Fears fire aimed at activist

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 09 Maret 2013 | 19.55

TREE-sit protest supporter Bob Brown yesterday called on police to investigate the cause of the bushfire that forced Miranda Gibson from her tree.

The former Australian Greens leader said it could be a case of "intended homicide" if it was deliberately lit to target the ObserverTree protester.

Dr Brown said the fire, which started on Tuesday, was lit southwest of Maydena and Forestry Tasmania believed the fire may have been deliberately lit.

"The circumstances lead me to believe that a person or persons lit the fire to burn out the nearby forest platform which, since 14th December, 2011, was occupied by Miranda Gibson," he said.

"If that is right, it is a matter of intended homicide."

Ms Gibson ended her tree-top protest on Thursday, after spending 450 days living on a 60m-high platform, in a 400-year-old eucalypt tree.

But Senator Eric Abetz yesterday slammed the move as a media stunt.

"Why is it that tree-sitting protester Miranda Gibson, who claims to have been forced to abandon her protest in the Tyenna Valley due to the threat of an approaching bushfire, was so concerned about this that she managed to remain perched up the tree until Dr Bob Brown could arrive all the way from Cygnet with the media in tow?" Senator Abetz said.

"Tasmanian forests left on their own will ultimately succumb to fire. Nature has a way of harvesting forests. It always has and it always will.

"The question is whether humans should harvest some of the timber as a genuine renewable resource before wild fire simply destroys it."

He likened it to protests that stopped logging in Wielangta, only for the area to hit by fire.

hannah.martin@news.com.au


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