Last week, under the guise of a forestry “peace deal”, the Gillard government committed $350 million of new industry assistance and other handouts in exchange for the Tasmanian government passing legislation that imposes an unprecedented restriction on free speech.
There is nothing new about Australian taxpayers subsidising native-forest logging, but there is something unique about the so-called “peace deal”.
That is, it wasn’t just the loggers begging the Commonwealth for corporate welfare; this time they were joined in their quest for cash by a handful of environment groups. And that is where the story swings from the unexpected to the inexplicable.
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser