Protesters have returned today to the giant-filled forest in Tasmania’s lower Florentine valley. Global attention has turned to this precious forest that is being destroyed for woodchips. Two people were arrested yesterday defending the forests and today three people have attached themselves to logging machines.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have been outraged by the images of a giant single-rider log out of these forests, but the logging is shamefully endorsed by Premier Rockliff and Prime Minister Albanese,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaigns Manager Jenny Weber said.
Bob Brown says Forestry Tasmania’s Suzette Weeding’s excuse for cutting giant trees – that they are ‘dangerous’ – is specious nonsense.
“These trees have been growing safely in the Tasmanian forests for centuries and will live centuries more if left to nature. If Ms Weeding wants safety, join our foundation, stop logging ancient forests and go to a plantation-based industry – that’s what’s safer,” said Bob Brown.
Speaking from the forest protest today, 71-year-old retired farmer and prominent Tasmanian, Anthony Houston said, “Everyone knows the planet is in danger of collapse. There are two key things we must do. One, we must cease all new fossil fuel development. And two, we must stop the destruction of native forests across the globe.”
“But here, right on our doorstep, forests that have taken hundreds of thousands of years to evolve are being decimated and incinerated, They are gone forever. I wept as I stood on the stump of a tree that was over 300 years old before Europeans invaded this land.”
“I cannot let this happen, I have to make a stand, I owe it to my kids, my grandkids and all the kids across the globe. That is why I’m willing to be arrested here today and I will keep coming back until it until the day it stops. I love my family, I love this earth and everything that lives on it,” said Mr Houston.
“Turning trees that are many hundreds of years old into ‘logs’ was daft in the 1980s and is spectacularly absurd today. Plantation timber was the answer then and remains the answer now,” said fellow protester, John Moore, 58, IT team leader.
“I am taking action to stop Forestry Tasmania from destroying precious, globally unique habitat amid a biodiversity crisis, pushing already endangered species further towards the brink of extinction. I call on Anthony Albanese, the federal Labor government, Premier Jeremy Rockliff, ALP opposition leader Rebecca White and the people of Australia to do everything in their power, to show real leadership on these issues and act to end native forest logging now,” said Daniel Panek, 48, Spatial Data Analyst.