Miranda Gibson with her mother, Glenys Gibson of Capalda, Queensland, who visited her last month. Photo: Alan Lesheim
Activist Miranda Gibson is today sitting out a record-claiming 209th day high in an old-growth eucalypt in Tasmania’s Styx Valley as she campaigns to protect the surrounding forest.
Ms Gibson set up her platform 60 metres above the ground in the Observer Tree last December. She has endured heat, smoke haze, high winds, frost and snow since then.
Campaigning though the internet, she has spoken to press conferences, at community meetings and festivals around the world from her perch. She turned 31 in the tree last Sunday.
Miranda Gibson enduring extreme weather.
The tree-sit is claimed to be the longest-running in Australian history, exceeding the 208 days set by Manfred Stephens near Cairns in 1995.Advertisement
“I haven’t touched the ground once,” Ms Gibson told Fairfax Media. “I am committed to staying at the top of this tree for as long as it takes to see Tasmania’s forests get the protection they deserve.”
Her protest is supported from the ground by members of the group Still Wild, Still Threatened.
Marathon forest peace talks between industry and green groups are yet to reach a resolution, after they were given an extension until next month by the state and federal governments.
“I am definitely concerned they have been taking a long time and, during that time, forests continue to be felled,” she said
Ms Gibson said logging near her perch had been halted soon after she began the tree-sit, but since then an old-growth coupe about one kilometre away had been felled.
“These are forests that have been recommended for world heritage protection in the past,” she said.
Life in a tree top had its attractions, she said. Birds and insects were a source of wonder, but she saw no possums.
“I’m probably a bit too high for them.”
What she missed most was contact with family and friends.
“And I guess, going for a long walk. My longest walk is a couple of steps.”
Ms Gibson said she kept herself healthy with yoga-based exercises on the platform and watched her diet.
“No, I’m not turning blobby,” she said.