Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spokesmodel or SOIL SUPREMO?

It will remain to be seen whether Michael Jeffery's new role will have sufficient 'teeth' for the task. Will he be able to have an impact on 'policy' in the widest sense of the word. There are some practices that claim to promote sustainability, but which deplete soil carbon. They are enshrined in a paradigm that has dominated soil management since WW2. 
The PM's words should be studied closely to detect if the role could be described as 'spokesmodel' or 'soil supremo'.
PM Gillard today:  "Late last year we established a Working Group on Water, Soil and Food in recognition that the condition of our soils must be a national priority. A key step in this direction is the appointment of a person with the authority and trust of the community to raise awareness of the importance of soil – an Advocate for Soil Health. I’m pleased to announce that this important role will be filled by an eminent Australian, the former Governor-General, Michael Jeffrey. This role will also involve the development of soil research priorities to complement existing efforts to develop a national soil research, development and extension strategy." The "role" will  "involve development of soil research priorities to complement existing efforts"... A master strategist and leader, he has the armory of skills that can make the difference."

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