||Issue No. 241||08 October 2004|
That’s All Folks!
Interview: The Last Bastian
Unions: High and Dry
Security: Liquid Borders
Industrial: No Bully For You
History: Radical Brisbane
International: No Vacancies
Economics: Life After Capitalism
Technology: Cyber Winners
Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Locker Room
PM ‘s Tool
If it wasn't so cynical you'd admire him; casting himself as a friend of the trees, wining and dining the environmental lobby into thinking the PM was on their side, then dumping on them at the eleventh hour.
Heffernen is best remembered for the way he imploded after making false allegations against Justice Kirby; culminating in the notorious game of tip chasings through Parliament House once the case collapsed. He's also the mastermind behind the Turnbull for Wentworth debacle that risks seeing a blue riband Liberal seat slip off the Tory share register. And for fans of TV's Chaser, he is the thuggish killjoy who threatens to kick our heroes out of every Liberal function they attempt to infiltrate.
Not even his friends have ever accused Bill of subtlety, but he lured the environmental advocates into his web, hook, line and sinker. Was it that in the crazed glint in the eye, they thought they had found a soul mate? Or does he subscribe t o t he George Costanza edict - "If you believe it's true, it is not a lie"? Either way, as late as Monday, the friends of Tassie Wilderness were expecting something spectacular from the Prime Minister.
Spectacular was an understatement, the greatest sell-out of the environment in recent memory - wedging Labor between timber workers and the environmental lobby and orchestrating a Nuremberg style rally for his leader.
And his secret? A quick Google search will show it was bald-faced lying. How's this for a breach of trust - from an interview with ABC radio in early September:?
"We've got to do the right thing in Tasmania. Obviously it's up to the decision makers of the Government to define that, but I'm confident that the Government will do the right thing to protect the long term heritage values of Tasmania, so we can look back in fifty years and be proud, future generations can be proud, of what we've done - unlike mistakes we've made with water, where we've over allocated the rivers of the Murray Darling River Basin and looked back with horror and said how we could we have done that.
We've brought on Australia's greatest environmental problems in Australia, which is dry land salinity by over clearing a hundred years ago and we've all said how the hell did we do that. With the knowledge we've got now, it's just simply no more complicated than the right thing to do to end the over commitment of the land mass to Tasmania in the way it is and end old growth immediately.
Reporter: So that means you think the Government should cease old growth logging straight away?
": Well the scientists tell us that if we don't act now, we would have gone past the point of return to protect the long term heritage value of Tasmania's old growth forests.
Reporter: And do you think this is what the Prime Minister has in mind? That during the election campaign he will pledge to cease old growth logging?
I'm not about to predict what the Prime Minister or the decision makers of the Government might do, but I do know that those people are listening carefully to the issues and giving serious consideration to doing the right thing and we've got to look after the jobs, but we've also got to look after Mother Earth and the hundred year outlook for Tasmania's heritage values.
Reporter And do you think the Prime Minister has gone on this environmental journey with you?
Well, it's not a question of anyone going on a journey with me. It's just a question of people...
Reporter:: Or the same environmental journey?
...Getting the information and I'm sure that the Government is listening.
At the end of the day, the only journey Heffernen took was the merry one he led people of conviction, good intention whose only flaw was a lack of political cynicism. It should be the last time anyone ever trusts the Howard Government; hopefully it will be the last time anyone has to.
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