Attenborough and Hodgman: Bob’s TV viewers’ guide to the difference.


‘Tasmania is full of surprises’ - David Attenborough.

‘Tasmania will astound the world’ - Bob Brown.

Here are ten surprises of the wrong sort for watchers of the fabulous David Attenborough film about Tasmania on ABC TV, Sunday night. They come from the Liberal Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman. He:

  • wanted the word ‘wilderness’ scrubbed from the name Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
  • promotes dozens of dams blocking platypus-habitat Tasmanian streams, with no environmental assessment or report.
  • is the prime reason Tasmania lags behind almost every similar place on Earth when it comes to marine national parks.
  • is logging and burning ancient rainforest in the Tarkine, where police were called in to arrest peaceful protectors just last Wednesday.
  • seeks private profiteers to invade rare wilderness, like in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, with top-end tourist lodges, but ...
  • has ignored calls for tourism amenities in the Styx Valley, showplace of the world’s tallest flowering trees (eucalypts). He wants it logged.
  • is daily reducing the habitat for Tasmanian Devils, wombats, and Swift Parrots against the advice of experts.
  • wants ecocidal fish farms spread in Storm Bay, on King Island and Three Hummock Island, and on the Bass Strait coast from Stanley to Rocky Cape.
  • as Minister for both Tourism and National Parks has left remote Melalueca, Liaweene and the Tarkine with no resident rangers but has placed rangers at each of three tourist huts on the Three Capes Track.
  • plans off-road vehicles to drive over plastic strips to be placed on fragile Aboriginal sites on the Tarkine coast.

Tasmania’s greatest asset is the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Its authentic wilderness needs retaining as remote, pristine nature without invasive infrastructure. Tasmania’s reputation requires an end to the taxpayer-subsidised clearfelling of wildlife-filled native forests and the desecration of Aboriginal heritage. Our foundation has joined the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre to protect takayna / Tarkine and return it to Aboriginal ownership.

The key word is authentic. Visitors to this island of surprises can see forests, waterfalls, snow-topped mountains and a host of wildlife from their car windows. Short walks let them hear, feel and smell ancient nature as well.

Tasmania’s wilderness should be kept authentic, remote and free so that in a future more bereft of wild nature, it will astound the world.

Bob Brown


Photo: Styx Valley 'tourism drive' - Bob Brown

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Aaron Mandolene
    commented 2018-06-07 13:31:47 +1000
    Fred I have been saying the same thing. Great point! Agroforestry is massive within permaculture and has gained momentum around the world as a truly sustainable way of growing timber (I’m doing it). Lots of farmers in Australia are doing it and its something the government needs to get behind and provide funding. This will keep the timber industry moving and will not lose jobs for current loggers. Also a move away from monoculture plantations plus growing other crops at the same time. If we are to take away their lively hoods, they need some options to get into. That in turn helps protect these areas from further destruction.

    At the end of the day, its the government and the people. The people on both sides need to come together and demand better solutions from an inept governmental system that is dividing environmentalists and people in the labor workforce away from each other rather than us coming together to demand better. We are being played by rich elites who do not give a damn about Tasmania’s last wild places, and also they don’t give a damn about the people either. They will take the money and leave everyone high and dry, as they do worldwide. People power is needed or we are doomed, there are solutions there, people need to act on them.
  • Fred Earl Orr
    commented 2018-06-04 22:56:33 +1000
    Turning the tide of dissent: We need to focus our energy into thinking of ways the loggers, miners and off road drivers can be appeased without continuing harming to the Tarkine. The polies are frightened about job losses, and thus vote losses. Can we start thinking of new job possibilities for those whose jobs might be impacted negatively? Re-training will almost certainly be necessary, but that’s very do-able, with a positive attitude. What might loggers do with the closure of the old growth forests? What about wood carving, sculpting, furniture design and making, wood preservation via oiling and polishing, all using sustainable wood from already established farms? We need to give the displaced workers viable vocational options to have any hope of getting them even marginally onside.
  • Rick Taylor
    commented 2018-06-03 10:56:41 +1000
    Not only sad, but its going to come back and bite all n the butt. Trees gone, salt will rise where nothing will live. I am surprised, no shocked, there isn’t people en mass at the Tarkine to fight as they did for the Gordon and Franklin. Don’t the Tasmanians care? I live too far away to get there and stand my ground. Who cares if they arrest me, I am going to cost them more to keep me for any length of time than I would get in fines.
    Time for people of Tassie to get off their butt before they lose this beautiful wilderness forever.
  • Christine Soryal
    commented 2018-06-02 12:25:42 +1000
    It saddens me, heart breaking! Keep up the good work. Peace and contentment are within us, when you experience that then you have a reverence for all nature to do no harm. Thank you all.