In Tasmania today the Prime Minister called for conservationists to be silenced in the follow up to the Tasmanian Parliament vote to support the gutted Tasmanian forest deal.

“One of my fundamental objections to what the Tasmanian Upper House had done was that they had moved to silence the community by making the permanent reservation of forests contingent upon reports from an unelected special council on the behaviour of conservationists in protest action or in the market place,” Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

“My fears of a crackdown on democratic freedoms have been realised within 24 hours. I call on the Prime Minister to withdraw her attack on those who have the courage to not be part of the mainstream consensus.

“On day one, the Prime Minister of Australia has thrown her weight behind an assault on a fundamental democratic freedom, namely, freedom of speech and non-violent protest by saying:

“The obligation is on the signatories that first came together, the parties that started this process, to do everything they can to use their abilities to silence those who haven’t gone with the mainstream consensus.”

“It is wrong to threaten the community that if they speak out about what is happening in our forests, or if FSC certification is not given to Forestry Tasmania, then the magnificent forest areas under a logging moratorium will not be reserved.

“I will stand with conservationists and the community and will never be silenced, Prime Minister.”