Speak-out calls for forests and jobs

Issue 

Speak-out calls for forests and jobs

By Chris Spindler

SYDNEY—A lively speak-out of some 500 people on February 9 finished with the chant, "Jobs not woodchips, stop the logging now".

The speak-out, initiated by Resistance and organised by newly formed "concerned citizens" groups, tapped the very real anger over the Labor government's decision to renew woodchip export licences and allow logging companies to continue to cut into old growth forests.

Speakers also attacked the hypocrisy of the logging companies, which failed to protect jobs or the conditions of timber workers while blaming the environment movement for jobs lost.

Speakers included Ian Cohen, NSW Greens candidate for the Legislative Council, Karen Fletcher, Democratic Socialist candidate for Marrickville, Trish Corcoran from Resistance and Sid Walker from the Nature Conservation Centre.

Corcoran pointed out the "quick buck attitude of the logging companies". She finished on the note of planning more actions. "We can't rely on the governments to look after our interests. If they aren't prepared to meet our demands, we must keep organising, mobilising and demonstrating."

Ian Cohen outlined the election plans of the Greens and encouraged participation in the campaign.

Karen Fletcher pointed out the subsidies provided by government to the logging companies and stated that this money should used to find employment for those retrenched in the industry. She also called on the ACTU to enforce its policy of opposition to woodchipping old growth forests.

Sid Walker outlined the state of the campaign preparing for the demonstration on February 19 and stressed the need for activists to get involved in building it.

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