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Tree and machine huggers stop work

Police have issued nine move-on notices to protesters at the Helms Forest near Nannup after 10 environmental activists climbed on machinery meant for clearing a road into the forest. Source:

One protester chained himself to a bulldozer, putting an end to the start of work. Police tried to break the chain and remove the man from the site.

The protesters from the WA Forest Alliance said that they were enraged that the natural habitat of the threatened Carnaby’s, Baudin’s and Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, would be destroyed from more logging in the area.

The forest, where the threatened birds are released neighbours the Jamarri Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre.

The area was being cleared was to make way for a road required to allow access to the forest for future logging.

The centre managers fear there will be a “collapse” in local Red-Tailed, Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Cockatoo populations if the loggers’ plans go ahead.

Convener of the WA Forest Alliance Jess Beckerling said the logging was a “crime against nature”.

“It is difficult to comprehend that a forest as important as Helms would ever be threatened by logging,” she said.

“We are calling on the Premier and the Forest Products Commission to immediately stop logging Helms and all other forests relied on by threatened species to prevent the extinctions of wildlife that are unique to our South-West forests.”

Ms Beckerling said the group was prepared to fight for the forest, no matter how long it would take.

“It is not even profitable to be logging,’’ she said. “This isn’t about giving up some environmental values for economic gain, it is just pure vandalism.”

The Forest Products Commission general manager Vince Erasmus said the native forest timber industry was an important part of the fabric of the South West region.

“Many local communities rely heavily on the employment and provide services to the industry,” he said.

“Harvesting of forest areas, like Mowen, not only generates revenue for FPC but employs people in the harvesting, processing and manufacturing sectors.”