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Parks Starved of Funds

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by skifree, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  2. legend

    legend One of Us

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    All research scientists have been dismissed from the Kosci NP and probably throughout the NSW parks.
    Vic Nat Parks rely on a heavy bushwalkers volunteer base for track maintenance, weed control. They also use other organisations for hut upkeep, 4wd tracks, etc (and don't forget our Steve).
    QLD appear not to have any voluntary groups when I asked the rangers if any assist them, but loved the idea of what happens down here.
     
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  3. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Classic move

    Starve funds, cut services and do what they want with it due to "budget pressures"
     
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  4. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Boo!

    This is why we need heli skiing in the NPs, to raise funds to save them from heli skiing!
     
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  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    There has been some work devoted to organising volunteers in Qld recently.
    But using volunteers takes staff time too.
     
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  6. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Volunteers are no panacea for millions in funding.
     
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  7. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    But I want more footy stadiums!
    Too many Shark Parks aren’t enough!
     
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  8. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You’re own pocket then for mooorr.
     
  9. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Parks should be far better funded but volunteering in Vic is significant.
    I've done work for the PV Omeo office with my 4 WD club - track clearing, transporting volunteers and signage - which it said would never have been done otherwise.
    Clubs affiliated with 4WD Vic contributed over 12,000 volunteer hours last financial year.
     
  10. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Good on you Ziggy. We volunteer because we actually own the park. So do you all. It doesn't mean we can then do what we like or decide what should or should not be done. It was the local 4wd club that cleared Spec road to camp creek after a wild winter brought down dozens of trees. PV Omeo recently ran a track clearing weekend on the AAWT with Bushwalking Vic. We all should remember the efforts of volunteers to clear Hannels spur.

    One of the biggest funding problems for Parks Vic is weekend and public holiday staffing levels. Penalty rates kill the budget and this means less staff when there are the most visitors. Volunteers can also be hard to find. I may put a call out later in the year for some and again next March. We need around 20 people for a weekend. Some will get a free white water rafting trip and all get food and accommodation free.
     
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  11. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is minimal belief in National Parks or the environment in general in Australia. Its all just land to be accessed and consumed. Funding levels reflect the lack of empathy
     
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  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Among who?
    I'd say not among the majority of the general public - but we lack an effective lobby group. I'm a member of the VNPA in Vic but won't renew because they're not scoring runs.
     
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  13. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would say very much amongst the general public. Lots of words and very little firm support. In the long list of funding emphasis, environment and parks hardly rates a mention. The general public just wants easy, least effort access to everything.
     
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  14. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    For Vicco’s: review of regional forestry agreements - not national park specific.

    https://engage.vic.gov.au/future-of-our-forests/rfa-consultation-paper.

    Consultation closes today - just posting here as it seems relevant under the circumstances - have posted this elsewhere (in 3 places) It’s an in-depth time-consuming survey.

    In my submission I have explicitly referenced financial and funding factors.
     
  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    A WWF survey found "89% agree that there should be investment in restoring wildlife habitats and natural places that have become degraded"*. Parks and reserves are the principal means for this.

    The biggest recent success in nature conservation has been in the spread of IPA land - now totalling something like 10x the area of Tasmania - and that has had both public and political support.

    We've also seen a boom in private conservation efforts - mainly funded by donations. Eg. the AWC alone now owns or manages something like 4.5 million hectares, and interestingly its work is increasingly in contract services funded by State govts and private landholders.

    * Australian Attitudes to Nature 2017
     
    #15 Ziggy, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  16. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Starve them of funds and then make out as if they are a failing enterprise that need to start charging more for the use. Commercialise what were public facilities. Give a bit of tax back to the unters and then charge a fee for use for everything. Same old model -different setting.

    A point i have made many times before - it doesn't help that we have plenty of parks that are nothing more than quota fillers (land area increased under management of national parks) especially in western NSW. Just bought up old farms and now need to pay to keep them. Nothing special about these places other than they went up for sale at the time the state govt was looking to increase the size of parks.
     
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  17. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The state forest of today will be the national park of tomorrow so this is very relevant. For 20 years the locals here have been trying to remove one logging coupe from the list as it will have a direct impact on the water quality and quantity for them. It is the town water supply and logging will destroy it. Twenty years of nothing done by successive governments and it will not impact on the financial status of Vic Forests to any great extent. Another lengthy submission from the community. It was a big survey.
     
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  18. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Neoliberal ideology accounts for the work that the AWC has won with the Dept of Defence and NPWS and for the untendered grant of $444 million given to the Barrier Reef Foundation. At least the AWC has a proven record of results based on research.
    Neoliberalism is grinding to an end though and is increasingly on the nose even to Joe Public. Privatised power has put the stink right under his nostrils.
    There is no narrative about the resumption of state power and direct services and in Federal politics we'll be seeing the dead horse whipped and whipped.
    Maybe the collapse of the Barrier Reef might spark one in the nature conservation game.
     
  19. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m all for culling these horses that despoil public space....
     
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  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Declaring new 'national' parks is a way that state governments (both ALP and Liberal), use as a platitude to throw at swinging voters in middle suburbia. Those voters may never actually visit the parks, but they do think it's 'nice' to have more parks.

    But of course the cynical politicians don't allocate money to manage these new parks, so the land degrades and gets infested with noxious weeds (like blackberries and gorse) plus feral animal pests often get out of control. I reckon in many cases the land would be better off if it had remained as freehold or managed state forest.

    Now whichever mob is in opposition is going to point this out, while conveniently forgetting about it when they are in government. But the leader of the Victorian Nationals, Peter Walsh was recently reported as saying:

    'The state governments green policy agenda is already beefing up wild dog numbers by leaving an all-you-can-eat buffet from the aerial culling of deer and managing horse numbers in Victorian parks and now landholders discover $140,000 funds allocated to pest animal control will be squandered on ‘social network analysis’ by a city based consultancy firm.' The MP for East Gippsland backed up his leader by saying 'Imagine what $140,000, spent right, could do for the wild dog control program – that’s a lot of baits or a significant boost to wild dogger support.'

    Perhaps we need a moratorium on pollys declaring new parks just before elections, unless they can demonstrate that management of them will be fully funded for decades into the future?

    Disclaimer, I have never voted for the Nats or supported them in any way. However this time I think they are making sense.
     
    #20 Bogong, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  21. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Clearly out of touch. No aerial culling of horses and the deer cull is only a trial. Now the results of the trial have to analysed. The Member for East Gippsland is as uses as tits on his namesake. It is interesting that both these politicians give support to groups like the Australian Deer Hunters Asoc. and the Sporting Shooters who all go deer hunting and leave a lot more than a couple of hundred carcasses behind. These groups have come out to say that deer carcass does not contribute to wild dog numbers. The facts are that wild dog numbers are down and fewer problems are being had by farmers with them. Any dogs in the area of the aerial shoot would be Alpine Dingo. I have not seen too many dogs around the property in the last few years and also rarely hear them howling now. I think these politicians are barking up the wrong tree. Pun intended.
     
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  22. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    National Audit Office excoriates the Commonwealth Director of National Parks - this is mainly about management incompetence not money.
    In plain English, the audit reports evidence of failures in governance, in planning, in implementation practices, and in oversight. The DNP’s governance arrangements are apparently in such a mess that it is not able to inform itself of how well it is actually meeting its management objectives, and correspondingly is unable to inform anyone else, including stakeholders. It can’t deliver on its objectives, or plan appropriately, or engage adequately with the traditional owners so as to achieve its park management objectives.
    From https://www.michaelwest.com.au/exti...slammed-by-audit-amid-decade-funding-squeeze/
     
  23. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Hi Bogong, things must be grim indeed to agree with Nats. My exp tells me they've never friends of any national park and constantly blame park existence off their problems - some of it fairly but much unfairly.

    I agree that parks are starved of funds and all Vic (prob other states too) govts. Have run parks down.

    They maintain a thin veneer at the public interface and crow about family friendly walk in key locations. But largely ignore rest.

    Personally I thinks Nats will oppose all measure while Dan is in. I think they're having an each way bet with complaints about deer culling. Now if a farmer was killed by a deer on a road - they may temper their complaints.

    I accept I don't live in the bush, so I don't see the coal face like locals near the parks. But I try to read issues in between my visits. My two cents.
     
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  24. legend

    legend One of Us

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    I see comments from above stating...
    "But of course the cynical politicians don't allocate money to manage these new parks, so the land degrades and gets infested with noxious weeds (like blackberries and gorse) plus feral animal pests often get out of control. I reckon in many cases the land would be better off if it had remained as freehold or managed state forest."

    I look back before the Alpine Nat Park was formed. Blackberries have always been a major problem in all alpine river systems. Talbotville had a 4 metre wall of blackberries back in the early '70s you drove through driving along the river flats to the Wonnangatta. It took us an hour to get through the blackberry barrier on the upper Wonnangatta when doing the Howiit - Viking circuit in a weekend.

    The blackberries at Shannonvale are an absolute disgrace when dropping off the BHP and following Middle Creek.
    These were / still are freehold.

    It appears the argument for something not to become a nat park is the myth that suddenly weeds and feral infestations will suddenly get out off control - this is simply just red neck speak - so as 4wds have unlimited access to the bush with few controls, people can hunt where ever they like and old growth forests can be felled.

    The simple fact is weeds/pests of all types have been in the bush since white man came to try to tame them.

    The previous forest commission and the now Vic Forests did nothing to to control them - their main interest was timber harvesting.

    When Nat Parks invited the Deer Association in to help with the cull in the Snowy Plains /Howitt area the association said no due to their members wanting free range for their sport and the thought that there would be no deer left in the area.

    Many non hunting groups and people have been urging the gov to make deer as an invasive pest, but the sporting shooters assoc and associated groups are a HUGE lobby group and won't allow this to happen, despite the evidence showing deer have significantly increased their population across most of Victoria and NSW.
    The same applies to the feral horse loving groups.

    Nat Parks across Australia are extremely short funded for what they need to do. I was speaking to a ranger in Orbost last week and he was saying what he was meant to do, but physically can't (he was the only ranger in the area covering a massive area). Instead of bagging them, we need as a community get out and support them and lobby the gov (in all states) for better resources.
    Get off your bum and get in and assist with the many community groups and do some volunteer work (Park Rangers can't complain, but we can as non-employees)
     
  25. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Thats a great post & I 100% agree with sentiments.

    Indeed a silent protest at Park / Forest management is no protest at all!

    There ARE Govt people who are paid handle queries & complaints!

    Ring, write, visit HQ in person but dont do nothing!
     
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  26. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Waterways are not freehold in Victoria anymore but those with a grazing licence are supposed to control weeds. The Fitzgeralds do their best and in the area of freehold beside the creek is considerably better than the public land to the west and up Middle Creek. The freehold land extends not more than 2km upstream of the bridge on Fitzgeralds road and never has but Barry Fitz would have grazed up there some time ago. He is dead now but the farm is run by his son. From there it is ANP. Little incentive to control weeds up there now. Middle Creek gorge area is very difficult to access so it stands to reason it is also difficult to control weeds. Blackberry is quite bad there. The English Broom is also quite bad but we are involved in a volunteer program which is working on that. The North East Catchment Management are providing grants for organisations to work on riparian areas and we secured some of that money. Landcare groups are also doing their bit.

    Logging is also contributing to the spread of weeds and although lip service is paid to control measures, nothing is in fact done. Drive along the Big River Log road and you will see it lined with blackberry. Again, public land. This will be part of the ANP one day no doubt but it is public land now. Broom is shooting up in newly logged areas with seeds most likely carried in by machinery. We are also working to protect the rarest species of orchid in Victoria. It grows near the logging in only a few recorded places but is being threatened by English Broom which has been spread by the logging. Although not on PV land, we actually had four PV staff turn out to help. The guys on the ground really do care and we should care even more.

    If you are looking for a disgrace on private land with regard to Blackberry then go no further than Maguires property in the Bundara Valley (next one south to Shannonvale). His neighbours are the McCoys and in comparison keep are pretty tidy place. They all bound onto the National Park.

    I can tell you the budget for spraying Broom is less than half of what it should be and big lump of that funding comes from NECMA. Our plan is to work on spreading a bio control agent so eventually there will not be any need to spray, but that is long term. All that is done by volunteers. @Wally are you going to help out this year? 15-17th November. Rafting crews on the Mitta and ground crews on Middle Creek and the Mitta. Anyone keen to help can send me a PM. Guarantee you a good time and a good feed.

    I would have to say that Nth East CMA seem to be the stand out public body with a bag of money at the moment. Doing great things and bringing all the authorities and stakeholders to one table to sort out problems.
     
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  27. Wally

    Wally One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    @Xplora - I'll check the calendar and get back to you. I intend to be up on the mitta for most of September and will continue to do what we can with the Willow's/broom. Keen to walk back into the section on the Cobungra River, upstream of the duck to see what impact we did back In January. The plan was to remove all Willows from Smith Crossing down to Anglers. Then tackle the blackberries...

    The 'Friends of the Mitta' working bee / fundraiser is on the AFL Grand Final this year so hopefully we have a good turnout to assist Parks Vic.
     
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  28. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Sounds like some good work being done Xplora.

    I have always found blackberries to be worst near recent/former logging areas. My autumn walk up Stirling trail on Mt Stirling revealed blackberries invading part of the trail from the coup to the north. Sad to see parkland rapidly degrade, with little recourse.

    I’m no lover of old growth logging.
    But the economic argument surely is quelled when the costs of land & wildlife rehabilitation is calculated. Plus water loss!

    I’d like to see contractors pay a bond for rehab so they cant just walk away. Fat chance eh? (Demand the same for apartment builders!)

    There’s a lot of rubber stamping of permits in our forest valleys.
    So wrong!
     
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  29. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Excellent. Bring skis. Trip to Bogong? FOTM are getting stuck into many things also but may have to take you away for a couple of days after the fundraiser.
    I am sure more people would volunteer if projects were more widely publicised.
     
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  30. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    i did a couple of friends of the mitta weekends back in the late 90s / early noughties, good fun
     
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  31. Wally

    Wally One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    And @mr, and everyone else who assisted ParksVic on the hours/days you put in should be praised as you're hard work is still evident today.:cheers:

    I'll start an event thread soon with details of this year's weekend. Get yourself back up and I'll shout you a beer or 10.
     
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  32. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    It sounds a lot but it would by one officer to manage the program for a year (including oncosts) and $40,000 to spend on a contractor, 40 days 2 guys working in the field at the most.
     
  33. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    People are the most prolific weed vectors.

    Biocontrols don't stop the need to control weeds, but they do reduce the cost.

    We select biocontrol agents that only impact the target species. This creates a problem in that the weeds (thier seedbank) is more persistant than the biocontrol agent. In essence oncf a bio control agent fully controls the target species it runs out of food and dies. The next season the seed bank of the target species germinates without any (or a severly reduced population) control agents to control the target species. You end up with this lag of control and spread. The impact is reduced compared to an uncontrolled weed, but the requirement for other control methods is not removed. Essentially biocontrol agents need to be part of an integrated weed control plan.
     
  34. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lucky KNP is a big fat cash cow for npws.
     
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  35. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    FIFY :)
     
  36. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    This is in fact what we are doing. The bio agents are placed in areas where you cannot spray. It doesn't kill the plant straight away but it does reduce the seed burden considerably. Plants will die eventually but the bio agent will migrate to newly germinated plants. I don't really see it getting rid of Broom but it will help reduce the spread and in time the problem will be under control. Broom seeds last about 4 years in the soil once wet. NZ have been at it a bit longer and there are good results. This could be different to other bio control you have been used to.
     
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  37. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cash brumby? Cash deer?
     
  38. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Jindy should put a tollbooth on the dam wall.

    Make euro cars and 4wd pay double.
     
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  39. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you starve an organisation of funds and subject it to continuous reviews it’s very likely the management will struggle. Exactly the same thing happens in commercial and other types of organisations. So the report is telling us nothing new.
     
  40. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Howdy, can you please provide more detail? You've got our attention.
     
  41. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Gall mite?

    However it doesn't matter what ever bio control agent you use, your suppressing the problem rather than solving it.

    4 years is the 99% survival period for Scotch broom seed. 1% will last 50 years. Considering how much seeda plant will produce a year no biocontrol is going to do more than keep a lid on the plant.
     
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  42. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Supression is maybe all we can hope for. There is in fact no solution to the problem in the near future. The next thing will be another huge fire and with that we get 90% germination. At that point we have to convince the authorities to throw everything at it and they will have two years from germination. I have been planting that seed now and it will mean some big dollars have to be spent on spraying. Have a read of this from NZ.
    https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/...of-weeds/issue-75/broom-gall-mite-a-decade-on
    We expect to see similar results on our property. After 4 years we are already well on the way to it. If all we do is put a lid on it by preventing further spread, reducing the seed burden and killing some plants then I would be happy. My expectations are much higher though, based on our experience. Keeping this to funding and on topic, there is very little money available from PV for our project but fortunately it does not need much. I will, however, be pushing for a helicopter drop over affected areas of the Mitta which are inaccessible by water, vehicle or foot. That may take some effort.
     
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  43. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was part of the Gall Mite trial in NSW when I worked with Weeds, it really slows down the plant and makes control a lot easier that's for sure.
     
    #43 Telemark Phat, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  44. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Our property is that trial on steroids. I believe there were some problems for that trial and the gall mite had to be destroyed because of a rust that got into the trial. That was 2003. It takes a long time to get a bio agent endorsed for release, with good reason.
     
  45. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    It has always been the general belief/legend that KNP is the only park in NSW that actually makes a profit. I have no idea if it is true.
     
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  46. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Wombeyan caves does well. I would think parts of the Blue Mtns would do well also. Glenbrook entry is very popular. Tour operators are prolific in the Blue Mtns and there is a lot of money made from tourists.
     
  47. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    But there are no entry fees and minimal ground rents. I really have no idea.
     
  48. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Interesting - KNP & Thredbo is always pretty busy around the new year when we visit. Almost the ultimate 4 season park.

    Now if my memory is working correctly - NSWPWS charge about half the rate for a day/season pass when compared to any /all resorts in Vic. So if KNP is a cash cow, what does that mean for us?

    Are Vic major resorts a cash cow too and if so, who gets most of the loot? You'd be hard pressed to find any resort manager to say they were swimming in funds. Even after a good winter.

    I thought the Resort gets most/all of it but it's used to cover operations throughout the whole year.
    And hence any winter bonanza is soon used over summer??

    Are there lies the weakness of the Vic model - we dont even collect $10 /day in the green season, even with number plate scanning technology readily available and in use in winter. Maybe summer charging would help keep winter access charges in check?
     
  49. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    15 years ago the Park was worth $500 million in ecenomic activity to the surrounding shires annually. It would be a lot more now.
     
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  50. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    We're a bit dry on the Monaro for rusts, it worked well here, but you certainly saw the rise and fall in its efficacy.
     
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