LETTER: Petty squabble reduced to frogs and warblers

I READ your editorial reporting residents' concerns relating to the proposed residential development at the South Grafton golf course, and noted in particular the infantile comment reportedly made by Cr Lysaught, that development was all about people not warblers and frogs.

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While realising the comment had more to do with a petty personality clash with Greens' councillor Greg Clancy, Cr Lysaught needs to be reminded that there are federal and state laws that protect native wildlife, so development is not all about people. I would have thought that anyone standing for public office would know that.

What Cr Lysaught should also understand is that we humans are totally dependent on biodiversity for our own existence on this planet, in fact we are an integral part of it along with those frogs and warblers. Therefore I recommend he read "Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030", particularly the opening comments which read:

"Biodiversity occurs in all environments on Earth - terrestrial, aquatic and marine.

"Biodiversity is not static; it is constantly changing. It can be increased by genetic change and evolutionary processes, and it can be reduced by threats which lead to population decline and extinction. Biodiversity in Australia is currently declining because of the impacts of a range of threats.

"Conserving biodiversity is an essential part of safeguarding the biological life support systems on Earth. All living creatures, including humans, depend on these life support systems for the necessities of life. For example, we need oxygen to breathe, clean water to drink, fertile soil for food production and physical materials for shelter and fuel. These necessities can be described collectively as ecosystem services. They are fundamental to our physical, social, cultural and economic well-being."

In short, biodiversity provides us with everything we eat, much of what we wear, and many of the medicines that keep us alive. Without biodiversity we humans would not exist. Simple as that, and it is incumbent on those in public office to consider that fact when making decisions that further impact biodiversity.

John Edwards, South Grafton

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