Unions support Forrest community

July 17, 2010
The community has received support from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and the Electrical Trade Union.

On July 17, unionists and residents from Forrest, a small town in the Victorian Otways region, converged on the shire office at Colac to protest against an Optus communications tower being placed in the middle of their town.
The community picket line was established on the site for the new tower two weeks earlier. The community sought support from the construction unions, which it has received from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union and the Electrical Trade Union.
The Geelong Trades and Labour Council (GTLC) also endorsed the picket line on July 8, after community speakers addressed council.
Picket organiser Brendan Murphy said: “The community wants a communication tower for mobile coverage, especially during the fire season, but the Colac Shire Council had failed to consult the community as to where [to put it] and picked a site where the council will receive $8000 per year rent.
“Until we get a guarantee it will be moved to a better location, the community picket stays and nothing gets built.”
No work has progressed at the site since the picket was established. GTLC lent the community its picket tent and help has been coming from all sections of the community. Farmers have delivered firewood, and local shops and butchers have been delivering food and meat to keep the picketers going.
A festival has been called to support the community. Local bands, The Conch and Spynorifi will play at noon on Saturday July 24 at Forrest community hall.

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