Steve Brown: If the food security of billions depends on …

Comment on Buffel inaction makes mockery of parks hype by Peter.

Steve Brown: If the food security of billions depends on growing declared weeds that degrade the land, literally depleting the nutrients in it and not recycling them, and destroying the natural environment then we are all stuffed.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Grazing is not nearly as important as tourism to the NT economy.
2000 jobs in the grazing industry and falling.
6,000 in accommodation and food and rising.
Tourism is a large economic driver of the Northern Territory economy and earns us well over one billion dollars a year.
By contrast grazing is far less significant.
The average income for stations carrying less than that was just $70,000 last year. Average debt $150,000 to $1.4 million.
Keeping the dust down is costing us dearly and will continue to do so in the future.
And tourists who see our adverts showing off a field of wildflowers and flowering Corkwoods and Cassis bushes will certainly notice the difference as they look out on a buffel grass monoculture.

Peter Also Commented

Buffel inaction makes mockery of parks hype
Ian Sharp: But what’s easier to control, buffel or the Buffel Seed-head Caterpillar?
Almost certainly the answer is the Buffel Seed-head Caterpillar.
So the caterpillar eats feral buffel and the environment dramatically improves and pastoralists spray to control the pest.
What a nice change.


Buffel inaction makes mockery of parks hype
Ian we need to keep covering the same old ground until the governments take some action.
It is an absolute disgrace that not a cent is being spent on investigating biological controls for the Buffel weed, a declared pest weed in SA.
This invasive species is robbing us and our children of our Central Australian heritage – the unique natural environment we live in.
Soon or later someone will become desperate enough to introduce the Buffel Seed-head Caterpillar without proper investigation of the risks.
Might even do it myself – crowd funding possibility?


Buffel inaction makes mockery of parks hype
Alex Nelson, good points on birds that can eat buffel seeds.
Given that buffel destroys trees in the long term, galahs and other bird species would be deprived of their nesting habitats.
Re the ants – I’ve noticed that buffel infested country is depleted of native ants but good to hear that termites can eat it.
Also promising is the Buffel Seed-head Caterpillar you mention.
Any chance some could be released in the Honeymoon Gap area?


Recent Comments by Peter

Back to the future with Warren Snowdon
@ Frank Baarda: The helium is a byproduct of Central Petroleum’s (ASX CTP) Mt Kitty petroleum system to the far west of Alice Springs near the Kintore community.
The Suprise 1 well at Mt Kitty pumped oil for more than a year that was transported in tankers. Little has been reported by the company on the commercial possibilities of the helium.


End of search for Monika Billen
My drone flying friends say that not finding Monika is a disgrace.
Forget the old tech ground searches.
Fly the latest high tech drones equipped with high-resolution cameras or video and analyse the results.
She would have been found on day two after being reported missing.
After an initial cost of perhaps $100,000 the drone system would pay for itself within a year and the tourist industry would be better off.


The financial crisis in the Northern Territory
James, I suspect that remote community infrastructure does add to the NT’s revenue stream, as it always has. Case in point (admittedly dated):
Federal grant of $500,000 for remote preschool.
NT admin tax $250,000.
Old asbestos clad science block sent to the community (instead of dumping it}.
Over the next three months, Alice Springs tradies renovate the building.
There is no money left for painting so that becomes a school expense.
Darwin designed building has no security so is broken into and trashed, then closed for six months as the school tries to get it repaired.
So the NT Government gets a windfall profit, Alice Springs businesses do well and the community gets a high maintenance asbestos building.


At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
Gunner has made the right call on the location of the proposed gallery and offered substantial funding.
No other sensible and economically viable location has been proposed.
The gallery will probably operate at a loss as does the Desert Park.
To be sustainable the loss must be minimised and it must add value to our tourist businesses.
South of the Gap / at the Desert Part are not suitable locations.
The Greens are engaged in misguided economically damaging democracy.
They are doing the same by using their position on the Water Board to slow down mining development at Mt Pearce.
This action threatens the offer of generous funding.


The millions and the misery
Eugene’s Mate: “Unreasonably negative and incorrigibly antagonistic attitude towards Congress pathological denial of Congress’s achievements? Very unfairly, maligning Congress.”
Any organisation that gets more than $40m a year of taxpayer money, has $20m unspent and has a stake in CentreCorp with assets of more than $50m absolutely needs to be held accountable.
It worries me that you fall back on excuses such as saying that poverty is the main driver of renal disease (and of course Congress can’t change that).
How about, a sedentary lifestyle, living in squalor, poor diet, alcohol and smoking, all of which Congress should be able to do something about.
But they haven’t despite all the millions.
A new approach is needed.
Take diabetes:
Although there are other factors, diabetes is a major cause of end stage renal disease. Many of us have watched the progression from diabetes to end stage over the years.
I’ve personally seen it a dozen times or more.
Uncontrolled diabetes is rampant in our community and the deaths are mounting.
Congress has largely failed to stem the tide so we need to try something else.
That is a medical approach.
Instead of expensively trying to change behaviour and failing we need new drugs and medical devices.
That means more money for research and probably less for Congress.
Of course that is confronting and will get the reaction we see from you.
But Aboriginal health is bigger than Congress and is the priority.
A medical approach has the potential to save many hundreds of millions of dollars and improve Aboriginal lives on a large scale.
That claim cannot be made about Congress.


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