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Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Page: 92

Senator BOB BROWN (Leader of the Australian Greens) (3:42 PM) —I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

Senator BOB BROWN —The motion reads:

That the Senate congratulates the 10 000 or more Tasmanians who turned out in Launceston on Saturday, 16 June 2007 to protest against the proposed Gunns Limited pulp mill, for their civic pride, concern for the environment and peaceful expression of opinion in the best of democratic traditions.

Labor and, indeed, the government cannot have it both ways. If ever there was an expression of grassroots support for a cause—which is for the protection of the living environment and the forests in Tasmania and against the pulp mill—it was the 10,000 or more citizens of Tasmania who turned out in Launceston on Saturday. When the Premier, Paul Lennon, called a meeting in favour of the pulp mill some weeks ago, 47 people turned up. My submission here is that the people opposed to this pulp mill have every right to express that opinion peaceably, as they did.

Senator Robert Ray interjecting—

Senator BOB BROWN —It might embarrass the Labor Party and the coalition, but the people turned out in their thousands on Saturday because they oppose this pulp mill—and they have a right to do so. They are not supported—

Senator Robert Ray interjecting—

Senator BOB BROWN —Labor and the coalition are going to oppose this motion, as is their right. So be it. Mr Deputy President, I now seek your determination that there be a division on the matter, because there were two voices calling for a division.