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Issue 11


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Emerging role for the resources satellite
Although few Australians take much notice, a parade of data-chattering witnesses watches over us. These are the satellites. Some were launched for military use, but others relay information for peaceful purposes, giving us a new insight on the earth. A major contributor to this knowledge is the Landsat series of satellites. Landsat-1 went into orbit in mid 1972; its companion, Landsat-2, followed early in 1975. Landsat-3 will be launched in September.
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Burning question in the Snowy
In the Kosciusko National Park in southern New South Wales, prescribed burning has been m use for some years, but only in country below 1350 metres. New proposals have recently been made to burn the Park s sub-alpine snow gum woodlands up to an altitude of 1650 metres. As a result, more than three-quarters of this largest of Australia's national parks now falls into the area where prescribed burning may be carried out.
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Keeping tabs on our birds
Lord Howe Island lies about 600 km off the coast of northern New South Wales. As well as being a very beautiful haven for tourists, it provides refuge for one of the world's rarest birds — the Lord Howe Island woodhen. The entire breeding population of this flightless fowl numbers about 25.
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Air outback — clean but not virginal
In southern Tasmania the air is about as clean as it can be. On the mainland away from our cities the air is also clean by world standards. But it now appears that industrial pollution already affects almost everywhere on the continent to some degree.
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Methane gas from meatworks waste
Meatworks, like many other industrial complexes, are faced with an increasing problem of waste disposal. Stricter legislation and rising public opinion against discharging untreated effluents into waterways are forcing the industry to look at new disposal methods.
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Bird fossils hint at the past
Most of us take our birds for granted. Even so, they are an interesting group — many are unique to Australia. Emus and many parrots, for example, occur only on this continent, and even many of our local representatives of worldwide bird families differ from their relatives.
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Growing native grasses in urban parks
After almost two centuries of European settlement, the native grasses that colour the Australian bush with their reds, purples, browns, silver-greys, and greens are being considered as alternatives to introduced species in new areas of urban parkland.
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Bringing back the bush
Six years ago, a group of sand-mining companies, frustrated by problems of sand dune revegetation, approached CSIRO with a request for help. The group — the Rutile and Zircon Development Association Ltd (RZDA) — had been spending more than a million dollars a year on revegetation. Despite this expenditure, some projects were proving unsuccessful and were rousing further public opinion against sand-mining.
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