South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

Dog in Manger

no walkies ...

SOS members are outraged and appalled that Forestry Tasmania has extended the deadline for the exclusion zone on Coupe NI 114A on South Sister until December 31, 2005.

The initial exclusion zone became effective February 15, 2005 and was due to expire on June 30, 2005 however, SOS members have been informed that the period had been extended. This is an absolute outrage!

As there are no safety issues to justify restricting access to the coupe, SOS had called on FT and the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Bryan Green to remove the exclusion zone to allow the local residents and tourists to use the area for recreational purposes. Instead, the exclusion zone has been renewed and all areas other than the final section of the summit road remain off limits to the public.

South Sister attracts both locals and tourists for bushwalking, rock climbing, bird watching, horse riding and generally enjoying the area. To deny access for such activities is completely unjustifiable.

FT claim that the exclusion zone has been extended " ... to protect the values that the residents are concerned about". This is absolute nonsense as the only natural values at risk are those that will be affected by logging activities not by people walking their dogs, riding their horses, listening to the birds or admiring the butterflies.

It is unbelievable that this public forest, used by the community for many years, is now locked up and unable to be used. It is shameful that our government can allow this to happen.

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