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Friday analysis: An unexpected broadside against Bob Brown Foundation

Shane Broad’s extraordinary attack on the Bob Brown Foundation cannot have gone down well in many quarters. In other quarters, it must have come as good news. In doing so Dr Broad, Tasmania’s Shadow Minister for Resources, well and truly nailed his colours to the mast. Source: Bruce Mitchell

“I am no friend of the Bob Brown Foundation,” Dr Broad told State Parliament this week.

It had to be said. Dr Broad and the Labor Party in Tasmania have been under constant attack from the Liberal Government for being too close to the foundation.

In particular, that closeness has been highlighted in debate over the Government’s Workplaces Protection Bill which is, in effect, an anti-protest Bill.

Dr Broad’s comments came in debate over that Bill which the Labor Party has been hardly supportive.

Dr Broad told Parliament that he supported the right to peaceful protests and had himself participated “on a number of occasions”.

But Dr Broad sees the Bill as too wide ranging.

It goes to a vote, maybe, in the Upper House next week.

His opposition to the Bill is possibly understandable and expected.

What was not expected was Dr Broad describing the foundation’s fundraising activities as “a green Ponzi scheme” with much of the money raised used to fund protests to raise money to fund more protests and so on.

He also pointed out that the foundation spent lots of money – largely raised via donations – on consultants, employees and travel.

Now, how organisations that fund their operations through donations spend that money has been under the microscope for many years.

So, if those who donate to the foundation are happy with Dr Broad’s assessment, then that is up to them.

Meanwhile Saturday is International Day of Forests, declared by the UN to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

The Institute of Foresters of Australia and Australian Forest Growers says the forest sector can leverage off this day to tell a positive story about the knowledge, expertise and skills of the people who manage Australia’s forests and highlight that a vibrant forest and land management sector can deliver strategies and solutions for better outcomes and a brighter future.

It says that by telling our positive story this International Day of Forests, we will be providing a positive message and narratives around forest management in Australia.

The IFA/AFG is right. There is indeed much about our forests’ worth celebrating.