Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Time to Fix Your 'Roo Imbalance (the Hidden Environmental Tax on Farmers)

By Mott, Ian | Review - Institute of Public Affairs, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Time to Fix Your 'Roo Imbalance (the Hidden Environmental Tax on Farmers)


Mott, Ian, Review - Institute of Public Affairs


FARMERS are being accused of shortsightedness for failing to prepare for the present drought. Yet few urban observers understand that the current crisis is caused by a level of hidden environmental taxes that the urban majority would never accept themselves. And instead of doling out begrudging assistance laced with condescension, the community at large may find itself on the wrong end of a very expensive negligence claim.

The current drought provides a once-in-a-decade opportunity for farmers to rid themselves of a hidden environmental tax that is one of the greatest threats to their longterm viability, while at the same time correcting a major ecological imbalance.

On many properties, the excessive kangaroo population will be eating as much feed as the sheep or cattle. All agree that 'roo numbers have multiplied because of added watering points, improved pasture and, yes, clearing. But few non-farmers understand the full consequences of this imbalance.

Indeed, Archer states, Not every kangaroo species was adversely affected by these changes. The modification of much of Australia's semi-arid land into suitable grazing country allowed the Red Kangaroo to go from an uncommon and rarely seen animal to one of the country's most abundant.1

Archer claims that, `Ten species are likely to have benefited from habitat changes occurring since European settlement, and it is mostly these species which figure in commerce and/or pest control: they are mainly the large Kangaroos' (page 234).

And it is worth noting that Burke and Wills, in their 1860-61 journey from Cooper's Creek to the Gulf and back (a 2,000km transect), shot their own camels and horses, scrounged for snakes, rats and birds but appear to have shot no kangaroos. During their final weeks, the local Murris provided them with fish (from the natural watering points) and Nardoo cakes but, again, no 'roo meat.

Yet, at a rather modest stocking rate (for today) of one animal to four hectares, there would be about 700 'roos within a three kilometre radius of `the Dig Tree'. And King, the lone survivor, shot birds to exchange for other foods from the Murris but, again, no 'roos appear to have been shot.

One can only conclude that if starving men with rifles, camped at a watering point, were not shooting 'roos for survival, then there were very few 'roos about.

And today, while farmers must hand-feed their stock to keep them alive, the same number of 'roos will starve. Many farmers will face the heart-rending task of shooting sheep rather than prolong their agony. And the 'roos?

Well, er, um, they're the responsibility of the relevant State Environment Minister and you can bet your mortgage that none of them will be photographed anywhere near a starving 'roo before rain falls.

Farmers are only allowed a limited licence to cull 'roos. The various Ministers have assumed effective control over 'roo numbers but, negligently, have done nothing to ensure their health and wellbeing.

More importantly, as farmers have improved the productive capacity of their land, the relevant Ministers, and the communities they represent, have allowed their kangaroo herd to increase to unsustainable levels.

So where a paddock may have originally supported fewer than 1,000 animals prior to European settlement, it may now support the equivalent of 6,000, made up of 3,000 sheep (or 300 cattle) and 3,000 'roos.

The farmer has produced an unambiguous `ecological profit', in boosting 'roo numbers by 2,000, but the community, through the Minister, has said, `thank you very much, they're all ours, and we'll decide what happens to them'.

Out of a total increase in carrying capacity of 5,000 animals, the farmer has had no choice but to pay an `environmental tax' of 40 per cent of his (gross) new fodder reserves to accommodate the extra 2,000 'roos.

If he could have culled 200 'roos five years ago, there would be 1,000 fewer starving 'roos today and 1,000 sheep that wouldn't need hand-feeding.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Time to Fix Your 'Roo Imbalance (the Hidden Environmental Tax on Farmers)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.