Grey-green revolution

PERHAPS they’re responding to criticism their generation’s legacy will be climate catastrophe, or maybe they’ve lived long enough to see the changes in our landscape and its got them worried; whatever their motivation, Baby Boomers have taken the lead on WA’s latest environmental flashpoint, logging native forests, and they reckon that’s caught the McGowan government’s attention.

Recently WA environment minister Amber-Jade Sanderson released the first-ever survey asking West Aussies whether they think logging in native forests should be expanded, curtailed or axed altogether.

Early indications are that retirees have led submissions, and South Fremantle has turned out to be a hotspot for grey green activism.

Freo resident Jane Hutchison says it’s probably no coincidence South Freo is where her branch of Nannas for Native Forests is based.

They meet at Ootong and Lincoln cafe every couple of Sundays to stitch leaf badges highlighting their opposition to logging, as well as to engage with anyone who shows an interest in what they’re doing and push them towards filling out Ms Sanderson’s online survey.

Margaret River also has a high submission rate; that’s where the Nannas originated.

“It’s caught the eye of the government,” Ms Hutchison said.

“This is a group of women – there are also men, of course –with their own flavour.

“They’ve got their own approach; they don’t want to stand on the corner and yell out, but they are prepared to take action and some have been arrested.

For Ms Hutchison, seeing “treasured” bushland areas disappearing in both the southern forests and urban areas, and the resulting extinction pressure on native species, prompted her to join the Nannas.

“I am recently retired, and like a lot of other people, I guess, I’ve got some time on my hands and want to make a contribution,” she said.

She says with 90 per cent of WA’s jarrah forest having disappeared since European colonisation, there was no more wriggle room and logging had to cease.

The Nannas will soon have another branch roping in Hamilton Hill, Beaconsfield and Hilton, and have plans to try and get the anti-logging message on the global stage.

But meantime, they’re recommending people head to the WA Forest Alliance website to get some hints on how to fill in the survey, or if you’re all forest-ready, head straight to https://wabsi.

Submissions end August 1.


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