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People in South Australia know the whole “we must have marine parks to save our fisheries from those greedy stupid fishermen” story is nonsense. But they are terribly concerned about the Great Barrier Reef and logging in Tasmania.

People in Queensland know that moving sand from one part of the sea bottom 50kms away from the reef to another part of the sea bottom 50kms away from the reef is not “destroying the Reef,” and that if James Cook were to sail through the Reef today he would notice little difference in the health and extent of the Reef from when he sailed through in 1770. But they are terribly concerned about depletion of fisheries in South Australia and logging in Tasmania.

People in Tasmania know that the careful harvesting of renewable natural timber resources does no harm to wildlife or the environment, and that if we do not use and manage our resources here where there are careful controls, we will import more timber from places where deforestation and destruction of natural habitats really are a problem. They also know that people who depend on the proper management of natural resources for their livelihoods and future have more interest than anyone else in ensuring those resources are maintained for future generations. But they are terribly concerned about the Great Barrier Reef, and over-use of South Australian fisheries.

These green scare campaigns do real harm. No coal exports from Queensland means more deforestation and inside pollution from smoke in places where people have no access to electricity. Even further reductions in our already under-utilised fisheries means more fish imported from Asia and Africa where fisheries have been so badly managed the seas are like deserts. Less use of our carefully managed forestries means more timber imported from Indonesia and South America, where loss of habitat means disaster for wildlife.

But as long as the greenies get to feel good about themselves I guess nothing else matters…

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