Media Release: Morrison’s mockery of Threatened Species Day.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has put a pall over Australia’s Threatened Species Day by rushing legislation through the national parliament which will accelerate the extinction of the nation’s wildlife, the Bob Brown Foundation said today.

“While other Australians are marking this 7th September as the 84th anniversary of the death of the last Tasmanian tiger in Hobart’s Zoo in 1936, the Prime Minister is aping the tragic 1888 legislation rushed through the Tasmanian state parliament which put a £1 bounty on the head of each tiger and directly led to their elimination from the planet. Scott Morrison’s bill handing federal environmental powers to the states is a death warrant for more species,” Bob Brown said.

“Under the 2002 federal legislation which handed forest protection back to the states, thousands of hectares of vital habitat for species facing extinction have been deliberately destroyed by state-subsidised logging. The incredible Swift parrot is edging to extinction because of it and the koala is losing ground every day. Many more forest-dependent species are having forests cut out from under them. Morrison’s legislation will extend this environmental outcome from logging to other environmentally threatening industries. His environmental mindset is more 1888 than 2020,” Brown said.  “This is why it is so important that the nation’s watchdog, the Senate, blocks his legislation.”

“Our Foundation is launching a Summer of Swifties action plan that includes a rally to mark the five year tragic anniversary of the Swift Parrot being listed as critically endangered, a citizen science project to monitor the Swift Parrot habitat threatened by logging as the parrots return to Tasmania to breed and we will be taking action on the frontline if logging commences in any of these critical native forest habitats.  While Prime Minister Morrison fails the critically endangered Swift Parrot, citizens will mobilise to raise the alarm about its plight to extinction under the Government’s watch,”  Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

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Media Release: Death-to-the-environment Bill needs refusal by Australian Senate

"The government has rushed its death-to-the-environment bill through the lower house which will see a further decline of Australia’s natural environment and nationally significant species. This bill was rushed through despite the conclusion of the Graeme Samuel’s Independent Review and ignoring its initial findings. Debate was guillotined and proposed amendments from the opposition or cross benches were left on the cutting room floor. The Morrison government will continue to ignore Department of Environment assessors or environmental advocates", said BBF takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

"The EPBC Act was created because the legacy of state-based environment management was species extinction and decline of species across the nation. The EPBC Act put the protection of threatened species above the power of the states. The Morrison government's re-hash of Tony Abbott's failed attack on the integrity of the EPBC would put the foxes back in charge of the hen house".

"The Senate now remains the hope for species like the critically endangered Swift Parrot, Humpback Whales and Leadbeater's Possum. We call on all Senators to oppose this buck-passing bill, and for Australian to contact their Senate representatives to voice their disgust at this bill".

“Notorious, failing Regional Forest Agreements are a critical benchmark against which these changes to Australian environment laws can be measured. To see what ‘ecological sustainability’ looks like when the Commonwealth hands it to the states, witness the flattened and burnt native forests across Tasmania after logging. Identical evidence can be found in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia in the nation’s logged native forests. These vast native forests, once full of rare and endangered species of national significance have been left to the State governments to destroy,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“This Morrison bill echoes Donald Trump‘s environmental intelligence. It would have left Tasmania’s Franklin River, described by then-Premier Robin Gray as a brown leech-ridden ditch, dammed and dead,” Bob Brown said.

The Federal Government’s changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is symbolic of its preferred approach to future environmental assessments. The EPBC Act controls threats and impacts to over 1800 Australian species of fauna and flora listed as either endangered, critically endangered or vulnerable, and our National and World Heritage sites. This amendment bill would transfer decision making and assessments to state governments.

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Media Release: Gutwein must open STT data: Brown.

The Bob Brown Foundation says it appears that at the heart of the dispute over whether logging in Tasmania makes bushfires worse is the unavailability of information by Sustainable Timbers Tasmania which should be free and on the public record.

“After-the-event fault has been alleged with the University of Tasmania study but it is coming from pro-logging researchers using data which was not there for the university researchers. The premier should require all STT data to be open to any inquirer: it is a public institution running public forests. None of its data should be kept behind closed doors,” Bob Brown said today.

“The Australian National University has found that logging of mainland forests like those in Tasmania makes bushfires worse, not better. That stands. It is logical that ongoing studies will confirm the same here. If the Tasmanian minister for flattening and incinerating native forests has more recent studies showing that logging is good for controlling bushfires, he should release it, along with a full list of the areas burnt by the loggers’ own out-of-control regeneration burns,” Bob Brown said.

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Media Release: Deer disaster unfolds as minister watches on.

Tasmania is in the midst of a deer disaster, with the destructive feral species rapidly spreading west and south through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) while minister Guy Barnett counts how many and puts the environment last on the list of concerns, Bob Brown Foundation said today.

“The incompetence is monumental. The long term cost to taxpayers will be astronomical. While Barnett is flying uselessly over what he quaintly calls this invasive animal’s ‘traditional area’, the deer population is expanding with unprecedented speed, out of control, elsewhere - in the island state’s most important asset, the TWWHA.

“If he turned the heat camera on his own action plan it would record a blank."

The fact that Barnett is only now making public his aerial surveys from nearly a year ago, says everything about the government’s failure to treat this damaging infestation seriously,” Bob Brown said.

“The deer are moving much faster than this minister is thinking.”

“As to the management plan which the Liberals have been hinting at for years, there is none, on or off the drawing board. Nothing.“

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Media Release: Adani writ ‘disgusting’- Brown

Serial coal miner Gautam Adani’s writ against peaceful campaigner Ben Pennings will send a shudder through every Australian who values democracy, free speech and the right to peaceful protest, Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

"Adani’s writ follows his use of the court to evict Wangan and Jagalingou people from their land in the Galilee Basin where he is proceeding with an obscene environmentally-disastrous and unnecessary coalmine.

Gautam Adani is echoing the American Wise Use Movements dictum that if you can’t win the environmental argument, take out the environmental advocates.  I am disgusted by this billionaire Goliaths effort to silence an Australian citizen from speaking up for his heritage."

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Media Release: Morrison’s ecocidal bill ‘will rile Australians’ - Bob Brown Foundation.

The Morrison government’s bill handing federal environmental powers to the states and territories is the biggest legislative sell-out of Australia’s environment since federation, Bob Brown Foundation said today.

“This is Scott Morrison handing Australia’s wildlife and wild country and seas to the wolves. The worst exploiters wanted it: Morrison is not just cutting green tape, he is handing them an elephant gun of ecological elimination,” Bob Brown said.

“Had this biocidal bill been in place in earlier years, the Franklin would be dammed, Fraser Island logged, whale flensing would be still ‘creating jobs’ in Western Australia and there would be oil rigs on the Great Barrier Reef. A feature is what is missing after repudiation of Graeme Samuel’s key recommendation for an environmental ‘cop’ or policing agency to enforce national standards. Instead we will get state oversight like that of the Tasmanian Forest Practices Authority which effectively logs and incinerates wildlife-filled old growth forests.”

“Sussan Ley is the minister for disempowering herself. If she and the prime minister really wanted a ‘one stop shop’ for environmental approvals they should have taken powers from the eight states and territories and vested them in Canberra. This scattering of environmental power leaves the corporate exploiters to more easily bulldoze weaker state governments.”

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Media Release: Citizen Science builds case for Tarkine National Park

In five years, Bob Brown Foundation has recorded over 1800 species of flora, fauna, fungi and more in the threatened takayna / Tarkine, as the conservation group has been calling for a World Heritage listed National Park and return to World Heritage listing of the north west Tasmanian region.

This evening, Bob Brown Foundation will host a virtual event this evening as part of National Science week, to celebrate five years of Tarkine BioBlitzes.

“Our BioBlitz is both the largest and the longest running citizen science event in Tasmania. It is hosted annually each November in the Tarkine region and to date, has helped record over 3200 observations of more than 1800 species of flora, fauna, fungi and more – and has brought over 500 scientists, citizens and into the Tarkine,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“We started our Tarkine BioBlitz as citizen science can improve conservation efforts by building scientific knowledge, encouraging public action and raise the alarm that threatened nature is far more important left intact than destroyed.  In takayna / Tarkine we are losing ancient ecosystems, unique flora and wildlife to logging, mining and off-road vehicle recreation,” Jenny Weber said.

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Media Release: Native Forest Logging in Tasmania is illegal.

Federal Court challenge launched last evening.

Bob Brown Foundation is mounting a Federal Court challenge to logging of native forests in Tasmania because the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement between the state and commonwealth does not accord with the federal Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002.

“The RFA Act requires there to be enforceable environmental arrangements between Canberra and Hobart for forestry operations to ensure protection of endangered species. BBF’s case is that the RFA is not legally enforceable, especially for the system of reserves and the requirement for ecologically sustainable forest management (ESFM),” Bob Brown Foundation lawyer Roland Browne said today.

“Moreover, an RFA is meant to “provide for” ESFM, but here, the Tasmanian RFA allows the Tasmanian forest management system (of laws and procedures) to be amended by Tasmania when and how it pleases without reference to the Commonwealth,” he said. “BBF’s case is that this is not good enough.”

“Tasmania’s RFA is different to Victoria, where the Victorian system is required to be accredited by the Commonwealth.”

“Here in Tasmania, the state does what it likes under the protection of the RFA,” Roland Browne said.

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Media Release: Two Tarkine defenders arrested halting mine works

Brown calls for laws to protect Tarkine

Today, two brave Tarkine defenders were arrested at the proposed Riley Creek mine site in takayna / Tarkine in Tasmania's North West. Colette Harmsen and Joseph Roe were arrested after locking themselves onto the entrance gate and machinery at the site. They have now been removed.

"I agree with Guy Barnett but what is needed to end people campaigning to save the Tarkine are laws to protect and return it to the Aboriginal people of Tasmania. The current laws allowing the Tarkine, one of the world’s last unprotected wild and scenic areas, to be logged and mined for short term profits, should be banished to last century. This Riley Creek venture is a precursor for much worse – all for out-of-state profiteers and at the expense of long term jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries,” said Environmentalist Bob Brown today.

Brown’s comments are in response to Minister Barnett claiming today’s environmental protest means the draconian anti-protest laws should be passed by the Legislative Council.

"People are taking action across the globe for the sake of planet Earth. Today we stand for takayna / Tarkine where immense intrinsic values span vast swathes of this majestic landscape, unscarred for hundreds of generations. What is happening here is ecocide. It will not be tolerated," said Erik Hayward, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Organiser.

"Today we have seen that in the face of Government action and intimidatory legislation, members of the public will continue to stand up for the heritage values of takayna / Tarkine and the species like the Tasmanian Devil and Spotted-tailed Quoll that rely on it.”

"People like Colette and Joseph who were arrested today in defence of takayna / Tarkine should receive awards, not infringements. We thank them for their passion, and are sure that many Tasmanians share our gratitude. Our campaign to defend and protect takayna / Tarkine will continue as there should be no new mines in the world heritage value Tarkine," said Scott Jordan, Bob Brown Foundation Tarkine Campaigner.

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Media Release: Defenders stop Tarkine destruction at new mine.

Conservationists have halted site works on the controversial Riley Creek mine site in takayna/Tarkine this morning. Activists have locked on to the gate of the mine site, and to machinery on the site to prevent further destruction.

Venture Minerals' proposed Riley Creek project iron ore strip mine is opposed by conservationists including the Bob Brown Foundation.

"Riley Creek is in an area of known Tasmanian Devil and Spotted tail Quoll habitat, in a region that has been independently verified as having both National Heritage and World Heritage Values", said Bob Brown Foundation’s takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

"With question marks over the validity of Venture's permits, the Federal and State Environment Ministers should be here to stop this mine and defend the heritage values of takayna. As they are not, we have gathered in a peaceful vigil with members of the public who will,” Scott Jordan said.

"This project has courted condemnation at every turn. Ventures' investors should understand that public opposition to their planned ecological vandalism will not go away".

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