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save the Blue Tier

press release, 18 March 2004

Potential Breach Of Code Demands Formal Investigation

Historic Lottah Road Only 3.4m Wide After Rain

Friends of the Blue Tier today exposed a potential breach of the Forest Practices Code that demands immediate investigation by the Forest Practices Board and an immediate halt to the forestry activity involved in the preparation for clearfelling the historic Anchor Road coupe on the Blue Tier.

Friends of the Blue Tier member Beris Hansbury measured the Lottah Road on Wednesday March 17 and found that one section is barely 3.4m wide and if heavy vehicles are allowed access to it as planned it will demonstrate a clear breach of the Forest Practices Code.

Beris Hansbury was involved with auditing roadworks on Lottah Road when Forestry began major alterations in preparation for logging in 1999. Warnings were sent to the Forest Practices Board that tension cracks were appearing in the road, but these concerns were dismissed by Forest Practices Adviser Chris Mitchell.

In January/February this year, as predicted, the historic Lottah Road suffered landslips and collapsed in sections after heavy rain and hasty repairs by Forestry Tasmania have seen one repaired section now measuring barely 3.4 metres wide.

'Steve Manson told the public on the radio last week that logging was imminent and seven to eight log trucks per day will be using this road,' Ms Hansbury said

'If they do they will be in clear breach of the code as the minimum width for a minor road under the Code is 3.7m wide with a 60 cm shoulder.'

'This demands an immediate investigation by the Forest Practices Board and must see a stop to all forestry activity in this eco-tourism area until the breach is investigated.' Ms Hansbury said

'The Lottah Road has been in use since the late 1800's and is a valuable cultural asset and tourist gateway to the Blue Tier. There is no justification for industrial scale logging equipment further damaging this sensitive area.'

For further information contact Lesley Nicklason 6373 6195 or 0400 557 418

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