Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

21 May 2020

Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources

Protecting the rights of Tasmanians to work

The Tasmania Government strongly supports free speech and the right to peaceful protest, but threats, trespassing and endangering workers is completely unacceptable.

Protests that endanger hard-working Tasmanians must stop.

The truth is that environmental extremists have been escalating tactics for some time.

Despite yesterday’s tree-spiking incident reigniting heated public debate, the Bob Brown Foundation proudly continues protesting, even posting pictures on Facebook of their members hanging 12 meters off the ground from equipment and tied to machinery near Ouse - clearly endangering their lives and showing nothing but contempt for the physical and mental wellbeing of workers.

These protests are taking place on Permanent Timber Production Zone (PTPZ) land, which was set aside by Parliament through the Forest Management Act 2013, after consultation with the environmental movement, specifically to support production forestry in perpetuity.

These protest actions cost Sustainable Timber Tasmania, private contractors and individual workers thousands of dollars every day and require police to redirect search and rescue resources from important community safety activity to remove people from machinery and gates.

The Tasmanian Government will continue to stand up for Tasmanian workers and Tasmanian businesses, which is why we took our Workplace Protection Laws to parliament – to protect the right to work without fear of threats and aggression.

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