National Arboretum 'future-proofed' against drought after months of rain, managers say. The National Arboretum, which has been slowly taking root in Canberra for almost a decade, has seen its forests explode in growth after a deluge of rain this summer.
Key points: The National Arboretum has received 500ml of rain in six monthsManagers say they've seen more than 30 per cent growth in some forestsThe arboretum is flourishing so well, it may have to be "thinned" in future to ensure its continued health After spending the past eight years focused on just keeping its 100 forests alive through drought, heat and bushfire smoke, the arboretum's managers say the site has received a year's worth of rain in just six months. The rain brought on the greatest growth in the arboretum's history — more than 30 per cent growth in many of its forests, according to manager Scott Saddler. Fortune Agribusiness bid for NT water licence challenged by native title holders.
Native title holders in the Barkly region have said they will formally challenge the Northern Territory's biggest ever water licence if it is granted.
Key points: Native title holders are vowing to challenge a massive desert water licence if it is grantedNT government departments say only a fraction of the area's available water will be usedThe company behind the bid has said groundwater and local ecosystems would be protected Fortune Agribusiness last year applied for a licence to extract 40,000 megalitres of water a year to develop one of Australia's largest fruit and vegetable farms on Singleton Station in arid Central Australia, about 100 kilometres south of Tennant Creek.
'We've had a gutful': Traditional owners threaten to close parts of Kakadu National Park. Massive NSW property Narriearra Station hailed by conservationists as ecological treasure trove. In 1960, Bill O'Connor was a strapping 24-year-old on a remote pastoral property when, in a split second, his life changed forever.
Key points: Narriearra Station, a vast property in north-west New South Wales, has immense ecological and heritage valueIts long-time owner, Bill O'Connor, lost his leg in an accident on the property but managed it for the next 60 yearsUsing Mr O'Connor's knowledge, New South Wales Parks and Wildlife are preparing the property to open to the public Warning: This story contains descriptions that may be distressing.
He and a mate were repairing a fence on Narriearra Station, east of Tibooburra in the far north-west corner of New South Wales. Northern Territory Government set to ban seabed mining following nine-year moratorium. The Northern Territory Government has announced plans to permanently ban seabed mining in Top End coastal waters.
Key points: A moratorium on seabed mining has been in place since 2012Environment Minister Eva Lawler says they will fight any legal challenge against the decisionMinerals Council of Northern Territory says there is no scientific proof seabed mining is harmless Seabed mining involves targeting mineral deposits on or under the seabed — often using hydraulic or mechanical dredges — and is currently only allowed in Western Australia and Queensland for sand mining. A Northern Territory moratorium on the controversial practice, which has been in place since 2012 and was renewed in 2015 and 2018, was due to expire on March 5, 2021. Environment Minister Eva Lawler said the decision to ban seabed mining was made after considering a report from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Agency on the practice and community feedback.
Bob Brown Foundation loses Federal Court bid to end native forest logging in Tasmania. Tasmanian environmentalists have lost their Federal Court challenge aimed at ending native forest logging in Tasmania.
Key points: The Bob Brown Foundation argued Tasmania's Regional Forest Agreement contradicted federal laws and did not protect endangered species, particularly the swift parrotBob Brown said today's loss would "simply invigorate our campaign" and that the organisation would look to appeal to the High CourtThe forestry industry and a Liberal senator say the decision is a win for workers The Bob Brown Foundation took the Federal and Tasmanian Governments, along with Sustainable Timber Tasmania, to court in what environmentalists billed as "the great forest case". It argued the state's Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) contradicted federal laws and was therefore invalid. It submitted Tasmania's RFA did not protect endangered species, particularly the swift parrot. Why understanding blue flowers is crucial for bees. At a dinner party, or in the schoolyard, the question of favourite colour frequently results in an answer of "blue".
Why is it that humans are so fond of blue? And why does it seem to be so rare in the world of plants and animals? We studied these questions and concluded blue pigment is rare at least in part because it's often difficult for plants to produce. They may only have evolved to do so when it brings them a real benefit: specifically, attracting bees or other pollinating insects. Villagers fight to preserve a rare piece of untouched forest in Solomon Islands - ABC News. In Solomon Islands, a small community is taking a rare stand against the logging operations that have run rampant across much of the country.
The people of Zaira have been working for a decade to have their homeland on the southern side of Vangunu island declared a protected area that is off limits to logging and mining. It's a unique piece of untouched forest and coastline home to 200 people and at least three species of vulnerable animals. Community leader Hanz Jiro said his people had seen the impact logging had had on other communities and they did not want it repeated at Zaira. "The rivers and streams and seas are all polluted and the companies are operating for just one year, three years, five years and [then they leave]," he said.
Mining company Bravus, formerly Adani, fined for 'misinterpreting' environmental approval conditions - ABC News. Mining company Adani, now known as Bravus, has paid a $26,000 fine for "misinterpreting" environmental approval conditions at its Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.
The Federal Environment Department issued the company two infringement notices in October for failing to implement its species management plan. The Department said the mining giant cleared land without surveying the area within an appropriate timeframe. Environmentalists hope a court victory will end native forest logging. This is what you need to know - ABC News. Environmentalists are calling it "The Great Forest Case", and they say a win would be a victory to rival the successful campaign that stopped the damming of Tasmania's wild Franklin River.
Key points: The Bob Brown Foundation is arguing in court that the Tasmanian agreement under the Regional Forests Agreements Act is invalidIt claims the agreement is not enforceable, and that rare and endangered species are not protectedThe forestry industry claims the continuing attacks are hurting people working within agreements that are protecting threatened species But there will be no blockades nor mass protests, this fight will be fought purely in court because the area it covers is far too great to swarm with activists. Controversial mineral sands mine at Glenaladale rejected in East Gippsland Shire Council vote - ABC News. The East Gippsland Shire Council has voted to oppose a controversial mineral sands mine at Glenaladale, 260 kilometres east of Melbourne.
Key points: A newly elected East Gippsland Shire Council votes to oppose a mineral sands mine An group opposed to the mine says Kalbar Operations does not have a social licence to develop the mineA six-week environmental hearing is set down to begin in March Kalbar Operations wants to build a 1,675-hectare mine to extract mineral products such as zircon and rare earths used in the production of equipment in communications, transport, medical technology and renewable energy. The proposed mine site in the Lindenow Valley, about 20 kilometres north-west of Bairnsdale, is home to a range of vegetable producers who fear dust from the mine would negatively affect their businesses.
But the newly formed council voted to go much further, accepting an alternate motion from Councillor Jane Greacen to oppose the project. Chinese submarine sends first live video back from the bottom of the Mariana Trench - ABC News. China has live streamed footage of its new manned submersible parked at the bottom of the Mariana Trench as part of a historic mission into the deepest underwater valley on the planet. Key points: Fendouzhe is being used to observe the species that live on the ocean floorIts team is also researching other deep-sea material as part of China's move to develop its deep-sea mining capabilitiesFendouzhe set a national record for the depth of its dive but was about 20m short of the world record The Fendouzhe, or Striver, descended more than 10,000 metres into the submarine trench in the western Pacific Ocean with three researchers on board, state broadcaster CCTV said.
NT Government shaves $120 million off McArthur River Mine environmental security bond - ABC News. The NT Government has quietly reduced the environmental rehabilitation bond for a major Top End mine by more than $100 million after controversially approving a significant expansion of the site. Key points: The McArthur River Mine's environmental security bond was reduced by $120 millionThe Environment Centre NT says taxpayers could become liable for environmental damageA proposal to double the size of the zinc and lead mine was approved on Thursday Glencore's McArthur River Mine, a lead and zinc mine near Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria, now has a security bond of about $400 million instead of $520 million.
Mining and Industry Minister Nicole Manison announced approval for a doubling of the size of the project's mine pit and waste rock dump earlier this week. Denmark locals mourn loss of decades-old fig tree bulldozed by developer on WA's south coast - ABC News. Members of a small town on Western Australia's south coast are mourning the felling of a tree they say had been a part of their community for generations. Key points: A fig tree outside of Denmark, WA, was destroyed be developer LWP earlier this monthLocals say it has been there for decades and had become a popular local attractionLWP says it was needed to reduce the bushfire risk, but the Shire of Denmark disputes the claim Residents in Denmark, a town of fewer than 3,000 in the Great Southern region, are said to have been shocked after the developer LWP demolished, without warning, an allegedly decades-old fig tree on the site of a former historic tourist area. LWP group, which owns the land and has developed much of the surrounding Springdale Beach area, a couple of kilometres east of Denmark, confirmed the tree was destroyed on November 13.
Water from Murray-Darling Basin plan not being delivered to wetlands, Australian-first report finds - ABC News. The majority of environmental water redirected from irrigators under the $13 billion Murray-Darling Basin Plan isn't being delivered to its intended wetland targets, with private land blocking the connections between rivers and floodplains, new research shows. Key points: The research is the first peer-reviewed analysis looking into how much environmental water has actually reached its intended wetlands, compared to what was plannedEnvironmental water is reserved for the environment, rather than for use by irrigators The research found less than a quarter of floodplains targeted have actually been hit with an effective flood It found the floods were being stopped mainly by towns and private farms The research, published today, found less than a quarter of the nearly 200,000 hectares of floodplains targeted with environmental water controlled by the Federal Government between 2014 and 2019 has actually delivered an effective flood, leaving crucial ecosystems heading towards collapse.
Volunteers rejuvenating culturally significant Aldinga Washpool Lagoon now want it protected - ABC News. A community south of Adelaide is fighting to protect an environmentally and culturally significant wetland from urban growth. Key points: The Aldinga Washpool Lagoon is a culturally significant area for the Kaurna people The area is home to about 250 species of flora and fauna The government is working to protect the area from urban growth The Aldinga Washpool Lagoon is one of the last wetlands of its type along the metropolitan coastline and is home to about 250 species of flora and fauna. Bees are back: NSW hives recover strongly after heavy toll of drought and bushfire, and farmers are delighted - ABC News.
Wagina Island residents win bid to stop bauxite mining plan in Solomon Islands - ABC News. Police attend main camp attempting to remove protesters from Western Highway upgrade site - ABC News. Gwen and Jeff Young plant thousands of trees to create 9-hectare haven for birds on their Port MacDonnell farm - ABC News. Long before Jeff Young met his wife Gwen, birds were targets for his slug gun. Byron Bay emergency beach erosion work begins, but will it be enough? - ABC News. Emergency dune-stabilisation work has started in Byron Bay, as worsening erosion threatens the popular tourist town's main beach. Key points: Deforestation in Australia: How does your state (or territory) compare? - ABC News. How the regenerative farming movement transformed Charles Massy's sheep station - ABC News. Consequences for Rio Tinto over Juukan Gorge catastrophe are the new norm - ABC News.
'We are relying on a pinky promise': The problem with the Government moving its environmental powers to states - ABC News. Traditional owners on APY Lands concerned illegal cattle grazing could damage country, sacred sites - ABC News. Antarctic biodiversity increasingly under threat as human activity spreads across continent - ABC News. The next pandemic is coming – and sooner than we think, thanks to changes to the environment - ABC News. BlazeAid needs more volunteers to help bushfire recovery, sees solution in paying backpackers - ABC Rural - ABC News. Grey nomads cannot do all the heavy lifting when it comes to rebuilding fences in bushfire-affected country; it is young backpackers who are needed to bolster the workforce. BlazeAid Key Points Key points: BlazeAid is calling for the Federal Government to offer backpackers incentive payments if they join the volunteers rebuilding infrastructureGrey nomads make up the bulk of BlazeAid's workforce rebuilding fences that were destroyed by bushfires in NSW, Victoria and South AustraliaIt has up to 1,000 volunteers working across 33 camps but says it needs at least 2,500 people on the ground That's the call from Tumbarumba BlazeAid camp coordinators Garry Wilson and Rob Golgini, who are desperate for more people to join their camp in the NSW Riverina Highlands.
"We have been flat out, we have already reached over 100 properties that have been damaged by fire," Mr Wilson said. Greater glider habitat illegally cleared by grazier, department finds. Updated about 2 hours agoMon 17 Feb 2020, 11:49pm. Adani agrees to plead guilty for giving 'false or misleading documents to an administering authority' Updated 35 minutes agoWed 5 Feb 2020, 11:53pm. Mount Lofty Defence housing plan ignites debate on loss of koala habit to development. Call for protection of Fitzroy River as Western Australia election deadline looms.
Threatened ghost bats a 'main issue' for Northern Territory gold mine's green light. Eco-tourism proponent slammed for 'ridiculously low' lease of island in World Heritage Area. Darwin River Dam at lowest level since 2006, but NT Government quiet on action. We have already had countless bushfire inquiries. What good will it do to have another? The world is 'running out of sand', and it's fuelling murders, mafias and ecological devastation.
Black Saturday firefighters want you to listen to them, not call them 'heroes' VicForests plans to log native ash trees on public land, a year after the law changed to stop it happening. Top End and Ord Valley cotton strengthens as national production plummets. Trees tumble as developer tries to enact 1984 council approval at caravan park site.
Plea for peace as end to Tasmanian forest logging moratorium draws closer. Amazon deforestation leads to firing of scientist after President Jair Bolsonaro takes issue with data. From polite persuasion to radical activism — the birth of the modern environment movement. Native Vegetation Act amnesty angers partner of slain environment officer Glen Turner. 'This is about humanity': Inside a protest camp in the heart of coal country. Is there enough water for agricultural expansion at Ti Tree or not? NT Farmers 'drowning in bureaucracy' - ABC Rural - ABC News. Floods across subcontinent displace millions in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Water trading's 'unintended consequences' across Australia's southern Murray-Darling Basin - Politics.
Murray-Darling water plan walks a fine line between efficiency and the environment. How taxpayers are funding a huge corporate expansion in the Murray-Darling Basin. Uranium among contaminants sparking proposed bore water ban in Thebarton. Mining bill passes SA Parliament but rebel MPs say 'it's just the beginning' - ABC Rural - ABC News. Climate change could be paused by planting trees, researchers say, as they map out available land - Science News - ABC News. $50/ha fines 'are not deterrents': Calls for tougher penalties for land clearing as Zenith investigated.