Response to Don Ripper

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Subject: Response to Don Ripper
From: "graham harrington" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 14:28:18 +1000
As someone who has been on Birds Australia Council for seven years but is no longer centrally involved I would like to respond to Don Ripper's attempt to damage the organisation.
Whilst I can understand Don feels frustrated at the closure of RIBO after his many years on the management committee, I think everyone should face reality.  All the Observatories have struggled to maintain their operations for many years.  It is only by the selfless service of people like Don that they have survived.  However, they compete in a professional marketplace of ecotourism and education and neither field provides easy income.  Birds Australia has to constantly review its business operation, otherwise it really would face "demise". The Observatories cannot escape this scrutiny"., because they have the potential to run up debts that the rest of we members have to meet if THEY turn turtle.  In fact there have been some big debts in Observatory accounts in recent months. 
There is absolutely no danger of the "demise" of Birds Australia , whilst management is prepared to take the hard decisions.  It has adequate resources and a large cash flow.It is an ambitious organisation, which achieves enormously for the conservation and study of birds in Australia.  It has a very diverse membership, and we do not all hold the same priorities , but our personal sacred cows do have to be financially viable or really worth subsidising.
For my money, the decision on RIBO (whilst regrettable) is evidence of active management and as such gives me confidence for the future of Newhaven and Gluepot, not the reverse as Don suggests.
Graham Harrington
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