In the Tasmanian Conservationist No.328, March 2013, we reported on concerns that parts of the Three Capes Track were being constructed and opened to the public without installation of the safety rails which were required by the Parks and Wildlife Service.
One of the main concerns of opponents of the proposed introduction of the super-trawler into Australia’s small pelagic fishery was the failure to properly manage the risk of localised depletion. Recent developments have not reduced this concern. There is currently not even an agreed definition for localised depletion in Australia’s small pelagic fishery.
In June 2014 the state government advertised in Tasmanian newspapers for expressions of interest (EOI) for tourism developments in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, national parks and other reserves. The very brief publicly available questions-and-answers document, ‘Tourism Investment Opportunities in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, National Parks and Reserves’ (Q&A document), makes for disturbing reading.
Two small research areas that were closed to rock lobster fishing, so that researchers could investigate the Centrostephanus urchin barrens that threaten much of Tasmania's rocky reef systems, are at risk of being opened to fishing even while they remain vital to the fight against the destruction of reef habitat and important fisheries. Centrostephanus barrens currently represent the greatest threat to Tasmanian reefs and recreational abalone and rock lobster fishing.
Is there, or is there not, a state government moratorium on fracking? Despite the Liberal state government’s clear and emphatic election policy to institute a moratorium on fracking, four months after the election there is no evidence a moratorium has been instituted. Two days after the election the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, made the statement transcribed below, to ABC Local Radio’s Country Hour. While encouraging, this statement raised more questions than it answered.
The Tasmanian Government introduced the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Bill 2014 (the Bill) into the House of Assembly on 24 June 2014. The Bill was passed by the House at 11.15pm on 26 June 2014. The Liberal Government went to the election in March with a promise to introduce ‘tough’ new laws to impose mandatory sentences and large fines for protesters who prevent, hinder or obstruct forestry or mining activities.
In October 2013, consultants ‘Blue Environment’ Pty Ltd was commissioned by the state government’s Waste Advisory Committee (WAC) to investigate current management practices and explore opportunities and barriers for more effective management of five priority waste streams: municipal, industrial, clinical and quarantine, pit waste and sludges and organics. These five areas were identified by the WAC as needing special attention. The following headline statistics tells us this was justified.
The Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Bill 2014 was passed in the Lower House of the Tasmanian Parliament on 5 June 2014 (World Environment Day). Due to a number of questions that Legislative Councillors asked of the state government and could not be answered, the government agreed that debate on the Bill should be delayed until the spring sitting of the Council.
Planning for the third Bruny bird festival is well underway with an even larger program of activities for you to enjoy. Dates are 23-26 October, 2014. We are also busy building a brand new website just for the bird festival, however we know you are keen to start planning your festival activities so the program and information can be found in the Bird Festival section of this site. We will let every one know when the new site is up and flying.
The report ‘Analysis of battery consumption, recycling and disposal in Australia’, by Australian Battery Recycling Initiative and Warnken Industrial and Social Ecology Pry Ltd is a seminal publication on batteries in Australia. Before this report was produced very little was known about the amount and type of battery used in Australia and how they are disposed.
The state government announced, on 9 May 2014, that use of 1080 poison for control of native browsing animals would not be banned, as had been mooted by the previous Labor–Green government. Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff told the ABC that ‘the government will not phase out 1080 without a suitable alternative’. He accepted that fencing and shooting worked for most farmers but that 1080 would not be banned while there are any farmers who, regardless of their circumstances, cannot operate without 1080.
From a policy perspective the state election was most notable because the victorious Liberal Party failed to release a single environment policy, i.e. a pro-environment policy. The closest it got was the announcement of funding for the Three Capes Track, and South Coast Track but both were made alongside tourism industry representatives and were framed as investments in tourist development.