Rural Lands Protection Board Shame
February 2007
It is now five months since we reported on ring-barking and cutting down of old-
growth and other mature trees by the Rural Lands Protection board to construct
fences, and to “improve pasture" on travelling stock routes and reserves.
We wrote to the Grafton Board, with a copy to Mr McDonald, the Minister for
Primary Industry, asking that changes be made to the highly destructive methods
currently being employed.
At the time of reporting the story, we had had no response to either letter, and we
promised an update down the track. We can now report that we never received any
response on the issue from the Minister, but did however, receive a response from
the Board.
As you will see by the attached copy of that response, if we had hoped for some
indication that there would be any change of policy, we were to be disappointed. It
seems that clearing of mature trees to improve grazing will continue; as will the
cutting down of old-growth trees along fence-lines. The bulldozing of riparian
habitats to control Lantana seems set to continue, as will the cutting down of mature
trees well outside the 12 metre cleared strip deemed necessary to construct fences.
One issue we neglected to raise in our earlier letters was the practice of building
100% barbed wire fences. It has been recognised that barbed wire, especially the top
strand is having a devastating impact on wildlife, particularly gliders which are
frequently caught up on the barbs and die there. In view of the response to date, it
hardly seems worth while wasting paper and postage on further letters.
Lethal 4 strand barbed wire fence at the Coutts Crossing reserve, a serious wild-life
hazard, is typical of fences being constructed by Rural Lands Protection Board.