Letter Julia McKay to Peter Stevens

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Letter Julia McKay to Peter Stevens

Postby webmaster » Thu May 07, 2015 4:24 pm

Peter Stevens
TFI
Newcastle.
 
Peter Andrews wanted me to give you some of my background and my responses to his information. At the risk of repetition, I write as follows:
 
“When I invited Professor Hector Geddes and the Hon. W.G. Keighley to Tarwyn Park around 1975, Hector already had a reputation for dam building and Yoemans type practices as the Director of the Sydney University Farms at Camden. He carried out those works in the 1950s, during a period of heavy rainfall.
 
When he discussed the Australian landscape management system of water and fertility with Peter, he advised me to give him as much help as I could muster.
 
My attitude towards climate moderation and environmental management was originally influenced by my education and inherited beliefs – a little bit of everything that seemed useful. I now realise after so many years of Peter’s persistence, that the Australian continent is a laboratory for the world to use and that it reveals a wide range of management options for people in agriculture. 
 
The advances in satellite monitoring of plants, water and thermal energy fluxes reveal a need to change previous strategies. The failure to conduct whole of landscape research has meant there are few reliable scientific references. Everyone finds it hard to understand and implement that which once happened automatically and naturally. It is clear that Australia can manage salinity, erosion, fertility, healthy fodder and climate extremes from the evidence both past and present – although the number of intact systems is small and shrinking.
 
There are surprising and unexpected landscape functions visible in this old, flat, dry continent.  For this reason, Peter has consistently asked for a national training programme based upon at least one person in each government department (Federal, State and Local) who can, once capable, advise on landscape rehabilitation and sustainability. This is something that Dr. John Williams (one of my panel) believes to be the path to change. It is indeed an outcome much to be desired if Peter’s interventions and processes can gain the necessary approvals.
 
Regards,
 
 
Julia McKay
The Forum for Peter Andrew's Natural Sequence Farming

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