Two women who grew up in the Manning Valley took action to stop logging in Yarratt Forest north of Taree. They suspended themselves from trees with ropes.
The forest is the only high quality koala habitat in the Taree Forest Management Area that was not severely burnt in the Black Summer fires.
The two women, mother Juliet Lamont and daughter Luca Lamont, want to bring attention to the New South Wales government’s negligence about koalas, forests and climate change.
“I grew up in this area … The magic and power of these forests have deeply shaped our lives,” Lamont said. “I’m horrified to see their utter destruction as we find ourselves in this global environmental crisis. I’m here with my 24-year-old daughter Luca to call out this madness and say that we all have a human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.”
Lamont said that taking direct action to “protect our environment” is not “radical”. What’s radical, she said, is tax payer’s dollars that subsidise the logging industry, which is making a loss.
Yarratt Forest is the only forest in the lower Manning Valley that was not burnt in the 2019 fires.
“The government’s own experts recommended that logging in the Taree area be stopped for three years. Instead, the NSW Forestry Corporation went straight in, obliterated half of it and have now started on the other half. That’s radical. Destroying endangered koala habitat is radical,” Lamont said.
Luca Lamont said: “I’m 24 years old and I’m here with my mother to highlight the facts about the harm that forestry is causing and to call them out. Even though the actual experience of getting arrested and the consequences aren’t things I am looking forward to, I feel that doing nothing is far worse than the horror of the reality that we are all facing in this catastrophic climate emergency.”
She urged more people to “stand their ground” and “take action” as decision makers “completely disregard the laws of nature”.
“We all need to stand together to protect our native forests even if it means we have to sacrifice our personal comfort. Because inaction in this climate crisis will be much more uncomfortable,” Lamont concluded.