Corruption, managing the salt of the earth

Coinciding with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s statements regarding his desire for each level of government “to be more sovereign in its own sphere”, yet another NSW government Minister has fallen on his sword, after suggestions of corruption.

Whether or not the allegations stick, the ‘smell’ will linger and exactly what the NSW Government intend to do, such that community trust can be restored, is anyone’s guess.

There are however, several options, the first being true community input into land management decisions.

On the north coast, the Bellingen Environment Center has recently written to Forestry about koalas, in area planned for clear-felling. According to the Harvesting Plan, there are no koalas, the soils are not dispersible, all streams, now corrected using Lidar, are wrongly indicated as being first order, and there is no indication whether surveys for BMAD have been undertaken.

On the south coast, this weekend the ‘Bega Eco-Neighborhood Development’, eighteen houses just above the 1-100 flood level, and on quite small blocks (down to 600sqm), is celebrating it’s forth (?) birthday. The Bega District News quotes resident Mary Dawson, ‘Every resident of Bend participates in one of three focus groups, land focus, care of grounds and social focus which “keep the place ticking over with the philosophies that we have got in mind here”.

cuttagee db
Another resident of the BEND is OE&H koala recovery officer, and frequent die-back denier, Chris Allen.

However, things have taken a turn on the dieback front, as may be visible in the shot above, of Cuttagee lake. Since the new year, almost all of the Giant Honey -myrtle (Melaleuca armillaris), growing on the edge of the lake, have died

In the absence of another explanation for these deaths, it seems likely that sodium is involved, and the process is both like, and associated with BMAD and extensive canopy dieback.

So it may be time drop another line to the NSW Primary Industries Minister, to see if there is any government interest  in a focus on land management, at a catchment scale.

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