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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Knitters for the forests

On Monday 1 May, to celebrate International Workers Day, local knitters held their third Knit In at Bateman State Forest Compartment 1 in the heart of Batemans Bay. This small forest on the corner of busy Orient Streets and Old Princes Highway is on the premises of the Batemans Bay headquarters of Forestry Corporation NSW.

Joslyn van der Moolen, Community Liaison for Friends of the Forest (Mogo) said "Knitting Nannas for Native Forests - South Coast, Friends of the Forest (Mogo) and Brooman State Forest Conservation Group are highlighting the valuable role of pine plantation workers in southern NSW in supplying the construction sector with timber and laminates as well as kraft paper.

"Pine plantations provides hundreds and hundreds of planting, sawmilling and wood and paper manufacturing jobs in the Bombala and Tumut region. "This compares to the small numbers of native forest logging harvesting and hauling contractors, and workers at the Narooma pallet mill and the Eden woodchip mill. The bulk of native forest logs goes into low value, low job number products like export woodchips and seasonal firewood.

"Also of immediate concern is Big Spotty, well over 500 years old. At over 72 metres tall, Big Spotty is likely to be the tallest Spotted Gum in the world. It stands in North Brooman State Forest. The forest that surrounds Big Spotty is proposed to be logged from September this year.

"On Mon 24 April Shoalhaven council voted unanimously to advocate to set aside from logging the whole compartment where 72m tall Big Spotty stands". However the Forestry Corporation has told Australian Community Media on May 2nd 2023 that "there is no need for environmental activists, Shoalhaven Council or the community to worry about the fate of Australia's largest spotted gum, known as Big Spotty.

"I want to reassure the community that the tree known as Big Spotty is well protected within an area of forest that will never be harvested," said the corporation's southern regional manager, Lee Blessington.

Monday 5 June 8-10am will be the fourth Knit In at Forestry Corporation steps to celebrate World Environment Day.


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