|To:||Mark Clayton <>|
|Subject:||Environmental offsets (was Re: [canberrabirds] preservation of birds and the sale of Block 9, Section 64 North Watson)|
|From:||Denis Wilson <>|
|Date:||Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:32:28 +1100|
Thanks to the various contributers on the subject of Environmental Offsets
(sale of Block 9, Section 64 North Watson).
As an outsider to the ACT I was surprised at the intial comments in this thread from David McDonald which included this quote: "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." Because it was in quotes, i still do not what position David actually holds on this issue.
To all COG Chatline Readers i would say that if you look across the NSW border, and even worse, look into Qld and Victoria, such trade-offs are becoming exactly how "business" is being conducted in Australia. Remember Tony Abbott's declaration on Election Night, that "once again Australia is open for business".
The EPBC Act is being gutted, by handing back the decision-making powers to the States (to the very Agencies who are pushing the developments which destroy forests and rivers and groundwater). None of this will be "news" to David Lindemayer who is still working to protect the endangered Leadbeater's Possums in Victoria, which are threatened by the skilful and deliberate inactivity of VicForests (which failed to created the necessary Species Recovery Plan required under the EPBC Act). Without such a plan, VicForests cannot be held to implement the necessary Plan to assist the species ot recover. Catch 22 par excellence.
In the case of this North Watson development, from what I understand, Simon Corbell is just as likely to agree to any development proposal which he can "spin" as good for the workers of the ACT (his "mates" from the CFMEU).
And Geoffrey Dabb's comments illustrate precisely how these death-by-1000-cuts proceed. Apply strict conditions initially, then let the developer appeal them, and then claim something is unsafe, and get the whole case overturned on grounds of public safety. Right this week, schools across NSW are having huge and critical habitat trees removed because Arborists have been asked to certify that huge old trees are "safe" (which nobody can reasonably be expected to declare), since a little girl was killed by a falling limb from a big old tree in a suburban school ground in Sydney.
Fear and greed are working together to condemn countless thousands of trees in NSW schools, because, ultimately no arborist will dare to declare any large tree to be "safe" or not a public risk.
These are the forces at work in this case too (mostly greed, it seems).
I totally support Mark Clayton's comments about these offsets being used to take us all for a ride. That is exactly the case the huge Whitehaven Coal Mine in Narrabri region where Leards State Forest is being "offset" with stringybark forest from high on the range in New England - totally different habit, physically remote from the forest on the plains in question.
I hope somebody in the COG Committee considers officially supporting Megan's excellent case.
Robertson NSW 2577
Are you amongst Greg Hunt's "increasingly hysterical environmental activists"?
"The Nature of Robertson"
On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM, Mark Clayton <> wrote:
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