Press Release - August 4, 2022

Dangerous changes to forest protest laws

Sixty seven human rights, environment, climate action and legal groups have published an open letter calling for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to immediately withdraw a proposed law which would punish peaceful protesters.

The Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022, introduced by the Victorian government in May, would impose harsh and disproportionate penalties against concerned citizens who act to prevent native forest logging in Victoria with fines of up to $21,000 or 12 months in jail. 

The open letter to Mr Andrews, Workplace Safety Minister Ingrid Stitt and Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas, raises deep concerns that the unjustified proposed penalties will dramatically infringe on the rights of all Victorians to peacefully protesters. 

Signatories to the letter are:  Environmental Justice Australia, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Human Rights Law Centre, Victorian Forest Alliance, Australian Democracy Network, Environment Victoria, Victorian National Parks Association, Friends of the Earth, Liberty Victoria, Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc, Act on Climate, the Wilderness Society, Melbourne Activist Legal Support, Doctors for the Environment Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, Bob Brown Foundation, CounterAct, ADAC, Flight Free Oz, Wage Peace, Comms Declare, Span Community House, Amnesty International, Wombat Action Group, Yarra Climate Action Now, The Sustainable Hour, Australian Forests and Climate Alliance, Vote Climate One, Centre for Climate Safety, Climate Emergency: Action, Locals into Victoria’s Environment, Clim Acts, GECAN, Darebin Climate Action Now, Lighter Footprints, Nillumbik Climate Action Team, Bayside Climate Action Group, People’s Climate Assembly and Biomass Action Group, Vote Earth Now, Environment East Gippsland, Green Music, Kinglake Friends of the Forest, XR Forests, Toolangi Forest Protection Group, No gold digging in our Shire valleys, Warburton Environment, Nillumbik Friends of the Great Forest, Wombat Forestcare Inc, GECO Goongerah Environment Centre, Community Fire Watch Gippsland, Lawyers for forests, BEAM, Save our Strathbogie Forest, Grassroots Environment Social Justice, Black Wallaby Forest Action, Knitting Nannas of Toolangi, Rubicon Forest Protection Group, Friends of Mallacoota, Save Tyers / Boola Boola Trees, GTP, Friends of Bats + Habitat Gippsland, Forest Conservation Victoria, Gippsland Environment Group, Save Little Dargo, Friends of Alberton West Forest, and Friends of Noojee’s Trees.