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blue tier update

Image of Fran and Lesley in Canberra

Fran Coghlan and Lesley Nicklason unfurling the banner in Canberra.

Friends of the Blue Tier take their concerns to Canberra .....

- by Lesley Nicklason

On Sunday 20th June (day 100 of the Blue Tier vigil) Fran (Coghlan) and I headed for Canberra to present our case for the Blue Tier.

We had spent the previous week emailing and faxing Senators and Members of the House of Representatives requesting appointments as well as preparing information packages which included a map of the Blue Tier Nature Recreation Area, a map of Break O’Day showing the extent of the planned and current clearfelling and a map of the George River catchment, as well as a brief explanation of our concerns together with a CD with photos of the areas under threat.

Having no idea what to expect we were overwhelmed with the response and had arranged many appointments by the time we left.

We arrived in Canberra on a glorious Sunday morning and briefly attended a gathering on Parliament House lawns for World Refugee Day before visiting the Aboriginal Tent Embassy (they’ve been there for 32 years).

On Monday morning we began our appointments – our presentation focussed on water concerns and we also discussed the frustration felt by community members in regard to the protection of the natural environment (for example: 5000 people signed a petition in favour and the Break O’Day Council voted unanimously to support the proposed Blue Tier Nature Recreation Area – this has counted for nothing and there are 6 logging coupes planned for next spring/summer within the proposed Nature Recreation Area).

The Ministers and/or their Advisors met with us for up to an hour and we met some great people, had some very interesting discussions and left our information packs and copy of the Upper Catchments Audit conducted by Friends of the Blue Tier which provides scientific evidence of the effects of land clearing in water catchments.

The following Ministers/Advisors met with us and listened to our concerns:

We were lucky to meet briefly with Virginia Young and Alec Marr from TWS and Don Henry and Lindsay Hesketh from ACF ..... very inspiring people.

We also recorded two live radio interviews with ABC and an interview for Southern Cross and WIN as well as wrote an article for the Canberra Times.

Fran and I felt that the trip was extremely valuable and that lobbying politicians - particularly in the lead up to the election - is critical ..... specially since John Gay's announcement that a feasibility study is being conducted into a pulp mill – probably in the north – to be “fed” by native forests in the state's north east. While some attempt has been made to look at non-chlorine bleached pulp the fact remains that a pulp mill suggests ongoing plantation establishment ..... bad news for water and for rural communities.

For further information ... please contact
Lesley on 6373 6195 or 0400 557 418
or use email link above

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