Community members defy Victorian anti-forestry protest laws

May 21, 2023

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Close to 200 people defied draconian anti-forestry protest laws which came into effect on Saturday, participating in mass forest surveys.

The new laws impose maximum penalties $22,120 fines or 12 months jail for people who enter a “Timber Harvesting Safety Zone”.

Surveying activities took place at Wombat State Forest, as well as Alberton West, Colquhoun, Powelltown and Toolangi.

Greens MPs Gabrielle de Vietri, Tim Read, Ellen Sandell and Senator Janet Rice joined the surveying activities in Wombat State Forest. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Greens MPs Gabrielle de Vietri, Tim Read, Ellen Sandell and Senator Janet Rice joined the surveying activities in Wombat State Forest. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Stepping over the red line marking the 'out of bounds' area entering the logging coup. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Stepping over the red line marking the ‘out of bounds’ area entering the Timber Harvesting Safety Zone. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Surveyors recorded over 130 plant and fungi observations, and found endangered Greater Gliders, koalas, endangered Tree Geebungs and a critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum.

Surveying and finding endangered species allows logging exclusion zones to be established, preventing habitat destruction.

Wombat Action Group's  Amy Calton (centre) speaking to Greens MPs Ellen Sandell , Janet Rice and Tim Read. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Wombat Action Group’s Amy Calton (centre) speaking to Greens MPs Ellen Sandell, Janet Rice and Tim Read. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Wombat Action Group spokesperson Amy Calton said: “protest must be protected, especially within a climate crisis.”

“The government must repeal these outrageous laws and take meaningful action to protect the environment.”

Matt Hrkac

Matt Hrkac is an award-winning photographer and photojournalist based in Geelong and works across Melbourne and throughout Victoria.

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