$133 million three years has been announced by the Queensland Government in its 2010/2011 budget for environmental recovery from recent natural disasters.

The funding includes $20 million over three years for the restoration of Queensland’s protected areas, including repairs to damaged essential assets in national parks, state forest and other protected areas.

A further $10.5 million has also been allocated over four years for rangers to assist in managing the state’s national park estate.

More than 150 gigalitres of water recovered for the environment will be delivered to hundreds of wetlands along the Murrumbidgee River, benefiting the Murray system as far downstream as South Australia’s Lower Lakes and Coorong.

A research study into effective carbon prices that result from emissions-reduction policies in Australia and other key economies has been released by the Productivity Commission.

Waste management services in Australia recovered or reprocessed a total of 13.2 million tonnes of material from waste in 2009-10, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Nationally, this represents a rate of waste diversion from landfill of 42.6%. South Australia had the highest waste diversion rate of 66.3%.

Almost 10.4 million tonnes of material were recovered at waste facilities other than landfill. This included 2.2 million tonnes of metal, 1.7 million tonnes of paper and cardboard, and 1.7 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste.

An estimated 2,120 private and public trading sector businesses and 547 general government sector organisations were involved in the Australian waste management services industry, employing a total of 32,737 people.

Waste management services businesses in the private and public trading sector had a total income of $8.6b. The main source of income was from the provision of waste services ($5.1b), consisting of $4.3b for non-recyclable waste and $0.8b for recyclables. Sales of recyclable material contributed another $2.2b or 26% of total income.

Larger businesses with 100 or more employees made up less than 1% of all private and public sector businesses, yet they contributed 54.4% of employment, 68.2% of total income and 69.9% of total expenses.

 The report, Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 8698.0), is available here.

Griffith University has been appointed as the Australia and New Zealand sub-regional  secretariat of a United Nations global partnership on waste management.

The Collie South West Hub capture and storage (CCS) trial project in Western Australia is to receive up to $104 million in matching Federal and State funding for the completion of a detailed storage viability study.

Penrice Soda Holdings Ltd and General Electrics have struck a deal to provide the coal seam gas (CSG) industry with a process to remove brine from wastewater.

Research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has drawn on the effects of natural carbon dioxide (CO2) seeps in Papua New Guinea to give an insight into what tropical coral reefs could look like if human-induced atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to rise unabated.

The New South Wales Government has announced it will scrap its plan to significantly reduce allocated tariff cuts after household and business stakeholders have conducted a month-long campaign against the cuts.

More than $226 billion in commercial, industrial, road and rail, and residential assets are potentially exposed to inundation and erosion hazards in the event of a sea level rise of 1.1 metres, according to a report released by the Federal Government.

The University of Canberra has been awarded $6.3 million by the Federal Government to establish a new Collaborative Research Network (CRN) to undertake a wide-ranging research project into aspects affecting the Murray Darling Basin.


Partner institutions include the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University, the University of Southern Queensland, the CSIRO, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences and the National Water Commission.


The project will bring together expertise in environmental science, public policy, social and economic modelling, health and regional planning.


In addition to environmental research, the project will examine social issues including the mental health challenges associated with rural communities as they adjust to a changing farming environment.


The network has broad scope to build resilience in the Murray Darling Basin environment and communities by understanding the environmental, social, economic and health implications of drought, water management and preserving a healthy Murray Darling Basin.


University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Frances Shannon said the Murray Darling Basin faces complex problems, which require sophisticated solutions.


"The environmental health of river system doesn’t exist in isolation from the economic and social health of the local community. This collaboration brings together all the expertise needed to ensure policy decisions are informed by the best science, backed up by rigorous social and economic research and modelling.”

A listing of the top-ranked institutions in Australia and New Zealand published on the UK site Times Higher Education has placed Macquarie University in the top spot for environmental sciences and ecology research.

A solar-powered sensor station to monitor in real time the concentration of gases that are key culprits in climate change and air pollution has been installed on a  roof at the Queensland University of Technology as part of an international study on solar-powered environmental nano sensors.

A report published for the Federal Government has warned that Kakadu - one of Australia’s World Heritage Listed sites - is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Funding totalling $2.37 million from Western  Australia’s Natural Resource Management (NRM) program has been announced to support 73 projects in WA during 2011-12.

Senior climate change advisor to the Prime Minister, Professor Ross Garnaut, has called for the establishment of an independent umpire with the authority to force the federal government to make alterations to emissions targets.

Following meetings in Adelaide over the weekend, the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council has agreed to push back the starting date to 2019 for all communities in the Murray Darling Basin to adjust to diversion limits.

Germany has announced its intentions to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022 amid a strong political revival of the country’s Green Party.

Recent findings published by the ABC have shown that substantial amounts of electronic waste, such as monitors, computers and televisions, are being smuggled off-shore to be handled by developing nations.

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