19 June: Gunnedah — Tenterfield (via Tamworth)

Today Matilda is travelling from Gunnedah, NSW to Tenterfield, NSW — via Tamworth.

Aerial view of mixed crops at Coolamon, NSW. 1999.

Key messages/issues for today:

Our farmers need long-term leadership from the Government. For too long, Government has been moving from a collaborative approach to land management to a combative approach. The extension officers have all but disappeared from the countryside. Instead, farmers and conservationists have been pitted against each other; farmers have been told to hang up the phone. This destructive approach has had tragic consequences.

Matilda recognises that farmers want to do the right thing, they just need support. The eco-label project has outlined simple steps to improve land management practices, and attempted to develop incentives to reward farmers for best practice; sadly Government walked away from the project.

Matilda wants to support farmers, to promote sustainable agriculture and a sustainable environment.

As she travels through the food bowl of Australia, Matilda is very concerned that we are destroying prime agricultural land to develop mines.

 Climate change and global warming is going to have a significant impact in Outback Australia; if we don’t have any trees, we won’t have any rain (links 1, 2).

Matilda is concerned with increasing reports of Eucalyptus forest dieback (mass tree deaths)


Which electorates is Matilda visiting today?

Division of Parkes

AKF estimated Koala population: 2300-2800

Estimated Koala habitat left: 47.7%

For more information visit www.savethekoala.com/our-work/parkes


Division of New England

AKF estimated Koala population: 1750-2250

Estimated Koala habitat left: 41%

For more information visit www.savethekoala.com/our-work/new-england

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