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Byron Shire
April 12, 2021

Baseline testing not the solution

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With regard to your article Farmers call for baseline testing, Echonetdaily July 16.

One problem with ‘baseline testing’ and ‘assessing impacts’ is the implication that some disruptive actions will be taken that shall be monitored and then compared with these baselines. Sure, do ‘baseline testing’, but don’t expect the knowledge can safeguard the resources from the disruptive actions. Do independent environmental baseline studies, couple them with socio-economic valuations and compare with case studies right around the globe.

But the most powerful ‘key’ for farmers (and the rest of us) is to call for developing robust explicit precautionary principles.

Another approach is to consider various ways to collect energy on a farm. If a farmer wants to compare what can be earned while safeguarding resources, solar energy works become even more attractive investments. German farmers make money collecting and on-selling solar energy. Their water resources are thus safeguarded from impacts of CSG mining. Solar on buildings together with distributed energy networks can transform urban energy needs and also safeguard water resources.

Mary Gardner, Byron Bay


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