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.

Community Forum — The Great Koala National Park, Coffs Harbour

Danielle Ryan and James Sherwood, Conservation Campaigners

A Community Forum was held in Coffs Harbour on 28 April, hosted by NPA to spread awareness about the organisation’s proposal for The Great Koala National Park. The event was a great success, booking out before the night. NPA’s park proposal spans from the mountains to the coasts of the Coffs Harbour region, encompassing ancient Gondwanan rainforests and the most diverse tall eucalypt forests on earth. Advocacy for this proposal is about creating a positive vision around transitioning away from unsustainable native forestry logging to ensure critical koala habitat is protected, encompassing about 20 per cent of the state’s koala population.

Bushfire Inquiries: Reports and Analysis

George Punt, NPA Park Management Committee

NPA recently made submissions to the two major inquiries into the Black Summer bushfires. The inquiries are largely a thoughtful reflection on the ‘Black Summer’ fires and make sound suggestions about managing fires given the impacts of global warming. NPA will need to monitor how these suggestions are implemented. The inquiries note that the impulse to escalate controlled burning and other measures in national parks remains a strong theme in public discussions.

Confusion reigns after reported changes to tree removal laws

The National Parks Association of NSW has called for confirmation that the NSW Government won’t remove essential protections for urban bushland following the Australian’s release of leaked Cabinet documents.