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Tax-incentive legislation will assist major corporations, take rural land out of agricultural production, says Greens Party MP

Posted by waterweek on 11 October 2007

Christine Milne MP (Greens Party Senator) speaking against proposed tax incentive legislation, stated that the legislation would result in water and land being removed from agricultural production. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, australia, Emissions, Energy, NT, Regulation, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

$6.4m Project Pigeon Hole shows water management, infrastructure investment dramatically reduce costs

Posted by waterweek on 10 October 2007

According to Aust­ralia’s largest pastoral development research project, dramatic potential increases in the carrying capacity of Australia’s Top End cattle properties could double property values, wrote Matthew Cranston in The Australian Financial Review (8/10/2007, p. 62).

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Academic warns against repeating mistakes in northern Australia; country had made a “complete mess” of water and other natural resources in southern states

Posted by waterweek on 14 September 2007

One of the authors of a study into the unique environmental conditions of the Top End has warned the commonwealth to avoid repeating the mistakes of the south and rejected attempts to promote northern Australia as the “food bowl” of the nation, reported The Australian (15/8/2007, p.7).

Academic cites “complete mess” of Aus resources in south: New research has described northern Australia as the world’s largest and least damaged tropical savanna, comparing the 1.5 million-square-kilometre region with “one of the few very large natural areas remaining on Earth” alongside the Amazon rainforests and Antarctica. But Australian National University fellow Henry Nix, who co-wrote the comprehensive study, said the nation had made a “complete mess” of water and other natural resources in southern states.

Northern “food bowl” gambit false, academic says: He urged the Howard Government’s Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce to focus on developing sustainable land management techniques that were appropriate for the region. “We don’t want to repeat the mistakes we made in the south and are still making,” he said. Professor Nix said Liberal senator Bill Heffernan, the taskforce’s chairman, “couldn’t be more wrong” when he said northern Australia could become the food bowl for the nation and the region.

Not enough suitable land, up north: Senator Heffernan, who did not return calls yesterday, has encouraged farmers to move north and “take our farms to where the water is”. Professor Nix said the proposal ignored the realities of the land in northern Australia. “There’s plenty of water here, but not much suitable land,” he said. “Small chunks, very scattered and isolated, with a couple of exceptions. We can do better, but it won’t be the food bowl of Asia or the food bowl of Australia. Far from it.”

Report “road map” for future of northern Australia: Professor Nix said three other leading scientists came together in Darwin to launch their new book, The Nature of Northern Australia, following three years of research. The authors said the environmental survey was designed to provide a road map for planning future economic growth and conservation of the “irreplaceable ecological systems” of the north. They said the region, which boasted the world’s largest expanse of tropical savanna in good condition, had to properly manage threats from developments and invasive plants and animals. Professor Nix said indigenous people in remote communities played a crucial role in the management of land, particularly in relation to fire management and biosecurity along the northern coast.

The Australian, 15/8/2007, p. 7

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