*Pic: ‘Mum ‘n’ Dad protesters’ at WA’s Parliament House protest ... farmers and church leaders gather at Parliament in rally against protest laws in Perth. Pic: ABC News: Andrew O’Connnor
SATURDAY February 20 ...
• Mercury: Tourism entrepreneur Graeme Wood has warning for Tassie politicians TOURISM entrepreneur Graeme Wood has revealed he was close to pulling the pin on a multimillion-dollar development at Triabunna because of what he calls political interference. In response to questions by TasWeekend, Mr Wood unleashed a tirade of abuse against Tasmanian politicians, warning them to keep their noses out of his development plans. “If they interfere too much, I’ll go away,” Mr Wood said. “I’ve got so many investment opportunities outside Tasmania.” His anger stems from the parliamentary inquiry set up by the State Government to investigate the sale of the former Gunns mill at Triabunna to Mr Wood and fellow environmentalist Jan Cameron. The inquiry committee concluded Mr Wood’s tourism plans should be supported. “I do not engage in political discussion in Tasmania any more,” Mr Wood said …
A LITTLE HISTORY ...
• Dec 11, 2002, Chris Johnson, The Examiner: While Opposition Leader Rene Hidding remains overseas, Mr Gutwein flagged his intention to push for a rethink of the party’s policy, which currently mirrors the Government’s approach to logging. The move is certain to put him at odds with his leader, who is due back tomorrow. It will also be seen as an attempt by Mr Gutwein to position himself for a leadership challenge.
THURSDAY February 18 ...
• WILL’s NEW-LOOK MINISTRY: Read what Will says in Comments ...
• Sawmiller and ex-Greens Leader KIM BOOTH in Comments: … “Newly anointed Forest Minister Gutwein now must put his money where his mouth was. In 2013, when Peter Gutwein was trying to knife Rene Hidding, he called for an end to clear felling of native forest. Prior to the 2014 election, Gutwein brayed long and loud that the Liberals would remove the subsidies from Forestry Tasmania.” “Since then, the Liberals have plundered the public purse of over $50 million to prop up native forest logging, causing massive damage to the timber industry, as well as serious environmental and social harm.” “Gutwein must demonstrate that he stands for what he said and put an end to the Hodgman/Harriss ideological war on forests.” “The resignation of Forest Minister Harriss is the best news that the Forest Industry, the community and the economy has had for years.” “It is way past time that the Hodgman Government stopped interfering in the Forest Industry by using public money to drive an ideological agenda.” “The Hodgman/Harriss interference in the timber industry, has caused the ruin of efficient, viable businesses and prolonged the misery of those who should not be in the industry.” “That wasted $50 million could have gone a long way towards front line fire fighting services rather than cutting down rainforests” said Mr Booth.
WEDNESDAY, February 17, PM:
• ABC: Tasmania’s controversial Resources Minister Paul Harriss retires from Parliament • And the question remains: Why? What lies beneath ... Could it be that Forestry Tasmania was trading while insolvent ... ?
• What Paul Harriss, Will Hodgman, Bryan Green and Cassy O’Connor say in Comments ... And Vica Bayley ...
• Rocky in Comments: Just listened to the total destruction of Matthew Groom by Brian Carlton in yesterday’s interview. He had nowhere to go. Well done!! It makes a change to hear a decent interview by someone who has all the facts to hand and won’t be put off by spin and bullshit.
WEDNESDAY, February 17, AM:
The United Nations has called on the West Australian Government to withdraw controversial new legislation that imposes harsh penalties on protesters.
The proposed laws were first introduced into Parliament in March 2015, and the Government insists it will only target radical protesters using devices like chains or thumb locks to block or stop lawful activities.
But the UN said it would “result in criminalising lawful protests and silencing environmentalists and human rights defenders”.
“If the bill passes, it would go against Australia’s international obligations under international human rights law, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression as well as peaceful assembly and association,” the UN Human Rights Office said in a statement.
“The bill would criminalise a wide range of legitimate conduct by creating criminal offences for the acts of physically preventing a lawful activity and possessing an object for the purpose of preventing a lawful activity.
“For example, peaceful civil disobedience and any non-violent direct action could be characterised as ‘physically preventing a lawful activity’.”
Under the proposed legislation, an offence would carry serious penalties of imprisonment of one year and a fine of $12,000.
If the offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation, the penalty could be as high as imprisonment for two years and a fine of $24,000.
The new laws sparked criticism when they were initially proposed, and in April 2015 more than 100 people gathered on the steps of Parliament to oppose them ( HERE ).
UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye said legitimate protest actions were disproportionately criminalised under the legislation, which “would have the chilling effect of silencing dissenters and punishing expression protected by international human rights law”.
Activists trying to raise awareness of key environmental issues were particularly at risk, said human rights defenders special rapporteur Michel Forst.
He said activists had the legitimate right to promote and protect all human rights.
“Including the right to a healthy environment, regardless of whether their peaceful activities are seen by some as frustrating development projects or are costlier for the police to address,” Mr Forst said.
IN TASSIE ... the protest laws in action ...