News - 24 April 2023

“Protect Maydena’s forests from logging!”: Message loud & clear from local residents & visitors alike

More than 100 people, including dozens of Maydena residents, attended an open day and public walk at Junee Cave forest yesterday to voice their support for the protection of the beautiful rainforest that is due to be logged. The event was hosted by the Wilderness Society and GRANT (Grassroots Action Network Tasmania).

The forest at Junee Cave Reserve is one of two areas of forest at Maydena that are facing imminent destruction from logging. The other area of forest is adjacent to Maydena Bike Park.

The Maydena community increasingly depends on nature tourism, and logging its local forests, against the local community’s wishes, destroys the incredible natural beauty that draws so many to the area.. No one visits Maydena, or anywhere else, to experience logging and forest destruction. The island’s peak tourism body, the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, has highlighted Maydena as a modern economic success story being a former timber community that’s becoming a tourism town.

There was such a strong turnout of people that visitors were divided into three groups, which were taken on walks through the nearby threatened forest. People experienced the stunning rainforest, huge ferns and beautiful plants and wildlife that are due to be clearfelled from the hillside above the crystal-clear Junee River.

Dan, a volunteer with GRANT, (plus a helper) addresses members of the public in front of a large tree, threatened with logging.

It remains scandalous that Tasmanian government-owned logging Forestry Tasmania (trading as ‘Sustainable Timbers Tasmania’) continues to log these forests without seeking the permission of the rightful Tasmanian Aboriginal owners, the Palawa people, and without that permission being obtained.

“You can’t put a dollar figure on the loss that logging these Aboriginal forests brings. Maydena is a tourist town that’s transitioning away from logging. It’s a microcosm of Lutruwita/Tasmania itself,” said Alice Hardinge for the Wilderness Society.

“The town and its community want and need all the support they can get. Forest destruction at the Bike Park and Junee Cave Reserve vandalises these aspirations for little benefit to the island.

“We understand that probably the world’s most famous actor, Chris Hemsworth, visited Maydena Bike Park over the weekend. As far as we know, Mr Hemsworth wasn’t drawn to the Maydena area by the prospect of imminent forest destruction.

“Logging these high conservation-value forests is Lutruwita/Tasmania’s single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions. But protecting these forests is one of the best ways we can support Maydena’s future, look after wildlife, the local economy and keep carbon locked away.

“I would personally like to thank all the locals who turned out as well as all the volunteers from the Wilderness Society and from GRANT who worked hard to make yesterday’s public open day and forest walk such a success,” said Ms Hardinge.

Letter to Premier Jeremy Rockliff MP and Minister responsible for logging, Felix Ellis MP

For further comment: Alice Hardinge, 0421 819 679