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Byron Shire
March 29, 2023

Man in court over nonviolent action halting logging

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Andrew George at Doubleduke. Photo supplied.

A crowd of supporters has gathered at Lismore Courthouse today to support local engineer Andrew George as he faces court for his nonviolent action in halting forestry operations in Doubleduke State forest last month.

Mr George intends to plead guilty to charges related to a nonviolent protest in Doubleduke State Forest on February 6, which is part of a wider NSW campaign to halt all public forest logging.

Mr George engaged in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience by sitting in a tree-sit in Doubleduke State Forest for five hours.

Four forestry regulation 2022 charges

He was apprehended and charged with four forestry regulation 2022 charges, including: interfering with timber harvesting equipment’ carrying on activity in a forestry area that poses a risk to safety’ entering a forestry area without permission if prohibited by a displayed notice, and; contravening direction to leave a forestry area given by an authorized officer.

In a statement before his court appearance George said climate disruption is no longer vague or in the future. ‘It is here in Lismore and I have seen the impacts and consequences on my friends and this community.

‘The major flooding events of 2022 led to the displacement of thousands of people, the pollution of ecosystems and the destruction of infrastructure and property, trauma, and death.

Link between healthy ecosystems and climate is clear

‘The link between healthy ecosystems and a safe and stable climate is clear. This means that protecting our forests is intricately connected with protecting the people of Lismore, and the world.’

A spokesperson for the Save Banyabba Koalas group Sean O’Shannessy said the charges against Andrew George represent a desperate attempt by NSW Government’s Forest Corp to suppress the rising tide of dissent against their ecocidal practices in our public native forests. ‘Over the past few months hundreds of courageous citizens have taken part in actions in NE NSW to stop the destruction of our precious forests.

‘The climate and biodiversity crises demand swift and decisive action for our ecosystems. Since the NSW government refuses to do its duty we are fortunate to have dedicated individuals like Andrew George standing up for our community’s needs.

‘The justice system should turn its attention to arresting the criminal vandalism of the lungs of our planet, not criminalising free speech and assembly,’ sad Mr O’Shannessy.

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  1. Congrats to Andrew for his bravery and understanding of the danger inherent in the State sponsored vandalism conducted by Forestry Corp. The old growth trees they are now logging at Double Duke State Forest brings up echoes of the 70s. Why do we have to fight this fight again? Did our governments learn nothing? The unburnt, former safe havens in the forest are up for grabs. After horrendous Rappville fires nearby, who would have thought Forestry Corp could get away with logging this vulnerable area. Goodbye koalas, Gliders and Owls. Their habitat at Double Duke is going, going……

    • Forestry has got to be one of the most regulated industries in NSW and what’s with the continuing reference to koalas and logging this has been done to death.The science is very clear there is no threat to koalas from native forest logging in fact the exact opposite is true.Take five minutes to research the dietary preferences and requirements of koalas and you may understand why.But in your case probably not!

      • So Koala is in the clear then, there no koala food trees in native forests. Chop, chop, chop away.

        Any other fauna that rely on native forest for existence can do what?


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