Dr Colette Harmsen will appear in Burne Magistrates Court tonight after being arrested at a proposed mine in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine rainforests. The arrest comes after protests halted drilling for a second day this week.
“Today we have a contrast, Dr Colette Harmsen, a veterinarian who has dedicated her life to protection of the Tasmanian devil, sits in a gaol cell for standing in the way of Venture Minerals illegal and unpermitted drilling and roading. At the same time, the Environment Minister sits in the comfort of the Ministerial offices, providing protection to the mining company breaking national environment law. Bob Brown Foundation has written to the Minister on three occasions since November regarding these illegal activities,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“The best thing Premier Rockliff could do here is appoint Colette Harmsen as the defacto Tasmanian Minister for the Environment. Colette understands the Tasmanian wildlife ecosystem and the extraordinary value for Tasmania in protecting it. She would be a voice like no other in Government and would prove very popular,” Bob Brown said.
“I am dedicated to protecting and defending Tasmania’s environment. I have been arrested multiple times to prevent the destruction of wild places, and it alarms me that the industries that degrade and destroy our environment are the industries that are offered the most support by the government. Where are the court ordered penalties for illegal logging? For illegal mining works?” Dr Colette Harmsen said.
“Without the actions of peaceful protests, illegal works by industry destroying the environment and wildlife habitat go unseen and unreported, and environmental damage can proceed unhindered. Environmental defenders will continue to stand up for protection of takayna’s rainforests where we believe the work to be illegal, even if that means a jail term,” Dr Colette Harmsen said.