Dubbo’s Michael Morandini has put the wind up willow-destroyers who are “playing with the lifeblood” of Australia - its rivers.
The Peter Andrews convert wants the removal of willows to stop along the Macquarie and called on government departments to stop ignoring the evidence that the trees save the land from degradation and soil loss.
Mr Morandini accused departments of “intellectual snobbery” against Mr Andrews, but Central West Catchment Management Authority (CWCMA) general manager Tim Ferraro rejected the claim of narrow-mindedness.
Mr Morandini argued that although exotic, willows assisted with a desirable net build up of soil and that erosion resulted from their removal.
The chiropractor and “lifelong student of human health and natural farming techniques” spoke to the Daily Liberal after Narromine retiree Bob Meadley criticised the destruction of willows along the Macquarie.
Mr Meadley blamed the CWCMA for its role in funding the removal of willows, although it was a project of the Narromine Shire Council.
Mr Morandini said he had visited Mr Andrews at least 40 times and was convinced that the crusader of natural sequence farming techniques and his approach to Australia’s “water assets” worked.
Australia had huge amounts of water going to waste and the way to use it was to rely on little structures to slow down the stream velocity and to settle out the soil particles, he said.
Instead its willows were removed.
“I ask readers to start observing the result and if it is not sustainable it must not continue,” he said.
“If there’s not a net gain and a net build up in silt and soil along the waterway and floodplain as is observable in Peter Andrews’ works, but there is in fact a net loss in soil as willows are removed, it’s easy to see which is the correct technique versus the incorrect technique.
“In Peter Andrews’ work there is always a net build up of soil and beautiful fertility.”
Mr Morandini defended the basis of Mr Andrews’ method, saying observation was the first part of science and took a stab at what he regarded as an unwillingness of departments to “listen” and “observe”.
Mr Ferraro said the CWCMA had funded some natural sequence farming projects in the central west.
“We don’t necessarily see any conflict in Peter Andrews’ methods and what the CMA advocates,” he said.
Mr Ferraro previously said willow removal led to more fish, more native vegetation and a more stable river.