Sixty police raided a blockade camp in Tasmania's Florentine Valley on May 3. They removed road blockades so controversial logging of the area can begin.
An exclusion zone has been declared by Forestry Tasmania, preventing public access to the area. Forestry Tasmania now plans to log 25 hectares of the first 50 hectare coupe, despite broad public opposition. Eighty percent of the timber will be wood-chipped.
"Given the current economic climate, it is irresponsible of Premier David Bartlett to allow our iconic, globally recognised old-growth forests to be destroyed forever for short-term marginal gain", Ed Hill, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened, said on May 3.
"David Bartlett should realise the long-term value of our forests", he said.
Bartlett has refused to meet with protesters. he said: "It's an option that I can't possibly consider now that they've effectively held a gun to my head by saying they will act illegally and ramp up their illegal activities until I do", ABC Online quoted him as saying on May 6.
Still Wild Still Threatened responded: "In reality, the only Gunns being held are by David Bartlett, and it is a very warm embrace indeed."