Styx Valley protesters claim win

Press release - 24 November, 2003
Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society today claimed a win in their campaign to protect Tasmania´s Styx Valley, after loggers failed to show up for work following environmentalists´ peaceful occupation of a logging coupe. Two activists are hanging, suspended mid-air, in ‘seats´ attached by rope to logging machinery. The machinery is used for loading logs onto trucks and cannot be moved as long as the activists remain in position.

Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society peaceful protesters successfully stop clearfelling operations with tree-sits rigged up to logging machinery under a lunar eclipse.

"We´re here to stop the daily destruction of the Styx ancient forest. For the time being, we´ve halted clearfelling of the world´s tallest hardwoods for export as woodchips to Japan,' Wilderness Society campaigner Geoff Law said. "Japanese importers should be sourcing woodchips from plantations instead of destroying Tasmania´s precious forests.'

A proposal to include the Styx Valley in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area has been supported by the World Heritage Bureau, the Australian Heritage Commission and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. "We are calling on the Government to step in and bring an immediate end to this logging,' Mr Law added.

The action comes less than two weeks after Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society installed the world´s highest tree-sit - dubbed the Global Rescue Station - in one of the Styx´s 84m high /Eucalyptus regnan/ trees. The Global Rescue Station is situated in a coupe in immediate threat of logging.

"The Global Rescue Station, manned by international and Australian environmentalists, is attracting significant media attention and messages of support from people all around the world,' said Greenpeace Campaigner Rebecca Hubbard. "The Styx forest is a prime tourist destination, less than two hours´ drive from Hobart. What is the government thinking by allowing the continued devastation of this area?'

The Styx is logged by Tasmanian woodchip company Gunns Limited, who grind the trees into low-value woodchips to make into paper. The woodchips are exported to Japan for use by Nippon, Oji and Mitsubishi.