Friday, May 31, 2024


Letters & responses

Open letter to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese: NFF

Last week, for the first time in 39 years, farmers from across Australia determined that they no longer have confidence in your government to represent their interests. This vote followed an unprecedented walk-out by farmers on your Agriculture Minister’s budget address. This is not how we usually operate at the National Farmers’ Federation ... But decision by decision, your government is pushing farmers away and eroding their trust. Frankly they’ve had enough.

Letter to The Riverine Grazier editor

... Upon discovering the ovens on his property Mick Cattanach along with local Waradgery man, John ‘Gubba’ Woods decided to fence off approximately six acres of land to protect it from stock degradation and to make it a private reserve for the generations to come ... What happened next is an example of how everyday Australians can voluntarily help the ‘Close the Gap’ initiative with practical and sustainable outcomes, with the use of volunteer labour.

Letter from a sheep farmer to Senator Ghosh

Hugo Bombora. Dear Senator Varun Ghosh, Congratulations on your recent appointment to the Australian Senate. Nice to bump into you at a wedding last Saturday night. Thanks for the insightful questions. As acknowledged, it’s hard to put together one’s thoughts with Taylor Swift playing in the background. But as promised, here they are via email.

Letter to the Alice Springs News Editor – Still no NT Government action on buffel

Alex Vaughan. Why is Central Australia almost the only region nationally at an increased wildfire risk across autumn? The National Council for Fire and Emergency Services unequivocally links this risk to buffel grass invasion and buffel grass regrowth and curing, enabling fire conditions to overcome the longstanding norm for fire regimes across arid and semi-arid lands where “wildfire frequency is typically once a decade”.

Forester Frank, science and French folly: David Jefford Ward

Although my qualifications lie in other fields, I know Frank Batini as a modest, well mannered, well qualified, and experienced forester. His recent article about his past work on water supply from Wungong Dam, near Perth, has raised concerns with me about the management of water supplies in Western Australia ... Instead of following scientific advice, they seem to have switched their beliefs to the thinking of other kinds of experts, without any qualifications in forestry, fire, or hydrology, but expertly politically aware and active.

Koalas, forestry and protests – FCNSW responds

ARR.News sought the response of FCNSW regarding recent protests against native forest logging, recent timber harvesting and plans for harvesting in the site of the proposed Great Koala National Park and measures to prevent injury to koalas and other wildlife.

Stop horsing about, AEMO

Dear Sir, Despite AEMO’s best efforts to tick the box and grant a submission extension period, that hidden in the fine print was the extension was only for VFF members, AEMO closed their submission on the 5.4.2023 and then gave a selective extension of 13 days ... Quit horsing around AEMO. It is time for ANSWERS!

Energy Estate responds on Moah Creek Wind Farm

Energy Estate has provided a response to Australian Rural & Regional News regarding issues raised in the statement issued by David Littleproud, Leader of the Nationals, Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce and Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry concerning the impact of renewables ... "a commitment to minimising ongoing impacts to the environment ... to providing the opportunity for detailed public consultation ..."

‘New water plan is a disgrace’: Les Turner

Les Turner, CLC CEO. The twice-rejected Western Davenport water allocation plan unmasks the Northern Territory government’s disregard for Aboriginal rights and sites and lacks social licence ... Alekarenge community leader Graham Beasley says: “That’s our country. We should be involved. What’s going to happen to our sacred trees?”

Dear Prime Minister,

John Hasell, President, WAFarmers. I write on behalf of the Western Australian farmers and service businesses that rely on the live sheep trade to support their families and communities. A trade that for purely political reasons your government has decided to end on the logic that it has lost its social licence to operate.

Philip Zylstra’s response #4 – self-thinning forest understoreys and wildfire debate

The critique of our study of fire history in southwestern forests illustrates the difficulty of discussion around such emotive issues. We reported that according to Departmental records, bushfires were seven times more likely in areas of forest that still had the dense understorey that had been germinated by prescribed burns than they were in other areas where the understorey had self-thinned because it had been left alone. These are the facts, but they leave us at an impasse.

Peter Rutherford to Philip Zylstra #2 – self-thinning forest understoreys and wildfire debate

Both researchers I referenced show regular low intensity burning, as practised by Aboriginal people across the landscape, has been lost and Dr Fletcher believes the loss of cool, mosaic burning since European settlement has left us, as a nation, dangerously fire prone. Philip Zylstra seems to have missed this critical point.

Philip Zylstra’s response #3 – self-thinning forest understoreys and wildfire risk debate

The mapped fire histories of the southwestern forests show that bushfires have been most frequent in forests with dense understoreys promoted by previous burns, and far less common in areas that have not been burned for several decades, allowing the understorey to naturally thin. Two new voices have entered the discussion on this here and made numerous claims, but their ill-informed comments have distracted from the point.

First ever native stubble quail count in Victoria finds only 101 birds: Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting

RVOTDS. Game Management Authority (GMA) (Vic) arranged a first-ever count of Stubble Quails in Victoria early this year, and the resultant report it assisted in drafting, has recently been published. The report’s authors have admitted only 101 birds were counted, yet the figure was extrapolated via complex methodologies up to an extraordinary estimate of 3.1 million.

A vision splendid for the Central West and Western Tablelands: from a Bells Expressway

From a Concerned Citizen: Messers Toole and Farraway are vocal proponents of the so-called “upgrade” of the Great Western Highway from Katoomba to Lithgow. ... The project does not deliver an expressway to Sydney - it leaves the Central West and Western Tablelands the only region in NSW without an expressway to Sydney ... The vision that should be adopted and made a reality is a standalone expressway between Western Sydney and Lithgow: the Bells Expressway.

Mackeral need protection from anglers, politicians

Dave Donald. While anti-fishing groups have long been opposed to recreational fishing, to claim they have colluded in a major way to “slash Spanish mackerel quotas” is a fabrication. Seeking to lay the blame for the depletion of Spanish mackerel stocks solely on Labor is another furphy as exceptionally poor fisheries management under BOTH major parties essentially created the current situation.

Illegal dumping on cane farms must stop

Peak sugarcane organisation CANEGROWERS is seeking urgent discussions with local government amid an escalation of people using Queensland farms as dumping grounds ... ARR.News asked some further questions of CANEGROWERS on this costly problem.

Carbon credit profits as primary production income – Carbon Count CEO Phil Mulvey’s view

"The latest government announcement about primary producers being able to claim their carbon credit profits as part of their primary production income looks positive indeed. What is important to understand however is that this development, whilst positive, is only benefiting those primary producers that have already started a carbon farming project and are soon ready to sell. What this development doesn't doesn't do is incentivise farmers to take up a carbon project in the first place; the key issue we need to overcome to meet our netzero2050 targets. What we need most now are governmental incentives that mitigate the financial barriers of entry for farmers and enable them to get started fast": Phil Mulvey.

Timber harvesting in native forests: Forestry Australia

Forestry Australia considers that active management, including timber production, is vital to the sustainability of native forests and provides many benefits to Australian society. Forestry Australia advocates for ongoing research on timber harvesting in native forests to support this capability in Australia.

Threatened species strategy action plan – Questions for Minister Ley and the Department’s response

Australian Rural & Regional News sought clarification from Minister Ley on a number of points, including consultation with and the role of farmers and landowners generally, and received a response, required to be attributed to a spokesperson (unnamed) from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Threatened species strategy action plan – Questions for Minister Ley

Australian Rural & Regional News seeks clarification from Minister Ley regarding the Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan 2021-2026 and Threatened Species Strategy 2021-2031 on a number of points including consultation with, and the role of farmers and landowners generally.

A Greater Future with Gliders: Kinglake Friends of the Forest responds

The adorable Greater Glider is in trouble. It is threatened by fire and logging and its population has crashed by over 80% this century ... VicForests – a logging company owned by the government – wants to clear much of what’s left of the Greater Glider’s habitat.

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