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The Sustainable Australia Report 2013 is the first report from the National Sustainability Council and tells the story of how Australia has changed as a nation over the last 30 years. Health and levels of educational attainment have improved, and Australians are living longer and have benefited from a strong economy, with low unemployment and increasing incomes. However, inequality has increased and the health of the natural environment has continued to decline in some key areas.
Community Environment Grants form part of the Sustainable Environment stream of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program. Grants of between $5000 and $50 000 (GST exclusive) are available to help community groups and organisations to contribute to the sustainable management of Australia’s environment. The 2013–14 funding round is currently open, and electronic applications may be submitted up to midnight (12.00am) AEST Wednesday 8 May 2013.
In August 2010, the Australian Government committed to a strategic study on the implementation of high speed rail (HSR) on the east coast of Australia. The Phase 1 report was launched on 4 August 2011, and identified corridors and station locations and potential patronage, as well as providing an indicative estimate of the cost to build an HSR network. The High Speed Rail Study Phase 2 report was released on 11 April 2013 and builds on the work of phase 1, but was considerably broader and deeper in objectives and scope, and refined many of the phase 1 estimates. Perspectives on the study include Is high speed rail in Australia value for money?, Boondoggle or best thing we’ll ever do? What to make of high speed rail and High Speed Rail Cost and Timeline – “laughable”.
Commonwealth Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has announced in a media release that the western Sydney dry rainforest and moist woodland on shale will be protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Minister Burke said that the listing of this critically-endangered ecological community was vital to protect it from threats.
The 2013 Government Sustainability Conference will provide delegates from Local, State and Commonwealth Governments with comprehensive analysis and advice about how to embed environmentally sustainable policies and practices within their organisations and the communities they serve. This conference will follow on from the highly successful 2011 and 2012
Government Sustainability Conferences, which both attracted 200 participants.
Phytophthora cinnamomi is a species of water mould, which causes the plant disease commonly referred to as ‘dieback’ in both native plant species and susceptible forestry species, and has been recognised under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as a serious threat to many native plant species and the ecosystems that host them. The Australian Government has released the Draft Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi for consultation until 20 May 2013.
The Community Landcare Grants are small grant available through the Sustainable Agriculture stream of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative. Grants between $5000 to $50 000 (GST exclusive) are available to help local community-based organisations and groups take on-ground action as well as build their capacity and skills to manage their natural environment and productive lands, while contributing towards program outcomes. The 2013-14 Community Landcare Grants round is now open, with applications closing at 5pm (AEDT) on 20 March 2013.
The National Wildlife Corridors Plan is an Australian Government initiative to support the reconnection of the Australian landscape. It lays the foundation for a new, collaborative, whole-of-landscape approach to the conservation of the nation’s biodiversity by improving the resilience of landscapes in a changing climate and repairing landscapes that have become fragmented.
The State of Australian Cities 2012 report was launched by the Australian Government on 4 December 2012. The report brings together current research and data including available data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing to present a comprehensive snapshot of Australian cities. The report details changes in urban population and settlement and examines indicators relating to productivity, sustainability and liveability.
One Land – Many Stories: Prospectus of Investment provides an overarching framework of the Australian Government’s priorities for funding biodiversity conservation and improving natural resource management in 2013–14. It articulates the places (target areas), national priorities (investment themes) and the available grant funding to guide the development of project proposals in the 2013–14 round of biodiversity conservation and natural resource management investment across the Australian Government environment portfolio.
© Bruce Boyes 2008-2013
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