Friday, October 29, 2021


Land & environment

Our megafires are a political, not a climatic crisis: Vic Jurskis

People proliferated across Australia, which was then a part of Sahul, from about 40 000 years ago when megafauna finally disappeared long before the Last Glacial Maximum. Aboriginal burning initially turned much biomass into charcoal, reducing browse, changing vegetation and causing megafaunal extinctions. It created ecosystems whose health and safety depend on constant human input of mild fire.

Black marketing fish is illegal: seized boat goes under the hammer

A boat used repeatedly for illegal black market fishing on the Sunshine Coast and seized by fisheries officers is being sold to the highest bidder at auction.

Major bushfires in Australian history – the 1974 and 1975 Australian bushfires

John O'Donnell. In contrast to the temperate southern regions of Australia, fire events in Central Australia are driven by above average rainfall in the preceding years, rather than below average rainfall or drought in the current year. Widespread fire events in Central Australia were found to be associated with two or more consecutive years of above-average rainfall. Fuel loads in long-unburnt grassland can get to high levels.

Support for plantation estate in the south welcomed

The Tasmanian Government welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government to help grow and incentivise the plantation estate and support jobs in Tasmania ... unlocking the carbon farming market ‘water rule’ in the South of the State will help encourage private forester participants to fully participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) across the State, including making the market more accessible to small scale landholders.

Soil carbon sequestration critical to becoming carbon neutral in 2050

The Mulloon Institute says the Prime Minister’s plan to include Soil Carbon Sequestration in the 2050 Carbon Neutral roadmap is a critical element to reducing emissions and reducing the impact of global warming. Chairman of the Institute, Gary Nairn AO, says soils hold three times more carbon than the atmosphere so has huge potential, through photosynthesis, to sequester (draw down) carbon.

Statement by NFF President, Fiona Simson on ‘The Plan to Deliver Net Zero’

The Government's Plan confirms, beyond doubt, what we already knew: our farmers and our agricultural lands hold the key to delivering Australia’s 2050 goal. The NFF has been a leading advocate for a fair and planned transition to economy wide Net Zero ... this Plan recognises the hard work agriculture has already done in driving down Australia’s emissions since 2005.

Storm watcher turns hobby into hugely popular weather page

For 17 years Robert Hackett has checked the skies. His interest in all things weather related is a hobby. Living in the Kyogle area for many years, Robert has been caught in some dramatic situations while updating weather warnings out in the field. “As storms gets closer, you see and feel the energy of Mother Nature,” Robert said.

New app to guide self-drive holidays in the Pilbara

A new app developed by the Pilbara Tourism Association with support from the McGowan Government is helping self-drive tourists to explore Western Australia's vast and beautiful Pilbara region. The Warlu Way, named after a spirit snake featured in Pilbara creation stories, provides four routes between Exmouth and Broome, taking in the Pilbara's major tourism attractions on sealed and unsealed roads.

Increased harvestable rights to bring greater water security to coastal landholders: Pavey

NSW coastal farmers and landholders can currently store 10 per cent of the rain that falls on their properties, yet they will soon be able to better drought-proof their properties as the NSW Government increases their harvestable right to 30 per cent. Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said these changes would improve water security for property owners and assist with reducing bushfire risk for coastal towns.

Trash to treasure: copper mine waste could hold key to renewable revolution

Queensland copper mine waste could deliver a key ingredient for the renewable energy revolution thanks to a three-year international study. Qld Resources Minister Scott Stewart announced a three-way agreement between the Queensland Government, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and the University of Queensland which will examine whether cobalt – a globally-sought-after critical mineral and a key battery ingredient – can be retrieved economically from old copper mine tailings.

Climate Solutions Fund support for forestry jobs

In July 2020, the Government simplified access to carbon funding for forestry projects across five plantation growth regions. The Government is expanding access for four new regions in Tasmania, Gippsland (Victoria), the Green Triangle (Victoria) and Kangaroo Island (South Australia).

Australia’s plan to reach our net zero target by 2050: Aus Gov

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor released Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan (the Plan), to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 ... The Plan is based on our existing policies and will be guided by five principles: technology not taxes; expand choices not mandates; drive down the cost of a range of new technologies; keep energy prices down with affordable and reliable power; and, be accountable for progress.

Anti-mining debate finishes in a ‘draw’

Geoff Helisma. Debate about the Clarence Catchment Alliance’s (CCA) petition calling for the cessation of mineral mining and exploration in the Clarence River catchment took place in the NSW Legislative Assembly on Thursday October 14 ... The petition was lodged by Lismore MP Janelle Saffin (Labor) ... Speaking against the petition was Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis (Nationals). 

Illuminated jacarandas a sight to see

Emma Pritchard. From sundown until 10:30pm between October 21 and 24, one of Grafton’s most popular recreational areas lit up the exuberance of Clarence Valley residents and visitors to the region, with a dazzling display of lights, colour, and natural beauty.  Created as an additional attraction during the 2021 Jacaranda Festival, the blossoming jacaranda trees in See Park were stylishly illuminated to showcase their exquisite purple radiance, allowing them to be admired during the day and night.

Biochar is the silver lining from our sewage

Logan City Council’s Logan Water is looking for parties interested in buying commercial quantities of a revolutionary substance developed from the city's sewage. Biochar is a charcoal-like material that is produced when sewage sludge is treated at high temperatures in a low oxygen environment ... Biosolids gasification dramatically reduces Council’s carbon emissions and destroys harmful chemicals such as micro-plastics, which are present in biosolids. The resulting biochar is sterile, odourless and high in nutrients.

Chilean Needle Grass – have you seen this weed?

Have you heard of Chilean Needle Grass? It’s a perennial tussock-forming grass and is one of 32 declared Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) in Australia. It’s commonly mistaken for native spear grass, but has potentially disastrous economic and environmental impacts.

Eureka – a cost effective and quick way to find groundwater

South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent, with water a scarce commodity and a major environmental, biological and socio-economic issue for many communities across the state. Now, thanks to UniSA researcher Dr Alaa Ahmed, new cost-effective technology can pinpoint sites in the central Flinders Ranges where precious groundwater is likely to be found, handing a lifeline to residents in that region.

Cape Willoughby set to be latest drawcard on Kangaroo Island

The oldest lighthouse in South Australia is set to host the newest tourism destination on Kangaroo Island, with work commencing on the redesign and roll out of the Cape Willoughby visitor precinct.

Finish celebrates National Water Week, delivering water and tanks to Aussie farmers in need

Finish, in partnership with Rural Aid and supported by Coles, will be delivering water tanks to Australian farmers in need over the next six months, to help ensure that any rain that falls now will be captured for future use to help farmers become more secure against drought ... The first water tank delivery took place in Dalma, west of Rockhampton, where farmer Julie Sheehan welcomed both a 22,500L water tank and water delivery to her property.

Proposed Blue Hills quarry

Mawsons Concrete and Quarries are planning to dig a quarry in the Blue Hills, which are located on the outskirts of Maldon, and are nestled between Shelbourne and Baringhup. The Tarrangower Times spoke to the Environment and Compliance Officer, Shari Rankin who stated, “At this stage it’s too early to determine a proposed start date but we don’t envisage this being until at least 2023 ..."

Tech trial supports planned burning in the Wimmera

A drone has successfully established an ecological planned burn in the Grampians National Park, saving time and reducing the risk to firefighters, as part of a trial carried out by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews in the Wimmera.

New legislation to enable carbon trading by Forest Products Commission

WA Forestry Minister Dave Kelly has introduced a Bill to amend the Forest Products Act 2000, which will allow the Forest Products Commission (FPC) to trade in carbon assets ... Carbon capture or sequestration in trees such as renewable pine plantations, is one of the most effective ways to remove carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases causing climate change, from the atmosphere.

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