22 March 2024

Without forests, 'we are screwed': national campaign will hold Bega protest to call for native forest logging's end

| Albert McKnight
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Tamlyn Magee

March in March for Forests in Bega organiser Tamlyn Magee says it will be a “a peaceful and positive” event. Photo: Peter Whiter.

As part of a nationwide campaign, hundreds of marchers are expected to gather in Bega this weekend to call for an end to native forest logging, including in their local forests.

Tamlyn Magee is the organiser behind March in March for Forests in Bega on Sunday (24 March), which is the same day that similar marches will be held at other locations across the country, including Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide.

“If we lose our forests, we are screwed,” she said.

“I think people in this region really care about the forests and wildlife and maybe don’t realise what is going on behind the scenes with the logging industry.”

She said Forestry Corporation of NSW claimed to be sustainable based on the idea that “trees grow back”.

However, she said forests were actually extremely complex and biodiverse ecosystems that took many decades to develop.

“‘Trees grow back’ is preschool-level ecological thinking and it is not good enough to tackle the multiple environmental and social crises that we face today,” Ms Magee said.

“Indigenous leaders, ecologists, hydrologists and wildlife specialists should be making decisions about how we manage forests – not the Forestry Corporation.”

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The March in March for Forests is a nationwide campaign organised by the Bob Brown Foundation.

“Native forest logging is killing endangered species like the swift parrot, masked owl, koala and greater glider,” the foundation’s campaigns manager Jenny Weber said.

“It also destroys some of Earth’s most vital carbon storehouses, reducing our ability to fight the climate crisis.

“We want to unite the Australian public in support of ending native forest logging. Securing forest protection of all native forests across Australia is real climate action and will take forest species off the path to extinction.”

To be held over two hours, Bega’s event will have speakers, music, dance, theatre and a short march, then a tree planting.

The speakers will be talking about cultural burning and First Nations land management, the link between bushfires, climate change and forestry, general information about the logging industry, as well as the successes the environmental movement has had in the region over the past 50 years.

“[That is] to remind us that this type of action does actually work,” Ms Magee said.

“The March for Forests in Bega is a collaboration between our creative community and local environmental groups, and it is a peaceful and positive, free event that everyone is welcome to attend.

“On Sunday I hope to see everyone who cares about the future of our forests coming together to learn from each other, and to celebrate and protect forests both here and nationwide.”

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The Bega event will be held at Zingel Place, Bega from 10:30 am on Sunday.

It will start with a welcome to country, then the speakers will talk before there is entertainment, all of which will take about an hour.

There will then be a short march around the block from 11:45 am before marchers return to Littleton Gardens.

Bring a picnic to enjoy afterwards, an umbrella if it looks like rain and you can also join the Landcare working bee after the march, planting 200 native trees around the Bega River.

For more information, visit the event’s website by clicking here or visit its page on Facebook by clicking here.

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