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Tasmania's darkest side on global show: police must investigate violence against protesters.



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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senators for Tasmania

media release

Canberra, Wednesday 22 October 2008

Tasmania's darkest side on global show Police must investigate violence against protesters The culture of violence and ignorance in Tasmania's anti-environmental establishment is on global show today, Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Yesterday's terrifying attack on peaceful protesters in the Florentine Valley on the eastern boundary of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area follows Premier Bartlett's extraordinary statement that "I don't think the logging of old-growth forests is necessarily related to climate change" and his claim that the clear global position that standing forests are more valuable than logged forests is "bullshit".

Senator Milne said "The culture of violence against conservationists in Tasmania must end.

"For all Premier Bartlett's rhetoric of a kind and clever Tasmania, what is on global show is thuggery and wilful ignorance.

"The fact that police were not immediately on the scene of yesterday's attack, and that Forestry Tasmania denies any knowledge, is a stark signal of which side Tasmanian authorities are on.

"When the World Heritage Commission took its mission to Tasmania earlier this year, the Federal and Tasmanian Governments were at pains to show what care they take of forests and the species that inhabit them. However, beneath the façade there is destruction and violence.

"The Prime Minister is responsible for the Regional Forests Agreement under which Tasmania's rare and threatened species are in the care of the those on show in the video distributed by protesters today. What is he going to do about it?

"Mr Rudd, Mr Garrett and Mr Bartlett can no more turn their backs on the violent destruction of forest ecosystems in Tasmania than they can on the thuggery and violence directed against those brave souls who stand up for what the governments themselves claim they want to protect."

An unedited version of the video can be seen at http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.showvids&friendID=218436968&n=21843696 8&MyToken=2b8362f1-07e2-4ac3-bef1-5918b4242916

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562