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Tasmanian activists stage mass rally on Parliament Lawns against 'environmental destruction'

Pulse Tasmania
The Bob Brown Foundation led the protest action. Image / Anna Cadden

Hundreds have joined a mass protest on Hobart’s Parliament Lawns, uniting dozens of nature and climate action groups in a single demonstration.

The Tuesday rally amplified activists’ concerns about fish farming, climate change, animal cruelty, endangered species, native forest logging and wilderness tourism.

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Organised by the Bob Brown Foundation to coincide with the first day of Parliament, the protest criticised both major parties for their ‘lack of focus’ on environmental concerns during the election campaign.

“Previous governments have worsened the climate and biodiversity crises and this new government cannot continue to destroy our island home,” the foundation’s Jenny Weber said.

40,000 hectares from the 360,000-hectare ‘Wood Bank’ would be opened up under the Liberals. Image / Styx Valley forest, Bob Brown Foundation

“Ending native forest logging now is an immediate climate and biodiversity action this new government can take, saving Swift parrots from the brink of extinction.”

“Removing fish farms from Tasmania’s waterways is another positive action. Fish farms are destroying our unique rivers, bays and oceans and pushing animals such as the Maugean skate to the edge of extinction.”

Animal Liberation Tasmania. Image / Anna Cadden

During the election campaign, the Liberals promised to unlock the state’s ‘Wood Bank’ of native forestry, a move they claimed would make up to 40,000 hectares available and increase sawlog supply by 10% annually.

“Following our election in 2014, we rescued 356,000 hectares of production native forest from being permanently locked up and set it aside … for a rainy day,” Premier Jeremy Rockliff said in February.

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“That rainy day has now arrived. As a result of both the closure of native forest industries in Western Australia and Victoria under Labor Governments, as well as growing global demand for sustainably produced wood and fibre products, now is the right time to open this Wood Bank.”

Newly appointed Resources Minister Eric Abetz has been tasked with beginning the process of unlocking the ‘Wood Bank’, primarily in the state’s north-east and north-west, within the first 100 days of the new government’s term.

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