Ana Hanson, Eden
Six hundred activists from around Australia gathered at the South East Fibre Exports woodchip mill, south of Eden in NSW, on July 2 to protest against the logging of native forests. Ninety per cent of wood logged in the Eden area goes to the chip mill for export, mainly to Japan for paper manufacture.
The protest, which was endorsed by 29 activist groups, began at Eden's wharf, where the massive piles of woodchips tower above the trees, each pile as high as an eight-storey building. A decade ago, then NSW Labor premier Bob Carr promised to end native forest woodchipping by 2000, yet now 160 truckloads of timber are brought every day from native forests to the chip mill.
NSW Greens Senator Kerry Nettle told the rally about the Greens' commitment to long-term and sustainable jobs in the area. John Seed from the Rainforest Information Centre said that many people have lost the ability to be awed by the beauty of a tree, and Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann spoke passionately: "We've had enough. It's got to stop."
The rally was interspersed with musical performances by Jeff Aschmann, Lisa Stone and Penelope Swales.
The rally closed with the reading by Gerry Watt of a resolution, including the demand that "the government shows courage and leadership by ending the senseless destruction of native forest".
From Green Left Weekly, July 19, 2006.
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