Huge public response
Donations from more than 1000 members of the public have poured in to help pay Senator Bob Brown's $240,000 legal costs bill for Forestry Tasmania.
Forestry Tasmania was awarded the $240,000 after the full bench of the Federal Court overturned Justice Marshall's finding, for Senator Brown, that logging of Wielangta Forest should stop because it threatened endangered species like the Swift parrot.
Forestry Tasmania demanded Senator Brown pay the full amount by 29 June 2009 or face bankruptcy proceedings (which would threaten his Senate seat). Senator Brown said the bill would be paid on time, following the overwhelming public response.
"Most of the donations are modest but they range from $7.20 to $20,000 (for the purchase of a Wedge-tail eagle painting). I am extremely grateful and send my heartfelt thanks to everyone who offered support," Senator Brown said.
"It shows how strongly people feel about the fate of Tasmania's wild forests and their wildlife. There were many more offers to raise money.
"If we get extra money, we will put it into the campaign to save Australia's forests. Some of the other legal battles to protect our forests are still on foot, including the Gunns 20 and the Triabunna 13 (whose case continues in the Tasmanian Supreme Court today).
Senator Brown added that a survey last week, by a Wilderness Society consultant, showed that Forestry Tasmania has been given $630 million in public subsidies over the past 11 years.
"Perhaps the $240,000 payment could be put to a good public conservation cause by Forestry Tasmania," Senator Brown said.