Regulatory restraints on land use: harmful to affluence and to recreation

A couple of weeks ago I launched an excellent book, GOING ‘GREEN’ Forests, fire and a flawed conservation culture by Mark Poynter.

I recalled that in earlier years there was a body that grandly called itself the Competent Authority.  It was in fact just a bunch of bureaucrats who acted as a retarder to the vehement calls of the green left for preservation of forest on one justification after another – protecting some rare critters, protecting any critters, promoting tourism, stopping erosion of river banks and so on.

So, as Mark Poynter notes, in Victoria we have gone from a situation where it was down to only 31 per cent of the state forest available to wood harvesting by 1986 and is now down to 6 per cent and the industry is destroyed.  Other nations have managed to keep highly productive industries – Finland has over 90 per cent of its natural forests open for harvesting.

At least in the 1980s Australia had a forestry departments that understood the dangers as well as the benefits of forestry.  Burn-offs were recognised as vital to stop the very hot fires that are the result of non-management in Victoria as is also the case in California and other places where the forestry department is fused and taken over by the environmental activists.

Global myths are all part of the agitprop – the Amazon will be totally cleared in 48 days if one of the factoid’s that WWF devised were to be true.  These agitators are reinforced and amplified by taxpayer funded activists within the Universities –and Mark makes special mention of those at the ANU including David Lindenmeyer, graced, as are so many radicals, with an AO.  Another one, also within the Australian peerage, is travel entrepreneur Graeme Wood who funded much of the anti-logging activity and is very quick to hit those questioning the truth of his assertions with threats of lawsuits.  Sometimes the exit of productive activities was facilitated by compensation – the ALP under Tony Burke gave $100 million to Tasmania to replace forests with tourism.  With that bait and unaccustomed to facing hostility, the various forest industries were more often than not compliant in their own demise.

As is frequently the case, the radicals’ agenda was set small and built upon. First they came for preservation to save a particular area or in the case of Leadbeater’s Possum, a supposedly endangered species, then they shifted to oppose the harvesting of naturally grown wood products.  Then they came for all wood products.  Gunns in Tasmania was destroyed even though it was proposing to use only plantation timber, which earlier onslaughts had forced it to invest in.

They attacked by vilifying corporate names – and that has become far more successful since with banks and energy businesses running away from fossil fuels to preserve their brand images.  “Social licence” became a new ingredient, one that trumps almost everything else businesses do.

The destruction of the nation’s forest industry is just one of so many theatres where Australia is depriving itself of valuable income.  As with fishing, with forestry, Australia probably has the greatest per capita natural resource in the world and yet is a net importer.

Access to natural resources: land for farming, forestry, recreation, mining, housing is a key stranglehold used by those who seek to harness political muscle to create a different sort of Australia than one providing the prosperity most people want.

For the most part the silent majority simply accepts the restraints and income diminution resulting from politicians responding to the activists’ pressures for more regulations.

One set of people fighting back are the Bush User Groups United who are holding a Rally in Melbourne CBD on the Steps of Parliament House. 1pm Wednesday August 8th to draw attention to the myriad incursions of governments in preventing the use of public land and waters.

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31 Responses to Regulatory restraints on land use: harmful to affluence and to recreation

  1. RobK

    Well said Alan.
    I would add ” the precautionary principle ” and “unique suites of vegetation ensembles ” as ambit claims when the ecoworriers have nothing.

  2. Rohan

    In Taswegia, it’s also interesting to note that Ta Ann also ran foul of the greens with their plantations. Ta Ann saw the writing on the wall so purchased large volumes of land planted their own trees. Where they ran foul of the greens was when they “thinned” the plantation of the runts that would never make good sawlogs. The greens simply said “Nope, can’t do that. Gaia will frown”. I can’t find any links online, but this was occurring around 2012 and from memory was tied into the closure of their wood vanear plant..

    I’ve been involved with the sawmill operation within our business group. The new mill manager was a former Ash manager at Heyfield. The issue of why they became unviable was due to the log breaking down saws are 94 and 137 years old. Great bits of kit, super reliable, but have one serious flaw. They were designed for large old growth logs. Now that only new growth is permitted, and the sawlogs are quite small by comparison, their efficiency and recovery rates are kaput. They couldn’t compete against mills with newer technology that are more suited to smaller sawlogs.

    Despite this, Dan the Dickhead bought the mill with public money because John Setka told him to. They haven’t upgraded the green mill so its now just a cash drain on public money for the CFMMEU bruvers.

  3. In addition to the wacky prohibitions put in place by the superstition of the Green religion is the adherence to demands from the most corrupt and disgraceful of organisations…………the UN.
    A few years ago The government of the State of Tasmania was prepared to release forest for harvest but a senator whose name excapes me insisted on seeking “approval” from the UN.
    Why in God’s name these idiots feel that a duly elected government in an Australian state requires “approval” from a criminal mob in New York is beyond imagination.

  4. John Constantine

    California under Hussein Obama inspired fashionable rewilding theory is experiencing another run of worst in history wildfires.

    Blaming Trump.

    The whole point of rewilding theory is to clear humans away, and let mother nature rip.

  5. stackja

    ALP needed Greens votes. They grew on trees.

  6. stackja

    John C – Knight wants humans to self eliminate.

  7. Tom

    This needs to be posted on this thread:

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump · 6h6 hours ago
    California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!

    This is just basic commonsense, but there’s no-one in Australia’s gutless ruling class with the simple courage to point it out.

    Defund the left’s hijacking of public money via government to oppose the public interest at every turn and sanity would be restored.

    That would require courage, which Australia doesn’t have, so our public policy is run by bullies, who’d run away like little girls if their bluff was called Trump-style.

  8. Petros

    The Aborigines knew how to manage a large region with hot dry summers giving risk to catastrophic bushfires. Pity us Aussies, and the Greeks for that matter, have forsaken these practices.

  9. stackja

    Hazard reduction upsets Greens.

  10. NB

    Here is a useful question. What industrial activity is acceptable to leftists?
    The only answer I can see is:- none.
    The left no longer represents the worker. The worker is the enemy.

  11. The left no longer represents the worker.

    The Left has never represented the worker. To the Left, workers are but fodder to be used, abused and discarded when no longer useful.

  12. stackja

    NB The worker exists to fund utopia.

  13. Victoria is a prime example of the Greens not understanding nature and how to manage it. Our wildfires have been getting worse, decade after decade, due to complete mismanagement and, when such fires occur, the Greens immediately fall back on climate change as an excuse. The long gone Forests Commission knew how to manage forests and with logging, wildfires were far less severe and widespread.

    My personal view is that the CFA should not get involved in any wildfire firefighting other than to protect lives. No matter how many Bushfire Royal Commissions we have, nothing is followed through regarding the recommendations, as the Greens immediately start howling and Labor runs and hides. There will be no reform until the state has been completely razed to the ground by Greens’ and state Labor ineptitude.

  14. stackja

    Bush fires clear people out of the wilderness. Animals and plants left to themselves.

  15. Bruce

    The ENTIRE situation is MUCH worse than most folk imagine.

    It is rife with terminal “anti-science”, hypocrisy and totalitarianism. And those are probably the GOOD points.

    Our indigenous cousins, whether they have been here for ten thousand or sixty thousand years, having “out-competed” their predecessors, UTTERLY altered vast swathes of the Australian landscape.

    Furthermore, in just over two hundred years, much of it has changed dramatically from what it looked like when the First Fleet staggered ashore.

    Where explorers like Mitchell found endless plains of waving grasslands, there is now a fair swag of untidy scrubland, for a start.

    The cyclic burning off, over millennia, favoured grasses and the sort of tasty critters that flourished in them. The entire point of their burning of the grasslands was to chase the current protein providers towards an array of clubs and spears AND to leave a nice layer of ash to assist the regrowth of the grass. Thus, when that bunch of nomads returned in five or six years, the flourishing grass would have fattened up a whole new bunch of edibles. The locals were a nomadic culture wedded, not to slash and burn agriculture, but to burn and bash hunting and barbecuing.

    Eucalypts, the unspoken villains of the current Californian fires, are FIRE CLIMAX species. Most of them have seed pods so tough that they require a brisk warm-over from a low intensity fire to crack them open so the seeds can start germinating. When they are allowed to be so successful that they form vast forests, they become firebombs, with racing crown fires roaring through the oil-rich canopy. If that is coupled with a huge ground level fuel load from leaf and bark litter and hardy undergrowth, the soil itself is baked to sterile dust by the heat. Subsequent wind and rain carries away more of the thin, desperately valuable top-soil, and the cycle continues.

    When these intense fires occur in the eucalyptus forests abutting actual rain-forests or even wet sclerophyll ones, the “cuddly” forests get severe peripheral damage. The catch is that these “cuddly” species are MUCH slower at recolonizing their turf and thus the eucalyptus species advance a bit more. See Victoriastan for several prime examples. At least here in Queensland, pre-emptive “controlled burns’ are still and active element of bushfire “management”. How long our Labor government keeps that up is open to conjecture.

    It is all actually fairly straightforward, but there is precious little taxpayers money to be “granted” were that to be publicly acknowledged.

  16. Tom
    #2782225, posted on August 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Defund the left’s hijacking of public money via government to oppose the public interest at every turn and sanity would be restored.

    Not enough. We also need to apply very heavy penalties, including jail time for anybody found guilty of interference in lawful activity such as tree harvesting.
    I would go further and make the court cases as lengthy, drawn out expensive affairs as possible so that not only the unemployed blue haired activist pricks are ruined, but so are their backers and barrackers like those wealthy sons of bitches who virtue signal with their money.
    Basically, jail them for a long time and financially ruin them. THAT’S WHAT THEY DO.

    Petros
    #2782226, posted on August 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    The Aborigines knew how to manage a large region with hot dry summers giving risk to catastrophic bushfires. Pity us Aussies, and the Greeks for that matter, have forsaken these practices.

    From your link…

    Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised.

    This is the type of bullshit that has perpetuated the “scientific” noble savage “living as one with nature” crapola.
    Aboriginals were never scientific or nature tending. They were too busy trying to stay alive to do any contemplation or anything else. Basically stone age people living on harsh land.
    They burnt the bush (forever changing it to a pure eucalypt tree and fire friendly scrub) out of laziness. They used the glowing coals of trees and logs to start their morning fires. They didn’t need to rub sticks and stones together, that was hard work.
    Burning the bush also provided plenty of ready cooked critters.

    Anybody who thinks aboriginals were capable of sitting around and mapping out a burn strategy is naive at best. THEY JUST BURNED FOR CONVENIENCE and in the process got rid of all flora that couldn’t stand regular burning, leaving nothing but eucalypts, bottle brushes and the like.
    Eucalyptus oil is a disinfectant. Having nothing but eucalypts disinfects the soil, killing all manner of useful bacteria, thereby destroying the compost cycle, which was already slow in Australia due to low levels of moisture in many areas.

  17. rickw

    My family had to relinquish a 100 acre crown land lease after having utilised and cared for it for more than 100 years.

    Now no one takes care of this land, blackberry bushes now render most of it inaccessible, and Australia now has 100 acres less grazing land.

    Australia deserves the hell it is descending into thanks to its multifaceted rampant stupidity.

  18. Nerblnob

    NB
    #2782234, posted on August 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm
    Here is a useful question. What industrial activity is acceptable to leftists?

    Useful indeed, and should be asked of them every time.

    Everyone should remember this:
    You are not obliged to answer their foolish questions.

    Make them answer yours instead.

    Over time, they will start rehearsing the answers – so change the question.

  19. .

    This is just basic commonsense, but there’s no-one in Australia’s gutless ruling class with the simple courage to point it out.

    Actually, in Australia, we fine people over 100K for fire mitigation and make them pay costs.

    We don’t even give their money back when their neighbours burn down but they don’t.

  20. Mr Black

    We’re in the state we’re in because “conservatives” here are just as useless as conservatives everywhere else, managing to conserve nothing of value and acting mostly as a jobs program for a controlled opposition to the leftist parties. If we ever get a local version of Trump, they’ll all be on the rubbish pile as eyes are opened to their essentially useless existence.

  21. Squirrel

    “For the most part the silent majority simply accepts the restraints and income diminution resulting from politicians responding to the activists’ pressures for more regulations.”

    Perhaps when the Australian debt bomb finally explodes, the silent majority will become a bit less silent when they realise, at long last, that we have to pay our way in the world by selling stuff that other countries want to buy – posturing and virtue-signalling (and a bit of boutique/eco tourism) don’t go very far in paying for all the lovely, shiny things that Australians want from the rest of the world.

  22. NB
    #2782234, posted on August 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Here is a useful question. What industrial activity is acceptable to leftists?
    The only answer I can see is:- none.

    When I used to debate environuts, I’d ask them which past development is OK to do again today, i.e. can we do another Snowy or Ord River, can we open new farmlands etc?
    The answer is always “we can’t do those destructive things any longer”

  23. Nerblnob

    posturing and virtue-signalling (and a bit of boutique/eco tourism) don’t go very far

    Correct – The World can get that a lot nearer and cheaper and groovier because in Third World which they feel like they are Helping.

    Why schlep all the way to Australia so you can pay more for shit service?

  24. Roger

    First they came for preservation to save a particular area or in the case of Leadbeater’s Possum, a supposedly endangered species, then they shifted to oppose the harvesting of naturally grown wood products. Then they came for all wood products.

    And now they’re coming for the plastic.

    Well, they’ll have to rip my last plastic bag from my cold, dead hands.

  25. Rockdoctor

    My second major was Enviro Science but no money in it on graduation so I went down the 1st major in Geology because was better paid but always did had a soft spot for the Australian bush. That said most of my lecturers were very objective, I could only pick the political leanings of a few. One used to talk about the green movement in 2 factions as conservationists and preservationists. The types that run our regulatory authorities now are preservationists and the chaos my lecturers used to describe with out of control explosive wildfires, explosion of numbers of shark/croc attacks, periodic starvation of native species from a lack of management of numbers or control of fuel loads is now a reality. The reality is that man has already been messing with the Australian environment for 50,000 years and they were crudely managing it in a way that the bush adapted to. Locking up areas to become overgrown weed infested tangles or not managing voracious predators near settlements in a culture that prides itself on the beach bum image is asking for trouble…

  26. yackman

    An aspect that I have not seen commented on in media is that of regrowth where harvesting has ceased. Some of the forests were regenerated by leaving Shelterwood and then Autumn burning. The Wombat Forest near Daylesford was managed in this way and now would have nearly 20 years of regrowth in some areas which would not have been thinned. The development at Dales Creek could be very vulnerable.

  27. Spring is coming

    Two weeks ago I was up in North East Victoria. As a teenager I remembered walking through these now State or National Parks with ease and shotgun. The dead timber laying around was used by the local community. This action has been banned or severely limited. Now the dead timber is thicker than Q & A panel. You cannot walk through the Bush now. The fuel load in there is ‘thunderbolts and lightening very very frightening!’

  28. In the forested region of south west WA, I’m aware of at least two instances where anti-logging protesters cashed cheques given to them by Dick Smith in support of their campaigning efforts. For a person who claims to have Australia’s interests at heart and who supports Australian workers, it’s perverse that he has successfully supported the downsizing of WA’s timber industry, throwing people out of work, increasing their dependency on government handouts and disadvantaging rural communities.

  29. .

    Lil’ Dicky Smith made his money off importing electronics assembled by cheap Asian labour and now is a full-blown protectionist who loves his grandkids but wants plebs not to have kids (let alone grandkids). He’ll fly around in a fossil fuel -powered chopper to show you his homespun wacko theories about climate change too.

    The idea that he cares about the industries of primary sector workers is laughable. He wants to put the countryside under lock and key.

  30. Kneel

    “My personal view is that the CFA should not get involved in any wildfire firefighting other than to protect lives. ”

    Yep – and then, only assist in getting people out, no putting the bastard out. After all, if they can’t backburn, then the only option is to keep people out of the way and let the sucker burn. They can always claim it’s for “environmental” reasons too – perfect!
    “Oh no, that’s national park land, we can’t do ANYTHING about it, sorry. Happy to give you a lift out, but I’m afraid your house will soon be a dark stain on the parched ground that used to be your home. Isn’t protecting the environment so WONDERFUL! Vote green!” should do nicely!

  31. Mick Jeffery

    The watermelon left have never really cared to much about the trees. They have used primary industry, particularly agriculture and forestry as an enemy to rally the useful idiots. The left need something to hate. They care nothing about about the death and destruction caused by their stupidity as long as they can demonstrate outcomes to their childish minions.

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