Tasmania police were called in to arrest a peaceful defender of the Tarkine rainforest at Sumac Ridge south of Smithton today.
Bob Brown Foundation says that it has had a camp protecting the Sumac Ridge forest for three years. Following the arrest of tree-sitter Josh Nichols on Sumac Ridge last Friday, the forest vigil camp had been re-established this morning. Andy Szollosi, stayed on his treetop platform as police moved everyone from the area. Mr Szollosi was then arrested.
Tasmania’s state forest authority, renamed Sustainable Timbers Tasmania, plans an immediate start on a logging road along the ridge to blitz cathedral-like rainforest containing tall flowering eucalypts for Malaysian logging company Ta Ann and the woodchip market. After logging, the forest remnants will be fire-bombed at public expense despite the forests being as carbon-dense as those in the Amazon and containing rare and endangered wildlife.
“This is a watershed moment in Tasmanian forest history,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.
“The Tarkine contains the largest temperate rainforest in Australia. Everyone thought it was protected by Liberal PM John Howard’s famous forest agreement with the Tasmanian government in 2004. But now the chainsaws are being ordered back in by a subsquent Tasmanian Liberal government which is subsidising the destruction. We are not going to stand aside and allow this environmental crime to unfold in 2019.”
Bob Brown, who was in the forest last Friday, said he will be back on Sumac Ridge in coming days: “Now is the time for all good people to come to the defence of the rainforests and wildlife. This is part of the global rainforest end years. Either we make a stand in wealthy Australia to stop this completely unwarranted and needless destruction or the game is up for the world’s future environmental security. We cannot ask people elsewhere to do what we aren’t prepared to do ourselves. This is part of the human-created crisis of existence for life on Earth. I salute those who have moved out of their comfort zone to face arrest rather than, through inaction, aid and abet this ecocide in Tasmania.”