'Food Security in a Changing Climate' by Ann Daw

Scene: Drought-affected land in Gippsland, which Anne Daw believes has been caused by changing climate. Photo: Stephen Issell.
Scene: Drought-affected land in Gippsland, which Anne Daw believes has been caused by changing climate. Photo: Stephen Issell.

Agricultural advocate and member of the Round Table for Oil and Gas Anne Daw has been busy producing a new short film "Food Security in a Changing Climate".

The film looks at food security, threats, and what is happening across the Australian landscape, both on and offshore, based on science.

Others to share their concern on food security and health in the movie include Peter Owen, director of the Wilderness Society of SA, Dr Anne Poelina, Nyikina Warrwa traditional custodian, and Dr Graeme McLeay of Doctors for the Environment, Australia (DEA).

Dr Poelina describes how climate is changing, which is impacting on the land, water and food security. As Dr McLeay mentions, DEA is concerned with the state of the environment and of the health threats of the 21st Century.

Ms Daw said agricultural land and precious water were not protected by fracking moratoriums, in fact far from it. There is no protection for farmers in the few remaining food bowls or the fishing industry.

At Haselgrove 3, an exploration well for conventional gas near Penola, during a week, over 4.5 million cubic metres of gas was flared.

Ms Daw had a meeting with the EPA last year, illustrating the different colours in the Haselgrove 3 flaring, which included toxic contaminants. She understands that mercury is present in most gas.

In Queensland, between January 2015 and June 2018, there were 110,378.57 million cubic metres of gas produced and 1,368.27 million cubic metres gas flared or vented. Ms Daw wonders how much gas would have leaked from pipes, or not been accounted for, which was emitted at gas processing plants.

There is only 4 per cent of prime agricultural land in Australia, mainly around the coast, which is in decline.

Goyder's line in South Australia, which shows where there is less than 200mm per year rainfall, is moving south at the rate of 1km per year. There are frightening scenes of what has happened along the River Murray and Gippsland.

Honey collection has been severely impacted in the Adelaide Hills. Honey is a barometer of the environment.

In the movie, Mr Owen gives a vivid picture on what is happening at the mouth of the River Murray. There are not enough flows to keep the mouth open, without intervention by dredging of sand 7 days a week. The changing climate has implications on the ocean, including serious ocean acidification, impacting sea life at the base of the food chain.

An oil spill in the Great Australian Bight would spell disaster on the fishing and tourism industries.

The beautifully edited film has been dedicated to the late Polly Higgins, world renowned climate activist, UK barrister, award winning author and colleague of those involved with the film production.

Polly led a decade-long campaign for ecocide to be recognised as a crime against humanity, attempting to create a law that would make corporate executives and government ministers criminally liable for damage they do to ecosystems.

Ms Daw is grateful for material and editing provided by Australia-wide colleagues, and remains hopeful that the film will impact vital decision-making and planning across Australia on the most important topic of all time - food and water security in a changing climate.