2014 Man Booker prizewinner Richard Flanagan told the BBC after his win: ” I don’t understand why our government seems committed to destroying what we have that’s unique in the world.” Photo: Colin MacdougallFlanagan wins 2014 Man Booker PrizeJason Steger: How Flanagan kept Man Booker’s Commonwealth heart beating
The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for literature, Richard Flanagan, has criticised the federal government’s environmental policies saying they have made him “ashamed to be an Australian”.
Mr Flanagan was named on Wednesday morning local timethe winner of the prestigious award for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North which is set during the construction of the Thai Burma railway in World War 2.
Mr Flanagan, who lives in Tasmania, is a long time campaigner for the preservation of the state’s old growth forests.
“I’m very saddened because Australia has the most extraordinary environment and I don’t understand why our government seems committed to destroying what we have that’s unique in the world,” Mr Flanagan told the BBC.
When asked about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comment earlier this week that “coal is good for humanity” Mr Flanagan said: “To be frank, I’m ashamed to be Australian when you bring this up.”
Mr Flanagan was also critical of the Tasmanian government’s recent decision to abolish a forestry peace deal between environmentalists and forestry companies that was four years in the making.
The end of the deal meant 400,000 hectares of native forests that were to have been protected were instead reclassified for potential future logging.
“I genuinely believe that people of Australia want to see these beautiful places, these sacred places, preserved, [but] the politics of the day is so foolishly going ahead and seeking to destroy them when there isn’t even an economic base to it, when there is no market for the woodchips that would result from the destruction of these forests,” Mr Flanagan said.
“I think it’s unnecessary and I think it’s just politics being used to divide people that could otherwise be brought together on all that is best and most extraordinary in our country.”
Follow us on Twitter
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.