Coffs protest part of nation-wide forest uprising
PROTESTERS gathered outside the Coffs Harbour Forestry Corporation office this morning as part of a nation-wide 'forest uprising'.
The local protest is just one of many planned throughout Australia in forests, outside forestry offices and at the forest embassy protesters plan to set up outside Parliament House in Canberra later today.
While the appropriate police permit was sought in the lead up to the protest, officers intervened at one point as they deemed the banner placed on the second storey of the Park Street office was trespass.
Speaker Ashley Love says this is the third time in four years they have protested outside the Coffs Harbour office.
"They are now clear felling 140,000 hectares of the most diverse tall eucalypt forests on the planet that were recommended for world heritage assessment by a national panel of experts 20 years ago," he said.
He has similar concerns for oldgrowth forests recommended for protection 30 years ago and rainforests identified for protection by the National Rainforest Conservation Program almost 40 years ago.
"Governments have used every trick in the book to make the Forestry Corporation behind us here a protected species," he said.
Greens candidate for Coffs Harbour in the upcoming state election Jonathan Cassell was at the protest and says the Liberal/National government seems hell bent on the intensive logging of these forests, which are such an important community resource.
"The new logging laws are like a wrecking ball to our forests. Instead of tourists visiting to see koalas, we fear our native forests will disappear with industrial logging on our doorstep." Mr Cassell said.
The recent ruling on the Rocky Hill open-cut coal mine near the Mid North Coast town of Gloucester, which stated it should not go ahead due to the emissions of greenhouse gases and resulting climate change has given protesters like Mr Love hope that "it is not the right time or place to lock in the clear felling of our native forests for another 20 years."