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Ignorance of beauty is not an excuse, and the destruction of beauty is not intelligent.
River Red Gums (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis)
River Red Gums (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis) [92 K]
...here are several very good reasons for retaining the natural growth on country roadsides. It serves as a windbreak where cleared paddocks exist on either side. It provides imperative conditions of shelter and nesting for birds and honey producing flowers for bees - two invaluable friends of the farmer. It prevents erosion from wind and water, and lastly, it is very much more interesting than the tree planting schemes that usually succeed it...

Edna Walling was an early advocate of conserving Australian flora and fauna. She fought to conserve and preserve many areas of wilderness. She called for the establishment of a bush sanctuary at Lorne, argued against a restaurant and car park at the top of Mt Dandenong, participated in the protests against the flooding of Lake Pedder in Tasmania and sand-mining on Fraser Island in Queensland. She proposed that councils and government properly assess the need for clearing established bush.

Red Gums (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis)
Red Gums
(Eucalyptus Camaldulensis)
[69 K]

We like being Australian and yet we do so much that contributes to the obliteration of that which is Australia.

Inspired by the philosophies of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and ecologist author Lewis Mumford, Walling fought against the destruction of Australiažs native bush and unique indigenous ecology.

How amazingly beautiful is this skin, or cloak, of Australia!

Walling's views were expressed in books such as "The Australian Roadside" and in her many magazine and newspaper articles. She also wrote letters to the editor arguing for the establishment of national parks and against highways and 'pseudo Americanism' in development. Even a few trees uselessly cut down would incur her scorn and a quick letter to the editor.

To dub Melaeucas and Leptospermum as 'scrub' has resulted in the wholesale burning off of these two species in places where they could otherwise be spared - on roadsides and in small parks ...

Surely the Government is not going to ruin its good name of being top dog where National Parks are concerned by proposing a highway where it will upset the ecology of the wildlife sanctuary...

That Myall Lakes on the North Coast of NSW could, and should, become one of the great National Parks, not just of Australia but of the world...

May I suggest that if it is tourists that they are after, it might be as well not to emulate the Gold Coast, but to be different from it, and start strenuously protecting the native features that are left on the Sunshine Coast.

...it is rather dreadful that the loveliest things in this country are sometimes subject to destruction by authorities who really have no idea that the things they destroy are lovely.

Edna Walling's recognition of the need for conserving our native flora and fauna was not just a wagging of the finger at authorities, it was a realisation on her own part as well.

Now as I go tottering from the hill I see in Lombardy poplars, and all their suckering tribe, only pitiless reminders of my own past misdeeds! I stand in awe before many another imported species - awestruck by the stupidity of our ways; so many indigenous trees are really so much more inspiring in woodland and forest.

Walling's voice was heard around Australia and it can be presumed that she is in some way responsible for a change in attitude by councils and the public to our native environment.

Vision, not worthiness, is what we shall need if the most important thing in the Australian scene, its natural vegetation, is to be retained as the valuable asset it is.

Road and Roadside Vegetation
Road and Roadside Vegetation [78 K]


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