Illegal shooting of native animals
THE illegal shooting and killing of native animals is alive and well.
The perception of responsible gun ownership is a myth when our native animals are illegally shot.
No one is held responsible for the crime because the political will to enforce the law by adequately funding the Authorities who investigate these crimes is insufficient.
The decision by the NSW Government to exchange favours with the Shooters and Fishers Party that allowed hunting in many public areas represents a bellwether change in the political attitude towards gun ownership, hunting and the environment.
For many years both the major political parties have held a realistic and respectful view of the conservation ideals of the voting public.
The gun buyback scheme initiated by the Federal Government after the Port Arthur shootings had provided for a relatively stable period of gun use, so those who demonstrated a real need for fire arms had them, recreational gun ownership was considered a want, and not a need consequently fire arms licences were restricted.
With the proclamation of the Game and Feral Animal Bill, the aspirations of shooting and hunting fraternity started to see realization.
With recent changes to various laws we have now arrived at a place where there will be recreational hunting in our parks. Being a member of the Game Council allows for a fire arms licence to be issued, a self-promoting conflict of interest. Further amendments may even allow for shooting native water fowl.
When firearms are in the hands of those who want them for whatever reason, as opposed to need, the likely hood of indiscriminate use is higher.
On Saturday evening a wombat was shot from the back of a small white truck, he was less than one hundred meters from his burrow.
The person that reported the shooting is a Vietnam veteran He advised that there were several different guns in use, that they were high powered, there were many shots, and these people were spotlighting, less than 300 meters from his home.
He showed me a place where many native animal bodies had been shot and dumped in the bush. He is a reasonable man, but simply has had enough.
The authorities have been notified, the small truck is gone, and the native animals are dead.
The wombat is dead, and the talk by the minister of a $220,000 fine for killing native animals is just talk, not justice.
(WIRES NSW chairman)
Koala recovery or con?
The biggest hurdle for the NSW Government's koala recovery proposals is a lack of scientific credibility and your article 'Trainee celebrates more koala finds near Bermagui' (Narooma News, 18 July) is about those who don't believe they are being conned.
The last koalas, occupying forests in the coastal catchments from Dignams to Wapengo, were nominated as endangered and likely to become extinct in 2001. The consistent feature in these forests is that they are all growing on the same 'soil landscape'. However in 1996 the Environment Protection Authority made a deal with Forests NSW to ignore this science and the next year, 1997 when the first soil landscape mapping was publicly released, Forests NSW also released their proposed koala recovery plan. This plan is what the NSW Government is implementing.
The nomination was rejected by the NSW Scientific Committee in 2007, although they did acknowledge logging and extensive canopy dieback as threats and as late as last year Forests NSW were maintaining their claim that there are hundreds, if not thousands of koalas. Changing this situation was the $5.6+ million that the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (SRCMA), the Office of Environment and Heritage and Forests NSW successfully applied for from the Biodiversity Fund, apparently on the basis that they all finally agree these are the last endemic koalas.
Prior to this annoucement, Koala Recovery Officer Chris Allen provided $100k to the Cooma-Monaro Council to assist with management of the non-endemic bark eating koala population that are slowly killing the trees in that area. The intention of federal koala listing earlier this year was to differentiate between populations that are declining and those that aren't and Mr Allens ongoing claims about 'recovering' coastal koalas borders on deliberate deception.
Most of the Biodiversity Fund cash goes to the SRCMA to plant trees on private land. This proposal is based on Forests NSW's koala recovery plan and more recently advice from Dr Rod Kavaugh, who located a koala in Tanja State Forest during the early 1990's and found invading Bell-miner colonies, listed as a Key Threatening Process in NSW, had increased 'biodiversity' in regrowth forests. There is only one location in NSW where koalas have used planted trees, on the basalt derived soils around Gunnadah.
The University of Sydney's Faculty of Agriculture and Environment and United States Studies Centre recently held a research symposium titled 'Soil Security', because "Challenges to the health and functioning of our soil pose significant issues for the future of humanity and the planet". When the NSW Government can talk about soils and koalas the species may have a future, until then their koala recovery efforts can only be described as a confidence trick.
No mention of spill
I AM curious as to why there has not been a mention of a sewage spill that allegedly occurred in Narooma at Centenary Drive on or about July 10 at 7am.
As an oyster farmer in Narooma this has a direct impact on our farming as we are closed to sales at the busiest time of the year for us for a mandatory three weeks.
If one was a cynic you would think that perhaps it was kept quiet because of the school holidays that were on at the time, and heaven forbid if any tourists found out about it, but of course you would only think that way if you were a cynic.
In my view, if this sort of incident is left unreported by the local media, then nothing has to change as no one is held accountable.
I know the council is doing a fantastic job, because they keep telling us they are, but who watches the watchers, if an individual let that much raw sewage go, (and we still don't know how much) into the inlet, they would probably end up in jail.
But there is absolutely no way it would be kept quiet we would be reading all about the diligent council officers prosecuting these criminals to the full extent of the law blah, blah, blah.
Get the facts right
COULD I suggest that if Nick Summers wants to have a shot at me [Narooma News, July 18] that he gets his facts right.
I didn’t “get Keith Dance elected several times as number two” on my ticket.
At the last election we didn’t run tickets - we both stood as independent single candidates and were strong advocates of “below the line” voting as I am doing again this election.
Yes, I did send him my second preference and both Clr Dance and I sent our third preferences to Cathy Milliken from Tuross who unfortunately just missed out on being elected.
Incredibly, he is advocating that female candidates be given number two on “tickets”.
They are unlikely to be elected from that position. At the last election, and again at this election, I have been encouraging any genuine female candidate to be in the number one spot on the ticket, otherwise they maybe being used as “cannon fodder”.
As to having a woman in number two on my ticket, Nick, I don’t run on a ticket.
The voters hopefully will give me their number one vote and then can vote 2,3,4… below the line [the number required to cast a formal vote ‘below the line’], for any female or male candidates of their choice.
THE 2011 Eurobodalla LEP has been endorsed by the NSW Minister for Planning, and although the environmental conservation zoning E3 has been deferred, environmental overlays remain in place on rural lands.
Urban landholders affected by the extreme environmental management zones applied to many public reserves and community lands in the Shire, need to closely monitor Council’s approach to managing their conservation and restoration obligations under the new environmental zones.
Watch for a decrease in Council maintenance and an increase in associated health and fire hazards.
Rural landholders affected by environmental overlays need to be aware of their legal obligations under a range of Environmental Acts enacted by the NSW Government
Will this council be “understanding” when enforcing the legislation in relation to land that they have assessed as environmentally sensitive?
I think not. Check out past rural land cases this council has bought before the Land and Environment Court.
Don’t look to the major political parties to restore the status quo.
This LEP was amended to satisfy the Greens, supported by a Labor government in their search of green preferences, and now endorsed by a Liberal Minister?
With Council elections coming up, search out candidates who oppose the LEP and will work to reverse the new environmental zonings in all areas, except those that have been scientifically proven to be environmentally sensitive.
Find politicians who recognise that the real problem lies with the attitude and agenda of planning and environment staff within Councils and the State Government.
If confidence is to be restored in local government in this shire, it is essential that a “ratepayer focus” is restored within council and the state planning bureaucracy.
One thing the LEP fight has taught me is the importance of community groups that are prepared to stand up and hold politicians accountable for their actions.
Get behind such groups and encourage them to field candidates in the coming council elections.
Mayoral column – thanks to Cancer Council
LAST Wednesday evening, the South Coast branch of the Cancer Council thanked a number of people who have contributed an enormous amount of time and energy in organising and supporting the ‘Relay for Life’.
No one could have failed to be impressed by last year’s Relay which started in really wet weather that raised concerns about whether the event could go on.
It did go on, the rain went away and the Relay once again showed how people come out to support their friends and families suffering from cancer and to celebrate with the survivors.
Cancer Council figures show that the top four most common concerns affecting people across the Eurobodalla are prostate cancer, melanoma, lung cancer and then breast cancer.
Around 150 new cases of these most common forms affect residents each year. There is help and support for those suffering from cancer and their families and friends.
Anybody needing advice or help should contact this helpline 131 120.
The Minister for Planning, the Hon Brad Hazzard, released a Green Paper on the 16 July titled “A New Planning System for NSW”.
We welcome the release of this comprehensive document and the opportunity it provides to review planning regulations in this State but we do have one major concern.
The Minister’s covering letter to Council says that “we recognise that local council representatives have the potential to add considerable expertise and knowledge as we further develop the policy options in the Green Paper” and goes on to say “we will be undertaking detailed consultation with local councils and other stakeholders before the exhibition period ends on September 14.”
The problem is that most council activities will cease for all of August because of the upcoming NSW Local Government Elections.
The result of those elections may not even be known by the 14 September deadline.
The new Eurobodalla Shire Council will certainly not have had an opportunity to discuss or form any relative comment on this important document.
We are requesting the closing date be moved out to October 29.
Clr Fergus Thomson