Survey road activists vindicated
Four East Gippsland activists arrested at Survey
Rd in January 2002 were given "formal judicial acknowledgement"
that they had been motivated by conservation concerns, and were not
acting from self-interest, greed or a desire to hurt other. As such
it was not appropriate to convict or fine them for their actions.
Magistrate Clive Alsop said it was important for people to take a
stand if they believe something is right. However, the charges of
obstructing forest operations and obstructing a forest officer were
too serious to dismiss (as a Judge in the County Court did last November)
so he instead gave the four a three month good behaviour bond.
The magistrate said it was not his role to comment on the workings
of the government or bureaucracy. However, his finding as vindicated
the actions of the numerous people arrested at Survey Rd last
year when a last-ditch effort was made to first stop a road into
Spot-tailed Quoll habitat and later to stop the logging of this
habitat, which contains rainforest and is part of a water catchment.
The outcome of this trial draws even more attention to the disparity
in penalties handed out in the Melbourne magistrates court as
opposed to the Orbost magistrates court, where people have been
known to get fines over $5000 and even suspended jail terms for
(thanks to The Age for some of this information)
SURVEY RD BLOCKADE
Monday 18 November 2002
In an historic move, environmentalists decided today to withdraw from forest
blockades, in an attempt resolve conflict and draw attention to old growth
logging. The focus will now be on the NRE, who are responsible for the sorry
state of the forests through their woeful forest mismanagement.
See Media Releases
for more info....
Wednesday 6 November 2002
The dedicated band of black wallabies have been at it again, stopping work
for the day at Survey Rd. Go team! This comes on the day of more pre-election
promises by the Bracks government, yet still no pledge to protect the unique
old growth forest and water catchments of the Errinundra Plateau
Sunday 3 November 2002
Another successful stop work action by a mob of black wallabies. Only three
trees were felled today, one perilously close to people in the forest. Another
arrest at the end of the day, with the additional charge of "wearing a disguise"
chucked in for good measure. A disturbing development was the "deputisation"
of loggers, who were allowed to chase and restrain black wallabies.
Saturday 2 November 2002
A group of people stopped logging and roading for the day in a coupe on Survey
Rd simply by standing in front of bulldozers. Effective non-violent direct
action at work! There was one arrest at the end of the day. The woman arrested
sustained bruising to the arms and upper body after being manhandled by NRE
Thursday 31 October 2002
A woman suspended from a tripod in her wheelchair has stopped logging traffic
from entering coupes on Survey Rd for a day. The mother of two successfully
blockaded one end of Survey Rd while a person on a treesit attached to a gate
blockaded the other end. One person was arrested after locking on to a NRE
vehicle and received numerous charges. This is the end of the fourth week
of protest action in the Bonang River area, where two crews are logging old
growth forest and rainforest that forms part of a wildlife corridor and is
part of the Bonang River water catchment.
Monday 28 October 2002
A lone conservationist defied police attempts to remove him from a tree in
a logging coupe at Survey Rd. Search and Rescue police removed the tree platform
he had been occupying for four days, disconnecting it from machinery and allowing
logging to recommence in the Bonang River water catchment. However, the treesitter
evaded arrest by climbing higher into the canopy of the tree and is bearing
witness to the destruction occuring around him.
The tree sitter remained in place over the weekend despite extremely high
winds and snow. Police and NRE officers are continuing to confiscate vital
safety equipment, including radios. However, protesters remain determined.
On Friday 25 October, the tree sit attached to logging machinery was re-established
at Survey Rd. It is stopping logging taking place in an important area earmarked
for protection by government scientists, whose recommendations have been ignored
(again!). Two logging crews are currently logging this area, and the blockade
is stopping work in one of the coupes. It is the third week of blockades in
this important area.
On Monday 7 October 2002, work was stopped for two days in a contentious
logging coupe by a lone treesitter, who was eventually removed by Search and
Rescue police. The treesit was re-established on Friday the 11th October and
remained in place over the weekend despite high winds. One person was removed
by Search and Rescue police and arrested on Monday 14 October.
The coupe is in an area earmarked for conservation as a "site of significance"
by government scientists, whose recommendations were ignored. The area forms
part of a wildlife corridor and is known to contain rare flora including an
alpine pepper and orchid, and is the only known sighting of the Long Nosed
Bandicoot in the area.
Logging has started in the coupe which forms part of the headwaters of the
Bonang River. It is madness for the government to be allowing logging in water
catchments when the country is gripped by drought.
For more information call GECO on (03)51540156
see Survey Rd Media Releases
for further information