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First it’s our Free Speech ... then it’s our Forests …Must have the precious

Liberal Senators Abetz, Bushby, Colbeck and Parry:

Tasmania is set for a concerted attack on our forests. Tasmanian Liberals have the ear of the Prime Minister and hold some key positions: Senator Colbeck , staunch supporter of logging, is now theParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce. (Joyce’s portfolio covers Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests.)

No prizes for guessing how Colbeck will aid the Minister to reinstitute a logging free-for-all in Tas. The attack has been in preparation for some years now. Recently Senator Colbeck has been deluging us with misleading material about the recent additions to the WHA ( TT Media, here ).

Senator Bushby, in his 2007 maiden speech to the Senate, showed us his spots when he criticised the activist green movement for its visits to Tasmania’s trading partners. He is the Senate Deputy Whip. Now he wants to gag us. Senator Parry, from the North-West, is a ‘team player’. He went second on the ticket with Senator Abetz when Guy Barnett was given the flick. He is now Deputy President of the Senate. Don’t rock the Liberal boat!

But of course, there is also Senator Abetz, who is the Leader of the Government in the Senate. As well as that he is the Minister for Employment and also the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service.

His attitude to forests? When in 2005 he was appointed Minister of Forests, he began by publicly attacking the Greens and Bob Brown in particular. When in 2006 logging at the Wielangta forest was found to be illegal due to its potential to impact on the threatened Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle, Abetz argued to circumvent this ruling by legislating to change the meaning of ‘protect’. In the event, another way was found, In 2007, PM John Howard and Paul Lennon changed the wording of the RFA so that the birds became protected ‘on paper’, yet on the ground, forestry became free to destroy their habitat.

Liberal MHRs Hutchinson, Nikolic and Whiteley

In the Lower House, Brett Whiteley, defeated in state ...

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Garry Stannus lives and works in the north of Tasmania. He is an amateur musician, part-time happy green activist and sometimes a writer of poetry and prose.  He opposes the proposed Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, welcomed the recent extensions to the WHA and thinks that true sustainability is better than perpetually chasing further growth.