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Byron Shire
March 31, 2023

Forest Defenders to be celebrated at courthouse

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Aaron Crowe up a tripod, defending the forest. Photo supplied.

When the first three arrestees from the Bulga Forest protection actions go to court on Wednesday, February 22, there will be a celebration of their actions and their cause outside the Taree courthouse.

Spokesperson for the gathering, Linda Gill, a former Great Lakes Councillor for 24 years, said that history would remember those who fought to stop the forest destruction as heroes.

As someone who was elected to Council many times, I never forget those women who fought so bravely for my right to vote and my right to participate in our democratic system of government.

At the time, the suffragettes were beaten, abused, imprisoned and treated brutally by the establishment fighting to maintain its privilege.

Forest defenders, who are being criminalised

Well these forest defenders, who are being criminalised by a system that is propping up private profits by destroying public assets, will be remembered the same way.

We’ve already seen how things change. I was at the protests to defend the oldgrowth forest in Chaelundi in 1991. That area is now a National Park. Same with many other areas where the community has stood up and said this is too valuable to destroy, those places are now enjoyed and celebrated.

The Rocks in Sydney is another example. It was going to be bulldozed to make way for progress. There were huge protests. Now it’s a prime tourist location bringing in millions to the Sydney economy every year.

The public forests of NSW, the wildlife they support, the carbon they store, the water they provide, are way more valuable kept standing. The Forestry Corporation which manages the logging runs at a loss. It’s time we recognised that the future of our kids and grandkids in this area depends on healthy catchments, and healthy catchments depend on healthy forests.’

The three arrestees are Susie Russell, Aaron Crowe and Isla Lamont.

Ms Gill says the group will be outside the Taree Courthouse on Wednesday from 8.30am. ‘We will be loud and proud of our forest protectors.’


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  1. State Forests were instigated to provide much-needed timber to the NSW public from the 1930s on-wards.
    Do we now expect it to be all provided by PNG and Pacific Island States – with no/few environmental safeguards at all?
    Please “get real”…you are effectively wasting your time against a phantom/ fantasy target.
    But it makes you feel good and have an inner-glow while you are’ saving something’, doesn’t it …?


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