ABC’s Bill Brown has posted an interesting report on Germaine Greer’s visit last week to launch her latest book ‘White Beech, the rainforest years’.
Organised by the local bookshop and SERCA the book recounts Greer’s work to restore rainforest on a 65 ha property she bought in south-east Queensland.
According to Germaine ‘The private landholder, whether individual or corporate, has a better chance of maintaining conservation values than a public entity that has also to provide a public amenity’ and although hers has been an ‘extremely expensive’ project Germaine reckons ‘it is a model that can be followed on a smaller and cheaper scale’.
There were varied responses, Senior Diringanj man David Dixon, welcomed everyone to Country but ‘sees her work as more of the same’ and is ‘critical of a failure of greater recognition of the relationship between the land and indigenous people’.
SERCA’s Prue Acton was ‘praising her new focus on environmental issues’ although Harriet Swift was ‘questioning the relevance of her project to the issues of forest conservation in the south east’. On radio and minus detail, Greens Councillor Keith Hughes suggested the Forestry Corporation were doing some good research (?!) .
Apparently Greer had looked to buy land on the south coast but one property had an ‘undefeatable’ weed problem and although another near Eden appeared suitable ‘she would have inevitably been drawn into the anti-logging and woodchip movement, writing, ‘I didn’t have the stomach for so hopeless a fight’.
Had Greer bought a property in this bio-region she may by now be aware that it’s pretty hopeless trying to grow eucalyptus, especially endemic species on cleared land and the evidence supports the theory that the reasons trees don’t grow well are the same as those reducing forest health, tree cover and conservation values on public and private land.
On the other hand she could have joined SERCA that on the post cards they distributed at the book launch changed the NCC slogan above to ‘Please don’t burn their homes, to power ours’, are unable to define where koalas are and unwilling to support a management model to improve their habitat. So if Germaine had join SERCA, it probably wouldn’t have lasted long.