A group of concerned community members in kayaks are currently surrounding a Ta Ann chartered export ship at Hobart’s Wharf, with two climate advocates locked on to the vessel’s railings.
Led by local organising collective Grassroots Action Network Tasmania (GRANT), the group intends to stop the ship from carrying Tasmanian native forest timbers to Sarawak Malaysia, which it was scheduled to do at 9am this morning (29th of April).
According to GRANT spokesperson Casper Childs, the action is intended to highlight the Tasmanian government’s hypocrisy in campaigning on bolstering local jobs while exporting the state’s resources to be processed by foreign workers.
“What we are seeing here today is yet another example of the state government favoring big business over every day people. While the Liberal and Labor parties destroy Tasmania’s native forests in the name of jobs and growth, these same politicians see our resources shipped overseas to the foreign owned logging corporations that regularly fund their election campaigns.
Jobs and growth for who? Sounds like jobs for corrupt politicians and growth for billionaire corporations”
Even more concerning, Ta Ann is one of the corporations responsible for the rapid deforestation and ensuing indigenous genocide in Sarawak throughout the 80s and 90s. Once almost completely covered in some of the world’s oldest rainforest, less than 10% of the island’s primary forests remain.
According to Childs, this is the same fate Tasmania faces if our politicians continue to prioritise their profit over workers, climate, and human rights.
“Already our government’s unsustainable logging practices have seen over 85% of Tasmania’s old-growth regnans forests destroyed. The logs aboard this ship are some of the last fractions we have left, taken directly from threatened wilderness like the Wentworth Hills and Eastern Tiers.
“These forests are our future, the fact they are being sent abroad is unconscionable. As long as our politicians continue to put their insatiable greed above the wellbeing of the Tasmanian people we will continue to take action.”