Democratic Labor Party – Greens against cultural heritage

Media release

Greens against cultural heritage

***For immediate release***

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Australian Greens have further shown their commitment to extreme environmental policies by refusing to support the cultural heritage of the Tasmanian timber communities.

A motion moved by Senator Madigan called for the Government to withdraw the Tasmanian Forests IGA until the effects on the cultural heritage on the Tasmanian Timber Communities has been addressed to the communities’ satisfaction.

Senator Madigan said the lack of support from the Green’s senators proved that the party did not have the best interest of the Tasmanian timber industry at heart.

“What do they actually believe in?” Senator Madigan asked.

“In an earlier motion The Greens clearly stated that people should have a right of self determination, but when it comes to the people opposing something The Greens want to impose on them, the party’s support for self determination evaporates.”

“Clearly their beliefs, whatever they are this week, don’t hold true for the people of Tasmania.”

“The Greens are systematically trying to destroy the Tasmanian Timber industry.”

“Not one single member of their party was willing to stand up for the right of communities that have coexisted with the timber and the land for generations.”

“The Greens have shown their true colours – their party seems to stand for people, but in reality that is a front for a very different agenda.”

“The Greens seem to have an unwritten policy of not mentioning the DLP. They have made it clear today that party politics are more important than real issues.”


Senator MADIGAN (Victoria) (12:41): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) at a recent public rally in Hobart, Tasmanian members of the Timber Communities Australia publicly displayed signs calling for the recognition of their cultural heritage,

(ii) the Tasmanian timber communities are among the oldest continuing communities in Australia and derive their identity from the continuing connection to their district, environment and industry which they have developed over generations, and

(iii) the Tasmanian timber communities, as a matter of basic human rights, wish to pass their identity and cultural heritage on to future generations of those communities without government interference;

(b) calls on the Government to withdraw the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Tasmania (Australian Labor Party/Australian Greens governments) until such time as the effects the agreement will have on the cultural heritage of the Tasmanian timber communities has been assessed and addressed to the satisfaction of those communities.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator MADIGAN: At this time, some of the oldest established communities in our nation are under threat of losing the connection to their environment and the links to those previous generations which form the foundation of their identity and cultural heritage. The idea of cultural heritage is a relatively new one but one that was long overdue. However, I believe it is an idea that needs to be more widely addressed. Members of the Tasmanian timber communities, who are amongst the oldest continuing communities in Australia, have expressed to me their anguish at the impending loss of the connection to their cultural past by an almost forced displacement from the environment with which they identify themselves.

The intergovernmental agreement of the federal and Tasmanian governments is a direct threat to those communities and fails to respect their cultural heritage. The federal and Tasmanian governments should immediately pulled back from their IGA until all these communities are adequately consulted and a level of protection sufficient to address all their concerns relating to their cultural heritage is agreed to. These communities, these people, these Australians deserve to have their cultural heritage celebrated and respected, not ignored and belittled.

Laura Methorst | Media Officer for Senator John Madigan

Democratic Labor Party Senator for Victoria

Canberra: Suite S1.49, Parliament House, Canberra | TEL: 02 6277 3473

Electorate office: 17 Albert St, Ballarat. Vic 3350 | TEL: 03 5331 2321

Mob: 0431 239 182

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