Our trees and forests (The Age, 13 Dec 2016)

When Japan invaded Australia and the Pacific in the 1940s, thousands died fighting in our defence. But today we are giving our natural resources to Japan for next to nothing. The Australian Paper Mill has been sold to Nippon Paper, which receives millions of tonnes of wood chips for just a few dollars per tonne. Almost all the timber taken from Victoria’s beautiful mountain ash forests is wood-chipped for Nippon, while Japan conserves its own native forests. We may not be able to stop Japan taking whales from Australian waters, but why must we give them our trees and forests? The government is allowing the destruction of our Taunarrung ancestral country for the sake of financial greed, and is betraying those brave men and women who gave their lives to defend Australia.

Uncle Roy Patterson, Aboriginal elder, Taunarrung People, Taggerty