated by the 'industry'. Show us the documentation? Lie three. “When we made a decision early in 2010 that we would exit the native forest industry to focus on our plantation strategy, there were two plain choices: sell our businesses as going concerns for material value, or seek to assist in the restructure of the native forest industry through the Forest Principles process,” Lie four because it means a company director has breached the Corporations Act by not acting in the interests of his company? Why is Gunns restructuring an industry they claim to have abandoned? "Gunns decided in good faith to go through what we expected to be a transparent process" Another lie about transparency. Lie five. "Having been at the epicentre of that conflict for many years, we decided that it wasn’t in the best interests of Tasmania to hand the poison chalice to someone else. We could have easily sold those native forest businesses and gotten on with building a pulp mill.” 'Poison chalice'? The Gunns CEO admits his business has been a 'poison chalice' that was too evil to sell to someone else? Then why did he sell a chip mill to Woods and Cameron and then insist it continues to process wood chips? Lie six. Greg L'Estrange hands on the poison chalice. "But we were encouraged by all of the parties to stay in there with the explicit understanding of funding for a smooth transition out of native forestry.” So you stayed in the process because somebody promised you some money? If it was not in writing its probably another lie. “Our position from the start was that we were happy to be party to the process, and we have said from day one that we would stay the course if our employees, contractors and shareholders were fairly compensated.” Your shareholders would be compensated as well? For managing a 'poisoned chalice'? I'm going to call that lie seven. Prove your shareholders were promised money. “We chose to stick with an open, collaborative process and now it appears that we are being punished for that,” he said." Lie eight about the closed and secret agreement.
"Mr L’Estrange urged the Premier and the Government to stick to commitments made, especially in relation to timing." Now L'Estrange admits to a secret agreement with the premier. “When the Inter-Governmental Agreement was announced, Ms Giddings said it would take seven days to resolve the financial outcomes. It has now taken two weeks to reach what is still essentially a non-decision,” So Greg L'Estrange actually thought he would automatically be given millions of taxpayers dollars in 7 days? “We have contractors out there waiting for a decision on this, workers waiting to see if Tasmania is going to be mature enough to manage the restructure of the native forest industry and to develop a world scale plantation business.” There is not one single worker waiting to see how 'mature' Tasmania is. Why would a tiny island have a 'world scale plantation business'? More propaganda from L'Estrange. Mr L’Estrange said he would also like to remind the Government that a decision to exit the native forest industry was directly linked to Gunns’ ability to bring the Bell Bay pulp mill project to a reality. “The pulp mill is the largest single private investment in Tasmania" Lie nine. Many projects in Tasmania have been more costly that the insignificant amount Gunns have spent destroying native vegetation on a vacant block and bribing corrupt politicians. "Tasmania’s global reputation needs a plantation industry, not a continuation of the conflict,” So an Australian state must have a reputation that transcends the rest of the nation does it Greg? "Gunns is giving up over 3,500 kilometres of forest roads, which Gunns has constructed on public land" Why were Gunns building roads on other people's land anyway? "licences for over 210,000 cubic metres of high quality sawlog per annum and two million green metric tonnes of pulp wood per annum. Given this background, to characterise Gunns involvement in this process as a “grab for cash”, as propounded by some participants in the debate, is both misleading and offensive". But Greg, it was you that called it a 'poison chalice'. Now you want your shareholders to profit from it, and you just accused the government of being too slow handing over our money. Your the one who is 'misleading and offensive' Greg L'Estrange. All I can say is get out of Tasmania. Go back to your McMansion at Noosa. We don't want you here.                           From 'West Tamar Talk' HERE

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