Plibersek goes with miners, snubs environmentalists at Tullah.

The national Minister for the Environment dined with senior mining officials rather than Bob Brown and fellow environmentalists, two tables away, at Tullah on Tasmania’s west coast tonight. As Brown was leaving Minister Plibersek caught up with him and repeated her offer to meet him in urban Burnie as she is leaving the state tomorrow. Brown politely insisted that she go with him to see the threatened rainforest in the morning but she said she had already been there (with the mining company MMG) today. When he stood firm she exclaimed “there’s no point!” and strode back to the miners’ table.

“But there is a point. This is an absolute low in Australian environmental history,” Bob Brown said.

“The minister is consorting with a brace of miners and the CFMEU whose intent is to put their waste dump in the takayna / Tarkine rainforest while she is ignoring the defenders of the forest and its wildlife. This is the nasty face of anti-environmentalism. She says she has been taken to the toxic waste dump site near the rainforest by MMG, the giant China-based mining company, but refuses to go into the threatened rainforest with us. On her way home she offers environmental and Aboriginal representatives the scraps of a one hour meeting far away from the very forest we want her to protect. It is a disdainful farce,” Brown said.

“Her hosts, the CFMEU and MMG have options for the waste dump but the rare species have none. Tonight shows an industry-captured Plibersek who has even less time for the Tarkine defenders than the last minister, Sussan Ley. Tomorrow I will broadcast a message from the heart of the forest she has refused to see to tell the nation what a travesty she is orchestrating.”

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