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Bob Brown Foundation’s annual BioBlitz starts today in Tasmania’s takayna/Tarkine. More than 100 people will participate in the festival of science and count species over the next three days. Citizens will be based in five base camps around the Tarkine including in rainforests threatened by logging, the wild coastline and the river Pieman. This year BioBlitz has changed to due to COVID19, however, we will have 135 participants across five different camps including 30 scientists, 17 staff and volunteers, 83 participants.
"This years reimagined BioBlitz presents an amazing opportunity for us to take supporters and scientists into some of the remotest parts of the Tarkine for a unique weekend of surveys and science. This morning we have had volunteers, scientists and nature lovers waking up in the north, east, west and southern corners of the Tarkine, ready for a day of surveying. Already this morning we’ve had Tasmanian devil surveys, dawn bird surveys and insect surveys," said Molly Coburn Bob Brown Foundation Campaigns Organiser.
"Now in its sixth year BioBlitz is a remarkable mobilisation of the general public to get out into takayna/Tarkine and document its incredible natural and cultural values. The Bob Brown Foundation has taken over 500 scientists, volunteers and supporters into the Tarkine region to explore, observe and record the species of flora, fauna and fungi that live there. During our BioBlitzes, we have made more than 3200 observations, recorded over 1800 species, and have enjoyed countless hours of the beautiful and pristine Tarkine landscape," said Jenny Weber Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager.
"During these six years, we have observed Giant Freshwater Crayfish over 5kg in size living in the clear waterways of the Tarkine; spotted healthy adult male Tasmanian Devils living in the plains and forests; spotlighted Masked Owls as they hunt through coupes earmarked for logging; as well as wondered at the beauty of tiny slime-moulds, endangered tree orchids, giant ancient trees and everything in between.
BioBlitz is part of building a national and international campaign to bring forward the day when takayna/Tarkine gets the respect, status and protection it warrants as a prime part of Australia’s, and the world’s, surviving cultural, natural and national heritage,” said Ms Weber.
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Bob Brown Foundation has called for protection of all Tasmania’s native forests after Ta Ann announced the closure of their Huon mill.
“Without Ta Ann driving the logging of native forests, including critical Swift Parrot habitat, it’s time to move the industry out of native forests,” Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“Instead, Ta Ann is saying ‘give us the Tarkine forests on a plate or we will leave!’ It’s a disgusting ransom. That’s after Ta Ann received $44 million of taxpayers’ money to set up here.”
“We expect this means an end to their wood supply agreement,” Jenny Weber said
“This is a monumental opportunity to start protecting the native forests and all critical habitat for the Swift Parrot in the southern forests and east coast of Tasmania,” she said.
“Turn this moment into permanent end to native forest logging.”
“Since 2006, I have worked to move Ta Ann, a notorious Borneo logging giant, out of Tasmania. Their practices are deplorable in Sarawak and they have greenwashed their destructive logging in Sarawak and here in Tasmania.”
“They remain in Tasmania’s northwest, threatening forests in takayna / Tarkine, and old growth forests and endangered species habitat elsewhere, like Wentworth Hills. We will continue to campaign against their logging of native forests and notorious operations as a global palm oil giant,” Jenny Weber said.
"This multinational logger should leave and give the Tasmanian people back the $44 million that Lennon Labor gave it to set up here,” Bob Brown said.
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The publicly-funded Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board has laden the nation’s architects with deceptive information that is being challenged by Bob Brown Foundation.
The Sydney-based magazine Architecture and Design is hosting national architecture awards this Thursday night with Tasmanian Timber funding the category of ‘multiple dwelling’ following a full page article which Bob Brown says is an outrageous misrepresentation of Tasmanian forest logging.
“This is the Gutwein government using the TTPB as a front to misrepresent Tasmanian the ugly logging and incineration of native forests and wildlife as a beautiful thing,” Brown said in Hobart today.
The Tasmanian Timber claim that ‘From harvesting somewhere in the region of 1 million cubic metres of timber each year in the early 1970s, Tasmania now produces only 127,000 cube across the entire state - becoming a boutique industry with a sharp focus on sustainability and quality over quantity’ is false.
Forestry Tasmania trading as Sustainable Timber Tasmania says in its 2019/20 report that ‘Nearly 1.6 million tonnes of wood produced including 119,000 cubic metres of high-quality eucalypt sawlogs and over 7,900 cubic metres of special species timbers.’ Far from ‘boutique’, this is a monster of Tasmania’s natural environment.
"As logging of Swift parrot nesting sites and Tasmanian Devil habitat shows, Tasmanian Timber’s statement to architects that ‘Forest Practices Authority ... have teams of auditors combing the production forest for areas of environmental significance and cordoning them off’ is either false or ineffective,” Bob Brown said.
“Last weekend two Forestry Watch volunteers inspected a coupe in the Swift Parrot core breeding range with excellent Swift Parrot foraging areas and found illegally harvested Swift Parrot habitat trees. Not only are the prescriptions insufficient in preventing the decline of the Swift Parrot, Sus Timber Tas can’t even abide by the deficient rules and cannot guarantee that timber sold is not from habitat for critically endangered species. This highlights the need for more stringent regulations for the protection of our threatened species,” Forestry Watch spokesperson, Jack O’Hare said.
“Tasmanian Timber’s claim that ‘everything that is harvested is already regenerated’ is sheer nonsense which has no place in a reputable trade magazine. As is ‘the other key aspect of the industry’s sustainability journey - nothing goes to waste’ - refuted by STT’s huge smoke plumes rising each year from the millions of tonnes of forest left to waste and incinerated on the forest floor,” Bob Brown said.
“We will reach Australia’s architects and designers with the truth that there is enough plantation timber to meet this nation’s needs and the logging and incineration of what’s left of Tasmania’s native forests and wildlife habitats is unsustainable, archaic and will cease,” Brown said.
Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board website:
Misleading advertorial by Tasmanian Timber:
Award sponsored by Tasmania Timber:
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New legislation to be submitted to the NSW upper house tomorrow severely threatens the future of Australia's koala.
“The bill, submitted by the National party, will remove critical environmental protections on private land allowing loggers and developers free reign to clear koala habitat. Ignoring an Upper House inquiry in June this year which found that koalas will become extinct by 2050 unless urgent government action is taken to protect this iconic species,” said Doro Babeck, Campaign Organiser Bob Brown Foundation.
"Koala’s are on the brink of extinction and this bill needs to be defeated in the Upper House. If passed, the NSW government will send the koala to extinction in the state — this bill needs to be thrown out.
Each day a decision is made to push ahead with development approvals, mining and land clearing in koala habitat, koalas die. The Brandy Hill Quarry decision in Port Stephens will see 65 hectares of prime koala habitat gone. The Figtree Hill development in Campbelltown is killing koala habitat for the healthiest koala colony in our state. In the Coffs Harbour hinterland we see private forests where koalas are present, logged for wood chips. Koalas are dying everywhere. And this bill will erase any hard fought protection over the last decade, which was not even enough to stop them from becoming extinct," said Doro Babeck.
"The global community has given generously during the bush fire crisis to help local wildlife, including the koala, after witnessing them burning alive across social media. Now communities across the globe will hear that we are accelerating logging in remaining healthy forests for toilet paper production. This is a global let down, resonating among koala lovers across the world. NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, claims she will not let the koala become extinct, yet she makes all these decisions which will fast track their demise," concluded Ms Babeck.
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This Sunday night will see the premiere of new film, Forest Defenders - The Fight for Tasmania's native forests. An environmental documentary of the Bob Brown Foundation’s last 12 months of frontline direct action against Tasmania's voracious native forest logging industry.
“Our new film will inspire and recruit more volunteers to support or take part in our coming summer of forest protests,” said Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager.
"At the Bob Brown Foundation, we are preparing to get back into takayna/Tarkine to blockade threatened rainforests. We will also be rolling out a summer of frontline action across Tasmania’s native forests. Now we have the perfect recruitment tool to inspire citizens to join our action-oriented organisation.
At the Foundation we are committed to defending and protecting native forests with non-violent direct intervention," said Jenny Weber.
"2020 has seen our most intense season of forest frontline action yet. We are the leaders in action for native forests in Tasmania and we share this effort with many many volunteer defenders. Hundreds of volunteers participated in the Sumac Ridge Blockade, the shut down of Ta Ann's veneer mill, held multi-day occupations and disruptions of logging operations in Que River, Pieman, Wentworth Hills and Mt Field areas.
Through it all the cameras were rolling. Activist film makers have spent the last few months collating and editing this footage and interviews with activists over the summer into a feature film Forest Defenders, The Fight for Tasmania's native forests," said Scott Jordan, takayna/Tarkine campaigner.
Hundreds of people have tickets to Sunday night’s online premiere this Sunday 8th November.
Forest Defenders: The fight to protect Tasmania’s native forests, takes you straight to the frontline where ordinary people are stepping up, joining Bob Brown Foundation to protect some of the most incredible forests in the world from the archaic practice of native forest logging.
Register here to join us for the premiere:
Trailer for film here:
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Hobart’s and Australia’s reputation as a bulwark for the environment of Antarctica is at stake after the controversial killing machine, the Antarctic Aurora docks in Hobart today.
“Antarctica and sub-Antarctic oceans are complex ecosystems that need protection from longline fishing for toothfish. This ship is unashamedly on its way to plunder Antarctica’s marine ecosystem for private profit,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“We appealed through letters to the Prime Minister and Tasmanian Premier to urgently ban this Antarctic longline fishing ship from Hobart and all Australian ports. They have failed to prioritise the protection of the Great White Continent and its oceans,” Jenny Weber said.
“What happens in Antarctica has a critical impact on the global climate and Bob Brown Foundation is on the road to launch a campaign to fight for Antarctica’s protection from marauding ships such as the Antarctic Aurora. Its presence in Hobart will give us a good target to highlight the problems which continue to destroy the great southern Oceans wildness,” Jenny Weber said.
“The Antarctica Aurora is part-owned by former Japanese whalers. This longline ship has no place in Australian waters or any global oceans. Earth’s oceans are in urgent need of preservation of the remaining life left in them,” Jenny Weber said.
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‘Save us from Bravus’
“The Adani corporation’s name change in Australia from ‘Adani’ to ‘Bravus’ won’t improve its global reputation for being an environmental monster in this age of climate emergency and extinction crisis,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.
“A new anti-Adani slogan is ‘SAVE US FROM BRAVUS,” he said.
“This must be humiliating for Gautam Adani, the multi-billionaire owner of the mine works in Central Queensland. He is admitting that his name is poison for the public and potential investors alike.”
“Yet he doesn’t get it. It is a game change, not a name change, that is required - and that means stopping his mine and getting out of dirty, polluting coal altogether. That would take an integrity which Adani by any name, from Goa to the Galilee Basin, lacks. The public will think even less of Adani for this failed bit of window dressing en route to his Queensland mine becoming a stranded asset,” Brown said
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The Bob Brown Foundation has welcomed 250 doctors appealing to Premier Gutwein for protection of Tasmania's forests in the face of the global biodiversity and climate crisis.
"We say thank you to the two hundred and fifty doctors who have taken a stand, putting their patient's futures ahead of the profits of the woodchip barons", said takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
"If only the Premier would take health advice and immediately declare protection of Tasmania's biodiverse and carbon rich native forests, and a permanent end to native forest logging. We concur with the Doctors that protecting native forests will make a historical contribution to constrain carbon emissions responsible for climate change and protect our health",
"After all, it's just what the doctor ordered".
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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.