Forest conservation in Tasmania facing dire future as existing and proposed reserves sentenced to ‘partial logging’

Legislative Councillors explicitly outlined that they were ignoring a swag of personal messages received in the past week from Tasmanians opposed to new forestry legislation which scuttles promised ‘peace deal’ reserves and also opens hundreds of existing protected areas for logging.

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New Leaflets Raise Alarm Over 1.5 Million Hectare Logging Grab

Protected-No-More.jpgAs the Legislative Council resumes consideration of the Hodgman government’s revocation of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement new leaflets (see attached) from Markets For Change and The Bob Brown Foundation are landing in letterboxes, sounding the alarm that existing reserves of many years’ standing will be opened to logging alongside abandonment of promised ‘peace deal’ reserves.

“One and a half million hectares of Tasmania that is currently off limits to logging will be opened to the chainsaws under Hodgman’s extreme new forestry legislation,” said Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt.

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Hundreds rally to oppose Tasmania's repressive anti-protest laws

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Today in Hobart’s City Hall, 900 people rallied to oppose the Tasmanian Government’s protest legislation.

Speakers included Richard Griggs, Tasmanian President of Civil Liberties Australia, Vanessa Bleyer, Lawyer and President of Environment Tasmania, Ruth Langford, Tasmania’s Aboriginal Centre Secretary, Rodney Croome, Gay Rights Advocate, from Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, Greg Barns, from the Australian Lawyers Alliance and Bob Brown, Environmentalist.

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Coalition of Tasmanians oppose the Hodgman Government's undemocratic anti-protest bill

Tasmanians will rally tomorrow to oppose the State Government's draconian anti-protest bill that is set to be debated in the Legislative Council in the coming weeks.  At the City Hall in Hobart, 20 organisations will rally Tasmania's community together to urge the Legislative Councillors to reject the bill.

Richard Griggs, Tasmanian Director of Civil Liberties Australia, stated, "Mandatory imprisonment for people who gather on public land to protest is deeply problematic in a democracy like ours.

"Prison should be used to make the community safer, not to frighten the community into silence.”

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Violence is never the answer: logger in court for assaulting forest protester in Tasmania

Today in Hobart Magistrates Court, a logger was handed a good behaviour bond, with no conviction, for assaulting a forest protester.  In 2013, peaceful protests were held to oppose the logging of World Heritage forests in Butlers Gorge.  Just weeks before these forests were listed as World Heritage, they were still being logged.

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Sarawak court rules against Ta Ann after graveyard outrage

Native Sarawak people win against Ta AnnNative Sarawak people have won yet another victory, this time in a land rights claim against Ta Ann, the Malaysian corporation involved in logging Tasmanian forests.

The High Court in the Malaysian state of Sarawak has ordered Ta Ann to return 450 hectares of customary land to the native owners and pay them costs of RM 40 000 (A$16 000).  The court found that Ta Ann trespassed into the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and cleared the area of forest. Ta Ann, along with other defendants in the case destroyed the NCR landowners' graveyard.

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Allegiance of loggers with Liberals on draconian legislation

“While not surprising, it is appalling that the loggers support the draconian legislation passed by the Tasmanian Liberal Government last week in the lower house of parliament, including mandatory sentencing for non-violent defenders of the environment," Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said today.

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Dark day for democracy but Tasmanians will not be silenced

The passage through the House of Assembly of the Hodgman government’s draconian new laws targeting peaceful protests marks a dark day for Tasmanian democracy.

“This government has made the classic mistake of believing that by making a law, they are making something right”,  Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

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Campaigner slams Liberal assault on peaceful protests

Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager for the Bob Brown Foundation who is in Doha for the World Heritage Committee meeting, has slammed the Liberal government’s assault on peaceful protests.

"Peaceful protesters from the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened were the only groups on the front line in the World Heritage forests of the Weld, Picton, Styx and Upper Florentine Valleys.  The peaceful protests we carried out have been vindicated here in Doha with the international recognition that these forests are of World Heritage significance and outstanding universal value”, Ms Weber said.

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World Heritage forests safe as World Heritage Committee rejects Australian Government proposal

World Heritage experts & conservationists have today welcomed the decision of the World Heritage Committee to reject the Australian Government’s attempt to delist 74,000 hectares of forests from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area.

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