Abandonment of the conservation imperative

Originally posted February 23rd, 2009 by Tigerquoll on CanDoBetter.net
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In Victoria in 1992, some bureaucrat got the idea of changing the name (and focus) of the Department of Conservation and Environment to a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, then in 1996 to a Department of Natural Resources and Environment, then in 2003 a split to (1) a Victorian Department of Primary Industries and (2) a Department of Sustainability and Environment.

[Source: http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/asaw/biogs/A002037b.htm – Note: this link has subsequently been altered by the University of Melbourne to protect its petty government funding and disclosing its forestry bias]

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Currently this government department is known by an obscure acronym: ‘DSE‘.  But those out in the ‘tree face’ genuinely caring for old growth forests of Victoria, discard this acronym to mean either…’Don’t Support Environment‘ or simply the ‘Department of Sparks and Embers‘.  The reason in empirical.  The DSE has a reputation for Forestry Logging bias – facilitating old growth logging, habitat deforestation and related bush arson.

Meanwhile, across the border in NSW, in 2007, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was changed to the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) so as to make it look like the NSW Labor Government publicly cared about climate change by delegating a name change.

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While pandering to ‘climate change’ populism, the fundamental concept of ‘conservation’ has been dismissed by government.

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All the DEC business cards and logos were changed to DECC at what impact on climate change?  At what cost this extra ‘C‘?  The cost has been to remove the Conservation imperative!

Rather than forming a dedicated research and response organisation to focus on climate change, the conservation was dropped from the existing department. Cynically, including ‘climate change’ as a name of one of its departments, government must feel cosy sending a message it is addressing climate change. For a while the department was headed up by The NSW Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water – a bucket of outdoor type activities that sounded good together.

Across the border in South Australia, they have the Department for the Environment and Heritage (DEH), which sounds borrowed from the federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (another collective bucket). It is hard to see how with so many diverse portfolios, a minister can dedicate any leadership to making genuine improvements to what’s left of Australia’s intact natural environment and its desperate need for conservation.

With all the money spent on names changing, the tens of thousands could have gone into on-ground conservation activities like fox control programmes.

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