FORMER Forestry Tasmania executive Ken Jeffreys has accused the state government of leaking information that damages the state-owned business and advantages its minority partner the Greens.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his position as corporate relations manager was made redundant, Mr Jeffreys said Deputy Premier Bryan Green had effectively misled Tasmanians by making public statements at odds with what had occurred.
``Confidential commercial information is being shared with our enemies straight away,'' Mr Jeffreys said.
``There's no point in people trying to deny that happens because as recently as Friday last week there was misinformation that was given to the minister about (FT chief executive) Bob Gordon's contract, and who asked the question about Bob Gordon's contract two days later? It was the Greens,'' he said.
Mr Jeffreys said Mr Green had repeatedly claimed publicly that he was unaware of FT decisions until after they were made, which ``doesn't accord with what I know to be the truth''.
When asked if he was accusing Mr Green of misleading Tasmanians, Mr Jeffreys said: ``Yes, I am. I'm not necessarily saying it's always deliberate. The fact is it may be that the minister, under the sheer weight of all his responsibilities under his various portfolios, can't recall specific conversations. I don't know. But that was a classic example where you saw a piece of information went through the government which spoke to the Greens and it was used in Parliament to try and embarrass FT and attack another person.''
A week ago, Forestry Tasmania confirmed Mr Gordon's contract was extended for five years, but two days later chairman Bob Annells said he had been mistaken and the contract signed off was actually open-ended.
Mr Jeffreys' position was made redundant after he publicly criticised the government's forestry policies, and came less than a week after incoming FT chairman and board veteran Miles Hampton quit over similar issues.
Mr Jeffreys said his position became untenable after his relationship with the Labor-Green government soured.
In a parting salvo, Mr Jeffreys:
Slammed Greens leader Nick McKim for unfairly attacking industry while serving as a minister.
Took aim at the environment movement for being out of touch with mainstream Tasmania.
Criticised the government's approach to forestry as politically-driven and shortsighted.
Before he became the corporate relations manager of FT six years ago, Mr Jeffreys worked with the Pulp Mill Taskforce. He headed the government's media unit under Premier Jim Bacon. Details of his payout have not been made public.
Mr Jeffreys denied being bitter about his job loss, saying he'd do it all again. ``In 1998, I was part of a group that helped set up a (Labor state) government that had three iconic leaders in Jim Bacon, David Crean and Paul Lennon, and that's all dissolved into a green slime that's clogging up the wheels of government and bringing silence to the engines of the economy.''