Letter to the Editor |  There is no other place like Mount Canobolas (Gaahna-bulla) on this earth…

In a time of crisis, as is the current case of the environment, why would you look to place additional and irreversible harm on a significant natural area?  

We hear and read regularly from scientists expressing their alarm at our extinction crisis, what has occurred and what will occur if we do not act NOW to protect and restore our environment. So why do the leaders of this City, the mayor, himself a self-confessed environmentalist, our councillors and CEO, continue to spruik of environmental degradation and disintegration of one of the most important conservation areas in the Central West?

The proposed mountain bike tracks and trials within the Mt Canobolas State conservation, will follow our forbearer’s exploits and push species endemic to the Mountain to extinction. 

$500,000 being spent with not even a shovel of dirt turned.

Money spent on consultants who are web searching and gaining biodiversity and cultural information from those scientists, ecologists and environmentalists who have studied with commitment the flora and fauna on the Mountain for decades. Our leaders demonstrate apprehended risk! They know the devastating outcome that a 100 kilometres of mountain bike trails will have, denuding and alienating sections of the mountain, once set aside for conservation purposes.

Where are the documents, no doubt containing hundreds of pages of scientific justification for a bike facility, that will do no harm but only good for the mountain’s environment, that we have paid for, the scientists and ecologists that have undertaken research on the mountain to peer review? Locked in the depths of council’s vault, with the other millions of dollars required to pay for biodiversity offsets and the bike tracks construction. What biodiversity offsets could they fund – they must be ecologically like for like? There is no other place like Mountain Canobolas (Gaahna-bulla) on this earth, it is unique, a one of a kind. Thanks to our greed and ability to cause destruction to the environment for gain.  We have cleared everything surrounding her and half of her hillsides already!

Our first nations people lived in relative harmony, taking only what was need to survive – food, tools and shelter. They cared for and nurtured the environment, respected her and in spirituality knowing she would look after them. We, have no respect, no connection to our biodiversity and the land – apart from exploitation. We don’t have a right of destruction of our environmental but our political leaders and their guides  think otherwise.

Let’s not think of our generation but those who are to come, leaving Mount Canobolas SCA as an example of a biodiversity jewel. Wow how appreciative and respectful would they be of our generation to have achieved this feat!

Andrew Martinson

Published in ‘Your Say’, Central Western Daily, 18 October 2021