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In Decision Point issue 56, Environmental Decisions Group (EDG) scientists examine the evidence on what saved houses in the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria. Does prescribed burning save homes and lives? And should this be a general prescription for how we manage landscapes? In issue 56 you’ll find the following stories:
Rick Farley was an extraordinary man. As head of the Cattlemen’s Union and National Farmers’ Federation, a key figure in the Landcare movement and a public campaigner for Indigenous rights and Reconciliation, Farley had an insider’s view of many key political and social changes in Australia over his thirty years in the public eye. Farley had a straightforward mission: for all Australians ‘to care a lot better for our country’. When he died in in a tragic accident in 2006, aged 53, the overwhelming grief and heartfelt tributes spoke volumes about his achievements and his much-admired ability to find a way through adversity and complex negotiations. A Way Through: The Life of Rick Farley is the engrossing story of a unique man whose determination and sense of justice has left a lasting legacy for many Australians.
In his review of the book, Andrew Campbell finds that “This excellent biography illuminates an extraordinary contribution and a fascinating man”. Andrew observes that “In Rick Farley we lost a real national leader, one of the most significant Australians of the late 20th century” and asks, where are the brave leaders like Rick Farley now?
Community Action Grants are a small grants component of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative that aims to help local community groups take action to conserve and protect their natural environment. The grants are targeted towards established local community-based organisations that are successfully delivering projects to support sustainable farming and/or protect and enhance the natural environment. The 2012-13 Community Action Grants round is now open, and applications close 27 March 2012.
The Community Energy Efficiency Program is a merit-based grant program established by the Australian Government to provide matched funding to local councils and non-profit community organisations to undertake energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits to council and community-use buildings, facilities and lighting. The program is part of the government’s plan for a Clean Energy Future. Applications close 5pm AEDST Friday 23 March 2012.
A new interactive web resource has been launched by the National Water Commission to help people easily access information on the status of water planning across Australia. This online web application, based on the inaugural report National Water Planning Report Card 2011, provides a summary of the status of water plans across Australia, including the quality of existing water plans, their implementation, and areas for future improvement.
The Australian journal Ecological Management & Restoration is now publishing project summaries of any interesting ecosystem rehabilitation or restoration project in Australia that is already showing good or promising results. If you are struggling with a restoration problem, are after some fresh ideas, or want to keep abreast of what others are undertaking, this could be a good resource. Submissions of short summaries (or groups of linked summaries) of 300-700 words are invited.
The Queensland Government has announced the protection of the largest remaining continuous stretch of open eucalypt bushland in South East Queensland — the Flinders Karawatha Corridor. The corridor extends from Karawatha Forest in Brisbane’s southern suburbs to Flinders Peak, on to the south side of Ipswich and down to the Wyaralong Dam near Boonah. The corridor is about 563.5km² or 56 350 hectares in size and about 60km long. The area’s natural values and rural pursuits are under intense pressure from urbanisation and other uses as the population continues to increase in South East Queensland.
Construction of an internationally significant plant conservation facility, PlantBank, has now commenced at the Australian Botanic Garden, located at Mount Annan on Sydney’s south-western outskirts. The ultimate goal is to collect and store seeds or live tissue from all of Australia’s 25,000 plant species to preserve Australia’s biodiversity and establish a hub for research. Up to 200 million living seeds may eventually be stored in its thermally-efficient, refrigerated vault, designed to withstand fire and other threats.
The NRM knowledge online repository is designed as an open access digital archive for publicly funded information derived from Australian Government investments in natural resource management activities. It has been developed to be compliant with the Open Archives Initiative interoperability standards and to deliver on the Australian Government’s commitment to providing open access to publicly funded information.
SEQ Catchments has unveiled a new website and launched a Facebook page to engage with as many people as possible to help protect the biodiversity, catchments and waterways of South East Queensland which includes Brisbane and other major urban and peri-urban areas. The new website includes a more interactive media section, easier to understand information, as well as downloadable maps, case studies, and an events calendar.
© Bruce Boyes 2008-2013
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