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Green Group Welcomes Support on Woody Weeds Debacle

21, February 2007

Australian Environment Foundation chairman, Don Burke today welcomed the statements made by the Australian Beef Association calling for changes to the NSW Native Vegetation laws.

“We are pleased that ABA chairman, Brad Bellinger supports the AEF on this key issue of farmers managing their own land to produce good environmental outcomes for the whole community.

“Mr Bellinger’s statement that the NSW farming community has been treated appallingly by the Iemma government echoes the AEF concerns with the draconian native vegetation laws that are likely to force some farmers to walk off their farms.

“The AEF calls on farmers, sensible environmentalists and all community groups that are concerned with these laws and the loss of property rights to attend the public forum in Dubbo at 10am Friday March 2nd.

“Now is the time for all groups to unite in a show of strength to put an end to these attacks on the farming community.

“The AEF supports the commonsense proposals previously put forward by the NSW Regional Community Survival Group to the government.  We have invited the Premier and the Opposition Leader to the public forum to outline what action they will take in support of the farmers and the environment.

“I was recently invited by the farmers of Nyngan and Cobar to view first hand the destructive impacts of invasive scrub on the landscape of western NSW.  What I saw was not a natural feature of the environment.

“I was shocked to see how near ‘monocultures’ of invasive scrub had out competed native grasses for water and nutrients, leaving the soil prone to severe wind and water erosion.

“Vast tracts of land are now an ecological desert, exacerbating current drought conditions” said Mr Burke.

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