Greetings from Gayleen

– May 2023

It is our privilege to travel every year throughout regional and western Queensland to visit some of the local government areas with whom we work. As it is always the case, the people in regional Queensland are hospitable and friendly, and they always appreciate that we make this journey to spend time in their region and meet up with them to discuss the local economy, developments, and any challenges. The pleasure is always ours.  Our state is so beautiful and so diverse, from the magnificent coast to central Queensland and outback and remote regions; it is all just magic.  We have seen a lot of our beautiful native animals and birdlife. To name a few that we have seen, eagles, bustards, flocks of galahs, brolgas, parrots lots of emus and kangaroos, of course.

We are now almost halfway through our trip, and I am writing to you from Longreach. Longreach is always a great stop as the town has plenty of world-class activities for us to do on the weekend. The Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the Qantas Museum, the Outback Stagecoach ride is a thrill, and the river cruises are fabulous, to mention a few. It is also a great town for us to restock and ‘make good’ before we head into more remote corners of the state.

The challenges faced in our regions are complex and diverse. Floods, drought, fires, plagues and lack of resources all are real issues regularly faced and overcome by the people who are the backbone of our country.

What I have seen over our years of travel is the negative effects of politics and schemes created by all sides of politics on the regions. The one thing I would like to discuss and bring to your attention is what the communities call the greatest ‘ponzi scheme’ of carbon credits and what it is doing to our regional communities. When the land buy up schemes for carbon credits were first introduced many landowners and communities thought it was a fantastic way to cash in on land and help the environment. The results now are the opposite. Land is being bought by major corporate companies to offset carbon, that land is being left untouched and as a result has increased feral animas and noxious weed problems which in turn, results in the destruction of our native wildlife and the environment. With lands ‘locked up’ from production, people are leaving the farming properties, which has created a huge decline in population and as a result services and general population in communities. Carbon credits are killing the bush, the environment, and the regional communities.

The next concern in regional and outback communities is the proposed tremendous creation of solar and wind farms. There is one solar farm proposed to be 173,000 acres and will be able to be seen from space. The ‘outback’, the city people think and I often hear them say, “there is nothing in the outback”. This breaks my heart when I think of the damage these energy farms are going to have on our magnificent and very much alive, outback environment, which is teaming with important vegetation and wildlife. You just have to look and to know how true this is of our ‘outback’.  These ‘farms’ will also take our farming lands and the farming families away and reduce the populations and services further in our regional communities. This is also happening to other poorer nations; whose land is being bought and locked for these schemes so big corporate can boast they are carbon neutral. There are those making a lot of money in the process of creating green energy and carbon offsets. Then there is the question of what happens at the end of life for all these solar panels and wind turbines? Who is making them and how much energy does it take to both make and then dispose of them?

I have been lying awake at night thinking about this problem. It has been created by politicians, large business, and wealthy city people, most of whom have never been to the bush or the outback. It is madness, our beautiful country is potentially being destroyed by these ponzi schemes. As they say follow the money. I don’t believe the Greens or the left or the right of politics appreciate what they are creating with their policies. Perhaps the Nationals have an idea, and they need to speak up and be listened to. As I was advised recently by an Outback landowner, when you are asked to tick the carbon neutral box, don’t.  Do some research.

This dreadful Ponzi Scheme results in a huge Human Resource impact on all of us.