Australia Today

'Forestry Tasmania Says It Doesn't Log Giant Trees': Protest Over Felled Centuries-Old Tree

Footage of a giant tree loaded onto a truck in Tasmania has sparked anger and calls to action from environmentalist groups.
Credit: The Wilderness Society

A southern-Tasmanian resident’s footage of a giant felled tree on the back of a logging truck has sparked outcry among the local community and Australian environmentalist groups.

The footage captured on Sunday showed a tree the width of the truck’s tray that was cut down and taken from a section of forest used for logging in the Florentine Valley, about 100km from Hobart.


The felled tree. Credit: The Wilderness Society

On Tuesday, conservationists and former Greens leader Bob Brown gathered in protest in the forest.


The activists said they found three Eucalyptus regnans stumps more than three-metres in diametre that were estimated to be hundreds of years old.

Brown called the act “globally shameful” and called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to see the stumps for himself.

“Just days ago this wonder of nature, centuries old but still unimaginably strong and youthful, was alive and a natural wonder,” he told Guardian Australia.

“Today the tree’s death is a national disgrace. It was publicly subsidised and entirely unnecessary.”


A three-metre in diametre tree stump. Credit: The Wilderness Society.

Alice Hardinge, a campaigner for the Wilderness Society Tasmania, told VICE there was an understanding large, ancient trees were off-limits for loggers, but that they continue to be cut down.

“Forestry Tasmania says that it doesn't log giant trees. Yet every other week, Tasmanians see giant single-log loads on the back of trucks, and concerned citizens find giant stumps in public state forests,” she said.

The state agency said in a statement the tree on the truck had been assessed and felled “for safety reasons”.

Hardinge also said the forest and those trees would have been home to many threatened native creatures who will now have to search elsewhere for a home.

“The Florentine Valley alone is home to a great number of threatened species including the spotted-tail quoll, masked owl, Tasmanian devil, Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle and eastern quoll,” she said.

“None of these species benefit from having their habitat logged, and in fact large, old trees with hollows for shelter are critical to the survival of Tasmania's native species.

“Instead of logging some of the largest trees on earth, we, as Tasmanians, should be celebrating and protecting them.”

Aleksandra Bliszczyk is the Deputy Editor of VICE Australia. Follow her on Instagram.