August 11th 2001

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Articles from this issue:

Cover Story: The building industry's Royal Commission

Canberra Observed: Telstra creates headache for Beazley pledge

Straws in the Wind: Peter's Friends

Western Australia: WA Liberals' preference deal could be decisive

Red light districts don't work

The Media

Singapore funds (letter)

Tony Abbott criticised (letter)

Birth dearth (letter)

Parenting payments (letter)

Tree cover (letter)

Drug Deaths (letter)

Middle Ages climate (letter)

LAW: International Criminal Court: the dangers

The companies driving US-Australia free trade agreement

Books promotion page

survey link


Tree cover (letter)

by Leon Ashby

News Weekly, August 11, 2001

As a landholder concerned about sustainability, conservation and property rights, I support the Queensland National Party's calls for Robert Hill's sacking as Environment Minister.

Mr Hill has:

(1) Refused to state what a good level of native vegetation should be - is it 0.4 per cent as in his home state of South Australia, or 10-15 per cent as international green groups say, or 30 per cent as Queensland has?

If it's higher than 0.4 per cent, he should have been doing something about increasing it in SA.

(2) Refused to act on the cost of the "public good" conservation inquiry which had over 270 submissions.

Most (95 per cent) of these called for enforced conservation of native vegetation above the level to sustain biodiversity (i.e., 10-15 per cent ) to be paid for by the community.

(3) Refused to accept 37 years of research by Dr Bill Burrows on tree thickening in Queensland which shows 60 million hectares of grazing woodlands are increasing their biomass by an average of 911 kg/ha per year.

This research shows Queensland has 40 per cent more biomass growing than being removed and is therefore a carbon sink and not an emitter.

Mr Hill's prejudice on these issues is now legendary and he is Rural Australia's biggest problem in getting fair solutions to environmental and property rights issues.

We want someone who is not prejudiced against responsible managers.

Leon Ashby,
Landholders for the Environment,
Kongorong, SA

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