At 10:49 23/11/99 +1000, Syd Curtis wrote:
> In Queensland for several decades past, any conservation-minded public
>servants have been side-lined, eased out of the service or in some way
> "", mostly lacking in in-depth technical knowledge, but expert at telling
>Ministers what they think the Ministers want to hear, rather than advising
>them on the real situation and the options available.
> removed them from the portfolio.
> Joh so entrenched the non-technical managers that it's now virtually
>impossible to undo that situation.
> ... But Goss too shifted Pat to another portfolio.
Last Friday my partner and I went to Lucinda (on the North Queensland coast
just south of the southern end of Hinchinbrook Island, roughly 18*30 south,
146*E) to conduct a wader/tern count under Coastcare. Not many birds
around as the tide was receding fast and had left a female Loggerhead
turtle - an endangered species- stranded on a sand bar. Two medium sized
dogs which were taking themselves for a walk along the beach were looking
to give her a bit of a touch up, and Norm drove them off.
It was mid morning and the temperature was in the high 20's, and with hours
before the incoming tide would reach her, Norm spent some time helping and
coaxing the exhausted 90kg lady off the bar into the deeper water of the
channel where she would have something of a chance.
Next we drove to the Marine Parks office at Dungeness, a few kilometres
away to find the office closed and a 1800 telephone number for Marine
Wildlife posted on the door. Norm got to a public phone and rang the
number. He spent several mniutes talking to a young lady at the
Environmental Protection Agency in Brisbane. She hadn't heard of Dungeness
(which is understandable); she hadn't heard of Ingham either (the nearest
town) and though she had heard of Townsville (the nearest city) it became
increasingly clear that geography was not her strong point. At least she
had heard of Dugongs, Hump backed whales and marine turtles and dutifully
took down all the details.
Later, back in Townsville Norm rang the Dungeness office again (no answer),
then rang the Townsville office. No-one from Brisbane had called to tell
them about the turtle, which rather defeats the purpose of having a 1800
number for the public to ring. Yesterday, Norm rang the Dungeness office
again and finally got through to someone. Again no message had got
through. "What about the one I left on your answering machine?" he asked.
Queensland does have an Environment policy - it's to protect areas that
have no other economic value and to rely on volunteers to count the birds
and provide them with stats and to help save whatever forms of wildlife
might be out there.
(for the benefit of readers in the Brisbane area, Townsville is in
To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to
Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the