A group of about 25 people gathered near the Ballina Street Bridge in Lismore on Wednesday to express their concern about the continued logging of Tasmania's native forests - despite a moratorium on logging being in place.
Tasmania's high-conservation value forests were promised protection in August last year by the Australian government under the terms of the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement.
But logging by Forestry Tasmania continues under pressure to fulfil contracts to Malaysian timber company Ta Ann.
The protest was part of an international day of action organised by the grassroots group Still Wild Still Threatened. Protests took place in about 40 locations around the world. The protests were also in support of Miranda Gibson, who has been living on a tree platform 60 metres above the ground in a western Tasmanian forest, vowing to stay there until forestry protection is a reality. She has occupied her tree-sit for 65 days so far.
"Today we're protesting the continuing destruction of Tasmanian native forests," local resident Valerie Thompson told The Echo. "There's a moratorium on logging these forests - in theory. But in reality forests that are listed in that moratorium are being logged right now."
Three weeks ago, Valerie was in Picton State Forest, one of the forests promised protection, where she saw the logging first hand.
"There were big trees lying on the ground that were verified later to be about 300 years old. It's a lack of political will at federal and state levels.
Forestry Tasmania sells the timber to Ta Ann, which is the major buyer of native forest timber in Tasmania. They then sell the timber globally.
"They sell it to places like Japan as sustainable timber," Valerie said. "We want to pressure the Australian government to honour the moratorium. And we want to let customers of Ta Ann know that we're not happy. The timber is not sustainable."
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