4/4/01

4/4/01


(1) Paraphrased Quote from Andrew Bolt
(2) Web Site Progress
(3) Australia wide update on environment and property rights issues
(4) Richard Makim discusses the GAB and Greenhouse emissions


Hi There,
>             Welcome to those who have recently joined this email update.
We
>now have  landholders and others interested in keeping in contact from
every
>state except the Northern Territory checking out our updates and
discussions.
>  We heard a good comment from Andrew Bolt (Herald Sun Journalist) on the radio. It went like this -
"if we want a society like ours which supposedly allows freedom of speech and we
>don`t want oppresive censorship then when people espouse crap like the
>virtues of  paedophilia etc,  we need to raise the level of our freedom of
>speech to where we can freely criticise such crap. "

 We reckon this applies
to the environmental debates too. It`s time we  were prepared to make our
views
>known a lot more publicly - there is too much environmental garbage being
>espoused uncritically and our society is being hoodwinked about what is
good environmental management while the good environmental managers views are
not
>heard.


>Web site progress
>We are working on a web site and have had 3 people recently contact us with
>details of timber thickening in Australia since the late 1800`s . We have
>articles on salinity by Dr Christine Jones, articles on trees by Dr Bill
>Burrows, and several of our members/ supporters will (hopefully) supply us
>with a few details of their property management  and  photos to show either
>how they manage their properties, or that they have something unique on
their
>property worth mentioning.These include Rosemary Champion, Richard Makim,
>Mike Price, Dennis Fahey, Bob Marshall, Merv Schwarz, Ashley Adams, Tony
>Phillips, Leon Ashby, Lance Jones and Gabriella Holmes.
>We want to include every type of successful land management technique or
>unusual feature so please contact us if you have something worth
mentioning -
>the more features there are, will make the site worth reading.
>
>Many of you have unjust conservation / legislation issues we would like to
>highlight  on the web site too, so if you would like to have your situation
>publicised, can you post a photo or two of your face and / or a relevant
part
>of your property, and we will do the rest. If you sent a personal
submission
>to the "Cost of Conservation" inquiry,  then we probably can get enough
>details from that to use. Don`t be shy about being on this section of the
web
>site because It will be one of the more important sections - People love
>knowing other peoples stories. We have a web site about our property
>(www.geocities.com/barcoorah) and the section that gets more visits than
>expected is "For family and friends only" (Gossip sells)
>
>Publicity
>Dennis Fahey was interviewed on 2BS (BATHURST) on wednesday and he said it
>went well. A Dept of Ag person was going to be contacted for a reply. Did
>anyone in NSW hear it? Leon Ashby was interviewed on Thursday (Longreach
ABC)
>and Richard Makim will have a press release sent Monday next week on the
>Great Artesian Basin
>Several of our letters to the editor have been published lately. If you
have
>an issue that needs publicity and falls within the three aspects of either
>sustainable production, sustainable conservation, and maintaining
landholders
>rights, then send it to us and we`ll do the rest.
>
>The issues across Australia
>A brief rundown of some of what landholders are facing across Australia
>include
>Qld
>- water management law changes. From changes to how much irrigated water
you
>can have, to whether you can use what runs over your paddocks and into
>creeks. Water Allocation Management Plans (WAMPS) are being debated
everywhere
>Vegetation - laws that freehold landholders have to pay for a permit to
pull
>trees is now in. If you have an endangered ecosystem on your place, then
you
>cannot touch any vegetation other than grass on that ecosystem ($125,000
max
>fine) An endangered ecosystem does not have to have an endangered plant on
>it. - It could be just a rare soil type with common vegetation.
>No process or money for compensation for losing the rights to use
"endangered
>ecosystem areas" has been decided as yet and may never be, because it is
>costless to never finalise a plan that has the end result achieved without
>deciding how to be fair about it.
>    Conservation Strategies which come on top of vegetation laws, are using
>arguments that say an area  MIGHT have salinity potential, soil erosion or
>other   therefore they can shut down management options on substantial
>amounts of country, without proper scientific data to back the claims up.
In
>the meantime people live in limbo.
>Vegetation management committees are being pressured to agree with Govt
views
>(30% retention rates) but landholders are not budging. For those of you on
>those committees - Are you likely to get any research done which could
answer
>these questions?. What amounts of Biodiversity exist at 10%, 20% and 30%
>retention rates with (a) little perennial grass cover and (b) dense
perennial
>grass cover and
>Does Biodiversity decrease as Trees reach 100% canopy and grasses
decrease?.
>A bit of research on Merv Schwarz`s former property suggests that grass
cover
>is more important than the tree retention rates over 10% . Anyone wish to
>comment on this?
>
>SA  ( please correct us if any details are wrong)
>Areas around Adelaide which have regrown trees are now wanted for
>conservation areas , but no process or compensation has been agreed upon.
>water - in south-east of S.A. a big debate is on over underground water as
it
>reaches it`s supposed allocation limit and forestry and irrigators do not
>want to have to pay extra for the underground water that either the trees
or
>farms use
>
>NSW
>Vegetation committees are in stalemate as the government plans to have
>retention areas of 30% , with another 40% restricted to minimal grazing.
>The native vegetation conservation act (1997) has restricted land
management
>well beyond common sense controls and many landholders are going broke
>because of the restrictions. For example to clear more than 50Ha of land on
>the tableland requires an aboriginal site search report, a flora report, a
>fauna report, a landscape survey report, an archaeological survey report,
an
>economic survey report, and a social survey report.
>AND even if you satisfy all that, -  you can get knocked back because you
>might cause soil erosion or interfere with water tables.
>
>W.A.
>The situation in W.A sounds very much like NSW (can anyone in W.A fill us
in
>more?)
>
>Victoria and Tasmania we are still finding out details about - can anyone
>help us out so everyone can be updated next time?
>
>To finish off Richard Makim has written the following
>
>
>1.     Great Artesian Basin
>2.     Emmissions/Greenhouse etc.
>
>
>1.    The G.A.B. should rate somewhere up near the Great Barrier Reef as
one
>of the wonders of Australia. While not as spectacular or as colourful and
>accessible, it is one of our lifebloods. The initiative to begin capping
>bores and push for assistance to do so was first taken  by the Julia Creek
>branch of the Cattlemen's Union over a decade ago. It has come to my
>attention numerous times that DNR lacks the funds and resources to do this
at
>anywhere near the pace required. The latest one to come before me was from
a
>neighbour who had the rehab team in 2 years ago, (he has committed to rehab
1
>bore per year and has some of the Nation's largest flowing bores) and they
>made a stuff of a bore and have left it bubbling 1 million gals/day to this
>day and haven't been back!!! I think we need some action on this at a Govt.
>level to see where the log jamb s are.
>While on this subject, a lot of poly pipe is used to pipe water instead of
>letting it flow, and this has gone up in price by 50% since last year as a
>result of the hike in oil prices. Some lateral looks at relief here in
>extending tax incentives etc. would be good. I know the mark-up on pipe is
>over 100%, so bulk Govt. purchase or something like that may be in order.
>Piping water is becoming a bigger environmental issue as it allows pressure
>to come off more fragile areas.
>
>2.    There was a recent comment from a local Agforce rep. in the latest
>North West Country magazine who said the industry in this region would not
be
>interested in Emissions research. The industry (Grazing) hasn't had time to
>come to grips with this issue but suffice it to say, irrespective on views
>for or against greenhouse and the Kyoto proposals, reducing emissions for
the
>cattle industry is very sound business. Strong,sound perennial pastures
with
>good root mass provides carbon recycling. The interaction of roots, biomass
>and diversity of microorganisms is complex and leads to better and more
>productive soils. Also, it has a marked effect on lowering water tables
hence
>reducing salinity... another important issue we are all coming to grips
with.
>The second emission that forward thinking graziers are focussing on is
>methane. Again, irrespective of the arguments about greenhouse etc.,
reducing
>methane is quite easily possible by
>i) producing more efficient animals,
>ii) better grazing management e.g. thicker healthier plants (which also
>affects, positively, photosynthesis and hence, carbon cycling)
>iii) using urea as a supplement and by actively changing rumen bugs.
>This all adds up to much more efficient and productive animals. A real
>win/win for producer and the environment. To say that we aren't interested
in
>research or furthering our knowledge on these subjects can only come from
>someone not up to speed on the issues, or, a pre-historic dinosaur. I
>recommend we contact John Rolfe and express interest from this region
(phone:
>07-49844089)
>Unfortunately the Yanks and our Govt. are only giving lip service to
>greenhouse emissions yet, and we were not successful. It is not unrealistic
>that graziers could turn this issue, through better environmental
management,
>into a positive end selling carbon, methane and salinity credits, or at
least
>market "Green" produce.
>
>Regards,
>
>Richard Makim
>