By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests
By Anna Krien (Black Inc., $19.95, softcover, 316 pages).
The Tasmanian forestry debate is powerful, and award-winning Anna Krien puts forward a convincing case after first-hand research into both sides of the picture.
As any good journalist would, Anna had gone to the centre of the unpleasant acrimonious logging disagreements and on her travels through the Tasmanian wilderness she has made it a point to talk to everyone from former premiers to untamed protesters.
She spoke with an amazingly diverse group of people, but preserved a sensible equilibrium to ensure that the ethical bounds between impartiality and obligation were maintained.
This was not a stress-free experience. In fact, it was terrifying. As she puts it: “Feverish, vomiting and shitting, I have spent the past two days in Maydena. I came intending to speak to people, but instead found myself sweating and paranoid on the main street”.
Armed with a notebook, a sleeping bag and a rusty sedan, Anna ventured behind the battle lines to experience what it felt like to risk everything for a cause. She spoke to ferals and premiers, sawmillers and whistle-blowers. She investigated personalities and convictions, methods and motives.
Fierce battles have raged in the Tasmanian wilderness with the future of the old-growth forests at stake. Loggers and police have had face-off with protesters deep in the forest, while savage political games are played in parliaments and the courts.
This is a book about a company that wanted its way and the resistance that eventually forced it to change.
As Anna points out, “when it comes to the situation, in Tasmania’s forests, nothing and everything has changed”.
Her courageous and exhaustive research has exposed the movers and shakers through up-close, fearless reporting.
Edition 406, 22 April 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.