Community protest calls for closure of Eden chipmill

July 2, 2006

More than 500 people have gathered outside the Eden chipmill this morning to call for it's closure.

People from across NSW and Victoria have joined to demand an end to native forest woodchipping and the closure the chipmill, which exports 840,000 tonnes of chips each year. No State Forest between Ulladulla in NSW and Bairnsdale in Victoria is safe while the chipmill continues to operate.

The rally was called by the South East Forest Alliance. Friends of the Earth (FoE) in Melbourne organised a bus full of people to join the rally, travelling via the hugely successful community forum on the Strezlecki Ranges held yesterday in Churchill in Victoria's Latrobe Valley.

The forum featured speakers from a range of groups: The Strzelecki Community Working Group (David Lewis & John Gunson) Trust for Nature (Anne Westwood) Friends of the Earth (Anthony Amis) & Save Our Strzeleckis Coalition (Julie Constable).

The forum called for protection of the Strzelecki cores and links - a proposed rainforest reserve of highly significant cool temperate forests.

FoE forest campaigner Lauren Caulfield said that "the large turnout at both events and cross border collaboration clearly shows that protection of forests will be election issues in both NSW and Victoria. FoE and other environmental groups will be mounting major campaigns to ensure that forests - including the inland Redgum systems - are firmly on the agenda for the November state election in Victoria".

Further comment: Lauren Caulfield 0433 927 066