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NSW Premier Rees approves Red Gum 42,000 ha National Park

To his credit, NSW Premier, Nathan Rees in the days preceding the 4th December 2009 (his ousting as Premier) announced the creation of a massive new red gum national park along the Murray River near Deniliquin to protect much of the state's remaining river red gum forests from logging.

Loggers have complained because all the 300 year old trees they chainsawed have gone but won't magically grow back, so they want more old red gums trees to chainsaw 'to feed their families' and to 'keep their jobs' and to preserve their 'tight-knit communities' which depend on logging... just like in the 1800s when similar 'tight-knit communities' in Hobart and Albany depended on whaling.

Someone enlightened should play them a DVD on Easter Island's history.


Yes, this is good news, but why do the rally thing through the Caldera?
Rees and now Keneally - just working for the property nabobs.
Was the park an afterthought - the only thing they would let him do?
The mind boggles.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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Perhaps Nathan Rees listened to former NSW Premier Bob Carr, who according to a Sydney Morning Herald [SMH]article five months ago dated 24-Jul-09, Carr urged Rees to support the campaign to stop logging river red gums in the Riverina, arguing that saving the forests was, "the most urgent nature conservation challenge we face in this state".

"Environmentalists accuse Forests NSW of allowing "illegal" logging of the red gums, saying it breaches federal laws protecting threatened species including the superb parrot."

The SMH article is entitled 'Carr tells Rees to save Riverina red gums' by journalists Marian Wilkinson and Brian Robins.

Carr argued in his SHM article dated 24th July "for large parts of the river red gum forests to be declared national parks. This would seriously curtail logging that has been strongly supported by the Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald."

Carr states:

* 80 % of the landscape along the Murray has already been cleared
* Some stretches 75 % of the trees are already dead or dying or stressed because of drought and climate change

So Nathan Rees appointed the state's Natural Resources Commissioner, Dr John Williams, to conduct a forest assessment of the Riverina red gums to recommend which areas to conserve and which may be subjected to further logging. The NRC's Preliminary Assessment Report on River Red Gums was released to the public on 30 November (a week ago). Rees had delayed the delivery of the NRC's final report to 21 December so that further consultations could be undertaken.

Rees stated view was "The NSW Government is committed to achieving a long-term balanced outcome for the region, having consideration for both the high conservation value areas of the forest and the sustainability of jobs in the region." So looks like he decided early in light of the uncertainty of him retaining the NSW Labor premiership that was decided on 3 December.

The forest dispute puts the state forestry lobby and Mr Macdonald in conflict with federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett. The industry claims more than 1000 jobs are at stake but conservationists say fewer than 200 jobs are involved.

Carr back in July argued "there are only 136 jobs in red gum logging on public lands in this state. Timber jobs are 0.2 per cent of employment in the region. All can be accommodated in new national parks. How can I be so certain?

First, because Victoria has just done it. As of June 30, logging stopped forever in 91,000 hectares of red gum wetlands. The outcome is jobs positive because there are 30 new park ranger jobs in four new parks, 10 jobs in forest management and 24 jobs in the tourism sector.

Second, because NSW offers loads of experience in world-significant nature conservation made possible through industry restructuring without job losses.

..."Rural towns did not "die". The old timber towns now boast communities with a strong economic base, world-class national parks on their doorstep and thriving nature-based tourism.

So again, loggers case to justify profiteering from scarce native forests, is to rely upon the jobs pretense. In this case they've pulled a nice round 1000 jobs out af a very dark place. The jobs pretense has become a tried a tested hookwink gem used by loggers, developers and those seeking to profiteer from natural asset destruction.

The Mayans used a slash and burn method of clearing the forest in order to produce ground for crop growing. This extremely wasteful method created a lack of natural food for the local wildlife and forced migration and scattering.

From pollen trapped in ancient layers of lake sediment, scientists have learned that around 1,200 years ago, just before the Mayan Empire's collapse, tree pollen disappeared almost completely and was replaced by the pollen of weeds. In other words, the region became almost completely deforested.

Lack of ground cover would have caused rising temperatures would have also disrupted rainfall patterns and caused soil erosion.

The Maya would have relied on rainwater saved in reservoirs to survive, so a disruption in rainfall could have had terrible consequences.

The Maya’s survival relied on the cultivation of their crops, such as maize, which requires rainfall. With a 200-year long drought, the soil would have gone almost completely dry and there would be crop failure resulting in widespread famine and probably susceptibility to disease as well.

Nature has no obligation to provide "jobs" and support "tight knit communities"!

It seems that modern people are repeating some of the Maya's mistakes.

On the issue of native deforestation by State-sanctioned loggers, Vivienne rightly draws upon historical analogy of the Maya and how deforestation of ancient Central American rainforests brought on the collapse of a wealthy complex society.

Studying History

Understanding the collapse of societies in history can aid insight into sustainability of today's wealthy complex societies, to recognise symptoms of problems early to help avert repeating histories. Clearly, halting deforestation is lesson numero uno.

History is not studied to the extent that it has been. The trend is for 'short-termism' and so many now choose to study wealth generating courses in 'business', 'commerce', and 'finance'. The trend started with the baby boomers and has become trans-generational. Boomers have sold short-termism 'get-rich-quick' career directions to X-Gens and Y-Gens. Even in these fields, there exists history of the science and profession, yet it is not taught, because it doesn't earn the big bucks. In the field of accounting, the study of Accounting Theory provides so much insight into accounting concepts and assumptions of which short-termists accept unquestioningly.

It is this unquestioning rush to prove the previous generation old hat, that caused the Global Financial Crisis. Financial history has been ignored and look at the consequences! The young turks and vikings of finance thought with new methods they could, abandon the lessons of financial history, supplant traditional risk and return finance funamentals. Now we see the pendulum swinging back toward the traditional, in finance, society and politics. Human strends are predictable so long as one does not follow the herd, or sheep.

Succession Planning

In the world of acccounting and business, especially family business, the need for succession planning has long been an important focus. What happens to the familiy business when the family head dies? The business should not collapse in a heap. Yet where is the succession planning at the community level and in government? Individuals and communities could never trust government to look after them. Individualism and self-reliance throughout Australia's colonial history has been a prominent trait of Australian's because they couldn't rely on government.

Public education needs to be about succession planning on an individual and community scale. Tight knit communities risk collapse if they seek to rely on government for salvation and not to learn from their own histories and the histories of comparable others and to succession plan. Since Australia went to war, the Australian public has turned to political leaders to get them through, since only the federal government has the where-with-all at a national level. This reliance has been reinforced in subsequent national crises - WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Fuel Crisis now the GFC.

Problem is this reliance on a national leader has made us psychologically dependent. We have lost that innate self-reliance of colonial times and we are weak for it, like lost sheep. In the last few weeks, Australia has been so caught up in the Federal Liberal Party leadership dilemma, like sheep lost without a leader. Now they've found one, every one can go back home, the world is not going to end. Happy sheep.

Community media like CanDoBetter have an opportunity to educate the community about the relevance and importance of history and to learn from it, and of the importance of being self-reliant and of succession planning at all levels - federal, state, region, community and family.

Vivienne, please elaborate on how we can learn from the Maya.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

There's also brief mentions of the failed Mayan, Chaco Anasazi and Ancient Greek civilisitations in the candobetter 'about' page.