BUSES ARE continuing to fill up with protesters bound for Adelaide for tomorrow’s major rally against the privatisation of South Australian Forests. So far, nine will be making the journey in convoy with an estimated 40‐50 log trucks and semi trailers. Dozens of private vehicles will also complete the 1000‐kilometre round trip to the steps of Parliament House to deliver their message straight to the State Government.
Mount Gambier Mayor Steve Perryman says he is thrilled with the level of support from the South East public ‐ but he is not surprised. “The forward sale of South Australia’s forests would have a devastating effect on the future of our region, with a catastrophic flow‐on right down through the ranks, but the State Government still doesn’t seem to be listening. It’s just a real shame that we feel it necessary to travel all the way to Adelaide to get our voices heard.”
Community leaders continue to stand united in the fight to stop the forward sale of ForestrySA harvests. Ten days ago, local mayors and State MP’s delivered a Letter to the Premier, Mike Rann, requesting clear answers. So far, there has been no official response. Ironically, the State Government’s lack of action to date has prompted a groundswell of public support from Adelaide residents who are also fed up with being ignored.
“The city of Adelaide is going to be brought to a standstill, and politicians should be prepared for hundreds if not thousands of angry voters waiting on their doorstep,” says Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage.
Some of the South East’s most high profile business leaders have thrown their support behind the campaign, and many businesses will shut their doors for the day in order to enable staff to participate in the rally being dubbed the South East’s “family trip to Adelaide”. Anti sell‐off signs and banners have been hung in hundreds of windows and shop floors in Mount Gambier, Nangwarry, Tarpeena, Millicent, Port MacDonnell and Penola.
“In the South East, there is no bigger player than the timber industry, so the community is really coming together as one, and this campaign is really gaining traction ‐ we will not back down until the threat to our logs no longer exists,” says Wattle Range Mayor Peter Gandolfi.