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Byron Shire
March 24, 2023

Whian logging protester assaulted

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A protester's tent adjacent to the Whian Whian logging site. Photo Patrick Tatam
A protester’s tent adjacent to the Whian Whian logging site. Photo Patrick Tatam

A lone protester sleeping on private property adjoining the logging site on Whian Whian Road was assaulted overnight by up to 12 people who caused head trauma and bleeding.

The incident took place between 10.30 and 11pm and followed an earlier accident in which a logging contractor was injured at the site yesterday, when a branch of a tree fell on him.

Members of the group organising the protests say emergency services personnel attending last night’s incident were  reluctant to attend the site until police arrived ‘owing to fears for their own safety’.

Prior to the assault a spokesperson for the Whian Whian Forest Alliance, Sue James, received a threatening message on her mobile phone, according to another group spokesperson, Patrick Tatam.

Mr Tatam said the caller was known to the protesters and was not a member of their group.

He said the assaulted person was assisted by paramedics and later transported to hospital.

But he added that ‘police seemed to display a general unwillingness to take the protesters’ grievances concerning the evening’s events seriously.’

Earlier protesters had agreed ‘to desist from barricade activities at the property [today] as a mark of compassion’ towards the injured contractor.

Ms James will attend  Lismore police station today to lodge a formal complaint regarding the abusive phone message.


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  1. What can you expect from forestry workers,they are self-selected for not being overly aware of the real world. Until these types are better educated it can’t be expected that they will ever realise the error of their ways and the needless destruction they are responsible for.

  2. This is very sad news! Hopefully the CFMEU will be doing its best to figure out who was responsible for this, and if they are members, the union has to have a big rethink. Last time I protested against forestry in Northern NSW, we were picketing a CFMEU site and they were threatening toward us then. No wonder the union movement has continuously declined over recent decades. Blatant and aggressive self-interest is not a workable political platform for the old guard of the left.


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