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Get ready for this. A regular debate as we move into an environmental- economic zero-sum game:

Do we want one thing at the expense of the other, when the city dwellers feel happy about the protection of the birds at the cost of the jobs of others? When the need to preserve low skilled, low value adding and inefficient jobs outweighs the cost of their ecological impact?

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Feathers ruffled … moves to protect a rare parrot have put timber workers’ jobs in jeopardy.
By staff writers and wires | May 11, 2009

A PARROT is about to cost 1000 workers their jobs because the Federal Government has ordered a timber industry to be shut down to protect the bird.

The unprecedented government intervention will see the jobs cut within days.

The Daily Telegraph has learned Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s department issued a stop-work order to the New South Wales Government 10 days ago, a move the industry claims could wipe out the entire town of Deniliquin in the state’s south.

The Opposition says the move is overkill and has branded Mr Garrett a “warbling twit”.

“There are a lot of them out there,” Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said of the parrots.

“As one person put it to me this morning, you’ve got the warbling twit protecting the green leak parrot but sacrificing 1000 jobs.”

The Environment Department ordered New South Wales cease all clear felling of red gum in the Central Murray Darling region – timber used mainly for firewood and railway sleepers – due to concerns over the future of the parrot.

Sometimes referred to as the green leek parrot, the social bird nests in the hollows of the red gums and is nationally listed as vulnerable.

Conservationists claim the flight patterns of the bird, which lives for up to 25 years, are being disrupted as it does not like flying over open spaces.

The discovery hundreds of families face losing their livelihoods comes a day before Treasurer Wayne Swan hands down a Budget aiming to help buffer the country against unemployment.

The State Government is seeking an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Mr Garrett, claiming the intervention by the Commonwealth to declare the logging illegal would cause the immediate loss of at least 500 timber jobs and 360 indirectly related jobs.

The NSW Government is also seeking legal advice on whether it can get around the Federal Government order, which has given NSW State Forests until May 31 to stop logging of the Central Murray wetlands in the Riverina area or face legal action.

A Forests NSW briefing note obtained by The Daily Telegraph warned 11 sawmills would be forced to close overnight and 800 people would lose their jobs along with the closure of an industry worth $60 million to the NSW economy.

It accused the Federal Government of being cavalier in its approach to NSW by acting before a $2 million State Government funded Environmental Impact Statement on logging in the area had been completed.

It was due to go on public exhibition a day later on June 1.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained a letter of demand to stop work, written on May 1 from Mr Garrett’s secretary for the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), Rose Webb, to Forests NSW manager Garry Rodda.

Ms Webb raised concerns about the impacts of the State Government’s harvesting practices on the birds’ flight patterns and nesting habitat.

With The Daily Telegraph and AAP

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One Comment

    • geoffreymeadows4
    • Posted May 12, 2009 at 3:41 pm
    • Permalink

    This sort of thing will be happening more and more as time goes on. If you ask me, the reason is simple – there are just too many people.

    People have needs, there’s no doubt about that. People need jobs, they need services. It’s hard to understand why our government people don’t see this.

    The point of a case like this is – are we willing, as the stewards of the planet, to adapt ourselves to the needs of the rest of the planet? Or are we just going to serve ourselves?

    The upshot for so many people is the idea that people are more important than animals or plants. And on the surface that may be true. But we are supposed to be the smart ones. If there is going to be a way to keep the planet and its diversity of life, along with a rich human culture, it is going to have to be us who accomplishes it.


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