Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Senate Committee gets the soil C message

Dr Christine Jones, Tim WIley (WA Dept Agriculture & Food) and Bob Wilson (Evergreen Farming WA) appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport's "Inquiry into Climate Change and the Australian Agricultual Sector". recently - and had a great triumph! They are pictured here with Senators Sterle, O'Brien, Nash, and Heffernan.

We will publish their record of testimony when we have it. Until then, we have Bob Wilson's email impressions

G'day Michael & Louisa,

Well........ interesting times are upon us! This next six months is going to be very hectic for all us soil carbon tragics, are they not!? I have attached a photo (sorry it isn't better quality) of the three SCT's (see above) after our presentation to the senate standing committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport's "Inquiry into Climate Change and the Australian Agricultual Sector". (these were some of the senator's that we could grab at the lunch break on the second day)
We stayed for the whole two days and listened to the presentations from many of the Agro political / science R&D/ and policy organisations. Very interesting stuff!
Our presentation was so well received by the senators that we were questioned for an extra 20 minutes after our allotted time had elapsed! And at the end of our presentation, almost unanimously, the senators decided that they WANTED TO SEE these "Carbon Farming" systems that we had told them were happening on farms around the country RIGHT NOW! We hope this will occur in august this year in both the east and the west.
As we were the 3rd presentation of 18 over the two days, we were thrilled to hear a number of the senators subsequently ask leading questions of the representatives of many organisations, regarding their views on soil carbon, and their knowledge on pasture cropping etc. At least on two occasions these organisations were given the suggestion from the senators that they should introduce themselves to us before they left, so they might be able to learn more about the practice.
It was fantastic......!!
I feel a key supporter that we need to work with is Michael Robinson from LWA, who is in charge of the CCRSPI program. This was acknowledged by a number of speakers as the 'Big player in town'..... Apparently there is still one organisation that is not playing ball at the moment, but we don't know which one. (although senator Nash asked some very interesting questions of DAFF)
Hopefully the hansard report will come out on monday, and it will be worth reading, just to hear the instructions to the DAFF 'suits' (I think there was 7 of them!!) to turn around and introduce themselves to us, so they can learn about soil carbon........ It will make your day!! It did for us.........
I would be happy for the photo and a short article to appear on your blogsite....... mainly about the positive reaction to our presentation, and the forthcoming visit.
Any of my personal thoughts had better stay out, until I have read hansard........
I was quite impressed by some of the intelligent questioning by the senators..... especially sen Fiona Nash (NSW nat), Mary Jo Fisher (lib SA) and the two greens Milne and Siewert. Bill Heffernan was very entertaining at times!!

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