Media Release: Australia’s native forests need urgent emergency conservation listing

Forest defenders are protesting today in the Wentworth Hills region of Tasmania to highlight the large-scale clearing that is still occurring in Tasmania’s native forests despite the vital role intact native forests play in mitigating climate change and slowing the rate of wildlife extinction.

Fourteen protesters are in an area currently being logged, one person is in a tree sit and two people attached to machines.

Bob Brown Foundation is calling on the Federal and State Governments to provide an emergency conservation listing to all native forests and stop their loss to logging, while forest defenders are conducting a forest saving protest in a remote region of Tasmania.

“Our Foundation is calling for an immediate, nationwide end to all native forest logging. Intact native forests store a considerable amount of carbon and continue to draw down carbon over time. Clearing of the native forests in Wentworth Hills and elsewhere in Tasmania is destroying habitat for rare and endangered species, at a time when there is a global extinction crisis,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“The Wentworth Hills region in western Tasmania is the site of the state’s largest scale logging destruction. Shockingly more than 2770 hectares of extensive eucalyptus native forests are scheduled to be destroyed over the next two years in the Wentworth Hills area. On the Tasmanian Central Plateau and adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, this highland region at the headwaters of the Derwent River is having vast tracts of native forests, including old growth ecosystems completely destroyed,” Jenny Weber said.

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Media Release: takayna Ultra runs again through the wilds of Tasmania's North West

More than 120 runners set off today as part of the second takayna Ultra. The event's main goal is to help protect takayna / Tarkine in a World Heritage listed National Park, returned to Aboriginal ownership. The event has attracted runners from across the country as well as a strong local Tasmanian contingent. Runners have helped raise more than $170,000 for the frontline campaign to takayna / Tarkine.

"takayna Ultra has grown in size and wildness from last year, with more than 120 runners crossing the finish line on the Tarkine coast. Participants had a great time along the wild coast with huge breakers and squalls of rain but not last years headwinds. This race is a great success, not only has it brought money into the North West coast but it will boost campaigning to protect the Tarkine.

It was wonderful to have three Australian Greens parliamentarians, Adam Bandt, Janet Rice and Peter Whish-Wilson greeting runners at the finish line," said Bob Brown.

“The runners in takayna Ultra are a prime example of conservation in action. They are directly raising funds for the campaign to protect this wild and incredibly beautiful place, they are experiencing its wonder directly and becoming instant ambassadors for the region as they tell friends and family about North West Tasmania's treasures.

Today's event is another great step in helping to save takayna / Tarkine from logging, mining and off-road vehicle damage. We are proud to have hosted such incredible people who are taking a stand for all our futures,” said Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager Bob Brown Foundation.

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Media Release: takayna Ultra set to have its second run, backed by world leading, sustainable and ethical sponsors

Our Foundation is looking forward to hosting our two running events 65km takayna ultra-marathon and takayna22 race this week on the takayna coastline. The annual trail run events raise money to support the Bob Brown Foundation campaign to have takayna / Tarkine protected as a World Heritage listed National Park and returned to Aboriginal ownership.

“It is our partner Patagonia and sponsors Paddy Pallin and Australian Ethical Investment who help make the takayna Ultra a roaring success.

Partnering with Patagonia catapults the Ultra and takayna / Tarkine, the ancient, wild and threatened place, into the international arena. Their unprecedented support for our Foundation’s campaign has taken the plight of takayna to the global stage. Hosting the 2020 takayna Ultra with Patagonia will broadcast the importance of protecting takayna to a global audience.

Sponsorship from Paddy Pallin and Australian Ethical add to the fact that the takayna Ultra has a truly sustainable and ethical footing with two of Australia's leading environmentally aware companies offering their support. Both Paddy Pallin and Australian Ethical bring their national reputation for doing good for the planet to the race.

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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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