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Old Man Saltbush

Thu, 13 Jul 2006

The NSW Farmers’ Association is urging the Department of Environment

and Conservation (DEC) to reject proposals to have Old Man Saltbush

Shrubland in western NSW listed as endangered. NSW Farmers’ Association vice president, Graham

Morphett, says the shrub is widespread throughout the entire Western

Division of the state and is at no risk of becoming extinct.

“DEC’s Scientific Committee’s Preliminary Determination to support a proposal to list Old Man Saltbush as an endangered ecological community, is highly misinformed,” Mr Morphett said. In the opinion of the Scientific

Committee Old Man Saltbush is facing a high risk of extinction in NSW in the near future. “The real truth is quite the opposite,” Mr Morphett said.

Large areas of saltbush have improved with better grazing management

and rabbit control. We call the bush 'living haystacks'.  "It is the best drought tolerant species out west. "We manage our 'haystacks' never to be empty as a basic drought strategy.”Old Man Saltbush Shrubland can be found in the Broken Hill Complex, Channel Country, Cobar Peneplain, Darling Riverine Plains, Mulga Lands, Murray–Darling Depression, Riverina and Simpson–Strzelecki Dunefields Bioregions. 

“This listing would additionally cripple farmer’s ability to effectively manage and utilise their land throughout the Western Division,” Mr Morphett said.

“The listing of Old Man Saltbush Shrubland would have similar, if not more severe, ramifications to the ongoing problems associated with the Coolibah - Blackbox listing, which the association has nominated for delisting."  Mr Morphett says the Association will be putting forth a submission to the Scientific Committee clearly outlining why there is no need for the shrub to be listed. 

An extension for lodgement has been granted to the June 12 when submissions close. “Farmers are already having extreme difficulty maintaining their productivity due to overly restrictive PVP controls for managing native vegetation, and particularly, invasive native scrub, this is yet another stranglehold on their productivity” Mr Morphett concluded.

SOURCE: NSW Farmers Association

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