Our Common Ground will today launch a hard-hitting new television advertisement highlighting abuses of democratic processes to please old-style logging interests.

The ad calls for the interests of ordinary Tasmanians to be put ahead of large timber companies.

The advert features pulp and paper mill expert Warwick Raverty — a former member of the Resource, Planning and Development Commission (RPDC) assessing the Gunns Tamar Valley Pulp Mill development.

Mr Raverty was responsible for assessing the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, and resigned due to ‘undue political influence’ in the process. He said that the way Labor and Liberal politicians changed the process corrupted Tasmanians’ faith in their democracy.

Our Common Ground said recent comments by the Premier and Gunns about moving towards sustainable forest certification shows the message is finally getting through.

“Tasmanians and world markets have been very clear what they want,” said Ahmet Bektas of Our Common Ground. “Finally, politicians and companies are paying attention. But Tasmanians expect to be heard after elections, too, which will require clear commitments from all parties that abuses of democracy will end.”

In the ad, Raverty refers to both major parties ramming through legislation that prevented ordinary Tasmanians from appealing any decision – “even in cases where the process was corrupt”.

“The way in which the Liberals and Labor rushed the Legislation through, with the extraordinary concessions provided to Gunns ignored the advice provided about the negative impacts on the environment and the community,” he said.

Our Common Ground said it’s a message that will get louder. ” While Gunns had a role, politicians’ failure to follow democratic processes is the key problem.

And if politicians think abuses of democracy will be forgotten in election years, they’re wrong.

Tasmanians and world markets expect better,” said Mr. Bektas.

Our Common Ground is a non partisan, cross-section of groups and individuals determined to end old fights that are keeping Tasmania divided. The OCG TV ad campaign is being supported by private donations, the national progressive, non-partisan group Getup and by the Wilderness Society, a member of Our Common Ground.

The launch will feature former ABC gardening host Peter Cundall.

Press Opportunity: 11am, Grand Chancellor Hotel, Launceston
Ahmet Bektas, Our Common Ground