A successful Pink Angels cocktail party
Just a letter to put a different point of view on the Macquarie marsh wetlands.
The Ramsar convention states that their interest is to protect waterbird habitat and all wetland biodiversity and to promote the wise use of all wetlands. Wetlands include swamps, marshes, billabongs or bodies of water whether natural or artificial.
Wise use of wetlands under the Ramsar convention is broadly defined as maintaining the ecological character of the wetland and protecting waterbird habitat. Does this embrace the clearing of marsh country to irrigate crops?
Perhaps now is a good time to determine if fattening cattle is better for the environment than irrigating green crops.
Cattle fattening in the Macquarie marshes is supported by a taxpayer-funded yearly release of environmental water, this practice consumes and degrades about 70 per cent of the endangered common reed and couch grass vegetation that supports the water birds and releases large amounts of carbon.
Irrigation of green crops consumes and exports carbon and, on most irrigation farms, provides additional refuges and feeding grounds for water birds. Isn’t it time we questioned the experts about their oft quoted “a good environmental outcome was achieved” and ask them how environmental outcomes are measured?
Good environmental outcomes can only be achieved if the landscape is managed as a whole. Water alone will not generate the desired improvements in environmental outcomes and bird breeding.
The land, including the vegetation and all its biodiversity, underpins the environmental outcomes for birds, fish, plants and those of us who also enjoy these things.
It is worth mentioning that the environmental releases cost the state government between $120 million to $150 million annually, and the federal government $2 million in usage fees in the Macquarie alone – this in a country where government policy is to not subsidise farmers in any way. In other words, approximately 14 landholders receive $8 to 10 million annually.
Finally, the Southern Macquarie marsh nature reserve is destroyed and the only remaining nature reserve is the Northern marsh and a private property called Burrima, and both of these are under threat because of complete lack of control of kangaroos. Micheal Mckay,
Warren The Editor,
On behalf of Pink Angels I would like to thank you very much for sponsoring the advertising of our recent Cocktail Party in Dubbo Photo News.
The event was a great success with 200 people attending and the proceeds will be used to buy surgical scales for Dubbo Base Hospital, and also compression sleeves and pedometers for Lymphedema patients receiving treatment at Lourdes Hospital.
Your support is wonderful and very much appreciated.
Pink Angels Inc., Dubbo
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