Proud new initiative from the ‘Loo Crew’ at Falls Festival

Media Release 2 December 2016


This year, an exciting new initiative is taking place for The Bob Brown Foundation’s renowned ‘Loo Crew’ at The Falls Music & Arts Festival, a family friendly music festival held each year at the picturesque Marion Bay. The event runs from 29th December to the 1st January and last year attracted close to 14,000 patrons. The Bob Brown Foundation’s ‘Loo Crew’ is a volunteer task force set up to manage the 200 eco-composting toilets on the site.

‘Loo Crew’ Site Manager for the festival is Erik Hayward who has worked on the event for 8 years.  He says, “It's important to get the message across that we need to deal with our own waste. Flushing a toilet and turning our backs on the issue is only going to continue polluting our oceans and ever scarcer drinking water. Over 3 million litres of drinking water are saved over the 3 days. It’s not just about the staggering amount of water saved by using composting toilets, but it also recycles and composts the ‘humanure’ (compost from human waste).” 

Each year, approximately 8 tonnes of year-old decomposed ‘humanure’ from over 500 wheelie bins are stored on site to continue the composting process, eliminate nasty pathogens and promote good bacterial and fungal growth to break down the waste. This produces rich humus compost ready for growing plants. This year as a new initiative, the waste from previous festivals is being used to grow lavender in wicking beds made from 100% recycled materials from the Marion Bay site.  Although the growing lavender on the site is not yet ready for the 2016 Falls Festival, it will be harvested and dried for the following year, and added to the sawdust that each person puts in the toilet, setting off the sweet aroma scent of lavender oil. A natural eco-friendly chemical free, sustainable way to manage our human waste. The cycle continues. “This new initiative now sets an example of what we can create with such an abundant by-product. First lavender, then the world!" Hayward says.

The Loo Crew is run almost entirely by a team of volunteers. In the past they have come from all walks of life; students, backpackers, local residents and environmentalists. Many want to make new connections, have access to an amazing concert experience at no cost and to learn more about how to protect and treasure our Earth.

With International Volunteers Day on Monday 5th December it’s a timely reminder of the incredible value of volunteering to the community. Up to 100 volunteers are needed from 28 Dec – 1 Jan 2017 and they must commit to four 4-hour shifts. In return they will receive a free ticket to the festival, premium campsite, hot showers and cooked meals.

Register with Danielle at or at 0414 320 109.

For photo opportunities or further information please contact:
Danielle Ross Walls – Loo Crew Volunteer Coordinator
Mobile: 0417 015 040



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Most Tasmanians locked out of Regional Forest Agreement process

Media Release 26 November 2016


Two thirds of Tasmania is effectively locked out of direct involvement in the Tasmanian Forest Agreement's '20 year rolling extension' environmentalist Bob Brown said today.

"The Turnbull and Hodgman governments are so afraid of public opposition to industrial logging of Tasmania's ancient forests that Hobart, Launceston and Devonport have been lopped off the list of so-called 'drop-in centres' for information and public feedback on extending the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement. The centres are being set up in Huonville, Scottsdale and Burnie” (see today's advertisements.)

"It's pretty obvious. The Liberal governments are locating the centres in towns with a history linked to woodchipping but keeping the bulk of the interested public at bay. The idea that, after 20 years of the original Regional Forest Agreement, there would be a thorough-going root, trunk and branch review before any new agreement, is being dishonoured. Locking the public out like this will raise alarm that real environmental assessment of the impact of logging, and its damaging impact on tourism, is being strenuously avoided.”

Media contact:
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261

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Media Release: Endangered Masked Owl recorded in Tarkine’s threatened forests at BioBlitz

Media Release 21 November 2016

A remarkably good image given it was taken at night, on a phone camera, through binoculars. Photo: Frank Bird

Citizens and scientists at the Tarkine BioBlitz have detected an endangered masked owl near logging coupes Forestry Tasmania wants to log in February 2017. The Bob Brown Foundation is calling for protection of the Frankland River forests where the masked owl was recorded.

‘Members of our BioBlitz were awestruck when seeing an endangered masked owl in the threatened forests while surveying at night,’ Biodiversity expert and survey leader, Frank Bird said.

‘Citizen scientists are in the forests doing the work Forestry Tasmania fails to do, and recording species dependent on intact forests. Planned destruction of this significant habitat shows disregard for threatened species,’ BioBlitz organiser Nick Fitzgerald said.

‘Protecting endangered species habitat in the Tarkine is urgent, there is an immediate threat to nesting habitat near where this owl was recorded. The survey site east of the Frankland River is some of the best masked owl habitat in the far north-west of Tasmania,’ BioBlitz organiser Nick Fitzgerald said.

‘The Tasmanian masked owl is listed as endangered due to habitat loss, it is the largest barn owl in Australia and only 500 breeding pairs remain. This majestic bird requires large hollow bearing trees, and its survival is dependent on preservation of mature forest habitat,’ Biodiversity expert and survey leader, Frank Bird said.

‘Recent road building for logging in these forests is encroaching on 6000 hectares of pristine forest in the headwaters of the Frankland River. The planned logging would be another ecological disaster for these vast tracts of forests,’ Bob Brown Foundation’s campaigner Jenny Weber said.

‘Presence of the Tasmanian masked owl, two wedge-tailed eagle nests and the giant freshwater crayfish (tayatea) in and around this proposed logging area is proof that Tasmania’s relentless logging regime pushing endangered and globally significant species to extinction needs to cease,’ Jenny Weber said.

Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Todd Walsh and Bob Brown visit Tarkine - Lobster and Wedge-tailed eagle forests imminently threatened by logging

Media Release 18 November 2016

Todd Walsh, Bob Brown and Giant Freshwater Crayfish. Photo: Dan Haley

The Bob Brown Foundation is calling for urgent protection of ancient forests on the banks of the Tarkine’s Frankland River. Two areas of forests are on Forestry Tasmania’s logging schedule for February 2017, with two endangered wedge-tailed eagle nests and prime habitat for the vulnerable Astacopsis gouldi (Giant Freshwater Crayfish).

Today at the Tarkine BioBlitz, Environmentalist Bob Brown joined the renowned freshwater crayfish expert Todd Walsh on the Frankland River to see Astacopsis gouldi.

‘It would be derelict economics to log the Tarkine’s Frankland catchment with its giant freshwater crayfish. Todd Walsh today showed how these giant crays astonish visitors. The Frankland River should be a global attraction, not a clearfelled ruin’, Bob Brown said.

‘This is one of the last remaining tracts of large river systems that are home to the unique blue giant freshwater crayfish. It is imperative that we acknowledge the importance of leaving this river as it has been for millennia and ensure that remaining significant populations of these iconic giants have a secure future’, Todd Walsh said.

Bob Brown Foundation is campaigning for a Tarkine National Park and World Heritage listing, including vast tracts of intact forests such as these on the banks of critical habitat for Astacopsis gouldi.

‘Forestry Tasmania and the Hodgman Government can take these forests off the logging schedule and protect them for the threatened species that call these forests home. Our Foundation is ramping up our campaign for these forests,’ Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign manager Jenny Weber said.

‘Successive governments have paid lip service to this giant of the waterways for decades. It is listed as a priority species under the Regional Forest Agreement, yet no land has been increased protection to ensure this world recognised icon thrives. This government needs to take tangible steps to protect the giant freshwater crayfish instead of destroying its homes with sediment after logging,’ Todd Walsh said.

Todd Walsh 0439 693 377
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

A high resolution version of the photograph is available here.


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Tarkine mining hopeful Venture Minerals under investigation by ASX

Media Release 16 November 2016


Tarkine mining hopeful Venture Minerals is under investigation by the ASX over disclosure irregularities. In a letter to Jenny Weber of the Bob Brown Foundation, the ASX has confirmed it is investigating the failure of Venture Minerals to notify the ASX of court challenges to its Livingstone and Mt Lindsay mine leases. Venture Minerals was served on the 26th October, and only notified the ASX some nineteen days later, after a misconduct complaint was lodged with the ASX.

‘Venture Minerals have tried to hide this from investors,’ said Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager, Jenny Weber.

‘The ASX rules, and Australian securities law, require publicly listed companies to inform the market of any information that is price sensitive. The fact that two of their three mine lease are being challenged is clearly price sensitive, a fact that should be disclosed to traders in Venture Minerals shares,’

Venture Minerals AGM takes place in Perth tomorrow, 17 November 2016.

Venture shares dipped yesterday following the belated disclosure.

Attached letter from ASX

For more information: Jenny Weber 0427 366 929



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Discovery of rare and threatened species in the Tarkine BioBlitz for citizens and scientists

Media Release 16 November 2016


Bob Brown Foundation will host its second BioBlitz in takayna / Tarkine this weekend.

‘Our Tarkine BioBlitz is a great way to engage members of the public, scientists and naturalists, in a discovery of species that call the Tarkine home,’ Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

‘The Tarkine is vital refuge for many species listed as rare, vulnerable or endangered, including Australia’s largest eagle the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, and the world’s largest freshwater invertebrate, the Tayatea (Giant Freshwater Lobster). More than 95% of the Tarkine is intact, being the largest wild natural region in North-West Tasmania, and in this time of climate crisis intact ecosystems are more important to preserve than ever before,’ Jenny Weber said.

Forty-five school students from Burnie High School will participate in surveys with scientists on Friday, while more than 100 community members will be surveying plant and animal species across the north of the Tarkine from Friday to Sunday.

Twenty-three volunteer scientists and naturalists, including Todd Walsh, Dr Peter McQuillan and Professor David Bowman, will be leading surveys in three stunning areas of the Tarkine from the coast to threatened rainforests to Dempster Plains, that were recently impacted by fires.

A BioBlitz is open to the public, they are well established in the UK and are becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Providing a unique forum for experts to share their knowledge and for non-experts to engage in hands-on discovery in the natural world.

‘Tarkine BioBlitz aims to bring together scientists, naturalists and citizens for a few days of discovery, knowledge, sharing and fun in the diverse ecosystems of the Tarkine. Hosting a BioBlitz in the Tarkine is a great way to engage the public to connect to this last great wild place on Earth while generating useful data for science and conservation,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘At the Bob Brown Foundation, we are campaigning for the Tarkine to be given secure reserve protection as a National Park and listed for its World Heritage values as an extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. We are building a national and international campaign by organising many cultural, eco-tourism, arts, environmental advocacy and awareness raising projects, including our BioBlitzes,’ Jenny Weber said.

The Tarkine BioBlitz will be held over four days, 17-20 November 2016.

More Information: Jenny Weber 0427 366 929


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High Court waits a week on Tas. Anti-Protest Laws

Media Release 14 November 2016


The challenge by Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt to the Tasmanian government's draconian anti-protest laws was delayed one week in today's hearing before High Court Judge Gordon. Counsel for the plaintiffs and defence are challenged with clarifying whether Brown and Hoyt were in fact trespassing on forest land at Lapoinya in January when they were arrested and charged under the Hodgman government's anti-protest laws. Without agreement, the matter may need to be determined in a court other than the High Court.

The two were not charged with trespass at the time, have not been charged with trespass, and deny they were trespassing. The Tasmanian government now claims  that they were trespassing and therefore should be denied standing to continue their challenge in the High Court.

"What is obvious here is that the Hodgman government is avoiding our test of its anti-protest laws with a belated supposition. If our crime at Lapoinya was trespass then the police or state prosecutor should have charged us with trespass at the time," Bob Brown said outside the High Court in Melbourne.

Further information:
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929


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Premier Baird intervenes in High Court challenge by Bob Brown

Media Release: 5th November 2016


NSW's Baird government has intervened in a High Court challenge by forest defenders against the Tasmanian government's draconian anti-protest laws.

The High Court challenge was mounted by former Greens leader Dr Bob Brown and Hobart nurse Jessica Hoyt after their arrest for peacefully protesting against the clearfell logging of a 49 hectares coup of the Lapoinya Forest in northwest Tasmania in January. Ms Hoyt grew up on a farm next door to the Lapoinya Forest which was the habitat of rare and threatened species including the Tasmanian devil and spot-tailed quoll.
New laws passed by Tasmania's Liberal Hodgman government threaten peaceful forest protesters with $4,000 fines or up to ten years in jail for repeated offences. Charges against Brown and Hoyt were dropped by the Tasmanian prosecutor after the pair mounted their challenge in the High Court, with the first (directions) hearing now set for 14th November.

The Liberal governments in Tasmania, NSW and Western Australia, under pressure from logging and mining corporations, have all moved to impose restrictions on the rights to political communication which Brown and Hoyt maintain are implied in the Australian Constitution.

Media contact
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261

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Australian and Tasmanian Environment Leaders Unite over Forest Protection

Media Release: 31 October 2016


Today, leaders of the Australian and Tasmanian environment movement including Bob Brown, Christine Milne, Peg Putt, Scott Jordan, Peter McGlone, Rob Blakers, Jenny Weber and Tasmanian Greens' Leader and Forests' spokesperson, Cassy O'Connor MP, and Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim joined today to call on the Tasmanian Government to back down on plans to legislate logging in 357,000 hectares of independently verified high conservation values across Tasmania.

“At stake here along with the beautiful forests but the fate of magnificent species like the Swift Parrot, the Tasmanian Devil and Tasmania’s wedge-tailed Eagle,” Bob Brown said.

“Wrong way, go back Will Hodgman,” Bob Brown said.

“Will Hodgman is about to make a liar of Malcolm Turnbull who will be telling the rest of the world that Australia will meet its 2020 gas targets by ‘reducing native forest logging’[i], how does increasing logging in Tasmania do that Malcolm?” Global Greens Ambassador Christine Milne said.

“Hodgman’s plan doesn’t just take us back pre-Tasmanian Forest Agreement, but it reopens forests protected under the 2005 Howard-Lennon deal. This is unacceptable. In the Tarkine, 100,000 hectares will be returned to loggers under the proposed legislation, including 30,000 hectares of unreserved forests that were promised protection by John Howard and Paul Lennon,” Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator Scott Jordan said.

“The markets are an important factor because of their sensitivity internationally and domestically to dealing in wood products that arise from this type of forest destruction, and they won’t be dictated to by the Tasmanian Government,” CEO for Markets for Change Peg Putt said.

“The big question is what will industry do and how will Forestry Tasmania respond now that the Government has given them something they didn’t ask for rather than a reasonable solution,” Peg Putt said.

“Logging Tasmania’s high conservation value forests is the quickest way to trash Tasmania’s brand,” Nature Photographers Tasmania spokesperson Rob Blakers said.

“Today, this Government and Forestry Tasmania are logging high conservation value forests around Tasmania, including Swift Parrot habitat. Rainforests in the Tarkine are on the logging schedule this summer. Allowing logging in more of Tasmania’s unique intact forests of the Tarkine, Wielangta and Bruny Island forests will be a climate, wildlife and environmental disaster,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

"The Tasmania Conservation Trust, along with a number of other conservation groups did not sign on to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement but we always supported the reservation of these nearly 400,000 hectares of forests and we continue to support their reservation" said Tasmanian Conservation Trust Director Peter McGlone.


[i] re Australia using low rates of native forest logging to offset land clearance etc. logging

Question by European Union at Monday, 29 August 2016
Category: Progress towards the achievement of its quantified economy-wide emission reduction target Type: Before 31 August
Title: LULUCF contribution


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Bob Brown opens Return to Wild in Hobart tonight

Media Release: 28 Oct 2016


Return to Wild exhibition opens in Hobart tonight, celebrating Tasmania’s wild places

A new exhibition opening in Hobart tonight showcases the spectacular works of Rose-Marie LeRoi, mostly created when she lived in Zeehan on Tasmania’s West Coast in the 1970s and early 1980s, alongside works from celebrated artist Kerry Martin and artists passionate about Tasmania’s wild places.

The exhibition will be officially opened by Bob Brown from 6.30 pm tonight, Friday 28 Oct.

Return to Wild was inspired by Nature and its role as nurturer and provider. In our busy world where we are disconnected from its living force, this exhibition provides a moment of reflection, of appreciation - a moment where we can turn to nature and be re-energised and renewed.

Rose-Marie was passionate about Tasmanian wilderness and her works reflected the unique landscapes of the West Coast, with one of her series of paintings particularly focused on takayna / Tarkine.

“With returning to nature and returning to community being the key themes of this exhibition, it has been a pleasure to invite emerging and established Tasmanian artists to be part of Return to Wild, to share their art works and creations, their ideas and insights”, Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.

Proceeds from Return to Wild will be returned to the wilderness of the West Coast by supporting the work of the Bob Brown Foundation, which is campaigning for the protection of takayna / Tarkine, one of the last great wild places on the planet with globally unique natural and cultural values.

Exhibition opening hours:

Fri 28 October, 6 pm – 8 pm
Sat 29 October, 9am – 3pm
Sun 30 October, 9 am – 3 pm

More information on this event page.

Media contact
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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