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Harriss Oversteps on Forests Poster

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Thursday, 18 September 2014

Tags: No Confidence Motion, Forests

Resources Minister Paul Harriss is under pressure to formally apologise for deliberately trying to smear Greens MPs, and members of the public who may also disagree with the Liberals’ forestry policy, for using the word ‘conflict’ in context of the Tasmanian forestry debate.

“The disgraceful new low the Liberals dragged the Chamber to today continues the pattern of arrogant abuse of the Parliament we have seen on more than one occasion this week, and is a disturbing taste of what is to come under a regressive majority government," Greens Leader and Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.

“To seek to trivialise the outrages of rape and mass murder, slavery and extortion to politically intimidate non-government members of parliament and other members of the Tasmanian community who may agree that the Liberals forestry policy will entrench divisions and conflict, is a breach of ministerial responsibility on behalf of Mr Harriss.”

“The simple fact is that representatives of all parties in the Lower House, and many Members of the Legislative Council have used the word ‘conflict’ in the context of the forest debate in this state over decades.”

“To now suddenly decree via a Dorothy Dix question that the use of this word is a deliberate link to some of the most inhumane atrocities occurring across the globe is reprehensible.”

“Many individuals and organisations have warned that the Liberals are intending to drag Tasmania back to the bad old days of forest conflict, now that their legislation to tear up the TFA has passed, they feign trumped up moral outrage over the same exact same words being used.”

“It was clear the Liberals knew they overstepped the bounds of decency when they failed to allow the House to debate a censure motion in the Minister for Resources, instead using their numbers to block that move.”

“There are many established precedents over the years where governments have the fortitude to allow a censure or no confidence motion debate to proceed. Instead the Hodgman regime resorts to vile and offensive gutter slurs, then hurriedly hides behind its numbers to protect its Minister rather than try and defend the indefensible.”

“Mr Harriss should apologise to the Tasmanian community, or resign his ministerial commission,” Mr Booth said.