11 April, 2006

ARTICLE: Protesters held over logging blockade

The Age
April 10, 2006 - 3:34PM

Police have arrested three anti-logging protesters and moved 17 other demonstrators from a blockade in the East Gippsland region of Victoria.

Goongerah Environment Centre (GEC) spokeswoman Fiona York said the protest was in an area of old growth forest being logged less than 100 metres from the Goolengook forest.

The three protester who were arrested had chained themselves to logging machinery, she said.

"The rest of them have been moved out of the coupe by 20 or so Parks Victoria, DSE (Department of Sustainability and Environment) and police," Ms York said.

Thirty arrests had been made at 15 blockades in East Gippsland since December 2005, she said.

The Goolengook Forest is the subject of an investigation by the Victorian Environment Assessment Council (VEAC).

"This particular coupe is right on the border of the assessment area that VEAC is looking into protection for Goolengook," Ms York said.

"While the Goolengook Forest is being investigated and under moratorium from logging, forest of comparable value is being logged right next door."

The area was at the headwaters of the Arte River, and the old-growth forest and rainforest were habitat for endangered flora and fauna, she said. Its unique eco-system was home to more than 300 rare and threatened plant and animal species, including the tiger quoll and the powerful owl.

"Premier Steve Bracks needs to do more than just investigate icon areas for the sake of a few votes," Ms York said.

"All old growth forest needs to be protected immediately."


Original article

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