Whose forests?

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

What about aboriginals? (Credit: GREENPEACE)Australian Elections

A group of 30 anti-logging protesters disrupted a press conference of Labour leader Mark Latham in Tasmania, Australia asking him to reveal his forestry policy. Earlier, Latham had attacked Australian prime minister's John Howard's record on the environment. Howard had said he would like to see an end to the logging of old growth forests but not at the expense of timber workers' jobs or local communities. The Labour candidate argued that the prime minister had ignored the issue for the past eight years.

Meanwhile, Tasmanian aboriginals say they should be consulted in the pre-election debate. Glenn Shaw, of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council, says aborginal values have been ignored in the electioneering over Tasmania's old-growth forests. Protecting forests from logging sounds good in theory, but may make it harder for aboriginals to protect heritage values. "Turning forests into national park means another statutory body to deal with and whenever you deal with such bodies, everything becomes cumbersome," he argued.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.