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A coalition of environment groups has welcomed Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s (STT) disastrous FSC (Forestry Stewardship Certification) audit result because of its ongoing destruction of critically endangered Swift Parrot habitat and old growth forests.
Bob Brown Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, BirdLife Tasmania, Forestry Watch, The Tree Projects and XR Tasmania have called the audit report damning for Tasmania’s Government as STT continues to destroy Tasmania’s climate and wildlife storehouses.
“STT fails on many accounts including its ongoing removal of the critically endangered Swift Parrot’s habitat, failing to update their old growth mapping after fire, and continuing to log old growth forests. The audit shows major deficiencies and proves old growth forests and threatened species are not safe under STT,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.
“The audit stated the STT has improperly logged old growth under FSC rules. The Gutwein government must recognise that logging of old growth forests has no place in the 21st century,” The Wilderness Society Tasmania’s Campaign Manager Tom Allen said.
“The vague agreement between DPIPWE and STT that the government claims will protect 10,000ha of forest for the Swift Parrot was heavily criticized by the auditors as being insufficient to protect Swift Parrot and satisfy FSC requirements. To meet the requirements of FSC, the Gutwein government must develop a plan to protect all Swift Parrot habitats across the state,” Tom Allen said.
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A pro-Adani horse rider, who knocked down and injured an anti-Adani Convoy woman at the Wangan and Jagalingou Water Festival at Clermont in central Queensland last year, has pleaded guilty to “Negligent Acts Causing Harm, Obstruct Police Officer, Common Assault and Trespass”. In the Emerald Magistrates Court this morning he was fined $2000 with no conviction recorded.
According to an ABC story on 16 March this year, “Thirteen protesters from Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC) each received fines of up to $8,000 on Tuesday in the Bowen Magistrates Court, after they chained themselves to coal-loading equipment at the Abbot Point Port in January.”
The Stop Adani Convoy was organised by Bob Brown Foundation. “A difference here is that horse-rider McDonald may not have thought out the consequences of his actions. All of us involved in the ongoing campaign to stop the Adani coal mine are doing it thoughtfully, to turn around the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and so much more of the natural planet which we feel duty-bound to hand on safely to coming generations,” Bob Brown said.
“The bigger crime here is the totally unnecessary opening up of the Galilee Basin coal lode by billionaire Gautam Adani in pursuit of more money, up to $3 billion of which will go to a family trust in the Cayman Islands, according to another ABC report.”
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Today’s announcement of 10,000 hectares of the Southern Forests of Tasmania getting a stay of execution, while 58,000 hectares more is targeted for logging, is one step forward and five steps back by the Gutwein government on the urgent road to saving Tasmania’s rare and endangered species from extinction, Bob Brown Foundation says.
“Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (SST) has already wrecked a far greater area of vital habitat for Swift Parrots than this small area earmarked to be saved but not protected as national park,” Bob Brown said.
“Other critical areas for the Swifties, especially the Wielangta Forest on the east coast, have been ignored and face the chop,” Brown said. (No map of ‘saved’ areas was released.)
“This agreement is way short of ending the logging and burning of native forests in Tasmania, rapidly eroding habitat which is critical for the survival of species like the Swift Parrot, Tasmanian Devil, Wedge-tailed Eagle and the world’s largest freshwater crayfish, Astacopsis gouldi. The most compelling reason for this loss to Tasmania is so a few investors can flog woodchips to China. It should stop. Our forests will be much more valuable for jobs as well as lifestyle if they are kept vertical in the forest rather than horizontal on a truck.”
“The federal government’s primary responsibility for protecting endangered species’ forest habitats in Tasmania has been met with unmitigated failure,” Brown said.
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Bob Brown Foundation has condemned the announcement by Venture Minerals that they would commence mining at Riley Creek in the Tarkine and vowed to continue opposition to this destructive and unnecessary project.
"This unlawful project is being shepherded through by the EPA and the Federal Environment Minister despite the expiration of permits", said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
"We call on the Minister, and the Director of the EPA to immediately act to prevent this action."
Bob Brown Foundation are considering options to oppose this action.
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The Bob Brown Foundation’s best-selling guide to takayna / Tarkine is now an app. Launching on Thursday night, Bob Brown will be joined by Australian rugby legend David Pocock, Patagonia Australia’s Shannon Bourke and Stefanie Rieder-Haas, co-Head of CSR with German outdoor company ORTOVOX.
On Thursday 13th August, Bob Brown Foundation are launching the stunning app version of our successful guide to takayna / Tarkine. The new app will give people a guide to explore takayna / Tarkine using their favourite digital device. The online event for the launch starts at 5:30pm.
You can register in advance to take part remotely via Zoom here.
The app provides maps and detailed route descriptions for some 100 walks, rafting trips and bike rides through the wilds of takayna / Tarkine. Illustrated with photos of the mountains, rivers, coastline and wildlife of this spectacular wilderness, the app allows you to plan a walk, river trip or bike ride ranging from 30 minutes to 7 days.
Our Tarkine Trails app was designed and built by the talented people at Bit League and generously sponsored by ORTOVOX who visited the Tarkine in 2019 from Germany and are supporting our campaign to protect this magnificent area.
The app is available for purchase from the Apple App Store right now and Google Play from Thursday 13th August.
“Our Foundation is campaigning for secure protection of one of the last wild places on Earth, including the largest temperate rainforest in Australia, as a World Heritage-listed National Park and return to Aboriginal ownership.
With the Tarkine Trails app we look forward to introducing more and more people to the delights of takayna / Tarkine as we continue to work for its secure protection from logging, mining and off-road vehicle damage,” said Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager, Jenny Weber.
“Across mountains, down rivers, along coasts, through forests: Tarkine Trails / takayna makuminya, with its splendid photographs and maps, is the definitive guide for adventurers to the Tarkine,” Bob Brown said.
The Bob Brown Foundation has questioned the contradictory statements by Venture Minerals regarding activity on its Riley Creek mine lease in takayna/Tarkine.
“Venture Minerals are silver tongued opportunists whose plan is to smash and grab in one of the world's great wild places. Projects like Riley Creek are only viable with short term, artificially high, shock induced iron ore prices, as we are seeing now as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns of major mines in Brazil. Just like Shree Minerals who shut up shop just 9 months after commencement in the northern region of takayna / Tarkine, this mine will collapse with the return to normalised ore prices and like Shree will leave behind an environmental legacy of acid mine drainage, loss of habitat and scarred landscapes,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
In four Annual Compliance Reports to the Department of Environment, and in at least nine separate statements to the ASX, Venture Minerals has stated that they did not commence extraction of ore, avoiding expenditures on permit commitments. Now when faced with expiry of their permits for not commencing extraction, Venture Mineral's claim that they did extract 10,000 tonnes of ore providing salvation to their permits.
"Evidently both statements can't be true, and on the balance of evidence including satellite images and company reports, it appears clear that there was no extraction of ore under these permits", Scott Jordan said.
"We believe there is a serious misconduct here and Venture Minerals and it's directors must be held accountable. A Director making a false statement in relation to EPBC Act permit compliance carries a sentence of up to two years gaol, and making false or deceptive statements to the market up to ten years gaol,” Scott Jordan said.
"Venture appears to be misrepresenting actions taken as part of its previous exploration license as evidence of ore extraction under the EPBC permit, despite these completely separate actions occurring prior to the granting and activation of permits, and in the bulk of actions occurring even before the application for the EPBC and LUPA permits,” Scott Jordan said.
The Bob Brown Foundation has lodged complaints with both the ASX and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
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State government intervention has temporarily reversed Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s decision to close the Styx Valley for a logging operation this month.
“Parks and Wildlife Service reliably told tourists last week that Sus Timber Tasmania planned to close the road into the Styx Valley of the Giants in mid-August. The closure would be for weeks if not months,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said today.
“We now have a rear-guard action by the government, Sus Timber Tasmania and Luke Martin to reverse the decision. It is temporary. Cable logging of this stunning tall forest roadside coupe is still Sus Timber Tasmania’s intention,” Jenny Weber said.
“The failure of the Minister and Tourism Tasmania to ensure local tourist operators were consulted shows up just how arrogant and out-of-touch they are,” Jenny Weber said.
“It appears Minister Barnett has been overridden,” Jenny Weber said.
“Now Premier Gutwein needs to call off the logging of this forest in TN034G and protect native forests across Tasmania from ongoing destruction, wildlife loss and greenhouse gas emissions,” Jenny Weber said.
Bob Brown Foundation is calling for the protection of Tasmania’s native forests, this weekend turning attention to the Styx valley where Sus Timber Tasmania plans to cable clearfell ancient forests while shutting down the entire Valley of the Giants to carry out the logging.
“While carrying out an aerial occupation of the threatened Styx forests, citizens have documented Eucalyptus regnans that are hundreds of years old and ancient rainforests inside the proposed logging area,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“We are releasing photographs of these threatened forests today as a reminder, the world’s tallest flowering plants among some of the most carbon dense forests on the planet are still on the logging schedule in Tasmania.
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The Bob Brown Foundation has condemned plans to close the Styx Valley tourist road west of Maydena, near Mt Field, for logging. The foundation is calling on Premier Gutwein to cancel the planned closure of the Valley of the Giants, for weeks if not months, as the summer tourism season nears.
“A lock-out from the Styx Valley while destroying the very thing tourists come to see is outrageous in Tasmania in 2020. Under ministerial direction, Sustainable Timber Tasmania plans to clearfell and incinerate forest adorning the entrance to this World Heritage valley. There will be lifeless, smouldering ruins, right to the roadside gutter,” Bob Brown said.
Bob Brown has written to Premier Gutwein asking him to can the road closure and logging.
“Tasmania’s Styx Valley is world-renowned as the Valley of the Giants. It is Tasmania’s premier tall forest showplace. The planned steep cable clearfell logging of ‘coupe TN034G’ is made worse by government plans to lock the public out. They will obliterate some of the world’s most majestic flowering plants, along with their wildlife - for woodchips for China and peeler logs for Malaysian logging corporations in Tasmania. It is absurd to be locking up this iconic valley while Tasmania’s tourism industry is hemorrhaging,” BBF Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“Before the destructive cable logger and chainsaws arrive Premier Gutwein should override the plans to log more of the world’s tallest flowering plants, the Eucalyptus Regnans. We will defend this place from the chainsaws which are set to come at any time,” Bob Brown Foundation Activist, Erik Hayward said.
“It is time to end this savage destruction to our climate coffers. In the forests and on the streets we will defend Tasmania’s timeless forests from the outdated insanity of clearfell cable logging. We will not be silenced,” Erik Hayward said.
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"So Marinus is now 'officially confirmed'. But it is a long way from being confirmed by the public," Bob Brown said today.
"Marinus link has a Marinus stink about it and that is the public will foot the bill. It will confirm the role of Tasmanians as the poorest per capita in Australia," Brown said.