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Gondwana Forests

ACF Councillor Richard Donaghey of Myalla in Tasmania has news of a new forest project.

Representatives of environmental groups including ACF met in northern Tasmania in March and resolved to link in with the Native Forest Network to be part of an international campaign to establish a global Gondwana Forest Sanctuary in the Southern Hemisphere. The goal of the campaign is to protect, reconnect and restore Gondwana forests in Australia, New Zealand, South America, New Guinea and New Caledonia. We welcome any interested group or persons to join us in this campaign. For further information contact Carol Williams Ph: (03) 6376 8161 or email:

Nuclear issues

Moira Rowland from Deakin, ACT is a member of the Campaign for a Nuclear Free Future.

The `Uranium Street' supplement to February Habitat contained excellent material. Personally, though, I was sorry no room was found for mention of nuclear weapons. There is, after all, a long history of Australian politicians and nuclear scientists hoping that Australia might, with a little help, obtain its own nuclear deterrent. Even since the ambition was officially given up, there have been signs that in some places it still exists. What exactly did the department of Foreign Affairs mean by `the national interest' for replacing the Lucas Heights reactor? Merely to help our uranium exports by having a seat on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency?

The Australian position on nuclear disarmament has been shifty--we helped rush through the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty extension but without a deadline for the abolition of all weapons; having created the Canberra Commission we ignored its recommendation, and late last year we abstained from the similarly moderate proposal at the United Nations. Well, maybe that was only from loyalty to our powerful nuclear allies, but why in heaven's name do we permit at Lucas Heights research into laser enrichment ... that cheap, easy way to weapons-grade uranium?

CNFF can be contacted at GPO Box 1875, Canberra, ACT 2601 or Fax: (02) 6247 3064.

Wilderness policy

ACF Councillor Geoff Mosley of Hastings, Victoria wrote in about an ACF Policy.

I was the dissenting voice on the four-person sub-committee which produced the Draft Wilderness and Indigenous Cultural Landscapes policy statement referred to in the February issue of Habitat and I would be grateful for the opportunity to say why.

The draft policy in my view is an excellent one if applied with full respect for human rights. First, wilderness, even in the modified form proposed in the policy, ought not to be imposed on indigenous peoples' lands. It is their land and it should be their decision.

Equally, this wilderness prescription, which would allow motorised access, permanent habitations and interference with plants and animals, ought not to be imposed on existing wilderness areas that are not indigenous peoples' land and where there is no native title.

I endeavoured to have these qualifications included in the draft, but neither my fellow sub-committee members nor Council would agree.

Contrary to what Rosemary Hill and Penny Figgis say in their article the proposed policy is not in accordance with IUCN protected areas standards. Certainly the IUCN policy contemplates the possibility of indigenous use of wilderness but it was never intended that the IUCN wilderness areas category had to be used by indigenous people and the reference to indigenous use was not intended to be applied in wilderness areas where the land was not owned by indigenous people.

Until the draft is amended along the lines I have suggested will continue to oppose its adoption.

For copies of this draft policy call Yvonne West on (03) 9926 6701. Comments from ACF members should be sent to Melissa Nursey-Bray, ACF 340 Gore St, Fitzroy 3065 by 5.00 pm 12 May 1999.

Habitat advertising

In the June issue of Habitat you will notice a new advertising option: a colour one-twelfth of a page. This size has been introduced due to growing demand for advertising space. If you are interested in booking for an upcoming issue of Habitat, in the new size or for one of our larger spaces, Cameron Gardiner can provide all the details on Ph: (03) 9926 6732.

Remember the Earth in your Will

By including a gift to ACF in your Will, you will be helping us to achieve our long-term goals for environmental protection, well into the future. For information on how to arrange a bequest, call Nola Wilmot (below) on Ph: (03) 9926 6712.

Minutes of the 32nd Annual General Meeting

Australian Conservation Foundation Inc. Saturday 14 November 1998, 7.15 pm ACF Melbourne Office, 340 Gore St, Fitzroy, Vic

1.Welcome: Mr Peter Garrett, ACF President welcomed members and addressed the meeting.

2. Apologies: `That the following apologies be received: Neil Blake, George Dalton, Annelie Holden, Peter Brotherton.' Resolved: R Tzannes P Figgis

3. Minutes: `That the minutes of the 31st Annual General Meeting, as distributed previously, be confirmed.' Resolved: A Hopkins M Fogarty

4. Executive Director's Report: Mr Don Henry, Executive Director, addressed the meeting.

5. Treasurer's Report: Mr Geoff Baker, Treasurer, addressed the meeting. That the 1998 Annual Report, as distributed previously, be received and adopted: Resolved: G Baker, P Figgis

6. Election of Auditor: `That the company William Buck & Associates be re-appointed auditor for the coming year.' Resolved: G Baker, R Tzannes

7. Close

Membership Milestones

ACF wishes to congratulate and sincerely thank the following people from around Australia who, during the months of February and March 1999, reached the milestones of 20, 25 and 30 years' continuous membership of ACE
30 years
Mr G Ryan, Subiaco, WA

25 years
Mr V & Mrs J Moffitt, Yetholme,
Mr M Knowles, Highgate, SA
Dr H Harding, Kensington, NSW
Mr P Wylie, Dalby, Qld
Mr E Herman, Avalon, NSW
Mr P Taylor, Glen Forrest, WA
Mr B Smart, Kambah, ACT
Mr M Feller, Vancouver, Canada
Mr K Lewis, Castle Cove, NSW
Mr C Glynn, Chiswick, NSW
Dept Conservation & Land
 Mgmnt, Wanneroo, WA
Mr Q Gibson, Forrest, ACT
Mr B W Schiemer, Gowrie, ACT

20 years
Mrs H Schaeche, Mt Waverley, Vic
Mr T MacKaness, Elvina Bay
 South, NSW
Ms M Heidenreic, Woodforde, SA
Mr B Hooper, Port Melbourne, Vic
Mr Peter Ashworth, Tooronga, Vic
Ms A Blakeney, Roseville, NSW
Mr C Goad, Mildura, Vic
Mr M Dark, Hazelbrook, NSW
Mrs J Wise, Albert Park, Vic
Mr M Dittloff, Newtown, Vic
Mrs L Lyell, Wyoming, NSW
Mr F & Mrs S King, Glen Iris, Vic
Mrs M Diamond, Kenmore, QId
Mr M Rickards, Caulfield South, Vic
Dr R Gunter, Red Hill South, Vic
Mrs D Howes, Ascot Vale, Vic
Mr E Nankivell, Bargara, QId
Miss N Lewis, Glen Waverley, Vic
Mr D & Mrs C Friday, Burwood, Vic
R Adair, Bittern, Vic
Mr M Johnson, Warrawee, NSW
Ms J West, Aust National
 Herbarium, ACT
Mr M Loftus-Hills, Parkville, Vic

A word from the Executive Director

What has tax got to do with the environment? In a joint submission to the Senate Inquiries into the proposed GST and tax reform package, ACF and Australian Medical Association presidents Peter Garrett and Dr David Brand have warned that proposed big cuts in the price of diesel fuel would damage the health of people living in cities.

Eighty per cent of the very fine particles from vehicle exhaust in our cities is emitted by diesel engines. Medical evidence is mounting that this pollution may cause the premature deaths of 1000 Australians every year. In New Zealand when similar cuts in the price of diesel occurred, diesel use doubled and the cleaner and growing gas vehicle industry collapsed.

Air pollution is an important issue for most Australians and more needs to be done to clean up the air in our cities, not make it worse. In Europe and North America modern tax reform includes measures to tax polluters and give incentives to clean production and employment. Noting the significant contribution of fuel burning to greenhouse pollution, the G8, the biggest industrialised countries of the world, this month agreed to drop their opposition to taxing fuels. We are going the wrong way with tax reform proposals and risk being out of step with the rest of the industrialised world.

ACF has urged the Senate Inquiries and government to deliver incentives for clean and not dirty fuels, for solar and renewables, for public transport and for fuel efficiency -- measures that are not only good for our health, but good for the environment and the economy.

By the way, we're not only pointing the finger at others. I hope that you are as excited as we are that ACF has decided to refurbish and construct a 'green building' with an ethical investment firm in Melbourne. Efficient, clean, and green will be the hallmark of our endeavour as it needs to be for all Australians, including our governments.

Don Henry Executive Director

A year's worth of Congratulations!

Mrs Fester from Linden Park in South Australia is the winner of the ACF Diary and Calendar Competition, drawn 4 February. The prize is a trip for two people to the magnificent Seven Spirit Bay in the Northern Territory, generously donated by Seven Spirit Bay Wilderness Lodge.

Look out for the release of ACF's Wilderness and Desk Diaries and Calendar for 2000, and put your name in the bag for next year's fabulous prize.

In memory

ACF recently received, a gift of $1000 from Tim Hardy in memory of his father, Vernon, who was an ACF member. Vernon Hardy died in 1996 at the age of 88.

Our condolences to both Tim and his sister for their loss and our sincere thanks for the thoughtful contribution to ACF. Tim's gift will be used to help ACF's work on the preservation of our native vegetation.

Tim, also an ACF member, has written very fondly of his father --

My Dad had a deep love of the bush and was an early bushwalker, knowing Paddy Pallin in his early years. He kept walking with a number of bird watching groups even though this proved physically very difficult in his mid-80s. When he became restricted to his own garden he started to focus on identifying and pressing weeds, and took to staining techniques for studying plants through the microscope, even though his sight was quite limited.

He cared deeply about the preservation of our irreplaceable natural environment. Our father passed on his love and respect for the bush, and for that we will always be grateful.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Australian Conservation Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Habitat Australia
Date:Apr 1, 1999
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