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Workshop highlights concerns over native clearing

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Driving through avenues of towering Salmon Gum and Wandoo is a well-loved sight of the Wheatbelt – but for how much longer? Questions and comments about roadside clearing were high
on the list of concerns asked by the audience at the Native Vegetation Clearing Laws workshop held 6 April in Moora and organised by the Moore Catchment Council. Rachel Walmsley MCC’s
Community Landcare Coordinator said, “From listening to the participants at this workshop, there is definite concern about the clearing of native vegetation around the region and also the laws in place to protect our remnant plants.”

The first speaker from the Environmental Defenders Office, Declan Doherty, talked through the State and Commonwealth Laws concerning native vegetation clearing and the processes that applications for clearing have to go through.

Rachel said, “There were lots of questions for Declan which shows how unclear and complicated the clearing laws are.” Eddy Wajon spoke next about the importance of conserving roadside vegetation. He shared practical ideas which can keep trees but ensure road safety including barriers and reflective strips. Rachel said, “Eddy has been publically vocal about disappearing roadside native vegetation recently. He has been working alongside Main Roads and Shires to plan road upgrades whilst retaining the vegetation, especially old trees which deserve to be conserved.”

Adam Peck from Birdlife gave the group an update about the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo numbers in the region and the declining state wide population status. Carnaby’s are a protected
species under State and Commonwealth laws and conserving their natural habitat is important for their survival. The final speaker, Fiona Falconer, is a local farmer and environmental enthusiast.

Fiona talked about their landcare journey and the importance of finding a balance between clearing and a healthy landscape.

Rachel said, “Thanks to all the speakers for contributing their time and to all the participants who came along and contributed with questions and comments. Thanks to the State Natural
Resource Management Program for funding this day.” For more information on the presentations, please contact MCC on 9653 1355. The presentations will also be available online soon.