Iron Mark is down in Tasmania, hugging trees and sticking his tongue in
Bob Brown’s ear while asking about his preferences – as Hillary plays
voyeur.



Hillary Bray

Mark Latham arrived in Launceston yesterday for his back-to-nature romp
with Bob Brown to be greeted by 8,000 workers, their families and their
friends.

They weren’t there to acclaim him as the toiler’s friend – but to tell
him not to put them out of work just to satisfy some smug trendies on
the mainland.

While the Labor leader contemplates their message, he should also consider what happened in Canada not that long ago.

There, Greenpeace lost their charity status for their anti-forestry industry activities.

The local division of the multinational has been active on the forestry issue in Tasmania, too.

Here are some key lines from the report in Canada’s National Post on the issue:

“Greenpeace Serves ‘No Public Benefit’

“As it steps up its anti-logging campaign in British Columbia,
Greenpeace has suffered a blow to its credibility and fundraising
efforts after losing its latest attempt to gain the charitable status
it has sought for a decade.

“Revenue Canada has refused to recognize the Greenpeace Environmental
Foundation as a charity, saying its activities had ‘no public benefit’
and that lobbying to close polluting industries could send people ‘into
poverty.’

“Greenpeace appealed, but the case was closed on Monday after the group withdrew…”

A true believer Labor leader like Iron Mark doesn’t want to send people
into poverty, does he? Nor should a good social justice type like
Bob Brown. Perhaps they’ll have something to say about the local
branch of Greenpeace later in the week – but back to the Canadian
report:

“In its decision, Revenue Canada wrote that in order to be a charity,
an organization must provide some benefit to the public. ‘I do not
think it can be assumed that remedying any and all forms of pollution
always conveys a public benefit,’ Carl Juneau, assistant director of
the charities division, wrote.

” ‘At the least, the possibility of countervailing detriment to the
public has to be entertained and competing interests weighed. For
example, closing down a polluting mill may make for a cleaner town and
a healthier population, but it may also propel that population into
poverty.’ “

Canada, remember, is Greenpeace’s home, too.

More National Post:

“According to court records obtained by John Duncan, the Reform MP from
B.C., the federal charities division found the group’s activities ‘have
not complied with the law.’

” ‘This opinion resulted from an audit which raised serious concerns
about the charity’s compliance with the Income Tax Act. The audit
revealed that the charity had failed to devote all its resources to
charitable activities.’ “

Last year American watchdog group Public Interest Watch filed a
complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against Greenpeace,
accusing the organization of illegally soliciting and transferring
millions of dollars in tax-deductible contributions.

PIW are equal time ratbags. Sorta like Crikey. Past targets
include Pat Buchanan and Ralph reed, the darling of the religious right.

Here’s an except from their release, available at http://www.publicinterestwatch.org/press_9_12_03.htm, where PIW accuses Greenpeace of ” knowingly and systematically violating United States tax laws”:

” ‘Greenpeace’s complex corporate structure masks its misuse of
tax-exempt contributions,’ claimed Mike Hardiman, Executive Director of
PIW.

” ‘The IRS very clearly differentiates between taxable and tax-exempt
contributions, and the ways in which they can be used,’ Hardiman
said. ‘Greenpeace has devised a system for diverting tax-exempt
funds into non-exempt organizations within its empire and using the
money for improper and illegal purposes. It is plainly a case of money
laundering.’ ”

PIW prepared a report detailing “how during a three year span, one
Greenpeace entity diverted over $24 million in tax-exempt
contributions. Such contributions are supposed to be used for
charitable, educational or scientific programs, but instead financed
advocacy campaigns.”

We understand that Queensland Liberal Senator Brett Mason may have raised some very similar concerns with authorities here.

And battler’s friend Mark Latham doesn’t want to have anything to do
with a multinational accused of such nasty behaviour, does he?

Hillary Bray can be contacted at [email protected]

Peter Fray

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