15 November 2022
To write this newsletter I opened up my last one from early August this year and it started with a reference to the flooding that was occurring across NSW. I had commented on how the extremes of weather, as a result of our rapidly changing climate, were really beginning to make themselves evident in a relentless kind of way.
Well, it’s now mid-November, the rain is still unrelenting, and the Central West of NSW is under again. One thing that has become apparent to me of late, living near the mouth of the Hunter River, is the seemingly permanent brown slick extending out from the harbour into the ocean. The brown slick is primarily made up of soil sheeting off denuded areas of our urban and rural landscapes.
Over the past couple of years there has been a growing awareness of the how complex, biodiverse, alive and, frankly, a little bit magical, good soil is and how essential it is to our own health and existence. We are also becoming more aware how poorly we have treated soils over the past few industrial centuries and how our disdainful relationship with soils is potentially the source of so many of our physical and mental ailments.
There are some great recent books (Audiobooks) on this, Soils by Matthew Evans and The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben to name a couple that certainly made me completely change my perspective on soils.
With AILA NSW, soils have been front and centre in discussions around deep soil provisions in State and Local Government policy and around specifications on soil testing, impact of herbicides like Glyphosate and vegetation removal.
For members SESL are holding a Webinar on the 23rd of November on Waste Soils and our regional members will be getting together on the 9th of December for the Regional Salon -The Green Detox- Presented by the Newcastle University with a specific focus on soil contamination and planting, this will be followed by Christmas drinks at The Young St Hotel, secure your spot now, (Free for members).
On another note, the EOI is currently open for NSW 2023 Awards Jury members. It's always a rewarding experience to be involved in this process so if it is something you might be interested in having a crack at then don’t hesitate to put your name forward.
Finally, the AILA NSW Christmas function is on this Thursday evening at Henley's Bar and, speaking on behalf of the rest of the executive, we look forward to catching up with quite a lot of you then.
NSW Executive Member