Nikolic slanders green groups

30 June 2014

Dear Editor,

In spearheading the latest Liberal attack on the environment movement, Federal member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, made statements ranging from the hypocritical to the dishonest.

Mr Nikolic is apparently outraged that some environment groups registered as charities might be "engaged in political activism” and should therefore be stripped of their tax deductible status.  He conveniently overlooks the fact that donations to political parties are tax deductible.  Last time I checked, political parties do their fair share of "political activism” but Mr Nikolic has not moved any motions to take away their tax deductibility.  Or perhaps he is saving that brave suggestion for the next meeting?

He then moves on to claim that donations to environment groups are used “for illegal activities”, an outrageous and dishonest statement.  Having taken the trouble to name the Bob Brown Foundation is this undignified spray, perhaps he could explain what illegal activities we have been involved in?  Let me save him the trouble of rummaging through his dirt file by providing the answer. None.  

In fact the groups that he slanders, including the Wilderness Society, ACF, the EDO and The Bob Brown Foundation are doing exactly what charitable environment organisations are supposed to be doing.  Working to protect the natural environment. Most recently these groups worked together to successfully stop the Liberal government's 'feeble' bid to remove 74,000 ha from the World Heritage Area.  I understand that this was a humiliating defeat for the Abbott/Abetz camp but it is no excuse to penalise these groups for doing their job and protecting Tasmania’s environment.

This is nothing more than another craven attempt to silence organisations, and hundreds of thousands of their supporters, who hold views that challenge the government.  

A democracy’s strength comes from encouraging and, yes, even financially supporting, different points of view.  What a pity Mr Nikolic doesn’t share this faith in Australia’s mature and robust democracy.


Steven Chaffer

Executive Officer

The Bob Brown Foundation

Showing 6 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • John Chadderton
    commented 2014-07-02 23:31:30 +1000
    From – “1.46 An entity that has a charitable purpose may advance that purpose through activities that increase the effectiveness, or enhance the long term viability, of other charities. For example, a peak body that undertakes research, policy, advocacy, educational or other supporting activities to advance the effectivenes s of its member charities may be a charitable entity.”
  • Duncan Massey
    commented 2014-07-02 19:52:45 +1000
    Mick Smith, the interesting thing is that if this was Andrew Nikolic’s Facebook page, you wouldn’t be allowed your dissenting opinion. Mr Nikolic would have your comment expunged and you would be blocked from further comment…..but you come on here and it’s freedom of speech ahoy! Even if it goes against the trend of this website and Mr Brown’s opinions.
  • Paul Sims
    commented 2014-07-02 18:20:34 +1000
    Mick … time will show that what has been stated, will turn out to be rhetoric only from one part of Australian Citizenship … essentially the part that simply cannot see, or bring themselves to accept, that the future is only ever going to be about environmental adaptation to what Mother Nature does to our species. The planet is out of carbon equilibrium, and now she obeys the First Law of Thermodynamics, as she goes placidly amid our noise and haste, towards a new equilibrium.
  • Mick Smith
    commented 2014-07-02 17:43:22 +1000
    “Statements ranging from the hypocritical to the dishonest” sounds just like the rhetoric that usuallu comes out of Bob Browns mouth
  • Paul Sims
    commented 2014-07-02 16:25:26 +1000
    A Whispering by Fr Canoogan

    As we go forward, from where we are now, in this era of planetary climate change, there is no doubt many do not want the Environmental Warriors to thrive.

    This is in the main, for no other reason than the fact Conservationist’s, and Environmentalist’s, are thought of as being an ‘enemy’, within our Nation.

    This is not true of course, but for many folk, including MP Nikolic, there is always a need to have a target to shoot at … and the Environmental Movement is an especially easy one … due to the fact it is up front with the essential messages that are being listened to, and accepted within our Nation … that we want people in positions of power and authority to wake up from their slumber, pull their fingers out, and get on with the tasking necessary to lead our Nation towards the a self-sustainable, renewable energy future we want. The future must be one wherein, humanity produces less fossil carbon emissions … and adapts to the changes already taking place, as our planet moves towards a new carbon equilibrium.

    It is unfortunate therefore, that MP Nikolic, sees subversion, as the only thing that arises from the money given by concerned and aware Citizens of Australia, to Environmental Movements. Folks extend their support, so the work of that part of humanity that does not deny the planet is in a warming phase, can get on with their tasking.

    There is a part of humanity also, that knows full well the changes now happening to our planets’ bio-sphere, are the result of less than 300 years of earth time use of fossil carbon by our species. To balance the denier side, are a whole lot of folks who don’t need to even listen to the deniers.

    Such is life really, is it not … need of one part of humanity, balanced by the awareness of the other? And, progressively over the next 20 years or so, the argument will have fallen away as being useless and redundant … should be enough time for today’s Climate Deniers, to wake up, and get on board the only game now worth playing … one in which the Environmental Movement knows that to carry on AS IS, will be of no practical benefit in the long run.

    Duty and responsibility … surely these are a honorable means by which the Citizens of Australia, will be remembered by their future generations.
  • Peter Scannell
    commented 2014-07-02 16:01:59 +1000
    I find it hard to comprehend that any human being can be so far off the human trail, and not realise their plight!