Wilderness Society blockades forests

Issue 

Wilderness Society blockades forests

By Kest Courtice

HOBART — The Wilderness Society (TWS) blockaded a new logging road in Tasmania's southern forests from January 24 to 26. Public attention was focused on the action when ALP Senator John Devereux joined the 20-30 protesters.

The Forestry Commission claims that the forest in question is officially regrowth, and therefore a legitimate logging resource.

However, it has never been logged, and was affected by fire only in 1904. According to TWS, the commission is trying to "hoodwink" the public with "nonsensical semantics". TWS says that the Forestry Commission classed the area as old growth in 1990.

TWS campaign coordinator Geoff Law said that the blockade was a success. "We stopped the bulldozers from carving deeper into the forest for three days. The action raised the issue of the threat to our native forests, and thanks to Devereux, the issue has been put on the national agenda, and brought to Keating's attention."

Law said that TWS would continue with further actions, whether in the town or the forest. On January 27 activists attempted to hang a banner from the GPO clock in Hobart proclaiming "Time to save the south-west forest heritage". However, the police arrived quickly and took it down.