Permaculture in Western Australia 

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Permaculture in Western Australia 
Permaculture in Western Australia 

"Stability Through Diversity"

Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. It is also the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.

The following is a collection of ideas and associated links attempting to relate the significance of the concept of stability through diversity. To go straight to more Permaculture sites and bypass my "soapbox", click here.

I believe that the Permaculture concept of Stability Through Diversity applies to economic as well as environmental matters. In Western economies we are losing economic diversity with the growth of big businesses and franchises, I'd suggest that this is resulting in our economy and society becoming less stable. It could be that the internet, through websites like this, and Wikipedia,  the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, that makes public information that might otherwise be suppressed and Google that rates websites by the relevant links to them, will bring about a reversal of this trend. Big businesses in Australia have grown their influence, in part, by their control of information through the power of network advertising on commercial TV. The internet is based on the free exchange of information giving it stability through diversity.  GetUp is an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organisation giving everyday Australians opportunities to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues, using the internet as well as the mainstream media.  Another organisation using the power of the internet to provide an exchange of ideas is.  The Centre for Policy Development. It is a public interest think tank dedicated to seeking out creative, viable ideas and innovative research to inject into Australia's policy debates. They give a diverse community of thinkers space to imagine solutions to Australia's most urgent challenges, and connect their ideas with policy-makers, media and concerned citizens.

This website implements the stability through diversity concept via our Link Policy  play icon that allows us to promote any unique WA business, organisation or innovative individual that will provide a reciprocal link. We also include links to many that don't reciprocate if their content is relevant to the general thrust of this site which is to promote sustainability and healthy fun in WA.

The stability through (bio)diversity concept forms a part of the basis of Natural Sequence Farming developed by Peter Andrews and explained in his book Back From The Brink . For years Peter was ridiculed by the land care establishment for his ideas. Peters treatment is symptomatic of the dilemma facing innovators in the Western world that has adopted the scientific principals that states that nothing is true until it is proven. On the face of it this seems an entirely reasonable proposition, but the problem is that it is very expensive to prove anything to scientific standards so it is only big businesses that stand to generate money from a product or idea that have the funds to prove anything. This extreme scientific approach allows the corporations to deny a whole body of human knowledge gained over generations. This process has resulted in an industrial food and medical system in the Western world. There is no doubt that modern science produces some spectacular, well publicised cures for disease, but how many of these diseases are the result of an industrial food system? How can it be that Australia has a first world economy yet our state of health is such that we have to recruit doctors from third world countries to fill our needs? Why do we spend billions of dollars on medical research but very little on researching agricultural practices that avoid the use of chemicals in the food chain? 

Australians are fortunate to have a government funded national broadcaster, the ABC that is able to present stories in the national interest, sadly unlike our national research organisations that have become pawns of multinational chemical companies. The Australian Story program raised awareness of the work of Peter Andrews and more recently of  Dr Maarten Stapper who is doing ground breaking work on agricultural practices but has shunned by the research establishment.

Al Gore is reported as saying that "he sees a threat to citizens independence with the concentration of media ownership to fewer and fewer owners. With increasing wealth and power of the media there has been a corresponding increase in public disenchantment and apathy.  Media and journalism before 1960's was based on a conversation with detailed reports in the newspaper, but since TV overtook newspapers as the main source of news and information, individuals have been unable to have their voices heard - only those that can afford to pay for advertising, the major political parties are able to participate.  Al Gore sees the internet as a sign of hope for people to have a conversation and to use knowledge to regain our collective power"  ( Newsletter for Men Of The Trees Western Australia Dec 2006 Issue #106)  The indifference that many people seem to have to the threat of climate change to their own future prompted CSIRO's former climate director, Dr Graeme Pearman, to study psychology, which he describes as the new frontier in climate change.  A form of commercial censorship exists in the mainstream media that gives the views of big business precedence over small businesses.  This website and our radio programs have been set up to reverse this bias, we only promote the unique local attractions and products of Western Australia.

There is now a growing acceptance of Organic Farming  principals and complimentary medicines that form part of a growing Health and Wellbeing Products and Services industry. People are voting with their dollars and saying that they don't care if something is scientifically proven or not, if it works for them it is OK. The Internet is playing a part in this process as it is breaking down the "cathedrals"  build around the medical and some professional establishments who have previously controlled information to underpin their position in society.  The internet, is evolving to present balanced information without interest group or commercial bias. There is obviously a lot of misinformation on the internet, just like the mainstream media, but if you follow the flow of links from more reputable websites you can access information and make up your own mind what to believe. I'm not questioning the dedication and commitment of health professionals but ask if the profession hasn't allowed itself to become too closely aligned to drug companies that sees a profit in illness rather than looking to prevention. There is great hope for the future with young doctors actively raising awareness of the influence of marketing efforts by pharmaceutical companies among their profession through the website Pharma Phacts. West Australian,  Dr Peter Dingle presents a scientific approach to health with out excessive use of drugs with his  DEAL:  Diet Environment, Attitude and Lifestyle. His newsletter is well worth subscribing to. Another West Australian using the internet to expose the myth of ADHD Martin Whitely through his website   Websites like  Elaine Hollingsworth's Doctors are Dangerous provides information that allows you to take control of your health and escape the sickness industry.  Interesting ideas about the place of water in prevention and curing diseases are presented by  Dr. Batmanghelidj  who has dedicated his time to promoting public awareness of the healing powers of water. Breath Connection  developed by Dr Buteyko teaches people how to breath properly and can cure afflictions that drugs can only mask. Another great example of an individual changing the status-quo is Leanne Preston and her company, Wild Child. Leanne set out to produce a natural cure for head lice and founded a company on a philosophy of a desire to help children. In doing so she had to take on the pharmaceutical establishment and bureaucracy, as well as challenging the business idea of placing profits ahead of ideals. Hers is an inspiring story and her book is well worth reading.  Any hope for the future of our society requires science to develop sustainable energy sources rather than continually consuming the global capital of non-renewable energy. If any of this makes sense to you then you'll probably be interested in ideas discussed by Clive Hamilton and  in the Wellbeing Manifesto . I'm in no way endorsing all that Clive has to say, but he does make some interesting observations which can be balanced by comments by Paul Kerin in the Weekend Australian. No doubt, eventually, economics will decide outcomes, if we waste finite resources eventually they will become to expensive and we will no longer have access to them. Is there then a place for government to show some vision and develop policies and education programs to bring about change to extend the availability of resources rather than rely on market forces to decide? Paul Kerin argues that the people are best equipped to decide how to spend their money, but given that Australia is in the middle of a mineral boom and the national debt is growing rapidly, perhaps we are not making good decisions. Government supports anti smoking programs because it is not good for our health, perhaps they should support anti consumer debt programs because they are not good for our wealth.

Money is obviously very important,  but when money becomes the driving force, as has happened in Australia in the last 20 years, we loose sight of human values and the health of our society and its members suffers, bring about the need for organisations like Beyond Blue.  Change is starting to happen, driven by thinking people who see that there is another way. This is happening through things like Farmers Markets , Organic Farming, Permaculture and the Slow Food  click here to listen movement. All are part of a process of people taking back control of their food supply and economic destiny, that in recent years has been hijacked in the western world by  multinational corporations.  In Australia the advent of compulsory superannuation has resulted in Capitalism taking on the economic characteristic of a Communist economic model. The productive assets of the country increasingly are owned by "everybody" ( via Superannuation funds) or foreign companies so governments are reluctant to enact legislation that limits the power of these organisations.    As a result a hand full of unelected individuals are making decisions affecting the lives of millions of people. We now have a situation where the capitalist and communist models have merged, both seem hell bent on destroying true private enterprise - look how Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings are destroying small retail businesses. 

I'd welcome someone in authority to explain any error in my logic. If what I've written makes sense to you, then you might be interested in the following pages Farmers Markets , Organic Farming, Permaculture , Slow Food  click here to listen  and Sustainable Living . If you agree with the ideas expressed here, please feel free to link to any of these pages from your website this way you are helping to spread the concept of stability through diversity! If your website is relevant to the content of this site I'll happily provide a reciprocal link.

Aren't we fortunate to live in a democracy that allows its citizens to express an opinion, and at a time when the best of American enterprise and technology has produced the internet and Google, allowing for the free exchange of ideas.

Barry Green, Managing Director, Western Tourist Radio 

Recommended Reading
The Permaculture Home Garden,  Linda Woodrow ISBN 0 670 86599 0
Back from the Brink, How Australian landscapes can be saved Peter Andrews ISBN 978 0 7333 1962 4

Copyleft Policy

Resources of the Western Tourist Radio website, either in full or in part, can be copied, quoted, reprinted, given away or circulated. Parts may be torn out, extracted and enhanced. In short, all resources are public property. Please use in any way to build the skills and knowledge of citizens in building healthier communities and more vibrant local economies.

Copyleft Policy borrowed from Bank of Ideas
The following links provide information about the Permaculture concept and more. 
David Holmgren  Co-Founder of Permaculture with Bill Mollison
The Permaculture Research Institute   a non-profit organisation involved in global networking and practical training of environmental activists.
Permaculture Association Western Australia
Merri Bee Organic Farm A sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependant consumerism
Permaculture Properties with accommodation in WA 
Josh Byrne  ABC TV presenter and inspirational supporter of sustainable practices.
The Food Forest  permaculture education  Permaculture Farm and Learning Centre
Permaculture small farming  This website is your guide to sustainable living success. Here you’ll find valuable information resources on setting up a sustainable lifestyle!
Your Patch  Your Patch is a truly innovative new Western Australian business providing hassle free installation and maintenance of organic vegetable gardens
The Rare Breeds Farm is a unique collection of rare and unusual breeds of domesticated farm animals, many of the breeds kept are on the brink of extinction and not on public displays any where else in the world
Dalyellup Permaculture   Creating sustainable habitats in the "Village in the Forest by the Sea"
Backyard Aquaponics Bringing food production home.
Western Australian Gardening information
Herb Growers Network of WA (HGN)   Helping Herb Growers Grow
Candlelight Farm Permaculture Education
The Wilderness Society Defending Australia's Wild Country
Sustainable Population Australia an ecological group dedicated to preserving species' habitats globally and in Australia from the degradation caused by human population growth.
The Wellbeing Manifesto  Where to for Australia?
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