Two years ago, roughly speaking, I presented an environment question to the South Gippsland Shire Council; and not for the first time.
Yesterday, February 11, while listening to the radio I heard a disturbing announcement; “If the world society continues to impoverish our environment, the insect inhabitants of this planet are liable to vanish.”
It does not take much imagination to understand what that will do to the rest of the human inhabitants.
On January 21, a group of concerned citizens and various local public officials met to discuss the protection and development of the Turtons Creek Valley.
That place is a valuable reservoir of native flora and fauna that also provides a badly needed tourist facility.
Past experience suggests that our intelligent bosses will nod their heads wisely, then go back to their security boxes and do nothing.
What a nuisance those pesky, public troublemakers are, why can’t they leave us alone?
Recently a senior public servant said to me, in response to a statement of mine, “We were going to do that anyway”.
In other words, if something progressive transpires we will claim the credit. Well, what should we expect?
Now, back to the insects, those beautiful multi various creatures I see in abundance on my small reservation.
The butterflies this year are prolific which proves that trees and shrubs, if protected and reintroduced, will provide a home for these most essential creatures.
The question of the current threat to destroy the forest around Mirboo North, if it takes place, is a fine example of insect and animal habitation destruction that will exacerbate the insect problem.
Some years ago, a state premier, who was wedded to the town, saw no problem in selling off the forest in the Strzeleckis, into perpetuity.
The result has been, inevitably, due to the profit motive being king, devastation.
They tell me that in the future, that company involved will only be planting pine trees. That really is a problem.
The result will be a complete removal of the wildlife habitation.
My contribution to the meeting was a short list of my expectations. Certain others did all the talking while I stood around destroying my legs.
One shire person, when I raised the question of the tennis court development, claimed that first we must decide if it is public or private land.
Do I see a conspiracy, an attempt perhaps to privatise the place prior to selling off that location?
That is not what I had in mind. The other shire official, according to another attendee, appeared irritable as he demanded to know what I would do about the valley.
How many times have I made it quite clear what my objectives are in the past 30 years?
I will finish this tirade by saying that places like Turtons Creek, if developed sensibly, would make a massive contribution to a balanced land use, a healthy environment for all and the protection of insects.
To that end, the area in question should be recognised as a special category. The official mind should stop stating why something cannot be done and start seeking ways to ensure that things can be done.
Progress is essential, it is almost too late. The shire must find some courage and face up to the state and federal governments. The best result would be the removal of such remnant forest areas out of the destructive and simplistic grasp of the logging industry and into the hands of an intelligent authority. Dare I suggest, yet again, that we need a regional strategy that would be fully illustrated and described and available to the public gaze.
R Brown, Turtons Creek.