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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Lower Macquarie Floodplain under threat: Lower Macquarie Defenders demand some answers.

Join the Lower Macquarie Defenders here

There are credible reports of widespread acts of eco-vandalism by the new owners of an aggregation of properties in the Lower Macquarie Floodplain. 
This is whats at risk of being Australia's next
monocultural dustbowl

 Reports have been filed with a variety of government agencies all of which seem to think that acting to prevent this destruction is someone else's responsibility. Meanwhile the slash and burn operators hired by Harris Brothers controlled Corporate Agribusiness Kurraba Investments bulldoze and burn essential wildlife habitat free of scrutiny. We have highlighted some of the issues which concern us. 

  • Wildlife habitat destruction. Previous farm management as with many family broadacre farmers proved that wildlife and agriculture can co-exist. The monocultural methods now being deployed will make no provision for wildlife on the property.
  • Overflow paths. Being on the Lower Macquarie floodplain any interference with the topography and soil retention capabilities will have direct impacts on neighbouring and downstream landholders and communities. No known Development application process has been completed or consents given to ensure the interests of surrounding and downstream stakeholders are protected.
  • Aboriginal Heritage assessment. Aboriginal tools have previously been found on the property. As a food resource the area bounded by the Macquarie and Barwon Rivers would have been highly prized. 
  • Toxins in the watercourse. The current methods of cotton farming for which Kurraba is noted locally and nationally uses Monsanto GMO Cotton and relies on 245-D as a weedicide. The impacts of this toxin entering river systems on the abundant native fishery as well as people swimming in the rivers needs to be considered.
  • Dust. The typical farming methods used by Kurraba leave vast acreages of ploughed land as neighbourhood dust generators. 
  • Damming: is this Australia's next Cubby Station? Do Kurraba plan to dam the Macquarie or the Barwon or both ? Locals concerns must be addressed.
  Are the checks and balances in place right? Or is the penalty for non-compliance so trivial that ecovandal investors simply pay the fine and get on with business? Do laws correctly target the ultimate beneficiary of such violations as may arise-or are they able to send a contractor or employee to jail for what they have been ordered to do?
The pictures below give an indication of the farming methods used by this agribusiness collosus and their disdain for sustainable agriculture.

Photos kindly provided by Jack Harris

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