We cannot let an internationally famous Australian icon become extinct in its natural habitat. South East Queensland has entered the final phase of the extinction of its biodiversity, with mega-developments gone mad and the loss of Koalas mounting as Koalageddon increases exponentially. Eastern Australia was a recognised international hotspot for biodiversity and unfortunately is now part of an internationally recognised de-forestation hotspot ! The only one in the "developed" world. How could this happen in Australia??? This is simply not acceptable to many people.
Land-clearing policy in Queensland has had a significant impact on rates of vegetation clearing. Over recent decades changes in land-clearing regulations in Queensland have led first to a
decrease in vegetation clearing (when strong laws were enforced) and then to an increase in vegetation clearing (when laws were relaxed). Relaxation of land-clearing regulations in 2013
in Queensland led to a significant increase in the vegetation clearing rate. More than one million hectares of woody vegetation, of which 41% was remnant vegetation, were cleared in Queensland
between 2012-13 and 2015-16.
395,000 hectares of woody vegetation were cleared in 2015-2016, representing a 33% increase over the previous year. This is equivalent to roughly half of the forest cleared in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in 2016.
The 2015-16 clearing rate in Queensland was the highest since 2003-04 (490,000 hectares/year).
Queensland has become Australia’s hotspot for land clearing, accounting for between 50-65% of the total loss of native forests in Australia over the last four decades.
In 2015 the land use sector in Queensland generated 19 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution, which was more pollution than the agriculture sector or around 20% of the pollution
from the entire energy sector including electricity, stationary energy and transport.
In 2015 Queensland was responsible for around 80% of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution from land-use change.
In terms of emissions, 19 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution was generated by the land use sector in Queensland in 2015. This is equivalent to more greenhouse pollution than
Queensland’s agriculture sector or around 20% of the greenhouse pollution from the entire energy sector in Queensland including electricity, stationary energy and transport (AGEIS 2015a).
The Victorian branch of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) expresses deep concern that Australia will reach 25 million people this week. In anticipation of this milestone, SPA literally took to the sky on the issue by flying a small plane over Melbourne to see first hand whether bigger means better.
In an ex-military Cessna Birddog ideal for photography, SPA member Dr. Graeme Dennerstein and professional photographer Tanya Fry flew over Melbourne during a morning week-day rush hour to investigate the magnitude of traffic congestion, urban sprawl and high-rise development which are progressively impacting the people of Melbourne as the city reaches a population of 5 million this year.
Photographer Tanya Fry said of her experience:
“We flew over Melbourne city all the way to Kerang. Camera in hand I thought I knew what I was about to see. The sights I saw from the tiny plane both shocked and saddened me. I expected a long urban sprawl and traffic jams of course but nothing like the scale I saw. The urban sprawl went on and on as far as the eye could see. Every freeway was at a standstill.”
“ When we finally did reach the outer parts it was the treeless paddocks all the way to Kerang that was so surprising. Where have all the trees gone? What is wrong with us humans.”
“From up in the air high above you see what we are doing to this great land of ours. If only there was more respect and more consciousness about how much we are thoughtlessly destroying.”
SPA Victorian/Tasmanian Branch president, Michael Bayliss, said: “It is impossible to imagine what Melbourne will look like from the air if the forecasts are true, if the city’s population reaches 8 million in 35 years time by 2050.”
“Our country, our capital cities and our regional centres are growing much faster than expected and this can’t go on indefinitely. Already our infrastructure is struggling to keep pace as we continue to build new suburbs over our precious food bowl, green space and wildlife habitats. We are leaving a poor legacy for future generations. Australia does not yet have a population policy and this has now become a primary concern for most Australians. It is time that our political leaders take notice and take action.”
Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) describes itself as an Australian, member-driven environmental charity which works on many fronts to encourage informed public debate about how Australia and the world can achieve an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable population. It expects to launch several new projects this year in order to encourage more public discussion around the impacts of population growth. It will be releasing a web series ‘Tough Crowd’ where Rod Quantock will interview other comedians and entertainers on the challenges of discussing population in wider society. It has also released a ‘PopCulture’ webpage and a series of videos to highlight the impacts of population growth on job security, traffic congestion and housing affordability.
It seems we are losing our natural foreshore by a process of stealth. The Seaford community has fought for years to retain the beautiful natural bush land along the foreshore. It is, and has always, been at risk. I have spoken to people who would like to see the bush removed and grass and palm trees planted all along there. But we have resisted this. We have also resisted repeated pushes for hard paths through the bushland (for bike access). But not-so slowly we are seeing the foreshore change, gradually more and more of it is being developed, paved and covered with boardwalks, and even street-lighting in the bush area:
Much of this onslaught is by our own Council, who now are replacing the blue stone toilet blocks - which sit naturally and unobtrusively in the bush:
with garish, enormous new toilet blocks:
Which seem to need a large amount of bush to be cleared around them:
I communicated with Council about this (see extract below) and I was told that in large part this was to allow access for disabled people - this sounds very noble, except if you go to the new toilet already built (opposite the caravan park) you find the DISABLED TOILET LOCKED (i.e vacant, but inaccessible) - so much for the lip service of caring for the disabled!
The second issue was regarding cleanliness and graffiti resistance. The current bluestone toilet blocks have very little graffiti, and it is never been bad enough for me to really notice - so either it is not happening, or it can be removed.
As for cleaniness, the toilets are at time of writing quite unclean. One resident even reported the cleaner arriving while she was there photographing the mess, but the cleaner just left after looking in the toilet, and didn't bother to unlock the disabled toilet.
So we are seeing our beautiful historic toilets being removed, under these pretexts. I would appreciate it if anyone could let me know if they have connections to representatives of the disability community - because I really do wonder if we need ALL the toilets on Seaford foreshore to have disabled access? Currently there is disabled access at:
1. Seaford pier.
2. Keast Park
3. Opposite the cabin park.
I know people who have needed disabled access, and they have said they only would expect (and need) only one or two places to access the beach.
Here is Council's justification for the works:
Subject: RE: Frankston City Council - Toiletblocks
As previously mentioned, Council want/need to cater for all abilities, provide safe, inviting and user friendly/comfortable facilities which are easy to clean and maintain. While also presenting a universal design language with modern and compliant facilities throughout the Municipality. In 2011 Frankston City had over 60+ public toilets, with a large number of these amenities requiring replacement, removal or upgrade to meet Australian Standards as well as the future needs and expectations of the community.
The public toilet action plan which covers all of the existing public toilet amenities across the municipality, this informs our capital works program over the coming 10-20 years to ensure public toilets are prioritised.
The facility at Armstrongs Rd is listed as being removed and replaced and at this stage is on our program during FY19/20.
Moves by senior ministers in the Baird government to open up rare native bush to broadscale land clearing and cripple powers to stop illegal clearing were described as ‘insane’ today.
“We understand that the Shooters and Fishers Bill to amend the Native Vegetation Act that has been instrumental in saving thousands of hectares and tonnes of topsoil from erosion, across the state will be put to the vote today. It would be an insane move by the Baird government to support it,” said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of Total Environment Centre.
“Nevertheless in my discussions in Parliament yesterday there was evidence the Shooters were confident they could push it through. This is despite the government already reviewing environmental laws via an independent Biodiversity Panel and receiving public submissions with a decision due at the end of the year. Passage of such environmentally damaging legislation not seen in many decades would let loose the bulldozers on a massive scale; be a complete abuse of process and of the public’s participation in the Review.”
“Senior National Party ministers have been pressing to pass the Shooters Bill since the tragic death of environment compliance officer, Glen Turner at Moree. They are trying to leverage this alleged murder and disquiet in some parts of the rural community about Native Vegetation laws purely for political purposes. Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald today about the views of Mr Turner’s family are further testimony to the immoral position being taken by the National Party.”
The Shooters Bill seeks to dismantle the Native Vegetation Act which was passed in 2003 to bring an end to the millions of hectares of bush clearing over past decades with many vegetation communities and animal species brought to the edge of extinction; and valuable topsoil being lost. The Bill also drastically reduces penalties and inspection powers for illegal clearing in a clear signal the government would tolerate environmental destruction.
Queensland clearing laws could kill over 400 million native animalsl The Commonwealth must act to stop the destruction.
More about the upcoming 2013 environmental exhibition containing this painting, at end of this article under "Notes".
Impact of new Queensland laws and Coalition intentions
Humane Society International (HSI) Campaign Director Michael Kennedy said today:
“With the passage of legislation through the Queensland Parliament this week allowing farmers to clear potentially large areas of threatened wildlife habitats and graze cattle in National Parks, and news confirming that an incoming Coalition Government would devolve the Commonwealth’s national environment powers to the states and territories, a national environmental disaster is looming.”
Mr Kennedy continued,
“Under the amendments to Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act, approximately 2,000,000 hectares (5,000,000 acres) of wildlife habitats are at-risk of clearing*. Extrapolating from a scientific report** on the numbers of animals killed during land clearing operations in Queensland during the late 90s, it can be estimated that if all land clearing options were taken up by Queensland farmers, in the region of 455 million native animals could be killed as a result. And even if only a quarter of this land total was cleared, we are still talking about killing over 100 million animals.”
The Commonwealth’s Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) also protects 14 threatened ecological communities.*** in Queensland, highly endangered habitats that require the Federal Environment Minister’s permission before any development can occur that may significantly affect them. It is estimated* that 169,000 hectares of mature bushland and 366,000 hectares of important regrowth habitats of these threatened ecological communities are now at risk from clearing, presenting Minister Burke with clear reasons for intervening in Queensland.
Cattle grazing is also highly destructive on the natural environment, spreading weeds, significantly damaging waterways and having the potential to destroy critical habitats and native ground-dwelling species. Giving a few private individuals access to a highly valuable public asset, due to their continuing incompetence, is a public policy travesty. Calls by the RSPCA in Queensland to allow cattle to graze in National Parks are chronically misguided, and do not address the root cause of the plight of the animals – greed and prolonged environmental and livestock mismanagement.
Mr Kennedy concluded,
“We are urging the Prime Minister and Environment Minster Burke to change the Federal environment laws so that any incoming Coalition Government cannot devolve national environment powers; introduce new national environment “triggers” for land clearing and the National Reserve System; and to “call-in” Queensland land clearing and cattle grazing proposals and actions for assessment under the EPBC Act.”
***HSI prepared scientific listing proposals for 8 of these threatened communities
Re image, "Apocalypse". From the original site at http://www.cantonart.org/20"This touring art exhibition confronts environmental issues facing human, plant and wildlife species in our time, from land development to natural resource depletion, and seeks to heighten public awareness through the power of art. The show is curated by Dr. David J. Wagner, author of the reference book, American Wildlife Art, and curator/tour director of an impressive list of exhibitions including The Art of Robert Bateman, The Sea of Cortez, and Endangered Species: Flora and Fauna in Peril which toured to the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington, D.C. The exhibition features iconic works such Still Not Listening, a poem and sculpture of the same title by Leo Osborne, an elegy to victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. (Image: Apocalypse, Walter Ferguson)"
Here is a report from KoalaTracker headquarters about the terrible situation for koalas in Queensland. The Queensland government is reclearing land only recently regained for the environment. Wildlife activists are having to fight for the poorest secondary growth land because nothing else is available for koalas to live on. Humane Society International is of the opinion that a new Queensland Bill exposes hundreds of thousands of hectares of currently protected regrowth and remnant vegetation to clearing. The situation is urgent and shocking ...
By the way - Entries are now open for the KoalaTracker T-Shirt Design Competition. Please tap your creativity and help to come up with some t-shirt designs. You have just 3 weeks! If you are on Facebook, please 'like' and share www.facebook.com/KoalaTracker with your friends.
Moreton Bay Koala Rescue needs our help. The organisation is in dire need of a secretary and other volunteers to assist with admin. Please contact Anika on 0401 685 483.
A disturbing picture is coming together of koala plight
Alex Harris asks KoalaTracker afficionados to please keep spreading the word, and mapping those koala sightings. He says that the picture that is coming together is disturbing, but highly useful to further research, to council and state government risk mitigation, and more importantly, federal intervention if required. He adds that federal intervention is looking more and more likely as states go feral!
We can’t save them - or count them - if we don’t know where they are!
Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP) is conducting koala surveys in seven local government areas in South East Queensland over five years, to provide an update on the numbers, distribution and health of koalas in these regions.
It has recently started surveying throughout what we know to be the old Noosa shire (yes that includes the headland National Park), spending one week each month for most of the year, on public and private lands. DEHP intends to survey Maroochydore and Caloundra next year.
KoalaTracker is an important reference point for areas in which surveys should be undertaken that may not be recorded as high value habitat, so keep mapping your sightings, deaths and injuries for the public record.
Queensland rolling back environmental protection
One is inclined to pity the staff of DEHP charged with managing wildlife, ecosystems and sustainability, for the conflict the Queensland government has now established in policy with the Mines Minister announcing changes to the Vegetation Management Framework. In the name of ‘greentape reduction’, significant land will be open to wide scale clearing of regrowth and remnant vegetation.
In a 2002 landmark study by the Brisbane Institute, Professor Peter Spearritt laid out the value of greenspace to urban environments, its necessity to biodiversity and sustainability, the rapid rate of removal of greenspace already in Queensland, and the danger of a single city stretching 200 kilometres from the NSW border through to Noosa - a notion that has made quick progress to fruition.
Subsequently, Professor Spearritt and Dr John Nightingale made a submission on behalf of The Brisbane Institute to an Australian Parliament House Committee Sustainable Cities Inquiry. Governance of land, they note, is a critical issue.
Remarkably, Sydney is relatively well served, if we include the national parks and state forests that ring the city from south to west to north. Brisbane, on the other hand, is not so well served. While the area covered by the Brisbane City Council has a respectable proportion of greenspace, much of the remaining area of the so-called ‘200 kilometre city’ – Noosa to the Tweed and beyond down towards Byron Bay – is grossly deficient. Read their submission here: "Sustainable Cities".
Things have only gotten worse, and the threat to koalas from this state government is real. Some of our most important koala habitat is 20-50-year-old regrowth; some of the most stunning ‘Land for Wildlife’ properties are regrowth or remnant vegetation, and where we are seeing koalas alive, are in areas marked as low value habitat or not suitable habitat - often because they were cleared - but the regrowth is now proving to be the only habitat available.
Queensland Lib Nat Gov engaged in barbarous reclearing of habitat
The Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill, 2013, introduced to Parliament on the 20th of March by the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, represents one of the largest environmental rollbacks in Australian history. While the government’s rhetoric claims an objective of maintaining protection and management of our native vegetation resources, the governments actions contradict those claims time and again.
Humane Society International is of the view that the Bill exposes hundreds of thousands of hectares of currently protected regrowth and remnant vegetation to clearing.
It is a clear breach of an election promise made by Premier Campbell Newman that “The LNP will retain the current level of statutory vegetation protection.” Just over one year on, his government has announced these proposals to remove regrowth regulations on freehold and indigenous land, and Humane Society International is strictly opposed to its fast-tracking.
The Vegetation Management Act, 1999, has played a critical role in protecting remnant vegetation and the clearing of high value regrowth and regrowth around certain watercourses in Queensland, and the proposed Bill will result in a significant weakening of associated laws. The integrity of the legislative scheme is underpinned by the application of detailed regulations and a robust methodology for the assessment of environmental outcomes, and in its current form the Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill undermines that integrity.
Urgent: Take action before May 12th
Click here to send a form letter prepared by HSI (please feel free to add your own comments), or write directly using the following contact details:
The Honourable Campbell Newman MP
PO Box 15185
City East QLD 4002
An incredible wildlife oasis in the near south west of Brisbane, Berrinba has a wonderful history of conservation. A member of the Wildlife Land Trust, Berrinba covers 90 hectares of pristine native bushland with a diversity of native species resident, including northern brown bandicoots, red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies, powerful owls, scaly-breasted lorikeets, sacred kingfishers, eastern whipbirds, sugar gliders, the ornate burrowing frog, naked tree frog, copper-backed brood frog, and koala.
In the past few months alone, 91 koala sightings have been recorded. Representative of what Greater Brisbane used to look like and hold in wildlife, Berrinba is a special place within the Logan City Council area.
Koalas have been identified and named, and are now being mapped on KoalaTracker with some beautiful photographs. If you or your children have never seen koalas in the wild and you live in Brisbane, make sure you attend at least one of their Koala Spotting afternoons. Held the last Saturday of each month, 1:30pm for 2pm start of a guided walk - the next one is May 25th. Berrinba Sanctuary is at 292 Browns Plains Road (west of the Wetlands), Berrinba. Call 3806 8868 for more information.
Interesting Fact: Two politicians are involved in reporting koala sightings to KoalaTracker
Do you know that for all the rhetoric about saving the koala, there are only two politicians who are members of KoalaTracker, and who are reporting sightings? And you would never guess who...Warren Truss, federal member for Wide Bay and Tony Wellington, Councillor at Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Thank you both for being a part of KoalaTracker. Please urge your colleagues to join!
There is a lot more Koala Tracker news
Although this article is mostly about Queensland problems, KoalaTracker is a national project. Just this month, the communication of issues in Queensland is urgent, and rather than write a very long article, information about other state predicaments has been reserved for the next article.
Don’t forget, KoalaTracker will feature on the television show Totally Wild, Channel Ten, Tuesday 14th of May. And if you haven't visited the KoalaTracker blog recently, please do! There are articles with videos and photos about koalas eating apples, cows killing koalas, and the wonderful documentary, Wild koalas: slow life in the fast lane. You can see the full documentary here. It will air on National Geographic channel later in the year.
Please support KoalaTracker.com.au. Monthly fees across two platforms jump from $70 to $82 in July, and this project is self-funded, without government or corporate support.
In the meantime, Alex Harris, who heads this project, looks forward to seeing your design entries! Competition closes May 30th, 2013. Winners announced June 10th. Alex may be contacted at
0412 635 274
Human population growth, deforestation and epidemics, Frank Ryan's theory in Virolution: Recently I listened to Lord Monkton whilst looking at his slides about global warming. Why did I listen to Lord Monkton? Because I was irritated at the ad hominem and unscientific religious terminology of some of those trying to combat global-warming-denialist arguments. Before he ever got to global warming science, however I became frustrated at Lord Monkton’s simplistic opinions about the use of DDT and malaria rates. Didn’t he realize that the application of DDT failed with malaria as the mosquitoes adapted their habits to avoid the use of the poison and as they developed immunity to its effects? But the disease of malaria and that of other zoonosias is far more complicated than that because these kinds of disease involve a wide range of mosquito and other vectors with many different habits, in a wide range of landscapes among a wide range of humans with many different habits. Cites some little-known research from French epidemiologist historian Chantal Beauchamp. I hope the reader will find the following discussion interesting and possibly contribute more discussion. Much of this article comes from a book in progress by Sheila Newman (me) about population numbers and capitalism.
Since the mapping of the human genome we have discovered that virus material comprises a substantial portion of animal and plant cells, and is treated by organisms as part of themselves, because it has, in fact, evolved with that organism. Frank Ryan’s book, Virolution, Harper-Collins, UK, 2009, advances a theory about one of the roles of the virus material that all species carry as part of their genomes. Because their presence is deeply symbiotic – indeed it is just another part of the animal - so the animal is “immune” to the virus.
However, different animal populations carry different viruses as part of their genome, and sub-populations of species may carry viruses that are dangerous to other members of the same species. Ryan discusses this prospect in a study of different populations of koala in Australia, for instance. 
Ryan goes on to write about how it is likely that certain diseases, including diabetes mellitus and multiple sclerosis, result when this mutually beneficial relationship breaks down in humans for reasons that need more exploration. This is also an explanation for cancer and the increase in cancers in elderly people whose systems, as they become more disorderly, are unable to maintain an effective immune system.
Back to how the endemic viral material of different populations and species can be dangerous for that of other populations and species: The fact that viruses embodied in animal cells are dangerous to other populations which are not immune to those viruses, means that where one population – of the same species but from a different area - encroaches on another population’s territory, the encroaching population runs the risk of succumbing to viruses carried by the first. Other species can also be affected.
Hendra Virus, bats and invading horses and humans
It seems likely that recent infections of horses, humans and a dog by the Hendra Virus in Queensland demonstrate the Virolution theory. Under Queensland government policy, stable natural environments have been rapidly cleared for agriculture, tourist infrastructure and housing, to accommodate intrastate, interstate and international human immigration.
Humans and their horses have encroached on the territory of wild species, and have exposed themselves to viruses from the species they have invaded.
The species which are suspected of having transmitted the viruses will themselves have been impacted by the diseases that travel with humans and their domestic animals. We should be studying our effect on the bats, in order to learn more.
Australian natural history is a sad tale of vegetation and animal species depletion. For instance, native cats (quolls) have virtually disappeared from some states, probably succumbing to parvovirus borne by imported cats and dogs that accompanied land-clearing humans.
Hendra virus is not the only case where the forest has fought back. Australians have for some time coexisted uncomfortably with Barma Forest virus and Murray Valley Encephalitis. As we continue to push our ecological environment beyond the limits, we can expect this mix to become more ferocious and that this will be compounded by the absolute whirlpool of human population movements and activities globally.
Other places, other plagues, other times
This tale of the Australian ecological disaster can also be told of every other country where humans have, through the development of agriculture and new ways of traveling, rapidly and massively extended their footprint.
The Black Plague and ecological theory
There are theories that the Black Plague of the 14th century in Europe was not really rat-borne bubonic plague, but a zoonotic hemorrhagic fever. There are a few reasons to think this might be so, including an absence of reports of dying rats preceding the black plague, and the mortality rate, which was not really typical of bubonic plague.  Note, however, that several kinds of forest animal can carry plague and that rats may live in forests as much as they live in cities and on ships.
The plague, whatever it really was, greatly reduced population numbers in Britain and permitted forests to grow back and damaged soil to regenerate. The risk of malaria in England declined during this arboreal renaissance, probably because of a concomitant reduction in well-lit still-water pools. It would also have declined due to decline of the infection pool.
By the time of King Henry VIII, England's forests inspired envy elsewhere.
“The forests in the south of England, decimated by Roman iron smelting centuries before, had long since regenerated. England’s relatively rich endowment of wood provoked the admiration of the Venetian ambassador to King Henry VIII’s court whose country was then, for the most part, bare of trees. He wrote of the great bounty with which nature had provided England, allowing the English to have firewood in abundance. Indeed, in contrast to Venetian territory, ‘no lack of timber was felt or feared’ when Henry VIII ascended the throne.” (From John Perlin, A Forest Journey) 
Henry, however, saw Britain as backward and made haste to clear the forests for industry, importing skilled workers and capital to develop new industries, many of which depended on cheap fuel from burning plentiful wood, the prospect of which attracted capital.
With the addition of new immigrants, the human population began to grow and its activities to expand again in England. Where the trees were cleared, the water would rise and new swamps formed.
Little Ice Age and Malaria (1500-1750): exploiting the coastal niche in the Netherlands and England:
Adding opportunity for malaria in Britain was the rash of canal building, led and financed by immigrants from the Netherlands, where there was also a high rate of malaria. Malaria, which 20th century people tend to associate exclusively with the tropics, became a chronic scourge in England and continental Europe and would have impacted both on population numbers and on life expectancy. [Remark about Henry VIII edited out] [3A]
This was the time of the “Little Ice Age” (1500-1750), which Malaria Epidemiologist Otto S. Knottnerus describes as “the high days” of malaria around the North Sea in Europe, coinciding with this rush to exploit the “coastal niche” (made available by falling sea-level).
“... but its high-days were the Little Ice Age. After 1750 the disease retreated until it disappeared in the 1950s. The hotbeds of malaria were largely restricted to brackish coastal zones, where the mosquito Anopheles atroparvus could thrive. In these zones death-rates were 25-50 pct higher than in inland areas.” 
He attributes the increase in malaria in the Netherlands in part to resettlement around the polders (dykes), where malaria carrying mosquitoes which could live in quite salty water found conditions conducive.  This resettlement in the Netherlands was associated with massive land and water disturbance of a relatively chronic nature in conjunction with rapid population growth and the accumulation of high densities around cities. Around this time, as well, swamp draining and the building of sea-walls was ongoing across the sea, in England. 
Was the rising incidence of malaria in the late middle ages due to the new habit of digging canals and the denser settlement that brought relatively dense populations of humans in contact with malarial mosquitoes or the mosquitoes in contact with malarial humans including new immigrants from the Netherlands, where similar conditions prevailed?
Disease, mortality and environment in early modern England
Using data sets of demographic indices ranging from 1600 to 1800 AD for more than 1000 parishes in three counties of South East England, Mary Dobson, in “Disease mortality and the environment in early modern England,”  showed that death rates in marshland parishes were much higher than they were for other places in England. Mortality ran at over 50 in 1000 in such places and infant mortality was as high as 250 to 300 per 1000. These figures are comparable for death rates in tropical African countries where malaria prevails. They also reflect seasonal and annual changes in weather consistent with mosquito activity.
Paul Reiter, in “Defoe and Beyond,”  cites Defoe,
“a strange decay of the [female] sex here … it was very frequent to meet with men that had had from five to six, to fourteen or fifteen wives… the reason… was this; that they [the men] being bred in the marshes themselves, and seasoned to the place, did pretty well with it; but that they always went into the hilly country … for a wife: that when they took the young lasses out of the wholesome and fresh air, they were healthy, fresh and clear, and well; but when they came out of their native aire into the marshes… they presently changed their complexion, got an ague or two, and seldom held it above half a year or a year at most; and then …[the men] would go to the uplands again, and fetch another; so that marrying of wives was reckoned a kind of good farm to them.”
Diseases associated with marshes in England
Malaria was not the only disease associated with water in England.
“Altitude and drainage: water-borne diseases and the role of human pollution. One striking and repeatedly observed characteristic of the Southeast England data as the apparent significance of altitude and natural drainage in determining variations in death rates. Low-lying communities, especially those close to rivers and streams, while not as mortal as coastal and estuarine marshland parishes, nevertheless had consistently higher death rates than ‘dry upland’ settlements, defined as those situated above three or four hundred feet where there was often an absence or scarcity of surface drainage and water was obtained from wells or natural springs. …Low lying riverine parishes has average background mortality rates of the order of 30 to 40 per 1000; infant mortality rates between 150 and 200 per 1000; life expectation at birth in the thirties…” 
Why did Malaria disappear in Europe?
Malaria rates dropped after 1750 and slowly receded to almost vanishing point around the 1950s.
Decline in malaria incidence is often attributed to the introduction of quinine. Others, however, suggest that the doses and administration of quinine were probably epidemiologically ineffective in areas with high rates of endemicity. 
Among the technologies and practices known to Rome but reintroduced over the early 17th C was the technology of draining swamps. This technology, imported from Italy via Holland, came to England around 1614.  It is frequently claimed that this did much to reduce the very high mortality from malaria in England, but it has also been pointed out how mosquitoes did not always disappear. 
Another factor cited is climate change.
“Only two hundred years ago ague (malaria) was prevalent in the marshy lands of Norfolk, England. At that time the climate was more continental, giving very hot summers and cold winters. The disease as thus able to develop in the vector, Anopheline mosquitoes, in the summer and so spread from host to host, while it overwintered in man. The climate has changed now and the cooler summers are not favourable for the mosquito’s development.” 
Swamp draining and malaria in humans
The draining of swamps to enlarge agricultural land is often considered largely responsible for the reduction of mortality from malaria, in addition to other changes to agriculture. Some of these changes were the introduction of root crops such as mangel-wurzels and turnips as winter fodder for animals, which supplemented herd diets and meant carrying capacity was augmented. It is thought that this herd-boosting effect may have given mosquitoes a wider choice of targets. The mosquito is ‘zoophilic’, meaning that it has an eclectic taste in species. (The African anopheles mosquito is considered an exception, having seemingly developed a strong preference for human hosts in cohabitation with humans since farming in Neolithic times. This may be a reason it seems much harder to eradicate in Africa. On the other hand, continuous friction between humans and their disrupted natural environment might have more to do with this, as Robert Desowitz suggests, exposing more water to sunlight and therefore improving fertility opportunities for mosquitoes.) The introduction of machinery took men out of the fields and would therefore have lessened their availability to mosquitoes. New materials and construction methods made houses more mosquito-proof. More medical care and lower cost for quinine (the first treatment for malaria) reduced the amount of mosquito parasites in the blood and the amount of time they remained in the blood stream. This would have reduced the opportunities for mosquitoes to obtain infected blood from hosts. 
Chantal Beauchamp’s contribution to the epidemiological debate on malaria decline
Explanations do not always coincide with the epidemiological reality though. Malaria remains a mystery. When swamps are drained, water often appears elsewhere. The actual mosquito population may not diminish, but the incidence of malaria does.
War and malaria
In Chantal Beauchamp, “Fièvres d'hier, paludisme d'aujourd'hui. Vie et mort d'une maladie,”  Beauchamp describes how, between 1920 and 1930 in Spain, there was a massive organized fight against malaria, employing researchers and doctors in central and regional locations. Malaria rates fell until the time of the Spanish Civil War, when a new wave of malaria was largely blamed on infections originating in Morocco, plus disorganization of epidemiological medical services by the war. The anti-malarial war was relaunched with more services in 1944. In 1946 DDT was used in a few regions to kill anopheles mosquito vectors, although these mosquitoes were not common in Spain. Statistics of the time collected by Fernandez Maruto (see Figure, “Life and Death of a Disease”) showed a massive decrease between 1900-1918, followed by a couple of blunt spikes, then renewed decline after 1920, with this decline continuing until about 1938 when rates of malaria in Spain spiked to 1922 levels in 1943 or so, after which they declined precipitously to where the graph ends in 1960. Maruto attributed this decline to the medical approaches which had preceded it.
European Commission to fight malaria
As Chantal Beauchamp comments, however, it is obvious that the decline in malaria had begun well before 1920 when the European Commission to fight malaria and its [medical] services had first been organized and deployed. So, what really caused the decline? she asks. Perhaps anti-malaria combat simply needs sustained efforts and the interruption by the Spanish Civil War interrupted these? No, says Chantal. Malaria came back in Corsica at the same time, despite there being no civil war there and no mass arrival of troops from Morocco.
Quinine and malaria
Beauchamp also discusses the role of high and low doses of quinine in France, Corsica and Spain, finding that, high or low, quinine had impact, but cannot explain the whole story. Later drugs also had impact, but are still not sufficient. The success of campaigns against anopheles and other mosquito vectors is undermined by comparison with other countries which can be cited as ‘controls’. There are so many problems in identifying species of mosquitoes and determining their impact over many different regions that conclusions are difficult.
Herd-keeping and malaria
The role of changes to ways keeping herds is examined and found to be contradictory. In some countries the practice of putting animals in stables seems to have been accompanied by a decline in malarial predation on humans. In other countries, however, where herds were not enclosed, malaria also declined in humans.
Marsh-draining and malaria
Next, elimination of sundry water-sources such as marshes, ponds and puddles, coincided with a decline in malaria. Unfortunately for this theory, malaria also declined where water remained as it was.
On page 255 Beauchamp gives this example of how malaria declined in some regions of France whether or not swamps and similar water-sources were drained. Furthermore, in these cases, variations in the density of anopheles populations fails to coincide with variations in the rate of malarial infection in humans.
“In France, in three regions justly reputed as malarial because they were marshy – Brenne, Sologne and Dombes – health measures involving draining marshes were only temporary in Dombes, very patchy in Sologne, and non-existent in Brenne. Despite this, malaria disappeared in these areas between 1880 and 1890. Marsh draining, limited or absent, had practically no impact on the anopheles mosquito population, of which the density today is similar to the density it would have had in the 19th century, when malaria was rife. In some cases the ponds and marshes have become even more extensive than they were last century [19th], and the presence of anopheles mosquitos is even greater. This is also true of the dead arms of the Rhine River and the length of the Il in Alsace. We can say the same for the Languedoc, where, despite the growth in rice-paddies and the expansion of larval niches from 1914, no expansion of local malaria has been observed.” 
Human vectors and malaria
Beauchamp then notes that human malarial infection ultimately depends on human vectors. High birth rates tend to coincide with high rates of malaria, and declines in malaria rates with declines in birth rates. Unfortunately this coincidence doesn’t explain why the rate of malaria jumped over the period of 1937 and 1943 in different places.
Improvements in living standards and malaria
Next she notes how improvements in living standards have often been cited as responsible for declines in disease rates – for malaria and for many other maladies. The details of cause and effect, however, are lacking and the evidence is often contradictory:
“In its detail however, the relation between economic standard and standard of health is much less clear. From 1948 malaria mortality rates declined to the levels of 1936, but in 1955 agricultural production was 18% less than in 1930 and the availability of cereals per inhabitant was 35% less! It is only in 1962 that agricultural production in Spain again attained the level of 1931-1935. To explain the regression of a disease after the Second World War on economic development in Spain seems a little quick. In that period it seems that organized epidemiological approaches were the decisive factor in the eradication of the disease.” 
Ecological degradation and malaria
She refers (p.258) to Pérez Moreda’s ecological theory that changes to the landscapes of agricultural holdings in the 18th century, with neglect of huge ranches [latifundios] in the South and the center of the country, coincided with the rise of malaria in the same period. Deforestation caused by overgrazing, and soil degradation through environmentally destructive farming practices, were two important factors in the expansion of the disease.
For Moreda, ecological degradation with thinning of vegetation layers assisted the development of anopheles larval niches in the soil, while deforestation provoked mosquito migration on a grand scale.
Presence of humans and their activities and malaria
So, what are we to conclude?
That we are invisible to ourselves, perhaps. That we lack insight into our own presence on the planet.
Beauchamp concludes that the presence and activities of humans are not properly taken into account in the history of malaria.
My reason for exploring the relationship between population numbers and malaria was because, when I started a book I am currently writing about population numbers and the rise of capitalism, I had assumed that population numbers had risen in Britain because of the availability of coal as fuel. I discovered, however, that the numbers had begun to rise just before the actual industrial revolution. One reason for this seems to have been a decrease in rates of malaria.
“Retreat (1750-1950): The retreat of malaria has not yet been sufficiently explained. During the 18th century mortality rates in some regions were falling rapidly, whereas in others they remained largely the same. Particularly in Southeast England and the western districts bordering the Wadden Sea (Friesland, Groningen and East Friesland) population growth started early. But in Holland, Zealand and many German districts figures remained stagnant until the 19th century, whereas mortality rates were high up to the 1850s (Dobson 1998:81-159; Knottnerus 1997:38; Norden 1984). Moreover, in the German Lower Rhineland as well as in the Baltic unprecedented outbreaks of malaria took place during the first half of 19th century (Jaenson & al. 1986; Anderson 1980; Kortenhaus 1928; Wesenberg-Lund 1920-21:172). In general, tertian fevers got a more epidemic character instead of remaining endemic, whereas quartan fevers tended to become rare. As malaria outbreaks became more uncommon, seasonal peaks shifted from late summer to early spring (Swellengrebel and De Buck 1938; Seventer 1969).” [My translation]
What caused the decrease? It is possible that Britain's environment became more stable after 1750, and that between 1600 and 1750, destruction of the natural environment was at its height, but after 1750 there was either very little natural environment left and/or human settlements and activities took on an urban character which did not bring large numbers of people into contact with mosquitoes, soil and water. Around this time, enclosures reduced land for peasants, and forced people to seek work in cities.
London and Queensland: Plague and Hendra Virus
At the time of the civil wars in Britain, people in London went into the countryside and attacked the forests for wood to burn for fires. This was part of an orgy of forest destruction that went on preceding and during the time of the last big black plagues in England, which hit London badly.
Was the forest fighting back?
Is the forest fighting back again against the insightless destruction by humans of their natural environment in Queensland? Should we modify our behaviour?
 Ryan also makes a remarkable mistake about the numbers of koalas in Queensland, which I brought to the attention of the publishers and the Koala Foundation of Australia. I think that he confused the number of Queenslanders with the number of koalas somehow, because he came up with 4 million!
 Source: G. Christakos, Interdisciplinary Public Health Reasoning and Epidemic Modelling: the Case of Black Death (2005), pp. 110-14.
 John Perlin, A Forest journey, the story of wood and civilisation, The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont, USA, 2005, p. 163.
[3A] On 21 April 2013 I edited out the following remark because I cannot find my original source for it and because it seems to be contradicted by dates of usage of malaria: "Henry VIII, by the way, was an early user of quinine and may have suffered from malaria."
 Otto S. Knottnerus, “Malaria Around the North Sea: A Survey,” in Gerold Wefer, Wolfgang H. Berger, Karl-Ernst Behre, Eynstein Jansen (ed.), Climatic Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm: Hanse Conference Report. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2002, pp. 339-353 http://www.xs4all.nl/~ottoknot/werk/Malaria.html
 From historical records, we know that a malarious illness referred to as “the ague” or “intermittent fever” caused high levels of mortality in the British marshlands and fens from the 15th to the 19th century (4, 5). Robust evidence that the illness was malaria emerged in the early 19th century, when the increasing use of quinine and advances in fever diagnosis and pathology created a distinct separation from other acute fevers. Source: Katrin Gaardbo Kuhn, Diarmid H. Campbell-Lendrum, Ben Armstrong, and Clive R. Davies, “Malaria in Britain: Past, present, and future,” National Academy of Sciences, 2003, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC188345/
 Dobson, Mary J., “Contours of Death: disease, mortality and the environment in early modern England”, Health Transition Review, Vol.2, Supplementary Issue, 1992, p.81.
 Paul Reiter, “From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age”, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol.6, No.1, Jan-Feb 2000, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, San Juan, Puerto Rico, p.7.
 Dobson, Mary J., “Contours of Death: disease, mortality and the environment in early modern England”, Health Transition Review, Vol.2, Supplementary Issue, 1992, p.82
 Chantal Beauchamp, “ Fièvres d'hier, paludisme d'aujourd'hui. Vie et mort d'une maladie,” Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Volume 43, Issue 1, 1988, pp. 249-275, p.258, and J. Callot, “Un problème complexe : la régression du paludisme en France,” Annales, Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Vol2, Issue 3, 1947, pp. 328-335, p.332.
 Joan Thirsk, “The Rural Economy”, in Ed. Jerome Blum, Our Forgotten Past, Seven centuries of Life in the Land, Thames & Hudson, 1982, p.86.
 Chantal Beauchamp, “ Fièvres d'hier, paludisme d'aujourd'hui. Vie et mort d'une maladie,” Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Volume 43, Issue 1, 1988, pp. 249-275, p. 255.
 The Larousse Encyclopedia of Animal Life, Hamlyn, London, 1972, p.27
 Paul Reiter, “From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age”, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol.6, No.1, Jan-Feb 2000, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, San Juan, Puerto Rico, p.7. and Robert S. Desowitz, New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers,W.W. Norton and company, New York, London, pp20-21 and 50-51.
 “Fièvres d'hier, paludisme d'aujourd'hui. Vie et mort d'une maladie,”Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Volume 43, Issue 1, 1988, pp. 249-275
 Chantal Beauchamp, “ Fièvres d'hier, paludisme d'aujourd'hui. Vie et mort d'une maladie,” Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Volume 43, Issue 1, 1988, pp. 249-275, p.258, and J. Callot, “Un problème complexe : la régression du paludisme en France,” Annales, Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Vol2, Issue 3, 1947, pp. 255.
 Chantal Beauchamp, “ Fièvres d'hier, paludisme d'aujourd'hui. Vie et mort d'une maladie,” Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Volume 43, Issue 1, 1988, pp. 249-275, p.258, and J. Callot, “Un problème complexe : la régression du paludisme en France,” Annales, Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, Vol2, Issue 3, 1947, pp. 257-258.
 Otto S. Knottnerus, “Malaria Around the North Sea: A Survey,” in Gerold Wefer, Wolfgang H. Berger, Karl-Ernst Behre, Eynstein Jansen (ed.), Climatic Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm: Hanse Conference Report. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2002, pp. 339-353 http://www.xs4all.nl/~ottoknot/werk/Malaria.html
Cumberland Plain Woodland is critically endangered. For the illegal clearing of about 3 hectares Penrith Council deemed that a fine of $1500 was an appropriate penalty. Council ten years ago took a landowner to Court and they were fined $70,000 for clearing 3 hectares of River Flat Forest which is classified as endangered, a lesser category than critically endangered.
Monday 1st July, 2011
Penrith Council issues a pathetic $1500 fine for illegal clearing of critically endangered bushland
Penrith Council has sent a clear message to land owners and developers that it is open season on the natural heritage of Penrith by failing to use the full force of its powers to fine a Castlereagh land owner who cleared about 3 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland which is listed as critically endangered at a State and Federal level.
For the illegal clearing of about 3 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland Penrith Council deemed that a fine of $1500 was an appropriate penalty. Council ten years ago took a landowner to Court and they were fined $70,000 for clearing 3 hectares of River Flat Forest which is classified as endangered, a lesser category than critically endangered.
Geoff Brown, President of Western Sydney Conservation Alliance Inc, said, with disgust:
"This is a typical response of a pro-development anti environment Council. This amazingly ineffectual and inappropriate penalty is a flashing light to developers and anyone else wanting to profit from the destruction of Penrith's critically endangered bushland that, hey, go ahead and take the risk, Penrith Council doesn't really care, we're open for business and all you'll cop is a slap on the wrist."
He said, that, based on this fine by Penrith Council all the CPW in Penrith could be illegally cleared and the penalty issued would only be about $1 million.
A developer is looking at making that sort of money with 1 hectare of land these days so the message Council is sending to developers is, financially, illegal land clearing is worth it if all we will face is a fine of $500 per hectare.
They can simply factor it into their business plans.
But the Council should have taken the miscreant to court.
"Council definitely had the option to take this land owner to court but has chosen to take the cheap option of only issuing an penalty infringement notice. This again reinforces the belief of many that when it actually comes to protecting the environment and the public interest Penrith Council is all talk and no action."
Matter should have been referred up to Federal Environment department
Apparently the Council has not taken taken correct measures:
"Because Cumberland Plain Woodland is critically endangered at a Federal and State level any actions to harm it have to be in accordance with Federal and State legislation including referring the action of clearing directly to the Federal Environment department for assessment. So many checks and balances have been avoided by this example of illegal land clearing. Penrith Council's pathetic fine fails on so many levels to send a clear message to the public about what is right and wrong and why there is a need to protect bushland. Councils pathetic enforcement is why CPW is on the brink of extinction."
Absurd and immoral token penalty
Mr Brown illustrated the absurdity of Penrith Councils almost symbolic penalty:
"The public often hears of footballers copping fines of thousands of dollars just for consuming a few beers yet here we have life, species, that have evolved over millions of years to survive only in Penrith, destroyed for ever and the fine is only $1500. Something is clearly wrong."
Source: Western Sydney Conservation Alliance Inc, Comments: Geoff Brown President WSCA, 0431 222602
I was moved to investigate further when on April 5th candobetter.net received an anonymous comment, entitled, "Koala left clinging to a tree after land clearing." A link to a photograph of a koala clinging to a tree in a recently cleared paddock showed that someone had actually managed to get photo-evidence of the sickening process of koala extinction - for unwanted development - which goes on under our noses with the blessing of the Queensland Government.
Development in Australia is plain scary!
The photographed koala is just one of the many disappearing (starved, run over, mauled, exposed) koalas on the Queensland Goldcoast, where greedy developments are, ironically, absurdly, destroying the beauty and space they advertise in their brochures. There are no effective laws to stop them in Australia. What is more, the State government in Queensland and the state governments in all the other states of Australia operate like land-companies, making laws to privilege development and ensuring that environmental laws have absolutely no teeth. The justification for such developments is to accommodate population growth, but it is the development lobby that causes the population growth to be politically engineered simply to keep up demand for housing, and to provide an excuse for the intolerable rate of ecological destruction.
As Vivienne Ortega wrote in her admirable article, "Koalas on the edge of survival precipice" on the subject of koala extinction, "There is no way koalas can evolve and adapt fast enough to overcome roads, logging, land clearing, invasive species and pets. The only way koalas could “win” is if they had machine guns to protect them!"
The entity directly backing the development destined for the koala habitat in question is the "Perron Group", which describes itself as "a privately-owned Perth-based Group of Companies owned and controlled by the Chairman, Mr Lloyd Stanley Perron AM." [AM stands for 'Member of the Order of Australia'. Wikipedia describes the Order of Australia as 'an order of chivalry established by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia on 14 February 1975 "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service"'.]
The Perron group, by its own account, has invested more than $30m in the project which is responsible for the destruction of koalas' homes in an area where the species is severely threatened in a world already over-run with people and suburbs.
The group describes its project as "a world class example of a sustainable master planned community for future generations of Australians."
The intention is to build 3,500 houses on this precious native habitat with a long history of being protected and of continuing community support for its protection.
Let us pause for a moment and consider what the notion of a 'master-planned' 'community' must mean to the citizens in the area who may have believed they had self-government, where members of the elected council, such as Councillor Ted Shepherd, have been trying to fight for their rights and for koala and other species habitat since this development application was first proposed. Ironically millionaire Bob Anthes, in a land where money almost always means destruction of wildlife and democracy, had kept this land safe for nature up to his death in 2004. Then, according to Melinda Marshall's article,
Balance? What balance? Bank balance?
Mr Alston was quoted on 14 December excusing his actions by saying, "You have to have a balance of natural and human habitat," he said.
What sort of 'balance' is extinction? As Vivienne Ortega writes in "Koalas on the edge of the survival precipice,"...., "The only way koalas could “win” is if they had machine guns to protect them!"
If you want to stand up for the koalas, you can leave comments here for the Perron Group re its "Pacific View Estate." There are a few already, to the effect that just because it's 'legal' that doesn't make it alright. And there is a sad little argument to the effect of, "We cut the trees down for rural management, but we agree with you that farming isn't a good idea so close to urban development, that's why we are putting more houses there." (!)
Pacific View Estate and the Perron Group
The Perron Group consists of many 'players'. CRA, DPZ Pacific, Urban Planning Services, Ocean Park Consulting, James Warren & Associates, LVO Architecture, John Wood Consultancy Services, Bitzios Consulting, Cardno, Steensen Varming and Acoustic Logic Consultancy. On the Pacific View Estate site it says, "Pacific View Estate, a new relationship between natural and human habitats."
This description would also suit TEPCO's business in providing electricity to Japan.
God Squad vs Koalas
CRA claims (on the Pacific View Estate site) to 'work closely' with Mission Australia.
Mission Australia describes itself as having a "founding purpose inspired by Jesus Christ," and that, " Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'. Furthermore it claims that its "vision" is "to see a fairer Australia by enabling people in need to find pathways to a better life'".
Well, maybe with 'visions' you don't need to look at reality.
Does Mission Australia really think that Jesus would endorse the desecration of the natural world, the extinction of species, the razing of forests, and the abrogation of community self-government through commercially "master-planned" communities dominated by transnational corporations?
Talk about building temples for money-changers! I won't be making a donation to Mission Australia if this is what it supports.
Other organisations involved in this Pacific .... Project.
DPZ Pacific says that its "mission" is "to design and build communities in harmony with the environment in the world’s most dynamic regions for growth." It's a bizarre mix of words, isn't it? I guess you could take it to mean that DPZ Pacific considers this region not for its biodiversity, but for its population growth trends. Thus, to be in harmony with marketed demographic projections, there is nothing wrong with paving over the trees, starving out the koalas and stuffing up local self-government. What is this? Leggoworld? Are the people and their elected representatives just some kind of transformer toys there to animate a sandpit?
DPZ Pacific: "DBIDBI Design," not exactly what you would want for a natural environment, this architectural firm, going by the photos on its website.
Urban Planning Services - UPS ... More planners.
Ocean Park Consulting: "Ocean Park Consulting Pty Limited is a Gold Coast based company that provides to government agencies and private enterprise organisations delivery management, approvals engineering, environmental planning and integrated infrastructure planning services.
Ocean Park Consulting's extensive professional experience in major land development and infrastructure projects facilitates early recognition of potential project constraints and opportunities and allows for development of effective management strategies to ensure positive project outcomes, to strive to achieve a balance between the needs of the natural environment and the human environment. "
That word, "balance" again, in such an unbalanced project of machines against nature.
James Warren & Associates is described on the site as "a specialist environmental consulting company which has been operating since 1987." It is claimed that "JWA have completed a detailed assessment of the Ecological Values of the Pacific View Estate site" and that the company has "identified the potential impacts of the proposed development on these values and have recommended various mitigation measures" and that "in consultation with the team of experts, JWA have assisted to design a concept plan that provides for the conservation of the ecologically significant values occurring on site."
Wonder what they had to say about the koalas and chopping down all the trees? Speak up, James Warren and Associates! Are you pleased or did they ignore what you recommended?
(Then again, how can anyone in this group speak up? Their livings depend on this process continuing. So someone else has to stop it.)
LVO’ Architecture ... More builders...
John Wood Consultancy Services was established in December 2000, as the Principal Recreation and Environmental Planner with EDAW (Australia) Pty Ltd. On JWC's site there is a notice which states that the operator is "a current member of the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation" and explains that all such members "have agreed to abide by QORF's Code of Ethics." If you go to the site that lists those ethics, which are quite admirable. It is therefore surprising to see that one of their members should be associated with a project which is now linked to destruction of koala habitat and the razing of trees on a property once known for its conservation values, now transformed into a corporate vs community battleground.
Bitzios Consulting is an Australian traffic engineering and transport planning consultancy that operates on an international scale.
Cardno: Grogan Richards Consulting Engineers has merged with transnationals Cardno, an "infrastructure services firm" which, like others on the Pacific View Estate, professes to be creating "better communities across the globe". Its "client base includes builders, developers, shopping centre owners and managers, local government, government departments, architects, manufacturers, retailers, town planners and the legal profession."
Steensen Varming - construction, engineering, incorporating "environmentally responsible features."
Acoustic Logic Consultancy - more engineering and construction of a specialised nature. "With the implementation of this wealth of knowledge and experience, ALC and the Pacific View Farm have endeavoured to ensure that this project will not have detrimental acoustic impact on the future and existing residents of Worongary."
With such a corporate army of spin-doctors and built-environmentalists what hope do koalas or democracy have? In fact the koala might well stand for local democracy because both democracy and koalas are doomed in this commercial transnational environment, with its practitioners determined to ram their steel constructions down the locals' throats with the saccharine-sugar coating of a few promised 'jobs' which may well go to imported labour.
Oh what evil in Australia is done in the name of "jobs", where once there was land and food to spare and the possibility of a just society.
Out of control
The Gold Coast Council administers a once-magnificent part of Australia and oversees a great deal of callous destruction and environmental degradation in the name of continuous population growth - which most people explicitly reject in polls.
The growth is driven by investors who only see the returns on their balance-sheets and apparently lack the wit to examine the greater costs - to social capital and local, national and global biodiversity. This tragic process which currently entraps Australia was magnified to greater heights than ever before in the mid-1990s, as the global internet took off and as the last feeble obstacles to foreign purchase and investment of Australian real-estate were removed. Policies were put in place to turbo charge the financial turnover on an international scale, leading to the so-called global financial crisis. But we are dealing with addicts here, so the crisis machine was cranked up again with public money.
The homes will be bought by outsiders mostly, with no knowledge, loyalty or emotional investment in the community - rather like the developers, one suspects.
 I recently talked with a lawyer who had just graduated from a post-grad course in Environmental Law. I asked her if there was anything in it. "Nothing," she said. "Absolutely nothing. It's completely shocking!" She added, "I took the course to see if my first impression was really true, that the environmental laws in Australia didn't work. And it was true! We have no environmental law!"
Melinda Marshall, "Council bushwacked," March 22nd, 2010.
Today is a dark day for native vegetation and the environment
Website - http://livingwiththebush.org/dp/
Today (Thursday 3rd Sept) Brumby bulldozed amendments to the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley Regional Strategy Plan.
This was pushed through both houses of parliament with less than one days notice so the Government can soon remove vegetation protection to allow:
- clearing of all trees and vegetation within 10m of a house
- clearing a 4m wide strip of all vegetation along each property boundary
- clearing any vegetation except trees between 10m and 30m from a house;
from all of Victoria except the 20 urban councils around Melbourne proper.
This will have a devastating impact in many areas of Victoria where many communities live with in a bushland setting.
And the evidence is that doing this will not make us safe from bushfire.
There are examples from Black Saturday of houses without any nearby vegetation that burnt, of fires that raced through short grass fields to ignite buildings. Houses located more than 380 metres from continous bush were lost.
Vegetation can also act as an essential windbreak, reducing the wind that intensifies fires, and may provide protection from radiant heat as well as slowing down or stopping embers.
Yet the Brumby government intends to allow this clearing until the final recommendations of the Bushfire Commission are released next year.
This will encourage unneighbourly behaviour
By then everyone who has been endeavouring to clear their block for any reason, including gaining a better view will have done so. We will have lost forever even more of our biodiversity and dumped more green house gases into the atmosphere.
The Living With The Bush Coalition has been formed to campaign against this proposal. We believe that this unfettered clearing is fundamentally flawed in that it will not protect houses from bushfires, may in fact increase the danger by creating more intense fires and will destroy the reason so many of us live with the bush.
Read our charter, "Living with the Bush"
You can read our charter at as well as more information on this issue, why we have reached this position and what you can do.
If you support the views expressed in the charter please consider endorsing it, either individually or as on behalf of a group.
You can register your support at the website.
With a large community outcry I hope we can get these unilateral changes modified to something that will protect our lives instead of just removing trees.
Please forward this on to your networks to help build the Living with the Bush Coalition,
0407 300 188