Monday, March 05, 2007

Great Southern Plantations destroying Tiwi forests

Click to see the destruction The destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine native forests on Melville Island must stop immediately! - From the newswire - March 5, 2007:

Great Southern Plantation (GSP) are clearing 26,000 hectares of native eucalypt forest on Melville Island, north of Darwin. Vast tracts of native Tiwi forest are being cleared-felled to establish introduced 'monocultural' plantations for woodchips. The project is supported by the Tiwi Land Council, but is opposed by hundreds of Melville locals. In 2006 GSP had approval to clear 10,000 hectares – making it northern Australia’s single largest native forest destruction project. [ Environment Centre NT ]

The forests being destroyed by GSP are rich in native wildlife and there is much concern that the destruction of the Tiwi forest places threatened species at increased risk of extinction. GSP have stated that they intend to expand the clearing of Tiwi native forests up to 100,000 hectares. This expansion would be environmentally devastating and economically and culturally disastrous for the Tiwi people. [ PERTH PROTEST ACTION: TWS - FEB 07 ]

The Tiwi forestry project is currently under investigation by the Commonwealth due to serious environmental breaches and despite Indigenous people being told that logs cleared and exported were "worth millions of dollars", they did not receive ANY INCOME from the sale of these logs. Around 500 Tiwi Islanders recently signed a petition calling for an inquiry into land use decisions on the Tiwi Islands. After 4 years only one local Indigenous person is currently employed full time on the forestry project - with another 2 part-time employees, out of a total workforce of around 60.

A better future for the Tiwi Islands: "Rather than continue with the greedy destruction of the beautiful, culturally valuable and wildlife-rich native forests of the Tiwi Islands, governments and business should work with the Island community to develop sustainable, high-value economic activities based on the conservation and appreciation of the unique cultural and ecological heritage of the Tiwi islands..."


Great Southern Plantations destroying Tiwi Islands |

Great Southern Plantations Ltd: ripping the heart out of Tiwi

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