Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Environment

Legal blitz questioned

Warrick Jordan
Ula Majewski, an activist involved in December’s peaceful direct action at Gunns Limited Triabunna woodchip mill, has received correspondence from Workplace Standards Tasmania (attached) interrogating her over her role in the action.
Media Release

23.02.2009

Workplace Health and Safety Pursues Triabunna Activists, Legal Blitz Questioned.

Ula Majewski, an activist involved in December’s peaceful direct action at Gunns Limited Triabunna woodchip mill, has received correspondence from Workplace Standards Tasmania (attached) interrogating her over her role in the action.

” The Triabunna action was undertaken to draw attention to the climate change impacts of the Gunns-driven destruction of ancient forest. As a result, activists have been arrested, sued, labelled as terrorists, personally abused by well known logging industry identities, and are now being interrogated with a blatant misuse of Workplace Health and Safety laws,” Huon Valley Environment Centre Spokesperson Warrick Jordan said.

” In the past week, law abiding Tasmanians and their families who attended peaceful rallies in the Upper Florentine have had Tasmania Police turning up on their doorstep and questioning them as to why they were standing on a public road or in a public forest. Now we have Workplace Standards questioning activists as to why a credit card was used to hire a vehicle,” Warrick Jordan said.

“These moves smack of intimidation. Public institutions who’s role is to protect the public and protect workers from unsafe working conditions are being used as a tool to intimidate Tasmanians from speaking up over the destruction of old growth forest,” Warrick Jordan said.

” The Bartlett Government cannot expect to stir up conflict over forests by logging in iconic valleys such as the Styx, Weld and Upper Florentine, and by pushing though widely unpopular plans such as the Tarkine Road, and then cause further division by misusing public institutions to intimidate ordinary Tasmanians without expecting a public outcry,” Warrick Jordan said.

” The directors of Gunns Limited should take a long hard look at the safety of their own workers rather than supporting the spurious misuse of workplace safety laws. Robin Gray and colleagues are happy to weasel their way out of responsibility for the safety of their workers when they are pursued by Workplace Standards, yet expect Workplace Standards to do their bidding ,” Warrick Jordan said. ( links to Gunns Workplace Safety investigations below)

“Late last year The Minister for Workplace Relations, Lisa Singh, stated that there should be no political interference in the legal operation of the Workplace Health and Safety Act . Ms Singh was responding to a call from Robin Gray to change legislation in Gunn’s favour. We would hope to see that this position still stands,” Warrick Jordan said.

” In 2006 Workplace Standards attempted to lay charges over a forest blockade in the Weld Valley, and a peaceful occupation of Forestry Tasmania’s head office. The DPP found these charges to be without foundation. So why are we seeing a repeat performance in 2009?”
Warrick Jordan said.

Letter from Workplace Standards Tasmania attached.


“Four weeks ago, tourists had to be evacuated from Baffin Island’s Auyuittuq National Park because of flooding from thawing glaciers.
Auyuittuq means ‘land that never melts’. ”
Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor, The Independent, Sunday, 31 August 2008

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Mike Adams

    February 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Mandy, Forestry Tasmania have decreed that on Forestry roads traffic should keep to the right, regardless of wherever else in Tasmania traffic may drive.
    The Florentine protesters wanted to drive on the left.

  2. Bryan

    February 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Nothing to hide ? and be accountable for their actions ?

  3. Mandy Thompson

    February 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t understand the worth of this article. Protest is great, but wouldn’t you expect everyone to obey the law. It’s like saying as an excuse that I drove on the wrong side of the Midlands highway because it should be 4 lane, and driving on the wrong side is my protest!

    They’ll (the protestors) will get more respect if they stop their whinging.

  4. francis

    February 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Workplace standards are there to protect workers AND visitors to work sites. These regulations are there for a reason and don’t only apply when it suits. Don’t you think it is important to protect workers from unsafe actions? Why do you think workplaces are required to have visitor procedures? Do you not think that the employer should be held responsible for the safety of visitors to a work site? Workplace laws don’t simply not apply to you when you are claiming the high moral ground, besides at this stage a number of questions are simply being asked, surely she has nothing to hide?

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