10 December 2007
Thirty five people have today stopped logging in an area of old growth forest north of Cann River, near the Errinundra National Park, in the Cobon forest block. The protest co-incides with climate talks in Bali, where the Australian government is being urged to agree to deep cuts in emissions.
“Twenty percent of global greenhouse emissions are caused by forest clearing, yet in Australia, old growth logging is being sanctioned by both state and federal governments,” said spokesperson for the protesters Mark Tylor.
“We have a new Federal government who won an election on the climate change issue, yet old growth forest is still being destroyed. Most school children are able to tell you about the importance of old growth forests as carbon sinks, yet this basic lesson is apparently beyond our politicians who still are allowing this destruction to happen,” he continued.
The area contains old growth forest and is habitat for the endangered Sooty Owl. Environmentalists, who have been camping in the forest coupe all weekend, have heard the extremely rare owl at night. Today, two people have chained themselves to logging machinery, while another sits on top of a tripod erected over a logging bulldozer. A 30 metre high tree platform is attached to another machine preventing it from continuing work.
This blockade follows a number of forest blockades last week, where logging was halted in three logging coupes by protesters chaining themselves to machinery. Five people were charged on summons.
“Old growth logging is still continuing in East Gippsland despite the state government election promises to protect important areas of forest. We are one year out from the election, yet none of the places the Labor Government promised to protect have been placed in a reserve. It is about time our politicians were called into account” he concluded.
For more comment Mark Tylor (at the forest blockade) 0428 125 602
For information and updates 03 5154 0174