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The Council’s Torpedo

Originally published in full in Tasmanian Times on 27 April 2013

The Legislative Council has fired a torpedo into the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

After the Agreement was struck last year the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, made it clear that she expected it to be implemented without alteration. In perhaps the biggest downpayment in Tasmanian history, the Commonwealth gave $120 million to the collapsed logging industry to make good the Agreement.  It promised over $100 million more for regional development on condition that the Agreement was fully implemented, including its promised forest reserves.


Photo: Jean-Paul Horre

Bob joined John Butler, Missy Higgins and 20,000 locals at a rally and concert in Fremantle to protest against Woodside's giant gas factory planned for the Kimberley. Photo: Jean-Paul Horre

We are taking action - join us.

Our foundation is tackling critical ecological battles. These include confronting the threat of Woodside’s gas factory to the Kimberley Coast, the threat of the miners to Tasmania’s Tarkine wilderness, and the threat of Japanese harpooners to Antarctica’s whales.

Thwarting the march to extinction is involved in every case.

We get behind already brilliantly targeted campaigns and campaigners.  This strategy is already a success. We hired Geoff Law to make sure February’s deadline for the nomination of 124,000 hectares of Tasmania’s forests for World Heritage protection was met.  It was met.

A special outcome of Geoff’s work was the inclusion of more than 1,000 hectares of resurgent rainforest in the Nelson Falls catchment west of the Franklin river. Your donations led directly to that outcome.

Your generosity has also directly helped my role as mission leader for Sea Shepherd Australia’s defence of the Antarctic whales from the slaughter of Japan’s highly-subsidized fleet of killers.

I am writing this letter to you in Fremantle after 20,000 West Australians, led by John Butler, Missy Higgins and the Wilderness Society, rallied against Woodside’s plans for the world’s biggest gas factory on the Kimberley Coast. Next, to Broome where a cyclone is brewing! My mission there is to help the Kimberley Greens’ Chris Maher who is standing against the line-up of pro-factory candidates in the March WA state elections.

I will go back to Broome if Woodside’s drills move in on Indigenous burial sites in the weeks ahead.

You have already helped. I hope you will now help again. We have an excellent voluntary board and one hard-working staffer, Steven Chaffer. I put in fees from conference appearances which have so far amounted to $25,000.  Paul Thomas gives priceless support. But, in reality, our Foundation will live or die on public generosity. So please donate as best you can. Or send this letter to anyone else you think may like to make a donation.

Thank you all so much.

For the Earth,

Bob Brown

Voting for the Environment

19 Jan 2013

Last week I sat with 50 other campaigners for Tasmania’s forests, beside the deep, cool waters of the wild Picton River, and reminisced about the violent attacks on peaceful protesters in those same forests two decades ago.

At nearby Farmhouse Creek in 1987, and at the bridge (where we now sat listening to the bird calls) in 1993, pro-logging vigilantes fired shots, blew up cars with gelignite and, when two girls hugged a flowering rainforest tree, chainsawed through the tree between the screaming girls’ shins while 40 police, with arms folded, stood aside. I will never forget that scene.


Letter to the Editor of the Australian

9th September 2012

Dear Editor,

Matthew Denholm (Weekend Australian) declares that Christine Milne ‘runs the risk of becoming a makeshift bridge between St Bob and his disciples’. As if to add much-needed authority to this tenuous opinion, he then misquotes me as calling Christine’s leadership ‘the middle epoch’. In fact I called it ‘the Milne Epoch’.


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