I am thoroughly appalled at the ease with which the government department that was responsible for Weeds, the Environment and Primary Industry, (it has been called many things), has so swifly and easily washed their hands of any such duties. I would very much like to know what their current job descriptions, funded by our taxes, are.
The early settlers, soldier settlers, migrants and all other Aussie battlers have busted their guts in the boiling hot sun, in gullies choked with blackberries and giant tiger snakes for years on end to get on top of weed infestations. In earlier times farmers risked their health using what we now know to be extremely dangerous chemicals.
And to what avail? Once upon a time the growth of noxious weeds was policed. The result? Lovely farmland free of blackberries, ragwort and thistles.
With changing land use, some country areas, like mine, have absentee owners, who, even if they took a step on their property, wouldn't know the difference between a blade of grass and a tree. Others lease land to people who only care about the returns on their beef cattle. Still others have no rural experience at all. Their only outdoor activity is going from the car to the house.
The current government department no longer regard ragwort, blackberries and thistles as a threat or a problem. I don't know how they arrived at that logic. If they were to come and visit me, they would see that I'm nearly surrounded by farms covered in these three weeds.
I have ragwort coming up in my front lawn. I am in despair at the future of my landholding. One year's seeding is 7 years weeding.
The old Diggers, fathers, mothers & grandfathers would be rolling over in their graves to see the sweat of their brows watering the crops of today's weeds and the disrespect and disregard the government now has for the rural environment.
Pull your socks up, employees of the people! Get out of your chairs and come and have a look.
Christine Webb, Mountain View