Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 necessitates the chopping down of many trees. As has been indicated, trees and the green plants, through the process of photosynthesis, create the effect that will take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. I am sure many of us learnt at school, in a simplified form, the equation which, as I recall it, states that 6 carbon dioxide molecules plus 6 water molecules, with the energy from sun 1 i ght and with the he 1 p of the enzyme chlorophyll from green plants produces C~H20~, which is a simple form of sugar, plus 6 oxygen molecules. By this means, carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere and oxygen is released in its place. The energy of the sun is stored in the chemical bonds in the sugar and is the basis of virtually all foods. Plants will make more complicated molecules, such as starches etc from it, and every animal on this earth depends on the photosynthetic effect for its food supply. However, I am looking basically at the sink effect of the green plant removing the carbon dioxide and so reducing the greenhouse gases. The television program indicated that the people of a particular country had learned to make a clay inner liner for these metal pots. Metal is a great transferrer of heat by radiation. By the use of this clay lining in the pots, the amount of wood necessary for heating is reduced by 50%. That sounds to me like an exceedingly marketable product. The benefits of using 50% less wood are obvious. Clay is easily obtainable in most parts of the world and the technology is simple. This reminds me of the appropriate technology shop in Alice Springs and I think that even our Aboriginal people may find some use for such devices. I would like to add to that something that was used by an old character from Alice Springs. He does not live in Alice Springs any longer. Actually, I first met him when I lived at Wilunga in South Australia. His name is Albert Schultz. Albie is a real character and a bushman in many ways. He has a simple device that he uses when he goes bush. He has a 4-gallon drum, cut in half, with a few holes drilled in it and a couple of bars across it. He lights his fire and does his cooking in this. When he has finished cooking, he places half of a 12-gallon drum straight over the top. The carbon dioxide that is produced as a result virtually extinguishes the fi re a lthough the heat is reta i ned. Thi s con serve s a con s i derab 1 e amount of fuel and eliminates the danger of a willy-willy spreading the fire and starting a bushfire. It is a neat little device. All it requires is a 4-ga110n drum and a 12-ga110n drum. If it were fitted with the type of clay lining shown in that television program, that would retain the heat and help to conserve fuel. It might sound simple but, when you multiply it by the cooking needs of 2000 million people, thousands of trees could be saved and wastage of fuel would be reduced without releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide. Of course, if fewer trees are used as firewood, those left growing will grow larger. We are all aware from what we learn from the media that the predictions are that the Amazon rainforest will be gone by about the year 2030 if logging continues at the present rate. Of course, that is a great concern because it does not appear that the timber is being used as fuel but rather that it is logged and burned as part of a clearing program so that the land can be used for agricultural purposes. I am sure that the end result may well be the situation we have found in Australia. If too many trees are cleared, the ground becomes saline and that presents very serious difficulties which will require the expenditure of large amounts of money and the application of considerable technology to redress. Turning to page 5 of the paper, I was rather interested in the Chief Minister's comment about the stone fruit crop in Victoria. He said some 85% 8771