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Image Logging trucks blockade Parliament House, Canberra, 1995

TLF ID R3031

This is a black-and-white photograph measuring 16 cm x 21 cm, taken by Reg Alder in January 1995, of logging trucks involved in a blockade of Parliament House in Canberra. The trucks are large articulated units and one has a banner attached referring to the timber industry. The protest was a reaction against the Australian Government excluding logging from significant areas of native forests.



Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset shows part of a protest in which 4,000 timber workers blockaded Parliament House in Canberra with their logging trucks - they were opposing the Keating Labor government's decision not to renew some woodchip licences and to exclude loggers from areas of native forest in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
  • It shows a protest that was mounted to counter threats of an electoral backlash against the Australian Government from environmental groups if the forests were not protected - a February 1995 poll had shown that 63 per cent of Australians opposed logging in areas that had not been logged before, while timber workers pointed to a reduction in the number of industry jobs from 55,000 in 1972 to fewer than 32,000 in 1995.
  • It gives an indication of the strength of feeling of the timber workers, who saw the Government's decision as a threat to their livelihoods.
  • It shows part of a demonstration that was effective in pressuring the Australian Government into adopting a development policy that would protect the protesters' livelihoods by maintaining their existing access to state forests - the protesters were resourceful in gaining the attention of both the politicians and the public, as they staged a bush carnival, granted access to the press, encouraged television coverage and distributed thousands of pamphlets supporting their cause.
  • It illustrates one way of publicising an issue and putting pressure on those who have it in their power to resolve that issue - by mounting such a large-scale visible protest the timber workers ensured their case would be heard and, although the Government wanted the trucks towed away and resisters arrested, the police upheld the protesters' right to protest.
  • It shows the style of heavy articulated truck used to transport logs from the bush to the timber mills - when empty, the trailer is hoisted onto the tractor unit to reduce fuel and associated costs, reduce wear and tear on the roads and contribute to the safety of other drivers by making the rig considerably shorter.
Year level

5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12

Learning area
  • history;
  • studies of society and environment
Strand
  • Studies of society and environment/Time, continuity and change

Other details

Contributors
  • Content provider
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: National Library of Australia
  • Remarks: Reproduced courtesy of National Library of Australia
  • Author
  • Date of contribution: 1995
  • Name: Reg Alder
  • Remarks: photographer
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 30 Aug 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning resource type
  • Image
Browsers
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
  • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
  • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
Operating systems
  • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
  • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and National Library of Australia, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements