The Forest Fights Continue As Protests Stop Work At Wild Cattle Creek

A protester halts logging by locking on to machinery. Supplied: Newry Forest Blockade group.

 

LOGGING operations were halted for two days last week when protestors took action in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest.

A tree sitter prevented logging on one day and, on the second, a protester locked themselves on to machinery.

The second protester said, “This community has been fighting to protect Wild Cattle Creek State Forest for over three decades.

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“While many will say this is a radical action, I know it is an obligation,” the protester said.

The protesters and their supporters say that Forestry Corporation has no social or cultural license to log native forests and often fail to oblige by their own regulations.

Protesters point to other forests in NSW which have been protected through community direct action.

A spokesperson for the group said, “The power has never been with the politicians or corporations but has always been in the strength of the people.”

The protester who locked themselves to the harvester was removed after 9 hours by Search and Rescue and arrested.

The protester will face court on 5 July, along with four people who were given notices to attend court arising from the protest at the Forestry Corporation building in Coffs Harbour in May.

According to the group’s spokesperson, none of the protesters have been arrested or been in court before and some are in their 50’s.

He said that a growing number of people are showing that they value native forests, healthy waterways, wildlife, sacred land and the future, and pointed to the success of Camp Nunguu.

He said that the success of the camp, established three months ago in the Newry State Forest, seems to have resulted in Forestry Corporation changing its schedule to log Wild Cattle Creek.

More than 500 people have stayed at Camp Nunguu and another 500 visitors have arrived for film nights and other activities, including Bob Brown.

The spokesperson said that citizen scientists were doing animal, plant and environmental surveys in Wild Cattle Creek to ensure that environmental regulations were being followed.

He said that this is because the Environment Protection Authority had only previously acted when protesters provided evidence of illegal activities.

He claimed that the company logging in the area is the same one that had stop work orders against them last July.

He said, “We are simply there to protect a publicly-owned forest from potential breaches of environmental laws and ongoing destruction of our forests.

“We’ll keep resisting as long as we can,” he said.

 

By Andrew VIVIAN

 

Knitting Nannas are amongst the growing number of people opposing logging in native forests. Supplied: Newry Forest Blockade group.

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