Protesters stop woodchip train

Issue 

Protesters stop woodchip train

By Francesca Alice

PERTH — A group of 200 south-west residents and protesters peacefully stopped a woodchip train at Balingup, 200 km south of here, on the afternoon of June 19. The train was on its way to Bunbury.

The rally was organised to emphasise the destruction caused by woodchipping and logging.

The people of Balingup have watched at least two trains a day go through the town, seven days a week, for the past 17 years.

The woodchips are railed from a mill near Manjimup, through Balingup to Bunbury, and are then shipped off to pulp mills in Japan and rubbish tips all over the world.

The protesters stopped the train for about half an hour and draped a banner against woodchipping, written in Japanese, over the load.

The action was supported by several environmental organisations and local towns.

Unfortunately, members of the timber industry-funded Forest Protection Society tore the banner down.

Spokesperson Phil Gregory told Green Left Weekly, "We hope that the workers, [in the timber industry] will support our efforts to create a rational and sustainable timber industry based on tree crops grown on already cleared farmland.

"Unlike the current industry, a plantation-based timber industry offers secure long-term employment opportunities."