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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Carr's guilty conscience on east coast forests in redgum plea?
Mood:  cool
Topic: nsw govt



Picture: Contrary to NSW govt PR logging intensity as high as ever 2001 Upper Deua wilderness.

Former premier Bob Carr was forced out in 2005 as his polling crashed, allowed by the ALP machine to limp along in the job until his 10th anniversary before resigning.

Not many people have really analysed the net environmental consequence of Carr's main boast of forest protection of NSW eastern division forests. The story is not nearly as good as Carr would have people believe. Carr is known as a thespian so a reality check is again in order.

Especially because Carr has leapt into PR mode in the last few days via Get Up organisation urging protection of redgum forests in south west NSW. A good message from a damaged messenger. And if he is acting out of a guilty conscience, at least it's in evidence unlike ex PM Paul Keating who failed Australia's forests dismally with his initiative of so called Regional Forest Agreements.

We recently briefed south east region conservation groups and Get UP organisation as follows:

Subject: [chipstop] Links re Carr's dodgy green credentials, prior to redgums in GetUp Re: [chipstop] RE: [SERCA] FW: Join Bob Carr: Save the River Red Gums

Yes history of the 90ies is stale 10 years old, but the current ALP is a product of it's past with same habits.
On redgums Carr is surely posturing for the next state election. And he might be well motivated. And he might be riddled with guilt! Who knows. The message is right, but the messenger is damaged goods. 
I remember in harness for TWS in 1994 pre election he promised to save wilderness areas. But his policy actually said 365K ha out of 713K ha identified under the legislative process Wilderness Act 1987 passed with bipartisan support.
Alan Hansen who worked for Opposition Env Minister Pam Allan rang me personally to complain about exposing this detail in the official newsletter of TWS. They seemed to think the green movement were ALP serfs.
This was the best clue the ALP were unreliable later in the 90ies, as I said regarding RFA decisisons 20 year resource security industry holy grail. It was also why the ALP cut me and TWS out of negotiating "a peace plan" pre 1995 election. Too independent, and too honest. They were ALWAYS going to cut forests in half. This regarding the late 90ies decisions:
 "To hide this reality Carr went the big lie PR option - ‘biggest forest decision in the world’. I still remember The Wilderness Society putting out a list of bigger conservation decisions worldwide - about 20 of them - in a brutal lampooning of Carr’s arrogance. With environmental friends like Carr who needs enemies."
Here is that TWS media exposing Carr going the proverbial big lie, which I web posted for posterity years back (at Carr ALP dodges 1995-99 refer "Box 4" breakout item) including this:

Apart from deliberately and dishonestly conflating the notion of "forest protection" with "new national park", the other variation on Carr's boasting was that his government had created one million hectares of reservations in NSW and this was a "world record". The Wilderness Society as quoted in Parliament by Ian Cohen MLC has shown convincingly using World Conservation Monitoring Centre figures that NSW as a unit is still behind 74 other countries in terms of terrestrial protected areas, and just below the 6. 29% of land area conserved on average per country. For the 4 year term of office Carr has made less significant conservation decisions than

  • Brazil (3.5 million ha in 1990, 6 million ha in 1979-82),
  • Indonesia (3 million ha in 1978-81,
  • 2.5 million ha in 1980-82),
  • Columbia (2 million ha, 1977).
  • Even in Queensland in one year 1977 a million hectares of national park was created, and in NT nearly a million hectares in 1990.
  • There is not space here to list other protection decisions in China,
  • USA (4 different states) or
  • Venezuela

that outstrip or equal Bob Carr's "world record" fantasy.

Just as the RFA maps dishonestly conflated existing national park with new national park decisions - in order to dwarf the large swathes of logging area, actually much bigger than new national parks. I have those maps here:
Saturday, 25 July 2009
I have posted an original copy of that TWS leaflet of 1991 this morning about the logging industry holy grail of resource security on public land, initially defeated but back with a vengeance now, regretably:
The Wilderness Society brief on 'Resource Security' 1991
Who knows, maybe Carr is trying to make amends with the Redgums to do the full job? Miracle if it's true.
Yours truly, Tom
Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:40 PM
Subject: [chipstop] RE: [SERCA] FW: Join Bob Carr: Save the River Red Gums

 We saved the South East forests, the North coast icons and the Pilliga. These were all generous conservation outcomes, and no unemployment resulted.
Im sorry but what the? hes such a liar. still good on him for doin the get up thing & your right sean - great exposure. -still, in case anyone has forgotten whose signature is on the RFAs, Bobs got a lot to answer for.

To: serca_members

This is fantastic.   Can we get the same exposure for our koalas?


To: Sean Burke
Subject: Join Bob Carr: Save the River Red Gums

--- A message to GetUp members from Former NSW Premier Bob Carr ---

Dear GetUp Members,

From the air they are bands of green that emerge from the Great Dividing Range and run along the banks of our major rivers as they snake west. On ground they are stately silhouettes, mighty arms akimbo, hefty trunks streaked red on white: statuesque, unmoving, some hundreds of years old but with the look of eternity. The river red gums are the guardians of inland Australia.

Enter these forests. Set off a mob of kangaroos. Then hear the silence settle. Look around and be filled with the wonder of being in ancient Australia.

Log these? Log them for another 5 years until the old ones are all gone and we are left only with straggly regrowth? Log them when 80 per cent of the landscape along the Murray has already been cleared? When on some stretches 75 per cent of the trees are already dead or dying or stressed because of drought and climate change? Log them for firewood and railway sleepers and fence posts?

Many parts of our country are in flood, but the Murray-Darling, food bowl of our nation, is still cracked and dry. The River Red Gums that stand guard on its banks are a gift to future generations. They are of national significance, and it falls to all of us to protect them.

The NSW Government has announced that 80 per cent of the red gums will be protected as national forest, but reports suggest some 16,000 hectares will be logged for another 5 years. I intend to seek clarification of this, but you may wish to let NSW Premier Kristina Keneally know you think the future of these mighty trees is very, very important:


The most reliable estimate is that there are only 136 jobs in red gum logging on public lands across NSW. Timber jobs are 0.2 per cent of employment in the region. All can be accommodated in new national parks.

How can I be so certain? First, because Victoria has just done it. As of June 30 last year, logging stopped forever in 91,000 hectares of red gum wetlands. The outcome is jobs positive because there are 30 new park ranger jobs in four new parks, 10 jobs in forest management and 24 jobs in the tourism sector.

Second, because NSW offers loads of experience in world-significant nature conservation made possible through industry restructuring without job losses. We have had 30 years of these arguments. Each has ended with decisive conservation victories, and the outcomes have been endorsed at state elections. In my experience - and I was environment minister in the Wran government between 1984 and 1988 - the case made by conservationists starts by looking over-reaching. But it always ends up being vindicated.

My Government led Australia on nature conservation. I am proud of creating some 300 new national parks. We saved the South East forests, the North coast icons and the Pilliga. These were all generous conservation outcomes, and no unemployment resulted. We can do it with the river red gums, but Government need to be reminded that nature conservation has public support:


In their bones country and city people alike know that as the continent's population climbs (to more than 40 million by mid-century, according to the latest estimates) we will count precious every hectare of national park this generation has declared.

Bob Carr

Bob Carr was the longest continuously serving NSW premier.

This message was sent through GetUp.org.au and your personal details have not been shared with Mr. Carr or anyone else.

Posted by editor at 1:38 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 11 March 2010 2:18 PM EADT

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