WorkSafe ordering Bob Brown Foundation to "cease the carrying out of forest protests in the State of Tasmania"

Last Friday we were served with a 'prohibition notice' from WorkSafe Tasmania ordering Bob Brown Foundation to "cease the carrying out of forest protests in the State of Tasmania".

That notice meant that if we continued our peaceful forest protests, anywhere in Tasmania (whether in the Tarkine forests, outside Parliament House, or at a public meeting) we faced fines of up to $500,000.

But in a stunning victory, we have just returned from court where the WorkPlace safety regulator agreed to set aside the 'prohibition notice', effectively tearing it up.

This is a huge victory for the Foundation and a complete vindication of the right to peaceful protest.

We have a clear message for Tasmania's Gutwein Government.

No matter how you threaten us, we will never stop our peaceful defence of Tasmania's forests.

 

 

The logging industry and its political stooges know they cannot win the public debate about logging native forests, so they are desperately trying to shut down their critics.

They have tried before and failed, spectacularly.

In 2017, the Tasmanian Government's draconian anti-protest laws were thrown out by the High Court after being challenged by Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt.

The Gutwein government is trying to resurrect these laws - but as they are just a rehash of those struck down by the High Court, and even more harsh in many ways, they are doomed to fail too.

This latest ham-fisted attempt by WorkSafe Tasmania, clearly directed by the Gutwein government, to stop our peaceful protection of Tasmania's forests, has now failed.

We know they will try again, so we need to be ready to take them on again.

 

 

It is vital we succeed - if we don't, other governments around Australia could follow Tasmania's lead and turn important workplace safety regulations into tools for banning peaceful protest.

The Forest Industries Association of Australia has already called for other governments to "follow Tasmania's example". Unions, human rights groups, and all other social change groups should be deeply concerned about this precedent.

 

 

Now we have emphatically won this first battle but it won't be the last.

We will need tens of thousands of dollars to cover our legal costs for this case and future battles.

 

 


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