Bob Brown arrested at Eastern Tiers forestry protest

Former federal Greens leader Bob Brown has been arrested while protesting logging activity in the Eastern Tiers between Lake Leake and Swansea, confirmed as "important" swift parrot breeding area.

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O'Connor were also at the protest, but complied with a police direction to move on.

Dr Brown said the arrest was for "trespassing", but he said it was public land.

He said it was heartening to see young people also taking part in the action.

"Here in the forest alongside me, is a 16-year-old woman showing more gumption for Australia's environment than a Prime Minister," Dr Brown said.

Video of the arrest, provided by the Bob Brown Foundation:

The 16-year-old was Harriet O'Shea, one of three Australian Climate Strike co-initiators.

She said it was her "moral duty" to protect the native forests and wildlife, including the critically endangered swift parrot.

The logging coupes subject of the protest are part of Sustainable Timber Tasmania's swift parrot important breeding zone. Protesters have taken images of felled logs that they believe contain potential hollows.

STT this month discussed the coupes, with chief executive officer Steve Whiteley saying that even though the coupes are in the important breeding zone, it does not mean the entirety of the zone is breeding habitat.


The Greens pointed out a recent independent audit against Forest Stewardship Council values which showed swift parrot habitat continued to be logged by STT, and that current plans did not prevent future habitat logging.

Tasmanian Forest Products Association chief executive officer Nick Steel said Dr Brown's actions were frustrating for the industry.

"What frustrates most Tasmanians is that unfortunately some forest protesters somehow think it's okay to impinge on the rights of Tasmanians seeking to earn a lawful living in the forest industry, by invading their workplaces," he said.

Following the FSC audit, STT agreed to set aside 10,000 hectares of potential nesting habitat from logging activity, although a recent hearing was told this was 9200 hectares.

Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the protests were "dangerous" and were occurring on land agreed to by both major parties for harvesting.

"These protests are taking place on Permanent Timber Production Zone (PTPZ) land specifically set aside by both houses of State Parliament," he said.

This story Bob Brown arrested at forestry protest first appeared on The Examiner.