Bob Brown to Fight Charge: Both Parties Wrong on Forests

Mon 29 Apr 24


Former Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has pleaded not guilty to trespassing charges stemming from an anti-forestry protest staged in the Styx Valley in southern Tasmania on February 19, 2024.

The 79-year-old environmental campaigner appeared in Hobart Magistrates Court earlier today before entering a plea of not guilty and had his bail continued. Fellow activist Colette Harmsen also pleaded not guilty to one count of trespassing from the same protest. 

The pair will appear in court on July 5 before an expected hearing. 

“We’ve pleaded not guilty because we’re not guilty,” Dr Brown said to a throng of media on the court steps, who accused Tasmania’s major parties of backing “outrageous misuse” of state forests. 

“We’ve got government backing a job-losing industry and environmentalists backing job-gaining industries and the beauty of Tasmania,” he said, adding that “the leaders of the (Liberal) government, and the (Labor) opposition… I’m happy to take them out there.”

In February, Bob Brown, along with activists Ali Alishah and Dr Colette Harmsen, was arrested in the Styx Valley in Lutruwita / Tasmania – footage courtesy of @bobbrownfoundation6852.

Dr Brown’s comments come after Tasmania’s new opposition leader, Dean Winter, vowed to support the newly re-elected Jeremy Rockliff-led Liberal Minority Government in “finding a bipartisan way to boost the Tasmanian forestry industry and head off a repeat of the highly divisive disputes over Tasmanian forest coups.

“We need to ensure that industry has the confidence to go forward, and that’s why I’m making sure today that Tasmania and the forest industry know that Tasmanian Labor is strongly supporting the Tasmanian native forest sector and timber mills like this right across Tasmania,” Mr Winter said. “We don’t want to see the Tasmanian forest wars start again—the last thing that the industry needs is for them to start again.”

Wood Central understands that a third activist, Syed Ali Imran Alishah, has pleaded guilty to one count of trespassing relating to the protest. He also pleaded guilty to trespassing after illegally remaining on land in the Styx Valley three days earlier and was listed to face a disputed facts hearing on Monday. Mr Alishah has been in custody since being arrested at the protest and conducted a hunger strike in prison. 


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