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Northern development must not repeat southern mistakes

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 9 Nov 2006

Senator Rachel Siewert has warned the Government against forcing farmers into an unsustainable stampede into fragile northern ecosystems.

"We are in danger of rushing headlong into developing the north without heeding the lessons of the past. We need to carefully consider what natural resources are up there, the Indigenous owners and other, environmental implications," Senator Siewert said in the Senate last night.

 "As rivers are degraded and precious plants and animals are threatened across southern Australia, it is absolutely imperative that we learn from these lessons and not repeat them in the north."

Senator Siewert pointed to the 'Kimberley Appropriate Economies Roundtable' as an example of how locally appropriate development could avoid the kinds of development that had devastated southern ecosystems.

"If we do not stop and consider how to develop industry and agriculture in sympathy with the environment, we are in danger of repeating the past," Senator Siewert said.

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