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Private Letters to Prime Minister Howard

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:26 pm
by duane
Appearing in the SMH May 28, 2007 was Phillip Hudson's headline 'How annihilation looks for Howard'

quote......"IF JOHN HOWARD'S worst fears were realised in this year's election, Coalition numbers in the House of Representatives would be halved and the Prime Minister, Peter Costello and Malcolm Turnbull would be among 13 ministers to lose their seats."....unquote

Dear Prime Minister,

The above was the headline from today’s SMH. It does not look good for a return of the Coalition Government and if the predicted loss by yourself and others were to come true your Party could be in the wilderness for 10 or more years.

How will you be able to turn it around? Your IR policy is set to crucify your government especially with the unions, your water plans are meeting with hostile opposition from a growing number of states and you are asking the Australian people to give you another term in office. Indeed, the above forecast looks very much like becoming a reality.

There is one issue Prime Minister that you have misread in the Australian electorate and you have misread it badly for a politician of your experience. And that is, young families want to see a future for their children and their grandchildren. That future can only be provided if we have a healthy landscape, one, which can sustain us, not one which is in decline. Our Murray Darling Basin is on the verge of becoming a desert yet you say “Pray for rain”. Our landscape is getting hotter and drier and everyone knows that it doesn’t rain on a desert very often.

There is only ONE issue that can save you and the Government. Give Australians the leadership they aspire to and the hope that they need. Tell them that you are going to restore the degradation occurring in our landscape and revitalise the land and secure our water and reverse the effects of climate change.

How?? Gerry Harvey meet with your representatives some time ago and suggested that Peter Andrews, originator of Natural Sequence Farming, had the solution to restoring and repairing our landscape and securing our water. But don’t take Gerry’s or my word for it. Today, Peter Andrews is in Parliament House meeting with John Anderson and Gary Nairn. They have seen first hand Peter’s ability to transform our landscape.

This opportunity will never come again Prime Minister. I urge that you follow this up thoroughly and give yourself the chance to be remembered in the history books for all the right reasons, for all people are judged on their final hooray. Let yours be in the winning team.

Duane Norris
81 Heath Road
Hardys Bay
NSW 2257

28th May, 2007

I have not received a reply or acknowledgement of my letter...I don't expect I will.

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:23 pm
by Ian James
What a good letter.
Although I think that the answer to, and the responsability for the current degradation of our agricultural landscape lies totaly with the farmers and landholders who actualy control the day to day projects undertaken on their own properties right over the breadth of the country.
Not untill the landholders themselves become accountable for their own land and their own actions. Not untill farmers actualy get out there and start their own projects, which as I have seen on my own property can deliver results within days of innitial action. Not untill this happens and results of improvement are shown accross the land on small scales but widely distributed accross the land will anyone take any notice at all.
I put it to the farmers all over the land who have the most intimate knowlege of their own lands degradation and suffering to become accountable for their own lands health on a scale that they can manage.
Through this effort farmers themselves, through action, not words, can innitiate from the grass roots the revolution of land health that no politician could ever ignor.
It is time to stop passing the buck. Time to get out there and make your own properties healthy and to lead the way for politicians to follow.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:06 am
by Angela Helleren
For years Government agencies and farming organizations have given their advise and funding to farmers in various programmes, information services....and with good intentions but not necessarily correct.

So while I agree with Ian that the land management ends with the farmers or landowners, many have been mislead into believing they were using best practise.

All politicans, irrespective of political party, need to be informed of the benefits Natural Sequence Farming has to offer, the environment and economy.

Now is the best time to address the failed practises of the past ... the public want real solutions to tackle Global Warming and efficient management of Water Supplies.

Regardless of who wins the Federal election, ...or States or Council, we still need the experience of Peter's lifetime observations and labour, to be passed on now and for future generations.

Government could assist by funding training courses.

Peter's graduates could roll out across the country assisting farmers in their individual needs, talking to communities encouraging all to get involved in drought proofing the country.

I hope you will post some picture of your property improvements, Ian.
It sounds like you have been very busy! :D

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:47 am
by Ian James
Sure, I have lots of photos I have taken on my phone, Just have to work out how to get them on here. Give me a mo. and I'll have them up.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:04 pm
by duane
Angela, that was an excellent post and I agree with all that you have said.

Accountability for the continued use of past practice.

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:30 am
by Ian James
Angela thank you for your reply. Duane is correct, it is an excellent post.

One thing every farmer in the past who has ever worked the land held close in his heart was the health and improvement of the land over which he had control.

It is easy to come across as if one is placing the blame for the current land health situation on the sholders of the farmers of years gone by.

This would be a huge mistake.

As you accurately point out Angela, many farmers have in the past been mislead into believing they were using best practice by Government agencies and farming organizations which have given advice and funding to farmers through various programmes and information services all with good intentions but not necessarily always with the results they intended.

Accountability though for the continued use of past practices and responsability for the future health of their land can and should only lay in the hands of the farmer who controls the day to day running of that land.

It can only benifit all to have Peter's lifetime observations and labour shared with farmers now and for future generations. It is imperative that this happens now so that they are given a clear direction to follow.

Government must be shown that assistance is neccessary to fund training courses.

The way to do this is through grass roots action accross the land.
Farmers need to be shown the way.

Your suggestion Angela, that a team of Peter's graduates could roll out across the country assisting farmers in their individual needs, talking to communities encouraging all to get involved in drought proofing the country is hitting the nail right on the head.

I have enroled for a Nuffield scholarship under the NSF topic with the aim of gathering funding to allow me to study Peters projects and practices and to raise the profile of his work.

If successful I will be required to present my findings to a huge audience right accross the land and further.

I will be making it a central theme that to further the spread of knowlege to farmers of correct NSF practices future funding to educate a team of graduates which could then roll out across the country is a priority.

Thus far I have been selected for an interview to further assess my topic and suitability as a scholar.

Here is hoping.


Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:18 am
by duane
Peter's belief is that he as a farmer has made all the same mistakes in the past as has any other farmer. And as a farmer he has seen his enviornmental capital erode and his import costs ever increasing linked as they are to oil and his returns ever diminishing.

Farmers want to become profitable and more importantly make their land and farm sustainable for themselves and their children.

Let's admit we got it wrong and move on. Let's work with Nature and not against her.

I was trained as a agricultural scientist, horticulturist and environmentalist with Charles Birch and others. I learnt things which were taught to me which are now in the dodo's library.

I have also witnessed much of Peter Andrews practical understanding of ecosysytems, farming , science and biology. At first my training had taught me to be sceptical but I decided I did not want to bring my personal bias into listening and discussion with Peter. I wanted to listen.

There is great knowledge and understanding within the grey matter of one Peter Andrews. Keep a sceptic mind if you must but keep it fully open. Humility is a good virtue.

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:59 pm
by Shirley Henderson
I keep hearing about water saving harvesting, desalination and irrigation. Take, take, take. This is all about taking from the land, the waterways and now the sea. Killing all the life in it during the process. It is time to give water back to the landscape and start recycling it as it should be in nature. I have had high hopes about Mr Howard giving the Federal government control of the Murray Darling but in the back of my mind I keep hoping that at the last minute he is gong to surprise us all and say he has discovered Peter Andrews and show the whole country his work and give all of us a new hope for our future. I really think the public will love it, support it and get behind any politician that has the guts to do it. I agree this method of landcare is the best I have ever seen and this is very clear to all that take the time to recognise Peters work. I am behind you guys all the way and will do what I can, when I can. My vote counts :!:
regards again

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:31 pm
by duane
Shirley that was a great posting. Thank you.

I would like your permission to email it to the PM Office and to Malcolm Turnbull's PA, Helen Geogopoulus.

It would send a strong message to both if you wanted to do the same.

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:25 am
by Shirley Henderson
Hello Duane,
Please send any of my previous message on, I would like him to read it.

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:38 pm
by duane
I was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply to my letter from the Prime Ministers Office today. But it was worth the wait and gave me encouragement that both the Government and the PM and some of his ministers are looking very closely at Peter's work.

Here is an extract

"Dear Mr Norris

Mr Turnbull is well aware of the work of Mr Peter Andrews and the positive impacts of natural sequence farming on the Australian landscape.

I encourage you to continue to discuss these matters with Mr Turnbull as the Minister responsible for Environment and Water and with Mr Peter McGauran as the Minister for Agriculture".

It was signed by the PM's Principal Private Secretary.

I (we) will continue to discuss these matters with the Ministers and the Government.....they are SO important to the future of this great nation and its people.

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:45 pm
by Ian James
Congratulations Duane on your reply received from the Prime Minister.
That was well deserved, I expect your letter is hitting a nerve and so it should.
The neglect of the rural population and the outback landscape has seen an incredible decline in productivity and potential and in rural communities.
It is possible now with environmental catastrophe at the gates that the city dwellers that hold the gift of the government in their numbers may take notice of their land as it begins to near the grave.

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:14 pm
by miriam van lith
I would hope the leaders of this country could recognize the opportunity the NSF principles offer the future of Australia.
NFS should become a part of the next election debate
Is there a petition that can be put to the Prime Minister

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:33 am
by duane
The latest IPCC Report shows that climate change is potentially the biggest threat to human civilisation as we know it. Our politicans should hang their heads in shame for not acting sooner...clearly, if we can't reverse the growing trend they will have to bear the consequences for their failure to show true leadership preferring instead to focus on the short term feast of 'power' whilst ignoring the long term future of the nations people.

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:59 am
by duane
It seems that the words above have become quite prophetic...John Howard has lost in a rout, maybe even his own seat and many Ministers have lost as well.

Kevin Rudd stated last night he will govern for all Australians....let's be sure we all hold him and his government to that promise.