Big anti-logging protest turnout

HUNDREDS of protesters gathered in the Upper Florentine Valley yesterday, angry over the federal government's attempts to strip world heritage status from 74,000 hectares of forest.

The rally organised by the Bob Brown Foundation is the biggest anti-logging protest since the forestry peace deal was struck in 2012.

The federal government has requested the World Heritage Committee remove 74,000 hectares, which would make those areas available for logging beyond 2020 under the state Liberals forestry policy.

The protesters reject the Liberals' claims that the world heritage area contains logged and degraded areas.

Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said the area in question contains largely intact and globally significant tall eucalyptus forests and karst regions.

The World Heritage Committee is expected to make a decision on the boundary in June.

The Liberals have proposed new laws cracking down on illegal protests, but Premier Will Hodgman said yesterday they would not stop peaceful rallies like yesterday's event.

"It's a myth that the wars ever stopped, there was a lot of disruption, a lot of campaigns, a lot of activity attacking the industry occurring right through the so- called peace process," Mr Hodgman said.

He said the turnout would not deter the Liberals from scrapping the agreement and rolling back protection for forests.

"We've got nothing against people going to a rally and protesting. Free speech, we've always said that's important. The laws we propose are going to stop people unlawfully going onto workplaces, chaining themselves to machinery, stopping people from going about their lawful business," Mr Hodgman said.

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