For three days this week, environmental activists, First Nations people, concerned citizens and wildlife enthusiasts from all corners of the country will come together to call on Australia’s governments to end native forest logging and give secure protection to all native forests.
“We want to unite the Australian public in support of ending native forest logging. Securing forest protection is real climate action and will take forest species off the path to extinction,” Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Campaigns Manager said.
“Our foundation is ramping up our campaign for native forest protection. These nationwide actions are the lift-off for our Federal Election campaign. We will rally in ten locations, including five capital cities.”
“Native forests and wildlife are being pulverised at public expense for markets which could and should be supplied by plantation timber. Now the challenge is with all of us. Knowing that there are more than enough plantations to meet all of Australia’s wood needs, are we going to be the generation that put a stop to the forest carnage? It will take courage and commitment, not least for those at the front lines in the forests, but we are on our way to that historic achievement and Prime Minister Albanese is the key,” Bob Brown said.
“Native forests on public land need secure and permanent protection in Commonwealth law. Everyone knows that the flattening and burning of native forests and wildlife is not ecologically sustainable. The industry is based on a monumental lie. Meanwhile, scientists are raising the alarm and saying the best hedge against global heating is to stop destroying native forests.
Native forest protection is a climate solution but must not include monetising forest carbon into carbon trading credits. This would delay an exit from fossil fuels and provide a lifeline to ongoing native forest logging,” Bob Brown said.
The Albanese government could end native forest logging tomorrow. That would mean legislating to overturn the Howard-era Regional Forest Agreements which have excused logging from national forest legislation – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act- just as an incoming New Zealand Labour government abolished native forest logging way back in 2002.
While Federal Environment Minister Plibersek has talked about a zero extinction policy, it is greenwashing while native forests, habitat for koalas, critically endangered Swift Parrots and many other species, continue to be logged.
Victoria’s commitment to end native forest logging comes in the wake of a similar announcement from Western Australia, but leaves the loggers continuing to raze the great forests of New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland.
“Opinion polls repeatedly show that a big majority of voters across Australia, and in every state, want forests and their wildlife saved. The majority includes more than three of every four people who vote Labor,” Bob Brown said.
“It’s a crucial time for people to stand up for native forest protection and turn out at rallies across the nation to end the destruction. It is time for the public to insist that governments respond to voters who are demanding action to save what is left of our forests and wildlife,” Jenny Weber said.
“Let’s pile the pressure on so the federal Labor government makes the right decision and protects Australia’s native forests, once and for all,” Jenny Weber said.