Foundation’s claims corroborated by red-faced minister.
Corroborating last week’s call from Bob Brown Foundation that all logging in Tasmania for decades has been illegal, the Minister for Resources Guy Barnett has now flagged retrospective validating legislation to ‘legalise’ the criminal behaviour.
“This outrageous minister and government has crowed week-in and week-out about the need for harsher laws to stop forest protests when, all along, it has been his logging which has been illegal. The protesters were upholding the Tasmanian laws which governments, including minister Barnett, were breaking,” Bob Brown said today.
All logging should cease until this bungling minister has been replaced and the mess sorted out. The government should prepare to compensate hundreds of good people who have been wrongfully charged, convicted and even sent to jail for obstructing this illegal logging.”
“Barnett’s limp attempt to justify breaking Tasmanian law by calling it a ‘technical detail’ would be thrown out of court. The law is the law. No ordinary citizen can retrospectively change the law’s technicalities, or claim ignorance, to rescue themselves from prosecution or imprisonment. Logging of Tasmania’s wildlife-filled forests without proper authorisation is a crime. The minister is proposing to backdate laws to cover up criminal behaviour by Forestry Tasmania. This is truly shocking,” Brown said.
In 1972, the Reece government’s attorney-general resigned and huge public uproar was sparked when the premier and parliament retrospectively validated flooding Lake Pedder without having first rescinded its national park status – a ‘minor technical detail’ at the time.
“In 2022, parliament must not repeat that shameful ‘doubts removal’ process to validate the wholesale destruction of more of Tasmania’s natural heritage,” Brown said.