Labor’s koala position or saving koalas

As reported in the BDN last week, little known Penny Sharpe, NSW shadow minister for the environment visited the Bega Shire. She came to discuss two issues, koalas and plastic bags.
According to Ms Sharpe ‘logging plantations instead of native forests and banning single use plastic bags, are two ways to improve the south coast”.

Ms Sharpe’s next idea was a bit contradictory suggesting ‘there needed to be less logging of native forests’, as opposed to none. She went on to suggest ‘effort needed to be put to find out how many koalas were left in the wild’ and she would seek a commitment from the government to save koalas.
I understand SERCA were the source of information for Ms Sharpe, so die-back wasn’t referred to. Rather, she spoke of forests as carbon sinks, suggesting logging policy should take this into account.(?!)
Interestingly, the shadow minister finished the article saying Labor does not support biomass being used as a fuel. ” . . . In my view it is not a renewable energy source and it should not be used as one,” she said.

 

barkheap2

 

If the reference to a renewable resource refers to eucalyptus forests, it is difficult to see how this sits with ‘less logging’. Should more logging be allowed, we can be certain that previously logged areas, like the location above, won’t be on the list. In this case the area was logged in 1981, after the fire that wiped out the ‘Timber Stand Improvement’ regrowth in Mumbulla SF.

As a result of the fire, ignited from a large bark dump some months after it was lit, the practise of spreading logging debris was implemented. The bark dump in the photo was created immediately after a ‘back-burn’ intended to stop the fire. Hence, like the remains of trees that were illegally logged on private land at the same time, it remains unburned, 35 years on.

The major problem for the government is its support for unsustainable management, in the deluded belief that logging and burning are consistent with saving koalas. Hence my brief submission on the Save our Species proposals includes the following suggestion.
” . . .If the ‘Save our Species’ program is to have any credibility with regard to koalas, the NSW government needs to put itself solidly behind the ‘National Forest Policy Statement’, the OE&H needs to eliminate the bias in its approach and the Forestry Corporation has to be removed from native forest management.”

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1 comment
  1. Hello!
    I’ve started the petition “”the Prime Minister of Australia”: In Australia bushfires are increasing becoming unpredictable and uncontrollable.” and need your help to get it off the ground.
    Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:
    https://www.change.org/p/the-prime-minister-of-australia-in-australia-bushfires-are-increasing-becoming-unpredictable-and-uncontrollable?recruiter=456525086&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive
    Here’s why it’s important:
    Bushfires are annual events. The bushfire period is extending each year and more of them are becoming unpredictable and uncontrollable.

    A report * prepared by Dr Gianni D`Addario, President of the Friends of Oolong Inc. outlines the problems associated with bushfires and offers the most pragmatic solution to reduce these catastrophic events, which are increasingly occurring in dense, inhabited areas. The report, which points out the weakness of the current bushfire control system, has been distributed to federal ministers, state premiers, territory chief ministers, senators, agencies and scientists directly involved in bushfire control.

    The report points out the discrepancy and imbalance between the current futile attempts at suppressing bushfires at the initial stage of development – after which they become uncontrollable and unpredictable, – depending on weather conditions – and the mitigation activities carried out after the fires develop further. Initial bushfire suppression via aircraft is only carried out during the day by a majority of helicopters and small planes carrying water bombs. These initial activities are limited by visibility due to smoke and are interrupted during the night. Depending on weather conditions, this can allow the fires to become uncontrollable and unpredictable.

    The National Aerial Firefighting Centre has ignored tests carried out more than five years ago by the Erickson Company, which is the only producer of a large air crane that can extinguish initially bushfires using equipment that allows night flights for 24-hour operation during bushfire. The company hires out only a few Erickson aircranes when they are available and for only short periods.

    All replies so far received regarding the report concur in stating that its suggested solution – to use aircranes night and day for bushfire suppressions and control – is too expensive and dangerous to adopt.

    The projected losses due to bushfires are far less than what is actually occurring. The only solution is for the Prime Minister to declare a status of war on bushfires and join with the Department of Defence to establish a dedicated task force with trained personnel to target the initial suppression of bushfires. The Department of Defence should investigate the number of aircranes needed and how to strategically locate them for prompt intervention in any spot in the shortest time possible. The Erickson Company produces the best suitable aircrane, and the Australian Government should consider either constructing the large number required by a local industry under licence by Erickson, or design a similar aircrane. This industry could employ the large number of workers, who lost their jobs with the departure of the major car manufacturers. This proposal, if adopted, would remove the civil agencies’ concern about costs and danger of the operation.

    Bushfire management is long overdue for a major overhaul and improvement. All constituencies need to openly declare whether they prefer the status quo or to adopt the suggested changes to convince politicians that bushfire control should take priority over the purchase of submarines for defence purposes.

    * A copy of the report can be requested from gianni@skymesh.com.au.
    ——————– —
    Dr Gianni W D’Addario
    Environmentalist
    http://www.skymesh.net.au/~gianni
    You can sign my petition by clicking here.
    Thanks!
    Gianni D’Addario

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