Environmental offsets (was Re: [canberrabirds] preservation of birds and

To: "David McDonald (personal)" <>
Subject: Environmental offsets (was Re: [canberrabirds] preservation of birds and the sale of Block 9, Section 64 North Watson)
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:56:17 +1100
I don't like the analogy.  

The Mona Lisa is unique and can't be reproduced (so perhaps is OK as an analogy for offsetting a fossil bed which can't be replaced).  With something like a patch of grassy box woodland its more like a Damien Hirst work, where with enough money and care (and waiting a while) the same (living) artist can produce an effectively identical replica.

The real problem comes when instead of getting Damien Hirst to reproduce the work in question (for a few million bucks) someone just ducks down to the fish market and comes back with a $10 Flathead.  And the 'decision maker' signs off on the deal.  IMHO that is a better analogy for what seems to have arisen in the case quoted on Background Briefing where an area of stringybark has been offered up as an offset to some high quality white box country.  

The real problem is not that the developers have tried to pull a swifty - that's just business as usual - but that the Minister has agreed to it.  Being extremely optimistic he will get punished for this in the next election.

On 26 March 2014 16:31, David McDonald (personal) <> wrote:
Background Briefing 16 March 2014: The trouble with offsets
I'll say it's a furphy. To me it is akin to some guy going into that art gallery and pointing at the Mona Lisa on the wall and saying sorry mate we need that bit ... so the Mona Lisa has to go. But we will paint you another one.
We run the risk of trading something irreplaceable for the short term development gains with the mirage of having a good conservation outcome in the future through the activities of the offset.


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU