Farmland for the Future

Letters to the editor and articles have been commenting on loss of high-grade farmland. On the basis of these comments I took a trip to a childhood home at Railton, a farm now owned by big business. I found the house, granary, dairy and barns had been removed, but a cleared area remains. Parts of the old garden had been left but the farm was sown to eucalyptus trees, no doubt suitable for pulp in the future. No minor species such as myrtle, celery top, huon pine, sassafras, string bark or blackwood are to be seen which means the uniqueness of Tasmania is being lost. Gone are the views and it is clear the farm will remain a plantation for trees and is lost to future farmers. Methods of farming and harvesting, pulp and paper mills are not the argument; permanent loss of the farms, small towns and tree species is the argument. Support should be given to our paper mills to encourage downstream processing of the paper in Tasmania. A crop of trees and then reverting back to farmland is acceptable, thus increasing the fertility of the soil and allowing time to destroy such diseases as club rot etc. but the destruction of housing and farm buildings is the destruction of history. These homes should be welcome to the people unable to find low-rental property. It is time to review our policies.

Jim G.Campbell A.Dip.A CBS DM (JP) Esq, Ulverstone