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In Tasmania’s north-west today, two people were arrested during a protest that shut down Venture's Riley Creek mine in takayna / Tarkine. The site has a long history of controversy, with conservationists wanting the region to be protected in a World Heritage listed National Park and returned to Aboriginal ownership.
"Venture Minerals has known the value of this area since before it started exploration. Yet it has wilfully gone into an area that is precious to many Tasmanians, and to people from all around the world, who want this area protected. This company has brought this conflict to our shores," said Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan.
"Community resistance is bubbling up all over the globe. In Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine, we will not back down from defending our ancient wild places. We will continue to fight for the future, for our children and for what is right," Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Organiser Erik Hayward said.
“The Riley creek mine has courted controversy since its inception more than a decade ago. Any profits from this mine threaten to progress more mines elsewhere in takayna / Tarkine. The endangered species in the area, Tasmanians, and the planet would benefit far more from a protected takayna / Tarkine rather than a World Heritage value landscape destroyed by mining, logging and off-road vehicle damage,” said Scott Jordan.
Bob Brown Foundation is carrying out a protest at the controversial Tasmanian Riley Creek mine lease this morning. Community activists have re-entered the site to protest Venture's resumption of operations in the World Heritage value takayna/Tarkine.
Two activists have attached themselves to the gate and mining machinery to call for an end to the mining and protection for takayna/Tarkine.
Venture Minerals recently announced that it was seeking finance for wet screening operations.
"Anyone considering financing this mine should understand the opposition to this mine's environmental impacts and the company's track record of misinforming shareholders and deceptive public statements,” Scott Jordan said.
"While the government stands by and condones the destruction of this important habitat and landscape, members of the community will continue to stand up in defence of the natural and heritage values of the area", said takayna/Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan.
"This mine will disastrously impact the survival of local Tasmanian Devil and Spotted tailed Quoll populations and will degrade the World Heritage value landscapes,” Scott Jordan said.
“Threats to takayna/Tarkine are relentless. The logging and mining of stripping bare these lands for greed. takayna was looked after by the Tasmanian Aboriginal people before invasion and need to be returned to their management instead of the miners and loggers.
Today the mining madness is being stopped by citizens who will stand up and halt this devastation. We will not give up in defence of our wild and threatened places,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Organiser Erik Hayward said.
“The Tasmanian government are shamefully dragging their heels and failing to protect takayna/Tarkine as a world heritage national park. As long as they destroy its globally significant values we will put the international spotlight on this environmental and climate crime,” Scott Jordan said.
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Tree top camps at 132 events across 24 countries finished up today, as forest campaigners and citizens returned to the ground after an incredible show of support for protecting our remaining native forests. From Sabah in Malaysia, Oregon in the USA, Scotland and Australia’s native forests, including the Otways, takayna / Tarkine and south coast NSW.
"The global Big Canopy Campout put takayna / Tarkine on the world stage, where it should be, as one of the world’s last wild places with its globally significant values threatened by logging, mining and off-road vehicle damage. Hundreds of people climbed and camped in trees around the world to raise awareness about how important forests are for the planet, for other creatures and for us,” Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“Australia’s Big Canopy Campouts highlighted threatened forests in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine, in the wildlife-filled forests of Victoria, NSW and the frontline activists fighting Adani in central Queensland, who also joined the campout. Australia’s natural environment is under immense threat and needs urgent protection in this age of a biodiversity and climate emergency,” Jenny Weber said.
"Protecting native forests globally is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to deal with the current extinction crisis. Australia should be leading the way not being one of the worst performers. All these wonderful people who participated in the Big Canopy Campout are part of that way forward," said Bob Brown.
“Clearfell logging was finally phased out in the Otways in 2008 after almost three decades of relentless community action. The only reason we can enjoy this National Park is because of community blockading and we are here to celebrate that. It both inspires and upsets me no end to think that these old myrtles and 60m eucalypts would have long ago become woodchips had it not been for these actions," said Brad Graham, Otways Big Canopy Campout spokesperson.
“’If you think you are too small to make a difference, spend a night with a mosquito’. This makes me laugh every time because it sums up exactly what Big Canopy Campout represents. BCC began as a way to connect individuals, small groups and organisations scattered all over the world doing incredible things to protect, understand and interact positively with forests. It is a platform that we can share once a year to support the work and efforts achieved by others in the fight to preserve our remaining wild spaces,” said Vicki Tough, Big Canopy Campout coordinator in Germany.
“This year has seen an overwhelming amount of support, solidarity and effort put in all over the world and we couldn’t be happier. Bob Brown Foundation has led the way in demonstrating to the world how frontline non-violent action-led campaigns can not only positively impact the future of our forests but are a crucial tool in how we protect our green spaces. I believe that every single person taking part this year has taken inspiration from their achievements and drive. We’re only just getting started! Looking forward to next year already,” Vicki Tough said.
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A full bench of the Federal Court will hear the Bob Brown Foundation’s challenge to the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement before Christmas. The court agreed to expedite the hearing. The date is yet to be set.
After a preliminary hearing today, Justice Kerr had agreement from the Foundation and the three respondents, the Commonwealth, Tasmania and Forestry Tasmania for a hearing between 23rd November and 18th December.
“Our case is that the RFA – which itself claims to offer protections under the guise of broadscale elimination of critical forests - is not enforceable and so the RFA is invalid, hence logging and burning of our wildlife-filled native forests is illegal,” Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said today.
“And if we are correct, this will have implications for RFAs – and forests subject to their destructive outcomes – throughout Australia. Like Tasmania, RFAs in NSW, WA and Victoria are notoriously destroying native forests that are rich carbon storehouses and wildlife-filled in an age of biodiversity and climate emergency needs to end once and for all,” Jenny Weber said.
“The nation’s forests and wildlife are on the line. Fortunately, further destruction is avoidable. In 2020 Australia has enough plantations to sustain jobs and meet all our wood needs,” Jenny Weber said.
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The world’s largest aerial camping events in the history of forest defence has commenced as climbers take to the canopies of threatened forests in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine and across Australia to highlight the importance of Earth’s intact native forests.
“Across the globe, the Big Canopy Campout is happening this weekend with 112 campouts in 24 countries and it is to benefit our Foundation’s fight to defend and protect Australia’s largest rainforest in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine.
While the international spotlight is on us here in takayna / Tarkine this year’s campout is also showcasing threatened forests around Australia in Victoria and NSW. Frontline activists fighting the Adani Carmichael mine have also joined the campout from their Central Qld Camp Binbee. Australia’s unique natural environment and wildlife, the Earth’s climate needs protection from ongoing destruction including logging and mining,” Jenny Weber said.
“We’re camping out in Gladstone State Forest on Gumbaynggirr Country in Northern NSW. This forest is one of the last remaining Koala refuges on the East Coast and was miraculously unburnt during last seasons fires. The local community have been blockading here for years and watched NSW Forestry Corporation ramp up their destructive extraction from the forest while we were evacuating or fighting fires. Recently Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group and community allies have successfully kept Forestry Corp from commencing logging in over a third of the forest. We love that the Big Canopy Campout connects us with other communities across the world fighting for our precious life support systems, forests,” said Ruby Oliver-King in Bellingen for the Big canopy Campout.
"We are on the climate frontlines here in Central Queensland stopping the Adani coal mine. But another climate frontline is in our forests, where trees are drawing down carbon from the atmosphere and enabling the biodiversity we need for climate resilience. The climate crisis forces us to see the way human life is entwined with the natural world, and to strive to protect Australia's priceless and diverse forests." said Scott Daines from Camp Binbee
“We are not the first and won’t be the last to wander these lands of takayna / Tarkine. The rainforest we are occupying for this years canopy campout is reminiscent of the Tarkine’s vast rainforests that hold an immense and wild history. It needs to remain intact. The people gathered in takayna this weekend are defiantly defending this forest from industrial logging proposed in the coming summer. We are in solidarity with people all over the world highlighting the systematic and ludicrous demolition of our climate stores, our planet’s forests. We are defiant and will defend these forests from any more destruction,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Organiser Erik Hayward said.
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Tasmanian environmentalists have joined a global campaign to spend this Saturday night perched in the canopy of takayna / Tarkine’s threatened rainforests.
Bob Brown Foundation is hosting the Big Canopy Campout in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine this weekend, one of 107 campouts across 24 different countries including England, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Taipai, Borneo, Malaysia, Costa Rica, America, Belgium, France, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, that will focus their attention on Australia’s largest temperate rainforest.
“Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine is a global treasure but sadly its ancient rainforests and tall eucalypts are still threatened by logging. Our campaign to defend and protect Australia’s largest temperate rainforest will be on the main stage this weekend for the global Big Canopy Campout. We will be the opening the event for this global action with our Tassie sunrise, the first of the official Canopy Campouts. Participants will be camping out in Earth's diverse forests as we chase the sunset, night and dawn across the world. Climbers in spectacular jungles and threatened forests elsewhere in Australia will join together with enthusiasts in tree-tents, hammocks and pods in all forested corners of the earth to explore, inspire and protect,” Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager said.
“It is not only the canopies that people camp in for this global event. This year due to COVID, the event is also having camp-ins and building indoor forts. Participants across the globe will stay in and connect with the canopy campers through our online event on Saturday evening, learning about our campaign for the protection of takayna / Tarkine by watching Patagonia’s film takayna,” Jenny Weber said.
“We have recently launched the Australian Native Forest Declaration, calling for an end to native forest logging across Australia. This year’s Canopy Campout, supporting our fight for native forests and wildlife in this climate and biodiversity emergency, will give a great boost to our work,” Jenny Weber said.
“Big Canopy Campout has had the privilege of the Bob Brown Foundation’s support since it began in 2017 and they continue to inspire our community of forest ambassadors with their consistent and determined frontline action protecting the environment. Their grassroots activism based on a solid foundation of science and research is exactly the kind of organisation that BCC wishes to stand alongside in our bid to promote people and projects protecting the future of our forests. We are delighted to have them host the Big Canopy Campout this year and to join them in the fight to protect one of the last remaining areas of temperate rainforest in the world, takayna / Tarkine. In doing so, we hope to celebrate the people behind the campaigns and share their stories,” Vicki Tough said, spokesperson for the Big Canopy Campout.
“There are so many people around the world contributing to the knowledge, understanding and ultimately the protection of trees and forests, yet they themselves, or even their work, largely go unheard. Big Canopy Campout is a means to connect these people, share their stories and celebrate the local successes on a global scale. There is no doubt of the importance of forests for the future of our planet, not to mention our own health and happiness. This annual event allows us the opportunity to take positive action literally in your back garden! I am delighted to have this opportunity to get to know more people and continue fighting for the protection of forests worldwide,” Vicki Tough said.
You can join our online event on Saturday evening to hear from folks around the world in the canopies:
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Former Greens leader and environmentalist Bob Brown says he is embarrassed for Matt Canavan that fewer than 100 people turned up at his ‘Tribute to Bob Brown’ Rally at Clermont today. The event marks 18 months since the Bob Brown Foundation’s Stop Adani Convoy of 400 people was hosted in Clermont by the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council.
"Canavan’s event was a flop. There were more millionaires than miners. A good number of his previous supporters are looking at the growing carnage of the climate emergency and have decided to vote Green," Brown said in Hobart today after addressing 200 people wanting to save the critically endangered Swift Parrot by ending old growth logging of its nesting sites in Tasmania. "His coal mine threatens the Black-throated finch with extinction but we are working to save it and the Swift Parrot from extinction.”
“Though they stopped live-streaming the Clermont pub event before Clive Palmer came on, Canavan needs a few extra tips on how to run a public event,” Brown said.
“I’ll wise Matt up when he makes good his commitment to debate the Adani mine with me in Hobart Town Hall, though I’m not holding my breath,” Brown said.
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"Marinus Budget announcement is a renouncement of funds for fast tracking and planning but there is still no answer to the fundamental question: who will pay the $3.5billion?" said Christine Milne, Bob Brown Foundation Director.
"Instead of pushing out decision making dates to 2024, Ministers Taylor and Barnett need to come clean on why they think there is a business case and where the $3.5b is coming from," Christine Milne said.
"No one will take these repeated announcements seriously until a detailed funding model is presented and frankly that is never going to happen. None of the other states are interested in paying as this project is unnecessary. Battery technology has already leapfrogged Battery of the Nation," Christine Milne said.
"Stakeholders know that by 2030, more cost effective alternatives will serve the NEM and no one is interested in subsidising an extension cord across Bass Strait for the benefit of multinational corporations owned offshore," Christine Milne said.
Last month Bob Brown Foundation released a report 'Project Marinus and Battery of the Nation: Wrong Way Go Back', is written by leading energy experts Professor Bruce Mountain and Steven Percy of the Victorian Energy Policy Centre. The report proved Project Marinus and Battery of the Nation are not necessary to transition to 100% renewable energy on the mainland because batteries can balance the system and a are much cheaper alternative to Tas Hydro storage. They are not economically viable because transporting energy across Bass Strait makes it more expensive than alternatives. There is no need for mainland consumers to have to pay for them.
Tasmanians on the other hand will pay higher prices because we will be linked into Victorian prices and these projects will not bring down emissions relative to mainland based batteries.
Copy of report here https://www.bobbrown.org.au/gnews_180920
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In scenes reminiscent of the famous Maxwell Smart routine, Venture Minerals have issued their fourth version of why the Riley Creek mine in takayna / Tarkine was abandoned in early September.
Having led with denying removal of machines from a Tarkine mine site, Venture shifted to professing that they were moving machines to optimise an efficient layout. Then last week they re-explained the lack of machinery on site as them having finished that planned part of the operation (despite having trucked none of the screened ore to port), and then at today's shareholder meeting in Perth, the company claimed machines were removed because some of them broke down.
"Venture Minerals are going to have to start adding 'Well would you believe...' to the beginning of their statements", said takayna/ Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
"At least Maxwell Smart got to the punchline by the third version. Venture are sitting on their fourth contradiction and it's still not funny".
"Environment Minister Ley should take note that this company seems unable to tell the truth to its investors, the regulators or the public. They cannot be allowed to resume unlawful activity on the site in the face of expired permits".
Mining at Riley Creek will have an impact on Tasmanian Devil and Spotted-tailed Quoll in an area of verified National and World Heritage significance.
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Forestry Tasmania gives Federal Court commitment not to log 19 coupes of Swift Parrot habitat.
In the biggest breakthrough for the conservation of Tasmania’s remaining native forests since 170,000 hectares was protected as World Heritage in 2013, Forestry Tasmania has given the Federal Court a commitment it will not log Swift Parrot habitat as planned in the coming year.
“This is a significant win for endangered species in Tasmania’s wild forests in this age of human-caused extinction,” Bob Brown said. “It is also a tribute to the determined integrity of the doyen of Swift Parrot science, Dr Matt Webb who has been courageously endeavouring to protect these birds for decades. And it is vindication for our foundation, backed by thousands of supporters, in taking action against Forestry Tasmania, backed by environment ministers in Hobart and Canberra. They would have been logging the nesting and feeding sites of one of the most endangered creatures under their care.”
“We will be abroad in the Tasmanian forests, as friends of the Swifties, to make sure no other forests they depend upon are destroyed by the loggers under agreement from these compliant environment ministers.”
“This is a case of community action doing the job of ineffective and disinterested ministers who neither understand nor care about their duty to protect Australia’s fragile and disintegrating wildlife habitats. Nor do they understand the enormous public opinion which will gain great relief from today’s court outcomes for a native species threatened with extinction."