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WorkSafe Tasmania and the Bob Brown Foundation

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 5 March 2020

Tags: WorkSafe, Protest, Forests, Climate Change

WorkSafe Tasmania and the Bob Brown Foundation: Rosalie Woodruff, 5 March, 2020


Dr WOODRUFF - Madam Deputy Speaker, I am happy to withdraw and call Ms Ogilvie an Independent but I still stand on the fact she is an attack dog for the Liberals. The Liberals, the Labor Party and the Independent are all doing the same thing: they are creating a faux risk here but this is not what this issue is about. The real risk people are protesting peacefully in the forest is because they understand the climate is heating. We are in a climate emergency and unless we take direct action it will be catastrophic for human survival. That means everyone in Tasmania living now and the children and the young Tasmanians who are there in the forest. They will stay there and we will support them and the Bob Brown Foundation will support them and you had better get used to it, because this is the future in Tasmania. It is going to be one war after another because we understand what we have to do. This is a peaceful war to reclaim peaceful protest.

Government members interjecting.

Dr WOODRUFF - This is your language. You are creating this terrible situation in the forests.

Ms ARCHER - Point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The member has just grossly misled the House by saying these are my words. I have never uttered those words in this debate or any other debate. For that reason alone, the member should withdraw. Not only is it personally offensive, she is misleading the House.

Dr WOODRUFF - Madam Deputy Speaker, the minister has completely misunderstood me. I said 'these are your words', and I put my hand to the Government side of the House. I am not talking about the minister.

Ms ARCHER - Point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I ask you to uphold the point because the member is now saying they are the Government's words. None of us have ever used those words and she should withdraw them and describe them as her words. They are not our words.

Dr WOODRUFF - Madam Deputy Speaker, the Liberals are on the record for talking about a forestry war. It is a disgrace and a shame.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER - The advice I have received is that this is a debating point. If you would like to correct the record on the adjournment then you are welcome to do that, minister.

Dr WOODRUFF - It is clear that this is something the Liberals made a decision about in 2014 when they came into this place and ripped up the forestry agreement. It was a long, hard and very difficult conflict that was finished with the forestry agreement. This Liberal Government ripped it up. They are on record for wanting to open up the 356 000 hectares of reserve forest which cannot be logged because they are carbon-rich, biodiverse dense forests. They will not be logged because people like the peaceful protestors in the Tarkine and thousands of other Tasmanians will go there to defend them.

We all take risks every day. We drive cars, we surf, we ride motorbikes and do things every day where we take a risk. This is about people knowingly putting themselves into a situation where they will stand up and protest.

The WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator is allowing himself to be manipulated and used. Today is the second time that the WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator has now gone back and told the Bob Brown Foundation to cease protest activities, after having it knocked out last year. Why doesn't the WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator look with the same attention to the sorts of things he has raised that the Bob Brown Foundation must focus on, which is the potential for conducting activities in environments that are isolated and remote with limited communication in the event of an emergency?

How many volunteers in the Tasmania Fire Service put their lives on the line for our communities this Christmas and last Christmas by going into situations that were knowingly dangerous, with burning trees, smoke they could not see through, without being able to communicate with people? They did that.

Is the WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator seriously expecting no Tasmanians will take considered risks and put their lives in situations to defend the things they care about - their families, their communities, their bush, their natural world? It is the same thing. These are the same people who volunteer to fight fires at Christmas time; they are there in the forests today. They will be there defending the 356 000 hectares. This is what it is about, people understanding the bigger picture and preparing to take action. They have been well trained. They are not untrained volunteers, they are peaceful, trained volunteers.

This is a political stitch-up. It is about silencing protest against businesses that this Government supports. We will continue to defend the right of people to defend the forests that protect us all.