Bulldozer Invasion of Lapoinya Forest is 'Bloody-Minded Vandalism': Bob Brown

Media Release 18 Jan 2016

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Today's invasion of the Lapoinya forest region south of Burnie in Tasmania, against the local community's heartfelt pleas, is "a bloody-minded act of political vandalism", environmentalist Bob Brown said in Hobart.

Brown, who visited the coup with Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber last week, said that the Turnbull and Hodgman governments are engaged in the deliberate extinction of vital habitats of threatened species including the Tasmanian devil and the world's largest freshwater crayfish, astacopsis gouldi.

"Within a day or two, Forestry Tasmania machinery, under the licence of Premier Will Hodgman and Federal environment minister Greg Hunt, will be polluting pristine Maynes Creek which is a nursery for the crayfish and then clearfelling the forest beyond which contains a healthy population of devils and tiger quolls. It is as if the global listing of Tasmania's treasured wildlife means nothing. Many months of appeals to reason by the little community of Lapoiyna is being treated with disdain.

"In terms of ecological wisdom, the Lapoiyna logging is a criminal act in the twenty-first century. It is the ministers, not the residents of Lapoiyna, who should be facing fines and jail sentences," Brown said.

“This destruction is in the service of corrupt-in-Malaysia logging company Ta Ann,” Brown said.

See a video of the Lapoiyna forest creek at https://vimeo.com/151691983

Further information: Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Brown expresses alarm over proposed logging at Lapoinya

Media Release 14 Jan 2016

Tasmanian environmentalist Bob Brown has expressed alarm at the impact which logging, due to start on Monday, will have on a crucial nursery of the world's largest freshwater crayfish.

Former Senator Brown visited Lapoinya with his Foundations campaign manager Jenny Weber yesterday.

See the film at this link https://vimeo.com/151691983

High definition film available on request.

Contact
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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Brown, Weber to visit besieged Lapoinya residents

Media Release 13 January 2016

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Former national Greens leader Bob Brown and Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber are visiting the contentious Lapoinya forest today to back local farmers and tourism operators who want the Lapoinya forest spared from state wide logging operations.

Bob Brown said this morning, 'At stake is a vital habitat of the worlds largest freshwater crayfish, listed as threatened with extinction by the State and Federal Governments and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The State Government’s own official advice is that bush should be protected from logging to help this amazing creature survive in clear water streams like Lapoinya.'

'There are 800 000 hectares of state forest available for Ta Ann and other customers, surely this 49 hectares can be sensibly protected to stop the Lapoinya community's heart being broken. Logging it will be an own goal for Forestry Tasmania which wants Forest Stewardship Certification - impossible if you are damaging the habitat of globally listed wild animals,' he said.

Contact
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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Borneo natives claim stolen assets from Australian University

Press Release 29 December 2015

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND
BOB BROWN FOUNDATION, HOBART / AUSTRALIA

Penan community leaders urge Adelaide University to pay back AUD $400,000 in donations received from former Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud

LONG LAMAI (SARAWAK, MALAYSIA) / ADELAIDE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA)

Indigenous leaders from Malaysian Borneo are urging Adelaide University to pay back AUD $ 400,000 in donations received between 1987 and 2006 from Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), a former Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

In a letter to Vice-Chancellor Warren Bebbington, eleven Penan headmen demand that the Taib donations be returned to Sarawak as they had been illegally acquired by the Malaysian politician who studied law in Adelaide in the late 1950s. The letter is signed by the community leaders with their thumbprints.

The Penan were Borneo’s last nomadic hunter-gatherers until most of their rainforests were destroyed by the Taib government since the mid-1980s.

“When Taib studied law in Adelaide as a young man, he was as poor as we are today”, states the letter signed first by former Penan penghulu (paramount chief) James Lalo Keso. “Later on, he decided to become a politician […]. But instead of helping us indigenous people, Taib became greedy and only interested in enriching himself and his family members.”

“Our lives were good and self-sustaining until Taib Mahmud gave our land away to the logging and plantation companies without our consent. (…) It is an open secret that the loggers gave a lot of bribes to Taib Mahmud and his family members.”

The Penan demand from Vice-Chancellor Bebbington “to take a courageous decision” and restitute the Taib funds in order to correct injustice done by the former Sarawak Chief Minister: “We need this money urgently to develop the Penan Peace Park and send our children to school and higher education. For you, $400,000 is not much, but for the Penan this is a lot of money which can help change our young generation’s lives.”

The Penan have been struggling to protect their rainforests against logging for close to thirty years. The “Penan Peace Park” is their latest plan for a community-administered forest reserve.

Taib Mahmud’s donations to Adelaide University had been disclosed in November under a Freedom of Information request by South Australian Greens MP Mark Parnell. Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that the Taib family also secretly purchased the AUD$55 million Adelaide Hilton hotel.

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Penan leaders from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, are claiming back AUD$400,000 in donations from Adelaide University. Former Penghulu (paramount chief) James Lalo Keso (centre) is one of the signatories of the letter to Adelaide University's Vice-Chancellor Warren Bebbington.

Download the letter to Adelaide University here (3MB)

For more information:
Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, Bob Brown Foundation, +61 427 366 929
Lukas Straumann, Executive Director, Bruno Manser Fund, +41 61 261 94 74

 
Bob Brown Foundation, Level 4/116 Bathurst St, Hobart, TAS, Australia
Tel 03 6294 0225, www.bobbrown.org
 
Bruno Manser Fund, Socinstrasse 37, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74, www.bmf.ch

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Bob Brown Foundation Launches New Tarkine Guidebook

MEDIA RELEASE 11.Dec.2015

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Bob Brown Foundation will tonight launch takayna makuminya / Tarkine Trails, a new guide to touring, bushwalking and rafting the Tarkine. The guide-book is compiled and published by Bob Brown Foundation. takayna makuminya / Tarkine Trails will be launched at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart and on Sunday in Launceston.

“Tarkine Trails / takayna makuminya, with its splendid photographs and maps, is the definitive guide for adventurers to the Tarkine. Here is a welcome to one of Australia’s least known yet most beautiful natural and cultural treasures,” Bob Brown said.

Tarkine Trails / takayna makuminya has 100 bushwalking trails complete with colour maps, 10 mountain bike trails and 17 paddling trips. This definitive guide has contributions from more than 30 experts including lead author Phill Pullinger, a foreword and case for conservation chapter by Bob Brown, an introduction by Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary’s owner Greg Irons, and an essay on Aboriginal Heritage of takayna / Tarkine written by Ruth Langford.  The guide is an updated version of Bob Brown’s 1993 guide book to the Tarkine.

Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber has been the project manager for the book, “Our new comprehensive guide-book will open the Tarkine to more visitors seeking adventure tourism in Tasmania’s wild places like never before. We have had more than 60 people involved in the book, including track testers, a map maker, photographers, a talented design team and writers on natural and cultural values of the Tarkine. Our Foundation has successfully crowdfunded more than $60 000 to raise the funds required to published and distribute this book,” Jenny Weber said.

“Bob Brown Foundation is working to have the Tarkine protected from these destructive impacts and gain secure protection as a National Park and World Heritage Area,” Jenny Weber said.

News outlets wishing to review the book please contact Jenny Weber ph 0427 366 929 or jenny@bobbrown.org.au

BOOK LAUNCHES

Friday 11.Dec.15 at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart 5:15pm for 5:30pm – Launched by Bob Brown and Phill Pullinger

Sunday 13.Dec.15 at Petrarch’s Bookshop in Launceston at 3pm – Launched by Bob Brown and Senator Peter Whish-Wilson

Monday 21.Dec.15 Not Just Books at Burnie at 5:15pm – Launched by Phill Pullinger and Nicole Anderson
 

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At the Launceston launch Sunday 13.Dec.15. Photo: Emma Anglesey

Tarkine Trails is available from:

Fullers Bookstore Hobart
Wild Island Hobart
Hobart Book Shop Salamanca, Hobart
Find Your Feet Hobart
Bike Ride Hobart
Mountain Creek Outdoors Hobart
Petrarch's Book Shop, Launceston
Not Just Books, Burnie

 

Contact

Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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A long way to go for Forestry Tasmania’s FSC bid, environment groups warn

MEDIA RELEASE  -  4th December, 2015

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A long way to go for Forestry Tasmania’s FSC bid, environment groups warn

Peg Putt and Jenny Weber are available for comment today on Parliament Lawns in Hobart, upon request.

The very issues that Markets For Change, the Bob Brown Foundation and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust documented and took FSC auditors to see in the field are those that have been identified as the key impediments to Forestry Tasmania achieving FSC certification, revealed today in a Government Business Enterprises Estimates Committee hearing in Hobart.

Forestry Tasmania has not gained FSC certification due to their ongoing clearfelling of old growth forests, logging of threatened species habitat including that of the Swift Parrot, and failing to identify high conservation values.

“Markets for Change, Bob Brown Foundation and Tasmanian Conservation Trust surveyed and documented the scientific and technical shortcomings of Forestry Tasmania’s logging when measured against the FSC standard for forest management and identified to the auditors the exact failings outlined to MPs by Managing Director Bob Annells,”  said Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager of the Bob Brown Foundation.

“In Tasmania we have logging of habitat of critically endangered species Swift Parrot, endangered species Wedge Tailed Eagles, Tasmanian Masked Owl, and Tasmanian Devil as well as the rare and vulnerable Spotted-tail Quoll to name just a small number, and ongoing clearfelling of old growth forests and logging of rainforests. These are not the type of logging operations that deserve accreditation.”

“There is a choice, continue logging threatened species habitat or witness their extinction,” Ms Weber concluded.

“An FSC certificate should not be granted to Forestry Tasmania unless and until Forestry Tasmania meet the criteria, which they still do not,” CEO of Markets for Change Peg Putt said.  

“It is a full year since FSC auditors came to Tasmania and quite rapidly told Forestry Tasmania of these major non-conformances, but much change is required and Forestry Tasmania is seeking to limit such changes by imposing limits on action they will take,” Ms Putt explained.

“They insist on prioritising maintenance of wood volumes over protecting threatened species and old growth so as to avoid reduction of logged volumes. This is not an acceptable approach for a modern, environmentally responsible company.”

“Telling the world that they will continue to inflict damage on old growth forests that conflicts with FSC requirements for another six months is not good news, its evidence that Forestry Tasmania is intending to wilfully continue the damage identified as unacceptable a year ago,” Ms Putt concluded.

Contact:
Peg Putt
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Bob Brown challenges Brett Whiteley to front up

Media Statement 3.12.2015

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Noting Brett Whiteley's parliamentary tour-de-force this week, Bob Brown has issued the following statement:

Brett Whiteley owes taxpayers far more than the Tarkine National Coalition ever could owe mining companies. Mr Whiteley and his party have lost more than $400 million of taxpayers' money, propping up the job-losing logging industry in Tasmania. More than 5000 jobs have been shed in recent decades. Then there are the vast sums of money (via tax deductions) the Liberals have moved into the logging industry through the disastrous forestry management investment schemes.

The question is: will Mr Whiteley start paying that back to Tasmanians by allocating 10 percent of his taxpayer-funded income, for starters?

Each year Mr Whiteley and his party put millions of dollars more of taxpayers' money into tax breaks and subsidies (for example, mining companies get a 38 cents per litre tax cut on diesel which ordinary people in Burnie, Devonport and Smithton don't get) into mining corporations to benefit  the pockets of interstate and overseas shareholders. Will Mr Whiteley put another 10 percent of his parliamentary income to help pay that loss off?

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (opposed by Whiteley) is now Tasmania's biggest international attraction and core to the tourism and hospitality industries which are creating many times more jobs for Tasmanians than mining and logging. Yet Whiteley also opposes the Tarkine winning this global status. He has consistently backed the wrong horse, using taxpayers' money. So picking on the Tarkine National Coalition for its recent court loss is self-invested hot air.

Is Mr Whiteley offering to be guarantor for Shree Minerals and Venture who have not yet proceeded with their proposals?

The Tarkine when protected will transform into the Northwest's own local superlative tourism drawcard. Brett Whiteley's opposition to it being nominated for World Heritage is holding back the region's economic and employment development.

He has challenged me in parliament. l test his courage outside the 'cowards castle' by challenging Whiteley to a debate in the public arena on this real and important issue of the Tarkine and its potential for all of Tasmania.

I might begin by asking him and the Liberals to pay up for mining and logging companies which have not met court or other public-burden costs in recent years. I will prepare a list.

Bob Brown.


Contact
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Bob Brown Foundation establishes campaign and office in Melbourne

Media Release 29.11.2015

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Tarkine – Huskisson River wilderness. Photo: Rob Blakers

Bob Brown Foundation presents at the Deakin Edge Fed Square on Saturday 5 Dec 2015 at 6pm

Hear from Bob Brown at Deakin Edge as he speaks about one of the world’s last great wild places, takayna/Tarkine. Bob Brown will launch the Bob Brown Foundation’s Melbourne campaign, welcoming the Foundation’s new campaigner, Shelley Waterland, who will be based in the Foundation’s new Melbourne campaign centre.

Bob Brown will be joined by Australian comedian, Corinne Grant for this special event which features a unique performance by a group of Tasmanian Aboriginal women, muka nawnta, along with short films and a stunning photographic exhibition from the Tarkine in Motion project.

Tasmania’s magnificent takayna/Tarkine boasts 450,000 hectares of mountains, ancient Aboriginal cultural sites, jagged coastlines, towering sand dunes, wild rivers and Australia’s largest temperate rainforest. Yet virtually the whole area remains unprotected, with mining, logging and off-road vehicles and constant threat to the natural and cultural values of this remarkable place.

Come along and be introduced to takayna/Tarkine and the Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign to protect the 450,000 hectares as a National Park and listing as World Heritage.

See more at: http://fedsquare.com/events/melbourne-will-save-takayna-tarkine

 
Contact
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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World Heritage Reps urged to rebuff Tasmanian Government on rainforest logging, maintain outstanding universal values

MEDIA RELEASE  24th November, 2015

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Bob Brown Foundation and Markets For Change this morning briefed representatives of the World Heritage Committee Advisory bodies on the destruction of World Heritage values that would result from proposed logging and urged them to rebuff the political  attempt by the Tasmanian government to pressure them to accede to its demands.

Jenny Weber, campaigns manager of the Bob Brown Foundation, presented a case study of rainforest logging’s destructive impact in a southern forest coupe conducted as an experiment by Forestry Tasmania.

“We are deeply alarmed by the prospect of Australia permitting logging, mining and inappropriate tourism developments inside the boundaries of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and so strongly support the World Heritage Committee’s decision that urges Australia to ensure that commercial logging and mining are not permitted within the entire property – we want to see this upheld as a result of this visit. Additionally we urge the Tasmanian Government to adhere to the World Heritage Committee decision that urges establishment of strict criteria for new tourism development within the TWWHA which would be in line with the primary goal of protecting the property’s Outstanding Universal Values, including its wilderness character,” Ms Weber said.

“The rainforest ‘special species’ logging trial in the southern forests coupe EP048C had demonstrated the range and scale of disturbance associated with such logging. Any attempt to log in the World Heritage property will be significantly detrimental to the maintenance of Outstanding Universal Values,” Ms Weber said.

Peg Putt, CEO of Markets For Change presented a summary of the political nature of the Tasmanian government’s continued resistance to the World Heritage Committee’s firm request in July that Australia ensure that all commercial logging and mining are not permitted within the entire World Heritage Area, and that all areas of public lands within the area have a status that ensures adequate protection of the outstanding universal values of the property.

“The Tasmanian government is playing semantic games by now claiming that the logging they want to see in the World Heritage Area is not commercial, and therefore outside the scope of the World Heritage Committee decision, when the legislation is clear that a charge will be made for the rainforest timbers extracted and the product sold. Redefining native forest logging to mean only industrial logging of eucalypts does not negate the need to protect the ecological and aesthetic values when logging rainforest species.”

“There is an enormous area opened for special species logging by Tasmanian legislation passed late last year, such that 1.1 million hectares in other reserves and 400,000 hectares of Future Potential Production Forest land are available in addition to timber arising from ongoing forestry in the permanent production zone allocated to Forestry Tasmania. There is no way that yet another 20,000 hectares of World Heritage forests is also required,’ Ms Putt said.

Contact:
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929
Peg Putt

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Swift Parrot's survival depends on permanent protection of forests on Bruny Island and across Tasmania

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Swift Parrot. Photo: Eric Woehler

“Tasmanian Government Minister Paul Harris' announcement today of a moratorium on logging on Bruny Island reinforces the need for an urgent cessation of logging of all swift parrot habitat throughout Tasmania,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said today.

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