Something that has always been a worry, is how some plants and animals brought to Australia from other countries are called exotics and as they thrive and grow in number, are then labelled pests. These plants and animals from countries far away in most cases, and amongst these animals are humans that come from other lands. Some that came or were brought here, prospered, thrived and multiplied, rather too well in some cases, are excluded from being naturalised by the term exotic, feral or pest. These human immigrants and their descendants are the ones pointing the finger at the descendants of plants their parents brought with them, and/or spread throughout the land; calling them pests?
This policy of removing these naturalised Australians, stems from some misguided idea that natives are the way to go and that introduced people can live with the first nation people, or rather the other way round. But these plants/animals designated as nuisance, cannot. Even though without the wheat, corn, cattle, sheep etc., Australia could not support the population it now contains nor would it earn enough money to sustain it. The aforementioned are not the ones that are branded as pests or feral or needing eradication. But the natives were removed, killed, cut down and burnt, so the “desirable” exotics would thrive.
The selective choice of the species which are labelled pests or for that matter feral is distinctive. Wheat is not a feral or pest or even considered as anything but beneficial. Yet because people haven't been able to bend their mind round finding a use for white poplar [Populus alba] it's considered to be undesirable and now one of the pest species? The same is applied to certain animals. The fox is a pest and yet ovine and bovine species are not. The fox assists in cleaning up much that might spread disease to the ovine and bovine species?
In the case of the East Gippsland Shire Council [EGSC] white poplar is seen, as it can be, invasive. That's not in evidence where this species of tree is the framework of a Grey Headed Flying Fox maternity roost. But it's used as an example because it is elsewhere. Though it should not be eradicated, because its usefulness to a native Australian in this case makes it important, the [EGSC] see it as something they must destroy.
However, there is a hidden agenda. It's the native protected and in danger of extinction, flying fox species that uses the tree which the EGSC sees as a pest and is trying move on. The ploy is to use the excuse of removing something which in some areas is invasive. So remove the poplar which is the framework for the flying fox roost and you move the flying foxes. If it was suggested that the flying foxes were the problem, then it would be halted very quickly, there would be no footing for removal. Remove this invasive exotic tree, is accepted [Tongue in cheek] It's just unfortunate that a Grey Headed Flying Fox maternity roost hangs in it's welcoming branches.
The shire doesn't care where the flying foxes move to. Because if they move to a place where they really are going to be seen as a problem. The shire will suggest they are justified in moving them, on that they are a problem pretext. Actually moving the flying foxes which is what's supposed to happen by removing the poplars. Because they are unable to move them just now, due to their protection by law and because they are doing no harm, they use the poplar removal ruse.
If the flying foxes move right out of the area, well then, that's what the shire want. So either way, it's a win win situation for the shire. A pogrom of sorts that some people suffered in the past, now used on another species, the flying foxes. It succeeded with some dictators applying it to people. People tend to forget what persecution is all about, and how it's carried out.
The problem is not a pest tree, it's the native animal that some people consider a pest. It's a local government experiment to see if it is possible to persecute a minority, by using a subterfuge that will appeal even to people who want something particular. Have them work against what they want. People want native plants and yet don't mind tormenting and threatening and persecuting native animals to do it? Can that be real?
Allowing the apathy of the majority to just stand by and watch. Not realising what they are doing or allowing. Tacitly giving power to and playing into the hands of those who will eventually use it against them.