SFER Press Release Twenty protesters stopped work in controversial high-conservation-value forests about 50km east of Launceston yesterday.
The protests came despite the peace negotiations between the forestry industry and environmental non-government organisations. The group Community Opposing Destruction of the Environment said the action was in response to forest facilitator Bill Kelty's statement last week that organisations must strike a deal on the Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill or miss out on the permanent protection of 565,000ha of native forests.
"This proposed compromise is completely unacceptable and Tasmania should not be forced to make this decision between forests or a pulp mill," convener Lisa Searle said.
"The current proposal for a pulp mill for the Tamar Valley wasn't included in the original statement of principles. Community Opposing the Destruction of the Environment will never agree to this trade-off."
Ms Searle said forest still being felled needed immediate protection but not at the expense of a mill.
"Having this pulp mill in Tasmania would be an environmental disaster," she said.
The inclusion of the term "a pulp mill" in the statement of principles was now being used to mean "the pulp mill", she said.
"We were suspicious of this from the beginning, but it is devastating to hear Bill Kelty bring it out in the open. Now it is the reality that the two are linked, but this should never be the case," she said.
South East Forest Rescue
'Stoppin the Choppin'
PO Box 899 MORUYA NSW 2537