Towards A National Food Plan

Draft notes for Queensland Conservation’s submission to aid in the development of a National Food Plan. The final draft was submitted by QC on 2.9.11… Introduction A National Food Plan is vital for Australia’s ongoing food sovereignty. Food Sovereignty may be defined as a nation’s self-sufficiency in food, where affordable staples are made available to…

A Gardening Cycle Is Complete

The most important thing about our garden receiving 594mm of rain this month, (the 50 year December average is 123.2mm), is that I have now lived here and successfully grown food through both extreme, prolonged drought and prolonged, saturating rain, a period covering seven years. December brought no flooding in this property. Some stormwater escaped…

‘Bellis’ – A Model 21st Century Garden

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s award winning sustainable house and garden, is now seven years old. Last October this place won a national Save Water! Award in the Built Environment category. Since its inception, this 810 square metre property has collected over 7 megalitres of rainwater and recycled over 3 megalitres of sewage water. In the ornamental subtropical…

Queensland’s Flying Foxes Are Starving – Again

Pictured: driven by famine, a black flying fox drinks nectar from my banana flowers before sunset Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld President, Louise Saunders, is alarmed by the large number of reports about hungry flying-foxes staying by food trees through the day and not returning to their camps. “This is of huge concern as bats…

Sustainability Beyond Traveston Dam

The Queensland government has been humiliated by the rejection of the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam on the Mary River. But in proposing the dam the government has also ignored key opportunities for sustainable, responsible development. Instead of squandering over $500 million of taxpayers money on an unviable dam project, the state government instead could have…

Lood Mitigation For Southeast Queensland Starts Here

Today Tamworth is cut into two by floodwaters from falls of over 150mm rain. Storms are predicted for southeast Queensland and the Northern Rivers of NSW, and southeast Queensland continues to mop up and count the cost of flood damage caused by two nights of rain. NSW State Emergency service’s Namoi division controller Kathleen Caine…

Big Solutions Create Bigger Problems

Built or not the Traveston Dam is an historic relic of a bygone era. Building it in defiance of all the science, in defiance of a united community, and during a rapidly warming climate defines Queensland as a 21st century failed state. Shelving it in favour of a strong environment supporting our food and water security and protecting endangered species might yet make us a smart one.

Using Every Drop More Than Once

The last thing we want is for any water to go down the drain. By mid-morning today, heavy showers filled our 21,000 litre rainwater tank. It’s starting to overflow into our network of drainage pipes, which soak the soil deeply from 70 cm down and below. When this network has done its job the subsoil…

Autumn Harvest And Wild Weather

We’ve just enjoyed a good picking of autumn crops from the garden On Friday I planted out the mangelwurzel seedlings in their final positions. We ate the tender, leafy thinnings which taste like silverbeet in a stir fry. Damo provided sugar syrup for the honeybees, which aren’t foraging in this wild weather. The native honeybee…

Queensland Minister ‘Greys’ Grey Water

Here’s an open letter I wrote to the Hon. Craig Wallace, Qld Minister for Water: Dear Minister, Re: Media Release: ‘Greywater guide gives green tips for Queensland Gardeners’, 26.4.08. A copy of your media release was forwarded to me from the office of Queensland Conservation. I urge you to withdraw this publication before you mislead…