What a berk: Once respected gardening guru Don sells out to environmental vandals, Gunns
Thursday October 09th 2008, 11:38 am

St Peter of the sheep turds (click for larger img)

Peter Cundall speaks to standing-room-only
crowds during his farewell tour,
Gardening Australia Expo, Sydney Olympic Park,
30 August 2008. (image: mgk)

Burke, Cundall in pulp mill showdown

Gardening personality Don Burke has been hired by timber company Gunns to help win support for its Northern Tasmanian pulp mill.

The move pits Burke against former television gardening identity, Peter Cundall, who has been a vocal critic of the controversial project.

The $2 billion proposal has stalled as tighter credit conditions force Gunns to look overseas for funds.

Burke has told ABC Local Radio he does not feel his role as an adviser to the company compromises his integrity.

“The majority of the people on the planet have a job but that doesn’t mean their integrity is purchased by their employer,” he said.

“I would have thought my track record stands out pretty clearly, that nobody buys my integrity.”

SHAME on you, Don Burke, for taking on an 81-year-old man, who LIVES in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, the proposed site of Gunns’ pulp mill. Cundall is defending not just the environment in Tassie, but his very own backyard. Where’s YOUR backyard, Burke?

Mind you, Burke can’t really be accused of selling out any more environmentalist cred over this particular issue than he’d done before- Burke truly sold out in July 2005 when he became chair of the anti-environmentalist Australian Environment Foundation, a lobby group with connections to Melbourne’s conservative Institute for Public Affairs ‘think tank.’

If Burke supports this pulp mill debacle, should he ever get another crack at making more Burke’s Backyard programs, I will make it my business to drive a boycott of any supporting advertisers.


9 Comments so far
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You realise that Peter Cundall has retired from Gardening Australia precisely to devote more time to an issue such as this.

I have no doubt that Peter Cundall will prevail in this battle for the backyard.

Don’s quote concerning his integrity not being for sale is moot as his new job clearly demonstrates he has none to sell.

Comment by suki 10.09.08 @ 8:41 pm

One’s a Cundall, the other shares the first 3 letters and then goes downhill in the alphabet to a ‘t’ after that.

Everyone seems to have a price, but some seem to sell out cheaply. (If you see a cheaper price anywhere else, we’ll beat it by 5%.)

Comment by Meself 10.09.08 @ 9:19 pm

I wonder how much Peter is being paid to oppose the pulp mill. Answer me that- and we’ll know whose integrity is for sale.

Comment by weez 10.09.08 @ 9:29 pm

1. Peter Cundall has retired because he was at retirement age – everyone is supposed to at some stage before they die!
2. Peter Cundall receives no payment for his anti-pulpmill stance.
3. Has Don Burke actually read any of the facts about the pulpmill? He seems to have the popular misconception that the mill is only to use native timber for the short term – has he ask Gunns why they are so determined to hold on to the 20 year wood agreement with TF? Perhaps because he doesn’t want to scratch the surface and find the @#$* that is underneath.

Comment by Jo McRae 10.10.08 @ 3:11 pm

Jo, my question was rhetorical. I think everyone is quite aware that Peter is not being paid to oppose the pulp mill.

Don Burke, on the other hand, is unquestionably an anti-environmentalist for hire.

Comment by weez 10.10.08 @ 8:39 pm

So Don Burke is being paid, to support a position he believes in? Can somebody tell me what’s wrong with that?

There are many true environmentalists who believe in managed forestry. Maintaining the value of timber as a product is the best way of protecting it’s importance.

Gone are the days when clear-felling was practices purely for the purpose of creating bare land to grow crops on. Managed forestry has nothing to do with clear-felling. It’s about utilising a valuable renewable natural resource AND protecting the viability of that renewable resource for future generations.

Unfortunately, there are some people that are very, very blinkered in this debate. They have a black-and-white “thou must not chop down a single tree” philosophy, that is both unrealistic, and in the long term unwise.

If we don’t manage wild forests using sustainable management practices, nature will do it for us the natural way – regular bushfires.

Comment by dg 12.14.08 @ 12:42 pm

A person who is paid to support a position is a salesman.

According to news reports, quite a lot of the timber promised to Gunns for the pulp mill is from old growth.

There’s also a number of unanswered questions about the environmental impact of the mill.

That’s enough for me, thanks. However, the conclusion may be foregone, not by the acts of environmental protesters, but inability for Gunns to secure financing.

Comment by weez 12.14.08 @ 6:10 pm

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