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Media Release 18 May 2016
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman is seeking to prevent Bob Brown's challenge to his draconian anti-protest laws from being heard in the High Court.
The Tasmanian Solicitor-General revealed this move late today.
"I look forward to the Premier putting this challenge to the High Court at its first hearing on the matter next Wednesday morning," Brown said tonight.
"It is every Australian citizen's right to seek to have the High Court protect his or her constitutional rights. That includes the right to free speech, and so, peaceful protest." Brown said.
For more information
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929
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Media Release 4 May 2016
Environment Minister Greg Hunt's witch-hunt via parliamentary committee, aimed at leaving action-oriented green groups toothless, has failed, Bob Brown said today.
"The most odious recommendation is that environment groups should report on any employee who breaks the law to the Australian Tax Office so that the group's tax-deductibility can be suspended for five years. This recommendation, effectively from the Minister for the Environment, would be right at home in Vladimir Putin's Russia," Brown said in Hobart today.
"And the hare-brained committee proposal that 25 present of conservation groups' income must go to tree planting is like demanding that 25 percent of church income go to running Sunday Schools or that 25 percent of political parties' income must be spent on printing and distributing the Constitution. Moscow would love it."
Former Senator Brown said that the much more credible dissenting reports of Liberal MHR Jason Wood and the Labor Party members, left the recommendations of the committee majority lacking authority or any likelihood of backing by the next parliament.
Steven Chaffer 0408 855 261
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Media Release 3 May 2016
A new website SaveBrunyIsland.org, including a short film, was launched today by Bob Brown Foundation with a peaceful demonstration on the doorstep of Hobart’s Parliament House. Conservationists held placards of the Swift Parrot, with an image drawn by cartoonist First Dog on the Moon.
The new campaign is designed to mobilise members of the community to send emails to the Prime Minister and Tasmania’s Premier Hodgman, urging protection of all Swift Parrot habitat in secure reserves. The online email actions are also targeting customers of logging company Ta Ann, asking them to reject timber from logged Swift Parrot habitat.
‘Swift Parrot habitat remains on Forestry Tasmania’s logging schedule. All logging of Swift Parrot breeding habitat should cease immediately, future logging plans for the habitat needs to be scrapped and replaced by secure long-lasting conservation reserves’, Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.
‘Bruny Island’s logging moratorium is only a temporary reprieve, not secure protection for these forests or the Swift Parrot. The forests on Bruny Island need to be added to the South Bruny National Park,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘The International Union for the Conservation of Nature recommended that all places on public land that support Swift Parrots should be under secure conservation management. The Australian and Tasmanian Governments must act to prevent extinction of a critically endangered species and implement IUCNs recommendation,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘We look forward to gathering people from across Tasmania, Australia and around the world to take action for the Swift Parrot’s habitat protection. It’s the world’s fastest parrot that breeds only in Tasmania. If the world’s fastest parrot is to survive, it is critical that logging is permanently halted on Bruny Island and in all Swift Parrot breeding habitats in Tasmania,’ Jenny Weber said.
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Media Release 29 April 2016
Photo: FLAG Friends of Lapoinya Action Group
Forest logged in Lapoinya, north west Tasmania, for controversial Sarawak timber company Ta Ann and bravely opposed by the local community has just become even more controversial with revelations of a wedge-tailed eagle nest located by loggers while they destroyed the habitat.
Lapoinya logged forest has a wedge-tailed eagle nest, only located after bulldozers were within 20 metres of the nest. Footage and images taken by the community members show how close the logging came to the endangered species’ nest site.
Bob Brown Foundation are calling for urgent reform to protect endangered species in Tasmania’s forests and calls on Minister Gutwein to explain if logging would have proceeded if the eagle nest had been identified in Lapoinya forest.
Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said, ‘Forestry Tasmania has failed on endangered species for too long, they didn’t receive FSC certification due to a number of factors including failure to identify the potential presence of rare, threatened and endangered species and their habitats and failure to adequately avoid adverse impacts on the species. Ending logging in endangered species habitat is what is required. Urgent policy reform is required that prevents Forestry Tasmania’s freedom to destroy habitat of species that are on the brink of extinction.’
‘Wedge-tailed eagles are an endangered species. Tasmanian and Federal Governments have been failing to protect this species for too long. Logged Lapoinya is another shameful example. The Ministers for Forestry and Environment who are responsible for Australia’s rare and endangered species consistently fail them. Our Governments hasten extinction of endangered species by logging habitat rather than protecting it,’ Jenny Weber said.
Logging laws in Tasmania state that a minimum of 10 hectares must be left around an eagle’s nest. Forestry Tasmania claims with their industry propaganda to have a ‘eagle-eye’ over the forests they plan to log.
‘Forestry Tasmania’s ‘Eagle Eye’ was obviously closed in Lapoinya, as it has been on too many occasions in the past across Tasmania. There have been repeated controversies in Tasmania with clearfell logging operations destroying eagle nests and causing failure of nesting because of logging near nests. These failures are inexcusable and Forestry Tasmania’s caretaker role of endangered species habitat is a farce,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘Forestry Tasmania’s planned burn of this logged area adds insult to injury. Our Foundation calls for this burn to be abandoned,’ Jenny Weber said.
Bob Brown has issued a High Court challenge to the Hodgman Government’s protest laws after his arrest for peacefully protesting the clearfell logging in the Lapoinya forest in January.
Film footage link below. High resolution drone footage available on request. Photograph of Eagle nest attached.
ATTACHED – Hi-res Photograph of Eagle’s Nest in Lapoinya
LINK TO FOOTAGE - Vimeo footage of the Eagle’s Nest (H.264 10Mbps 1920x1080p 25fps)
CONTACT - JENNY WEBER 0427 366 929
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Media Release 26 March 2016
The state government has failed to meet the 14-day timeline for filing a notice of appearance in the High Court of Australia after Bob Brown issued a writ which challenges the constitutionality of Premier Hodgman's draconian anti-protest laws.
'The rules of the High Court allow the Tasmanian government 14 days to indicate that it will defend the challenge but that deadline passed on Thursday without the required response,' Brown said today.
The filing of a Notice of Appearance signifies a party's intention to participate in and defend a proceeding.
'I presumed, when the state government said it was confident its punitive protest laws would be upheld in the High Court, that it was preparing a spirited defence. However, this failure shows either an unpreparedness, a missing spirit or a simple lack of attention to the task,' Brown said.
This turn of events follows the arrest of five peaceful forest defenders in the Lapoinya Forest south of Burnie in January. Charges against Jessica Hoyt, a Hobart neurosurgery nurse who grew up in Lapoinya, and Brown, have been held over in the Hobart Magistrates' Court until 7th June.
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Media Statement 29 March 2016
Bob Brown Foundation's environment arts project Tarkine in Motion has been a great success after a diverse group of international, interstate and Tasmanian artists spent 72 hours spread out across Tasmania's Tarkine.
Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber hailed the success, '120 artists were located in vastly different places to create art destined for national broadcast as part of Bob Brown Foundation's campaign to promote and protect the Tarkine.'
Artists were located from Arthur River in the north to Pieman Heads and Interview river on the remote southern coastline, base camps were also located deep in the rainforest at Corinna and in threatened ancient forests in Frankland River and Que River regions, a small group of artists climbed Mt Donaldson and pack-rafted down the Huskisson River.
Artists ranged from photographers, painters, musicians, printmakers, and multi media artists who work in sculpture, film, textiles, and writers.
'We are very moved by the positive response to the Tarkine by all the artists. Sadly there were clearfells, burnt regions and off-road vehicle impacts on intact landscapes that were witnessed, though there was also the vast region of intact natural beauty, endangered species and intact ancient ecosystems that were inspirational muse for the artists. Now the artists will create work to highlight the unique and diverse landscapes across the Tarkine,' Jenny Weber said.
'Bob Brown Foundation has a Brisbane exhibition planned in July, exhibitions in Melbourne, Hobart, Burnie and many other art projects that will be created for the campaign. Through art we aim to galvanise support to protect 450 000 ha in the Tarkine as a National Park and added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area for its globally significant values,' Jenny Weber said.
Low resolution IMAGES available for use
Please contact for higher resolution images
Please credit the artists listed in the name of the file
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Media Release 20 March 2016
Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Photo: Dan Broun
Bob Brown Foundation congratulates the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for accepting in full the recommendations by the IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).
Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber stated ‘In a time when ‘a multitude of threats and risks calls the future of the still favourable state of conservation of the TWWHA into question, likely to be aggravated by anticipated climate change’ as stated by the IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive monitoring mission report, the Australian and Tasmanian Government can now progress the long delayed cultural heritage assessment of the property and get back to the drawing board on the Tasmanian Draft Management Plan to execute a management plan that securely protects the outstanding universal values of the TWWHA.’
‘We congratulate the Australian and Tasmanian Government for accepting all the recommendations by Reactive Monitoring Mission on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Both Federal and State Governments have committed to ruling out logging and mining, protect wilderness, maintain the wilderness zone, and establish strict criteria for tourism developments with a primary goal of protecting the World Heritage Area’s Outstanding Universal Values,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘With an Australian and State Government who is committed to accepting and enacting all the recommendations by IUCN/ICOMOS, Tasmania can proudly have wilderness protection, logging and mining excluded, current areas with logging tenure status upgraded to National Parks and any future development inside the World Heritage Area assessed against strict criteria with the primary goal of protecting wilderness and outstanding universal cultural and natural values,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘We continue to advocate for future tourism infrastructure development opportunities to be realised outside the TWWHA, in places like Maydena, Liffey, the Huon Valley and Far South on private lands,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘Mention of the Tarkine high conservation values is to be noted from this report also. Bob Brown Foundation calls on the Government to rule out ongoing logging and burning in the Tarkine globally significant forests,’ Jenny Weber said.
‘Furthermore in light of comments in the reactive mission report, Bob Brown Foundation calls for a ban on logging burns as Forestry Tasmania’s planned burns in logged forests starts this week. It has been twice now that the loggers tried to gain access to World Heritage Areas in Tasmania and have failed. The same internationally embarrassing practices of logging and burning of globally unique forests that we had in the Weld, Picton, Styx and Upper Florentine valleys before they were listed as World Heritage, continues in the Tarkine and elsewhere,’ Jenny Weber said.
The ICOMOS/IUCN reactive mission report pointed to the decades long shameful practice in Tasmania of excessive and wasteful loss of ‘special species timber’ in Tasmania, pointing to the need for conservation rather than ongoing logging. ‘Resource scarcity of the species under consideration is widely acknowledged to be the result of excessive and wasteful past management of special timber species. Therefore, one can reasonably come to the reverse conclusion and consider resource scarcity as underpinning the need for conservation.’
Jenny Weber O427 366 929
Referenced - http://whc.unesco.org/document/140379
International Council on Monuments and Sites - ICOMOS International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN
Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Tasmanian Wilderness, Australia 23 - 29 November 2015
Tilman Jaeger (IUCN) Christophe Sand PhD (ICOMOS)
Media Release 19 March 2016
Tarkine in Motion is an environmental arts project by the Bob Brown Foundation. Over the Easter weekend, in March 2016, more than one hundred Australian artists will visit Tasmania’s Tarkine to explore and capture the place, contributing art, images and film to the Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign. Over four days, artists will immerse themselves in the landscape, supported by volunteers at seven base camps from the remote coastlines, to forests threatened by logging to rafting rivers with drones.
Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said, “This year Tarkine in Motion project is bigger in size and scale of the operation. From windswept coastlines on the coast to the largest temperate rainforests in Australia, we are excited that 120 artists will locate in several diverse locations through the Tarkine. Through the experience and expression of place by the artist, our Foundation can spread to the world the urgent plight of the Tarkine,” Jenny Weber said.
“The great body of work that will come from Tarkine in Motion will share with the people of our great cities what stands to be lost forever if we don't act to protect it. Artists are able to convey the Tarkine’s beauty, fragility and threats to a wider audience. Audiences will be exposed to the remarkable place through the remarkable effort of more than 100 artists in action,” Jenny Weber said.
“Fundraising for Tarkine in Motion is underway through the crowd-funding platform Pozible to fund the project. The Bob Brown Foundation is fundraising to support the artists and volunteers on location in the Tarkine. Costs include accommodation, transport, food and equipment for this huge undertaking. With over 1000 meals to prepare, thousands of kilometres to travel and 100 artists to support in the field, this event requires a huge amount of planning, organisation, logistics management,” Jenny Weber said.
Artists will contribute to our Federal Election campaign to promote protection of the Tarkine, short films, exhibitions in Tasmania and around Australia, and new books produced by the Foundation. Artists include photographers, painters, musicians, sculpture and multimedia artists from Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and Qld.
“The Tarkine cannot be taken for granted. The current policies of Liberal and Labor, state and federal, are to turn it into a logging and mining province. More than ninety percent is under mineral exploration licence and logging is proceeding in the eucalypt forests and rainforests of the Tarkine. The heritage coast is under pressure from rapid degradation by off-road vehicles ripping through middens and Aboriginal hut sites,” Bob Brown said.
“In the next decade, this wild landscape will either be ravaged by heavy industry or protected as a place of natural beauty, living culture and inspiration for all people. Our Foundation is making a new bid to turn the Tarkine’s urgent plight into a national and international campaign - for only people power will come to the rescue of the Tarkine,” Bob Brown said.
Pozible Campaign link http://www.pozible.com/tarkineinmotion2016
CONTACT JENNY WEBER 0427 366 929
The Bob Brown Foundation is a not for profit, non-government, registered environmental organisation, taking action for Earth.
Tasmania’s takayna/Tarkine is in the remote northwest corner of the island state. The Australian Heritage Council found the Tarkine in north-west Tasmania of outstanding national heritage significance. This recommendation by the Australian Heritage Council was rejected by then Labor Federal Government. takayna/Tarkine covers 450 000 hectares in the north west of Tasmania. takayna/Tarkine has the world's cleanest air, the largest temperate rainforest in the southern hemisphere and a living Aboriginal history reaching back 40,000 years. Habitat for endangered species, Australia’s largest freshwater crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi, Tasmania’s wedge-tailed eagle, Tasmanian Devil to name just a few. Blanketed in serene rainforests, with vast button grass plains and mountains sweeping down to meet the jagged coastline which shreds the wild Southern Ocean, this is an ancient, yet threatened landscape.
Media Release 10 Mar 2016
Bob Brown has issued a High Court challenge to the Hodgman Government's laws aimed to stop protests in Tasmania's forests. Brown claims the laws breach citizens' rights under the Australian Constitution.
Hobart solicitor Roland Browne filed a writ on behalf of Brown yesterday and the State Government, as defendant, had the notice of proceedings delivered this morning.
Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt (a Hobart nurse and mother who grew up in Lapoinya) are due in the Magistrates Court in Hobart tomorrow (Friday) after they were arrested for peacefully protesting the clearfell logging of the Lapoinya Forest in January. So far 5 people have been arrested and some 30 more summarily fined after entering the forest being logged at Lapoinya.
Tha Lapoinya Forest is a habitat for threatened wildlife including Tasmanian devils and the world's largest freshwater crayfish.
The writ claims that 'The Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 (Tas) (the Act) (in whole or in part) in its application to the plaintiff and to forestry land is invalid because it impermissibly burdens the implied freedom of communication on government and political matters contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution.'
The Tasmanian Act defines protest activity as;-
"4. Meaning of protester and engaging in a protest activity
(2) (b) (ii) for the purposes of promoting awareness of or support for – an opinion, or belief, in respect of a political, environmental, social, cultural or economic issue.
(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person is engaging in a protest activity if the person participates, other than as a bystander, in a demonstration, a parade, an event, or a collective activity, that is a protest activity."
For more information:
Steven Chaffer 0408 855 261
Media Release 3 March 2016
Environmentalist Bob Brown has called on Premier Hodgman to enforce the Federal Court ruling keeping part of the Tarkine coastline free of destructive off-road vehicles.
‘Rangers and police should uphold the Federal Court’s judgement, as with any other court decision. A dozen police were sent to enforce the Lapoinya logging, the same should apply in enforcing protection of the Tarkine rich Aboriginal and natural heritage.’ Bob Brown said.
‘The Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation’s call for more 4WD access is as illogical as its previous backing of failed mining ventures in the Tarkine, but I welcome any moves by them to appeal the Federal Court ruling,’ Brown said.
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929