The police raid on unarmed environmental defenders will raise alarm bells for people concerned by the worsening environmental conditions in Australia and around the world, Bob Brown said in Tasmania today.
“Australian governments are importing the American tactic of attacking the environmentalists instead of protecting the environment. I do not know Blockade Australia but I do know that heavy-handed government tactics to stymie peaceful protest against environmental exploitation, which is driving species to extinction and fuelling global heating could just lead to environmentalists going more underground.”
“We have yet to see police directed to raid coal mines, gas frackers or forest loggers in defence of environmental laws in NSW or anywhere else. But the public is told those laws will prevent future harm to Australia’s natural environment. It is a farce. If planning to block a city street becomes a worse crime than putting another million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere or flattening and burning another thousand hectares of koala or masked owl public forests, something is rotten with governance, not environmentalism,” Brown said. “In Tasmania, we’re still waiting for Chinese State owned miner, MMG, to be prosecuted for its leaking tailings dams in north-western Tasmania, the subject of a recent 4 Corners investigation.”
“Meanwhile, in Tasmania, the Rockliff government is pushing new draconian anti-environmentalist laws through parliament which threaten 4 years in jail for people who stand a second time in front of chainsaws in a public forest laden with endangered species. Actively defending the natural environment is becoming a crime no less than terrorising neighbours with a gun. This is an irresponsible and reckless abuse of legislative power in favour of polluters and environmental wreckers. The Bob Brown Foundation’s motto is ‘Action for Earth’ and it will not be coerced into uselessness by such irresponsible laws. This is the outcome of spineless politicians caving into the profiteering exploiters of nature,” Brown said.