Three thousand people march for native forests

March 18, 2024
Protesting for the forests on March 17. Photo: Robynne Murphy

An estimated 3000 people called for native forest logging to end on March 17 as they marched through the CBD to parliament.

Speakers at the “March for the Forests” included Pakana woman Theresa Sainty, Jenny Weber from Bob Brown Foundation, Alice Hardinge from the Wilderness Society, Palawa writer and activist Jim Everett, forest defender Colette Harmsen and Bob Brown.

Brown said it was the largest pre-election protest he had seen in Tasmania. “Our job is to get rid of the Earth destroyers,” Brown told the protest.

The Liberals want to expand native forest logging. Liberal Leader Jeremy Rockliff said he wants “unlock Tasmania’s native forestry ‘wood bank’, providing an up to 10 per cent boost in the annual supply of high-quality sawlog to Tasmanian sawmillers”.

Labor is also committing to extend native forest logging contracts out to 2040.

The Greens want native forest logging ended and have a plan to protect forests, safeguard culturally important heritage sites while providing jobs for forestry workers. They have a $1 billion over 10 years plan, to be financed by “forcing billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax and winding back handouts to big polluters”.


Photo: Philippa Skinner

They want the takayna/Tarkine nominated for World Heritage listing and say the Tasmanian regional forest agreement, which exempts native forest logging activities, must end.

The Wilderness Society said it was “reckless” and “irresponsible” to lock in a logging supply contract “during a worsening climate biodiversity crisis, without a moment of consideration of what the biodiversity impacts could be”.

Alice Hardinge, Wilderness Society Tasmania spokesperson, said Labor was “short-sighted” especially considering “the legality of Tasmania’s logging is being questioned before the courts and peaceful forest protestors are receiving unjust bail conditions and being jailed”.

Tasmania goes to the polls on March 23.

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