Tree trimming

Landholders having concerns about tree trimmers contracted by SA Power Networks, as outlined in today’s Courier, is a common issue.
The problem is a complex one that requires a man in a high viz vest to cut a careful line between bushfire safety and the intense personal attachment people have for their environment … with a chainsaw.
It is a task which, judging by the complaints received at this newspaper, borders on impossible to get right all the time.
One size does not fit all.
There are legitimate fire safety rules to be adhered to but the job also requires an understanding of the environment as well as an ability to negotiate and communicate.
Some species of trees will never grow to a height to be a problem under powerlines yet they are often trimmed as though they will. Others are trimmed too regularly.
It must also be remembered that all but the roadside trees are owned by landholders and they have a right to expect their trees be treated with respect.

Let sanity prevail

As an arduous, expensive, deadly and ultimately unsuccessful war in Afghanistan draws to a close, another looms on the horizon.
The events on Ukraine have dominated our news bulletins for weeks but the escalation of the conflict over the past few days appears to have placed everyone on a war footing.
This is an extremely volatile situation made worse by the apparent aggressor being a world superpower.
The last time a similar situation occurred was in Iraq and, despite the flawed but noble intentions which drove that invasion, the conflict still rages and claims thousands of innocent lives each year even though the US and its allies have long since retreated.
It seems we humans learn little from our past.
But perhaps it is not the little people … maybe its those who wield absolute power who are slow to learn.
It was clearly the citizens of Kiev who drove the overthrow of their President but in doing so they have poked a very aggressive neighboring tiger.
It is a beast they are incapable of taming without help from Europe and the US.
Let’s hope sanity prevails.
It is interesting to note that all this latest sabre rattling comes just two weeks after the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi during which the Russians were at pains to portray a vastly different image of themselves to the world.