01 August, 2011

Protesters blockade government offices

Sydney Morning Herald, 1 August 2011

Environmental protesters have partially blocked government offices in north-west Sydney over the logging of native forests on the NSW south coast.

Several members of South East Forest Rescue (SEFR) scaled 25-metre trees in the Cumberland State Forest, near Pennant Hills, this morning and unfurled a banner reading "carbon criminals".

Other members of the group blocked vehicular access to nearby NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) offices by tying cables around gates, SEFR spokeswoman Lisa Stone said.

A DPI spokesman told AAP: "Protesters have blocked most vehicle access to Cumberland State Forest.

"Staff are at work and it is business as normal."

Ms Stone said protesters were equipped with supplies and might remain in the trees for several days.

SEFR is demanding meetings with NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson and federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to discuss alleged native logging licence breaches.

"Millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere from the logging on the south coast," Ms Stone said.

SEFR is also concerned about the effect that logging may have on protected species and believe the practice is unsustainable.

Police were called to the entrance of the DPI building in Oratava Avenue just before 7am and remain at the scene.

There were no reports of any arrests.


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