Daily Links May 17

It’s not all bleak and gloomy for biodiversity conservation. The rediscovery of the Night parrot by the skilled but contentious John Young, the purchase of the land for protection by Bush Heritage Australia and now the sharing of strategies by indigenous carers for country are good news stories. 

From: Maelor Himbury <maelor@melbpc.org.au&gt;
Date: 17 May 2023 at 8:48:41 am AEST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Daily Links May 17

Post of the Day

An extra $1.3bn to upgrade Australia’s energy inefficient homes might not do much – here’s what would help

Tristan Edis

Taking on vested interests and mandating housing energy ratings and minimum standards are far more important steps


On This Day

May 17


Climate Change

Cop28 host UAE’s approach is ‘dangerous’, says UN’s ex-climate chief

Christiana Figueres says focus on carbon capture is direct threat to survival of vulnerable countries


Oil companies’ carbon led to vast wildfire damage, researchers find

The world’s top corporate carbon emitters are responsible for more than a third of the area burned by wildfires in the western United States and southwestern Canada since the 1980s, a new study says.


Organic farming is missing from climate change talks

The USDA sees organic as a business opportunity, but regenerative ag is the hottest trend at the AIM for Climate Summit.



‘It’s in everyone’s blood’: Australian government urged to ban PFAS chemicals amid health concerns

Despite being gradually phased out, the toxic chemicals are still found in products like household cookware, waterproof jackets, stain resistant carpets and food packaging, experts say. 


What Aussies really think of nuclear power ban [$]

Most Aussies are now open to the idea of exploring nuclear power as a way to keep the lights on as we work to meet our net zero targets and save the planet, a new poll has revealed.


$250b in scrapped funding sets carbon projects back years [$]

Some proponents of carbon capture and storage projects have struggled since the Albanese government pulled $250 million in funding in last October’s budget.


Global ‘arms race’ to access Australian minerals for battery manufacturing [$]

The Advanced Materials and Battery Council (AMBC) is calling for the right policy settings to jump on board a battery manufacturing boom amid a global “arms race” to access Australia’s critical minerals.


‘Dark underbelly’: The hidden human toll behind Australia’s love affair with cheap solar panels

For millions of Australians, solar panels have been a ticket to cheap, clean power. But researchers and human rights activists warn there’s a dark side to their supply and changes are needed.

Wind, solar and storage developers pray for breakthrough in connection delays

Proposed rule change could provide breakthrough for wind, solar and storage projects threatened by huge delays and extra costs over grid connection process.


Species extinctions ‘locked in’ by proposed EPBC changes

Media release – Bob Brown Foundation

A consultation draft released to a select group of business groups, scientists and environment organisations has highlighted the lack of real reform planned by the Albanese Labor Government.


Big Australia needn’t be a taboo subject

Peter Cook

It should be possible to talk about the positives of an alternative future for Australia without being condemned as prejudiced or racist.


Labor’s budget is cold comfort for young people [$]

Freya Leach

Like it or not, the environment is the greatest political concern for young Australians. But we should not replace a ‘climate crisis’ with an economic crisis.


Labor must be tech-neutral on carbon capture [$]

AFR editorial

CCS is a chance for Labor to make clear that from now on, agnosticism on technology is to be an abiding principle in its climate strategy.


Labor has made a good start, but tricky energy and climate road ahead [$]

Tony Wood

As the government begins its second year in office, how it deals with the big three challenges of gas shortages, electricity prices and emission reduction targets may determine its prospects in 2025.


Feeling frozen? 4 out of 5 homes in southern Australia are colder than is healthy

Cynthia Faye Barlow et al

Every winter we hear about soaring energy bills and people’s inability to stay warm. But, until now, we haven’t really known just how cold Australian homes are. Our newly published research suggests around four out of five of Australian homes fail to meet World Health Organization minimum standards for warmth.


Community batteries are popular – but we have to make sure they actually help share power

Bjorn Sturmberg et al

To power Australia without fossil fuels will mean using batteries to store power from solar and wind. We often think this means home batteries – or large grid-scale installations.

Broken regulations, not community opposition, are delaying transmission

Darren Edwards

Acknowledging that the regulatory environment is not fit for purpose is one thing; proceeding with transmission projects with this knowledge is absurd.



Budget cut fears for Melbourne’s ‘most urgent public transport need’

Poor services and expensive tickets are driving people away from Victoria’s struggling bus network. Advocates fear that won’t improve as the Premier warns of “very difficult” decisions in this year’s state budget.


Haul Andrews, ministers and advisers before flood inquiry: opposition, integrity experts

The call comes after revelations ministerial staff asked for changes to a statement from Melbourne Water.

Victoria to legislate ambitious emissions target, lock in 95 pct renewables

Victoria’s Labor government locks in shift to 95% renewables with one of the world’s most ambitious emissions reduction targets set to be legislated.


Andrews government needs to put accountability front and centre

Age editorial

Issues related to the Maribyrnong River flood probe raise profound questions about what independent scrutiny of government means in this state.


New South Wales

Court fines native title holder for illegally harvesting abalone from NSW’s far south coast

A magistrate finds an Aboriginal man caught fishing abalone is not protected by native title because he harvested them for a party to which non-Aboriginal people were invited.

Controversial Oxford St cycleway granted stay of execution [$]

A controversial inner-city cycleway has been granted a stay of execution, after delays to a permanent fixture were revealed.


Free electric ferry ‘top priority’ for Sydney’s western harbour

A corporate partnership established by government to improve the foreshore is working on a new ferry that would transform travel around Barangaroo, Pyrmont and Blackwattle Bay.


It’s not NIMBYism: Premier right on need to build up, but good design is critical


If residents knew that governments were working to create low, sympathetic housing, with adequate parking, and good designs, there would be much less anxiety and much more ready compliance to development.



Farmers launch ‘last, best’ legal challenge over Qld coal mine’s water licence

Just when the controversial New Acland mine expansion seemed all but complete, an eleventh-hour legal bid aims to stop it in its tracks.


Minister cleared to overrule dump ban [$]

The Supreme Court has ruled on whether Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles can “call-in’ a controversial landfill proposal.


Indigenous rangers play key role in protecting “world’s most elusive bird”

Five Indigenous ranger groups have gathered at Bush Heritage’s Special Wildlife Reserve Pullen Pullen in Queensland to share knowledge about the Night Parrot which was rediscovered in 2013 after it was thought to be extinct.


South Australia

‘No transition without gas’: Renewable energy leader South Australia defends fossil fuel

South Australia’s energy minister launches defence of gas industry, saying his state’s global leadership in the switch to green power would not be possible without the fuel.


‘Gina Rinehart’ arrested at climate protest

A climate activist falsely claiming to share a name with one of the biggest mining billionaires in Australia has faced court after being removed from a gas and oil protest.


Endangered fern survives against all odds in Mount Lofty Ranges

Ecologists from the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre have rediscovered an endangered fern species not formally seen in the state since 1998.

South Australia eyes “competitive tender” to fast-track hydrogen, big renewables

Draft bill to fast-track “next wave” of hydrogen and renewable projects in SA, including a “clear competitive tender” for government-owned land and waters.


Lawyers at 20 paces as green group lodges new claim on coal mine

The slow drip of litigation has hit New Hope’s New Acland mine expansion after the Oakey Coal Action Alliance lodged court action challenging the State Government’s granting of a water licence to the mine.

Planning for a liveable city

Cate Hart

Adelaide and the state has a proud history of urban planning and dedicated teaching must be reinstated to ensure it continues.


‘Critters starting to grow’: Rebuilt reefs teeming with marine life

Early settlers who fished native reefs with rakes and chains left them devoid of marine life but a project in Tasmania is the latest example of how the tide is being turned many years later. 


Northern Territory

NT government ‘inaccurate’ in claiming Beetaloo Basin fracking risks have been addressed

The Federal Member for Lingiari claims a key recommendation around water use has not been implemented despite plans to allow fracking in the region, and it has left traditional owners, environmentalists and pastoralists with serious concerns.


Promise of fracking jobs divides Aboriginal people in ‘forgotten’ NT town

The gas industry’s promise of fracking-related jobs in the Beetaloo Basin leaves some Aboriginal Territorians feeling hopeful and others suspicious.


The NT budget surplus banks on the Barossa gas project going ahead, but its future is increasingly uncertain

Getting back in the black by 2026-27 relies heavily on Santos’ $4.7 billion Barossa gas field off the coast of the Tiwi Islands going ahead, but it’s facing opposition from traditional owners and rising environmental costs. 


Western Australia

‘Decaying’ gas tower structure needs to be removed from WA ocean floor, Greenpeace says

Greenpeace has released underwater footage of Woodside’s sunken riser turret mooring off the West Australian coast. The activist group says the structure is “decaying” and poses a contamination risk.


One of Australia’s finest beaches ‘like looking at the moon’ after controlled burn reignites

An expert says it could take 10 years for dunes near Esperance in WA to return to pre-fire vegetation levels after a blaze scorched 180 hectares.


Murujuga’s rock art is being destroyed – where is the outrage?

Benjamin Smith et al

Three rock art panels were this month removed from Murujuga/Burrup in Western Australia to make way for a new A$6.4 billion fertiliser factory.



Air pollution transparency rules among EU laws to be scrapped by UK

Government has rowed back on plans to ditch 4,000 laws but key pollution legislation still slated to go


Plastic pollution could be slashed by 80% by 2040, UN says

Changes needed are major but also practical and affordable, report says, and would bring trillions of dollars in benefits


US EPA finally wakes up with stiff new climate rules: ‘They’ve hit full throttle’

A slew of anti-pollution, from toxic water to planet-heating emissions has been issued by an agency belatedly flexing its muscles


Scavengers, miners, and climate activists: Can Poland ditch coal?

Poland has a deep and historic relationship with coal, importing huge amounts despite producing yet more locally.


US backs Indonesian oil refinery despite pledge to end fossil fuel finance

The US has been accused of “breaking” a key climate financing commitment by approving almost $100m in support for an overseas fossil fuel project.


Nature Conservation

To fight deforestation, Amazon guardians embrace a tech boom

Like their ancestors, a new generation of Indigenous guardians is fighting illegal logging — this time, using drones and solar-powered camera traps.


Maelor Himbury
6 Florence St Niddrie 3042
0432406862 or 0393741902
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