Debate Snowy Mountains


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Noeline Franklin Asks?
Arcacia Rose reply to Noeline


Reply to Noeline Franklin, former CSIRO Scientist, now Farmer, by Acacia Rose, concerning, her article published in SOS-NEWS, is accessed from the menu above

Noeline, thank you for taking the time to write to SOS-NEWS about management of the Australian High Country. I will answer your questions as honestly as I am able. I am not a qualified scientist as you are and certainly was pretty young – unborn to about 6 months old – at the time my father, Alec Costin was posted to Cooma to open the office of the NSW Soil Conservation Service.  

I have read the book ‘Losing Ground’ by John Merritt, which documents the historical events leading to the removal of grazing from the Australian High Country and I do note that Dr Merritt is amongst the many – including former grazing families – who agree, that grazing the true alpine area is untenable and unsustainable.

I must also say that I have spent a lot of time thinking about the grazing issues, however, can only draw on the science for my understanding thus far.  This by definition cannot be the final conclusion whilst grazing, burning and vegetation transects and trials are still underway.

I am certainly not the only voice in the community and strongly believe in communication, consultation, expert evidence and advice and representation of all the diverse voices amongst them, indigenous land custodians, contemporary landowners, alpine and sub-alpine users, artists and writers, conservationists, recreation and tourism stakeholders, councils who must secure municipal water supplies including most recently, Canberra and Queanbeyan now expanding and planning to draw off the upper Murrumbidgee River and thus Tantangara and potentially Eucumbene Dams, as well our pioneering families who settled the Monaro and Snowy Mountains.  

 

The rich history and heritage of the Snowy Mountains and its relevance to many Australians and increasingly, international visitors is a part our land management decisions and my firm belief is that there is room for all people including the native wildlife and wildflowers who also have a right to a niche on this earth.


Noeline, almost all people living in the Snowy Mountains do agree with you that the 2003 bushfires were devastating causing unthinkable damage and I certainly grieved for the mountains. 

Let me answer the questions as you present them.

Q: Can you Acacia, tell the people whom you are asking to cast their vote for you along with the wider national constituency interest, how you rationalize this parental history from your Father’s side with your own views and beliefs for the Snowy communities futures? 

 A: As you mentioned Noeline I am not my father’s keeper and his work, arising from a degree from Sydney University in Agricultural Science was important to Australia at the time, in a nation anxious to secure a better future.  The unfolding of the Snowy Scheme coinciding with his brief to establish the NSW Soil Conservation Office at Cooma necessitated engagement with grazing issues in the Australian High Country.  From my early years we traipsed across the high country with my father pointing out evidence of soil erosion and vegetation transects and rehabilitation after the removal of grazing with sheep being the major cause of loss of native tussock with the consequent loss of soil.  The evidence was clear and I can’t remember any holiday anywhere the family travelled – whether the coast, mountains, to our farms and possibly in my dreams where the car did not stop so that Alec could examine yet another cutting in the road and the soil structure. That was his world and by association of course, I was influence by his extensive knowledge.  Having being strongly exposed to the scientific paradigm by the time I started Forestry studies at the ANU I suddenly decided I would just enjoy the flowers and ‘forget to remember’ the names of the alpine flora, trees of any description, vegetation associations and of course, the growing body of scientific knowledge about the high country from Bogong Moths (about to arrive once again in the very early spring).  

This may account for the emotional impact of the fires when my beloved high country was thoroughly scorched by the holocaust type fires. I know the fires also deeply affected my father who simply said ‘it will take 50-100 years for some parts of the high country to recover.’ He too is a lover as well as scientist of the high country. 

 

I will articulate my views and vision for the mountains shortly.

N: The mountainous rebound of wildflowers when stock were removed finally in 1969, were a legacy of what wildflower growth conditions and mixed species grazing created. Never since, have such wildflowers been seen. The mountains have been stripped of their life’s blood, yet her father’s monographs of photos claiming the wildflowers – sown and fertilized by livestock grazing, protected from rabbit plague, drought and harsh bushfire by Snowy communities – were his work of salvation. This is unequivocally a serious misrepresentation of the facts and truth. 


A: Noeline, now that I live once again in the mountains I await the alpine flora with open joy. In fact, my first attempt to change my name to ‘Celmisia’ brought some humour later in my life when I realised that some of the species were indeed, named after my father.  
My attempt to ‘be myself’ and not just Alec’s daughter were pretty well short-lived. However, I was surprised that in the middle of the drought (two years ago) the flora was prolific although last year, visibly diminished. I don’t remember the contrast before and after grazing and I am not sure whether prior to European settlement whether the native fauna frequented the alpine area however hesitate to conclude that glaciation, interglacial periods and temperature are strong factors in the strength and beauty of the flora.  

I am aware that the Kosciuszko Flora is amongst the most biodiverse in the world and from a purely scientific point of view, valuable. I am also aware that if the vegetation crashes from extended drought the prospect of greater soil erosion is with us and also, reduced catchment capacity.

 

N: Alec Costin advocated large animal grazing be removed and cool fire management stopped. This, the very lifeblood of the Snowy, cut off! Since stockmen and their historic management were removed, the wildflowers have progressively disappeared and the wildlife has all but been eliminated by being starved, butchered and burnt. Costin clearly must have had tacit approval for harboring packs of wild dogs to discourage all grazing. 

A: I am not sure what the Indigenous fire practice was in the true alpine area except for the Bogong Moth fires. In the sub-alpine region that would be another matter with the build up of ash adding carbon and nitrogen to the soil.  I do know that the only scientific studies on fire-scars in the subalpine area for the Snowy Mountains and Brindabellas conducted by Dr John Banks from the ANU revealed a higher frequency of fire after European people arrived on the Monaro and Mountains. This indeed may have contributed to smaller trees with potential flammability leading to hotter fires.  

The change in Australian forest, savannah and alpine landscapes post-Indigenous management cannot be doubted.

 

N: He wanted many tons of dry matter on the ground to deliver quality water, tons beyond what the Snowy environment could sustain and survive ecologically. A dry matter and thick scrub that killed and starved the wildlife and wildflowers and when the summer lightening came, the ensuing fires were uncontrollably intense and massive, burning huge geographical areas almost beyond recovery.

 

A: I do have to agree that thick scrub is flammable however this is simply a stage towards a more mature forest. Frequent fire will prevent that maturation. This pattern has persisted according to Dr Bank’s studies, since around 1860.

 

N: There can be no doubt in many modern mountain minds that the Costin research conclusions, set in train processes with indelible results, for wildlife, wildflower and, water run-off. The culmination of these processes being the horror fires of 2003-06-07 even though unheeded warnings were given then and continued through the decades, right up to the days of the BBQs. 

A: Many people clearly asked questions about the fires! However, as well as ground fires, there were unstoppable crown fires that did not even touch the ground in holocaust conditions. When I interviewed Dr Phil Cheney from Canberra, an esteemed fire scientists of over 20 year experience, he said in his experience he had never seen fires like these with hot winds in front of the fires, sucking the fire forwards at incredible speed.  This appeared to be a factor atmospherics rather than fuel load. After the fires, the amount of fuel increased to hazard levels causing serious concern for the 2007 fires which were shaping up to be hotter and faster than the 2003 fires causing an early evacuation from  Thredbo when lightning struck across the Murray River close to where the Grassy Flat backburn got away and burnt through to Thredbo and across to Dead Horse Gap and onwards.  

The intensity of regrowth is some places is impenetrable and impassable and it will be a number of years before this new forest matures and opens out to allow grazing animals and other species to flourish and develop as open forest.

 

N: While children of early last century’s Australian societal elite were enjoying the spoils of affluence and privilege, children of the snowy communities were being publicly castigated for being environmental heathens. The real facts are, Snowy families in a newly Federated nation were the first to talk with pride of their environmental awareness and commitment to our new modern nation.

 

A: I think it is truly sad to castigate children and think that all children are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. My understanding is that Australians love the high country people! Although I have never suffered from affluence I do appreciate that I can walk freely over the mountains in reasonable health.

 

N: Employing a multicultural land management system to create and protect the conservation icon, which in turn became a pristine water catchment for all, called affectionately “The Snowy”. Generational historically proven knowledge was dismissed, for so called flawed science pumped out on agenda by such as Alec Costin and those misguided enough to follow. 

 

A: I am in no position to answer this. The scientific community with knowledge, studies, evidence of high country and catchment management internationally would be better placed to assess the Kosciuszko Alpine science, which, is comprised of the work of many people, not just my father.

 

N: Large animal grazing had been reintroduced for over 150 years with great success after a mega-fauna absence of 12,000 years.

 

A: The megafauna were soft footed animals and no doubt, there disappearance accompanied serious changes in climate and weather along with predator behaviour such as Indigenous land custodians of the time.

 

N: Aboriginal burning had been in place in concert with diminishing mega-fauna grazing for up to 70,000 years.

 

A: I wish I was there!

 

N: Our myriad of native flowering plants had evolved with large grazing animals and fire for 130 Million years. Aboriginal cool fire management is said to mimic grazing in its effects on plant communities, driving their life cycles, nutrient recycling of biochar. This cool burning was a skill developed by the Aboriginals as they suffered the effects upon the environment from the slow demise of the Australian mega-fauna. 

 

A: Clearly, that is our understanding. However, the hotter climate of southern Australia and potentially drier climate may indeed make cool burning a bit of a problem, perhaps back burning harder to control. I would hesitate to apply Aboriginal cool fire management when conditions are dissimilar. 

 

N: The soil, plants, animals and streams, loved the return of large animal grazing and wildlife population recovery.

 

A: Comprehensive soil science and sampling indeed, reveals the pattern of pollination, deposition of plant matter, possibly soil moisture of time.

 

N: Passed on Aboriginal management processes enabled the colonists to retain the ecology with the choice of mixed species grazing and cool frequent fire.

 

A: It is encouraging that colonist drew from Aboriginal management experience however, pests, diseases, weeds and significant loss of native pasture has potentially, dramatically changed the soil and vegetation profile of the Monaro and sub-alpine area. We need to do the studies to make the comparisons. My father completed such as study on the ecosystems and soils of the Monaro. His work is considered to be groundbreaking in soil and vegetation mapping and ecology. Few would dispute that.

 

N: In retrospect, the ideal vegetation structure and water relationships. The very essence of “The Snowy” with the ability to rapidly recover from bushfire. 

 

A: I am not sure whether the introduction of non-native species has indeed improved the soil structure and during drought, any farmer would welcome increased percentage of resilient native pastures.

 

N: Take a look at the legacy of Costin’s processes in the fire recovery 4 years on from the 2003 holocaust. Alpine ash forests killed and intentionally left to rot, ancient snow gum stands killed, minimal wildlife such as insects, frogs, birds, lizards, echidna, wallaby, roos, wombats, and wildflowers, struggle to be seen outside park’s rural neighbours. Nutrient recycling essentials for ancient 250 million year old soils to support a live ground cover, herbal water filters, have been incinerated and possibly lost forever over vast alpine areas. 

 

A: Indeed, the fires were of a holocaust nature and unprecedented in their behaviour as described to me by Dr Cheney. However, the conclusion that it is Costin’s legacy may be incomplete, considering the gathering evidence on warmer temperatures, receding snow pack over the past 20 years as well as distinct global warning trends, whether they be a part of the natural cycle of induced by human activity. 

 

N: When Myxomatosis was finally released in the 1950s to help stockmen restore full control over rabbits, and the wild dog population was reined in for the first time in 3,500 years by competent Dogmen, wildlife populations recovered, with the Snowy blossoming with abundant native species and reliable flows of fresh, clean, sweet water bubbling from every ferny gully, every year, all year, irrespective of rainfall.

 

A: The legacy of European settlement on this continent.

 

N: Stockmen and their stock had created heaven on earth, but Alec Costin was an opportunist, taking photographs and claiming rabbit plague, 1939 scorch, gold mining, etc. was evidence of livestock damage to appease his masters in the Snowy Hydro and Commonwealth bureaucracies.

 

A: Alec had and has no masters. Sir William Hudson certainly was not his master. At the time he worked for the NSW Government. He lost his job fighting for what he believed in. He had seven dependents at the time.

 

N: Sam Clayton, empire builder in the Soil Conservation Service, was Costin’s mentor. Stockmen shared their huts, horses, hospitality and dreams for a new nation with Alec Costin, who then went off and misrepresented them to the world. Basically, fed them to the dogs, burnt their farms, gutted their communities. 

 

A: I never met Sam Clayton and could not make judgements as to whether he was an empire builder or not. I think that the stockmen then and now are generous souls, and some of them were rogues also. That is, if the stories I hear from their own ranks are true! Nothing like a bit of colour in life.

 

N: Today, Hume sawmill workers are facing the sack because all their forests have been locked up and burnt by ill-conceived policies.

A: The Integrated Forests Pulp Mill at Hume has had serious financial problems for some time, taking liberties with their employees. I met with Dusty and workers at the Mill and the great travesty is the failure of the Commonwealth to protect their entitlements. The mill processes softwood products and will close in two years.  

Bombala will build a new mill and the Tumbarumba Mill is expanding, potentially causing log pricing problems for the proposed Bombala Mill creating new problems for those workers also. This was a matter of financial management and the mill survived due to salvaging of the pines burnt near Tumut in the 2007 fires.

 

N: Farmers are locked out of their mountains during the worst drought since Snowy was declared a State Park in 1944, only to watch their generational family’s life’s work, burn down while being arrogantly and simplistically attributed to the untenable diatribe of “climate change”. 

 

A: Brave would be the soul to graze the alpine area during the drought. The vegetation is dry and desiccated and familiar fens dry. The sub-alpine area is another matter. I did attempt to organise town collection of feed for stock however, the Council declined to do so. I sought advice from the CSIRO and VIC Department of Primary Industries who said kitchen waste (no meat or dairy) two days old can be taken directly to farms for stock feed. 

 

N: The truth is another matter altogether, a truth where the reality is the madness of management by abandonment, neglect and false science. The continuation and perpetuation of misleading and deceiving science has been fed to the public and has been done so for over 60 years in an effort to grab and exploit Snowy waters and terrain for very little return

 

A: My most recent and intense fight was to prevent the sale of the Snowy Scheme and potential privatisation of Australia’s water. Both are still on the agenda, the main reason why I am standing as an Independent Candidate for Eden-Monaro. I will fight for the Snowies and the majority of people in this region know it.

 

N: Stockmen, when they vacated their cherished summer runs were promised the wildlife, wildflowers, Snowy water would be looked after for the Australian people. How hollow were the promises? From a scientist’s point of view, I blush with embarrassment for what has been called “Science on Snowy ecology!” The satellite maps seen by the world of The Snowy burning, are a national embarrassment. Snowy water turned to soot and brumby blood, a national disgrace, a blight by the elite few upon the naïve and lied to many. 

 

A: Very little wildlife frequents the alpine area at any time apart from the eternal fox chases hare and the native fauna, their habitat threatened by early springs and the now early, arrival of bogong moths. The expert Dr Ken Green is far better placed to comment than I am.

 

N: Our brumbies built this nation with their loyalty and heart. They fought and died with our grandfathers, uncles, brothers, fathers and husbands, while politics and empire building at home was discreetly being conducted behind the scenes in an unconscionable act of selling out their country men. The brumbies are the free spirits of our Snowy families and loved ones who never returned. Had our families known of the within fifth column enemy of the Snowy here at home, they would likely never have left to fight and die on foreign shores. They certainly wouldn’t have murdered their steeds on command. 

A: I certainly agree with this Noeline. My grandfather – Alec’s father – was in the Australian Light Horse and served in both the First and Second World Wars.  Sadly, many of our troops shot their horses before returning to Australia.  The Walers are legends in their own right and probably, partly inspiration for my series ‘Wind Horse’ which is available from www.acaciarose.com.  

The attempt to sell off the Snowy Scheme interrupted the fourth novel in the series!

 

N: Brumby grazing is all that is left to preserve what remains of The Snowy from the horrors of water catchment holocaust. The brumbies now rhetorically demonised, are truly targeted for extermination so as to erase the evidence of that which is claimed to be climate change, which in fact and reality, is about the failure of the no graze, no cool fire policy delivered by Alec Costin & Co’s flawed, misleading science. 

 

A: I truly believe that the NSW Government must return income from Kosciuszko National Park to better manage the blackberries, the weeds, the wild dogs, the goats, the deer and other introduced species. I don’t like the singular targeting of the brumbies and advocated for gentle management and capture with salt blocks and yards. I am not sure that anyone has evidence to assert that the brumby program is designed to cover for the alleged failure of the no grace, no cool fire policy.

 

N: Acacia Rose your big job starts here if you seriously want our, the Snowy votes! Only in Australia would you be given this chance to prove yourself. A chance I will defend to the hilt for you to have. Democratic and political integrity has taken a tumble in Snowy politics for decades, a Snowy where political agendas and poor science have led us to the brink. 

 

A: Thank you Noeline. I like your spirit and I will prove myself through my own actions, starting with the campaign to stop the sale of Snowy Hydro. It is not over! The CEO still plans to recapitalise or privatise and our water resources are up for grabs! I will fight to  keep our water in public ownership and management and will not see the privatisation and sell off of our water. I am myself and not my father’s keeper and hope that this is just the beginning of fighting for all of us, our freedom, and our future.

 

N: Acacia, convince us publicly, you recognize the incredible errors of the past that were bestowed upon the Snowy Mountains and its inhabitants. 

A: I am deeply sorry for the trauma caused to our pioneering Snowy Mountains families and of course, that people have lost land and as Dr John Merritt has written about, lost ground. Moving Adaminaby was tragic.  Those people were never properly compensated and will probably not be compensated for Snowy Hydro moving the water out of Eucumbene for energy sales and water ‘sales’ to top end buyers including in the cotton industry.   Flooding Jindabyne also caused the loss of many homes and dislocation of those families. Many people have sacrificed for this nation. Mistakes are made and I too have made and will almost certainly make more mistakes in this life. However, I will always be honest with myself and other people.  I can’t promise miracles however I can promise you, that I will continue to fight for justice for the many lives and businesses now affected by the attempt to sell Snowy Hydro and sell off the water resources. That is seriously affecting summer tourism in the mountains NOW! I love the mountains and our people and I am acutely aware that this is my heritage. I also have been a sometimes unreasonable judge of my father and also wondered about the fires.  Dr Cheney put me straight. In these sort of conditions – and we face them again this year with the unseasonably early spring and warm August temperatures – we need to act fast or simply let the fires rip and protect built assets.  A dry lightning strike fire stimulated almost certainly, by increased N02 emissions arising from the Victorian gas generated power stations – also a preferred peak energy venture of Snowy Hydro – a fire of that nature that rapidly turns into a crown fire where fireballs hurtle at great speeds in a random pattern ahead of the fire front is hardly fuelled from the ground.  

As far as my father is concerned, he was a man of the times and I respect him for his hard work, commitment and that he was fighting on many fronts to protect these mountains for future generations. 

Acacia Rose

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An open letter from Noeline Franklin.

The seat of Eden Monaro is said to be the litmus of Federal elections. Sitting member Garry Nairn secretary of state to the Prime Minister (tongue in cheek), is being challenged in the next elections by independent, Acacia Rose.

Daughter of Alec Costin, the Godfather of the no graze policy for the now burnt out Snowy Mountains, a heritage gutted of wildlife and wildflowers. 2-3M hectares of dead forests, ripped off top-soil, eroded streams, burnt out bogs and almost dry dams, leaving a pending, potential national water and electricity crisisOnly 200 000 ha of grazed Snowy Mountain brumby runs survived the 2003-06-07 bushfires that ravaged Melbourne to Canberra.

While no one can be blamed for the work of their parents, many knowledgeable, lateral thinking people wonder how you, Acacia Rose, rationalize your father’s work of advocating the no graze, no cool fire regime in conjunction with the events of recent years. Seeing the elimination of so many of the values stockmen and Aboriginal people held so dear, nurtured and protected for generations with lives of hard work and participation in world wars.

Can you Acacia, tell the people whom you are asking to cast their vote for you along with the wider national constituency interest, how you rationalize this parental history from your Father’s side with your own views and beliefs for the Snowy communities futures?

As I stated above, a child cannot be held accountable for their parent’s actions, but you Acacia to be seriously considered as a Federal politician for the Monaro area and to have a voice in parliament for all other areas, we the people, wish sincerely to hear your answers. Especially, as this is an election period for you as a prospective Monaro candidate.

To put into context many of our concerns, generalizing, I outline below where Alec Costin scientifically appears to have led the snowy, down. I repeat, this is his, Alec Costin’s, legacy to the Snowy, not Acacia Roses’.

The mountainous rebound of wildflowers when stock were removed finally in 1969, were a legacy of what wildflower growth conditions and mixed species grazing created. Never since, have such wildflowers been seen. The mountains have been stripped of their life’s blood, yet her father’s monographs of photos claiming the wildflowers – sown and fertilized by livestock grazing, protected from rabbit plague, drought and harsh bushfire by Snowy communities – were his work of salvation. This is unequivocally a serious misrepresentation of the facts and truth.

Alec Costin advocated large animal grazing be removed and cool fire management stopped. This, the very lifeblood of the Snowy, cut off! Since stockmen and their historic management were removed, the wildflowers have progressively disappeared and the wildlife has all but been eliminated by being starved, butchered and burnt. Costin clearly must have had tacit approval for harboring packs of wild dogs to discourage all grazing.

He wanted many tons of dry matter on the ground to deliver quality water, tons beyond what the Snowy environment could sustain and survive ecologically. A dry matter and thick scrub that killed and starved the wildlife and wildflowers and when the summer lightening came, the ensuing fires were uncontrollably intense and massive, burning huge geographical areas almost beyond recovery. There can be no doubt in many modern mountain minds that the Costin research conclusions, set in train processes with indelible results, for wildlife, wildflower and, water run-off. The culmination of these processes being the horror fires of 2003-06-07 even though unheeded warnings were given then and continued through the decades, right up to the days of the BBQs. There are numerous mountain people that had personal interaction with Costin and his field work, that after the seeing and the talking, wrote publicly of the folly of the man and his methods.

While children of early last century’s Australian societal elite were enjoying the spoils of affluence and privilege, children of the snowy communities were being publicly castigated for being environmental heathens. The real facts are, Snowy families in a newly Federated nation were the first to talk with pride of their environmental awareness and commitment to our new modern nation. Employing a multicultural land management system to create and protect the conservation icon, which in turn became a pristine water catchment for all, called affectionately “The Snowy”. Generational historically proven knowledge was dismissed, for so called flawed science pumped out on agenda by such as Alec Costin and those misguided enough to follow.

Large animal grazing had been reintroduced for over 150 years with great success after a mega-fauna absence of 12,000 years. Aboriginal burning had been in place in concert with diminishing mega-fauna grazing for up to 70,000 years. Our myriad of native flowering plants had evolved with large grazing animals and fire for 130 Million years. Aboriginal cool fire management is said to mimic grazing in its effects on plant communities, driving their life cycles, nutrient recycling of biochar. This cool burning was a skill developed by the Aboriginals as they suffered the effects upon the environment from the slow demise of the Australian mega-fauna.

The soil, plants, animals and streams, loved the return of large animal grazing and wildlife population recovery. Passed on Aboriginal management processes enabled the colonists to retain the ecology with the choice of mixed species grazing and cool frequent fire. In retrospect, the ideal vegetation structure and water relationships. The very essence of “The Snowy” with the ability to rapidly recover from bushfire.

Take a look at the legacy of Costin’s processes in the fire recovery 4 years on from the 2003 holocaust. Alpine ash forests killed and intentionally left to rot, ancient snow gum stands killed, minimal wildlife such as insects, frogs, birds, lizards, echidna, wallaby, roos, wombats, and wildflowers, struggle to be seen outside park’s rural neighbours. Nutrient recycling essentials for ancient 250 million year old soils to support a live ground cover, herbal water filters, have been incinerated and possibly lost forever over vast alpine areas.

When Myxomatosis was finally released in the 1950s to help stockmen restore full control over rabbits, and the wild dog population was reined in for the first time in 3,500 years by competent Dogmen, wildlife populations recovered, with the Snowy blossoming with abundant native species and reliable flows of fresh, clean, sweet water bubbling from every ferny gully, every year, all year, irrespective of rainfall.

Stockmen and their stock had created heaven on earth, but Alec Costin was an opportunist, taking photographs and claiming rabbit plague, 1939 scorch, gold mining, etc. was evidence of livestock damage to appease his masters in the Snowy Hydro and Commonwealth bureaucracies. Sam Clayton, empire builder in the Soil Conservation Service, was Costin’s mentor. Stockmen shared their huts, horses, hospitality and dreams for a new nation with Alec Costin, who then went off and misrepresented them to the world. Basically, fed them to the dogs, burnt their farms, gutted their communities.

Today, Hume sawmill workers are facing the sack because all their forests have been locked up and burnt by ill-conceived policies. Farmers are locked out of their mountains during the worst drought since Snowy was declared a State Park in 1944, only to watch their generational family’s life’s work, burn down while being arrogantly and simplistically attributed to the untenable diatribe of “climate change”. The truth is another matter altogether, a truth where the reality is the madness of management by abandonment, neglect and false science. The continuation and perpetuation of misleading and deceiving science has been fed to the public and has been done so for over 60 years in an effort to grab and exploit Snowy waters and terrain for very little return.

Stockmen, when they vacated their cherished summer runs were promised the wildlife, wildflowers, Snowy water would be looked after for the Australian people. How hollow were the promises? From a scientist’s point of view, I blush with embarrassment for what has been called “Science on Snowy ecology!” The satellite maps seen by the world of The Snowy burning, are a national embarrassment. Snowy water turned to soot and brumby blood, a national disgrace, a blight by the elite few upon the naïve and lied to many.

Our brumbies built this nation with their loyalty and heart. They fought and died with our grandfathers, uncles, brothers, fathers and husbands, while politics and empire building at home was discreetly being conducted behind the scenes in an unconscionable act of selling out their country men. The brumbies are the free spirits of our Snowy families and loved ones who never returned. Had our families known of the within fifth column enemy of the Snowy here at home, they would likely never have left to fight and die on foreign shores. They certainly wouldn’t have murdered their steeds on command.

Brumby grazing is all that is left to preserve what remains of The Snowy from the horrors of water catchment holocaust. The brumbies now rhetorically demonised, are truly targeted for extermination so as to erase the evidence of that which is claimed to be climate change, which in fact and reality, is about the failure of the no graze, no cool fire policy delivered by Alec Costin & Co’s flawed, misleading science.

Acacia Rose your big job starts here if you seriously want our, the Snowy votes! Only in Australia would you be given this chance to prove yourself. A chance I will defend to the hilt for you to have. Democratic and political integrity has taken a tumble in Snowy politics for decades, a Snowy where political agendas and poor science have led us to the brink.

Acacia, convince us publicly, you recognize the incredible errors of the past that were bestowed upon the Snowy Mountains and its inhabitants.


Noeline Franklin (Farmer)
BSC (Hon), M.Medsc, PTC.
16 Years CSIRO Scientist

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