Media Release: TASMANIA’S FORESTS ARE THE HEROES - PREMIER GUTWEIN NEEDS TO CUT EMISSIONS BY BIG POLLUTERS

Bob Brown Foundation calls on Tasmania’s Premier to commit to ending native forest logging and deforestation for mining and renewable energy projects, cut emissions across all polluting sectors, and introduce companion legislation for zero impact on wildlife, including birdlife, in this age of extinction crisis.

“It’s time for Premier Gutwein to list all the polluting sectors, detail their current emissions profile, and then tell us how their emissions will be cut. For example, the government must reveal the tonnage of greenhouse gases released for each hectare of Tasmanian native forests incinerated each year in forest ‘regeneration’ burns, the amount of methane released from the continued damming of rivers, and the emissions from the Atlantic salmon farming industry,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.

“Our Foundation will be the watchdog over the Gutwein government as it continues to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from logging and incinerating native forests and other polluting industries,” Bob Brown said.

“Tasmania doesn’t need to wait to legislate for net zero in 2030 since we’re there now. We can aim for actual zero and start by protecting all native forests from logging and clearing since they’ve demonstrated what a heroic job they can do when left alone. Tasmania has some of the biggest carbon storehouses in the world, in the giant eucalyptus forests, if left standing for their climate, water, and wildlife benefits,” Former Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt said. Peg Putt is currently the coordinator of the international Forests, Climate, and Biomass Energy working group of the Environmental Paper Network.

“We have 365 000 hectares of promised reserve forests now available for logging, and their climate benefits will be lost into the atmosphere as soon as the Government starts logging them. Taking true action on climate includes placing the 365 000 hectares of forests into protected status immediately, ending all native forest logging and burning to stop logging emissions and draw down carbon as they continue growing. We also need to see a halt to plans for clearing of hundreds of hectares of forests in takayna / Tarkine for mining,” Jenny Weber said.

“Premier Gutwein’s announcement of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 is designed to impress the global community while aligning himself with Tasmania’s major polluters. If you separate the protected forests, you will find that Premier Gutwein has ignored the challenge to reduce emissions on major polluting sectors of transport, mining, agriculture, ongoing logging, and the deforestation associated with massive transmission infrastructure for the proposed Marinus Link, the MMG tailings dam and Venture’s Mt Lindsay mine in takayna / Tarkine,” said Christine Milne.

“Premier Gutwein should note the post-2020 biodiversity framework currently under discussion at COP15 in China which makes clear that any renewable energy solution that destroys biodiversity is not a climate solution. Tasmania’s case in point is Robbins Island wind farm and associated infrastructure for the transmission line. Marinus Link involves deforestation across northwest and northern Tasmania for new high voltage transmission lines,” Christine Milne said.

“The climate and biodiversity crises are inextricably linked. Any commitment by Premier Gutwein to lead the world on climate action needs to include protecting the biodiverse native forests that are also amongst the most carbon dense on the planet. Prevent the ongoing loss of wildlife and ecological breakdown that contributes to the global extinction crisis,” Jenny Weber said.

“Tasmania’s government needs to get to grips with the fact we achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions when Gunns collapsed and logging decreased. However native forest logging has not ceased and native forests are the heroes here – if they are left standing. Ending logging and incinerating native forests will achieve a huge drop in emissions. Premier Gutwein is backing the big polluters and loggers while riding on the coat-tails of the people who have protected forests,” Jenny Weber said.

“Tasmania can be a genuine zero-emissions economy, where our renewable energy is used here to produce a wealth of jobs and products on our island, instead of settling for being a battery for the Australian mainland. We must have sensible renewable energy developments, in appropriate locations, which don’t trash cultural and environmental values. We must end native forest logging and incineration and enforce emissions cuts by all the big polluters. We must have companion legislation for zero impact on wildlife, including birdlife, in this age of extinction crisis,” Jenny Weber said.

 

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Media Release: Liberals prioritise protecting ministers over protecting threatened species.

The Tasmanian Liberals have used their numbers in the parliament to prevent debate on a motion of no confidence in Resources Minister Guy Barnett over his illegal grant of a mine lease to Chinese state-owned MMG in takayna / Tarkine. Leave to move the no confidence motion was sought by Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor MP and was supported by Labor.

"What a travesty that in a climate and biodiversity crisis, the Liberal Government uses its numbers in parliament to protect a failed minister, rather than the Tasmanian Devils, Spotted-tailed Quolls, Masked Owls and Wedge-tailed Eagles that his illegal mine lease put at risk," said Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

"It seems the only protected species that this government cares about is Guy Barnett."

"In a week where the government is expected to bring forward legislation to gaol protestors, it is telling that they don't think the rules should apply to ministers of the Crown who illegally abuse statutory powers."

"Cronyism and silencing of dissent are the hallmarks of despotic regimes and have no place in Tasmania."

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Media Release: Bob Brown Foundation to take on industrial salmon

Bob Brown Foundation is expanding its leading environmental advocacy from the ecosystems on land to the Tasmanian oceans and coasts as we embark on a dedicated campaign to rescue the public commons from industrial salmon. Tasmania’s marine environment is suffering from devastating impacts from industrial salmon and needs protection and restoration.

“Our Foundation will be taking action to protect Tasmania’s oceans, coastlines, and riverine ecosystems. We will have a Seal Hotline, for people to report on Big Salmon and their devastating impacts on wildlife and the environment. We will be in the markets, on the streets, and out on the ocean rescuing the public commons off the corporations,” Bec Howarth, Bob Brown Foundation’s Fish Farm, and Marine Campaigner said.

Bec Howarth, ecologist, Tasman Peninsula local, and mother has joined Bob Brown Foundation as the Fish Farm and Marine Campaigner. A Country Women’s Association branch president, volunteer firefighter, and long-time volunteer in her local community suffering from industrial salmon expansions. Bec is dedicated to advocating for places like Storm Bay, “Over 900 hectares of approved leases are allocated for fish farming already in Storm Bay. Expansion in Storm Bay will place industrial polluting feedlots next to the much-loved Iron Pot lighthouse, the gateway to Hobart, spreading to Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula, less than 12km from globally famous Shipstern’s Bluff. These are our favourite surfing, fishing and sailing spots, and they’re Tasmania’s public waters,” Bec Howarth said.

“The ocean covers 71% of planet Earth and plays a crucial role in sustaining all life. However, overfishing, pollution, and climate emergency are placing ocean ecosystems under extreme stress. In the current climate and biodiversity crises the health of oceans are critical for mitigating catastrophic impacts,” Bec Howarth said.

“Here in Tasmania, the floating feedlots operated by the Salmon barons have contaminated world heritage ecosystems like Macquarie Harbour, treasured local waterways in the Huon and D’Entrecasteaux. The pending destruction of Storm Bay and Tasmania’s north -west are next on their agenda. Our environment and local communities have suffered from immeasurable marine debris in our waters and along our beaches, algal blooms, rubbish, and seal abuse,” Bec Howarth said.

“We want outcomes that deliver protection for the marine environment including halting the mega expansion, reverse the greed driven invasion of public commons with polluting factory feedlots and stop the killing of marine wildlife” Bec Howarth said.

“We are here to rescue the oceans, rivers, and coastline from the Salmon barons. We know that Tasmanians care deeply for their island, wild oceans and coast, and its wildlife. Generations of Tasmania treasure the wonder and beauty of Tasmania’s environment and people move here for it. Wealth comes from a healthy environment without dead zones, fecal pollution from factory farms with dubious certification and non-existent regulations,” Bec Howarth said.

“Tasmania’s wild nature currently being plundered by industrial salmon supports unique marine life found nowhere else in the world and this is worth fighting for. We want the Tasmanian community to know, we’ve got your back. We will be advocating for the protection of oceans, coastlines, riverine ecosystems, and wildlife that are suffering under the industrial salmon regime,” Bec Howarth said.

“Bob Brown Foundation brings with it a feisty, vigilant, and action-oriented reputation and we are here to rescue Tasmania’s waters from the toxic salmon crisis. I am really looking forward to continuing to work with the Tasmanian community and I want to encourage everyone to redouble their efforts in protecting our precious coasts,” Bec Howarth said.

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Media Release: FORICO SHOULD SIT ON ITS $8.6 billion

Bob Brown Foundation says Tasmanian logging company Forico is on a winner with its valuation of its estate at $8.6 billion if it keeps it growing rather than logged.

“This backs what I put to Premier Guwein recently: that, in this age of climate and extinction emergency, the island’s native forests are most valuable left growing, not logged,” Bob Brown said.

“But the idea of putting a dollar value on all of nature is daft. For example, what is the price of a Superb Fairy Wren, Golden Possum or Black Swan pair with cygnets?"

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Media Release: Barnett's claims unbelievable.

Bob Brown Foundation has dismissed claims by Resources Minister Guy Barnett that his granting and subsequent revoking of an unlawful mine lease to Chinese state-owned miner MMG were merely administrative errors.

"The known facts are that the mine lease was issued for a gravel mine, when no such mine is planned. That is illegal. The Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 specifically requires that the Minister must be satisfied that an ore body, capable of being mined, exists and that the applicant has submitted an adequate mine plan. Neither of those things have happened. At best, this is gross incompetence, although the evidence points to wilful misconduct by the Minister", said Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

"If the Minister wants to hide behind a frankly unbelievable claim that this was just an administrative error, then he should release the documentation for public scrutiny. Unless he does that the public are right to call for his sacking".

Last Wednesday, Bob Brown Foundation sought documents related to the application, granting, and revoking of mine lease 4M/2021. The Minister may choose to actively disclose this information at any time.

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Media Release: Minister Barnett grants illegal mine lease in contentious Tarkine rainforest battle.

In an embarrassing back down by a Tasmanian Minister who has broken the law to advantage a Chinese state-owned miner. Bob Brown Foundation has called for Minister Barnett to resign.

Minister For Resources Guy Barnett has been forced to tear up mine lease 4M/2021 granted to Chinese state owned MMG after the Bob Brown Foundation exposed the lease as illegal. In a letter to Bob Brown Foundation, Minister Barnett has said:

"Following due consideration, I was not empowered to make the decision. In consequence, there has been no valid grant of that lease".

MMG sought the lease over Helilog Road in southern takayna/Tarkine in April 2021. The area followed a narrow strip along five kilometres of Helilog Road and included beekeeping sites, the Forest Walk tourist site, the site of the Bob Brown Foundation's protest camp from December 2020, and access to MMG's proposed heavy metals tailings dam.

To be eligible for a mine lease under Tasmanian law, an applicant must demonstrate a mineable body of ore and a mining plan. The BBF asserted that neither existed in this case and that the lease was sought to deny public access to the 5km of Helilog Road leading to MMG's project site.

"This was an attempt to shut down public protest and to lock the community out of an area that MMG and the Minister did not want them seeing, and without our intervention, this illegal lease would have done just that", said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

"What discussions occurred between the Minister, Mineral Resources Tasmania, and MMG to facilitate the granting of a mine lease that didn't meet the most basic eligibility requirement? Who knew? When did they know? And will anyone take any responsibility? If Minister Barnett will not resign, then the Premier should sack him," concluded Mr Jordan.


A copy of the letter from Minister Barnett here

 

 

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Media Release: Antarctica and the Southern Ocean should be protected in its entirety.

Today, Federal environment Minister, Sussan Ley, announced that support is growing for three proposed MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) in Antarctica.

But after years of talks being stalled, and Russia and China still blocking consensus, limited marine protected areas is too little, too late for the Southern Ocean and Antarctic coastline.

“While an MPA system is laudable, the world’s oceans are in crisis. Now is not the time to make small incremental changes, now is the time to take decisive action for our oceans. We need to protect the entire Southern Ocean, the Antarctica coastlines, and the sub-Antarctic islands. That’s why we are calling for an end to all fishing in the Southern Ocean” said Alistair Allan, Antarctic campaigner at the Bob Brown Foundation.

“Today, ironically, while there are news stories about protecting the Antarctic, the Australian longline vessel Antarctic Aurora arrived in Hobart. After setting 60,000 hooks on kilometres of line in the Southern Ocean, this ship is returning to unload its catch of Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish. Unbelievably, this is deemed ‘sustainable’ by Australia and under the current CCAMLR system.”

“We shouldn’t forget that the Australian government spent untold amounts, that they will not disclose, to do everything they could to stall the Great Barrier Reef as being listed “In Danger”. They want to drill for gas off the coasts of NSW and VIC and continue to approve new coal mines, rushing us ever closer to irreversible climate change. With krill hatch rates projected to drop by as much as 50% due to global warming, and with huge factory trawlers hoovering them up in the Antarctic despite krill being the foundation of the Antarctic ecosystem, a series of MPAs is not going to cut it. We need to protect the entire Southern Ocean and end all fishing in Antarctica to give it a fighting chance.”

 

 

 

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Media Release: Tasmanian government must end protection of feral deer, as numbers enter plague proportions

Tasmanians should not tolerate the destruction of our much loved places because Minister Guy Barnett wants antlers over the fireplace, Christine Milne said submitting Bob Brown Foundation's submission to the Tasmanian government's proposed wildlife regulations.

"The Tasmanian government must drop its colonial nostalgia and join the 21st Century by removing the 'partly protected' status of deer. This is the critical first step in dealing with feral deer as the pest they are. Their numbers must be drastically reduced by managing them in an invasive species, pest animal, biosecurity framework, not as a hunting resource," said Christine Milne AO, BBF Board member.

"Feral deer are pest animals and are already in the Walls of Jerusalem (TWWHA) and throughout the Central Plateau and have progressed into the Douglas Apsley and Freycinet National Parks. They now number over 100,000 animals and are coming to a place near you. Don’t be surprised when they turn up at Cradle Mountain. They are on Bruny Island, have been sighted in Knocklofty Reserve in Hobart, right next to the West Tamar Highway in Launceston, and are in plague proportions in the Legana area. It is only a matter of time before there is a major vehicle accident

Feral deer are not Bambi. They are not native to Australia and were introduced at the same time as gorse and rabbits to make colonists feel at home. They inhibit fire recovery, they trample cushion plants, they browse and ringbark trees, they destroy fences and crops and are costing Tasmanian farmers $80 million a year, " concluded Christine Milne.

Copy of submission

 

 

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Media Release: CALL FOR TASMANIA TO MATCH QUEENSLAND RAINFOREST RETURN TO ABORIGINAL OWNERS.

Tasmania’s Bob Brown Foundation has joined the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in calling for the return of the takayna temperate rainforests to the palawa people, following yesterday’s announcement of the return of the Daintree tropical rainforests to their Indigenous owners.

“With Premier Gutwein looking to a treaty with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, returning takayna would help fit the bill,” Bob Brown said today. Brown has previously called for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area to be handed back. His foundation has repeatedly said that the takayna/ Tarkine should be nominated for World Heritage.

“So far we’ve heard a lot of talk from the Premier about forming a Treaty with Aborigines and righting the wrongs of the past, but talk is all it has been. We are still a landless, dispossessed, and oppressed people, we want to see some action. The Premier should take a leaf out the book of the Queensland Government, who have recently announced the return of Daintree national park to the traditional owners. We call on Peter Gutwein to stop twiddling his fingers and return takayna and the TWWHA to the people it was stolen from; the palawa people of lutruwita," said Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre's Nala Mansell

According to the Guardian today, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people will take formal ownership of the world heritage-listed Daintree tropical rainforest in northern Australia, after the Indigenous traditional owners reached a historic deal with the Queensland government. The Daintree national park is part of 160,108 hectares (395,467 acres) of land that will be handed back to the traditional owners at a ceremony on Wednesday at Bloomfield, north of Wujal Wujal. The handback will see the world’s oldest tropical rainforest join Australian landmarks such as Uluru and Kakadu, where First Nations peoples are the custodians of UNESCO world heritage-listed sites.

 

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Media Release: Salmon plot confirmed: Brown.

Today’s revelation of a federal-state Liberals agreement for Tasmanian fish farming to expand beyond the five-kilometre state jurisdiction into Commonwealth waters confirms the secret maps made public by Neighbours of Fish Farming at the Cygnet Town Hall meeting nine days ago, Bob Brown said in Cygnet this afternoon.

“While the premier and other politicians said no such maps exist, this announcement says that they do. The government politicians have been forced into endorsing this astonishing expansion long before they otherwise would have. This agreement is politicians going behind the public’s back, at the behest of the salmon companies and the out-of-state billionaires lining up to take them over, to steal Tasmania’s publicly-owned oceans.

The plan is to bring enormous fish pens using Norwegian design, and manufactured in Chinese shipyards, to Tasmania to seize our offshore waters for industrial fish farming, wind farms, and potential hydrogen production - massive integrated off-shore factories - with no public consultation. This is politicians colluding against the Tasmanian public interest with a disgusting disdain for the people who will bear the burden of environmental, lifestyle, and scenic degradation coming down the line.

Duniam and Barnett have treated their fellow Tasmanians with contempt. It took community group Neighbours of Fish Farming to force this monumental plot to exploit Tasmania’s seas out into the open," said Bob Brown.

 

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