Why log forests?
MINISTER Redman has not only failed to challenge my claim that we log our forests at a loss, his failure to respond appears that he has been unable to provide an answer as to why we log our forests. I copied my letter to the Premier, and from his lack of response it appears he too does not know why we do it.
Why Western Australia, the richest state in the Commonwealth and one of the richest in the world, a state crying out for labour, persists with this destructive, archaic industry is bewildering. And to have both the Minister for Forestry and the Premier either refusing to or being unable to explain why we log our forests is a disgrace.
Peter Lane, Margaret River
Dog rules necessary
IN answer to Mario Palandri’s question in last week’s letters - no, Margaret River is not a town of dog-haters. Far from it. Most people here love dogs. Most dogs and their owners behave very well and most humans and dogs get on just swimmingly. There are, however, a minority of dog owners whose poor training, handling and control of their dogs spoil it for everyone else.
Why are there traffic rules on our roads? Because there is a risk that careless driving may cause injury. How many people drive dangerously? Very few. Why are fireworks illegal? Because the odd fireworks clown can put the eyesight of others in jeopardy. Why are there rules for dogs in public places? Because a minority of neglectful lazy dog owners don’t control their dogs, and things can end up going wrong.
A couple of months back there was a letter in this paper from the parents of some kids who were chased down their street in terror by a menacing dog, not an isolated incident apparently. A week or so later a response was sent in, not a message of condemnation but the advice that “there is also a responsibility by parents to teach their children about their behaviour around dogs”. Whilst dog knowledge is certainly worthwhile for kids, the responsibility for menacing dog behaviour lies squarely with the dog-owner. As soon as you take a dog off your private property, the dog’s behaviour is your behaviour - both legally and logically.
More recently a friend of mine was driving along Forest Grove Road when he came across a struggling roo on the road which had one giant Rottweiler’s teeth sunk into its tail, and another giant Rottweiler clamped onto its front leg.
They were literally ripping it apart. It was also bleeding from the neck. The dogs were chased off and the roo was humanely killed and later the rangers paid a visit, advising the dogs’ owners to control their dogs and keep their front gates shut. What do you think would happen if a person was caught ripping a dog apart with another person? Front page news? Off to court?
The gates on Forest Grove Road are still regularly left open.
It is only when all dog owners take responsibility for their dogs’ actions that we can hope to move on.
Clive DuCat, Margaret River
Man’s best friend
THANK you Mario Palandri for your excellent letter which appeared in the AMR Mail, March 28. I agree 100 per cent with everything you said.
My husband and I also spent some time in Europe last year and both remarked on how wonderful it was to see dogs being considered part of the family and allowed into pubs and cafes with their owners.
One shop we came across in England had a beautiful sign on the front door – “Dogs and well behaved children are welcome”! What does that tell us? We used to really enjoy taking our dogs on holiday with us, walking them and stopping off for a coffee but this is becoming a very rare and pretty much impossible exercise these days in WA – and particularly Margaret River! Man’s best friend deserves much better.
Lynda, Margaret River
WHO founded Augusta? Certainly not Captain John Molloy as stated in the opening sentence of Heirlooms join museum AMR Mail, Wednesday, March 21. Neither did the penniless Bussell brothers, nor the wealthy builder James Woodward Turner.
Officially there was no founder. All Governor Stirling wanted was empty land and plenty of it. By 1830 all land considered safe from attack by the Aborigines had been taken up and a great mob of grumbling migrants waited on the sandy beaches of Fremantle for land that wasn’t available.
The Emily Taylor, lying at Fremantle in March, 1830 was available to take some of those migrants off Stirling’s hands and sail them south to find land.
Captain Stirling went with them but there was no founding at that point. Stirling first checked out Leschenault Inlet for suitable land before sailing on to the mouth of the Blackwood River.
He was very impressed with what he saw, the land hungry passengers liked what they saw and the decision to stay was made and accepted. A relieved Stirling gladly landed his passengers, unloaded their possessions, made promises of support for the newest outpost of Empire and sailed away on the Emily Taylor. Now was he the founder?
Again certainly not. Stirling left behind him a tiny group of 50 people who would battle hardship, loneliness, lack of supplies, disappointments, dangers and grinding hard work to realise their dream of owning broad acres. We need look no further. That group of first pioneers - and Captain John Molloy was only one of them - founded Augusta. To all of them belongs the honour of Augusta’s founders.
Leita Bell (nee Turner), Augusta
Marine Park celebration
THE announcement of the Capes Ngari Marine Park is fantastic news for all ocean lovers. It finally ensures that the unique ecological and cultural values of the Capes marine environment can be protected and recognised for perpetuity.
It strikes the balance with some areas left for conservation and 93 per cent of the coastline available for fishing. This coast is the context for the lifestyle that so many people love and the reason many people travel here.
Having some areas where people can surf without cray pots or snorkel is essential, let alone to provide sanctuaries for fish and whales to breed and feed unhindered. The community has been calling for recognition and protection of the Capes Marine area for over a decade; this is a good start.
Surfrider Margaret River would like to celebrate the announcement of the new marine park. We extend an open invitation to everyone who has worked to bring the park in to fruition; anyone who has attended a meeting, written a letter or given support for protecting the unique marine life off our coast.
Come along to Surfers Point at 10am on Good Friday for hot drinks and hot cross buns. Let’s celebrate a win for our ocean and our community.
Tracey Muir, Surfrider Margaret River
Logging must end
IN the next two years about 3400ha of jarrah-marri forest are scheduled to be logged in the Margaret River–Nannup region. Over the last two, about 100,000ha in the region have been incinerated, all by mismanaged DEC burns. This follows decades of intense logging and burning, and the detrimental impact on wildlife is undeniable, even if the state Government and relevant agencies continue to deny it. Now, according to the best science, the South West faces prolonged climatic drying and the impact on native flora is already apparent. Most key tree species are declining.
Overseeing the degradation are Ministers Marmion, responsible for the policies that are sending species closer to extinction, and Redman, who endorses the public funds needed to prop up the industry still devastating thousands of hectares of bush each year.
However, you can’t entirely blame the incumbents since they’ve inherited their outlooks from politicians with the same blinkered view, and receive the same agency advice as they did, that what the pig needs is a bit more lipstick. Thus the burning ‘protects and enhances biodiversity values’, logging, with its post-operations hot burns, is ‘environmentally sustainable forest management’ as set out in Forest Management Plans, and of course our forests are ‘harvested’ – when a regrowth tree is yet to produce a sawlog!
Very concerning now is the planned logging of Helms, just west of Nannup, since in recent years this district has been badly damaged by logging and burning. It is the site of the only black cockatoo refuge in the region, birds whose numbers are rapidly falling, and that in this area have very little food or nesting places left. The healthy forest in Helms may be vital for these vulnerable birds. So taking out the best trees that are left, at a loss, and trashing and burning the place would be particularly shameful. From the start all logging should have been done under selective regimes that mandated value adding. Instead the industry degenerated into squandering the resource for woodchips, silicon logs, firewood, sleepers etc, with a recent push to burn it to generate electricity, degrading the forests and their habitats with increasingly intense methods, and causing the lack of millable trees. Now the best of the remaining state forest is being hit – areas like Arcadia, Warrup and Helms. There is enough plantation stock available for all timber requirements and our native forests are needed for their crucial environmental values, carbon sequestration among them. Logging should be brought to its long-overdue end.
Rod Whittle, Leeuwin Environment