Bob Brown Foundation & Save The Tarkine
Media Release 6 March 2017
Conservation groups Bob Brown Foundation and Save the Tarkine have called on Liberal MP Joan Rylah to apologise and retract comments on her Facebook page that refer to community members at the Tarkine's Frankland River threatened forests as 'violent protesters'.
"With parliament resuming this week, the Tasmanian Government is preparing to allow logging in a further 357,000 hectares of high conservation value forests across Tasmania, while highly controversial, ancient forests like the Tarkine's Frankland River forests are in the current logging schedule. Meanwhile, Liberal MP Joan Rylah is using false accusations in an attempt to baselessly discredit our campaign highlighting this imminent logging," Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
"A team of volunteers has been camped in threatened forests at the Tarkine's Frankland River for the past weeks. They are conducting field surveys and documenting and broadcasting the outstanding natural values at risk from the logging that Forestry Tasmania planned to commence last month," Jenny Weber said.
"Ms Rylah has lambasted the peaceful community members in an error-laden social media post. Ms Rylah owes these volunteers an apology. They have broken no laws and are peacefully camped in public forests. Organisers notified both Forestry Tasmania and Tasmania Police of the planned camp prior to anyone entering the area", said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.
"When Ms Rylah and Tasmanian Resources Minister Guy Barnett passed by the camp and took photographs of the camp, the volunteers waved. Hardly an act of violence," Scott Jordan said.
"Ms Rylah's comments are becoming quite Trump-esque. She needs to publicly apologise, and the Premier should discipline her for these false and inflammatory comments," Scott Jordan said.
"Ms Rylah was called to account last week after failing to promptly delete threats of violence made by her supporters on her Facebook page, after numerous posts threatened violence against conservationists camped in the Frankland River forests. She has also been peddling 'alternative facts', including that the coupes in question were previously logged 120 years ago, despite the fact that Forestry Tasmania first pushed roads into this area of intact ancient forests in 2010," Jenny Weber said.
"There has never been an incident of violence perpetrated by conservation protesters in the Tasmanian forest campaigns over the past decades. This gross distortion of the truth by Ms Rylah only serves to mislead the public," Jenny Weber said.
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929
Scott Jordan 0428 300 324
Below - comment on Joan Rylah's Facebook page by Joan Rylah.
Wanton vandalism of public infrastructure is not acceptable, as show in those pictures and the comments which flowed.
These violent protesters believe they are above the law and that is what makes everyday people very angry because it is just that- a belief by the enviro's that they are superior and further, that it is their behaviour that is unlawful and destructive.
As to your presumptions as to what I may see when I look at the forests of the Arthur-Pieman, you are wrong. I will state that all the parts of a living systems follow a cycle to senescence and re-birth. Making best use of the system, not just burning it as the only broadacre tool the aboriginal people's used, is what all farming is about. The foresters have done and continue to do absolutely amazing work in planning, environmental management so that today we do not 'clearfell' - implying hundreds of acres of cleared land - but operate in tiny spaces to optimise and protect habitat and timber species while keeping workers safe.
Half of Tasmania's land mass is reserved.
This land in question has never been part of a reserve but managed forest since white settlement and before as I raised earlier.
I celebrate what we have done with these forests because people like yourself are unable to see what has been created by generations of foresters in what you call the Tarkine - a forest so similar to other reserved forests you can't tell the difference. I say this respectfully but I will rebuff a direct challenge to the country and people I know and care about. Joan