Wentworth Hills is an area of critical native forests in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania. This area contains tracts of old growth alpine eucalypt forest and patches of temperate rainforest, and is home to nine threatened fauna species including the Tasmanian Devil, Grey Goshawk, Spotted-tailed Quoll and Wedge-tailed eagle.
Today, a group of forest defenders from the Bob Brown Foundation have entered an active logging coupe, with one protester perched on a platform high up in the canopy. Her treesit platform is immobilising all the logging machinery present in the coupe.
“Last year, we held strong in this exact same logging coupe for a 10-day occupation whilst stopping work in a nearby area. Now, loggers have started work in this area and we are back to stand strong once again for these forests,” said Lisa Searle, Bob Brown Foundation Native Forests campaigner.
Last year, despite pressure from the public and ongoing protesting in the area, Premier Gutwein failed to protect these ancient ecosystems. The Wentworth area has the largest quantity of old growth scheduled for logging by Sustainable Timber Tasmania.
“Sustainable Timber Tasmania are climate criminals for the ongoing massacre of native forests in the middle of this climate and biodiversity crisis.” Said Dr Searle.
“I have loved the forests of Wentworth Hills since I first visited this incredible area and it was shocking to me to see the destruction taking place here. For Valentine’s Day this year I am choosing to spend it here, halting the logging and showing the Tasmanian community what is at stake. Wentworth Hills is, and always will be, close to my heart,” said Celeste Bartel, frontline activist who is perched 15m off the ground in a treesit.
“We are unflappable in our resolve to protect these forests. We will not back down. We will continue campaigning for Wentworth Hills until this area gets the protection it so desperately needs.” Dr Searle concluded.