Shaun is a consultant wildlife biologist based in Hobart. He is very interested in helping conserve threatened species and innovations in renewable energy.
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Environment minister, Peter Garrett, has given Gunns another 26 months to comply with federal environmental requirements in its plan to build a pulp mill in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley. The shock development was coupled with the approval of 9 of the 12 environmental permits submitted by the company. Further work will need to focus on oceanographic and marine studies assessing likely impacts of effluent on the biota of commonwealth waters in Bass Strait. If hydrodynamic modelling suggests that the effluent will impact significantly, then the liquid waste would need to be treated with a tertiary plant, costing $300 million.
Giant aluminium sails with photovoltaic panels designed in Australia will be fitted to cargo ships owned by China’s COSCO shipping line. The technology harnesses wind and solar energy to cut costs by 25 to 45 per cent, so that the sails pay for themselves in four years.
In reaction to Tasmanian timber company, Gunns, employing Don Burke, fellow gardening personailty Peter Cundall has said if a giant pulp mill was proposed in Don’s backyard, he would oppose it. Cundall dismisses Burke’s appointment as an act of desperation by the company for some friendly publicity.
The Queensland Department of Primary Industries (DPI) say they will stop the spread of the introduced tilapia fish by damming and poisoning a five kilometre stretch of Eureka Creek, in Far North Queensland. Native fish will be stunned and removed, through electrofishing, before the posion is used, and returned after the poison dissapates.
Scientists are looking at the genetics of sheep in an effort to select those that can produce less methane. The goal of reducing the greenhouse gas from Australia’s sheep industry has to be coupled with the need for a maintenance of wool growing capacity.
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) says that a response to climate change should not put good red meat producers out of business by favouring the kangaroo industry. This is a response to the Garnaut report which suggests a greater use of kangaroo meat.
An Alliance of environmental organisations and scientists have called for an ocean park to be created that would encapsulate the Coral Sea, from the Great Barrier Reef to maritime boundaries with Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.
“The Coral Sea is one of the few places globally where it is possible to designate a very large, no-take ocean park - in a nation with the capacity to properly manage and protect it and with a history of support for conservation,” said Jay Nelson of the Pew Environment Group, which spearheaded the effort to protect what is now the world’s largest no-take marine reserve in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands.
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