Investigation into Tasmanian tree spiking

AAP
Police are investigating cases of tree spiking at two Tasmania sawmills.
Camera IconPolice are investigating cases of tree spiking at two Tasmania sawmills.

Spikes have been found in several trees at two Tasmanian sawmills leaving political parties at loggerheads over who is responsible for the industrial sabotage.

Police are now investigating at the affected sawmills in the Derwent Valley and Bridgewater.

The intention of the practice is to prevent loggers cutting into that section of the tree and leaving the sawmill unable to process the wood.

Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the tree spiking could have come from within the logging industry.

"We are highly suspicious that this is another attempt to blame and demonise people who are standing against forest destruction," she said in a statement.

"The last time tree spiking was alleged in 2012, it was found to be the work of a disgruntled industry worker. Then premier, Lara Giddings, who jumped readily on the blame bandwagon was subsequently forced to apologise to conservationists."

Shadow Minister for Resources Shane Broad said Ms O'Connor should not be throwing around accusations.

"With police investigations at an early stage, it is disappointing to see the Greens Leader pre-empting those enquiries and suggesting the industry itself is to blame for this incident," he said.

Mr Broad said Ms O'Connor and other environmental activists should be condemning the behaviour.

"While some have spoken out against this incident, it is the responsibility of all environmental organisations to make it clear that this dangerous practice is unacceptable, unlawful and will not be tolerated," he said in a statement.

Ms O'Connor said The Greens did condemn all violence in Tasmania's forests and the party had a proud history of peaceful protest.

Minister for Resources Guy Barnett said reports of the tree spiking was deeply concerning.

"This frightening incident could have severely injured or killed these workers and this is an extremely serious situation," he said.

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