Media Release: 5th November 2016
NSW's Baird government has intervened in a High Court challenge by forest defenders against the Tasmanian government's draconian anti-protest laws.
The High Court challenge was mounted by former Greens leader Dr Bob Brown and Hobart nurse Jessica Hoyt after their arrest for peacefully protesting against the clearfell logging of a 49 hectares coup of the Lapoinya Forest in northwest Tasmania in January. Ms Hoyt grew up on a farm next door to the Lapoinya Forest which was the habitat of rare and threatened species including the Tasmanian devil and spot-tailed quoll.
New laws passed by Tasmania's Liberal Hodgman government threaten peaceful forest protesters with $4,000 fines or up to ten years in jail for repeated offences. Charges against Brown and Hoyt were dropped by the Tasmanian prosecutor after the pair mounted their challenge in the High Court, with the first (directions) hearing now set for 14th November.
The Liberal governments in Tasmania, NSW and Western Australia, under pressure from logging and mining corporations, have all moved to impose restrictions on the rights to political communication which Brown and Hoyt maintain are implied in the Australian Constitution.
Steven Chaffer 0408 855 261