I’ve pointed out in several posts on ConservationBytes.com just how badly Australia is doing in the environmental stakes, with massive deforestation continuing since colonial times, feral predators and herbivores blanketing the continent, inadequate protected areas, piss-weak policies and a government at war with its own environment. Despite a few recent wins in marine conservation, Australia has a dreadful track record.
Now in another monumental demonstration of stupidity, corruption and colonial-era attitudes toward native wildlife, Western Australia has outdone itself by sneaking through legislation to extend its so-called ‘Barrier Fence’ in an effort to isolate its marginal farmland from dingoes, emus and other ‘nuisance’ species.
As I and several others have pointed out before, the mere existence of the record-breaking dingo fence is not only counter-productive, it is expensive and utterly archaic. It should be torn down entirely.
Instead, the Western Australian government wants to extend the national fence, and they’ve approved the plan it without going through any of the appropriate checks in the system. Its environmental impacts have not been adequately assessed, nor has the public been given the opportunity to oppose the plans. In my view, the people responsible for this act should go to gaol.
In a recent paper led by Keith Bradby entitled Ecological connectivity or Barrier Fence? Critical choices on the agricultural margins of Western Australia, we show how the Western Australia state government has not followed any of its own environmental legislation and rushed through these idiotic proposals. If you do not subscribe to Ecological Management and Restoration, you can obtain a copy of the paper by e-mailing Keith or me.
We also review the horrendous ecological toll these fences have, and highlight the disgusting ways in which animal welfare is completely compromised. Warning: the carnage is brutal.
If you are a Western Australian voter, it would be a good time to raise a little hell about these proposals to stop them in their tracks. Scientific evidence and public pressure won the day for sharks – now it’s terrestrial Western Australia that needs your support.