Enviro expert shares his tips
PETER Andrews is no stranger to adversity.
The environmentalist has come up against wary scientists, doubtful politicians and a sceptical farming community, but has always backed his own methods.
Now, after decades of struggle and being forced to deflect a myriad of criticism along the way, Peter is where he wants to be; sharing his knowledge with Australian farming communities.
Communities such as Springsure, where farmers welcomed Mr Andrews this week with open arms – and an open mind.
Mr Andrews, a racehorse breeder and farmer credited with remarkable success in converting degraded, salt-ravaged properties into fertile, drought-resistant pastures, gave Springsure property owners much-needed insight in how to restore their properties to their former glory.
“There is some really good country here, it is nowhere near as bad as Western Australia, for example,” Mr Andrews told the Central Queensland News.
“The biggest issue is to stop the virtual landscape components being lost.
“Life-giving compounds are being lost every time it rains.... Every time it rains, as a result of that mess we use a hell of a lot of landscape resources.”
And rain is something the Springsure area has not been short on over recent weeks.
“We have got to stabilise the erosion, that is one of the most critical things,” Mr Andrews said.
“If you don’t do that, our heritage is disappearing every time it rains.”
Mr Andrews’ natural sequence farming method, as seen on ABC’s Australian Story, was initially mocked when trialled on his Upper Hunter River Valley horse stud property.
The method goes against European farming principals, focusing on the way the natural landscape works to maintain its balance by restoring connections between rivers and flood plains using secondary channels to connect creeks and ponds.
This then restores the streams and wetlands to the way they were before; rejuvenating properties.
And it works. After years of peddling his ideas to cynical scientific ‘experts’, Mr Andrews now receives credit for his environmentally-friendly principals.
He’s even being backed by multi-millionaire businessman, Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman.
But it doesn’t take the bank balance of a multi-millionaire to implement Mr Andrews’ methods.
“If you think it’s going to be terribly expensive, you’ve probably misunderstood how to do it,” he said.
“A lot of it (land) is redeemable quite cheaply.”
More than 30 landholders from around Central Queensland attended the Springsure workshop, organised by the Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative and DCQ Bestprac.