Image for Eradicating Tasmania’s political foxes

Recently Mr Ian Rist posted a comment (Comment #137) to a Tasmanian Times article entitled: Was Tasmania riddled by foxes?

Mr Rist recounted a personal conversation he had with the Labor member for Braddon, Mr Bryan Green after Mr Green had been re-instated as Minister responsible for Primary Industries & Water in the new Bartlett minority government [Comment #137].

Readers might recall that up until the last state election, the Minister responsible for this portfolio, Mr David Llewellyn, was definitely the Minister for foxes but Llewellyn was not returned after the state election and the mega-Agency DPIPWE became the province of two Ministers - Bryan Green and a newly elected Labor member in Franklin, David O’Byrne.

Whereas Llewellyn had total responsibility for the fox program - fox quarantine & biosecurity and the operations of the fox eradication branch, from April 2010 O’Byrne became the new Minister for foxes along with Parks, Heritage and the Environment - not Mr Green!

Of course Mr Green at one time had been Minister for foxes between 2002 and 2004 and in October 2003 he appeared with the “Fox in the Box” on the front page of a couple of Tasmanian newspapers.

Mr Rist’s recollection of his conversation agrees with the Hansard of Mr Green’s comments at budget estimates hearings in June 2010. Mr Green was asked in the estimates hearings about “Foxes”. His reply: “It’s not my turf.”

Mr Rist was correct:  the responsibility for foxes had been passed to David O’Byrne - for the next 8 months.

Our newest Minister for foxes is another newly elected Labor member, Brian Wightman.

The startling part of Mr Rist’s recollection of his conversation with Mr Green was Mr Green’s alleged response when Mr Rist cautioned Mr Green - as a friend and fellow hunter - that as a government minister he couldn’t afford another political scandal. “Yeah I know mate, that’s why I don’t want anything to do with it”.

Assuming Mr Rist’s recollection is correct, the simple question is: Mr Green, why don’t you want anything to do with the fox program in Tasmania?