Subject: Poor Use Of Police Resources Angers Citizens
Honourable Rob Johnson JP MLA
Minister for Police; Road Safety
20th Floor, Governor Stirling Tower
197 St Georges Terrace, PERTH WA 6000
Dear Minister Johnson,
In your role as the Minister for Police and Road Safety, you must be deeply disturbed by the continuing reports coming out of our forests in the South West about the vandalism of both DEC and FPC. We see police resources being used over and over again to allow the FPC to engage in practices which their own guidelines clearly tells us are in breach of forest management requirements. This is a matter which will continue to be of high priority for voters who do not want our Government to stand by and allow our unique native animals rendered extinct nor do they want to see valuable police resources being used to prevent citizens like myself being able to protest against the vandalism of our forests.
Having spent a short time at Warrup last week and met the officers charged with issuing move on notices to protestors, two things were very clear to me. The local police do not like being the instruments of poor political practices and were very polite in dealing with the protesters because they are charged with doing their job. Secondly, the use of move on notices appears to have been perverted from their original intention and are now a tool for infringing on civil liberties – with substantial financial penalties attached if the order is ignored.
The protestors at Warrup Block 6 were in no way violent nor did their protests take any kind of physical action against the police – while they did maintain their right to physically be present for as long as possible. There are good reason why this has to be done.
Australia has a history of allowing indigenous wildlife to be killed, through the destruction of habitat, and it appears we have learned little from the past. Why is the current Government not taking every step within its power to secure the future of our numbats (the State Fauna Emblem) and the iconic Black Cockatoos? The electorate is crying out for conservation and strong leadership from Ministers like yourself – who can get our native animals and birds protected and saved for future generations. Interview With Ben (age 10) About Saving Forests
In the first picture, you will see a perfect nesting hollow which is on the chopping block in Warrup. Worse still, it is in a one hectare area that was closely examined yesterday (wed 8 Feb) in which only 2 trees have been marked for retention. FPC is supposed to retain a minimum of 11. DEC refuses to stop the logging to investigate.
In the second, these two beautiful high quality habitat trees, a jarrah in the foreground and marri behind, are not marked for protection. They will be cut down despite there being only 2 habitat trees marked in the hectare where they stand.
Minister Johnson, there are literally hundreds of these photographs, evidence of terrible breaches of forestry guidelines and arrogant disregard for quarantine practices, now being circulated on the Internet – so the witnesses are there. This Government will be held to account.
This video of FPC deliberately poisoning Marri trees is being widely circulated on the Internet and it is the Ministers of this Government who will have to take responsibility for their actions. Not just those directly responsible for those departments, but all Ministers who were made aware and did not cry out for it to stop. http://youtu.be/ItILkPwGQYE
Minister Johnson – in particular as the Minister for Police, you have a direct responsibility to speak up and have an immediate end brought to logging in high conservation value forests UNTIL demands for proper habitat and wildlife surveys have been completed to ensure we do not continue making our unique wildlife extinct. We need our police on the roads and in our communities – not being wasted in the pursuit of quiet protestors who seek only to have FPC and DEC fulfill their own obligations to the community and the forests, along with the unique wildlife that lives therein.
There is a huge market for Eco-tourism and our South West Forests should be at the forefront of this, along with our winery tours and surfing. Rather than subsidizing an industry that is long overdue to be phased out completely, we should be doing everything we can to support tourism in a healthy and well managed forest. While our Museums, Zoos, Local Councils and wildlife groups do everything they can to engage the community in conservation, the Government is sitting on its hands and ignoring the most horrendous forest practices which can and must be brought to an end, immediately.
The benefits for your local police staff would be great, because bringing healthy economics into small country towns increases local employment and helps reduce local crime. Improved police morale is good for the whole community and their not having to engage with protestors whose only aim is to protect our unique wildlife and its habitat will go a long way to improving the overall quality of life for them and those they protect.
51 Beatty Avenue
East Victoria Park 6101