Cops stop logging protest from entering forest

ABOVE: A protestor tries to go through the woods to get to the logging site but is stopped by police.

Susanna Freymark

There were 70 people, two horses and plenty of police at Doubleduke State Forest at Bungawalbin on Thursday, March 16.

The protesters gathered on the corner of Glencoe and Bungawalbin–Whiporie roads before heading towards the state forest.

Once there they found the road was blocked by police cars.

The confrontation with police was peaceful. A few protesters tried to get closer to Doubleduke by going through the roadside woods but they were stopped by police.

The road to Doubleduke State Forest was blocked by police cars.

Anastasia Guise spoke to the crowd.

She was against the logging of native trees.

Giant mahogany trees, swamp gums and grey gums in Doubleduke State Forest were being chopped down for chips, pellets and pallets, Ms Guise said.

Ms Guise said because correct mapping of the site had not been done, it threatened the old growth trees.

“Forestry operations must not operate to the detriment of the environment or threatened species,” she said.

Police and protesters talk.

The various environmental groups including North East Forest Alliance and Save Banyabba Koalas were hoping the EPA would issue a stop work order on logging at Doubleduke.

A NSW Environment Protection Authority spokesperson said the EPA had received complaints about forestry operations at Doubleduke State Forest.

“The EPA is currently assessing these complaints and will undertake further compliance inspections in the forest,” the spokesperson said.

“The EPA will take appropriate regulatory action should any non-compliance be identified.”

The EPA did not answer the question emailed about whether they would issue a stop work order.

The EPA has inspected forestry operations in Doubleduke State Forest in late 2022 and again in January this year to monitor and enforce compliance with the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval. No non-compliance issues were identified, the EPA said.

Protesters and horse gather for a group photo.

Earlier this month protester Valerie ‘Possum’ Thompson suspended herself in a tree 25m above three logging machines at Doubleduke State Forest.

The protesters have been fighting logging since 1989 and plan to continue their action against native tree logging.

They want to see sustainable plantation forests used for logging.

This would leave native state forests such as Doubleduke for environmental tourism instead.

Greens candidate Adam Guise spoke to the crowd at Bungawalbin. Photos: Susanna Freymark

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