In this issue

Issue 135

Editorial: Power in your hands
Good progress was made at the recent COAG meeting on 10 February with state and federal ministers agreeing to improve energy price signals for consumers and investors, including committing to a progressive national rollout of 'smart meters' to facilitate daytime electricity price monitoring, allowing users to better manage their peak and most costly demand.
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Historic biodiversity case outcome
On 19 December 2006, Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown won a Federal Court case that has been welcomed by environmentalists as an historic precedent for threatened-species conservation, but criticised by the Tasmanian forest industry as being a 'significant threat' to its future.
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States have big plans for smaller footprints
The Western Australian and South Australian Governments recently highlighted their intentions to actively reduce their states' environmental impacts through enhanced renewable energy commitments.
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Spray-on protection reduces water loss
An Australian company has developed a new product which it claims can significantly reduce evaporation from water storages.
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Top spot for organic farming
Australia has the world's largest land area under organic agriculture with 11.8 million hectares certified to international organic standards, according to a study by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).
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Loophole closed to keep out plant aliens
Biosecurity Australia recently completed a review of the list of plant species that can be legally brought into the country, closing a critical loophole in national quarantine law.
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COAG adopts a new national Climate Change Action Plan
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed on strong forward steps on central key sustainability issues, including climate change mitigation and future energy supply, at its latest meeting on 10 February.
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Our offices far from the green ideal
A recent Newspoll phone survey of almost 400 office workers has revealed that most Australian offices are not implementing simple practices to reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste.
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Forgotten treasures
Native grasses, maligned by pastoralists since colonial times, are showing their remarkable pedigree and potential for Australian conditions.
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Smart approaches to electricity use
Forecast increases in electricity demand pose a dilemma for the electricity industry, which will need to cap or reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. A new approach, already proving successful, is to make consumers more aware of their hourly usage with smart metering and staggered pricing, to discourage usage peaks.
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21st century city challenges
Urban sustainability experts believe that formidable challenges confront our cities and that there is an urgent need for an Australia-wide urban sustainability framework.
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Gaining ground - Debating the growing impact of GM agriculture
A decade on since the advent of genetically modified (GM) crops, their environmental and production credentials are able to be better assessed. But the role of GM agriculture in the 21st century is still being fiercely debated.
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Outflanking the Laotian rice thieves
CSIRO scientists' research on mouse plagues in the Australian wheat belt is helping farmers in Asia reduce rice losses and other damage from local rodents.
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Venturing out in Dreamtime business
Aboriginal communities are embracing the opportunities presented by the new international interest in cultural tourism. But can Aboriginal people maintain a viable tourism product while protecting their cultural independence and the sensitive ecosystems that exist in their homelands?
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Herd about New Zealand's eco cow shed?
An innovative 'kiwi' stock shelter could have as revolutionary an effect on cattle farm management as herringbone dairy sheds did in the 1950s.
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A new tool brings the triple bottom line into focus
The quality of corporate environmental reports is patchy - they often lack hard data and key triple bottom line indicators of social, environmental and economic performance.
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Review - A case for kicking the habit
Is petroleum bad for our health? Yes, as bad as cigarettes according to US author Terry Tamminen, Special Advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a Secretary of California's Environment Protection Agency, in his new book Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction.
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Putting a thin lid on evaporation losses
Farm dams and larger water storages around Australia lose as much as 40 per cent of their water to evaporation. Research is now concentrating on a safe, cost-effective and innovative way of reducing this loss using a liquid surface layer.
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Community engagement for the reef's sake
The community of the Tully region in far north Queensland has teamed up with scientists from CSIRO's Water for a Healthy Country Flagship to create a leading example of participatory research in action.
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Investigating mining's social values
Research to map the social landscape of the minerals industry will help inform the sector's efforts towards a socially sustainable future.
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Events Calendar

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