Friday, September 30, 2022



Fire protection: ‘Past no guide’

Patricia Gill. Noongar cultural burning may offer historical cues for contemporary fire protection but these cannot be relied on to produce a fire resilient landscape. So said environmental historian Professor Andrea Gaynor at the Royal WA Historical Society Conference ... Prof. Gaynor said Noongar burning practices belonged to a mobile culture and were never intended to protect a sedentary society in a landscape which had been subjected to logging, farming and urban development.

Mitigating the existential threat of fire

Climate change threatens our forests, but it is not necessarily an existential threat, according to a leading Australian scientist. “It’s not necessarily the case that we will be wiped out by wildfire. The existential threat of fire can be mitigated, but we must use ALL knowledge,” Mark Adams, Professor of Bioscience and Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology ... This included indigenous people’s use of fire as a management tool.

New opportunities to support and harness underwater forests: Griffin

Marine ecosystems and coastal communities will benefit from increased investment and restoration projects as a result of the new NSW Blue Carbon Strategy ... “The simplest way to understand blue carbon is to liken it to underwater forests – just as trees store carbon, marine and coastal plants and ecosystems do too, except even more efficiently” : Minister for Environment, James Griffin.

Can community gardens increase our food security?

Bernice Shepherd. Community gardens and city farms have been around for a long time, but they are enjoying a resurgence in popularity in Australia ... We are lucky to have several gardens in our area and I visited three of them; one well established, one partway there, and another in the beginning phases.

Net zero targets won’t last long

This story is about the impossible challenge of feeding a growing world population while staying true to net zero emissions targets ... Something strange happened in June this year when two of the world's most bullish emissions reduction advocates, Germany and Britain, panicked at the huge spike in grain prices and called for temporary waivers on biofuels mandates to combat soaring food prices.

2022–23 Murray River outlook dominated by managing wet conditions: MDBA

Full water storages coupled with a 50% chance of another La Niña in 2022–23 are driving management strategies in the River Murray System for the year ahead, according to the MDBA's 2022–23 Annual Operating Outlook ... Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said the Annual Operating Outlook explains how the river would be run based on a range of potential climatic and rainfall scenarios.  

Call for policy overhaul – prescribed burns

Patricia Gill. The Denmark Shire Council is calling on the State Government to overhaul its prescribed burning practices and policy in line with current science and community sentiment. The council moved a notice of motion from Councillor Jan Lewis to appeal to Parliamentarians for a review of the prescribed burning policy and practices.

Sweet success for HoneyBee Hives

Clarence Valley business HoneyBee Hives are buzzing with excitement after being announced as the runner's up in the 2022 Australian Rural Business Awards, for the Excellence in E-Commerce Award. The awards are designed to recognise the strength, resilience, and talent of small business owners in rural and regional areas who have, in the last few years alone, gone through droughts, bushfires, mouse plagues, floods, lack of tourism and a global pandemic.

Eastern Bristlebird’s long road to recovery

A delicate overnight operation recently saw 17 Eastern Bristlebirds successfully translocated from Booderee National Park and Jervis Bay National Park in south-eastern New South Wales to the most southern tip of Australia’s mainland - Wilson’s Promontory National Park in Victoria. The Eastern Bristlebird’s population stronghold in New South Wales was used as a launchpad for establishing Victoria’s second population at Wilsons Promontory.

Bushfire theories versus real world experience: Vic Jurskis

Sadly, death and destruction will continue to escalate whilst governments rely on advice from academics and firechiefs and give them increased funding after every disaster. Sustainable fire management would be very much cheaper and better.

The role of academics in influencing the perceived threat from climate change: Frank Batini

Some academics are happy to comment in areas where they have no expertise or local knowledge. In contrast, the views of locals with years of practical management experience are mostly ignored.

Fire & Climate 2022 – Kevin Tolhurst

Philip Hopkins. Bushfire policy needs to be driven by rigorous science underpinning politics if the landmark federal-state national bushfire management strategy is to be successful, according to one of the nation’s leading bushfire experts. Dr Kevin Tolhurst, AM, Associate Professor of Fire Ecology and Management at Melbourne University, said fire management was dominated by alternate paths based on politics and science.

FutureSheep project to build strong businesses for 2030 and beyond: DPIRD

A new project is underway to assist Western Australian sheep enterprises to adapt to a changing climate and build more resilient and sustainable businesses ... The three year project will assess the impact of projected climate scenarios for 2030 and 2050 on the productivity of key WA sheep producing regions, including Bruce Rock, Kojonup and Wagin.

Fire & Climate 2022 – Greg Mullins

Part 2 of a three part series of reports from the conference by Philip Hopkins ... “It’s time for the fire management sector to band together and argue the case for a massive increase in the budget across fire research. Up to 97 per cent of spending is on response and rebuilding during and after events, and only three per cent on preparation and mitigation. That mismatch needs to be turned around but not at the expense of insufficient current operational budgets”: Climate Councillor, Greg Mullins.

Extreme fire weather days in Australia have doubled, new study finds: CSIRO

Extreme fire weather days have increased in Australia by 56 per cent over the last four decades, according to new research from an international team of scientists, including CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency ... CSIRO researcher, Dr Pep Canadell, said an increase in fire weather trends translated to an increase in the number of Australian bushfires.

Fire & Climate 2022

The first of a three part series by Philip Hopkins. Sharing information globally about the causes and impacts of destructive bushfires in an era threatened by global warming drew about 360 people to an international conference in Melbourne in June. Fire & Climate 2022, presented by the International Association of Wildland Fire in partnership with Natural Hazards Research Australia, concentrated on the most significant forces shaping wildland fire today.

Opportunities to further optimise fire management and funding in NSW: John O’Donnell

John O'Donnell looks closely at recent announcements by the NSW Government concerning funding for bushfire management and climate change adaptation and identifies 7 key remaining areas of concern, including an emphasis on bushfire suppression and inadequate levels of fire mitigation.

Massive investment in bushfire management and climate change adaptation: NSW Gov’t

The 2022-23 NSW Budget is delivering a major boost to fire management in national parks through a $598 million investment, delivering 250 permanent jobs and critical infrastructure upgrades. The NSW Government has also committed an additional $93.7 million to deliver the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to prepare for the impacts of climate change and capture new investment opportunities.

Citizen science helps determine climate change impacts on Tasmanian fisheries: FRDC

Citizen science has made an important contribution to an FRDC-funded project to predict the impact of climate change on three fish species of increasing recreational and commercial importance in Tasmania ... Data from the project was gathered from several sources, including fish frames (skeletons) donated by recreational fishers at 16 drop off points around Tasmania, which yielded 801 frames in the 24 months to July 2021. Frames were also donated by commercial fishers and fish processors.

Tasmania’s carbon negative is due to forestry, not its absence: Forestry Australia

The peak national organisation representing forest scientists and professionals has refuted claims that native forest harvesting in Tasmania has impacted negatively on the climate. Forestry Australia President Bob Gordon said on the contrary, the carbon sequestering power of growing trees meant sustainable forestry played a key role in reducing the state’s carbon emissions.

Budget boost for NSW bushfire inquiry action: NSW Gov’t

The NSW Government is making a major investment to better prepare communities and respond to bush fires, by committing $315.2 million over the next four years to complete the recommendations of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry in the 2022-23 NSW Budget. Premier Dominic Perrottet said $191 million has been allocated to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to help keep NSW communities safe through vital hazard reduction works, maintenance of strategic fire trails and the procurement of new fleet ... ARR.News asked the Ministers a few questions and received a response from a NSW RFS spokesperson.

Carbon, cash, cattle and the climate crisis: UTas

An invited presentation by Associate Professor Matthew Harrison from the University of Tasmania presents a summary of recent research in climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation for the agriculture sector. Questions are welcome.

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