Loggers intimidate and assault activists in Warrup Forest

Forest Rescue Media Release

14 March 2012

Forest Rescue has been waging a Non Violent Direct Action battle with the WA state government's Forest Products Commission (FPC) in order to secure the last remaining Numbat habitat in our southwest - the Warrup Forest near Bridgetown in WA. The forest is one of the last remaining intact colonies of the Numbat, of which less than a thousand remain in the wild. The Numbat was originally found across the whole of southern Australia.

During the commencement of work in the Warrup Forest by the FPC and contractor Warren Forest Services, on Monday the 12th of March 2012, several Forest Rescue activists entered the Warrup 6 coupe in order to stop and or slow down work. During this action several breaches of Occupational Health and Safety requirements occurred, as well as several counts of assault upon activists. Some of these incidents are listed below;

1) Driving a bulldozer into a person.
2) Deliberately trying to intimidate with a heavy machine.
3) Moving vehicle whilst people are within the designated exclusion zone.
4) Physically touching someone with the intent to/and, using unnecessary force.

A Forest Rescue activist however still managed to “lock on” to a log loader. A young female activist thumb locked herself to the front of the machine, which effectively stopped work for the duration of the “lock on”.

On the morning of Wednesday 14th of March 2012, three Forest Rescue activists again “locked on” to logging machines in order to stop work. Tim Mitchell, the FPC operation co-ordinator, was present after a workers request. Workers arrived at 5.45am and police were still not present at 8.30am.

“We had three activists locked on to a Slider and a Loader, this will stop work and cost the FPC profits, as well as save the numbat habitat for another day,” said Simon Peterffy.

“The loggers working on this job have started to think that this is all a big game, they have been using their machinery like toddlers with Tonka trucks to be quite frank. Monday is a fine example of the type of the violent, careless and reckless behaviour these loggers are using in order to try and intimidate protesters who are using non-violent protest to prevent Ecocide,” said Mr Peterffy.

A complaint will be made to the appropriate authorities in regards to the multiple assaults and the blatantly obvious disregard for the OH&S requirements. Forest Rescue will be uploading a 6-minute clip on to our Youtube and Facebook pages for the public to view.

For more information, details and/or video and pictures, please phone:

Simon Peterffy on 0422 535 328.

Forest Rescue Media Liaison



as this campaign has progressed we have seen a steady increase in the violence and risky actions that these people are prepared to use , i call on the forest products commision to sack these neanderthal thugs before they kill somebody , there is no excuse for violence on unarmed peacefull protestors

Please, will someone "rescue" the so called "Forest Rescue" dudes before one of them gets themselves killed!

Simon, your actions, and those of your mates, are abominable. Those contractors are doing their legitimate jobs in the forest. You are simply behaving like a spoilt child who won't obey the laws of the land. If I was down there I'd be tempted to give you a jolly good thrashing and send you back to school.

If you and your mates really want to do something useful for the numbats, go and offer to help the research scientists studying these animals at places like Dryandra forest.

Those loggers have a right to work but not to commit ecocide whilst doing it. No-one is stopping them from harvesting plantation pines and bluegum and doing legitimate work.

Nazi prison camp guards were (at the time) legally allowed by their country's laws to brutalise and facilitate the murder of jews, communists, gypsy's, and other political prisoners in death camps. When these guards knocked off from work, they went home and sat with their families to eat dinner and live in homes paid for by their 'work'.

Just because something is legal, doesn't make it right.

The Forest Products Commission and their contractors are committing Ecocide by logging in threatened species habitat, 8 species all together - Numbat, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Western Ringtail Possum, Woylie, Chuditch, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo (ALL 3 species of WA's black cockatoo).

This is technically 'legal' but absolutely morally corrupt and wrong.

Ecocide - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecocide

The Forest Products Commission and their contractors are committing Ecocide by logging in threatened species habitat, 8 species all together - Numbat, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Western Ringtail Possum, Woylie, Chuditch, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo (ALL 3 species of WA's black cockatoo).

The Premier of Western Australia, The Ministers for Forestry, Regional Development and the Environment have all be supplied with photographs documenting the actions of the FPC in felling critical habitat trees needed by our unique and endangered wildlife. They have documented evidence of bulldozers pushing over trees within three meters of a numbat hollow, the numbat in clear evidence.

The FPC is "culling" (their own word) the Marri tree which provides 80% of the food requirement of our endanged black cockatoos, to try to encourage growth of more Jarrah. Meantime, our black cockatoos are starving!

Following the logging, the FPC will engage in burning off in the logged areas - so any ground creatures which have survived the bulldozers and the falling trees will face the prospect of being burned to death.

The loggers may be "legal" but their acts, under the protection of the FPC and DEC are shameful and morally reprehensible.

Frosty and Lesley, where did you dig up this word "ecocide"? It's a totally inappropriate word to describe timber harvesting operations in our south west forests

Harvesting in these forests has been happening since the State was founded in 1829, and yet these same forests are still able to provide timber which we all use, and not one species has become extinct due to this harvesting.

The problems in our environment are due to the massive amount of permanent clearing for farmland, especially in the wheat and sheep belts, and the huge areas of forest cleared for infrastructure, housing and mining.

Biodiversity in our forests copes admirably with sustainable timber harvesting. Read the scientific evidence. You need to channel your energy and time into something more relevant.

If you can name, with scientific proof, one single species that has become extinct due to logging in our forests, then I might take some notice of your outcries. But I'm not holding my breath.

really frosty. since when did ndva involve throwing dangerous chemicals at public servants and intimidating workers with abuse.

it was the foresters who saved the numbats. they only survived in the timber production forests in the 1970's.

how is it that harvesting 400 hectares of forest is a threat to the survival of numbats? there are 75,000 hectares of national parks next door.

this is bullshit and you know it. do something useful with your life, please stop assaulting workers in the forest you are causing violence to them.

forest rescue perpetrates violence against workers

Um, where's your proof that 'dangerous chemicals' have been thrown at public servants? That's simply a lie.

Forest Rescue activists have been the target of threats to kill, threats of violence, actual assaults, sexual harrassment of women and racial taunts by the workers working for Warren Forest Services.

These activists are heroes of the new forest wars and are using Non-Violent Direct Action and putting their bodies and lives on the line almost daily. They should get medals for what they do.

They wouldn't have to do what they do if there wasn't a serious and urgent need in the face of the Human-Induced Climate Change emergency and the 6th greatest extinction event in the history of the Earth which has been brought about by human activity.

Any justification for logging of core habitat for 8 different threatened animals species is as far off reality as are deniers of Human-Induced Climate Change. No amount of scientific evidence will satisfy them and I dare say any amount of evidence will not satisfy foresters. It's simply insanity.

Sure, blame agriculture, industrial and residential development. You will fail because they will also pass on the blame to someone else. In truth there are many factors - a death by a thousand cuts - in the extinction of a species and in this age of the 6th greatest extinction event in the history of the planet, humans and their unsustainable practices are the cause.

There are a number of causes working to drive these species to extinction and modern industrialised logging, including what occurs in the south west of WA is one of them. Current logging practices ARE sacrificing valuable feeding and breeding trees.

I attended a seminar with 4 different presenters speaking on the current emergency with the decline of ALL 3 of WA's black cockatoo species. One of them was Dr Ron Johnstone, curator of ornithology at the WA Museum. He said that logging in WA's forests was definitely reducing the numbers of feeding and breeding trees that are available to the black cockatoos. If you've got a problem with that, talk to him about it.

Ecocide is not a word 'of my own making'. It is now an internationally recognised term that describes crimes against the environment.

The Forest Products Commission and their contractors are committing Ecocide by logging in threatened species habitat, 8 species all together - Numbat, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Western Ringtail Possum, Woylie, Chuditch, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo (ALL 3 species of WA's black cockatoo).

Forest Rescue are putting their bodies and lives on the line to prevent this gross crime against the environment.

"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy, it is absolutely essential to it." - Howard Zinn

If you don't like seeing democracy in action, move to China or North Korea.

* Experts warn WA's northern jarrah forest under threat - http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/special-features/experts-warn-was-northe...

* Extinction fear for WA birds - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-06/extinction-fears-for-wa-birds/3814...

* Perth slowly devouring it's black cockatoo species - http://www.sciencewa.net.au/topics/environment-a-conservation/item/1155-...

* Stop the loggers and save our endangered wildlife - http://ccwa.org.au/content/save-our-cockatoos

* 12 good reasons to stop logging our native forests - http://www.waforestalliance.org/12-good-reasons-stop-logging-our-native-...

* Shock satellite image shows forests in serious decline - http://waforestalliance.org/sites/default/files/WAFA_RealForestNews%281%...

Stop the loggers and save our endangered wildlife - http://ccwa.org.au/content/save-our-cockatoos

You've got to be joking. None of this is based in any science - just usual greenwash. Dr Johnstone did say that habitat was important. His monitoring of Wungong forest (harvest 4 times in the last century) shows it has a very healthy cockatoo population - provided adequate habitat trees are retained. Why is that? Managed forests are the refuge for wildlife in WA, and they have been so with timber cutting for 150 years.

For activists every patch of forest is the last stand. You can't credibly argue that a tiny patch of forest will make any difference to the survival of a species. If that were the case they'd be doomed. The truth lies in the opposite case -all these species live quite successfully in regrowth forest and they have been doing so for 150 years. No species in WA needs old growth forest - provided sufficient habitat values are retained.

If activists cared about cockatoos you would be doing something which would make a difference, not play war games in the forest.

Food sources and nesting sites for Carnaby's Cockatoo (which lives mostly in the woodlands not the forest) are becoming critical. Activists should be promoting the replanting of Gnangara area. The loss of the pines is the most important issue in the cockatoos rapid decline - there isn't any food. Action in providing nesting boxes in woodland area will help replace the loss of natural hollows.

The most important thing for numbats is fox control. Where are the activists promoting and helping in increased control measures

The most important things for quokka and other animals that live in the stream areas is to keep a healthy vegetation. A drying climate is losing all our streams - soon the vegetation will go and along with it the stream species. We should manage the forest to promote increased water for the streams.

All three of Western Australia's iconic black cockatoos are threatened with extinction, so we are not only concerned about Carnaby's. The original listing of the Forest Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo as 'threatened or likley to become extinct' by DEC's principal Zoologist listed forest logging as a major cause of decline. That was in 2004 and the listing recommended 'Protecting all mature and over mature marri trees during logging operations' as one of three critical actions that should be taken to halt the decline of the species. Since then, thousands of Marri trees have been poisoned, felled or burned by loggers in WA's Southwest forests.

Even the Black Cockatoo Recovery plan (required under federal legislation for threatened species) lists logging as a principal threat to the cockatoos, however the logging industry is exempt from Commonwealth laws to protect threatened species! If the logging industry was really not having an impact then the FPC and loggers would not need the exemption.

The fact that the logging industry and WA Government refuse to make this destructive industry subject to the same laws that apply to everyone else is a disgrace.

I think it is the activists that intimidate the loggers then when the activists get assaulted they cry.
If you tried to stop me working I would just break your legs that would get rid of that little problem

What the forrest rescue crew is doing is heroic. Risking their own personal safety, copping abuse from all quarters.
They have my absolute admiration aned support.

Gerry the forest harvesting operation is very hazardous - what about all the forest workers they are putting at risk with their childish pranks? What happens if their actions result in an injury to a worker? What would you say then?

"... the forest harvesting operation is very hazardous..."

Yet the Forest Products Commission and their contractors continue to log in known habitat for 8 different threatened animal species! I hope those animals are all wearing hardhats! Does FPC issue Numbat sized hardhats and safety boots? Does the FPC know where each and every animal is before a logging machine goes in there or a tree is felled?

Your statement is an absolutely absurd double standard, typical of government and industry.