Archived News for Green Sector Professionals - August, 2011
Weeks out from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's draft decision on environmental flows, evidence has been supplied from a veteran irrigator in Victoria's north on the environmental health of the system.
Neil Eagle, an irrigator from Barham in northern Victoria, has released findings from his property that show the river is in "remarkably good shape".
"The salinity readings are now at pre-World War II levels at Morgan, at the monitoring point," Mr Eagle told ABC news.
Research conducted by the Grattan Institute has found that the billions of dollars outlined by the Federal Government to offset the negative impacts of its planned carbon tax is unjustified and costly.
The Victorian State Government has passed legislation which prohibits the construction of new wind turbines within certain proximity to dwellings and regional centres.
Deliberate alteration of the Earth’s environment by humans on a large scale to counter the effects of climate change and in some cases to avoid having to reduce carbon emissions, could be called ‘moral corruption’ according to a leading Australian ethicist.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has concluded a three-year investigative study into levels of acid sulfate soils in the Basin, finding extensive levels of the potentially damaging soils in the southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin.
The Federal Government has announced the first major reform to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EBPC) Act since its creation in 1999. The reform forms the Federal Government’s response to the independent review of the Act by Allan Hawke AC.
The Queensland State Treasury has released its Carbon Price Impacts for Queensland statement, in which Treasury outlines the projected affects the tax will have on the state’s economy.
The Federal Government has released a draft marine bioregional plan that proposes to establish marine reserves networks to protect marine environment in Australia’s north and north-east.
Professor Maria Forsyth, Chair in Electromaterials and Corrosion Sciences at Deakin University and Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science has been awarded a 2011 Australian Laureate Fellowship.
The Clean Energy Council has countered media reports that the cost of solar energy is now cheaper than that of coal fired electricity, saying they are “premature and inaccurate”.
Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said solar electricity was becoming more affordable, more efficient and more reliable, but it still needed responsible government assistance to compete with carbon-based electricity generation.
"Claims that the cost of solar energy are competitive with coal, while intended to be constructive, risk doing more harm than good. Leading solar industry analysts expect that the falling cost of solar will meet the rising the cost of fossil fuel electricity somewhere between 2015-2018. At this point we will achieve what is known in the industry as 'grid parity'.
"If solar electricity was at or very close to grid parity anywhere in Australia at the moment then systems would be going up on every roof and every business without government assistance. That simply isn't the case yet.
"We have seen a big fall in the cost of these systems over the past decade and it's clear that solar energy is going to play a major role in Australia’s energy supply over the rest of this century," he said.
Mr Warren said the industry was currently on a knife-edge.
"Since the closure of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme we have seen the industry come to a complete standstill. We have come so far in developing this exciting clean energy industry. But we still have to finish the job," Mr Warren said.
"Delivering a safe, efficient and responsible solar industry is like landing a plane. We're approaching the runway, but we haven't landed yet. If we cut the engines now the plane will still crash," he said.
"Government support for solar energy has been one of the success stories of the 21st century. We now have sufficient scale, expertise and competition to deliver this technology affordably across Australia.
"If we cut off support at this point, we damn hundreds of solar businesses that have helped deliver this transformation, along with thousands of solar jobs."
Keep Australia Beautiful has published its National Litter Index 2011 report which has found a slight decrease in the national litter rate across the 983 in the 2010/11 period.
Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has announced that the Government’s planned carbon tax will be introduced before parliament in September and could be legislated before the end of the year.
Western Australia's southwest is particularly vulnerable to climate change as rising sea levels threaten coastal homes and a drying trend curbs water supply, according to a new report by the Climate Commission.
The American National Science Foundation (NSF) has published research that indicates that Artic sea ice melt could temporarily stabilize or expand at times over the next few decades.
A report co-published by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has found that strong action on climate change would lead to job growth on the New South Wales mid-north coast.