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save the Blue Tier

no logging

Image of C. and J. Ball after their arrest

John and Caroline Ball, Break O'Day ratepayers, proudly posing in front of the Friends of the Blue Tier base at Lottah.

They have been charged with blockading trucks removing logs from the Anchor Road coupe on 21 April, 2004.

Defendants was arraigned on 3rd June at St. Helens and on the advice of J. Avery, Q.C., acting pro bono publico, entered pleas of not guilty. Cases was set over for further proceedings on July 7, 2004.

UPDATE 2004/07/07: committal hearings has been set for 16 September, 2004

UPDATE 2004/09/16: charges dismissed on technicality

her story (retired schoolteacher)

It is just not trees that are trashed here but jobs. Being arrested is right against my nature but I believe I've been forced to take this step. I've written, pleaded and reasoned but the Regional Forest Agreement appears to be a law unto itself.

This area is a stunning resource for eco-tourism and to keep the Blue Tier as a nature reservation will not just create jobs but the revenue will remain in Tasmania.

It is frightening to think that a monopoly, with the blessing of both major parties, can move in their forces (that have no stake in an area), log it, devastate the community and then move on elsewhere in Tasmania to do the same again with very little of the revenue from these operations remaining in the State. This has to be changed.

his story (retired medical doctor)

Being arrested for a conviction is the final step taken when all other avenues have been exhausted.

Yet I have been forced into this position when I see the principles of democracy being flouted.

The Break O'Day municipality and all its councilors are opposed to the clearfelling in the Blue Tier, which will inevitably result in serious problems as its water catchment area is severely compromised - to say nothing of the devastating effect on potential tourist numbers.

But Forestry Tasmania rides roughshod over all objections and owes an allegiance only, it seems, to its political and business masters.

There appears to be a curious alliance between the near-monopoly wood-chipping and logging company Gunns, the State Labor Government, the Liberal opposition and Forestry Tasmania, a powerful entity above and beyond the reach of Freedom of Information legislation and other controls, all sanctioned by the Government.

How can the democratic process function in this environment?

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