Water Matters

Anne Reeves, OAM

“Inaction is not an option; nor is inadequate action.”  (President, Australian Academy of Science, on release of the State of the Environment Report, 19/7/22)

Water is so much more than a resource and a commodity to be managed for human economic benefit; it is the lifeblood that shapes and sustains our world, our rivers and wetlands.

Tanya Plibersek, as Minister for Water and Environment, recognised this in her statements when releasing the previously withheld 2021 State of the Environment Report.  Despite some sweeteners drawing on site specific positive outcomes, the overall picture is not good.  Taken aback by the dismal progress to right water wrongs, the Minister highlighted how hard it would be to deliver on the Murray Darling Basin Plan as finally adopted.  Not a surprise to those who have been tracking attempts to subvert achievement of the spirit of the forward-looking Commonwealth Water Act adopted under John Howard with bi-partisan support back in 2007.

Vale David Tranter

David Tranter was born in 1929 and spent his early years in far north Queensland. At University in Brisbane he became involved with the Queensland National Parks Association. Years later he moved to Sydney and met Paul Barnes. That led to David becoming a founding member of the NSW National Parks Association (1957).

David, along with wife Helen, had a strong love of bushwalking and natural areas, and remained a member of NPA until his death in July this year.

David was active with the National Parks Association for many years. In the early years he was involved with the efforts to establish what became the National Parks and Wildlife Service and associated legislation. He served on State Council for many years, including as Secretary. During his time as Secretary, NPA was active in preparing detailed submissions to the Commission of Inquiry into the National Estate (c 1973). These submissions included the various park proposals prepared by the organisation and was accompanied by a chartered flights to show the National Estate Committee some of the proposed areas in Sydney, the Hunter and the Blue Mountains.

National Parks Council of Australia poll on how the community feels about national parks and nature protection

Note: much of the text below has been crafted by our colleagues at the Victorian National Parks Association. Thanks to VNPA Nature Conservation Officer Elizabeth Morison for allowing NPA to adapt her article for NSW.

The National Parks Australia Council (NPAC) brings together the peak non-government environmental organisations focused on the future of National Parks, Nature Reserves and other elements of our Protected Area Networks.  The Council allows NPAs to share the experiences of each State and identify common challenges and opportunities to improve the condition of protected areas. 

Film Review: Where the Water Starts

Luisa Bertoggi and Helen Wilson, Illawarra Branch

Illawarra Branch hosted the premiere theatrical screening of this important documentary about Australia’s high country. It gives a First Nations perspective on the Alps as ‘where the water starts’ and features Richard Swain, Indigenous ambassador for the Invasive Species Council. The enthusiastic audience asked Richard, Alison and the filmmakers a lot of questions and agreed the film needs to be seen by all Australians. Caring for the high country is crucial for addressing climate change and for managing our river systems. It’s no place for feral horses.

Hand-back day: Mt Yarrowyck Nature Reserve becomes Bulagaranda Aboriginal Area

Lynne Hosking, President, Armidale Branch

Bulagaranda (Mount Yarrowyck) Aboriginal Area is 30km west of Armidale. It is managed by the Anaiwan and Armidale Local Aboriginal Land Councils in joint partnership with NPWS on behalf of the registered Aboriginal owners.

Nature Kids: get serious about saving species!

Chart-topping birdsong

Songs of Disappearance is an album of Australian bird calls, released in December 2021 to bring attention to the sad fact that one-in-six Australian bird species is threatened with extinction, mainly due to climate change, land clearing and bushfires.