Stumping For the Trees

Peter "Sid" Sidebottom's constituents, he says, don't much like being in the spotlight. Since 1998, the Labor M.P. has represented the federal seat of Braddon, a quiet, largely rural electorate in north-western Tasmania of around 62,000 voters, many of them farmers and fishermen. But one of the region's other industries, forestry, keeps bringing the residents of Braddon's towns and hamlets the kind of attention that makes Sidebottom furious. "Many hundreds" of his constituents depend on the state's forestry industry, he says, and if the campaign in this election to phase out logging in Tasmania's old-growth forests succeeds, Sidebottom fears they'll be...