Urgent plight of Tasmania’s Tarkine to be captured by 120 artists

Media Release 7th April 2017

Photo: Arwen Dyer

120 artists will join one of Australia’s biggest environmental arts projects next week, as they travel to Tasmania’s Tarkine wilderness with the Bob Brown Foundation.

Tasmania is home to takayna / Tarkine, a vast remote region of wild forests, including Australia’s largest tract of temperate rainforest and a National Heritage listed Aboriginal cultural landscape coastline. The Tarkine is an essential stronghold for numerous rare and endangered creatures.

The Bob Brown Foundation is leading a campaign for secure protection of 450 000 hectares of the Tarkine in a National Park, World Heritage listing and a return to Aboriginal ownership.

‘This is one of the last great wild places left on Earth and protection is urgently needed to stop the loss of its globally unique values,’ Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

‘Logging and mining in takayna / Tarkine and off-road vehicle access to its sensitive coastline continues to damage globally unique natural and cultural values. This Easter, our Tarkine in Motion project will send 120 artists into the Tarkine to capture the beauty of this threatened place.  Despite consistent calls for protection and support for alternative industries like tourism in the region, logging, mining and off-road vehicle access over Aboriginal heritage sites is sanctioned by the Tasmanian and Australian governments,’ Jenny Weber said.

120 artists, supported by a team of 30 volunteers, will spend 72 hours exploring this remote part of north-west Tasmania, creating works aimed at gaining protection for the Tarkine.

‘Our environmental arts project is growing into one of the largest events of its kind in Australia. The innovative approach to hosting artists in remote camps at seven locations across this vast region is a unique way to promote conservation of the Tarkine,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘In its third year, Tarkine in Motion has hosted more than 150 artists to the Tarkine, bringing enormous success to the campaign to protect this wild place. Using images from Tarkine in Motion, the Foundation has published two books. Tarkine Trails, a bushwalking guide and takayna – a beautiful book about the living Aboriginal cultural connection to the Tarkine. The event has also spawned a feature-length documentary, concerts and exhibitions in Hobart and regional Tasmania.  Further afield, exhibitions have been held in Melbourne, Bendigo, Sydney and Brisbane.

‘This year, our Foundation and the contributing artists will achieve a new body of work and campaign materials for our burgeoning campaign for protection, including paintings, film, textiles, sculpture, photographs and more,’ Jenny Weber said.

Over the Easter weekend, a diverse group of international, interstate and Tasmanian artists will spread out across Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine. Artists will be located from Arthur River in the north to Pieman Heads and Interview river on the remote southern coastline. Other locations are deep in the threatened rainforests and at the tourism hubs of Corinna and Tarkine Wilderness Lodge.

The Bob Brown Foundation is currently fundraising for the project on crowd-funding platform Pozible. The Foundation sponsors artists’ travel to the Tarkine and provides volunteer organizing teams and communal meals for the artists while they are in the Tarkine.

The link to the Pozible project is https://pozible.com/project/tarkine-in-motion-1

Attached photographs from Tarkine in Motion 2016. Full resolution images linked from thumbnails below.

Musician-Jessie-Westbury-with-her-violin-on-Mt-Donaldson.--Photo-by-Andy-Szollosi-thumb.jpg Que-Rd-Forest-by-Al-Long-thumb.jpg Tarkine-by-Arwen-Dyer-thumb.jpg

Media contact
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Hodgman should clear air on mega mill proposal


Premier Will Hodgman should clear the air on the Victorian timber mill owners' proposal to relocate a former Gunns mill to Burnie, Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

"Reports that Victoria's Andrews government has had its proposal to buy the Heyfield mill turned down and that the owners plan to relocate to Burnie instead more than hint at Tasmanian government involvement. Mr Hodgman should tell Tasmanians what is afoot and how much taxpayers' money is involved," Brown said.

"Reports indicate a plantation-based plant for Burnie but this comes at a time when the Hodgman government is legislating to open 365,000 hectares of previously protected Tasmanian native forest to logging against the wishes of both environmentalists and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania. Victoria has a larger area of plantations than Tasmania. Premier Hodgman should make it clear that not one stick of native forest will be going to the proposed Burnie mill," Bob Brown said.

Further information
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Hodgman government will push Swift Parrot closer to extinction with new logging legislation

Media Alert 16 March 2017


The Bob Brown Foundation

Tasmanian Conservation Trust

Birdlife Tasmania

Today, the Tasmanian government plans to debate new logging legislation, legislation that will allow logging in 356,000 hectares of high conservation value forests across Tasmania.

Conservationists will hold a press conference at 1pm today to highlight the threat to the critically endangered Swift Parrot if this legislation passes through Tasmania’s Parliament.

Press Conference with Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Dr Eric Woehler, Birdlife Tasmania and Jenny Weber, The Bob Brown Foundation.

Today (16 March 2017) at 1pm.
Hobart Parliament Lawns.

Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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Tas Wilds Spur Sydney Oboe Concerto

Media Release 10 Feb 2017


Sydney composer Nigel Westlake, perhaps best known for having written the score for the smash-hit film 'Babe', has composed an oboe concerto after visiting Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Westlake's concerto is to be premiered by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra this month. (see link to story below)

Bob Brown, who took Westlake on a flight and cruise on Bathurst Harbour (with Par Avion Wilderness Flights) last year, says Westlake's work fulfils a prophecy of iconic Tasmanian photographer Olegas Truchanas. In the early 1970s, opposing the impending flooding of Lake Pedder, Truchanas forecast these wilds could spur creativity like that of the Scandinavian composers Grieg and Sibelius.

"With partner Paul, I will be off the wild west coast of Tasmania on a yacht trip from Strahan to Stanley when this premiere takes place. It is simply wonderful that, not for the first time, Tasmania's wilderness is stimulating great creativity for people to enjoy in the crowded cities of the world," Brown said.
Media contact
Steven Chaffer 0408 855 261

See the dailytelegraph.com.au story here.

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BBF welcomes Frydenberg Macquarie Island base decision

Media Release 16 September 2016


Bob Brown Foundation (BBF) has welcomed Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s announcement to put closure of Macquarie Island Antarctic base on hold.

“This was shaping up as a huge matter of contention for the scientific community and wider Tasmanian and Australian public,” Bob Brown said today.

“It’s a good thing the Minister has acted so swiftly, and this situation seems to indicate a deep seated problem in the bureaucracy which should be promoting not downgrading Australia’s Antarctic research program,” Bob Brown said.

“We look forward to Minister Frydenberg announcing a new high-tech base with a smaller footprint on the World Heritage island and continued success with scientific and meteorological research,” Bob Brown said.

Our Public Meeting next Wednesday has been cancelled.

Jenny Weber
0427 366 929


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Forestry Tasmania's illegal roading in Tarkine

Save the Tarkine  
Bob Brown Foundation  
Media Release – 10 February, 2017


Conservationists have uncovered illegal roading by Forestry Tasmania in a Wedge Tailed Eagle breeding exclusion zone in the Tarkine. The two roads were constructed in the past month, including the felling of a large number of trees. They are in proposed logging coupe SR107E and within the 1km Wedge Tailed Eagle breeding exclusion zone mandated in the Forest Practices Authority’s approved Forest Practices Plan for the site. The nest was known and properly documented seven months ago.
 “SR107E is a Blackwood forest with documented protected burrowing crayfish, and endangered White Goshawks and Wedge Tailed Eagles. This area should not be logged at all, but it sure as hell shouldn’t be logged in complete disregard of endangered species prescriptions that are outlined in the Forest Practices Plan”, said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.
“The Wedge Tailed Eagle is known to be highly susceptible to disturbance in the breeding season. With around only 130 breeding pairs remaining, each pair raises only one chick in a season”.
The Tasmanian Threatened Eagles Recovery Plan, adopted in 2006 by then Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull, lists protection of nesting habitat as a critical factor in the preservation of the eagles.
“This callous disregard for the rules shows that Forestry Tasmania cannot be trusted with logging in the Tarkine. The Forest Practices Authority should immediately rescind the Forest Practices Plan approval for logging,” Scott Jordan said.
“Those that engage in unlawful activity should not be allowed to profit from it,” Scott Jordan said.
 Save the Tarkine and the Bob Brown Foundation are calling for protection of these Blackwood forests north of Trowutta reserve as part of a vast tract of Tarkine forests. The two environment organisations are advocating for protection inside a Tarkine National Park and World Heritage area.
“In contravention of the law that governs logging and forest practices, pushing roads into the Wedge-Tailed Eagle breeding season exclusion zone is illegal,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.
“The controversial Malaysian logging company, Ta Ann is scheduled to receive timber from this logging coupe. It should refuse,” Jenny Weber said.

“We are calling on Premier Hodgman as well as the Federal  Government to hold an independent inquiry into this outrageous breach of environmental laws,” Jenny Weber said.

The matter will be referred to the Forest Practices Authority.

Attached - Photographs of the road operations into the threatened forests.
For more information or comment:
Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, Save the Tarkine 0428300324
Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, Bob Brown Foundation 0427366929


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Scrap logging's exemption from environment laws - Brown

Media Release - Friday 3 February 2017


Environmentalist Bob Brown has called on the Turnbull government and the Shorten Labor Opposition to scrap the federal logging act which promotes the destruction of native forests and wildlife by making logging exempt from environmental laws.

Under the federal Regional Forest Agreement Act, 10 magnificent Australian forest regions, including Victoria's East Gippsland and all of Tasmania, were signed over for logging for 20 years at a time (1997) by John Howard and Liberal state Premiers.

East Gippsland's 20-year logging sentence is up today but federal and state governments look set to agree behind closed doors for it to be extended without public consultation or review.

"This process is a covert environmental outrage; owls, gliding possums, Tasmanian devils, giant crayfish and other threatened species are being condemned to head to extinction by the federal government. Industrial logging is also a major, unfactored cause of greenhouse gas emissions making climate change worse, and a very real threat to tourism industry.

"This is a growing issue for the next federal election and Labor has a real opportunity, starting with this East Gippsland logging agreement, to catch majority public opinion which is against broad-scale native forest destruction," Brown said.

Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Mayor Quilliam's comments uninformed

Media Release 20 January 2017


Comments by Mayor Quilliam in the Circular Head Chronicle this week misrepresented a meeting held in Melbourne last week by Melbourne-based supporters of a Tarkine National Park. The meeting was in fact organised by the Bob Brown Foundation's Melbourne office, in support of local campaigns to have the Tarkine declared a National Park and World Heritage Area. The Bob Brown Foundation has campaign offices in Burnie, Hobart and Melbourne.

"The Tarkine is an area of outstanding and well-recognised National and World Heritage values. It is a special place to all Australians and, in fact, to a great many people around the globe", said Bob Brown Foundation's Burnie-based Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan.

"Many people have visited Mayor Quilliam's region as a result of our campaign, supporting jobs and businesses in Circular Head. Understandably, some of those people have joined our campaign as a result of witnessing the Tarkine first hand."

"I don't recall Mayor Quilliam having similar issues with interstate mining companies or their foreign investors."

"Mayor Quilliam's address doesn't give him a greater say on World or National Heritage listing for the Tarkine."

For more information or comment:
Scott Jordan, Campaigner 0428 300 324

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Left Renewal looks like hoax - Bob Brown

Media Release 23 Dec 2016


The Sydney-based 'Left Renewal' group said to have set up as a splinter group within the NSW Greens looks like a hoax, former Greens leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

“When no one will put their name to such a litany of anti-Greens policies, under the guise that it is a collective without individuals, you have to suspect the whole thing is a joke.”

“Left Renewal looks more like left out in the cold. The environment almost fell off its agenda. Its central tenet of rejecting the state and the police is also a rejection of the Greens Charter which upholds the right of citizens to law and order. No member of such a group could agree with the Charter or remain a member of the Greens. As such, MPs including Lee Rhiannon and David Shoebridge would repudiate the group should anyone put their head up and claim legitimacy for it.”

“It looks like a bit of pre-Christmas over-indulgence to me.”

Media contact
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261

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Lapoinya goes to full High Court hearing

Media Release 14 December 2016


The challenge to the Hodgman government's anti-forest-protest laws is finally set to be heard by the full bench of seven High Court judges at a date in the new year yet to be fixed.

This follows the Tasmanian government, last week, dropping its contention that Bob Brown was trespassing at the time he was arrested. Tasmania originally intended to argue he did not have standing to take the action before the court. Brown had maintained that he was in a forest reserve when arrested. Earlier the state also dropped charges against him under the anti-protest legislation, and then against Brown's fellow plaintiff and former Lapoinya resident Jessica Hoyt. Both were arrested in January when clearfell logging operations began in the Lapoinya Forest.

Dr Brown told a Hobart Town Hall meeting today that the Hodgman laws cut across Tasmanians' rights to political expression and should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Today, the Bob Brown Foundation launched a Pozible crowd funding campaign to raise $100,000 towards any costs that could be incurred by Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt in taking the case to the High Court.

More information at https://pozible.com/project/stand-with-bob-brown

Media contact

Steven Chaffer
0408 855 261

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