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Minister ringbarks environment

The so-called Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, today turned on environmentalists in Tasmania and backed the logging of Tasmania's native forests, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said.

"He is lambasting Tasmanians who - following a trail of local and foreign loggers - have gone to Tokyo and London to background importers about the iconic forests like the Styx Valley where Mr Burke camped out last year.

"He is converting into an advocate for the chainsaws," Senator Brown said.

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Brown progresses talks on freight equalisation for Tasmania

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has had further discussions with senior officials of the Gillard Government in pursuit of freight equalisation, seeking practical measures to aid Tasmanian businesses in response to concerns brought to his attention by business owners.

"The Greens, in response to business owners, have proposed that the federal Government equalise freight and passenger subsidies for Bass Strait to link Tasmania to the national highway system," Senator Brown said today in Canberra.

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Loggers must be non-violent: Brown

Forestry workers have every right to protest, but they should steer clear of violence and harassment if they want community respect, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"Harassment by forestry workers and their supporters this week in Launceston and Huonville should not be tolerated by our political and community leaders.

"I expect those people who have whipped up the misinformation campaign about conservationists over the past few days to renounce any form of violence.

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Legislative Councillors move to blackmail democracy

In a move paralleling the Legislative Council's self-defeating Franklin Dam breach of precedence in 1980, most Councillors have moved to selectively ban environmental lobbying of overseas companies, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"A High Court challenge to the Council on the right of Australians to free speech would see all 12 Councillors found in breach of the Australian Constitution. It's poorly thought out blackmail," Senator Brown said in Canberra.

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Brown gives Treasurer Bass Strait plea

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has talked to Treasurer Wayne Swan about a proposal from Tasmanian businesses to equalise freight and passenger subsidies for Bass Strait to link Tasmania to the national highway system.

"I passed on a summary of the proposal to the Treasurer for consideration during a meeting this week in Canberra," Senator Brown said today.

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