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“We are carrying out a citizen science project these coming weeks to monitor Swift Parrot habitat in Tasmania’s threatened forests,” said Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager Bob Brown Foundation.
“Today in the Eastern Tiers we have stopped logging. It is up to Premier Gutwein to now move these native forest loggers into plantations and out of this critically endangered Swift Parrot habitat,” Ms Weber said from inside the logging area.
“The last wild forests for the critically endangered Swift Parrot need urgent protection in secure conservation reserves. All logging in native forests needs to cease for climate, environmental and biodiversity benefits. We will spend the next two days in the Eastern Tiers surveying for Swift Parrots, and we have more surveys planned in the coming weeks as the Swift parrot settles into breed," Ms Weber concluded.
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A group of Hobartians gathered this morning at the dockside where the new longline fishing vessel Antarctic Aurora is docked and preparing to wallop sub-Antarctic fisheries off Australia’s World Heritage Macquarie, Heard and McDonald Islands.
“In a world which has the majority of its fisheries collapsed or in rapid decline, the waters off these remote islands should be marine national parks. The long lines involve thousands of hooks spaced a metre apart, and the destination is the plates of China and the USA. We aim to put a public focus on the growing global tide of profiteering from the Antarctic and its oceans,” Jenny Weber from Bob Brown Foundation said.
“This vessel operating out of Hobart is longline, legal and lethal. Our aim is to protect the world’s last wild fisheries from plunder. The public has a right to know that Hobart is being used as a base for the expanding looting of the Antarctic marine ecosystem,” she said
"The Antarctic Aurora can drop 60,000 hooks into the pristine waters of the Antarctic to hunt for the toothfish. Antarctica’s oceans and wildlife need protection in secure marine reserves. The toothfish can live 3000m deep in icy waters and live to 50 years old. It shouldn’t be hunted with tens of thousands of hooks which can also kill sea birds, sharks and other species."
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Community members are this morning gathering at Tasmanian Executive Building calling for the protection of native forests and the ruling out of forest biomass burning.
Joining an International Day of Action on Forest Biomass Energy, Bob Brown Foundation is holding a snap action in Hobart to call for an end to subsidies and incentives for burning forest wood, for it to be excluded from renewable energy targets and for the protection and restoration of native forests to be prioritised for wildlife survival, climate benefits and biodiversity.
“Forests are not fuel. The world needs its forests for climate, community and biodiversity. Today’s international effort is focused on Europe, calling on the EU and its member countries to halt their unacceptable large scale biomass burning from forests and communities suffering the impacts. Here in Hobart, we are calling on our Premier Gutwein to rule out burning forests in furnaces for energy. It is a false and damaging climate solution,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
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Logging in critical Swift Parrot habitat has been uncovered on Tasmania’s east coast by Bob Brown Foundation Campaigners and volunteers.
“In native forests, just west of Freycinet National Park, logging of Swift parrot habitat has been uncovered this week. Tasmania was recently labelled the most secretive state in Australia, this is starkly apparent out in the forests where the ongoing flattening of forests occurs without proper scrutiny. Sus Timber Tasmania is secretly destroying habitat for a critically endangered species. All logging of Swift Parrot habitat needs to cease immediately,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
Bob Brown Foundation has today written to Minister for logging, Guy Barnett and Forest Practices Authority. Our Foundation is calling on the Minister to halt the logging and protect the Swift Parrot habitat and calling on Forest Practices Authority to investigate potential breaches of the Swift Parrot Important Breeding Area prescriptions including proximity to Swift Parrot sighting on 17/11/2020.
"Our Foundation is writing to the FPA, which is claimed to prevent such environmental wrong-doing. I am thinking of writing to Santa Claus because I think it might be more effective. This failure to protect the people's wild forests and wildlife is why we are taking the logging authorities to the Federal court on December 2nd/3rd," said Bob Brown.
“Our Foundation is commencing a Swift Parrot citizen science project next week, we will be surveying critical habitat for the Swift parrot that is on the logging schedule. It is vital that we are out in these native forests to defend and protect the habitat for this critically endangered species. The logging over the last few decades has been relentless in these east coast forests pushing the Swift parrot to the brink of extinction. The logging is hidden away from public scrutiny,” Erik Hayward Campaign Organiser for Bob Brown Foundation said.
“The native forests that are being lost right now is Eucalyptus foraging and potential nesting habitat. Logging of Eucalyptus ovata forests in proximity to potential Swift parrot nests and foraging habitat is in breach of logging prescriptions. These valuable Parrot forests need secure long term protection in conservation reserves,” Erik Hayward said.
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Bob Brown Foundation’s sixth annual Tarkine BioBlitz has been another roaring success. At an early count, 280 species were recorded in three days.
“Our Tarkine BioBlitz highlights the global significance of one of the last wild places on Earth, takayna / Tarkine. Citizens joined scientists to survey forests threatened by logging, the coastline with the cleanest air in the world and wild rivers to document hundreds of species and their habitats that need urgent protection,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“In southern takayna / Tarkine, where logging is imminent, we discovered a gigantic myrtle during a mature habitat survey in the threatened BO102C coupe. We’re naming it the ‘Champion of the Species’. We weren’t looking for massive trees and were just doing regular transects when we found a myrtle measuring 9.6m in circumference and no shorter than 42m tall,” said The Tree Project’s Steve Pearce.
In a remote rainforest area south of Rapid River, a small group of adventurers surveyed an area imminently threatened by logging.
“In an inaccessible area of takayna / Tarkine, where few people have been besides the traditional custodians, we led a trip into this majestic, and largely undocumented, wild area towards a proposed logging area - Mount Bertha. A group of self-sufficient hikers comprising of scientists, biologists, photographers, a caver, geologist, ornithology enthusiasts and flora and fauna experts ventured in for three days to explore, document, record and bear witness to this pristine, ancient wonderland. This forest on the edge of the takayna / Tarkine wilderness deserves protection,” said Erik Hayward, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Organiser.
“North of Rapid River, citizens observed devil experts trapping Tasmanian Devils to monitor their populations in takayna / Tarkine. Unfortunately we found the tumour disease in four out of six devils surveyed. Forests provide vital habitat for many endangered species in the Tarkine including the Tasmanian Devil. Devils travel throughout a wide range of landscapes in search of food, and sleep during the day in dens often in native forests. I would like to see all native forests formally protected in Tasmania to maintain biodiversity and to provide habitat for all species, especially endangered species,” Carnivore Conservancy Researcher Colette Harmsen said.
“Tarkine BioBlitz 2020 had over 50 surveys over three days exploring the rivers, plains, forests and coastline of takayna/Tarkine. With
Our discoveries included an endemic jewelled Moss Beetle (Notolioon gematus) living in the moss at the base of a Southern Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) in the threatened forests at Que River. The beautiful endemic jewelled Moss Beetles are uncommonly found, though they do reside in rainforests across Australia,” Molly Coburn, Tarkine BioBlitz organiser said.
“With 135 participants across five different camps including 30 scientists, 17 staff and volunteers, 83 participants, our BioBlitz is making history as the longest running Blitz in Tasmania. The records of species and invaluable engagement of citizens and scientists together in wild, ancient and threatened takayna / Tarkine are building the undeniable case for its secure protection,” Jenny Weber said.
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Bob Brown Foundation’s annual BioBlitz starts today in Tasmania’s takayna/Tarkine. More than 100 people will participate in the festival of science and count species over the next three days. Citizens will be based in five base camps around the Tarkine including in rainforests threatened by logging, the wild coastline and the river Pieman. This year BioBlitz has changed to due to COVID19, however, we will have 135 participants across five different camps including 30 scientists, 17 staff and volunteers, 83 participants.
"This years reimagined BioBlitz presents an amazing opportunity for us to take supporters and scientists into some of the remotest parts of the Tarkine for a unique weekend of surveys and science. This morning we have had volunteers, scientists and nature lovers waking up in the north, east, west and southern corners of the Tarkine, ready for a day of surveying. Already this morning we’ve had Tasmanian devil surveys, dawn bird surveys and insect surveys," said Molly Coburn Bob Brown Foundation Campaigns Organiser.
"Now in its sixth year BioBlitz is a remarkable mobilisation of the general public to get out into takayna/Tarkine and document its incredible natural and cultural values. The Bob Brown Foundation has taken over 500 scientists, volunteers and supporters into the Tarkine region to explore, observe and record the species of flora, fauna and fungi that live there. During our BioBlitzes, we have made more than 3200 observations, recorded over 1800 species, and have enjoyed countless hours of the beautiful and pristine Tarkine landscape," said Jenny Weber Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager.
"During these six years, we have observed Giant Freshwater Crayfish over 5kg in size living in the clear waterways of the Tarkine; spotted healthy adult male Tasmanian Devils living in the plains and forests; spotlighted Masked Owls as they hunt through coupes earmarked for logging; as well as wondered at the beauty of tiny slime-moulds, endangered tree orchids, giant ancient trees and everything in between.
BioBlitz is part of building a national and international campaign to bring forward the day when takayna/Tarkine gets the respect, status and protection it warrants as a prime part of Australia’s, and the world’s, surviving cultural, natural and national heritage,” said Ms Weber.
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Bob Brown Foundation has called for protection of all Tasmania’s native forests after Ta Ann announced the closure of their Huon mill.
“Without Ta Ann driving the logging of native forests, including critical Swift Parrot habitat, it’s time to move the industry out of native forests,” Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“Instead, Ta Ann is saying ‘give us the Tarkine forests on a plate or we will leave!’ It’s a disgusting ransom. That’s after Ta Ann received $44 million of taxpayers’ money to set up here.”
“We expect this means an end to their wood supply agreement,” Jenny Weber said
“This is a monumental opportunity to start protecting the native forests and all critical habitat for the Swift Parrot in the southern forests and east coast of Tasmania,” she said.
“Turn this moment into permanent end to native forest logging.”
“Since 2006, I have worked to move Ta Ann, a notorious Borneo logging giant, out of Tasmania. Their practices are deplorable in Sarawak and they have greenwashed their destructive logging in Sarawak and here in Tasmania.”
“They remain in Tasmania’s northwest, threatening forests in takayna / Tarkine, and old growth forests and endangered species habitat elsewhere, like Wentworth Hills. We will continue to campaign against their logging of native forests and notorious operations as a global palm oil giant,” Jenny Weber said.
"This multinational logger should leave and give the Tasmanian people back the $44 million that Lennon Labor gave it to set up here,” Bob Brown said.
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The publicly-funded Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board has laden the nation’s architects with deceptive information that is being challenged by Bob Brown Foundation.
The Sydney-based magazine Architecture and Design is hosting national architecture awards this Thursday night with Tasmanian Timber funding the category of ‘multiple dwelling’ following a full page article which Bob Brown says is an outrageous misrepresentation of Tasmanian forest logging.
“This is the Gutwein government using the TTPB as a front to misrepresent Tasmanian the ugly logging and incineration of native forests and wildlife as a beautiful thing,” Brown said in Hobart today.
The Tasmanian Timber claim that ‘From harvesting somewhere in the region of 1 million cubic metres of timber each year in the early 1970s, Tasmania now produces only 127,000 cube across the entire state - becoming a boutique industry with a sharp focus on sustainability and quality over quantity’ is false.
Forestry Tasmania trading as Sustainable Timber Tasmania says in its 2019/20 report that ‘Nearly 1.6 million tonnes of wood produced including 119,000 cubic metres of high-quality eucalypt sawlogs and over 7,900 cubic metres of special species timbers.’ Far from ‘boutique’, this is a monster of Tasmania’s natural environment.
"As logging of Swift parrot nesting sites and Tasmanian Devil habitat shows, Tasmanian Timber’s statement to architects that ‘Forest Practices Authority ... have teams of auditors combing the production forest for areas of environmental significance and cordoning them off’ is either false or ineffective,” Bob Brown said.
“Last weekend two Forestry Watch volunteers inspected a coupe in the Swift Parrot core breeding range with excellent Swift Parrot foraging areas and found illegally harvested Swift Parrot habitat trees. Not only are the prescriptions insufficient in preventing the decline of the Swift Parrot, Sus Timber Tas can’t even abide by the deficient rules and cannot guarantee that timber sold is not from habitat for critically endangered species. This highlights the need for more stringent regulations for the protection of our threatened species,” Forestry Watch spokesperson, Jack O’Hare said.
“Tasmanian Timber’s claim that ‘everything that is harvested is already regenerated’ is sheer nonsense which has no place in a reputable trade magazine. As is ‘the other key aspect of the industry’s sustainability journey - nothing goes to waste’ - refuted by STT’s huge smoke plumes rising each year from the millions of tonnes of forest left to waste and incinerated on the forest floor,” Bob Brown said.
“We will reach Australia’s architects and designers with the truth that there is enough plantation timber to meet this nation’s needs and the logging and incineration of what’s left of Tasmania’s native forests and wildlife habitats is unsustainable, archaic and will cease,” Brown said.
Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board website:
Misleading advertorial by Tasmanian Timber:
Award sponsored by Tasmania Timber:
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New legislation to be submitted to the NSW upper house tomorrow severely threatens the future of Australia's koala.
“The bill, submitted by the National party, will remove critical environmental protections on private land allowing loggers and developers free reign to clear koala habitat. Ignoring an Upper House inquiry in June this year which found that koalas will become extinct by 2050 unless urgent government action is taken to protect this iconic species,” said Doro Babeck, Campaign Organiser Bob Brown Foundation.
"Koala’s are on the brink of extinction and this bill needs to be defeated in the Upper House. If passed, the NSW government will send the koala to extinction in the state — this bill needs to be thrown out.
Each day a decision is made to push ahead with development approvals, mining and land clearing in koala habitat, koalas die. The Brandy Hill Quarry decision in Port Stephens will see 65 hectares of prime koala habitat gone. The Figtree Hill development in Campbelltown is killing koala habitat for the healthiest koala colony in our state. In the Coffs Harbour hinterland we see private forests where koalas are present, logged for wood chips. Koalas are dying everywhere. And this bill will erase any hard fought protection over the last decade, which was not even enough to stop them from becoming extinct," said Doro Babeck.
"The global community has given generously during the bush fire crisis to help local wildlife, including the koala, after witnessing them burning alive across social media. Now communities across the globe will hear that we are accelerating logging in remaining healthy forests for toilet paper production. This is a global let down, resonating among koala lovers across the world. NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, claims she will not let the koala become extinct, yet she makes all these decisions which will fast track their demise," concluded Ms Babeck.
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This Sunday night will see the premiere of new film, Forest Defenders - The Fight for Tasmania's native forests. An environmental documentary of the Bob Brown Foundation’s last 12 months of frontline direct action against Tasmania's voracious native forest logging industry.
“Our new film will inspire and recruit more volunteers to support or take part in our coming summer of forest protests,” said Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager.
"At the Bob Brown Foundation, we are preparing to get back into takayna/Tarkine to blockade threatened rainforests. We will also be rolling out a summer of frontline action across Tasmania’s native forests. Now we have the perfect recruitment tool to inspire citizens to join our action-oriented organisation.
At the Foundation we are committed to defending and protecting native forests with non-violent direct intervention," said Jenny Weber.
"2020 has seen our most intense season of forest frontline action yet. We are the leaders in action for native forests in Tasmania and we share this effort with many many volunteer defenders. Hundreds of volunteers participated in the Sumac Ridge Blockade, the shut down of Ta Ann's veneer mill, held multi-day occupations and disruptions of logging operations in Que River, Pieman, Wentworth Hills and Mt Field areas.
Through it all the cameras were rolling. Activist film makers have spent the last few months collating and editing this footage and interviews with activists over the summer into a feature film Forest Defenders, The Fight for Tasmania's native forests," said Scott Jordan, takayna/Tarkine campaigner.
Hundreds of people have tickets to Sunday night’s online premiere this Sunday 8th November.
Forest Defenders: The fight to protect Tasmania’s native forests, takes you straight to the frontline where ordinary people are stepping up, joining Bob Brown Foundation to protect some of the most incredible forests in the world from the archaic practice of native forest logging.
Register here to join us for the premiere:
Trailer for film here: