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


Liberals new anti-protest laws doomed to failure!

The ongoing Frankland Forest vigil – Pic Ted Mead

First published Feb 21

Desperate times call for desperate measures! This is the egregious Hodgman government’s mantra at the moment as they just recently announced their intention to draft another legal bill to prohibit workplace forestry protests. History shows us that with politicians consistent desire to suppress dissent, then this is destined to be another protracted and draconian process, which will probably be challenged all the way through the courts again!

In 2016, Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt were charged under the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 after they were arrested in a protest at Lapoinya ( http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/lapoinya-what-a-waste-/ ) in northwest Tasmania. Although the Lapoinya protest charges were later dismissed, the defendant’s chose to challenge and nullify the Workplaces Act 2014.

Late last year the High Court challenge from Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt defeated the Tasmania’s workplace laws.

The High Court emphatically struck down Tasmania’s anti-protest laws as unconstitutional — describing them as overly broad, vague, confusing and exhibiting “Pythonesque absurdity”.

The High Court ruled that the laws breached the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution.

Billed by the Government as the toughest anti-protest laws in the country, the Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Act was passed through Parliament by the Hodgman Government in July 2014 in a bid to stop protests disrupting forestry operations. The laws carried fines of up to $250,000 and five years’ imprisonment.

These anti-protest laws are now unenforceable!

So how are the Tas Liberals going to re-bill and redefine a state law that will undermine our national constitution?

The High Court’s decision frames the fundamental right of Australians to peaceful protest. This historic precedent will permeate throughout the country to other national issues such as the proposed Adani mine project, which will be subjected to mass protests if it proceeds!

Meanwhile the protests regarding the logging of high conservation forests in Tasmania will continue.

Currently the Liberal caretaker government has no enforceable law, and now remains impotent to prosecuting protesters in a workplace environment. The police may have the authorisation to move protesters on from a workplace site, but with the inability to lay charges it would seem that without bail release conditions there is nothing to stop protesters returning to a disputed site immediately.

In the unlikely case of another law being pushed through the houses of the Tasmanian Parliament, there will almost certainly be a challenge mounted by a very astute legal team that doesn’t have the desire to stand in front of bulldozers to protect our magnificent forest, though would be willing to present before the High Court again if needed.

Success for the Tasmanian Liberals for new anti-protest laws seems unlikely, and their arrogant desire to do so will cost taxpayers a fortune again! – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-19/anti-protest-law-to-be-attempted-again-by-hodgman-liberals/9461252

The logical and simplistic solution for the Liberals is to withdraw from logging the remaining high conservation forests in Tasmania and display that they have the leadership qualities to unite Tasmanians whilst displaying responsibility and protection of the island’s environment for the future.

Conservative politicians it seems, have a never-ending desire to polarise and divide the community because they know that, once we as a community are united, then they have little control and dominance over their ultimate agendas!

United we stand, divided we fall – Aesop (ancient Greek storyteller)

*Ted Mead has been involved in peaceful protests regarding the protection of the environment in Tasmania since the early 1980s. In that period Ted has witnessed numerous protest laws enacted, enforced and defeated with very little hindrance to environmental campaign successes. No matter whatever the government’s stance is, there will always be those who are willing to stand up in defence of the unnecessary and unjustified destruction of our natural environment, and fortunately because of those defiant people, Tasmania is a far richer in natural heritage than it would have been if we had lost all of our campaigns.

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


  1. Clinton Garratt

    February 24, 2018 at 12:16 am

    MjF has mentioned the NS “Plantation Based” project in the deep south. The project may have been mostly opposed based on the Port Esperance aesthetics. However, the project web site indicated a fundamental problem with their source of timber. It didn’t say “Plantation Based”. It said “FSC certified.” I strongly suspect that while STT continues logging HCV coupes they are not going to pass the HCV requirements for FSC. There are several HCV coupes on the three year plan in the south which means FSC is not coming to STT anytime soon. I don’t imagine there are enough non-STT forest resources in the south to justify the NS mill regardless of location and aesthetics.
    … and while on the NS mill …
    If STT stops HCV logging and/or manage to get their FSC tick …
    I wonder if it would make more sense for a future NS FSC-only mill at SouthWood to containerise chips and truck the rail-ready containers over the hill (Plenty Link Rd) to the rail head at Boyer or Brighton for TasRail to then take them to the export facilities at either Burnie or Bell Bay. The truck distance and road conditions are the same as going to Port Esperance. I wonder how the on-going intermodal and rail costs would compare with the depreciation and operating costs of a southern deepwater export facility.

  2. Ted Mead

    February 22, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    #12 … Actually Tim, I don’t primarily advocate a plantation timber industry. It is just what we Tasmanians have been dumped with through a short-sighted ideology.

    There is a sea of plantations out there now that should be utilised for better things other than pulp or chip. The new Burnie mill is about downstream wood production hopefully, rather than sending the material overseas for us to buy back as a manufactured item.

    My view is that all of our wood products should have come from native forests that were selectively logged carefully, but the rampant and wasteful wood chip industry, in the likes of Gunns, for numerous decades made certain that anything of long-term sustainability in utilising our extensive forests is never going to happen now.

    We need to protect the remainder of high-conservation forests in this state and then utilise the remainder on a rotational and sustainable basis. Such a concept would never involve the likes of STT.

    What we have now is merely pillage and plunder native forest vandalism for a short term financial gain to profiteers at a long term financial and ecological loss for the Tasmanian community.

    The longer such activity continues the poorer Tasmania becomes!

    In a couple of decades the world will probably see hemp fibre dominating the landscape and market, and as usual Tasmania will be the last to transition its practices.

  3. Tim Thorne

    February 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    It’s time Tasmanian trees were harvested for durable timber products only. E nitens plantations are not just a blight on the visual amenity of the landscape, but, like any large scale monoculture, they have a negative impact on the environment. The same goes for exotic softwoods. We should be making paper and cardboard from other sources.

    Those like Ted Mead who advocate a plantation-based timber industry should look first of all at what end products they want produced.

  4. MjF

    February 21, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Well that Explains everything.

  5. Ted Mead

    February 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    #8 … John, don’t give them any ideas! We are already operating as such it seems to be waived as soon as someone mentions the GST income.

  6. Ted Mead

    February 21, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    #7 … I don’t drink coffee anyway!

  7. john hayward

    February 21, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Australia is the only developed democracy that lacks a bill of rights

    Unfortunately for the Tas Libs, the High Court found there was an implied right of political free speech a couple decades ago which scuttled Will’s workplace bill to make the looting of public forests not only legal, but also sacrosanct.

    The only option for the Libs now is to secede from Australia and become an autonomous kleptocracy with MjF as its spin laureate.

    John Hayward

  8. MjF

    February 21, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    No worries ted. I think I get it. Ok to have a plantation based operation but only if it can’t be seen. Not necessarily your personal point of view I concede though.

    I guess the critics think the visually intrusive (IMV) salmon pens and the need to create dams for fresh water inpoundment are alright though. Not to mention aquatic dead zones and absence of natural marine fauna under cages, plus plentiful usage of antibiotics and growth hormones.

    As a side issue, I also find all vineyards visually offensive and more so when swathed in white netting,

    But all of a sudden estuary based aquaculture is now revered and highly acceptable by comparison.

    Conceniently moving the goalposts springs to mind.

    Doesn’t look like you and Bonham are splitting lattes after all ?

  9. Ted Mead

    February 21, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    #4 … My understanding of the opposition to the chip mill down south that is mostly about the coastal impacts, particularly the visuals from the Dover area.

    It seems the local are being told the bullshit from the developers that it won’t be visible, but their computer modelling has shown otherwise.

    Lies, lies and more damned lies, but at least the industry is consistent with everything else done before !!!

  10. John Biggs

    February 21, 2018 at 11:58 am

    #! Worse than just against the constitution. The bill was contested in the High Court which ruled in October 2017 that it was unconstitutional, yes, but also that the provisions created sanctions and penalties far outside the actual purported interference with a workplace. The legislation was confusing, vague and poorly written, and Justice Gageler even describing the provisions as ‘Pythonesque absurdity’. Given also that the Liberals have several lawyers in their ranks, it is scary that a government of ours could not only produce such incompetent legislation, but that it is obstinately going to have another crack at it. They’d better study the constitution first this time.

  11. MjF

    February 20, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Lock these folk up and all those that support workplace invasion & disruption.

    Funny you advocate a plantation industry only but we now see a fringe lunatic group now campaigning vigorously against the NS plantation only based project in the ‘Deep South’.

  12. Ted Mead

    February 20, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    #2 … Regardless of who governs next or what their tyrannical desires are, they will have to be content with some minor infringement legislation as it looks like the wheels have fallen off big time regarding the heavy-handed draconian approach!

    No matter what the government of the day comes up with regarding protests, the committed will prevail and the campaign will be won as it has always been.

    Sure, we will lose more beautiful forest places in the process, but history shows we are close to winning the final battle.

    Plantation-based forestry is the only future Tasmania has now!

    Native forest logging will be all washed up in the next decade!

  13. MjF

    February 20, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Great news.
    Why does this have to be an election commitment Hodgo ?
    You should have got off your high horse when the High Court threw out your first set of workplace protection laws and redrafted them then. Not months later and subject to an electoral win. What’s an AG for if not to oversee successful legislation to ?
    So pathetically grandstanding.
    Get these ferals, looneys, huggers and tree fairies out of the bush, into jail and afford workers the necessary protection from these wasters and their old age mentors

    I expect White will take a similar line if she gets up.

  14. Chris

    February 20, 2018 at 10:57 am

    The High Court ruled that the laws breached the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution.

    Wil Will the AG delete political communication in Tasmania again?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top