Protesters gather at Cumberland State Forest

Peaceful protest: Scott Daines and his fellow protesters at Cumberland State Forest on Monday morning. Picture: Niki Burnside

Peaceful protest: Scott Daines and his fellow protesters at Cumberland State Forest on Monday morning. Picture: Niki Burnside

A group of anti-logging protesters chose Cumberland State Forest as the scene of their peaceful demonstration on Monday.

Members of South East Rescue and South East Region Conservation groups blockaded the head office of Forestry Corporation NSW in West Pennant Hills.

Group spokesman Scott Daines staged a tree-sit, suspending a tent 30 metres above ground, in a protest timed to coincide with International Day of Forests.

Mr Daines said they were protesting logging in native forests, calling the practice “unsustainable and uneconomic.”

“The 20 year Regional Forest Agreements (RFA's) which were supposed to provide a sustainable and competitive forest industry have totally failed and need to be torn up immediately,” Mr Daines told the News.

“There has been a continuing decline in biodiversity, water, carbon and timber volumes and on top of this the taxpayer is footing the bill, it is totally outrageous.”

The group wants native forests spared in favour for logging in plantations, claiming the federal government had lost $44 million between 2011-13 through native deforestation.

“On International Day of Forests 2016 we should be protecting and celebrating our unique and diverse native forests along with all the ecosystem services that they provide, which are ever more crucial in the face of climate change.” said Mr Daines.

“These forests are too precious to plunder.”

The Castle Hill Pilice Rescue Squad were called to the scene of the protest, but no charges were laid. No action was taken once police saw Mr Daines was securely fastened and no people were in danger.

Mr Daines voluntarily climbed down after the protest.

Castle Hill Police detective inspector Matt Harris said they were happy with the result.

“He came down from the tree and removed items that didn’t belong in the forest,” he said.

“But it isn’t something we would support – we’d prefer people went about lawful protest via other means rather than those that jeopordise their safety.”

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