Refusal to collaborate
While critical koala habitat continues to burn, many may not be aware of the context behind the story (BDN, 28/1) where a "multi-agency project in the Murrah Flora Reserve to reintroduce fire into the koala habitat", is planned.
Regrettably the agencies do not know why koalas are found only in a few coastal forests, they don't know why koala numbers are not increasing and they don't know why forests are declining and are subject to dieback during dry weather and drought.
With plenty of things to learn last February the same agencies began another community engagement exercise, with the full intention of maintaining their ignorance, business as usual and doing nothing to help koalas. Hence the community consultation has involved withholding information, providing misinformation and refusing to collaborate with community efforts aimed at helping koalas.
There is no evidence to demonstrate the traditional owners ever burnt these forests because they would have known and as credible science tells us, the soils do not support grass. What the ongoing fires have demonstrated is that north westerly winds rarely enter the coastal forests between Bermagui and Tathra. This explains why the soils in these forest have sufficient remnant fertility to support a few koalas.
More burning will not help koalas, but it will keep a heap of public servants in their business as usual jobs.
Robert Bertram, Bermagui
Challenge of Fire
I've watched both the ABC and Channel 7 on the South East Fires, and where Q&A was emotive, the Cobargo Fire report clearly emphasised the failure of local and state government to allow control of the fuel on the forest floor.
In 2000-02 I attended meetings with council staff as they rewrote the LEP for the Bega Valley and the clear message then was the shire was becoming "greener" in attitude, so get used to it.
That was followed by Bob Carr annexing large parts of our shire as national parks and various state governments introducing continuous legislation to preserve native vegetation and recently, biodiversity; and, at the same time, reducing financial and general commonsense commitment to land management to assist those objectives.
It's not often now that you see bureaucrats away from the desktop analysis, checking on reality - and in the name of economic rationalisation and city centric focus, country NSW has faded into political insignificance until now.
The result has been continual expensive "road blocks" that stop development and increased land use controls that did not exist 30 years ago when Mayor Reg Taylor helped me to burn off land that I then owned, adjacent to his, at Kalaru at a time when commonsense overruled excessive, expensive and unnecessary regulation.
At great personal cost to our community, let's hope substantial change will now occur.
Michael Britten, Merimbula
I am finding it harder and harder to find real bacon. I have searched Woolworths, IGA and Coles supermarkets from Narooma to Bega and almost every brand is either "manufactured meat" or has 21% ingredients imported from Northern America or Europe but packaged in Australia. One even had 3% pork. What makes up the other 97%?
Even the people on the counter in the delicatessens can't tell me if the diced bacon they are selling is Australian or real pork.
What chemicals make up the "manufactured meat"? How frightening is that, when we are supposed to be looking after our health and avoiding chemicals. It is still packaged and sold as bacon!
I urge everyone to read the labels and do not purchase this rubbish that they are pushing onto their customers as food. The only Australian bacon I can find is at Coles in Bega and it is labelled "Australian Bacon Shortcuts" that is 98% Australian pork.
I have no affiliation with any pig breeders, but unless we start looking into what chemicals are being pushed onto us as food, then the cancer rates will continue to rise.
Can anyone tell me what "manufactured meat" really is?
Lori Hammerton. Bermagui
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