On May 24th 2022 Mary-Anne Thomas - Victorian state ALP Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development and Ingrid Stitt - ALP Minister for Workplace Safety, introduced the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022 aimed at further criminalising forest protests at logging coupes. These laws follow suit with those introduced in Queensland, NSW, and Tasmania aimed at targeting climate and forest activists with heavy-handed penalties. In Victoria, they are a pre-election gambit aimed at wedging workers against environmentalists, and here's why.
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The State government has issued fines to three citizen science surveyors who reported illegal rainforest logging. Despite the State government committing to implementing a raft of changes to logging rules in light of the information we provided, fines have been issued for entering logging "safety zone". We'll be fighting the fines in court and will not be silenced for speaking out about VicForests unlawful logging operations.
The so called 'safety zones' are designed to keep the public out of the forests and shield VicForests logging operations from scrutiny. We'll continue to monitor and document logging operations. It's in the public interest for the public to know what is happening in their forests.