Hi there,
             Well the world has had a shake up this last week after the
events in the US.

Some of our latest news is we will be gradually bringing politicians and
others up to date with discussions from  News and Views in the next few
weeks, and
we will soon send everyone an article on how species in ecosystems work as a
basis for deciding what a landholders duty of care should be for biodiversity
for you to think about and reply to.

This edition has
(1) Walgett landholders withdraw from native vegetation planning
(2) Land clearing conditions to be attached to NHT Funding in Tasmania?
(3) Water rights in WA
(4) SA Weed expert says we need more funding to control weeds
(5) New national body hopes to help manage our rangelands
(6) Barrier Reef pollution must stop
(7) No harvesting overland flows in Central Qld
(8) Excerpts from Ian Mott`s viewpoint on ABC radio
(9) WA Politician is hoping a Landholders "Duty of care" position can be
(11) More comments on Hill`s Firewood Strategy
(12) Costa Rica Pays incentives to protect forests for ecosystem services
(13) Deputy Prime Minister’s Address to the National Press Club
(14) Two email virus`s to look out for and delete without opening
(1) Walgett landholders withdraw from native vegetation planning

There's a revolt underway in Western NSW, against the State Government's
handling of Native Vegetation management. After years of tortuous
negotiations, Walgett community members involved in the local committee to
develop a native vegetation policy, have resigned enmasse. Just a fortnight
ago, farm lobby groups demanded at a State Cabinet meeting in Dubbo, that
land and water management policies be overhauled. This follows threats from
the Bogan Vegetation Committe at Nyngan, to flout state government
regulations. Mr Amery is disappointed with the resignation saying that he
would prefer to see a majority/minority report rather than none. Mr Amery
says he will have to ultimately make a decision anyhow and would prefer the
input from the community.

(*In other words Mr Amery is saying the community can have any input view it
likes as long as it is the governments view)
(2) Land Clearing Conditions to be attached to NHT Funding in Tasmania?

Tasmanian environment and Landcare organisations are eighteen million dollars
wealthier today, with another round of Natural Heritage Trust grants. The
grants have just been announced on the banks of the Tamar River by
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr
Sharman Stone. Dr Stone used the occassion to criticise the Tasmanian
Government's failure to enact legislation to curb land clearing, and
suggested future federal funding could be tied to the passage of such

(* Senator Hill has also made similar veiled threats to Qld in the past and
the reaction by many central Qld Landcare members was that the loss of any
NHT money would not worry them at all especially since good timber management
will improve grass establishment, ground cover, the water cycle, and control
tree thickening and do far more for the environment than any NHT money will.)
(3) Water rights in WA

A conference in Mount Barker today has just finished wading through the
complex subject of water rights. The Pastoralists and Graziers Association
conference has heard from a range of perspectives this morning, including
government, industry and international views. The PGA's Geoff Gare says they
have some concerns over the access and ownership arrangements in terms of
private property title. The organisation responsible for allocating water
rights is the Water and Rivers Commission and they were also invited to speak
at todays conference in Mount Barker. Manager of Resource Allocation Jeff
Camkin says the Water and Rivers Commission would like to move to longer term
licences. However Mr Camkin says it's important to ensure sustainable levels
of useage are known.

(4) SA Weed expert says they need more funding to control weeds

Animal and Plant Control Boards in SA are suffering from a lack of government
funding for weed control. Riverland Board Officer Phil Reddy has just
returned from a national conference on noxious weeds where he noticed a stark
difference between the amount of funding for weed protection in SA to that in
New South Wales. He says this lack of government interest in the weed
situation and greater focus on the more vote-popular salinity problem is
causing headaches in our regions. Mr Reddy says it's obvious that weeds are
not sexy and salinity is the big issue and the moment. He says there are 2.4
billion hectares affected by salinity and 3 billion hectares affected by
weeds in Australia and salinity gets 20 times more funding than weeds do. He
says it is harder to turn back the tide with weeds, but with salinity you can
come up with strategies to turn it around, even though it may be 100 years
before we see the benefits of it occuring in some situations.

(5) New national body hopes to help manage our rangelands

A newly formed national body is working to secure a vibrant future for
rangelands communities across the country. The group, Rangelands Australia,
is this week holding two workshops in Qld to work out what education and
training skills are going to be needed to help people manage the rangelands
in the future. Rangelands make up between 75 and 80 per cent of the country.
Among others, Rangelands Australia is an initiative of Meat and Livestock
Australia, and the University of Queensland. John Taylor, and Chair, Don
Blesing say there are a broad range of investors involved. John Taylor says
they are challenging people to think about the future and with that in mind
what will be the education and skills needed to make a difference in the
rangelands in 10 years time. He says they are focussing on rangeland
management and they are talking about 75 to 80% of Australia and that
includes grasslands, shrublands and some of the wooded areas of Australia
that are currenlty used for livestock production, but people are now looking
more at diversification with less impact on these areas of Australia.

(6) Barrier Reef pollution must stop

A ten year deadline has been set to stop the pollution of the Great Barrier
Reef from agricultural land uses. In Brisbane yesterday, Federal Environment
Minister Senator Robert Hill released a scientific report that reveals land
use activities in catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef are affecting
the quality of water flowing into the World Heritage Area. The report shows
more than 80 percent of the Great Barrier Reef Catchment supports some form
of agriculture, and the run-off of sediment, fertiliser and chemical residues
are threatening the Reef, and its associated tourism and fishing industries.
Based on the report findings, the Commonweath wants to see a 30 to 60 percent
cut in the phosphorus, nitrogen and other pollutants flowing into the Great
Barrier Reef.

(* We would expect it is very important there is monitoring of sub catchments
as part of this situation so landholders can be given good information about
what sort of pollution (if any) comes from their sub catchment, so any
pollution sources are correctly discerned and false accusations are not
thrown around)
(7) No harvesting overland flows in Central Qld

In what's been described by some as legislation by media release, the State
Government has introduced an overnight moratorium on overland flow water
developments in the Fitzroy Basin. The moratorium takes affect today, and
relates to the construction of dams, weirs, ring tanks, excavations,
diversion banks, channels, drains and pump installations. Initial reaction
from landholders in the region has been mixed, with current water users
pleased to see overland flows will be included in the overall water
management plan, while those with plans for development are concerned about
the likelihood that those plans will be realised.
(8) Excerpts from Ian Mott`s viewpoint on ABC radio  (*radio National invites
views from rural people as a way of communicating to the city about who we
are and what we think)

My Pop selected a hundred and thirty hectares at Mullumbimby NSW in 1922, but
it was no prize. It had 120,000 tonnes of timber which, today, would be worth
7.2 million dollars, but the compulsory clearing policy ensured that he got
nothing for it.

That young couple with 5 kids had to clear 80-thousand tonnes within 15 years
or forfeit their home and the entire product of their best years’ work.

The great depression came soon after.

His eldest son, my father, left school at the age of 14 and took the only job
available, scrub chopping. He lived alone in the bush in a canvas shack. His
job was to stay alive while felling one six foot giant before lunch and
another by sunset.

Since then we have regenerated native forest onto 70% of the property. Some
of it is now "old growth", but to us, it has always been just "our forest", a
family forest.

Family forestry is not a cause or a policy issue. It is a family destiny for
which sacrifices are made, in which loves triumph and wounded spirits recover.

(* I would love to see a TV program on the loads of stories like Ian Mott`s
family history. - In a similar vein two of my great great uncles spent their
whole working lives digging drains by horse and a half a yard scoop. These
drains are about thirty metres wide and 3 metres deep and total hundreds of
kilometres in length. They drained the excess swamps in the south east of SA.
Their contribution might be controversial today but in anyones terms their
efforts were awesome.)
From Bernie Masters (WA MP)
(9) Hoping a Landholders "Duty of care" position can be addressed

Thank you for including me on the email address list for your
"Landholders for the environment" newsletter. I am learning a lot from
the various articles and you are raising many very important issues that
need to be resolved.
As a member of Parliament for the WA Liberal Party which is now in
opposition, I personally support the need for government to clearly
state what are the rights of landowners in terms of what they can and
can't do on their land. Furthermore, when government (i.e. the
community) decides that some of those rights need to be restricted or
removed, full, fair and prompt compensation must be paid in every case.
However, with rights come responsibilities. I am therefore keen to read
in a future newsletter your members' thoughts on what responsibilities
they have in terms of  protecting that part of the planet on which they
live. I believe that all land owners have an unwritten responsibility to
hand on to their children a world (soil, air, water, biodiversity) that
is at least as healthy as the world they are living in right now. So the
question of land stewardship must be debated and landowners need to
develop a position with which they are comfortable and which will be
broadly accepted by the Australian community.
As well, there is a need to address the 1960s hippy position of "do
whatever you like so long as you don't hurt anyone else". What
responsibility does a landowner have to use his or her land in a way
that does not have a negative impact on neighbours, especially
downstream neighbours, in respect of salt, water volume, dust, shade,
shelter, etc? Landowners are coming to the understanding that their
actions have impacts throughout the landscape, with adverse impacts
possible on farmer neighbours, nearby urban dwellers and others. How
well accepted is the belief that you must farm your property not just
for your benefit but also for the benefit of the other farmers who
depend on you for clean water, etc.
I hope that you are able to address these issues in further editions of
your newsletter.
Bernie Masters
Member for Vasse
From LAWN (land and water news)

The Australian Forestry Standard Steering Committee and Technical Reference
Committee are seeking public comments and submissions on the recently
draft Australian Forestry Standard.
The standard has been sponsored by the three main industry bodies, the
Association of Forest Industries, the Plantation Timber Association of
and Australian Forest Growers.

Deadline for public comments and submissions is October 19, 2001. The draft
can be accessed at www.forestrystandard.org.au  or  click here
From Bill Sims (SA)

(11) More comments on Hill`s Firewood Strategy

Dear Leon
I would like to make some comments which result from interpreting the
application of the "Firewood"strategy.  
There are two parts to the strategy:    Firewood supply,  Air quality

The firewood strategy is already in place - see page 4 of "Hill's Views"

Note that :" State Governments have agreed to ensure that :  Firewood will
only be sourced from collectors who conform to the statutory codes of
practice that control forest management practices on public and PRIVATE  
"The code of practice aims to:
* regulate the type of timber sold for firewood
* promote improved burning practices
* inform consumers about the type of firewood they buy


State Governments will legislate (without compensation) as to where firewood
can be sourced, how it is collected then cured, and what type of timbers can
be burned (or sold for burning).
Inevitably this will translate to wood coming only from woodlots specifically
grown for firewood (with the corresponding time lag forcing up prices and
creating a "black market" and costly, supervised post harvest treatment prior
to sale).

In the press release by Senator Hill on September 2 about air quality
monitoring in concert with the EPA, monitors will be worn by people to detect
the prescence of pollutants from wood fires, internal combustion engines and
industry.  (It will be interesting to see how tha blame is apportioned.)  It
is well known that there is a body of people the South Australian EPA who
would prefer the banning of wood fires for heating.  With the "evidence" in
hand (despite the tiny sample sizes and questionable scientific approach),
they will act to ban wood heaters, not immediately, but in a time span which
falls short of the maturity of the woodlots.

The long term outcome is more bloody trees without a purpose.

This way Hill is supposed to achieve two of his goals

*  "better land management, the conservation of native wildlife and help
reduce our reliance on greenhouse gas polluting fossil fuels"  (Aren't trees
living fossil fuels which are renewable?)
* reduction of greenhouse gases by the amount of firewood not burnt.

but in doing so actually:

* increases reliance on non renewable fossil fuels
* puts a number of businesses out of business - wood merchants and
harvesters, heater manufacturers
* increases costs for farmers wanting to keep paddocks clear of fallen trees
and branches
* removes another, albiet small, plank of the rural economy
* increases the rural fire risk, so compromising rural safety further

Bill Sims (SA)


(12) Costa Rica Pays incentives to protect forests for ecosystem services

This is part of a transcript from a recent ABC radio program Earthbeat  
(Gretchen Daily, is an environmental science and policy analyst at Stanford
University CA, USA)

Alexandra de Blas: What are some of the more recent examples where the
cutting edge research is happening, and we’re starting to get other sorts of
decisions informed by ecosystem services and understanding them better?

Gretchen Daily: Costa Rica is a nice example there. The Costa Rican
government actually changed their forestry law a few years ago in 1996 to
create an incentive for landowners to protect forest for the supply of
various ecosystem services, so they’re actually, the government is paying
landowners about $50 per hectare, per year of land that is either being
retained in forest or is being converted from some agricultural or other use,
to forestry. So they’ve zoned the country in terms of which land is providing
which ecosystem services best, you know, carbon, watershed protection,
pharmaceutical or biodiversity prospecting values, and finally eco-truism
value, scenic beauty and that kind of thing, and they’re paying landowners
that fall within these important zones, the $50 per hectare a year, and have
seen instant turnaround in deforestation rates in the areas that are
receiving these payments.

Alexandra de Blas: How well are these ecosystem services understood when it
comes down to a more micro level?

Gretchen Daily: Some ecosystem services are quite well understood now in the
scientific community. We do understand very well that forests play an
important role in retaining carbon, keeping a lot of the atmosphere, and
maintaining climate stability. We also understand very well the role that
forests play in purifying water, but then there are other ecosystem services,
things that are much less appreciated like pollination, that we’re just
beginning to scratch the surface on without the transfer of pollen from one
plant to another by little insects, we wouldn’t have much of our agricultural
production that we have today.

Supposedly about two-thirds of our crops depend on some level of animal
pollination and important crops in that category include many of our fruits
and nuts and vegetables like squashes and things like coffee are
self-pollinated but when you have an animal pollinator you get a higher yield
and higher profit for farmers. So we’re just undertaking the studies now to
determine what are the trade-offs for a farmer if he or she were to allocate
a bit more land to pollinate our habitat - how would they see their profits

From QFF
(13) Deputy Prime Minister’s Address to the National Press Club

The Deputy Prime Minister addressed concerns about the impact of National
Competition Policy on rural and regional communities at the statement he made
on ‘Stronger Regions, A Stronger Australia’ to the National Press Club.  
Points he raised included:
The public interest test is to be ‘enhanced to ensure that the interests of
rural and regional communities are properly addressed.’
Amendments to the Competition Principles are to be sought ‘to require
governments to commit to public consultation where a reform is proposed and
public education when a reform is implemented’
The NCC ‘should be required to assess whether governments have consulted and
communicated properly as part of its recommendations on competition payments.’
One member of the NCC is to ‘be designated to consider rural and regional
In response to questions re water property rights, the Deputy Prime Minister
referred to the constitutional limitations on the Commonwealth Government as
the states have responsibility for water and land management as the licence
holders. He committed the Federal Government to championing the rights that
are written into the Commonwealth Constitution and acknowledged by the
Government in programs like the National Action Plan.  He confirmed that ‘the
1995 COAG Water Agreement obligates the states to properly define
compensatable water property rights’ but the Commonwealth had ‘to pursue the
fair and reasonable leverage’ that was available.

============================================================= And Finally
this has just been sent to us about two virus`s to look out for. Cheers

PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
  WORST EVER VIRUS (CNN announced)
      A new virus has just been discovered that has been classified by
      Microsoft as the most destructive ever! This virus was discovered
      yesterday afternoon by McAfee and no vaccine
      has yet been developed. This virus simply destroys Sector Zero
      from the hard disk, where vital information for its functioning
      are stored.
      This virus acts in the following manner: It sends itself
      automatically to all contacts on your list with the title "A
      Virtual Card for You." As soon as the supposed virtual card is
      opened, the computer freezes so that the user has to reboot. When
      the ctrl+alt+del keys or the
      reset button are pressed, the virus destroys Sector Zero, thus
      permanently destroying the hard disk. Yesterday in just a few
      hours  this virus caused panic in New York, according to news broadcast
      by CNN. This alert was received by an employee of Microsoft
      itself. So don't open any mails with subject: "A Virtual Card for
      You." As soon as you get the mail, delete it. Please pass this
      mail to all of your friends. Forward this to everyone in your
      address book.
      I would rather receive this 25 times than not at all. Also: Intel
      announced that a new and very destructive virus was discovered
      If you receive an email called "An Internet Flower For You," do
      not open it. Delete it right away! This virus removes all dynamic link
      libraries (.dll files) from your computer. Your computer will not
      be able to boot up !!