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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Green MP attends south coast logging protest, more arrests, Council alarmed, local media escalates, Blackwashing by Iemma Govt?
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt

We have received these reports from local environmentalists and various network lists of the protests all this week at Gulaga/Bodalla Forest, but at the outset we note 2 things for some context:

1. Australia has about 5% forest land cover, and before colonisation it was only about 10% anyway of a huge continent. That's not that much to squander. The logger lobby always drag it down to local district proportions to hide this broad national reality (see MP Constance below). These are figures from the key Resource Assessment Council large volume of reports of 1992 or so and it still holds;

2. Patriarch until his death recently, Aboriginal elder Guboo Ted Thomas of the Yuin Clan on the Gulaga south coast told this writer directly 7 years back we were "on the right track" opposing the loggers and woodchippers. He hated their industrial vandalism on his land. He blockaded a bulldozer on his own in the 1970ies. Now he is gone other Black leaders there are turning a blind eye but it doesn't make it right. I seriously doubt traditional Aboriginal law would stand for it, and there are many ways to make duress on local needy Black communities, sometimes with political bribes in other directions, sometimes with threats. In fact the white law 1983 Land Rights Act here cuts across Aboriginal traditional owners, as developers and loggers well know. It does this by having dispossessed, relocated Black folks onto non traditional lands given land assets with no ancestral ties quite willing to trade it away. You could even call it Black washing. We wonder if that's the case with one such report below.

Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 6:57 PM

Subject: [chipstop] gulaga blockade

Another successful day at the blockade with a mass walk in to the logging compartment. Seven arrests with 6 of those refusing bail conditions, so they were taken to Batemans Bay and an immediate court appearance.
Two of these brave souls were also subject to the Mathie injunction.
Estimates of the number present were about 70, but it was very difficult to be sure with people coming and going all the time.
An enormous police presence (10 cars, a bus and police rescue from Sydney) enabled the first loaded trucks to go out. The 3 Mathie trucks were kept busy all day taking loads from about 300 logs stockpiled over the past week. Some were huge. A very sad sight.

CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the south east and east gippsland forests PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia 02 64923134 0414908997   http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au


Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:25 PM
Subject: [chipstop] loggers stopped at gulaga

Loggers were stopped this morning by a tripod cabled to their machines. Work was stopped for the whole morning until they brought in a cherry picker to remove a possum from the tripod.
The possum was unfortunately arrested.


3 South East Radio ABC radio news reports


Council stays on sidelines of forest dispute

Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 07:22 (AEST)Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 07:22 (ACST)Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 04:22 (AWST)

Eurobodalla Shire Council says it is not going to take sides in a far south coast forest dispute.

The council yesterday backed away from a recommendation that it call in police to move on protesters who are camping on council reserves near where controversial harvesting is under way in the Bodalla State Forest, near Tilba.

Councillors instead referred the matter to the general manager who they were told has statutory powers to prosecute people for illegal camping.

Mayor Neil Mumme says the New South Wales Government has a responsibility to review overdue Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).

"The difficult thing for council is this is a State Government issue," he said.

"What did come out of the day was there was quite a lot of passion in the public gallery and I guess the message we sent to the State Government was 'for God's sake, review your RFAs', it's part of your obligations and you are supposed to do that.

"There was a call to cease the logging to those RFAs [they] have been reviewed.

"Pretty much we are sympathetic to both causes. It is like a dollar each way for the council."


Clashes continue over Bodalla forest logging

Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:50 (AEST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:50 (ACST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 09:50 (AWST)

Anti-logging protests and police have clashed in the latest disputed forest of the south-east of New South Wales.

Seven people were arrested this morning after they refused to observe police orders to leave the section of Bodalla forest, near Tilba.

They were taken to the Narooma police station and have been charged with refusing to leave a prohibited area.

Meanwhile, the Eurobodalla Greens councillor, Chris Kowal, has accused the State Forests department of using his council as a pawn to control logging protesters in the Bodalla forest.

He claims that State Forests is behind a recommendation to tomorrow's council meeting that would allow police to remove anyone camping on council reserves and roadsides.

Cr Kowal says the recommendation may have an unforseen impact on tourism and paints council as the bad guys, taking the heat off State Forests.

But Cr Kowal's claims have not impressed the local MP.

Andrew Constance says most of the protesters are from outside the local area.


Conservationists bark up wrong tree: claim

Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:48 (AEST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:48 (ACST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 09:48 (AWST)

There is a claim on the New South Wales far south coast that conservationists trying to stop logging of a forest near an important Aboriginal cultural site may be barking up the wrong tree.

Forests New South Wales has begun logging in the Bodalla forest, near the base of Guluga Mountain, which the State Government last year handed back to the traditional owners.

Up to 60 protesters have been trying to stop the logging, claiming sacred sites will be damaged.

But Noelene Leha, co-ordinator of the Merriman's Lands Council, has no problem with the harvesting.

"Gulaga is a mountain, they're not logging on the mountain," she said.

"They're logging on the sides of a road leading to the mountain."

Yesterday, seven protesters were arrested at the logging site.


Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 11:46 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Greens MP at forest blockade calls for urgent reviewof logging in Bodalla State Forest

Media release - 21 May 2007
7 arrested at blockade in Bodalla State Forest, Greens move to expand national park

Speaking at the site of a forest protest in Southern NSW today, Greens Upper House MP Lee Rhiannon congratulated protestors at the community action this morning to halt logging in Compartment 3046 of the Bodalla State Forest. 

"Protestors should be congratulated for their actions this morning to halt logging in the Bodalla State Forest. I send a message of encouragement to the seven people who have just been arrested at the logging coup," said Ms Rhiannon. 

"In parliament next week, The Greens will move a motion to make Compartment 3046 part of the Gulaga National Park.

"The actions of the people arrested today highlight the feelings of outrage that the community feels over the logging of this beautiful forest.

"The Greens will also move for an urgent review of logging in the Bodalla State Forest.

"Under the Forestry and National Parks Estate Act, this review should have already been conducted. The NSW government is flouting its legal obligations.

"In the face of climate change and severe water shortages, the NSW government should move to save our iconic forests rather than turn a blind eye to deforestation.

"Compartment 3046 is part of the headwaters for Corunna Lake and the state of the two stream crossings through which the compartment traffic travels is appalling.

"The direct action today is a clear way to send a message to the NSW government that logging in this high conservation area must stop", said Ms Rhiannon.

For more information  Lee Rhiannon 92303551 or 0427861568

Posted by editor at 9:52 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 11:48 PM NZT

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