Federal environment minister Tanya Plibersek has just quietly approved another Santos fracking project in Queensland’s Surat Basin, writes Callum Foote.
The NSW government’s “silver bullet” solution to manage flood risk is to raise Warragamba Dam even though the global experience is that this increases the danger to communities. Jim McIlroy reports.
The federal government reached an agreement with the Labor opposition to pass amendments to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) on May 8, effectively ensuring less water will flow to the environment in the southern basin.
The deal sidelined negotiations with cross-bench Senators and scuttled a move by the Greens to request a disallowance motion for the vote because of environmental concerns.
The federal and Victorian governments announced on March 27 a two-year extension of the controversial Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for East Gippsland, the North East and the Central Highlands. They will be reassessed at the end of the two-year period.
The Victorian government announced on July 3 it had made an in-principle deal to buy the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) timber mill. The deal to save Australia's largest hardwood mill could cost taxpayers up to $50 million.
Environmentalists are outraged that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has called for a review of the protection status of Victoria’s faunal emblem, the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum, so new logging zones in Victoria’s central highlands can be opened.
Joyce wrote to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on March 26, criticising the decision to reduce the logging quota offered to Gippsland’s Heyfield mill operators Australian Sustainable Hardwood (ASH) from 155,000 cubic metres a year to 80,000 cubic metres in 2017–18 and 60,000 cubic metres in the next two years.
BP announced on October 11 that it has abandoned plans for a $1.4 billion program to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight, off South Australia.
The British petroleum giant said the decision, which delighted environmental groups, was made because the project was not economically viable. It said it would instead focus on projects it could exploit in the short-to-medium term.
Just-released modelling from BP has revealed that an oil spill from an uncontained blowout on its proposed Stromlo-1 well is guaranteed to impact the South Australian coast. It is possible that anywhere across the southern Australian coast could be impacted, from Western Australia across to Tasmania and NSW.
In light of this, the Wilderness Society has called on Australia’s offshore oil and gas authority, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), to reject BP’s application to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
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