The question will always be asked how much is enough. If you look at the
central-west of NSW clearing has been excessive, especially vegetation
communities on prime agricultural land. Because of this excessive clearing,
other environmental problems are now surfacing (erosion, salinity etc).
Unfortunately even though we are reaching a crisis point, there is still
landholders who want to clear marginal land and consider irrespective of the
impacts on other sections of the community or landholders, they should have the
right to do so, without restriction. Just take the opposition to SEP46 and
recently introduced Native Vegetation Legislation in NSW.
Currently serving on one of the
first Vegetation committees set up in NSW, the Mid-Lachlan plan I have first
hand seen the attitude. Whilst I will be the first to concede that there is a
bit of good will, there is a lot of pig-headiness about the whole question. It
really is getting down to a money question "you want use to do this, how
much will you pay".
The fact is Landcare Funding has did little for
conservation in this region (the Lachlan Valley) except as possibly an education
tool and one would question if it is really contributing to sustainability, but
a major gardening exercise, that has developed into an industry. In my area a
lot of money has been spent without having a reversing effect on many of the
major environmental degradation problems. I consider the Government would have
been far better buying back farms on degraded land and totally revegetating or
buying remanent vegetation in recharge areas.
From a bird-watchers perspective I
wonder how many extinctions before we all become vocal enough to ensure that the
wider community becomes concerned. I don't consider my birdwatching being
restricted to House Sparrows and Starlings as much