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Peregrine School, Cygnet

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 18 March 2021

Tags: Native Forest Logging, Environment

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - I want to read in some information I got from a teacher at Peregrine School, near my area in Cygnet in Franklin. Peregrine is at Nicholls Rivulet and Ina Gudelhofer sent some information about her class and their visit to the Castle Forbes Bay Forest. She took her students there because she wanted to show them the planned clear-felling coupe at Castle Forbes Bay Forest so they could understand exactly what that beautiful forest is. It is a place on their doorstep and she wanted students to understand what was happening around them. She said:

We had interesting amential discussions surrounding the importance of old growth forest in the area for habitat and carbon storage. The high density of large trees in the Castle Forbes Forest was incredible to see. Students described the forest as -

'A protective fire wall, as when entering the forest it is very obvious to see how the rainforest has stopped the fires'.

She sent me some of the students' works because she wanted to give them their voice - of course, they are the voice for the future. I have copied a couple of things I want to read in, and they were very beautiful pictures by clearly students of different ages. Peregrine School has classes of mixed grades of students in classes. This one is from Nia and David, and they said:

Forest is beautiful, dear politicians, for Castle Forbes Forest.

There is another one which does not have a name. It says:

Dear legislators, I want to ask you something. Why are you chopping down beautiful trees and destroying forests like Castle Forbes Forest? These are habitats for beautiful animals like freshwater crayfish, amazing birds and crazy cool insects, so why? Please think about it. Think about your children. One day they might want to take their children to those places, so please think about your actions.

Another one says:

Hello, this is a student from Peregrine School. I am writing this because I cannot have the Castle Forbes Forest get logged. Lots of forests across the world have been logged and it is very sad. Many people have visited Castle Forbes Forest. My class and I went there in term three. It was really surprising because when we were walking to the actual forest there were no green things, but then everything changed. So many old green trees, the whole forest was surrounding me. It was extraordinary.

Henry said, 'Stop the chop, save the forest'. Joy Churnoff said:

Dear politicians, I am writing to you regarding the earth and our future. I am currently 10 years old and have grown up in the Huon Valley Tasmania. There is a number of forests in Tasmania that are currently being logged or about to be demolished. Castle Forbes Forest is magical. It also has swift parrots which are now endangered. I hope you can manage to do something about all of these problems and more. In the end it is our future and we are the ones who will have to deal with this big mess.

I have also been to Castle Forbes Forest and it is extraordinary. According to an apiarist from the apiary association, it has some of the largest leatherwood trees he has ever seen. It has nursery trees. It is an amazingly rich habitat. I agree with the student who said that the difference between the area surrounding the forest and the forest itself is very stark. There is a clear borderline where the fires in 2019-20 went right up to the edge of that Castle Forbes Forest, and there is a line of dried-out land which has been scorched by fires. The rainforest that is Castle Forbes Forest is a damp, most place, which is habitat for plants and animals that have lived in that environment for countless millennia.

The students of Peregrine School understand and see with their own eyes that this is a very special place and it has to be saved. I am thoroughly supporting them in their quest to make sure that we do not log this beautiful part of our southern native forest and the other native forests which are under threat today.