Warning to fly-in forestry protesters

January 10, 2014

Senator Richard Colbeck issued a warning to international protesters preparing to descend on Tasmania that illegal activity aimed at destroying the forestry industry will not be tolerated.

Anti-forestry group Fearless Summer has threatened action against Tasmanian forestry companies following a bootcamp for protesters in Southern Tasmania next week.

"Any visa-holding protester who breaks the law runs the risk of having their visa cancelled and being asked to leave the country and possibly being blacklisted from returning," Senator Colbeck said.

"Visa holders are a guest in our country and are expected to obey the law. Those who come with the deliberate intention to break the law are not welcome."

"Visitors are welcome to express their views but they are not welcome to break the law."

Senator Colbeck warned protesters holding Australian visas that if they are arrested he will refer them to the Immigration and Border Protection Minister and request their visas be reviewed.

"These anti-forestry bootcamps are little more than fly-in holidays for protesters who come to Tasmania with the goal of destroying the forestry industry through desperate campaigns and sometimes deliberate illegal stunts," he said.

Senator Colbeck said the anti-forestry group held similar bootcamps around Australia in December which led to several protesters being arrested.

He warned fly-in protesters that illegal activities would not be tolerated in Tasmania and they would face the consequences if caught breaking the law.

"Tasmanian businesses shouldn't be obstructed by fly-in protesters who invade workplaces and chain themselves to machinery in a desperate attempt to destroy markets and end the forestry industry," Senator Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck said the forestry industry makes a significant contribution to Tasmania's economy and is vitally important to communities in regional areas.

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