There were elections in Tasmania and South Australia yesterday.
Despite help from a San Francisco based environmental group, and an expectation that they would win more seats at the election, the Tasmanian Greens look like they have lost one of their four seats and suffered a 3 percent swing against them.
Green’s leader Peg Putt claims they didn’t do so well because the whole world was against them, at least,
“We have had the might of big business, union bosses, Labor, Liberals and more directed against us,” she said to a chorus of boos in the tally room.”
It is not often you have both big business and union bosses against the one party?
According to The Age,
“Big environmental issues failed to bite with the electorate. In Bass, home of the state’s controversial $1.5 billion pulp mill, the Green MP Kim Booth looked like losing his seat, and an independent anti-mill campaigner, Les Rochester, polled dismally. The re-appearance of the former federal MP for Bass, Michelle O’Byrne, in Lyons, proved a trump card for Labor.”
I recieved the following note from David Vernon just before the election. His family recently sold a property at Recherche Bay which had been the focus of campaigning by The Tasmanian Greens and Wilderness Society,
“Following the recent sale of my family’s property at Recherche Bay, I wish to make some aspects of the sale clear for all people of Tasmania.
* My brother and I did not wish to sell our property. I feel that we had been forced into making that decision by what I regarded as constant threats of protest action.
* I understand and appreciate that the site is a very precious piece of land, however the advice we received, and my understanding from our ownership and use of the land, was that it was not pristine.
* We were attempting to manage it appropriately after taking advice, taking into consideration the many aspects of its historical significance so that it could continue to be valued by ourselves and all Australians.
* Our Forest Practices Plan was scrupulously developed to enable sustainable use and proper, sensitive management into the future.
* Many people worked tirelessly to ensure that our rights, wishes and goals could be achieved. To Darren, Greg, Wilkie, Brett, Denise, Gloria, Handy, Barry, Alan, Katy and Terry and many others our heartfelt thanks for your professionalism, guidance, support and friendship during this most stressful time.
* My family has been attacked for the past 4 years, all the while for complying with Local, State and Federal requirements.
* We met, and we are advised in many cases we exceeded, every requirement of Local, State and National legislation, yet we believe that we were the subject of adverse media comment, from State and Federal Green politicians, members of the Wilderness Society and Recherche Bay Protection Group; who have acted, in my view, on the basis that it was ok to extinguish our rights as landowners and our family’s future business opportunity without just compensation.
* Our land was subjected to trespass. We had to endure public comments misrepresenting the truth as known to us, and our families being publicly vilified by protesters, with the threat of public demonstration against us with what I saw as untruthful propaganda.
* In the end I saw a future that I didn’t wish to subject my family to. I saw a future of possible physical disruption and damage to machinery and our business to the point that it would be impossible for us to continue. Therefore, I believe under duress, we reluctantly agreed to sell our private property at the best available price.
* The Greens and the Wilderness Society have developed a process that has, in our case worn down the strongest of landowners.
* Those protesting do not, in my view sufficiently or appropriately respect the rights of Tasmanian landowners, or allow diversity of thought or beliefs in relation to the use and appropriate management of forests of Tasmania.”
And yet again they have not done so well at the ballot box.