Liberals no friend of Gunns Limited Wed 26 September 2012 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier, Lara Giddings, today condemned the hollow crocodile tears of the Liberal Opposition over the unfortunate decline of Gunns Limited. Ms Giddings said the State Government was working to support workers affected by the announcement yesterday that Gunns Limited will be placed in administration. "My thoughts are with workers and their families who would be feeling shocked and devastated by the developments of recent days. "The Skills Response Unit will be visiting work sites and meeting with employees to inform them of available alternative employment, support and retraining options. "Of course, it is our hope that Gunns assets will be sold as going concerns, and that the impact on employees can be minimised as much as possible." Ms Giddings said Will Hodgman had proven himself to beno friend of Gunns Limited or its employees. "The Liberal Opposition has repeatedly used Gunns as a political football and they should be condemned for their crocodile tears today," Ms Giddings said. "It should be remembered that the Liberal Party voted against the $23 million commercial settlement to Gunns Ltd as part of the IGA process. "That was fair and appropriate compensation and yet the Liberals whipped it up into a political point-scoring exercise. "Worse still, they opposed the $15 million in the IGA for Gunns employees and other workers affected by Gunns' decision in 2010 to exit native forest harvesting." Ms Giddings said Mr Hodgman completely snubbed the Richard Chandler Corporation at a critical time for the Gunns pulp mill project. "Mr Hodgman was too busy hob-nobbing at the Launceston Cup to support a critical investment in the $2 billion pulp mill," he said. "And just a few weeks ago he made the completely ridiculous claim that Gunns - a company founded on timber production and woodchip exports - was somehow not part of Tasmania's forestry industry. "He is so blind to the challenges confronting our forestry sector that he tried to pretend Gunns is not symptomatic of the issues we have been trying to deal with through the forestry IGA. "Will Hodgman has demonstrated time and time again that he is no friend of Gunns and its workers. "True to form the only reason he even asked questions on this issue in Parliament today was to use Gunns and its workers as political pawns."