IT'S OFFICIAL!!! Ex-Govenor General's Announcement

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IT'S OFFICIAL!!! Ex-Govenor General's Announcement

Post by duane » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:04 pm

September 12, 2009 ... -fkqi.html

Push for maverick techniques to restore landscape By PAUL MYERS

IN WHAT he says is the biggest challenge of his career and potentially the most important project in the nation's history, the former governor-general Michael Jeffery is launching a national campaign to restore Australia's degraded landscape.

The campaign is based largely on the philosophies of the Hunter Valley farmer Peter Andrews whose three appearances on Australian Story on the ABC have produced a legion of advocates for his natural sequence farming techniques.

Major-General Jeffery is taking the first steps this weekend to convince 120,000 farmers to change their practices.

He has brought together 80 farmers and rural practitioners at Batemans Bay, including Mr Andrews, to lay the groundwork for Outcomes Australia - Restoring Our Landscape. General Jeffery hopes that within a decade a third of Australia's farmers - and eventually all - will have stopped using artificial fertilisers, dramatically boosted vegetation species, substantially reduced or ceased irrigation and adopted a more holistic, natural approach to farm management.

He also wants water to be recognised as the nation's most valuable asset, and managed by Federal Parliament.

"It's not impossible," he says. "The obstacles are considerable, but the benefits will be massive. ''About 350 million hectares of the 500 million hectares used for agriculture - 70 per cent - are degraded. Notwithstanding the work of many scientists and the innovation of farmers, we are losing the battle and something has to be done.

"This program could generate thousands of jobs in land regeneration, help tackle the world food shortage, enable renewal of rural communities and set a sustainable agricultural example for other countries that are sliding down the same slippery path of land degradation."

General Jeffery's endorsement of Mr Andrews's farming philosophies is the culmination of the maverick farmer's 30-year struggle to achieve acceptance. Along the way he has battled bureaucracy, financial ruin, the loss of his daughter by suicide and the break-up of his marriage.

"I read Peter's [first] book and thought it was really good stuff," General Jeffery says.

He later visited Tony Coote's property at Bungendore in southern NSW. "He, with Peter Andrews, explained the principles of natural sequence farming and I thought it … really has got something going for it."

In July, General Jeffery appeared on Australian Story with Mr Andrews and another high-profile supporter, the retailer Gerry Harvey, for whom Mr Andrews has spent six years successfully restoring the landscape on Baramul thoroughbred stud in the Widden Valley.

By then the seeds of the program had been sown. The retired governor-general is the chairman of the volunteer group Outcomes Australia and he added water management and land degradation to the group's activities. "My job will be to bring people and organisations together in a spirit of co-operation to try to do something positive about the dire situation we face …" he says. "We're not saying we have the total answer to all the problems in regenerating the landscape, but we have a pretty good indication of what needs to be done.''

General Jeffery says he will be approaching business and community leaders to provide their own and their organisations' skills at no cost.

One of the first tasks will be identifying key stakeholders in landscape management, then working with them to develop a plan that will include simplifying federal, state and local government land care regulations.

Acknowledging that water will be the most difficult issue, General Jeffery says it must be viewed as a national asset. "Our water has to be … controlled at the national level, with a value attached to it that equates to its importance."

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Post by ColinJEly » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:46 pm

Let us hope an answer can be found to our water crisis. What about the much maligned 'Cubbie Station' Surely either some of their water can be bought back or their entitlement can be cut back (maybe it hasn't happened because the government likes its take too much!)
I went for a walk along the local linear park recently and discovered a creek running through it fed by the local stormwater drains, this creek (Koonung Creek I think) feeds into the Yarra. Instead of stopping people from growing their own food perhaps some of this water could be used for this purpose.
Last summer I was walking through Treasury Place in Melbourne and was aghast to see all the drought stricken plants in Treasury Gardens, yet literally 25 metres away is about 2000 people in the State Government Offices, what happens to all the water from the handbasins and those lucky senior staff lucky enough to have their own private showers. Surely it would not be too difficult to put in a grey water handling plant to keep the gardens alive?

Shirley Henderson
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Post by Shirley Henderson » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:13 am

As most people know Sydney has experienced a dust storm event this week like we have never known. It certainly made me think long and hard about where the dust was coming from and why. The following day when the dust storm had blown away I was astonished to see so many people washing their cars as if that was important when we had just been given clear evidence about lack of water and ground cover. Car wash businesses were running at full capacity and I looked around me on the roads to see sparkling cars everywhere. WHAT A WASTE OF WATER!
To top it off, it was spoken of on the news as if washing cars was the most natural thing to be doing. Guess what, today we have woken up to another dust storm.........

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Post by novaris » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:29 pm

Makes you wonder are Sydney-siders people or lemmings :)
Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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