Supply measure projects that purport to save water in the Yanco Creek System will lead to environmental damage and “greater diversions” for irrigation in the Murrumbidgee according to water agencies. They are likely to be unlawful, with no way of properly assessing environmental equivalence as defined in the Basin Plan.
Some of the Murray Darling Basin’s best managed waterways would be damaged by water infrastructure projects that benefit major corporate irrigators, according to a new report by water consultants Slattery & Johnson and think tank The Australia Institute.
The Yanco Creek System, which links the Murrumbidgee and the Murray rivers, is declared a “jewel” of the Basin by local water managers but has been labelled as “effluent creeks” by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) as it pushes ahead with its ‘supply measure’ projects.
The Australia Institute has welcomed reports that Norwegian oil giant Equinor is withdrawing from its plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight and has said that the Federal and South Australian governments should now move towards permanent protection and World Heritage listing for the Bight.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 19 Feb 2020]
After a summer of catastrophic bushfires, the most brutal evidence of the impacts of climate change, the government has managed to move the debate towards the pros and cons of setting a long-term net zero emissions target for 2050.
by Richie Merzian
[Originally published by 10 Daily, 11 Feb 2020]
In a matter of days, many Australians have been thrust from one extreme to another -- from bushfires that refuse to be put out, to flooding rain that seemingly won’t stop. It’s a cruel irony.
The unprecedented bushfires that devastated Eastern Australia over the summer saw thousands of properties destroyed, dozens of people killed and a wildlife death toll estimate in the billions. The military were deployed, and over 11 million hectares of land has been burnt.
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 08 February 2020]
There’s a hole where Australia’s climate and energy policy should be and the Morrison Government just keeps digging. The cheapest, cleanest solutions are right in front of its nose and yet it keeps subsidising the problem.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 05 February 2020]
If you think the quality of debate about climate change and bushfires is bad, allow me to give you a glimpse into the debate over the link between the supply and demand of fossil fuels and their price. Spoiler alert – according to the Morrison government, increasing the supply of gas pushes gas prices down but increasing the supply of coal doesn’t push coal prices down. Let’s unpack that.
Scott Morrison loves to say that Australia is on track to ‘meet and beat’ our climate targets, but he’s a lot quieter about where that track leads. Admittedly, saying he plans to double Australian coal exports does provide some big hints.
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 25 January 2020]
"Unprecedented" is the word that comes up again and again. But the more often this extreme weather churns out new surprises, the more the word "unprecedented" seems inadequate to capture this new hostile climate.
New research by The Australia Institute finds that the Commonwealth’s ‘call-out’ of Army Reserves for bushfire relief served political rather than practical purposes, raising serious legal questions around the use of the military.
The Prime Minister today announced the call-out of Army Reserves for bushfire relief would end on February 7, with some reservists ending their compulsory service from February 1. The compulsory call-out of Australia Defence Force (ADF) Army Reserves lasted 28 days.