Sunday, August 20, 2006

the sad news about our sycamores

I was dismayed to learn that the two sycamore trees in the main street of Belgrave are near death. Many a time my family and I have enjoyed the relief of their shade on a sunny day and was thankful that our forefathers planted them back in the 1920's.

I have learnt that the two sycamores (near the Bell Tavern) have a disease called bark death. One of the trees has bark death around approximately 50-60% of the trunk which is resulting in major thinning of the canopy. The tree's condition will deteriorate as the bark death spreads.

On the other tree bark death is present on a number of major canopy limbs. The two middle central canopy sections are almost ring barked and show major canopy thinning. There is generally sparse canopy with some deadwood present. Things are not going to improve for the two sycamores.

It is a great shame that they trees are in this condition and I for one will be sorry to see them go.

Friday, August 18, 2006

celebrating a sustainable community

As part of celebrating the ongoing development of Vision2020, the Yarra Ranges Community Plan, each councillor will be planting a tree in their ward. I have chosen Minak Reserve in Selby, which is a great and hidden treasure, biodiversely rich, hidden away in a quiet Selby valley. I'll be doing my bit on Wednesday 23rd August at 2:00pm.

The planting of the tree, a blackwood wattle, represents to me an investment in the future wellbeing of the community and the planet. It's a great way to act local and think global. It will be great to have a long three little 5 year old helpers, after all it's their future we work hard for.

Link to Vision2020:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

new look belgrave traders

Last night I attended the AGM of the Belgrave Traders Association, the elections were hotly contested, it was a great pleasure to be there as returning officer and be able to announce the winners:

President - Donna Burgess (Reel Cafe)
Vice President - Jane Thomas (unopposed) (Local and Global)
Secretary - Steve Davies (unopposed) (Hair Down There)
Treasurer - Lee-Anne Benson (Savvy Pizza)

Ordinary Committee Members :
Tim Evans (owner Savvy Pizza)
Sandra Harris-Brooks (The Herbal Dispensary)

Eddie Tamir (Cameo)
Tracey Taylor (Wicked Lady)
Shirley Westerberg (Puffing Billy Railway)

If the energy put into the elections is anything to go by Belgrave is in for exciting times ahead. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the outgoing committee, they have paved the way and done a lot of the work to get the association off the ground.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

GE Fiesta

Monday saw the start of the huge state sponsored biotech conference ABIC, I'm happy to report that only 360 of the reported 1000 delegates turned up, perhaps the delegates are turning the corner when it comes to GMOs??

The Greens on the steps of the GPO, where the fiesta kicked off with speeches by Jessica Hampson, myself and Bob Phelps from GeneEthics.

How would you feel if you found out that chickens which are claimed to be GMO free were more than likely raised on a diet of genetically modified soy beans?

Protesters make sure the ABIC conference delegates know the community rejects GMOs.

"We all know that GM crops mean the use of more chemicals, reduced yields and that GE cannot coexist with organic producers. GMOs are only about large profits for the few."

"Consumers are walking away in droves, the people of the Yarra Ranges will continue to oppose this frivolous trial. We are outraged by the arrogance and disrespect shown to us (by Florigene) and we will continue to fight to get back our GE free Shire."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Those Greens

Had an interesting chat with a resident today, I knew we were from completely opposite sides of the political spectrum when she said "I don't know about those Greens", it was pretty clear she didn't vote for me.

This resident couldn't see why she couldn't do what she wanted with the trees on her property, they were hers, she paid for them. This shortsighted view is representative of a society that has lost touch with its connection with nature and is driven solely by posession and materialism.

In no way did this resident think she was a short term custodian in a long term plan. We live on this planet for a very short time in the scheme of things, if we don't look after it we leave a terrible legacy for our children. People who are driven by dollars alone fail to realise No Planet means No Economy. It can't be simpler than that.

I'm glad that 99.9999% of residents don't feel this way, imagine what a sad sight the Dandenongs would be if that were the case. The onus is on all of us to care for the land so our children can enjoy what we have enjoyed.

Wonder what the fate of the this region would
be if we all shared this resident's views?

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