Thursday, October 5, 2023


Land & environment

Nhill’s “Big Red”

Meet the Immortal River Red Gum – a heritage-listed tree on the Mallee Dam Road, adjoining Mount Elgin Swamp. It’s one of the thickest, tallest, and oldest River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Victoria and can be found 13 km south of Nhill. The National Trust estimates the tree is about 400 years old and has been listed as a significant tree because it is particularly old and because of its outstanding size.

Asbestos uncovered at illegal dump

Yorke Peninsula Council has isolated two sites on southern Yorke Peninsula after material containing asbestos was found at an unsanctioned Marion Bay dump ... The Marion Bay site has been used as an undocumented and unapproved community dumping area for decades, a practice dating back to before smaller councils amalgamated to form YPC in 1997.

Fire management in WA: The Bushfire Front responds to EPA Report 1745

Claims that prescribed burning will not assist with wildfire control are spurious. ... The EPA report on their review of the FMP failed to mention that a West Australian Parliamentary Committee, after hearing multiple evidence, recently concluded that an additional review of prescribed burning practices by Government was NOT warranted. This is a blatant and serious omission.

Are Mallacoota and East Gippsland prepared for another major fire? The Howitt Society

The Howitt Society are concerned at the lack of broadscale fuel management operations in East Gippsland over the past four years post the 2019/20 fires ... A public meeting has been convened at Mallacoota to discuss the issue of the long term protection of the townships and the forests of East Gippsland.

Murray–Darling Basin Authority communique, September 2023

Prior to the Authority meeting, members had a very constructive visit to the Upper Murrumbidgee and were briefed on issues affecting the river ... The Authority also met with the First Nations Leadership Group who had travelled from Country to meet in Canberra. There was a constructive discussion on how to establish long-term productive relationships.

Innovative ocean platform grows seaweed and sinks carbon: Agrifutures

With a goal of achieving “the three Rs” of reducing emissions, removing greenhouse gases and repairing the climate, the Climate Foundation has developed an innovative technique for cultivating seaweed to regenerate lost kelp forests and sequester carbon in the ocean’s depths for hundreds of years.

Discovery of freshwater plant and algae with methane-reducing properties: Agrifutures

A chance conversation with a landholder interested in the methane-reducing properties of red seaweed prompted a research team led by Deakin University to examine if there were freshwater alternatives. A mix of algae scooped out of a Victorian waterway and a species of amphibious grass plucked from a stream have both been found to reduce methane production by up to 24 per cent...

Endangered frog species defying extinction fears: FCNSW

Ecologists are reporting a promising start to a translocation project involving the Southern stuttering frog (Mixophyes australis) ... The Southern Stuttering Frog was regarded as extinct on the south coast of New South Wales due to chytrid fungus, which attacks the skin of a frog.

Emergency meeting allays town’s fears

A public meeting called this week by local emergency services served its purpose to allay the town’s fears after the Barkly was declared an emergency situation on Tuesday. More than 300 people packed the Civic Hall ... More than 1,323,300 hectares have been burnt with the fire active for over two weeks.

$2.2M for fight against buffel grass as new international report warns of its threat to communities and the environment: Close

Buffel grass is a threat to remote Indigenous communities in Australia because it causes heightened fire risk, damage to cultural sites, and a reduction in the ability to pass on cultural knowledge to the next generation ... Left unmanaged, the weed poses a threat to grazing and cropping systems because it spreads quickly in hotter, stormier weather.

New legislation strengthens water management in Queensland: Butcher

The Water Legislation Amendment Bill delivers on a key commitment by the government to strengthen water measurement in Queensland to improve management of the state’s precious water sources ... New arrangements will help Queensland meet its Murray-Darling Basin commitments, including through telemetry and better measurement of overland flows.

Acting on the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission 2019: Close

The Malinauskas Government releases its response to the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission 2019 that will guide action on all 44 recommendations, a key election commitment. The response sets out the government’s expectations, policy positions and proposed actions, focusing on four key objectives...

The Great Koala National Park is not an extinction panacea: Forestry Australia

The Minns Government’s proposed Great Koala National Park is not an extinction panacea for koalas, says the President of Forestry Australia, Dr Michelle Freeman ... "it is simplistic to suggest that locking away forests is the great panacea for saving koalas from extinction ... In fact, experience shows us that declaring a National Park does not equal koala population growth." 

Koala dreaming? Too right!: Vic Jurskis

Vic Jurskis. Koala plagues and megafires go together. Koalas are breeding faster than ever on all the soft young growth generated by Black Summer. The scrub development is unprecedented. Our next extreme fire season will kill more people and animals than ever before. But the koala is in no danger of extinction.

Emergency meeting allays town’s fears

A public meeting called this week by local emergency services served its purpose to allay the town’s fears after the Barkly was declared an emergency situation on Tuesday. More than 300 people packed the Civic Hall ... More than 1,323,300 hectares have been burnt with the fire active for over two weeks.

Farmers call out misinformation on Basin Bill: NFF

Farming groups have come together in Canberra to call out the misinformation peddled in Parliament this week regarding the Government’s rewrite of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the fact the Government felt the need to stretch the truth just revealed how flawed the proposal is.

NLC tours Frances

The Frances community will soon boast a BMX track ... hopes to sell its Town Hall and pump the proceeds into upgrades at the Frances Recreation Reserve ... Those were some of the items raised by Frances Progress Association chairman Danielle Moore during a visit to the township by Naracoorte Lucindale Council...

Narrandera Landcare thriving but keen to recruit more

Narrandera Landcare Group held their AGM in the last week of August, when the only change in the executive positions was Sue Ruffles accepting a nomination as vice-president ... The group received and accepted a healthy financial report from the treasurer. A pleasing increase in membership numbers was noted ...

EPA calls for burning enquiry

The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended an independent scientific enquiry into prescribed burning practices in WA, particularly in the context of climate change. EPA chair Professor Matthew Tonts said an independent review under the 1986 EPA Act would call on the expertise of independent scientists to consider prescribed burning approaches and implementation. This follows Fire and Air Forum: Biodiversity, Environmental Sustainability and Human Health at WA University in May.

Duck hunt for some

A recent inquiry into Victoria’s duck hunting had more than 10,500 submissions, a record for a Victorian parliamentary inquiry. Labor chair Ryan Batchelor said Victoria should end recreational native bird hunting on all public and private land from 2024 ... The report did also recommend transforming hunting reserves into state recreation reserves, and excluding non aboriginals, whilst allowing traditional owners to continue to hunt ducks.

River Country Bio Link

51 people gathered at Western Murray Land Improvement Group’s Bio Link field day to hear about the evolution in the way big business views farmland ... With carbon targets already set in the Paris Agreement, the next could come via the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which will also factor in biodiversity (nature).

Biodiversity the big winner in three-year project in cotton country: Landcare Australia

Country Road, Landcare Australia and cotton farmers are marking Biodiversity month by celebrating a landmark achievement in their New South Wales Namoi Valley project It’s been three years since ‘The Biodiversity Project’ kicked off in the Namoi Valley and since the first tree was planted, about 60 hectares of cotton farming land has been revegetated.

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