Bob Brown calls on Malcolm Turnbull to stop BP’s oil drilling plans in the Great Australian Bight

GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT ALLIANCE MEDIA RELEASE August 20, 2016

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John Butler adds his voice to growing opposition to drilling for oil in Bight

Former Greens Leader Bob Brown today issued a challenge to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to step in and stop BP’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight after sailing through the Bight on board Sea Shepherd vessel MY Steve Irwin which has just docked for the first time in Adelaide’s port.

“Here’s a challenge for the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to intervene and keep the Great Australian Bight free of BP’s oil spill threat,” Dr Brown said.

“The Prime Minister should come and see what the Sea Shepherd has seen in the last month, just a trip to the head of the Bight to see the southern right whales and their calves in the nursery that would be destroyed by an oil spill.

“It’s very easy, all he would have to do is walk to the top of the cliffs of the Bight and there they are below you. His intervention would be defending a huge national marine park and South Australian wilderness areas.

“It should not be left to an agency, NOPSEMA, that does not have the national interest at heart. It’s a national asset of the state. He should be looking at the World Heritage values as part of this process. Go, Malcolm.

Renowned musician John Butler will board the MY Steve Irwin on Monday as it makes its way to Kangaroo Island and will headline a Bight campaign fundraiser at Port Adelaide’s Flour Shed tonight.

“I’m here to try to stop a company that has a notoriously bad reputation for the world’s largest oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico from bringing the world’s largest oil rig into the Great Australian Bight,” Mr Butler said.

“These waters are more remote, rough and deeper than the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not a matter of if but when there’s a major oil spill in the Bight.

“The Bight is one of the last great wild places on the planet, full of marine sanctuaries and endemic and endangered species and home to one of the world’s largest oil nurseries.

“Why risk all this on a company with such a horrible reputation and an industry that’s caused enough damage and is only adding to global warming?”

The Bight’s pristine waters are home to 36 species of whales and dolphins, including the world’s most important southern right whale nursery, as well as many humpback, sperm, blue and beak whales. The Bight also supports sea lions, seals, great white sharks, giant cuttlefish and migratory seabirds.

For more information, contact Sea Shepherd media adviser Adam Burling on 0409 472 922

Or Wilderness Society media adviser Alex Tibbitts on 0416 420 168

 

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Malcolm Turnbull's Maria Island praise should sink fish farm plan: Brown

Media Release 12 Aug 2016

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Malcolm Turnbull's past promotion of World Heritage status for Maria Island's convict heritage at Darlington should, of itself, put paid to plans for industrialisation of Okehampton Bay and the Mercury Passage on Tasmania's east coast, Bob Brown said today.

Dr Brown has written to UNESCO pointing to Mr Turnbull's advocacy of Darlington, opposite Okehampton Bay. In 2007, when Australia's Minister for the Environment, he placed the Darlington convict heritage on Maria Island on the Australian National Heritage list, claiming that ‘with a natural environment setting that has few competing elements, the precinct possesses a rare sense of place.’

As Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull should insist this damaging proposal be subject to federal scrutiny under provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).

'The setting and precinct which is vital to an appreciation of the convict heritage on Maria Island would be degraded by fish farm industrialisation marring the view field toward mainland Tasmania, day and night,' Brown said today. His foundation is writing to UNESCO quoting the Prime Minister's previous accolade and citing Tassal's plans for fish farming as an ascertained and and potential danger to the World Heritage site which would be 'irrevocably compromised should the proposed industrial fish farm proceed'.

The Tasmanian government's decision to subject Tassal's proposal to review should be the plan's death knell, even though it has no community environmental representation. However, in making his announcement, Tasmanian minister Jeremy Rockliff backed more regional fish farms despite the despoiling impact they are having on marine, and coastal lifestyle, environmental and recreational values for regional communities in Tasmania. 'It was hardly the balanced announcement needed to reassure Tasmanians,' Brown said.

Media contact
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261


 

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New book showcases threatened National Heritage Listed Aboriginal landscape in Tasmania

Media Release 10 August 2016

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Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the Bob Brown Foundation will launch a new book in Hobart this week, titled: takayna – country, culture, spirit. It is the story of Tasmanian Aborigines living cultural connection to the National Heritage listed, Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape in takayna / Tarkine, and the fight to protect it from Government sanctioned damage.

‘This new book is a moving call to action to protect one of the world’s most spectacular and culturally significant places. State and Federal Governments need to reverse plans to reopen the off-road vehicle tracks between Sandy Cape and Pieman Heads on takayna / Tarkine coast,’ Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign manager Jenny Weber said.

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FOI request on correspondence between Greens and Gillard government

Media Release 2 Aug 2016

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Two requests, anonymous to us, for letters between the Greens and the Gillard government regarding the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and logging and mining have been made under FOI.

I and Christine Milne have agreed to the requests and to facilitate wider public dissemination we are releasing them herewith. (attached - 2.8MB PDF)

Bob Brown

Media contact
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261

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Swift Parrot Trees Destroyed - Frydenberg must act: Brown

Media Release 29 July 2016

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Swift Parrot. Photo: Henry Cook

Federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg should take immediate action against the men responsible for chain sawing down vital nesting trees for Australia's critically endangered Swift parrot, environmentalist Bob Brown said tonight.

"Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, it is illegal to take actions which affect rare or endangered species.”

"The destruction of important nesting trees for one of the world's most remarkable parrots, which is listed globally as 'critically endangered', requires Minister Frydenberg to act.”

"Environmental crime is crime. It is high time we had a minister in Australia that acted to uphold the laws meant to protect this nation's remarkable but disappearing wildlife.”

"The Swift parrot, the world's fastest parrot, crosses Bass Strait on its annual migration from the mainland to Tasmania in 3 hours (the Spirit of Tasmania takes all night). But it is down to perhaps 1000 breeding pairs and depends on trees like those now destroyed to regenerate. No trees, no nests: no nests, no birds.”


Media contact
Steven Chaffer     0408 855261

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Thumbs down for three leading parties on Tarkine protection in this Federal Election

Media Release 28 June 2016

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The Bob Brown Foundation has released a Federal Election score card on Tasmania’s takayna/Tarkine today for the major parties.  The Foundation sent a questionnaire to all parties in May asking if they would utilise federal powers to protect Tasmania’s Tarkine.

‘Disappointingly three of the leading parties turned down the opportunity to respond to our request to commit to protecting the Tarkine, sadly Labor, Liberal and Xenophon parties get a thumbs down,’ Bob Brown Foundation’s campaign manager Jenny Weber said.

‘The Australian Greens were the only party who replied to our questionnaire and committed to nomination of the Tarkine as World Heritage, recognise the Australian Heritage Commission’s 2010 recommendation and list the Tarkine as national heritage, securely protect Aboriginal heritage, and prevent logging in high conservation value forests and rainforests. In our score card released today they are the only party that gets the thumbs up on committing to protect the Tarkine,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘Tasmanian’s Tarkine has natural and Aboriginal cultural values that are of outstanding universal value and meet criterion for World Heritage listing. The Tarkine is a global treasure and our nation could be working towards protection for the vast intact landscape with Australia’s largest temperate rainforest and long stretch of remote coastline with globally significant Aboriginal heritage values and the cleanest air in the world,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘The Tarkine remains largely unprotected despite a 2010 recommendation from the Australian Heritage Commission to list 439,000 hectares as National Heritage. Governments have still entrenched environmental and economic damaging activities in the Tarkine, such as the abandoned Shree mine, ongoing logging in rainforests, opening rainforest reserves to logging and sanctioning the off-road vehicle damage to significant Aboriginal heritage in the Western Tasmanian Cultural Landscape,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘The Foundation will continue to work for secure protection of the Tarkine when the new government is elected this weekend. Australia needs to recognise the world heritage values of this last great wild place on Earth and nominate the Tarkine for protection,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘Our Federal Election campaign for Tarkine protection has included television advertising, poster advertising in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and online thousands of people have voted for Tarkine protection through our Vote Tarkine website,’ Jenny Weber said.

The Bob Brown Foundation website for this Federal Election is votetarkine.org, our television advertisement can also be viewed at this website.

ATTACHED – Bob Brown Foundation Federal Election score-card

Contact
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929

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Brown back in Barnaby's backyard

Media Release - 22 June 2016

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Former Greens leader Bob Brown is to visit Barnaby Joyce's closely-held seat of New England tomorrow after Joyce's jibe that 'even the trees were trying to get away from the Greens'.

"I'm keen to catch up again with the Greens' candidate Mercurius Goldstein in Glen Innes for a luncheon launch - he is way ahead of Barnaby on such issues as protecting farmlands from mining, and public education and Medicare from cutbacks or privatisation. I might have a thing or two to say about Barnaby".

Today Brown is touring the Green-inclined seat of Richmond with Greens candidate Dawn Walker.

Media contact 0419 839 157

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Hunt's mission a failure - Brown

Media Release 4 May 2016

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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.

Media contact
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261

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Conservationists launch new campaign for Swift Parrot protection

Media Release 3 May 2016

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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.


Contact
Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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Government fail on Endangered Species protection – Wedge-tailed Eagle nest located at logged Lapoinya

Media Release 29 April 2016

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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.

ATTACHEDHi-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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