Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

14 February 2020

Joan Rylah, Liberal Member for Braddon

Protest not welcome by community

Today’s protest by the Bob Brown Foundation at a processing facility at Smithton is an attack on a hard working community, employees and their families.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to growing our world-class forestry industry, responsibly and sustainably, and these political stunts are putting workers’ safety at risk and putting an unnecessary drain on public safety resources.

Disrupting operations and preventing people from going about their daily job, means redirecting police search and rescue resources from important community safety activity to remove people from machinery and gates.

In Tasmania the vast majority of our forestry products are sourced from our sustainable plantations and production forests, including a small amount of selectively harvested specialty timbers, for value add products.

Our renewable, sustainable forestry industry contributes around $1.2 billion to the Tasmanian economy and generates more than 5,700 direct and indirect jobs, many in regional areas.

Tasmanians experienced first-hand the disastrous results of the Labor-Green coalition, which saw the decimation of the forestry industry and two out of three forestry workers lose their jobs. In the last election the people spoke loudly - the Greens only received 4 per cent of the Braddon vote, with the public demonstrating that they back the businesses that operate sustainably and contribute to better economic outcomes and more opportunities for the region.

It is time for the Bob Brown Foundation and its Green allies to respect the democratic process, and respect regional communities and their businesses.

Workplace protection is imperative. The unsafe acts of Bob Brown Foundation protestors should not be tolerated or accepted.

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