Protesters call for native forests to be protected

March 26, 2024
Rallying for native forests in Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle

Thousands of people joined the Bob Brown Foundation’s nation-wide “March for Forests” on March 24, aiming to ramp up pressure on Labor to stop logging scarce native forests.

Protests and marches were organised in New South Wales’ forest towns of Bellingen, Bundjalung/Lismore and Bega to Victoria’s Kyneton, as well as Gadigal/Sydney, Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide, Ngunnawal/Canberra and Muloobinba/Newcastle. A huge protest was organised in nipaluna/Hobart before the Tasmanian election.


Photo: Peter Boyle

Northern NSW environmentalist Mark Graham told about 1000 people at Sydney Town Hall that Premier Chris Minns must “adhere to his promise to save our native forests”.

Graham had just come from Clouds Creek State Forest in the Great Dividing Range, where protesters had stopped logging for 55 days, by blocking roads.

“The NSW Labor government promised a Great Koala National Park. But, shamefully, there are seven active forest logging areas under way.”

The rally was told that native forest logging is destroying critical carbon stocks and razing wildlife habitat, further endangering the koala, Greater Glider and Gang-gang Cockatoo.

About 20 “Dirt Witches” dressed in green capes and with a crown of leaves on their heads, formed a circle to show the width of the huge trees now being felled in the northern forests.


Photo: Peter Boyle

NSW Greens MP Sue Higginson urged the crowd to “get angry” and step up the pressure on Labor.

NSW Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said the relentless chopping down of forests is a “fight for survival, for justice and for our planet” in the midst of a climate crisis.

She said Labor and the Coalition had combined to block a Greens bill last year which would have implemented a “permanent national ban on native forest logging”.

The crowd marched through city streets to Hyde Park.

More than 500 people marched and rallied in Lismore to demand an end to the logging of native forests. The action was supported locally by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) and Stand Up for Cherry Tree Forest.


Lismore protest. Photo: Nick Fredman

Dailan Pugh and Valerie Thompson from NEFA and local ecologist Anatasia Guise criticised Labor’s broken promise on forest protection.

NEFA activists are fighting to protect Cherry Tree Forest, a key koala habitat west of Casino at threat from renewed logging. 

Protestors marched to the office of NSW Labor MP Janelle Saffin.

“Janelle Saffin is yet to commit to effective action to protect our native forests,” Sean O’Shannessy from the Bob Brown Foundation told Green Left.

“She and the rest of the Australian Labor Party need to get off the fence and start responding to clear demands from the overwhelming majority of Aussies to end native forest logging.”

[For more information on the save the forests campaign visit]

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