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Miranda’s tree-sit takes on Gillard’s broken promise

Lee Rhiannon 17 Jan 2012

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

High life and high tech have taken on a whole new meaning with the Save Tassie Forests campaigner Miranda Gibson living and working in a 60m up in a tree-sit. She is at the top of a Eucalyptus delegatensis tree in a coupe under Mount Muir, west of the Styx Valley. This ABC photo gives some sense of this courageous protest.

I caught up with Miranda by phone yesterday. She spoke of her passion for these forests, her life perched high above the ground and how she is filming and blogging. In the past few days a currawong has regularly joined her on the platform. Her filming of the wildlife is worth checking out.

You can also download Miranda’s poster and help spread the word. The photos are stunning and her words sum up the campaign: “Julia Gillard’s broken promise sees Tasmania forests still falling, while companies like Ta Ann and Harvey Norman reap the profits.”

From her forest home Miranda is helping to expose that Forestry Tasmania is continuing to log native forests earmarked for immediate protection under the Agreement. I strongly urge you support the work of Miranda and other activists in the group Still Wild Still Threatened.

I asked Miranda what her life is like. She is busy writing, filming and observing. She said it has been chilly but always beautiful. Many birds visit with the highlight being a wedge tail eagle soaring above her. Santa also dropped in. The Hobart Mercury, reported on the cheerful, supportive visit.

Her home, known locally as the Observer Tree, is an Alpine Ash, one of those stunningly tall grey gums.

This courageous and inspiring young woman has months of supplies and with the help of solar panels and a small wind generator her message has a worldwide audience.

Her blog is a great read. She weaves together stories of her day to day life, why we need to take action for the forests as well as explaining the web of life that is forest ecology. 

These few ">paragraphs from Miranda on days 27 and 28 of her tree-sit capture the essence of our native forests and why logging must stop:

“Firstly industrial forestry operations come into these forests – it is not one tree that falls, it is every single tree, plant, fungi, bryophyte, animal, animal dens, waterway and even the soil itself that is killed. Then to top it all off, napalm like substance is dropped from helicopters and whatever managed to survive the machines and chainsaws in obliterated in a high intensity burn.

“When trees fall naturally in the forest, they are left behind to form important roles in the ecosystem as they decompose. Providing shelter for animals and insects, storing carbon and giving nutrients to the soil for future generations of trees. When an area is clear-felled all those trees are removed from the area to be taken to mills, made into veneer and furniture and shipped around the world. Instead of providing a home for a spot-tail quoll, they become somebody’s Harvey Norman coffee table.”


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