Chipping away

A scene from Cry of the Forests.

HAS premier Mark McGowan’s entreaty for Sandgropers to holiday in their own backyard during Covid-19 left him with a logging headache in the state’s South West?

The Herald was pondering this question during the sell-out premiere of a moving new documentary calling for an end to logging in native forests when one of its stars burst out with the same thought.

Avid bushwalker Jeremy Perey has being blowing the whistle on the staggering rate WA’s jarrah forests have been cleared for bauxite mining for several years (“The two faces of Solus,” Thinking Allowed, March 10, 2018) and says Mr McGowan’s push to get locals holidaying locally has woken them up to what’s happening.

East Fremantle filmmaker Jane Hammond said she started out to make a documentary about the beauty of the South West forests, but was so disturbed by the impact of the logging industry that Cry of the Forests – A Western Australian Story has become and out-and-out campaign for all native forests to be protected.

“The film has been engaging and enraging audiences,” Ms Hammond said after taking it on a tour down south after launching in Luna Leederville last month.

“Most people who see the film say they were unaware of the extent of the destruction that is going on in our forests and are moved to action.

“The film includes a wrap-around social impact campaign aimed at ending native forest logging in WA, putting a hold on further expansion of bauxite mining in our jarrah forest and encouraging policy change to promote plantation forestry on degraded farmland.”

The WA Forest Alliance partnered in making the documentary, with some of its members risking arrest to take footage of loggers in action just metres away.

In one scene, a couple who grew a jarrah plantation over several decades bemoan that they’ll probably have to burn it because subsidies for forest loggers mean they can’t compete on the open market.

WA Forest Alliance campaign director Jess Beckerling said the film was a wake-up call for all West Australians. 

“Our forests need us to protect them, but we also need them to protect us. The question really is, will we act in time to save them or will we lose the opportunity to look after our forests and the invaluable role they play in carbon storage and sequestration?

“At this point in history we urgently need to be protecting our forests for climate and for life. This is a film that every Western Australian should see,” Ms Beckerling said. 

Cry of the Forests is screening at Luna SX this Monday December 7 and next Monday December 14 but demand for tickets is so hot it’s likely they’ll have sold out before you read this.

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