Mood: hug me
Topic: independent media
Quite a disjunction in these two stories over the cultural values around democratic free speech in lead up to inaugural Bega Festival:
#1 of 2
A festival committee on the New South Wales far south coast has backed down over a decision to ban the region's big timber processing company from attending a Clean Energy Expo.
Last week, the Bega Festival Committee barred Eden's South East Fibre Exports company from distributing information about its proposed biomass electricity generator that will use wood waste as fuel.
The decision brought a community backlash, including the Bega Chamber of Commerce and the anti-logging group Chip-Stop, saying the move was stifling free speech.
But the Founder of the Clean Energy for Eternity movement, Matthew Nott, says the chip mill has taken up a new invitation to be part of the community celebration.
"I am quite keen to get South East Fire Exports to the Clean Energy Expo," he said.
"I have had a couple of chats with Vince Phillips from South East Fibre Exports over the weekend.
"He and I are both happy to get South East Fibre Exports to the Clean Energy Expo.
"I think it is a good opportunity for Fibre Exports to present their case."
#2 of 2
Anti-woodchip signs go
Conservationists are annoyed that the Bega Valley Shire Council has used ratepayer funded resources to remove anti-woodchipping signs from the Bermagui Tathra road at Wapengo.
The signs have hung for over a year from trees high above the approaches to each side of the Wapengo Bridge.
They highlighted the threat of logging koala habitat in Mumbulla forest, part of the Wapengo catchment.
Greens Councillor, Keith Hughes is seeking details of the costs born by ratepayers from the Council.
“These signs were securely and safely erected and carried an important message for visitors,” he said.
Chipstop convener, Ms Harriett Swift, who raised the matter of the signs at a public forum of Council this afternoon (Tuesday), said that censorship is no way to win an argument.
“Residents and visitors to the area have a right to know what is going on in the region’s forests,” she said.
Forests NSW have indicated that logging of Mumbulla Forest is likely to start early in the New Year.
Photo caption: one of the signs from Wapengo bridge removed by Council
Keith Hughes, Harriett Swift 0414908997, 64923267
19 November 2009
SAY "NO" TO WOODCHIP POWER. Sign the on line petition at: http://www.gopetition.com.au/petitions/say-no-to-woodchip-power.html
abc reportage here
The Bega Valley Shire Council on the New South Wales far south coast has removed illegal anti-logging signs near Bermagui, prompting a back-lash from conservationists.
Two signs placed by anti-chip campaigners in trees a year ago on the Bermagui to Tathra Road, at Wapengo, were designed to draw the attention of tourists to logging in native forests and its effects on the region's bio-diversity.
Greens Councillor Keith Hughes concedes the signs were erected without a development application but says other groups have been allowed to keep their signs.
"Some forests have prescriptions where they try and make the logging less visible from the road but apart from that narrow visual protection strip, people aren't aware of the intensity of the logging that's just out of sight," he said.
"People drive along that road and it's a beautiful stretch of road.
"It's good to inform them about what's happening out of site but not far away."