Rockliff makes forests key to election – Bob Brown Foundation defiant

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“The Liberals’ commitment to destroy 40,000 hectares of Tasmania’s wild and scenic forests, set aside for conservation under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, may see me, for one, spending time in jail for peacefully defending those forests and their wildlife,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

“I expect there will be hundreds more arrested for defending the forests despite the Liberals’ draconian anti-protests laws, and Tasmania will be plunged into a dark age of global condemnation for destroying this natural heritage. Most of the forests will go to woodchips exported to China and Taiwan though, deceitfully, Rockliff never mentions the word ‘woodchips’,” Brown said.

“One of the most scandalous things about this proposal is that industry has already been compensated with taxpayers’ funds for withdrawing from these very forests. The 2013 agreement between Premier Giddings and Prime Minister Gillard provided $58 million for this purpose. Will Rockliff refund the taxpayers’ money the industry was given when it agreed to save the forests?”

“This is 2024. The world is in the twin crises of global heating and the mass extinction of birds, animals and plants. The best way to solve both is to protect native forests. Flattening and incinerating our forests and exporting most of the extracted logs as woodchips for products much of which will end up in rubbish tips in the northern hemisphere, is bizarre and culpable behaviour by the Liberals. Prime Minister Albanese should intervene and save the forests or, at least, get back the $58 million of taxpayers’ money spent to protect the forests,” Brown said.

Bob Brown Foundation is planning a giant rally for the forests in Hobart on 17 March, a week before the state goes to the polls.

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