Tasmanian Times


Clive in court

Mike Adams
The impeccably dressed Clive Stott appeared in Launceston Magistrate’s Court this morning with six TAP members in support, some very evidently supportive in ‘Stop the Pulp Mill’ Tee shirts.
Clive was answering a charge of committing a public nuisance for throwing a flare into a government building.

Considering what the magistrate could have taken into consideration: fire brigade time and turn out, office work disruption, police activity, we felt, as did Clive, that the fine of $320, plus $44.80 costs was mild. The magistrate did refer to Clive’s ‘frustration’ in getting no response from the authorities.

You’ll be glad to know that Clive is by no means out of pocket over this affair, TAP members saw to that…

Steve Biddulph has written the case up briefly for both the Examiner and Mercury.

One of our number wondered why Clive’s local MP, Ms O’Byrne, wasn’t defending her constituent. Or in the dock as being complicit. Asthmatic and clean air campaigner Clive Stott is off to the Magistrates court in Launceston next Monday December 8 at 9.30am,

He considers himself fortunate to be able to attend because the last few years of the forest industry’s ‘planned-burn’ smoke almost killed him.

A former state health worker himself, you can read his story and what he is doing to help people breathe clean air in Tasmania at www.cleanairtas.com

Letter to the Editor


“The rate of asthma continues to rise, with a higher proportion of people affected by the disease than the rest of the country.” (Mercury 31st July 2008)

No wonder, when Tasmanians have been exposed to smoke from forestry industries burns for years. Look at it this year, it was the worst on record and even the Minister for Environment (Michelle O’Byrne) has confessed the trials that her Department subscribed to have been a failure. This is little comfort to people (children included) who may have developed deliberate breathing difficulties for life.

Sadly, we are seeing the delayed result of this smoke inhalation right now. Think back to that unexplained cough, becoming sensitive to triggers that didn’t worry you before, or bouts of breathlessness.
Remember your health doesn’t just get better when forestry decide not to burn.

Passive cigarette smoking is being blamed by the Asthma Foundation. Passive forestry smoking is a much more realistic cause for the rise in the number of affected people, and the worst part is, all this smoke is unnecessary. There are other smokeless ways that forestry can manage their plantations.

It is not up to people ‘to manage their asthma condition’; it is up to forestry to stop burning.
13.2% of Tasmanians are suffering now. How many more can our hospitals or stretched health budget cope with?

Clive Stott

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


  1. Mike Adams

    December 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

    #4. My error. For some reason no doubt connected to senility, I missed p.12 of the Mercury of the 12th.
    My apologies to the Merc.

  2. Clive Stott

    December 10, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Have a look at my ASTHMA pages at http://www.cleanairtas.com

    The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania has admitted it won’t lobby for asthmatics.

    As late as the 27/11/2008 they still do not have a position on smoke inhalation from planned burning. Why not? When did I first raise this with them? AND, why should I have to make them stand up for the very people they claim to represent? But i tell you what….I will.

    Please contact the National Asthma Council Australia at nac@NationalAsthma.org.au
    The Asthma Foundation is one of their five members. Let the NAC know the disgusting situation here in Tas.with our branch of the Asthma Foundation.

    The NAC’s Vision is:-
    A community that recognises the impact of asthma as a social, economic and health issue, whose members (take)responsibility for the elimination of asthma and minimising the risks of asthma.

    Deliberately induced asthma attacks from planned burns.
    Deliberate smoke inhalation for all Tasmanian.
    We have the highest rate of asthma in Australia by far.
    The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania will not lobby for asthmatics.

    Thank you.

  3. Mike Adams

    December 10, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Bev, take a look at the Asthma Foundation of Tas. website. It’s content is ‘Authorised by the Manager (Office of Children and Youth Affairs)’, which is a branch of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
    Not much chance of support for a man with a conviction recorded for committing a public nuisance.
    Time they declared independence?
    Think of the effect a demo by asthmatics would have on the weekend newspaper supplements and PR spin by forestry concerns.
    Where do their loyalties lie, one wonders?

  4. Bev

    December 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    One would have to ask the obvious – where was the Asthma Foundation? And for that matter, where has the Asthma Foundation been during the discussions on Launceston’s air quality including the impact of the Pulp Mill? Have they been one of the groups too scared to stand up and speak out, in case they lost State government funding and donations and support from Gunns? Why is the AF silent with regards to the plight of people such as Clive, forcing him, out of desperation, to take the action that he did?

  5. Tom

    December 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I don’t understand why waste wood scraps must be burned anyway.
    Why doesn’t the forestry industry just chip and compost the tree scraps,
    then sell the compost for profit? Burning is the wrong way to go; it is
    extremely wasteful and unhealthy. Check this site about woodsmoke:

    Clean Air Revival

  6. Shirley Brandie

    December 9, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I am so gratified to see that the court realized that this was a peaceful protest.
    I think it is about time that the people there realize the seriousness of this burning and the danger to the health of those affected by the smoke release.
    How unfair that people cannot have the freedom to breathe fresh air. How on earth can those that are doing this sleep at night? It is absolutely absurd that those in power don’t step in and get this smoke issue stopped.
    Good luck, Clive. Keep up the good work. I am sure there are many that support your efforts as much as I do!

  7. sanguine

    December 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Healthy living… now what is that and how do we define it?
    Is it by comparison to cholera devestated countries in S Africa, or life lived coping with corrupt local and state government departments as in Cambodia, or breathing the smog ridden airs of Bejing?
    Or can we aspire to the mission statements of our own State Health Department, because that is what we all want and are told we can have ?
    I wonder…..

  8. Mike Adams

    December 8, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Tuesday’s Examiner carried Clive’s story. The Mercury is, so far, silent, despite having Steve Biddulph’s write-up delivered to their Launceston office Monday morning.
    However, The Mercury does cover the sale of East Tamar property Thorp to Gerald Archer; the Ex doesn’t.
    Gotta read both – or, better, stick with TT.

  9. Mark

    December 8, 2008 at 12:06 am

    A tale of two cities:

    Around 1995, in the days before high intensity burns, Huonville would be bathed in dense smoke from the early evening through to the following morning. I remember this clearly as my son attended soccer training in the evenings while my daughter struggled with breathing in the mornings.

    These were the early days of complaints to FT, Fire Brigade and DPIWE and the new dance craze called the “Accountability Shuffle.” Legal exemptions were arising faster than the smoke.

    They were also the days of the Huon Healthy Rivers program that monitored water quality for phosphates but excluded forestry chemicals. The HV Council was unsympathetic (and generally ignorant) with an oft repeated statement, “Forestry is a permitted use.”

    I still cannot live in the Huon during autumn and will preach to all and sundry to avoid Tasmania during this period. The loss remains with local businesses for this period. The TCCI better start understanding this fact.

  10. Garry Stannus

    December 8, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Good on you Clive! Gutsy effort. The day that you let off the flare, and I was at the Examiner and came out and saw the smoke, I rode down and past, seeing the hoses, the fire appliances, the men standing around, the bureaucrat on the steps and I continued on and did the dog-leg into Brisbane St, and minutes later, outside the Princess Theatre, I saw down over the top of City Park this ‘ginormous’ pall of forest-burn smoke which stood over Mt Arthur.

    During the night the wind turned and covered the WHOLE TOWN in a pall a wood smoke. You were charged with a momentary distraction of protest smoke, and the bastards that covered the whole of Launceston in smoke at 2:30am of the next morning, went on to do it again and again and again.

    These bastards don’t get charged. They are above the law, like the SS. The law is there to deny us justice, and to allow them to spoil our air, water, soil, flora and fauna. Every day.

    Thanks Clive for having put yourself on the line. A pox upon those people who were responsible for day upon day, and month upon month of smoke ridden skies this year. They are criminals, who benefit from a corrupt administration.

  11. Dave Groves

    December 7, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Nice one Clive.
    Courage you have plenty.
    Well done cobber.
    Dave Groves

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