PRESS STATEMENT Aboriginal Centre fears political interference in prosecution of Rodney Flowers…

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre has accused the Tasmanian government of ‘leaning on normal legal processes’ to prevent prosecution of political activist Rodney Flowers.
Spokesperson and former Legal Director Michael Mansell, said, “This smells fishy. This stinks of political interference.
The Hodgman government campaigned in Braddon for a free reign for 4 wheel drivers regardless of any damage caused to Aboriginal heritage. It is alleged that Rodney Flowers deliberately drove on the closed Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area tracks on April 24, 2016. Mr Flowers pleaded not guilty to three offences relating to alleged illegal driving. The offences have been swinging in the wind now for 26 months and by the time the matter goes back to court in late November, it will be 2 ½ years since the alleged offences.
Magistrate Tamara Jago this week criticised the handling the case of Rodney Flowers as being in a “tardy fashion”.
We are beginning to suspect the Hodgman government does not want to prosecute ‘their own man’, someone who is acting out the political posturing of the Hodgman government. For political reasons, it would be embarrassing for Premier Hodgman to agitate and campaign for 4 wheel drivers to drive anywhere they liked while one of its sympathisers in Rodney Flowers, is prosecuted for doing the very thing Premier Hodgman campaigns for.
The Hodgman government are free with taxpayers money to run High Court challenges against environmental protestors such as Bob Brown, but want prosecution of illegal driving by one of its political supporters to die a quiet death. This shows a double standard. It was the same when Premier Hodgman pursued the TAC in the Federal court. How much was spent in appealing the Federal Court decision that even governments have to comply with the law?
We call on the Attorney-General Elise Archer to guarantee Flowers has his day in court in November and is treated according to law, the same as everyone else is.”

Michael Mansell
27th June, 2018