Thank you all for writing to Senator Brown about the Senate Inquiry. It is great that so many of you care. Many of you are receiving information back from his office asking you to submit something in writing to the Inquiry. You are also asking me what you think is important to tell them.
It seems to me that the Senators could get totally overwhelmed unless we are incredibly succinct. Over the years, I have seen incredibly long submissions in what seems endless rounds of community consultation, but I think for this we need to be very clear.
We all know the koala is in trouble. We all know that legislation seems to be inadequate or not being enforced. We all know that koalas are dying.
What we have to convince this Committee about is why.
I would encourage you, particularly the groups, to focus on just one issue. Something where you have all the facts that can prove your argument. The things that really drive you mad, and I would also suggest you identify one simple and logical solution for the problem you pose.
AKF will be contacting many of you directly so that we can make sure there will be a broad spectrum of submissions, but I think it is fantastic for those of you in the community who just want to tell the “everyday person” story. Click here for all the information about the enquiry and to submit your submission online. Final submissions are due by 8th February 2011.
Since I last wrote I have been visiting south western Queensland having a look at Acland – the town that has disappeared because it will become a coal mine. Although I didn’t find koalas, I certainly found koala pooh. We have to wonder at the fate of the koalas in that region when all this proceeds.
I also met with farmers whose land will be affected by gas and coal, very similar to what will happen in New South Wales, and there seems to be the same issues appearing. Not only are koalas affected, but as an Australian concerned about our future, I cannot see how we can continue to destroy our farmland for coal and gas and then on the other hand talk seriously about food security.
As I said at the beginning of the year after Copenhagen, I want our leaders words to match their actions. In a nutshell, how can we export more coal and gas than at any other time in history and be taken seriously that we are committed to a carbon reduced world? How can we take them seriously when they say they are going to take food security seriously, when they allow companies to completely destroy the land that grows food. It just doesn’t make sense.
Last week I met with filmmaker Josh Fox - click here to watch the video footage. Although it looks great fun, I learnt a lot from him and his colleagues.