Labor needs a plan to stand up to green protests, not platitudes and naivety


Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom had shown extraordinary naivety calling for greens to abandon "old politics" and join the new harmony of the Tasmanian forests deal.

Opposition spokesman for Forestry Senator Richard Colbeck said the forest process resulted from a concerted strategy across green organisations, which were now moving onto other targets.

Senator Colbeck today re-released a 2010 document, which clearly shows the Tasmanian campaign was run with a view to later target native forest sectors in Victoria and West Australia.

"When we first released this document no one wanted to listen - green NGO denials held more weight," Senator Colbeck said.

"This document shows the foundation of Markets for Change, a front line campaign unit of the green movement attacking business in Australia to kill off the native forest industry, with foundation funding out of the Wilderness Society.

"History tells the tale.

"Sid Sidebottom's Labor party has capitulated to green protests, thereby encouraging more protests. It is a bit late to start whinging now.

"The more concessions provided to the greens the more incentive they will have for new campaigns on forestry and other industries.

"In Mr Sidebottom's own seat - after securing massive new reserves under the IGA - they are targeting mining, tourism development and dairy expansion."

Senator Colbeck was responding to comments by Mr Sidebottom that greens should put aside old politics and embrace "new politics" in which parties arrive at balance and consensus.

"Mr Sidebottom needs to outline Labor's plan to stand up to these protests and secure the growth and employment his region so desperately needs," he said.

"Labor needs the strength to stand up for Tasmanian workers, whose jobs are at risk because of these reckless actions.

"It is Labor that needs a new approach - the greens, on the other hand, are lost in the past and will never change, but they obviously continue to outsmart the Labor Party."

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