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Photograph holds key for logging activists

High-profile conservationist Prue Acton believes she has found a photograph that will halt logging in Australia's south-east forests.

Taken by adventure photographer Richard Green, the 1.8m photograph depicts the craggy cliffs and forests of Mimosa Rocks National Parks.

It will be on show today at the Australian National Universitys School of Art as part of Natural Forests Australias Wilderness Coast, a travelling exhibition designed to raise awareness about logging along the South Coast of NSW and into Victoria.

"I recognise the power of an image and it dawned on me that if we could find that iconic image, then maybe, just maybe we could change the politicians minds," Acton said.

"People dont want logging but we cant get through to the pollies, they are committed to supporting the timber industry."

She hoped Green's photograph Forest Connections worked in a similar way to Peter Dombrovskis's image of the Franklin River, which was instrumental in stopping the damming of the Tasmanian river.


"Dombrovskis's photo is one of the great images of the 20th century and it is credited as being one of the reasons the Franklin River wasnt dammed," she said.

Richard's photograph is proving to be the iconic photograph for the far South Coast.

Some of the lush forest in Greens photograph is scheduled for logging in the next six months.

Canberra resident and conservationist Judith Deland began her career as a photographer two years ago. She was drawn to photography as a way to document damage to Victorias old growth forests.

Her photograph After Sterilization was used as evidence in a 2009 court case against the Victorian state government, which was ordered to temporarily ban logging in two zones of old-grown forest in Brown Mountain in East Gippsland.

The photo shows smoke billowing out of tree stumps in a logged area of Brown Mountain in East Gippsland.

Supreme Court judge Jack Forrest compared Delands photograph to the World War I battlefield.

"He said it looked like Somme, like a war zone," she said.

"As part of the logging process they then burn and sterilise it so you lose all that biodiversity.

"They don't like messy old-growth forests, it doesnt log well. What they like is a couple of fast-growing, straight species that produce wood."

Deland said many of the forests being logged were on Canberra's doorstep.

"These forests are only a few hours away, it is very sad. They need to be protected."

The exhibition will be on display in Canberra until August 20.