Global connections and government failures

Co-inciding with the Climate Commissions release of ‘The Angry Summer’ report, Clean Energy for Eternity are hosting a free (!) public meeting in Bega with guest speaker from the Climate Commission, Professor Lesley Hughes.

CEFE’s Dr Matthew Nott is ” . . . hoping she will focus on how climate change will impact the Bega Valley, particularly in relation to sea-level rise, changing rainfall patterns and bushfire risk.

Although agreeing that climate change is and will continue to impact on the Bega Valley, I have a fairly jaundiced view of Prof Hughes, given her previous position as chair the NSW Scientific committee when, in 2007, they rejected the nomination to list koalas from Dignams to Wapengo as endangered .

Although it is possible that Prof Hughes may have changed her mind, after hearing her speak on ABC radio, particularly references to the ‘south-east’, threats climate change poses to ‘ecosytems’ and ’12 years of drought’, I’m not confident. 

There were many different ecosystems in the South East Corner Bioregion, all of which had a range or ‘sowm’ of marsupial species. Losing the species necessary to maintain ecosystem functions means you end up with a modified and compromised system. While the same applies to global systems,  it’s  difficult to believe that global change isn’t  influenced by  negative environmental changes in many local areas. 

Along those lines the EPA has released amendments to the Eden Integrated Forestry Approval (IFOA) and although there is no reference to koalas, seems they’ve yet to get on top of that issue, there are some advances including the requirement to use remote cameras when surveying for Potoroos and Southern Brown Bandicoots. 

The prescription for Glossy Black Cockatoos has also been modified, so where 30 or more ‘crushed cones’ were required before the tree was protected, as in the rare snap below, now damage to all stands of Allocasuarina or Casuarina spp. is to be minimized and any of these trees with chewed cones are supposed to be protected. 


chewed cones


The EPA have also released an IFOA compliance register for the Southern Region indicating five local compartments where they accepted breaches. All bar one, logging in an umapped creek, were related to fauna and koalas in particular in Cpts 2133 & 2135, where logging operations remain suspended and Cpts 2051 & 2052 Murrah, where they didn’t get off the ground.

Interestingly there is no reference to the logging of Biamanga Aboriginal Place, although I expect that incident is much like koala management, better categorized as a whole of Government failure, not readily fixable with prescriptions.


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