Unnatural Heritage Trust

Subject: Unnatural Heritage Trust
From: andrew stafford <>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 19:52:56 -0800 (PST)
Howdy doody,

A few people have been getting stuck into Stuart
Dashper regarding his comments on the Natural Heritage
journal, which is said to read:

>'Australia has more species of birds than any other
> continent on earth,
> >with more than 1000 varieties gracing our skies,
> waterways and landscape.
> >Regrettably, 23 species are presumed extinct,
> having not been sighted in
> >Australia for more than fifty years.'

I must say I'm with Stuart for throwing his hands in
the air (metaphorically speaking). Because, regardless
of how nice the journal looks, no matter what great
projects the Heritage Trust has funded through dubious
means, and no matter how one fiddles with the
taxonomy, I don't think it reflects well on the
credibility of those who have signed this clearly
misleading piece of tripe - that is, the minister and
his junior. The point is not what subspecies are being
referred to as having become extinct; the quote above
clearly refers to SPECIES - presumably those currently

Frankly, I doubt that much thought went into the
phrase "more than 1000 species gracing our sky" etc.
It would be nice, as one correspondent suggested, if
we could actually get our political benefactors to
actually believe a bit more of what they tell us and
more importantly, to act on the information, but like
Stuart I am deeply suspicious about their bona fides.

Unfortunately, there has been some newspaper reportage
even in the last few days of how so much of the money
from the NHT, paid for by the Telstra sale, has been
squandered on low-priority projects - many of them in
marginal Coalition electorates. I for one am not

Considering this government wouldn't commit to an
environmental policy at all without selling off half
of an (extremely profitable) communications carrier
first, it's not unreasonable that some among us will
be wary of said government's environmental credentials
and commitment.

Rant over.



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