Tasmanian Government backs down from another blunder

The Hodgman Government's attack on environmentalists has blundered again. This time, to avoid becoming the legal laughing stock of Australia, it has admitted that the proposal to change the defamation laws is not supported anywhere else in the country.

Bob Brown said that "the Hodgman Government is riddled with mistakes and backflips and next on the agenda will be its planned invasion of the World Heritage wilderness. Hodgman's three-headed dragon to attack the Tasmanian environment and environmentalists now has two heads off - the mandatory imprisonment of protesters and these proposed draconian defamation laws. Now the third dragon's head - a 37 pronged invasion of developments into the World Heritage Area wilderness - needs to go. It will raise international alarm."

Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager of the Bob Brown Foundation, said that "A broad range of high profile critics came out against these changes to the defamation law because they were poorly thought out by a Government that is bent on persecuting environmental advocates and the environment to the benefit of large resource-extraction companies.

In this case the proposed law change was to benefit the Sarawak timber baron Ta Ann, operating in Tasmania's native forests, from a truthful campaign to expose the company's misleading information in the Japanese market. Australian Governments should not be penalising their citizens practising freedoms in a democracy."

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