birding-aus Re: Land Clearing QLD

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus Re: Land Clearing QLD
From: "Nigel Sterpin" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 20:39:41 +1100
"To say that they choose to farm shows no
comprehension of the real situation.  Many have no choice.  What are they
to do, move to the city and live on unemployment benefits? "

Firstly, would you like to read a book about people who have come from slum
backgrounds and been very successful in business?
The above comment is typical of the 'little Aussie battler' syndrome that we
(or more pertinently the media) try to label certain people with, so as to
look as if we are such an empathetic nation. The people who are the greatest
battler's, if we are talking in financial terms, are those who created major
empires such as Kerry Packer & Rupert Murdoch (not their sons because it was
handed to them on a plate); they would have had to 'battle' alot harder than
most people to get where they are.

Secondly, people choose to live in the country or the city.
I live in the city and suck in polluted air daily. Not fair? Its not my
choice? I don't know any better!!!.....You don't ever hear these labels put
on city people and their sufferings.
People are not born farmers. Unless one is born with mental or physical
disabilities, we are able to make choices, including our career path.
Country people, LIKE MY WIFE, can choose to move to the city, be educated in
any number of areas and make big dollars...if they so choose.

Thirdly, my point of "...they choose to farm..." was in response to Jill
Dening's comment that "...My heart goes out to the farmers, who are in siege
mentality. We sit at our cosy computers and criticise them from our
positions of financial security...", implying that a city person by
definition is financially secure, or at least those who have access to the
Internet and that farmers are financially insecure. My point is that,
barring accidents and unpreventable circumstances, if a farmer is
financially insecure (insecurity being defined by opinion), they choose to
be financially insecure.

Finally, I point out that I said alot of farmers, not all. That isn't
'tarring with the same brush'. To be specific it makes me fiercely angry
that as we speak, there are farmers in Western Australia clearing land for
development that they know, without a doubt, will turn into a salt bed in a
few years. In for a quick buck, with massive side effects. That is defined
in the legal world as unconscionable conduct.

Cheers and quite welcome for refutations to the points I have put forward,

PS: I do get off my backside and help the environment with plantations, not
to big note myself, but to make a point that I don't have a problem with
verbal diarrhoea.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Geering <>
To:  <>
Date: Thursday, 25 November 1999 11:03
Subject: birding-aus Re: Land Clearing QLD

>"They CHOOSE to farm. When I have children, I will teach them very early on
>that other people aren't going to wipe their backside for them."
>I was going to sit back and watch this thread slide by.  I recall that last
>year a thread on land clearing and revegetation went on for ages with very
>little consensus reached.
>The above comment just drives home the chasm between many city people and
>those in the country.  This was something that for a long time I, as a
>country lad, thought was a beat-up but I now realise, to my horror, that it
>is real.  Little wonder that country people are suspicious when approached
>about conservation issues.  It has taken five years to overcome this in the
>Capertee Valley where many landholders are now actively doing things that
>will really benefit woodland fauna (with funding assistance from the local
>Regent Honeyeater Operations Group).  The same picture is repeated in the
>Lurg area of NE Victoria and elsewhere across the country where
>conservation groups are taking the time and effort to understand where
>farmers are coming from.  The Superb Parrot project is another very good
>How about not tarring every farmer with the same brush.  Yes, there are
>some out there that couldn't give a stuff but I think they are in the
>minority.  There are renegade twitchers out there that give birdwatching a
>bad name (it has taken years to repair damage caused by a few in the
>Capertee Valley, for example) but we don't except that this is the norm.
>Many farmers just don't have the resources that we would like to see put
>into conservation on their properties.  In many cases they would like to
>see it as well, if only to arrest land management issues such as tree
>dieback, salinity and soil erosion that they have inherited.  Times, and
>attitudes, ARE changing.  Many farmers are struggling to survive, taking
>jobs off-farm to do so.  To say that they choose to farm shows no
>comprehension of the real situation.  Many have no choice.  What are they
>to do, move to the city and live on unemployment benefits?  For others the
>lifestyle offsets the trials faced, just as some of us may have made
>decisions to live where we live.
>It's perfectly fine to state an opinion and be concerned about what is
>happening out there.  We should be concerned!  By all means lobby hard to
>stop this habitat clearing, but please make sure of your facts before
>spouting off and making personal attacks on a group of whom you have no
>understanding.  An informed argument will be listened to before an emotive
>uninformed argument.
>For those who are really serious about the conservation of our birds, why
>not get of your backsides and do something about it.  There are dozens of
>projects out there right across Australia that are crying out for
>volunteers to help.  The Threatened Bird Network at Birds Australia (phone
>03 9882 2622, fax 03 9882 2677, email  will
>put you in touch with them.
>Glad I got that off my chest.
>David Geering
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