Rivalry threatens green group
Matthew Denholm From: The Australian May 05, 2010
"SENIOR figures within The Wilderness Society fear a bitter split will destroy the 34-year-old conservation group as internal warring yesterday forced two senior leaders to withdraw from its key forestry campaign.
The feud between two rival camps forced two of the group's key forestry campaigners to withdraw from involvement in the high-profile campaign to end old-growth logging.
Alec Marr, TWS national executive director, and Vica Bayley, Tasmanian campaign director, who are internal opponents, decided to quarantine themselves from the forest campaign they have helped lead for many years.
The extraordinary decision is an attempt to try to prevent the bitter internal ructions from "polluting" public campaigns.
Some senior TWS figures fear that unless the warring factions can step away from the abyss, the conflict will destroy the society.
In Tasmania, there is frustration that the group, which has grown to 46,000 members nationwide, is faltering just as there is hope of victory in its long-running campaigns on old growth and the Gunns pulp mill.
A dispute that began over concerns about Mr Marr's management style has broadened into a battle for the heart, soul and budget of TWS"