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Australians rally over logging in protected Tasmania forest

Published on Jun 14, 2014 4:15 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Thousands of Australians rallied Saturday against the proposed logging of protected forests in rugged Tasmania ahead of a UNESCO World Heritage meeting where the issue will be discussed.

The conservative government has asked UNESCO to revoke its World Heritage listing for 74,000 hectares of forest, claiming it was not pristine, and open it up to the timber industry.

The annual World Heritage Committee meeting starts Sunday in Doha, with up to 5,000 people protesting the move outside Tasmania's state parliament in Hobart.

The area slated for delisting is part of 120,000 hectares added last year to the Tasmanian Wilderness area under the previous Labor government - culminating a long battle waged by environmentalists.

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