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Despite today’s downpour, a large crowd turned out in Hobart to celebrate Tasmania’s great wild forests and wildlife at a rally organised by Senator Bob Brown.

“This is a last minute message to the state and federal governments, and oppositions, that Tasmanians want our forests to be protected as a result of the forest agreement which, we are told, will deliver millions of dollars to the logging industry,” Senator Brown said.

“After all, we are calling for the protection of just one-third of Tasmania’s publicly owned forests to stimulate jobs, investment and growth in the tourism, hospitality, education and adventure industries which will be the backbone of our future economy.

The rally began with John Williamson singing “Rip, Rip, Woodchip” and included speakers: Richard Flanagan; Vica Bayley; Nick McKim; Bob Brown; Jenny Weber, and MCed by Peg Putt.

• Meawnhile, in Launceston ...

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Code Green:

Call for immediate native forest protection in protest outside state labour conference.

15 members of the community based direct action group Code Green have today staged a dramatic protest outside the state labour conference in Launceston. Two activists scaled 12m high flagpoles outside the Country Club Casino and unfurled a banner calling for the immediate placement of 572 000 ha of high conservation value native forest into formal reserves.

“The current Heads of Agreement deal does nothing to ensure the formal protection of Tasmania’s unique native forests and only delivers a short term band-aid for a failed forest industry,” Code Green spokesperson Ali Alishah said.

“The deal for 430 000ha of informal reserves falls well short of the assured protection of 572 000ha of native forest identified by signatories to the Statement of Principles Agreement,” Mr Alishah said.

“Industrial scale logging is still free to continue in irreplaceable tracts of native forest critical to Tasmania’s future.”

The protest comes on the same day as hundreds of people are expected to attend a rally outside parliament house in Hobart encouraging Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Premier Lara Giddings to ensure the protection of these forests in the announcement of the finalised inter-governmental agreement this weekend.

UPDATE:

Call for immediate native forest protection in protest outside state labour conference.

Two protesters arrested outside state labour conference

Two protesters from environmental group CODE GREEN have been arrested and charged with trespass after unfurling a banner at Launceston’s Country Club Casio. The protesters, one local female aged 19 and one local male aged 19, were released on bail from the Launceston police station this afternoon. They have been bailed to appear on October 11th in the Launceston Magistrates Court. Their bail conditions restrict them from being within 300m of Launceston Country Club Casino.

The CODE GREEN demonstration which was held outside the state labour conference was calling for the immediate placement of 572 000 ha of high conservation value native forest into formal reserves.

“The current Heads of Agreement deal does nothing to ensure the formal protection of Tasmania’s unique native forests and only delivers a short term band-aid for a failed forest industry,” Code Green spokesperson Ali Alishah said.

“The deal for 430 000ha of informal reserves falls well short of the assured protection of 572 000ha of native forest identified by signatories to the Statement of Principles Agreement,” Mr Alishah said.
“Industrial scale logging is still free to continue in irreplaceable tracts of native forest critical to Tasmania’s future.”

• Women Against the Pulp Mill (WAM)

Cupcake stall at state LABOR CONFERENCE today
Saturday, 6 August 2011

Today at noon, WAM! Women Against the Milll will be offering State Labor politicians a cupcake as they drive through the gates of the Launceston Country Club Casino.  WAM! hopes that Labor politicians will make a donation for a cupcake to raise funds for education and health.

These fine and civil ladies are taking direct action to plug the budget holes that have been caused through constant leaking of public money to Gunns Ltd proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill and the ever-failing forestry industry in Tasmania.

“We decided at afternoon tea last week that it isn’t enough to simply sit back and let our children, sick and elderly suffer from the misspending and poorly determined priorities of our misguided Labor politicians,” said WAM! spokesperson Stephani Taylor.

“We have long thought that those naughty boys from Gunns and Forestry were taking things a little too far with their mates in the Labor Party.”

“Bit by bit they have spent all the public money, that we have worked so hard to earn and save, on ridiculous pie in the sky ideas and now we find ourselves facing hospital bed shortages and schools closing.”

“We are disappointed that Premier Giddings is not sensible enough to call a stop to it all but is rather out there in public proclaiming that Gunns – a company who has had to stop trading shares because being near to bankrupt - is the company that should be building a pulp mill in our state.”

“Whilst we realise that selling cupcakes will not save our budget we hope that our action might inspire others because when government fails – as ours so clearly has – then people must stand up and fight for the good society.  Bit by bit we will achieve a society that puts education and health before forestry and a pulp mill.”

DATE: TODAY, Saturday 6 August 2011
TIME: Noon – 2p.m
VENUE: Launceston Country Club Casino
WHO:          WAM! Women Against the Mill

Forest Activist Scales Roof of Harvey Norman Complex

Where: 494-504 Gardeners Road, Alexandria, Sydney.

When: from 12pm

Today activists from The Sydney Forest Defense Crew have staged a protest at the Harvey Norman Complex in Alexandria. The company is being targeted for selling furniture and flooring made from native forest timbers.

27-year-old Matthew Rider has scaled the building’s atrium to suspend a banner that labels Australia’s biggest furniture retailer ‘Forest Destroyers’. The activists have also suspended a stereo system playing sounds of chainsaws and falling trees.

“Research by the NGO Markets for Change implicates the Australian furniture retail sector in the widespread destruction of native forests across Australia” said Sydney Forest Defense Crew Spokesperson Viv Hadlow .

“Every day, irreplaceable forests are being decimated by industrial logging operations. The wood is then being shipped to China where it is turned into furniture, and then shipped right back to Australia to be sold in stores like Harvey Norman” Ms Hadlow said.

“We demand that Harvey Norman stops profiting from forest destruction and starts using sustainable alternatives like plantation and recycled timber” said Ms Hadlow.

Harvey Norman is now the focus of a major nationwide campaign. On July 23rd, conservationists shut down the Harvey Norman Store in Nowra. Three days later two climbers scaled trees in front of the Harvey Norman Store in Melbourne’s QV centre and unfurled a giant banner reading ‘No Harvey No: Stop Selling Forest Destruction’.

“Many members of the public feel angry about Harvey Norman’s role in the continued devastation of our unique and precious forest ecosystems. It seems likely that Harvey Norman will see more protests in the near future unless it changes its timber sourcing policies” Ms Hadlow said.

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UPDATE: Forest Activist Scales Roof of Harvey Norman Complex

Today one activist from The Sydney Forest Defense Crew has been arrested after staging a protest at the Harvey Norman Complex in Alexandria.

27-year-old Matthew Rider scaled the building’s atrium to suspend a banner labeling Australia’s biggest furniture retailer ‘Forest Destroyers’. Activists also suspended a stereo system playing sounds of chainsaws and falling trees.

“Research by the NGO Markets for Change implicates the Australian furniture retail sector in the widespread destruction of native forests across Australia” said Sydney Forest Defense Crew Spokesperson Viv Hadlow .

“Every day, irreplaceable forests are being decimated by industrial logging operations. The wood is then being shipped to China where it is turned into furniture, and then shipped right back to Australia to be sold in stores like Harvey Norman” Ms Hadlow said.

“We demand that Harvey Norman stops profiting from forest destruction and starts using sustainable alternatives like plantation and recycled timber” said Ms Hadlow.

Harvey Norman is now the focus of a major nationwide campaign. On July 23rd, conservationists shut down the Harvey Norman Store in Nowra. Three days later two climbers scaled trees in front of the Harvey Norman Store in Melbourne’s QV centre and unfurled a giant banner reading ‘No Harvey No: Stop Selling Forest Destruction’.

“Many members of the public feel angry about Harvey Norman’s role in the continued devastation of our unique and precious forest ecosystems. It seems likely that Harvey Norman will see more protests in the near future unless it changes its timber sourcing policies” Ms Hadlow said.