Tasmanian Times


State of the state …

Peg Putt, Greens Opposition Leader

Response, Wednesday, 27 September 2006, to the Premier’s State of the State address …
THE annual State of the State address is the opportunity for the Premier, on behalf of his government, to give a strategic overview of where the State is at, where its been and where its going under his administration.

What was extraordinary to the Greens in yesterday’s State of the State address was the apparent inability of this Premier and his government to say the ‘E’ word environment, let alone to think about it as something fundamental that needs to be protected and nurtured in Tasmania.

In fact, this State of the State address culminates a process, which we have been observing, which has gathered apace under the Premiership of Paul Lennon, of a move away from Tasmania’s clean green and clever direction, which has now been comprehensively abandoned. The natural state is no longer the way that this government conceives of Tasmania, nor the focus around which they will organise their economic activity.

We’re stunned that the Premier has abandoned the push to protect and enhance Tasmania’s reputation as the natural state, one that, in fact, of course came from the Greens in the first instance, but is very fundamental to our economic differentiation and our ability to get into markets internationally and to attract visitors to this place

It is also part of our responsibility that we are here to look after all the aspects of this state. Of course we look after the people, we look after the economy, but we must also recognise our stewardship responsibility to look after the place.

There is the fact that the outstanding environment that exists in Tasmania is a jewel that is of great importance to the people but it is under threat, and it is under gathering threat, under this administration, through direct assault and through the gradual erosion of the values.

So the move which was commenced by the Greens, who first coined the term ‘clean and green’ and there was a time when I recall the current minister for primary industry would not utter that phrase in parliament. He used to make jokes about clean and green must mean that the meat has gone off, and he would squirm around and try and talk about clean and pure as well in order not to let the word ‘green’ pass his lips. Well, that extraordinary revulsion for the idea of actually caring for the place you live in rolled away when what we were saying about a clean, green and clever economy began to take hold, when the idea that you value-add to what you do here, with that underpinning of the natural state, the wilderness values, the clean environment and therefore make a place for Tasmania in the markets was embraced. We can not compete in terms of size and scale of production, so we’re looking for some other way to get into markets and where of course on prices we cannot compete on a constantly lowering price scale in the bulk commodities market, particularly if we want to support our producers with a good return for their work and their efforts and to give them the sort of life style to which they’re entitled.

Tony Rundle endorsed clean and green

These things were recognised indeed in a direction statement given by the then Liberal Premier Tony Rundle. He endorsed that a clean and green direction was vital to Tasmania’s economic future but Paul Lennon has comprehensively now abandoned that to go back to a 1950s view of what development is about in Tasmania. We find this to be the most appalling turnaround that could possibly happen and very retrograde for Tasmania, especially given the situation that we find ourselves in as a state, nationally and internationally in relation to environmental calamites that have extraordinary repercussions for our way of life and our economy. In particular of course there is the issue of climate change that we really need to be getting our act together on. This is not some sort of fancy frill around the edges to have a climate change strategy, and what we have to have is a strategy that actually outlines actions that will be taken, serious actions that will be taken expeditiously, to deal with what has become virtually become a runaway train. It is coming down the line very fast and it is going to be too late globally to do something about it.

We might be a small place but that is not an excuse for not showing leadership and its certainly not an excuse for not even mentioning the matter in a State of the State address. We need targets, we need emission targets. We need actions to change forest burning and land clearance impacts. We need actions to protect our biodiversity here in Tasmania. That is also urgent. There are biodiversity erosion impacts that come from climate change and also from a range of other activities and unfortunate things that are occurring here in Tasmania at the moment. In particular, we would have thought that in the State of the State address the Premier would at least have announced an upgrading of funding, focus and effort for the Fox Taskforce, given the major threat not only to Tasmania biodiversity but to Australia’s biodiversity that is posed by foxes. These are now known to be established in Tasmania, which is the refuge for many of the endangered marsupials, some of which are actually extinct on mainland Australia, leaving Tasmania as the Noah’s Ark, which will be relied upon for these species to survive for the benefit of the entire world. That is the importance of our situation in relation to this, and yet this government couldn’t even mention in the State of the State address biodiversity, our responsibility to nature. We do have, as people who are elected in this state to contribute to the governance of Tasmania, a very serious and earnest responsibility to look after all of the living treasures of Tasmania. Yet apparently in the Premier’s mind they don’t exist anywhere near as prominently as football or horse racing, and that is an indictment on his appallingly narrow horizons.

I want to quote something that was said by Martin Luther King that should frame the way in which we approach things like this State of the State address, and our perceptions and our actions in relation to strategic approaches going froward. We ought, and certainly the Greens do have this practice in our party rooms, but I begin to realise that it’s a foreign notion in relation to this labor government, we ought when we make decisions and when we consider any initiatives which will then flow into a speech around our strategic directions, we should be looking from the perspective of our grand children and their grandchildren. We should be focusing on what the actions we propose today will result in terms of the lives of our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and this is what Martin Luther King Jr had to say in a speech not long before his assassination. He said,

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood: it ebbs. WE may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilisations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too Late’. There is an invisible book of life, which faithfully records our vigilance in our neglect. Omar Khayam is right: ‘The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on’.”

That is what we should do

I wish Paul Lennon knew that quote and I wish he acted on it because that is what we would do. That is what we should do. That is an important observation for decision makers and a very important observation in relation to what is alleged to be a speech of overarching strategic initiatives, because the calamities coming down the line in many aspects have been comprehensively ignored, let alone the actions that need to be taken, particularly in the environmental arena by the Premier and his government.

I repeat one more time, that I cannot believe that at this point in our history there is no mention of climate change, there is no mention of the threats to our biodiversity and there is a comprehensive abandonment of the clean, green direction for Tasmania.

So, where are we with this State of the State address?

Well, the assessment of the current situation was one-eyed, to say the least. There were no remarks on the failure of Spirit 3, on the deception of the Tasmanian people coming into the election, not to mention the vilification of the Greens for daring to point out the reality of the situation. No apology, in relation to any of the backflips where we’ve been proved to be right and the government has eventually had to come to that point in their decision making. I don’t suppose that you expect them to big even though I will make some efforts to congratulate them where I feel that it is due. No remarks in relation to Spirit 3. No remarks in relation to the situation of the Hydro. No remarks in relation to the huge debt level built up in Government Business Enterprises.

But again, the continued theme about debt which is manicured to make it seem as if all debt relating in any way to the government has vanished when of course we know it has been carefully sidelined into the GBE’s in order to allow a manicured statement to be made around debt.

What was perhaps even more extraordinary, was the failure of the Premier to mention the current debacle engulfing his Ministry. Where were his remarks on ministerial competency. Why did he not seek to dispel the cloud that is sitting over his front bench and his government. He talked about leadership alright. He mentioned strong leadership on about the second sentence I think it was. Mr Speaker, well, I beg to differ. And when he finished saying his government is about strong leadership, at that point, the Parliament erupted in hysterical laughter.

‘My Government is based on strong leadership’, he says. The Premier does not demonstrate strong leadership, he demonstrates a failure of leadership and every day it is becoming more apparent and remarked upon. Because you see since the March state election not only has he been found to have deceived the Tasmanian people in relation to Spirit 3, the financial situation of the Hydro and his weasel words on debt, but he has been engulfed by the scandal over Bryan Green’s signing of an illegal document with the TCC designed to lock them into an exclusive right to continue builder accreditation for the next 3 years, no matter who the future government was. Hasn’t that been proven not only to have been the most extraordinary negligent act, with this man failing to tell parliament the full story and misleading parliament, also misleading the Premier, along the way. Now we discover that of course the KPMG audit has shown that they were not doing the job well, that it was not a good arrangement, as our member for Bass Mr Booth had been pointing out for years, and been vilified in the process. Yet we have the Premier again making a deal that makes it easy for his Labor mates, gives them the public legal position on paper that all that was wrong was a bit of bad publicity. What he would do if he had a skerrick of good leadership in him, is that he would make the hard decisions and he would make them now.

He has to set and maintain standards for his ministers and yet in this State of the State address there was not a single mention of upgrading or enforcing his code of conduct for government members, as if there was no problem. Give us a break. Well he’s claimed in the parliament this year, that we, on the Opposition sides of the House, ought to commit to that code, but at the same time, all that we can see is that it’s honoured in the breach. And when we ask him how he applies it and why he doesn’t apply particular sections of it he won’t even answer. I reckon anyone could claim that they were enforcing the code as well as Paul Lennon does, because the long and the short of it is that he is weak, when it comes to his own people. He won’t lay down the law. He needs to set and maintain standards for his ministers, he needs to relegate Bryan Green to the back bench permanently. Appoint a new Deputy, get a new Minister into the portfolios. I can’t help the fact that he doesn’t have a great lineup of talent to choose from but that’s his problem. Now, when I go around the state I am hearing a litany of concerns from stakeholders, about the headless departments that don’t actually have a functioning Minister at the moment because of Bryan Green being removed from his position. Paul Lennon thinks he can do it all, I know, but he actually can’t. He really needs to act, there is a drastic failure of leadership.

Economically aggressive Tasmania

Now what else is in the State of the State address? Well I was fascinated by the bit at the front of the address about the economically aggressive Tasmania. Once I recovered my breath from the fact that the clean, green and clever direction has been completely abandoned, we had a statement that ‘my government gives strong leadership’ and then went on to talk about development projects across the state. He chose in particular to name the pulp mill, Lauderdale quay and the DFP. I don’t think the Premier knows the difference between strong leadership and bullying communities. Bullying communities, overriding community views, ignoring what they have to say, overriding business concerns as well, is not strong leadership, it is pure bloody mindedness. What this Premier thinks is strong leadership is his bizarre spending priorities, and his questionable support, come hell or highwater, for developments to which the community objects. And he will go out of his way to ensure that his whimsical priorities and these obnoxious developments go forward no matter what the community thinks and no matter what other priorities are on the horizon. So we get the 15 million dollar football deal, no cost benefit analysis. Criticised from all quarters including the ones he though were going to cheer him around the field, and he can’t tell us where the money’s going to come from. How about it? Its pretty poor isn’t it? And then we’ve got the Elwick $30 million. And every time there’s something wrong with health and human services, you hear about how the Premier cares a lot more about horses.

There are serious issues in hospitals and Health and Human Services, and yet we have these bizarre spending priorities.

So the economically aggressive Tasmania, apart from bullying communities into submission and delivering them projects that they don’t want with profits expatriated out of Tasmania and the environment trashed, seems to consist of exports of raw materials and bulk undifferentiated commodities into volatile international markets with little value adding, and he’s been off pursuing more of it in China, well big whoopee.

Because what we actually need is differentiated, high end, niche production, and I notice that a year or two ago he cited at length Saul Eslake in his State of the State address and Saul Eslake makes some very acute observations in relations to this direction and its necessity for Tasmania, but Saul Eslake’s been dropped from the State of the State address now too, as we revert to Paul Lennon’s 1950s industrial vision.

The RHH – one enormous embarrassing backflip. We give it a big tick of approval, mind you, because it’s Greens’ policy. It’s policy that Lennon’s Labor government made an artform of vilifying. Of course he’s not big enough to apologise, but there you go. We’re going to support this one. We hope that it’s not called royal anymore, and we hope that it mentions Tasmania. Maybe we can have a naming competition for the hospital, once we’ve finished abandoning the natural state in the naming competition for the number plates. Having said that we support the building of the RHH, because this needs to happen and we embrace the change in labor’s policy, the Greens reserve the right to keep on the government’s tail questioning, probing and raising issues around this initiative. I want to put on the record here my hope, probably a vain one, that the government will display maturity in relation to this and not attack us for daring to ask questions, and not to claim and imply that because we question about what is going on, it means that we don’t support the project, because it doesn’t. It is too important, this project, for the health of Tasmanians into the future, for us to leave the government to it. We will work with all interested parties including doctors, patients and their families, on the requirements and we will bring the issues here, we will bring them up in public, because it is our job to keep the government on track on this one.

Affordable housing. We’re pleased that something is finally flowing through out of the public private partner ship. It’s a good step, but its no substitute for investing government funds into publicly owned affordable housing. If I was in charge of the state, if I was in charge of the Treasury coffers, I can assure Tasmanians that 15 mil would have preferentially gone to publicly owned public housing for people who are doing it tough, who are on such tremendously long waiting lists, well before it would have gone to football games.

The stolen generation. The Greens wholeheartedly support this initiative. Legislation that supports compensation will be introduced to parliament by the end of October, we’re told. We intend to support it. Of course we need to look at the legislation and consult with indigenous communities but as long as they tell us that this is what they wanted, we’ll support it. We’ve expressed previous concerns that there wasn’t funding in the budget and we’re therefore reassured that the government is going forward with this. And we also hope that there will be unanimity through the Parliament in relation to this because it is such an important reconciliation initiative, and reconciliation is a most fundamental imperative for us in this place to pursue, for the aboriginal community and ourselves.

A few other points contained in the State of the State address that I would like to remark on. There is the establishment of the Tasmanian skills authority board. The concerns that the Greens express in relation to this are probably similar to those of the previous speaker. Yes, we have been pressing the government for years in relation to skills and skills training, that we understand that this involves the need to retrain many existing older workers and it cannot simply all be gotten from new entrants into the workforce undertaking various forms of skill training and apprenticeships.

Get on with the training

We also are strong on the fact that our managers need better training and need to understand that it is not only important that they afford these opportunities to their employees but they get some help themselves.

But we have to get on with the training and we are worried that the Skills Authority Board doesn’t talk into a talkfest. So I simply put that on the public record. But if it works the way it is meant to then that is a good thing.

Accountability. Now, this government can really do with upgrading itself in relation to accountability. I don’t think there is anybody who would question that. There are some good initiatives here. The Greens have been on the record wanting a Charter of Budget Responsibility which we spoke about during the recent State Election campaign and I find it quite interesting that in announcing the Charter of Budget Responsibility the Premier failed to mention that the one political party, the one recognised political party that failed to produce a fully costed and funded account of their election promises was Lennon Labor. Lennon Labor put it on the other parties in the election to come up with the fully costed and funded initiatives but they didn’t do so themselves and they never produced a fully costed and funded summarised account of all their promises for assessment despite the pressure. So I find it pretty interesting that the Premier comes in here trying to make some kind of virtue of coming up with this idea when he himself comprehensively failed to fulfil this responsibility in the most recent election. But I do need to say some things about the proposal.

This proposal must include that the start of the election Treasury books are opened to all those parties. If we can’t know where spending in the Budget is up to at the time that the election begins then there is no way we can be expected to prepare costed and funded initiatives with the same level of understanding of what money remains available that the government has. In other words, there must be a level playing field.

We also should have the assistance of a Treasury officer to make sure that we’ve got the correct figures in relation to what is available where and how it can be expended and what the implications are. Because the government has that. We can’t be expected to guess it from the Budget papers which the Premier himself is on the record in his speech saying no longer do the job. And for which he was roundly criticised by numbers of luminaries nationally in relation to the last budget papers including again from Saul Eslake in relation to the lack of transparency. So I am putting it very clearly here, we want the Charter of Budget Responsibility but we will only have it in the context of a level playing field, we will not have it as some sort of political cat and mouse game where Lennon Labor government is the cat and we have a couple of mice running around about to be eaten in a totally disadvantageous situation.

So the Premier needs to come clean on what on earth exactly that is about.

As we have also said, the Premier needs to revamp his Ministerial Code of Conduct and what he needs to do even more urgently than that is enforce it. He should read it and enforce it.

We have had policy for many years of separate Consolidated Fund Appropriations that he has outlined, including for the Ombudsman and we give a tick of approval for that as well as to upgrading the Audit Act and giving the Auditor-General additional powers.

Its become quite obvious, especially the way this government manages things, that this is highly necessary.

Well, water and sewage.

I suppose this is the only area in which you can say in any way is connected with the environment. Again there is a need to ensure that results flow through, however we do acknowledge the need for a regional or statewide approach.

Local government cannot fix the problems alone.

We also insist on a modern approach. No more putting sewage into oceans and rivers. Cut our use of water by adopting water efficiency measures.

I sum up by saying that Premier Lennon’s move to ditch Tasmania’s ‘clean, green and clever’ future and to abandon the natural state is absolutely disgraceful. Speech after speech after speech from this man has abandoned the heading of Environment. We only hear about Economy, Society and Culture. He thinks that the environment is some sort of fancy trimming that he calls ‘lifestyle’, which all goes to show his total lack of comprehension. It is a serious problem for Tasmania we’ll do what we can to pull this government up to the mark, and we are going to be advocating for our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, and for all the living beings which share this beautiful place with us.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Tess

    October 1, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    #6 I see they’re moving the Tarkine boundries again, now Brenda claims they’re at West Calder, the way these boundries have moved over the years people in Launceston will be claiming they live on the edge of it next.

  2. alan taylor

    October 1, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    the community forest agreement commits tasmania to reduce clear felling to less than 20% of logging in old growth forests but the commission claimed after the high court case that the finding meant that clear felling was safer ~ and therefore necessary. the sound of long bows being drawn was twanging even more heavily in the air. according to the commission, the finding apparently meant that selective logging had somehow been put ‘at risk’, something the high court didn’t imply.

    that wasn’t the end of it for the commission. not to be denied, the case was scheduled to reappear in the tasmanian supreme court last august and is, i presume, still continuing.

    the forest worker, paraplegic since 1998, must be well pleased with the commission’s efforts on his behalf.

    currently, over half the state’s logging operations use selective methods and any injury rate seems to be related more to the management of the coupe, not whether it is selectively logged or clear felled. clear felling still accounts for well over the intended 20% of all harvesting for the simple reason that it is more profitable. further pressure is being put on the government by the industry to extend both the community forest agreeement, and clear felling within it.

    there has, however, been one case of a worker being killed during a selective logging operation but the cause of death determined by the court was that the worker died of cerebral haemorrhage from a fractured skull after being crushed by a fallen tree when a skidder backed into that tree, shearing it off at the base. the logger was warned, panicked, and ran directly into the path of the falling tree.

    the finding in this case was not that selective logging had nothing to do with the accident, rather that safely procedures were not properly in place and those that were were not followed. the type of accident could have happened under any form of logging, selective or otherwise.

    but the tasmanian forestry commission can be absolved completey from any responsibility in this instance. it happened in missouri, USA, in 1999.

    the whole issue does bear closer examination, however, so thank you for drawing it to our attention, john herbert. the english did, after all, win the battle of agincourt by drawing a longer bow than the french.

    alan taylor
    policy covenor
    tasmanian greens

  3. alan taylor

    October 1, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    yes, john, wood is a renewable resource. forests are not. it amazes me that there are still people on the planet who are so unfamiliar with forests that they imagine that they’re made of trees.

    forests are interdependent ecosystems, entire unto themselves. they self organise, self perpetuate, and maintain their own equiibrium. trees, plants, fungii, animals, enzymes, moulds, insects, all come and go. the forest ~ that web of interrelated cycles ~ remains.

    until, of course, some latterday viking mistakes the forest for the trees ~ and the trees for wood.

  4. John Herbert

    October 1, 2006 at 1:02 am

    Wood is renewable resource. You can watch the death of the planet with all the wigged out links you want Brenda. I’ll continue living thank you very much for the offer anyway. Why aren’t you folk all selling pencils with ‘the end is nigh’ hanging around your neck I keep asking myself.
    If you had any integrity you’d be living in a cave in a desert. But you are not so there can be only one conclusion.

  5. Brenda Rosser

    September 30, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    John Herbert wrote:
    “Well maybe the self proclaimed defenders of the forest will volunteer the rest of your lives to the extremely difficult and dangerous task of selective logging in the forests. There is bugger all money in it and you may die in the process but wood is needed in life. .”

    First, let’s make it clear to the public that most of our beautiful rainforests and old growth have simply gone to woodchip for paper pulp. Not wood.

    Second, most of the wood is actually piled up and burnt using a napalm like chemical that leaches into our waterways.

    Third. The reason why there is so much waste is because it allows the acceleration of the rape of the forest. This then ensures profits to the ‘forest’ company who has to compete with other ‘forest rape’ companies in Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere.

    This is what globalisation is. The rapid movement of capital, labour, goods and (in this case) bulldozers that make it possible for profits to be wreaked out of the plunder of nature.

    The neoclassical economic theory – that John Howard, Paul Lennon and their big business mates use – doesn’t acknowledge that there are limits to natural resources.

    While you continue in your deluded state the rest of us can go to:
    to watch the death of the planet.

  6. Rachael Krinks

    September 30, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    John Herbert,

    You sound ridiculously like that man at the recent Pulp Mill Debate that tried to tell us without the mooted Pulp Mill we will all be communicating with slate. He went on and on and on. And now you reckon we’d be living in caves in a desert communicating via rockcard. And you reckon we Greens are ‘alarmist’ and use ’emotionally charged rhetoric”!

    too funny!

  7. John Herbert

    September 30, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    Well maybe the self proclaimed defenders of the forest will volunteer the rest of your lives to the extremely difficult and dangerous task of selective logging in the forests.

    There is bugger all money in it and you may die in the process but wood is needed in life. Unless of course you don’t have wood in your homes and never plan to use anyting that is directly or indirectly involved the production of timber. Have fun in your cave in the desert. Send me a rockcard!

  8. alan taylor

    September 29, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    okay, okay.. so we’re quibbling over the word ‘rape’. can we agree on ‘pillage’? how about ‘plunder’? despoil? ravage?

    in my mother’s day, anyone who was raped was considered to have been ‘ruined’. can we agree on ‘ruin’?

    anyway, herbie, the macquarie dictionary describes rape as an act of agression by which one state seizes the territory of another. hhmm.. close, very close.

    i luv ya, john. your mixed metaphors are a wonder to behold. and you carp about the use of the word ‘rape’? carp?. it means cavil. cavil? um.. to raise irritating and trivial objections…

    alan taylor

  9. Tassie Smurf

    September 29, 2006 at 12:24 am

    “The RHH – one enormous embarrassing backflip. We give it a big tick of approval, mind you, because it’s Greens’ policy”. – Peg Putt.

    Well done, Peg. Yet one more Greens policy poached by Lennon & Labor. Anyone out there willing to draw up a list of other policies poached from the Greens & later adopted by this out-of-touch “no ideas” party? “Tis about time the rest of Tasmania woke up to what’s going on!

    “Its all very well Peg, but if you can’t nail Lennon with a smoking gun then you are travelling in a very empty vessel.” – John Herbert.

    Nailing Lennon with a smoking gun sounds painful. When can I have a go? What implement to you suggest I use to nail the smoking gun to Lennon with?

    An empty vessel is a very apt way to describe Lennon’s cranium! It could also describe the Tasmanian Labor party in general….

  10. John Herbert

    September 28, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    I’ve seen it as well and I disagree with you Brenda. It’s no pretty but it’s not rape by any measure.

  11. Rachael Krinks

    September 28, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    I agree Brenda. I consider myself a feminist and am closely associated with people who have been raped or abused and I use that term to describe the plunder for profit of our great forests and the obscene scar on the environment after forestry has cut a swathe through it.

    I actually, and I’m sure this will be provocative, view the dead carcasses of trees, piled high on log trucks, as akin to piles of bodies we see every day in war zones, mass graves and in Iraq on our tv screens. Emotional? Perhaps. And why not. When I drive to work and enormous log trucks course through the main streets, carrying dead circles of great trees. I feel like crossing myself as they pass, these once proud, great living creatures, naked, stripped of their skins, lying dead, unheralded and exposed in a jumble on the back of a dusty truck.

    It is a disgrace and thank goodness people are speaking out about it.

    Our water is scarce, plantations are soaking up water in farming communities across the north east, precious water is promised to the Pulp Mill from Trevallyn dam when after a dry winter and with increasing hot summers, we can’t spare any.

    It is a joke. We can’t eat or breath or drink money. The money raised by this destruction goes into the pockets of a few, a major company, its shareholders, and the fundraising election coffers of our very own government.

    Maintain the rage.

  12. Brenda Rosser

    September 28, 2006 at 2:28 am

    “The use of the word rape in relation to perceived damage to the environment is to demean those who have actually suffered this fate in my opinion. The green cause is constantly hurt by its use of alarmist and emotionally charged rhetoric…”

    Actually I live on the edge of the Tarkine and have personally witnessed the clearfelling of rainforest by these ‘anti-forest’ corporations.

    ‘Rape’ is a word that simply isn’t strong enough to describe what actually happens.

    If I could find more words to conjure up the need for public alarm and high emotion at what is going on in this state I would!

  13. John Herbert

    September 28, 2006 at 12:20 am

    Its all very well Peg, but if you can’t nail Lennon with a smoking gun then you are travelling in a very empty vessel.

  14. John Herbert

    September 27, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    The use of the word rape in relation to perceived damage to the environment is to demean those who have actually suffered this fate in my opinion. The green cause is constantly hurt by its use of alarmist and emotionally charged rhetoric.

  15. Justa Bloke

    September 27, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    Pure market theory is not and never has been the basis of capitalism in the real world.

    If a company can con a subsidy out of public funds, it is duty bound to do so.

    What I would like to know is how the Greens can reconcile their views and attitudes with the management of an economic system that can only succeed by operating in contradiction to them.

  16. Brenda Rosser

    September 27, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    The theory of the market – which is put forward as the basis of the capitalist system – would necessitate the following. That a firm that is incessantly dependent on public subsidies would be allowed to go bankrupt. This, in turn, would allow the evolution of more viable enterprises.

    This is not allowed to happen in Tasmania. Therefore, either capitalism is not a market-based economy here or we are actually dealing with FEUDALISM in Tasmania.

    Other questions. How come the ‘forest’ industry is enjoying higher productivity based – NOT on technological innovation – but on the accelerated rape and pillage of our environment? Surely this contradicts the notions of ‘enterprise’ and ‘innovation’.

    Inflation is the destruction of ‘real value’. Our health and safety, our water, our beautiful forests – that’s REAL value. Don’t let the economists reduce such a concept of value merely to the amount of woodchips China can buy from us.

  17. Low Carl

    September 27, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Go Peg Go!!!

    Aint it sad the way people tend to mistrust the Greens ability for pragmatic government. As though their ‘newness’ leaves them less equipped than the old ‘trusty’ parties. A little bit of packaging and a long standing label tends to win the day despite the fact that the contents of the ‘major’ party packets are yet wet behind the ears. It’s the established community, industry and government departments that carry the core of the pragmatics.

    Even if the Greens are thought to be wet behind the ears also they surely can put up a better face than the current majors.

    Paul Lennon, Peg Putt, Al Gore, Steve Irwin, Paul Eslake, George Bush; which are the two off-key?

    And who voted them in?

    There is hope, but it is firstly far away from the train that the West currently rides.

    Low Carl

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