With the loss of Aboriginal forest management across Australia during the 19th century, historical evidence has revealed a change in the structure and species composition of large areas of Australia’s native forests.
The forests and woodlands that have not been cleared for agriculture or urban development now carry a denser understorey and a greater number of trees, than was typical in forests that existed prior to European settlement.
An increasing frequency of large scale wild fires as well as the harvesting of forests for a range of forest products has also contributed to a reduction in the average size and number of mature trees and an increase in area of relatively dense regrowth of various ages.
As concerns are raised about the changing biodiversity and decline in populations of icon species across both public and private land, it is becoming more obvious that regardless of land tenure, active forest management is required to maintain biodiversity. Regardless of land tenure, threats to biodiversity, including introduced predators and herbivores, high fuel levels and invasive weeds must be actively managed.
Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) are parcels of Crown land reserved under legislation for use by travelling stock. According to the Local Land Services website, LLS is responsible for the care, control and maintenance of almost 500,000ha of TSRs in NSW. The LLS has published a draft planning framework for TSRs.
Given the important ecological roll TSRs play in agricultural landscapes, the submission below, has been made by Vic Jurskis to the General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5, that will review the Primary Industries, Land and Water budget. The committee has the opportunity to question the Minister for Primary Industries and department staff on how money will be spent.
In 2013, the Victorian Government made a minor change to the rules relating to biodiversity offsets required for clearing of native vegetation on private land. The government decided to make native forest harvesting operations, including the thinning of regrowth forests, subject to “offset” payments.
The bureaucrats who made this decision, are incapable of distinguishing between the impacts of permanent clearing of native vegetation and the disturbance caused by harvesting. Given the massive costs of buying offsets, the government has effectively turned private native forests in Victoria into de facto national parks. A win for anti-harvesting activists and a loss for biodiversity.
A face book post by a couple, who care for orphaned and injured native animals, was recently brought to the attention of the South East Timber Association. The carers had found a swamp wallaby, which had unfortunately been caught in a wild dog trap. Despite the care given to the wallaby, she and her joey died. The post unleashed a string of abusive comments about hunters.
Given the response to this sad incident, the post begs the question as to why there is not a torrent of abuse against vehicle drivers who take a daily toll on wallabies, wombats, kangaroos and a wide variety of less common species. A series of questions raised by Greens Party NSW Upper House Member Mehreen Faruqi also brings attention to the Greens Animal Welfare policies and the potential for these policies to allow predators to inflict carnage on our native fauna.
Feral Animal Control and the Welfare of Native Fauna
Greens Perverse Policies Push Native Fauna to Extinction