I drove to Morwell from my place at Turtons Creek, a journey undertaken so often. Passing through Boolarra I was obliged to show down to allow “mother duck” followed by a line of ducklings, to cross the road.
What a beautiful sight! Mother duck was carrying out her responsibilities in full, to perfection. As she vanished into the tall grass I considered the way people could very well learn from her example, the environment certainly would benefit.
For over 30 years I have struggled against the various government agencies and business groups in a painful attempt to explain the value of this valley to the region.
Some readers will be aware of this river valley and its importance as a wild life corridor and a tourist venue. The South Gippsland Shire, in particular, has received even tolerated my presentations. I can admit to having failed to impress that questionable authority. My demands have fallen on deaf ears although those concerned do practice a pretend democracy.
Years ago, a certain conservative state government made a massive political shift to the right by selling off most of the peoples public assets. The whole of Strzelecki Ranges was gobbled up by an American finance group as part of a bargain.
Unfortunately, this was accomplished without removing certain special environmentally sensitive areas that should have been protected from exploitation. Turtons Creek was an important example.
This week the logging company located in Churchill, started removing the forest consisting of pine and some eucalyptus, can we imagine what the result is going to be.
I have nurtured good relations with the Hancocks management over a long period of time. Two months ago a telephone conversation with the manager informed me of the company’s logging program. He stated that the company accepted no special responsibility for the valley and its environmental assets.
He said however that the company was willing to make a contribution if the range of public officials played their proper contribution. To that end he suggested that all parties involved should come together and discuss the strategy needed to develop the area in question.
He was referring to the sShires, Parks Victoria, DELFP, the Rivers Board etc and hopefully the individual members of the public who are concerned.
I accepted the responsibility of informing these groups of Hancocks’ statement. Who knows if anything resulted from this sensible request.
I say to all these highly rewarded officials, you can ignore the people as you usually do, but please, this time, talk and collaborate with the loggers before it is too late.
Ron Brown, Mirboo North.