IN the south east of Tasmania, there was once a thriving timber town known as Wielangata. In its heyday it had a general store, bakery, blacksmiths’ shops, school and of course several saw mills. Wielangta was ravaged by bushfires in the 1920s and abandoned in 1928.
Australian Greens’ Senator Bob Brown has been claiming the area as pristine forest and suing those with permission to log it: Not log it to destroy it, but log it as part of a sustainable rotation.
Anyway, the outspoken activist lost his last round in the courts and is short $240,000 after costs were awarded against him. All up the fight has cost him nearly $1 million with most paid for by his supporters.
But he is now short a couple of hundred thousand and a couple of days ago he launched a media campaign claiming he will be throw out of parliament if he can’t raise the money.
Of course offers of financial support are pouring in from Australia’s elite because he is so fashionable – gay, green, and a martyr.
But, in my opinion, his key arguments concerning Tasmania’s forests have been morally bankrupt for some time.
Notes and Links
Photograph of Wielangata forest taken by Jennifer Marohasy in November 2006.
Browns going red beat-up, by Barry Chipman, Timber Communities Australia:
By now every one would have heard of Senator Brown self imposed $240,000 legal bill, with out doubt it is just about the worlds biggest media beat-up ever. Following yesterdays mass media coverage (or perhaps fund raising campaign) we sort some background information to what was being claimed and it is very interesting indeed to find what Brown and sections of the media didn’t say.
One very telling admission we learnt yesterday regarding the awarding of costs is that the Federal Court process is for a draft bill to be sent in to the Registrar, who assesses it, and provides a gross figure – this is called a taxation. The other side has time to lodge objections to specific items; if not, the bill is confirmed (by certificate) as payable at the taxed amount (ie, the Registrar’s assessment).
And guess what Brown’s lawyers failed to object to the taxation by the Federal Court Registrar. So then on 21st April the costs bill was then taxed at $239,368.63,. So if Brown was so worried about going red why didn’t he lodge an objection? Was he happy to pay the cost or is it all about he creating as a self imposed stage for him self to be seen as the all mighty martyr.
And some other posts on Senator Brown at this blog: