5000 rally for the WA forests



5000 rally for the WA forests

By Marcel Cameron

Perth — Five thousand people marched on Parliament House on March 9 to demand an end to the logging of old-growth forest in WA. The lively protest was called by the WA Forest Alliance, an umbrella group representing key environmental organisations.

The rally assembled outside the office of WA Premier Richard Court, who intends to sign the regional forest agreement (RFA) between the WA and federal governments in June.

The RFA would allow timber companies (in particular Wesfarmers/Bunnings) to continue logging ancient karri and jarrah forest in the south-west of the state for another 20 years. The government has refused to release to the public details of the RFA.

Speakers drew attention to the devastating impact of clear-felling on the forest ecosystem. Clear-felling is the most destructive type of logging operation, in which entire hillsides are razed. Only a few trees are selected for milling.

Smaller trees are turned into woodchips for export. In a typical clear-fell operation, the ruined forest is then incinerated in a firestorm that promotes a dense, uniform regrowth of just a few tree species. This is what the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) call "sustainable forestry".

Resistance activists had a campaign stall at the rally and collected more than $200 in donations towards the Resistance Forest Campaign. Many young people put their names on a contact list to get involved in organising further actions against logging.

The first meeting of the Resistance Forest Campaign will be on March 20 at 1pm at the Resistance Centre in Perth. Anyone who would like to help organise further actions to save our forests is welcome to attend. Call (08) 9227 7367 for further information.