Margaret River Forest Rally sees passionate protests

Hundreds of people turned out to the town centre of Margaret River for the Forest Rally on Saturday.

The rally was organised by Margaret River Environment Centre, WA Forest Alliance and South West Forest Defenders to highlight how every day in the South West Region, an area of native forest the size of 10 football fields is to be logged or cleared.

Environment centre Ray Swarts was one of the many speakers at the rally and said more people needed to know about the impact of logging.

"The government is hiding behind a definition of old growth," he said.

When Geoff Gallop was Premier from 2001-2006 the government ended logging of old growth forests in WA.

The McGowan government recently told the Mail it was proud of this policy and would not change it.

However, many people including Mr Swarts and Greens MP Diane Evers said the policy used 'illogical methodology' to define what is old.

Mr Swarts said after going out to McCorkhill logging coupe it was clear that old growth forest was not being protected.

During his speech at the Rally, Mr Swarts spoke about how there was so much we didn't understand about our environment and we should stop destroying it.

He said people should stop focusing on the individual and focus on community, because everyone was connected to each other and the country we stood on.

Mr Swarts said the Forest Product Commission only cared about about money and not sustainability.

"It operates through an economic prism," he said.

Mr Swarts is hopeful that they rally would unite the community to make change and the best way to show politicians their concern was through voting.

"At the moment we have a handful of people doing a lot," he said.

"We need a lot of people doing a little."

There were a suite of eminent guests who spoke at the rally including Greens MLC Dian Evers, Peta Goodwin, Jess Beckerling, Ben Elton and Zac Webb.

Ms Evers tabled the Forest Products Amendment Bill 2020 in the Legislative Council on this month, as part of efforts towards systemic change in the management of public forests and forest industries.

This story Hundreds turn out to rally first appeared on Augusta-Margaret River Mail.