The elders campaigning group, Nannas for Native Forests, say they will not be swayed from highlighting the destruction of native forests in South Western Australia despite being charged with trespass.
The police were called after 27 members of the The ‘Nannas’ made a citizens inspection of Simcoa’s Silicon plant near Bunbury in January and documented their visit in this video.
Simcoa has contracts to buy up to 260,000 tonnes of jarrah logs from publicly owned jarrah forests every year. The trees end up being turned into charcoal and chips for the silicon manufacturing process.
74-year-old Di Shanahan, a proud member of the Nannas, said: “We knew we were likely to be charged with trespass, but we had to go ahead and show the world what’s happening to our native forests.
“It’s an outrage that they are being cut down to be turned into charcoal and the destruction we saw when we visited Simcoa was just heartbreaking.
“We didn’t cause any harm or destroy anything. After all we are a bunch of nannas who were armed with nothing more than a few banners.
“Simcoa should be ashamed of themselves for trying to silence us by calling the police and making sure we were charged.
“It’s not going to stop us and has only made us more determined. We have to keep going for the sake of our grandchildren.”
Jess Beckerling, campaign director for the WA Forest Alliance, said the Nannas should be praised for their work, not penalised.
Ms Beckerling said: “It really says something that these brave Nannas elders felt they had no choice but to take part in this action. Instead of punishing and trying to silence them, we should be listening to these West Australian elders.”
The Nannas for Native Forests are a group of ‘Nannas’ from Perth to the South West who are committed to raising awareness of the need to care for the South West forests and its waterways.