Crocodile Safari Hunting in the Northern Territory: is it Moral?

This week Nigel Scullion, Senator for NT and the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs re-opened the controversy over safari hunting when he opined that safari hunting of crocodiles in the Northern Territory could be taking place within a year. As fast bowler Glen McGrath found out to his detriment when…

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Renewable Energy Target: Changes for the Better?

The government  introduced a Bill into parliament last week to amend the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The Bill, if it passes the Senate will to reduce the amount of electricity that must come from renewable sources by 2020 from 41,000 GWh to 33,000 GWh. The change is being proposed by…

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UNESCO: the Great Barrier Reef is not “In Danger”

UNESCO, the UN agency charged with environment conservation, has completed its investigations and hearings into the health and management of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) World Heritage Area and released its “Draft Decision”.  The Report does not recommend including the GBR on the list of “World Heritage in Danger”. Instead…

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Can you see a difference between environmental and sustainability management?

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I have a question: what is the point of difference, if there is one, between an environmental professional/consultant and a sustainability professional/consultant? The reason I am asking is because the terms seem to be used interchangeably. Even government departments have changed back and forth between ‘environment’ and ‘sustainable’ in their titles. Wikipedia…

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Anti-whaling trio: Heroes, criminals or terrorists?

Shaky footage from a night vision camera shown on the breakfast news this morning showed three self-described environmental activists clambering aboard a Japanese government ship off the Western Australian coastline. As a former clearance diver I admired the success of the covert operation, but from an environmental law perspective it…

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Marine Seismic Surveys and Turtles: a short review of environmental risk and management

I was recently asked aout the potential environmental risk to marine turtles and sea snakes from seismic surveys. I have to admit to not knowing much about sea snakes (if any readers kinow of work in this area please drop me a comment), but I have spent a considerable amount…

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A way to combine the precautionary principle and risk assessment for the evaluation of project alternatives

Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) is, in its simplest form, meeting the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future (World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), ‘Our Common Future’, also commonly known as ‘The Brundtland Report’). It requires that actions to protect…

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Musings on the ethics of artificial reef construction

Yesterday I was listening to discussion on the radio about a planned artificial reef near Geographe Bay in the south west of Western Australia. Information on the artificial reef plan can be found at the Fisheries department web site [http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/docs/media/index.php?0000&mr=846]. The commentators were arguing about the costs and benefits of…

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Closing in on the tipping point for solar power

The last couple of blogs have been on policy mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Solar power is often touted as a fundamental part of the solution to reducing emissions and there has been a lot of angst about the profitability of solar power companies. One concern is that the…

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