Media Release: Bob Brown Foundation hosts members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community at takayna / Tarkine blockade

Bob Brown Foundation hosted members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to Sumac Ridge blockade yesterday.

“We totally support the Bob Brown Foundation and forest defenders protecting takayna for all of us now and into the future,” said Raylene Foster, Manager Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

“We are proud to stand with the Aboriginal community in defence of our great wild places. Together we will continue to work for return of takayna to Aboriginal ownership and secure protection from logging, mining and off-road vehicle damage,” Said Scott Jordan, Bob Brown Foundation’s takayna / Tarkine Campaigner said.

Our Sumac Ridge blockade has been defending and protecting ancient rainforests that are threatened by logging in the north-west of Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine. The blockade has been in place for two years halting the proposed destruction of rainforests and ancient eucalyptus forests by Sus Timber Tasmania who wants to smash in a new 1km road to log the forests.

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Media Release: Jeanette Fitzsimons, famed NZ Greens leader, dies.

Bob Brown: “We and the Earth have lost an inspiring friend!”

Former New Zealand Greens Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has died after a stroke. In Hobart, former Australian Greens leader and senator, Bob Brown, said that the world has lost one of the pillars of the global movement for political action in Earth’s environmental crisis.

“Our condolences go to Jeanette’s partner Harry, their family and her admirers in New Zealand and beyond. The world has lost a truly great environmental leader who was formative in New Zealand becoming a nidus of hope in this politically irrational world.”

“Jeanette had a magnificent intelligence and compassion. Her prescient leadership in political action on the climate emergency and preserving New Zealand’s natural realm will ensure her a special place in global environmental history. She matched this action for the environment with a deeply-held philosophy of social justice, peace and democracy.”

“Partner Paul Thomas and I last visited Jeanette and Harry at their home on the Coromandel Peninsula two years ago. Over tea, Jeanette was understating her role in generating a new environmental paradigm for humanity and I amiably roused on her and declared then and there her outstanding role in advancing environmental and social action for us all. Vale to a great Green who inspired millions more.”

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Media Release: Liberals mount two-pronged attack on peaceful forest protests in Tarkine.

Brown says Liberals-backed regulatory attack on effective protest now taken to federal political arena.

“In Senate estimates yesterday, the Liberals’ Senator Chandler goaded Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) chief Gary Johns, to target Bob Brown Foundation because we are actually MAKING A PEACEFUL STAND, through peaceful direct action, against the destruction of the Tarkine rainforest and wildlife. This political attack on our campaigns may well translate into the ACNC taking punitive action against our wilderness-defending foundation,” Bob Brown said today.

“It is a set up out of Eric Abetz’ camp,” he added.

Last week Senator Chandler joined Senator Abetz and other Tasmanian Liberal senators in an ill-conceived motion demanding our foundation cease all forest protest activities in Tasmania - a motion withdrawn after the Tasmanian Workplace Safety Regulator’s prohibition failed in the court.

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Media Release: Man charged after attack on Tarkine forest defender

A man has been charged in relation to the attack on Tarkine defenders on 21 February 2020.

Three Tarkine rainforest defenders were driving on a public road near our Sumac Ridge blockade when the man deliberately rammed their vehicle.

Tasmania Police have informed us that investigations are ongoing and further charges may be laid against the man who was charged yesterday.

We believe this same man may have been involved in several incidents of intimidation against forest defenders at our peaceful Sumac rainforest blockade and this information has been shared with police.

 

Previous media release about the attack

 

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Media Release: Bob Brown defies attack

In a new attack from the Gutwein bureaucracy, Bob Brown Foundation has been threatened with a $50 000 fine if it does not comply with demands from the Tasmanian Workplace Safety Regulator, Mark Cocker, by the end of this month. (See below)

“We are not complying,” the defiant Bob Brown told media in Hobart today.

“This is Premier Gutwein’s bureaucracy being misused as a political weapon for the logging and rainforest destruction industry. Gutwein can’t win the public argument for needlessly destroying the ancient Tarkine rainforest and its wildlife. So he and the loggers are conniving to take our community of forest defenders out,” Bob Brown said.

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Media Release: Margaret Atwood visits Tarkine

Globally acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood visited Tasmania’s Tarkine rainforest this week and has added her voice to the growing calls for the Tarkine to be protected.

‘Went to the #Tarkine in #Tasmania .. stunning landscapes, stunning weather!’ Margaret Atwood posted to Instagram after her visit. ‘Many lovely people moments from visit to #Tarkine in #Tasmania., with Alex Fane and Will Konarkyris @willkonty of @faneproductions, with Bob Brown of @bobbrownfoundation, with amazing Forest Protestors defending Old Growth Rainforest, some of the last on the planet..’

“We are delighted. I simply wanted to show the Tarkine to this wonderful human
being as a break from her huge schedule of public appearances in Australia. Margaret Atwood’s backing for the foundation’s forest defenders, after she visited our camp in the cathedral-like rainforest on Sumac Ridge, came just as the Gutwein government’s edict prohibiting all forest protest in Tasmania was being tested in the court. She was our godsend for forest campaigning,” Bob Brown said today.

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Media Release: Gutwein approved forest protest ban collapses

The Gutwein government ban on peaceful protest in Tasmania has collapsed in court despite personal approval by the Premier.

“This is a Gutwein own goal”, Bob Brown, who has been visiting the Tarkine protest camp, said in Strahan this afternoon.

“We did not cave in to it because we knew it was an abuse of Tasmanian law. Surely the Premier should have known it was an abuse of the law too. It apperas he put politics before the law.”

“The Premier should say if he got the Solicitor-General’s advice. Tasmanians deserve the Premier’s commitment to never again go down this ill-judged road of bending the law selectively against environmentalists.

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Media Release: Foundation challenge: ‘edict is illegal’. Regulator should go.

2017 High Court ruling: ‘The implied freedom protects the free expression of political opinion, including peaceful protest, which is indispensable to the exercise of political sovereignty by the people of the Commonwealth.’

The Bob Brown Foundation has thrown down the gauntlet to the Tasmanian Department of Justice over its edict banning all the foundation’s forest protest activities. Acting for the foundation, Hobart solicitor Roland Browne has, this morning, asked the Magistrates’ Court to find the WorkSafe Tasmania prohibition invalid on multiple grounds (see link below).

“The government Prohibition Notice, issued on Thursday by its WHS Regulator, will be found invalid, that is, illegal,” Bob Brown said this morning in Hobart. The Gutwein government’s authority does not extend to suddenly declaring all community protest sites as workplaces or to a blanket ban our protest activity in Tasmania regardless of how safe or effective it may be.

Logically, what or who next? The Westbury prison site paddock made illegal for Westbury residents? Rosny Hill banned as a protest site until the WHS Regulator is happy? The Parliamentary lawns off limits to everyone with a grievance? The streets outside every politician’s office or town hall? Public meetings inside town halls (the edict clearly bans BBF from holding these for now)? Every union protest site? This is a Gutwein government absurdity.

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Media Release: Pro-logging vigilantes attack Tarkine Defenders

“Pro-logging vigilantes repeatedly rammed and seriously damaged a Tarkine forest defenders vehicle overnight. It is lucky no one was killed,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

There were three people in the car driven by Dr Lisa Searle who was on her way to the Tarkine forest defenders’ camp at Sumac Ridge, south of Smithton.

“Last night when we were ambushed by aggressive pro-logging vigilantes, it was scary and we feared for our lives,” Dr Lisa Searle said

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Media Release: Logging bans will follow edict

Bob Brown Foundation has moved to place the Gutwein government-backed edict banning ‘all forest protest activities’ on giant trees scheduled for logging throughout the Tarkine. It will follow up in the Southern Forest’s Swift Parrot habitats and other to-be-logged areas of Tasmania’s wild forests.

Under the government edict it is illegal to remove, damage or deface such notices, which must be displayed in ‘a prominent place’ and doing so ‘may incur a maximum penalty of $5,000 for an individual or $25,000 for a body corporate’. Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Ta Ann and Britton are body corporates.

‘If loggers remove, damage or display these notices on trees they are about to slaughter, they become liable to a $25,000 fine. So I presume they will have to calculate whether each tree is worth more than $25,000 to their profit line,’ Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

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