By Barry Lees

You are probably aware that Mother Nature is in a bit of trouble! Think climate change, causing hotter heat waves and more severe droughts, contributing to more intense bushfires with huge losses of birds and animals. Think of the Great Barrier Reef – ocean temperatures are predicted to keep rising, meaning that it may not survive at all. Clearing native bush to graze cattle, grow crops and build more and bigger houses results in loss and fragmentation of habitat. Australia now has the highest extinction rate of native birds and animals of all countries.

Despite all this, we have the absurd situation where our governments are still heavily subsidizing fossil fuel companies, encouraging the development of new coal and coal-seam-gas mines, logging native forests that further reduce habitat (especially for koalas) and introducing laws allowing increased clearance of native bush on rural properties, ironically called the Biodiversity Conservation Act!

Our local area has not escaped. There has been much tree canopy lost through housing developments and the building of more and bigger houses on many individual properties.

For people who care for the environment, all this can be very depressing! We need to remember that we are part of Nature, not separate from it. To live, we need comfortable air temperatures, reasonable quality air and water and adequate housing and food. All that is under threat if temperatures keep rising as climate scientists predict.

So what can we do? I don’t want to get political, but it is vital we vote for people and parties who will strongly support the environment.

We should look after our own properties in a way that favours the environment. This has many components, but a major one in planting lots of trees and shrubs in every nook and cranny you can find. Benefits will multiply if you can join areas of bush together to make a wildlife corridor and reduce fragmentation. You might increase the benefits if you join with a neighbour’s property. Reduce planting near houses – follow the guidelines for asset protection zones. Horse owners need pasture for feed – at least plant shade trees and maybe donate an area for the environment.

Landcare can help by supplying free native trees and shrubs under certain conditions.

Talk to Nick on 9653 2056 or go to our website

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