Community Picket at HTA, The End of Vic Forests, Investing in Youth Voices, Protesting Palestinian Visa Cancellations, Faysal Ishak Ahmed's Inquest

Thursday, 21 March 2024 - 7:00am to 8:30am
A group of protesters gather around a large canvas banner in a logged clearing, amidst the debris of massive felled trees. The banner reads "Logging is Criminal in a Climate Emergency".

Acknowledgement of Country//




Nathalie Farah of Disrupt Wars joined us live from the community picket that's been running weekly on Thursday and Friday mornings outside Heat Treatment Australia in Campbellfield. The picket has been established and maintained into its seventh week by members of the local Hume community in support of Palestine, who are protesting against HTA's role in heat-treating vital components required for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter given their use by Israel in the genocide of Palestinians. Hume community members have committed to continued action outside HTA until it ends its contracts with weapons manufacturers profiteering off war and genocide.//


Dr Sue Lewis, Acting President of the Victorian Forest Alliance, spoke with us about the recent announcement of the impending end of Vic Forests, which is set to wind up in mid-2024 after years of grassroots activism, official inquiries, legal battles and Parliamentary debate about the widespread harm that the entity has caused to Victoria's native forests. With the end of Vic Forests on the near horizon, we discussed the implications of its closure and what comes next for statewide native forest management. Respond to Kinglake Friends of the Forest’s urgent call to action against Forest Fire Management Victoria’s planned burns by sending an email (details below) or using the template here.//


In the spirit of World Social Work Day, which falls on 20 March, we replayed an interview from June 2023 featuring Angelica Ojinnaka-Psillakis talking about the importance of investing in authentic youth voices, youth participation in mental health sectors, and advocacy. Angelica Ojinnaka- Psillakis is a youth development advocate, researcher, and speaker. She served as the 2022 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, and is involved in a number of projects and organisations.//


Member of Whittlesea for Palestine Logan Balavijendran chats with us about the snap action on Saturday 23 March outside the office of Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles. The action has been prompted by Australia’s decision to cancel the visas of Palestinians escaping genocide,some of which have occurred mid air, leaving several Palestinians stranded with no where to go. Australian families have paid thousands of dollars to bring their loved ones to safety, only to be left scared and worried about where their loved ones will go now. Logan resides in Whittlesea with his Palestinian partner and sons. He has a career spanning education and IT, and is committed to community-building to hold leaders accountable.//


Ashleigh Buckett, Principal Solicitor at the National Justice Project, spoke with us about the coronial inquest into the 2016 death of Faysal Ishak Ahmed, a young Sudanese refugee, while he was detained on Manus Island in Australian immigration detention. The inquest, which ran across Monday and Tuesday this week, examined Faysal's access to medical treatment over several months prior to his death, and assessed the circumstances of his delayed medical evacuation to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, where he passed away. With the United Nations Subcommittee on the prevention of torture making the significant decision to suspend its visit to Australia in late 2022, citing obstructions to its work and a lack of co-operation, the inquest into Mr Ishak Ahmed's death may provide a rare window into the draconian operations of Australia's immigration detention regime.//


The image used for this episode was taken by photographer Matt Hrkac. Go support his brilliant independent photojournalism here.//




Kinglake Friends of the Forest Urgent Call to Action: Stop Planned Burns!


We need your help to prevent an imminent and terribly ill-conceived planned burn that will impact greater gliders near Kinglake.

We've been surveying for endangered greater gliders and hollow-bearing trees in a beautiful, varied patch of forest in Mt Robertson Rd, Kinglake. In one evening, 13 gliders were detected. Numerous habitat trees with good hollows suggest that many more live here, as well as providing crucial habitat for all sorts of hollow-dependent species. In addition, many habitat trees with fire scarring near their base from 2009 (Black Saturday) were recorded. These scarred trees become more liable to collapse with each subsequent fire.


Forest Fire Management Vic has just announced they are going to burn this very patch of forest within the next few days.

Here are just some of the reasons that burn HR-MUR-TLG-0008 is a bad idea.

  1. We are appalled to think of the impact that this unnecessary fire will have on the resident gliders, other wildlife and flora and on the older trees that survived the last fire because of:
    • the immediate effects of the fire and smoke
    • loss of food supply for gliders as a result of canopy scorch
    • collapse of den trees
    • the increase in fire risk in years to come because of the pulse of shrubs that will grow after the burn
  2. We need to listen to the research that tells us that forests need to be protected from fire until they reach maturity when they are least flammable – estimated to be about 4 years from now in Kinglake.
  3. We can suppress fire using rapid detection technology available now. Thermal and heat sensing cameras can pick up fires kilometers away if installed in towers at optimum sight distance locations. We need to ensure we have trained remote area firefighters.

What can you do?

We (and the gliders) would love you to ring or write to any or all of the following, citing burn HR-MUR-TLG-0008.
If you ring you'll want to keep it pretty short. You'll probably just speak to someone from admin so make sure you ask that they pass on your message.
If you write, you could just copy and paste points 1-3, if you don't want to write your own. Maybe change the wording a bit if you can.

The Hon. Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Environment    tel: 03 862 43101, email:

Tom Goldstraw, Senior Forest & Fire Management Officer – Fuel Management– Murrindindi District tel: 0439 130 146

Chris Hardman  Chief Fire Officer | Lead Executive, Forest and Fire Operations Division, DEECA  tel: 0419 563 413

The Hon Jacinta Allan  Premier of Victoria tel:0396515000