Ta Ann's veneer mill in Smithton, Tasmania, idled by protestors attaching themselves to conveyor belt claiming company violated human rights in Malaysia; Ta Ann denies allegations

LOS ANGELES , November 12, 2012 () –

Protestors who allege that Ta Ann Tasmania Pty. Ltd. violated human rights in Malaysia have shut down the company’s veneer mill in Smithton, in the Australian state of Tasmania, by attaching themselves to a piece of machinery, reported The Advocate on Nov. 12.

The mill was idled on the morning of Nov. 12, when members of the environmental group Groundswell locked themselves onto a conveyor belt that carries logs to a bark-stripping machine, said Alan Ashbarry, spokesperson for Ta Ann Tasmania.

Ta Ann Tasmania is a timber processor and not a logger, as claimed by Groundswell; and the logs it uses are supplied by Forestry Tasmania from areas harvested in accordance with government rules, said Ashbarry, The Advocate reported.

The protest “is a completely illegal invasion of a workplace,” Ashbarry said, adding that the accusations are “totally malicious and false.” Similar claims that aired on a local channel last August led to a retraction by the station, he said.

Police were negotiating with the protestors, who were holding hands inside a fiberglass tube. This made it difficult for police to reach the protestors as using electric blades could cause bodily harm, said Ashbarry, reported The Advocate.

The primary source of this article is The Advocate, Burnie, Tasmania, on Nov. 12, 2012.


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