Inbox and Environment News: Issue 324

August 6 - 12, 2017: Issue 324

Update On Baleen 2D HR Seismic Survey 

(The survey comprises 46 2D lines of total length 208km.) - 
NOPSEMA 'Not reasonably satisfied – opportunity to modify EP'
Decision date: 03/08/2017 
Titleholder action Resubmission due date3: 02/09/2017

From Decision notification:
Basis of decision 
NOPSEMA has assessed the environment plan in accordance with its assessment policies and procedures. 

On completion of assessment, NOPSEMA has decided that it is not reasonably satisfied that the environment plan meets the criteria below as set out in regulation 10A of the Environment Regulations: 
(a) is appropriate for the nature and scale of the activity 
(b) demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable 
(c) demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be of an acceptable level 
(d) provides for appropriate environmental performance outcomes, environmental performance standards and measurement criteria 
(e) includes an appropriate implementation strategy and monitoring, recording and reporting arrangements 
(g) demonstrates that: 
(i) the titleholder has carried out the consultations required by Division 2.2A 
(ii) the measures (if any) that the titleholder has adopted, or proposes to adopt, because of the consultations are appropriate 

Titleholder requirements 
For OMR decision In accordance with regulation 10, the titleholder is required to modify and resubmit the environment plan. Upon resubmission of the plan, NOPSEMA will continue to assess the submission in 
accordance with its assessment policies and make a decision under regulation 10. After a titleholder has been provided with reasonable opportunity to modify and resubmit an environment plan, NOPSEMA will 
make a final decision on whether to accept or refuse to accept the environment plan. 
Animated photo

Muogamarra Season 2017

Hidden wildflower garden open for just six weekends
31 July 2017: NPWS and NSW OE&H
A hidden wildflower garden with a rare collection of botanical treasures and native plant species will open its gates this August and September for six weekends only.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Michele Cooper said Muogamarra Nature Reserve-just north of Sydney-is home to more than 900 species of native plants as well as the remnants of an ancient volcano.

"Muogamarra is home to a vast range of Australian wildflowers such as native orchids, towering Gymea lily, pink Boronia, eriostemon and old-man Banksia, which makes it a spectacular wildflower destination," said Ms Cooper.

"This unique array of flora and fauna is one reason why we need to limit the opening times to just six weekends each year to allow it to flourish, to preserve the fragile ecosystems and to protect the reserve's Aboriginal cultural heritage.

"This year during our open season, visitors can join a Discovery guided tour on foot or on a kayak and discover the secrets of this special place," she said.

Some of the walking tracks in the reserve provide outstanding views of the Hawkesbury, Aboriginal rock engravings and convict built roads, and other tracks wind through rainforest and historic relics.

One of the guided walks leads people down to Peat's Crater, which is an unusual volcanic structure called a diatreme that is not found in many parts of Australia.

"By joining a guided walk you'll will see and learn all the secrets of the reserve that you might miss by going on your own," said Ms Cooper.

The launch weekend (12-13 August) will also mark the 50th anniversary of NPWS.

"The Muogamarra open season will launch on Saturday 12 August with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Ray Davison, cultural workshops throughout the day delivered by Aboriginal Discovery Ranger Jess Sinnott, and activities for young children including free show bags for the first 50 children," said Ms Cooper.

"While visitors can certainly come along on any of the weekends during our open season and explore the park at their own pace, keep in mind that the Discovery walks and kayak tours will need to be pre-booked online as numbers are limited and places can fill up quickly," she said.

Muogamarra Nature Reserve will open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 12 August until Sunday 17 September 2017.

What's on
  • Discovery tours include the Muogamarra Highlights Walk (new in 2017), Muogamarra Bird Gully Walk, Muogamarra Lloyd Trig Walk and Muogamarra Peats Bight Walk.
  • A kayaking tour is also available: Paddle our Parks Muogamarra, the first of which will take place on Saturday 12 August.
  • An event in celebration of the NPWS 50 Year Anniversary will take place on the first weekend (12 - 13 August).
More information
Prior bookings are essential for the guided walks and kayak tours and can be made by visiting the NPWS website: 

Muogamurra Nature Reserve is located on the western side of the Pacific Highway, 3.35 kilometres north of Cowan Station.

A park access fee applies during the 6 annual open weekends of $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $40 for families of 2 adults and 2 children.

Have Your Say On Marine Park Draft Plans 

21 July 2017: Media release - Australian Government, Director of National Parks
Australia is surrounded by magnificent oceans and a marine environment that is the envy of the world. Our marine parks are distinctive and diverse, home to marine life found nowhere else.
And from today you can have your say on how we will manage our marine parks into the future.

The Director of National Parks Sally Barnes has released five draft plans to manage 44 Australian Marine Parks over the next 10 years.
“Our marine parks protect important marine habitats and species,” Ms Barnes said.

“They also support people’s livelihoods and the Australian lifestyle. They provide places for people to watch wildlife, dive and snorkel, go boating, and fish. They create jobs in industries like fishing and tourism, and are a source of food and energy.”

Ms Barnes said Australian Marine Parks recognised our oceans as a shared resource -– protecting our environment and supporting the sustainability of our fishing industry and the communities whose livelihoods rely on it.

“I’d encourage everyone to take a look at these five plans my team at Parks Australia have put together,” she said.

“This is your chance to influence how we’ll manage a large area of our marine environment over the next 10 years. We want to hear from you, all of you. It’s your passion that will make marine parks work for everyone.”

Australian Marine Parks (also known as Commonwealth marine reserves) were established in 2012 to protect our oceans. This was a significant contribution to Australia’s marine parks which now cover more than 3.3 million square kilometres of ocean – that’s an area the size of India.

“Before creating these plans, my team and I met with many of you from across our country. We listened to many people, fishers, conservationists, tourism operators, traditional owners and coastal communities before writing these plans,” Ms Barnes said.

“These draft plans balance our commitment to protect the marine environment, while supporting a sustainable fishing industry, promoting tourism and providing cultural, recreational and economic benefits for coastal communities.”

Australian Marine Parks are located in Commonwealth waters that start at the outer edge of state and territory waters, generally no less than three nautical miles (5.5 km) from the shore, and extend to the outer boundary of Australia’s exclusive economic zone, 200 nautical miles (about 370 km) from the shore. The draft plans cover Commonwealth waters off the coast of New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Individual marine parks have been carefully zoned to include representative examples of Australia’s marine habitats and features. This builds the resilience of our marine environment to withstand pressures, including some of the impacts of climate change, cyclones, marine pollution, and invasive species.

Ms Barnes has considered comments from over 54,000 submissions providing feedback on the preparation of draft plans. She has also considered the recommendations from the independent review of Commonwealth marine reserves released in 2016; the best available science; the expertise of traditional owners on managing sea country; and experiences from those managing Australian and international marine parks.

“Finalising these plans makes us one of the world’s leaders in marine protection. Already our country’s marine parks cover 36 per cent of waters around this country. That’s more than comparable to many similar countries, like the United States, France, Canada, Mexico or Chile,” Ms Barnes said.

“I truly believe that we will enhance our international reputation as marine park managers with these plans. But I want to hear your thoughts on whether we’ve got that balance right. Doing nothing is not an option for anyone – we want to provide certainty to all. So please have a read of the plans, and let us know what you think.”
To reduce any impacts on commercial fishers, the Australian Government will make funding available to assist those directly affected by the new arrangements.

The draft plans can be found at .

We are seeking your feedback on whether we have the balance right in these draft plans.  Please send your feedback on these draft plans or the proposed renaming by 20 September 2017, by:

1. Filling in our feedback form, available at: 

3. Writing (free of charge) to: 
Australian Marine Parks Management Planning Comments
Department of the Environment and Energy
Reply Paid 787
Canberra ACT 2601
To help us to consider your feedback, please: 
• Say what you would like to see kept or changed in the plan/s and why
• Refer your points to a specific marine park or use, where appropriate
• Give sources of any information you refer to, where possible.
 Please note, comments sent after 11.59 pm AEST Wednesday 20 September 2017 or to an address other than those listed above cannot be considered.
 Comments may be made public. Personal information provided to us will be dealt with in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles. 

Further information and our privacy notice is available Your personal information may be disclosed to the Minister, relevant government agencies, the Australian Parliament and where required by law. 

Your submission may also be published online by the Director of National Parks. Please tell us in your submission if you do not want it published. Your submission will still be considered in the Director’s Report on the Preparation of the Management Plans, and may be provided to the Minister and tabled before Parliament.

Important facts and figures
With 36 per cent of Australia’s waters included in marine parks, we are well ahead of both the international benchmark ‘Aichi target’ of 10 per cent by 2020, and a recent World Conservation Congress resolution calling for 30 per cent by 2030.

According to data from the IUCN’s World Database on Protected Areas, we compare very favourably with the United States of America (41 per cent), New Zealand (30 per cent), the United Kingdom (28 per cent), Mexico (22 per cent), Canada (less than 1 per cent), and France (15 per cent).

Under the zoning proposed in the draft plans, the portion of green (or no take) zones within all of the marine parks managed by the Commonwealth would be 25 per cent.

There is no reliable ‘league table’ against which we can compare this with other nations as methodology and reporting differ considerably, but we are among the closest nations to meeting the 2016 call by the World Conservation Congress four countries to designate 30 per cent of their marine parks to have no extractive activities.

Thanks to our carefully targeted approach to zoning, the same number of conservation features are protected in green zones in the plans released today as those in 2012.

Australia’s biodiversity hotspots and sites of ecological significance, including Coral Sea reefs and the Bremer Reserve are protected in these plans.

97 per cent of waters within 100 kilometres of the coast are open for recreational fishing.

By intelligently zoning conservation areas like this, we have halved the economic impact on commercial fishers compared with 2012, from $8.2 million to $4.1 million a year (that’s less than 0.3 per cent of total income generated by Australia’s wild catch fisheries). This zoning will also enable a continued Australian tuna fishing industry based out of northern Queensland.

The Australian Government has committed an additional $56.1 million over four years to fund the management of Australian Marine Parks.
Our more balanced approach means there is a significant increase in yellow zones – where the seafloor is protected, but activities like diving and fishing are allowed. Our green zones are based on the best available science – while minimising impacts on our important tourism and fishing industries.

New Rules To Better Protect And Enable Access To The Whitsundays

August 1st 2017: Media Release - GBRMP
New rules coming in to effect tomorrow (2 August 2017) will better protect the Whitsundays area, one of the iconic areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The updates to the Whitsunday Plan of Management — an area-specific plan that manages use in this highly visited region in addition to Reef-wide zoning — follows extensive consultation.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Russell Reichelt said it was vital to protect the area’s values that attract visitors to this iconic destination.

“The Whitsundays is one of the most spectacular areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, attracting more than 40 per cent of the more than two million visitors who come to the Reef each year,” he said.

“It’s important we continue to safeguard this unique environment while allowing for a range of experiences and types of use that sustains a healthy tourism industry.

“The changes include some new additions to how the area will be managed, but previous measures in place to protect the Whitsundays will remain. There are no changes to zoning.”

Among the changes in the updated Plan of Management:
  • Greater recognition of the connection Traditional Owners (Ngaro people) have to the Whitsundays and the value of working with them to manage sea country.
  • Seabirds such as black naped and bridled terns protected by further limiting the time vessels and aircraft can access nesting areas during key nesting periods.
  • Twenty-one new superyacht anchorages to be established at carefully selected locations with no corals or other sensitive habitats, providing further tourism opportunities and still protecting the area’s core values.
  • More motorised water sports areas, additional scenic flight opportunities and up to 20 new private moorings to provide flexibility to cater for situations where a private mooring may be needed.
  • Boundaries for areas where activities can occur — for example, areas where motorised water sports are allowed — will change from ‘buffer style’ within 1500 metres of a reef or coastline to coordinate based, consistent with the zoning plan.
  • Enhancing access for cruise ships and vessels greater than 70-metres with two new anchorages near Hamilton Island and Dent Island, as well as an extended anchorage at Funnel Bay. This provides alternative sites for cruise ships to access key locations in the Whitsundays.
Previous protections in place for the Whitsundays — such as 1000 feet minimum flight height and maximum vessel lengths and group sizes — will remain to protect the area’s scenic and recreational values.

Most changes will take effect from 2 August 2017 and will be implemented in stages over the next 12 months. Full details are available online, including for a map detailing the locations of the new motorised water sports areas and superyacht anchorages.

There is still more work to be done in the Whitsundays to address concerns about congestion including developing site plans and reviewing the use of tourism permits for this area.

The Whitsundays Plan of Management — one of four such plans for the Great Barrier Reef — was first released in 1998 and has been amended progressively since that time to ensure it remains relevant to current environmental and user needs.

Plans of management are generally prepared for intensively used, or particularly vulnerable groups of islands and reefs, and for the protection of vulnerable species or ecological communities.

Plans of management complement zoning by addressing specific issues in greater detail than can be accomplished by the broader reef-wide zoning plans.

Have Your Say On New Environmental Measures For Scrap Metal Businesses

Media release: 26 July 2017 - EPA
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is inviting the community to have a say on proposed minimum environmental standards for scrap metal facilities.

The scrap metal industry in NSW ranges from small car wrecking yards to large metal processing facilities, and plays an important role in diverting waste from landfill and recovering resources.

While many operators in the industry are doing the right thing, some scrap metal businesses have shown poor environmental controls and inadequate management practices. Common issues across the industry have required regulatory action by the EPA and other agencies. These issues include management of oils and solvents, air pollution and odour issues, noise and vibration, fire risks and the on-site management of waste. Inadequate management of these issues can lead to pollution incidents, including soil and groundwater contamination. 

To address these environmental concerns, the EPA has drafted a consultation paper that outlines proposed minimum environmental standards across the scrap metal industry. These standards include things like putting controls in place for the safe storage and disposal of liquids and chemicals, no burning of waste on site, measures to minimise noise and vibrations, and the construction of bunds to manage any spills. If adopted these standards would be legislated and apply across the industry.

EPA Executive Director Waste and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said the proposed standards were an important step in the right direction.

“Many scrap metal businesses are doing the right thing but there are some outliers putting the environment at risk,” Mr Beaman said.

“It’s important for the community – including people working in the scrap metal business – to have their say on these proposed environmental standards so that when they come into force, they accurately reflect the challenges and realities of the industry.”

To view the consultation paper and provide feedback please visit the EPA website 
The submission period closes at 5pm on 18 September 2017.

Bushcare in Pittwater 

For further information or to confirm the meeting details for below groups, please contact Council's Bushcare Officer on 9970 1367

Where we work                      Which day                              What time 

Angophora Reserve             3rd Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Dunes                        1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Golf Course              2nd Wednesday                 3 - 5:30pm 
Careel Creek                         4th Saturday                      8:30 - 11:30am 
Toongari Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer) 
Bangalley Headland            2nd Sunday                         9 to 12noon 

Winnererremy Bay                 4th Sunday                        9 to 12noon 

North Bilgola Beach              3rd Monday                        9 - 12noon 
Algona Reserve                     1st Saturday                       9 - 12noon 
Plateau Park                          1st Friday                            8:30 - 11:30am 

Church Point     
Browns Bay Reserve             1st Tuesday                        9 - 12noon 
McCarrs Creek Reserve       Contact Bushcare Officer     To be confirmed 

Old Wharf Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      8 - 11am 

Kundibah Reserve                   4th Sunday                       8:30 - 11:30am 

Mona Vale     
Mona Vale Beach Basin          1st Saturday                    8 - 11am 
Mona Vale Dunes                     2nd Saturday+3rd Thursday     8:30 - 11:30am 

Bungan Beach                          4th Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
Crescent Reserve                    3rd Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
North Newport Beach              4th Saturday                    8:30 - 11:30am 
Porter Reserve                          2nd Saturday                  8 - 11am 

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     3rd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

Palm Beach     
North Palm Beach Dunes      3rd Saturday                    9 - 12noon 

Scotland Island     
Catherine Park                          2nd Sunday                     10 - 12:30pm 
Elizabeth Park                           1st Saturday                      9 - 12noon 
Pathilda Reserve                      3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon 

Warriewood Wetlands             1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

Western Foreshores     
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay      2nd Sunday                        10 - 1pm 
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay           1st Monday                          9 - 12noon

Free Guided Bush Walk.

Dundundra Falls Reserve, Terrey Hills.
10th September 10 -12 pm at Myoora end of Larool Road Fire Trail Terrey Hills
Come down and enjoy the wild flowers and have all your questions answered by our qualified bush consultant.

This reserve is exploding with colour at the moment so even if you can’t make this special walk you can come down anytime and enjoy our new map and information signs and appreciate what this 40 Hectare recreational Reserve is all about.

Wear clothes and shoes suitable for bush walking and be prepared for Ticks and Leeches as unfortunately they like living here too. 

Navigation Warning - NSW Coastal Waters: Whale Migration Season

June to December 2017

Migrating whales and whale calves are expected to be present in numbers off the NSW coast during this time.

From June to August whales will be in greater abundance generally moving north within about five nautical miles (nine kilometres) of the coast.

From August to December whales will be in greater abundance generally moving south within about 10-15 nautical miles (18-28 kilometres) of the coast.

From July to December Southern Right Whales with calves are likely to be present within 10 nautical miles of the NSW coast and within coastal estuaries.

Within this period it is expected that whale sightings may be common and mariners are advised to navigate with due care and appropriate caution around any whale activity, including reducing to an appropriate speed to maintain safe navigation.

The approach distance for whales in NSW and Commonwealth waters is 100 metres for whales without calves.  If calves are present the approach distance is 300 metres.

In the event of a collision with a whale, entanglement or whale carcass sighting please call:

National Parks and Wildlife Service Incident Duty Officer on: 02 9895 6444

Charts: AUS 806 to AUS 813 Inclusive.

RMS Coastal Boating Maps: 1-14 Inclusive.

Contact Details:

For further details please contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Team on 9585 6523 or (RMS Contact details 13 12 36)

Information regarding the current location of whales may be obtained at:

Further information about whale approach distances or whale behaviour may be obtained from the Office of Environment and Heritage website at:


LGNSW Congratulates Minister On CDS Milestone

July 31, 2017: Media Release - LGNSW
The peak body for the Local Government sector has welcomed the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) arrangements announced by Environment and Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton.
The Minister named TOMRA -Cleanaway as Network Operator, and Exchange For Change (a consortium of Coca-Cola Amatil, Carrlton and United Breweries, Coopers, Lion and Asahi) as Scheme Coordinator.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) said the Container Deposit Scheme, which provides for a 10c refund on the return of most empty beverage containers, was a fantastic initiative which deserved extensive support to ensure a smooth introduction.
"Councils spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year picking up litter, and would much prefer to be investing this money in other community services," LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said.
"The scheme has the potential to cut litter in NSW by up to 43%, but the complexity of the collection and refund processes required have become increasingly clear.
"We congratulate the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Government on their hard work to get the scheme up and running.
"It's also great that the EPA is working with LGNSW on supports for councils to ensure the scheme works well from the get-go.
"Things like expert advice and guidance for councils, a community education package, and data will be vital to help ensure councils get the best deal for their ratepayers in contracts with Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs)."
Clr Rhoades said the CDS had also resulted in amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy to fast track the approval of low-impact container collection and sorting points.
"The EPA and the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) have worked together to streamline the design approval process for many of these facilities, but in some cases councils are still the consent authority," he said.
"We always enjoy working collaboratively with both the EPA and the DPE to achieve the best outcomes for local NSW communities."
The CDS is scheduled to commence on 1 December.

Ski And Board Through Kosciuszko National Park's Virtual Streets

Media release: 3 August 2017: NPWS
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's a camera-mounted Google Trekker backpack strapped to a park ranger skiing Kosciuszko National Park's slopes and resorts.

For the first-time the Google Street View Trekker has been taken on skis by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and captured 360 degree views of the high country and ski resorts.

Tim Greville is the intrepid NPWS ranger who took the trekker onto the slopes.

"The images captured by the trekker are now on Google Street View, so people can literally take a slide on my skis and see the park's cross country trails from their tablet or mobile device," said Mr Greville.

"These free digital 'maps' mean skiers and snowboarders can scope out trails before they come to the park and better plan their trip.

"Or for those who have never skied before, Street View from the slopes gives a pretty good sense of what to expect and may whet their appetite for a trip to the snow.

"This Street View series is also a great way for people who are mobility impaired to see this spectacular country in Winter.

While nothing compares to seeing the snow fall and breathing the fresh mountain air, these maps open Kosciuszko National Park and its resorts to a whole new audience.

Richard Phillips, Sales and Marketing Manager at Perisher said the Google Trekker backpack was attached to a snowmobile and taken across the resort areas of Perisher, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega.

"Fantastic images were collected that showcase the huge amount of terrain available for skiers and boarders across the resort. Having this content available online will be a great tool in promoting the whole area," said Mr Phillips.

Stuart Diver, Resort Operations Manager at Thredbo said that it's exciting to know that now, from all corners of the globe, people can put themselves in the heart of Thredbo.

"From anywhere in the world you can take a tour around the resort and experience the Snowy Mountains," said Mr Diver.

The new Google Street View imagery of Kosciuszko National Park can be seen at Google Street View Trekker in NSW national parks

Spot The Spotted-Tailed Quoll

Monday, 24 July 2017: Media Release - Gabrielle Upton, Minister for the Environment
The NSW Government is asking people to help spot Illawarra’s spotted-tailed quoll among a line-up of thousands of animals as part of a citizen science project, Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said today.

More than 100,000 images from 29 remote cameras are online for the public to help sort through as part of the NSW Government Saving our Species quoll project in the Illawarra.

“We need help sorting through thousands of animal selfies to help narrow down the number of spotted-tailed quolls in the region,” Ms Upton said.

“This is an important conservation project because the spotted-tailed quoll is the only remaining quoll species in the state.”

Quolls are the project’s target animal but the cameras have also captured other species such as a wedge-tailed eagle eating a ringtail possum, long-nosed potoroos and even a powerful owl.

“All this information will go towards improving the monitoring of quolls and other threatened species across the region,” Ms Upton said.

It will help the NSW Government increase the resilience and size of the local quoll population. 

The project, undertaken at the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and Budderro National Park, is funded under the NSW Government’s $100 million Saving our Species project.

The photos are available to view on DigiVol, which is a crowdsourcing platform developed by the Australian Museum in collaboration with the Atlas of Living Australia.

Department Seeks Community Input On Improving Environmental Impact Assessments

July 5th, 2017: Departmental Media Release, Department of Planning and Environment
The community has a chance to improve the way state significant projects are assessed during workshops to gather feedback on new draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) guidelines.

The draft guidelines are on exhibition until Friday,1 September 2017, and representatives from the Department of Planning and Environment will be holding community information sessions across NSW during the exhibition period.

Executive Director, David Kitto, said the new guidelines are an important initiative to drive better practice in NSW.

“While state significant projects such as large infrastructure, industry, mining and urban renewal developments are essential for NSW, they require a comprehensive triple-bottom line assessment with extensive community input,” Mr Kitto said.

“Last year we exhibited a discussion paper on improving the assessment process and received strong support for the improvements from industry and the community.

“After extensive consultation we developed draft guidelines and we’re undertaking workshops to hear what the community has to say about them.

“This is an important opportunity for the community to make sure we get the new guidelines right.”

Mr Kitto said key improvements include getting the community involved much earlier in the assessment process, focussing on the most important issues and improving the quality of all assessment documents.

“While assessment documents, such as environmental impact statements, need to be technically rigorous they also need to be easy to understand and clearly address issues raised by the community. This means everyone should be able to understand them, not just technical experts,” he said.

All public feedback gathered during the exhibition and roadshows will be considered and will assist the Department in finalising the EIA guidelines.

On exhibition are:
  • Guides for proponents covering all stages of the assessment process
  • A guide to help the community understand and participate in the assessment process
  • A guide on the Department’s approach to setting conditions for projects
To view the draft guidelines currently on public exhibition and make a submission, visit the Department’s website

To attend the public information sessions, people should call 1300 305 695 or visit the Department’s website at

Once registered, relevant information for the community information session will be provided via email.
Comment by September 1st, 2017

Visit a community information session

Tuesday 25 July Sydney
S1:  12:00pm - 2.30pm
S2:  4:30pm – 7:00pm

Thursday 10 August Sydney  
S1:  12:00pm - 2.30pm

Guideline 1
Overview of the EIA Improvement Project
This document outlines the proposed improvements. It will help you locate further details of the improvements outlined in each of the guidelines.
Make a submission

Guideline 2
Community Guide to EIA
This guideline outlines the opportunities to participate at each phase of EIA, what information the community can expect to receive and how the community’s knowledge and opinions will be used by the proponent and the Department.
Make a submission

Guideline 3
Scoping an Environmental Impact Statement
This guideline will help proponents identify the key issues for assessment in the EIS by providing guidance on how to scope a project and setting out the requirements for engagement with the community and other stakeholders in the early phases of EIA.
Make a submission

Guideline 4
Preparing an Environmental Impact Statement
This guideline will help proponents prepare a clear and consistent EIS with all the required information. It will also enhance understanding by the community and other stakeholders.
Make a submission

Guideline 5
Responding to External Submissions 
This guideline provides direction to proponents on how to address comments and issues and communicate to the community and other stakeholders who have made a submission in response to a proposed project during the exhibition of the EIS.
Make a submission

Guideline 6
Community and Stakeholder Engagement
This guideline encourages proponents to engage earlier with the community and other stakeholders by introducing a set of engagement requirements applicable to all projects. It will also help proponents to improve the quality of engagement by directing them to focus on meeting participation outcomes during the preparation of the EIS.
Make a submission

Guideline 7
Approach to Setting Conditions
This guideline outlines the Department’s approach to setting conditions of approval. It will promote understanding of the role of conditions of approval in decisions about the project and the management of environmental impacts during construction and operation.
Make a submission

Guideline 8
Modifying an Approved Project
This guideline will help proponents to understand if changes are permitted using the same development consent, if the consent needs to be modified or if a new application is required. It will also help them to understand whether community and other stakeholder engagement is required.
Make a submission

Guideline 9
Peer Review
This guideline sets out a methodology for independent peer review including criteria to determine the suitability of a peer reviewer, review practice, review reporting and post approval requirements. It will provide for greater consistency in peer review.
Make a submission

For further information, please call our Information Centre on 1300 305 695 or email

Bushcare’s Major Day Out At Mona Vale 2017

Mona Vale Bushcare and Pittwater Natural Heritage Association have been awarded a Stronger Communities Grant to continue the restoration of the coastal dune and littoral rainforest at the end of Basset Street. The Bushcare group will continue to remove weeds, replant native species and encourage natural regeneration. The $12,000 received will be used to support the group through contract bush regeneration and the purchase of native plants. 

This site has been chosen for Bushcare volunteers to come together and join in the nationwide “Bushcare’s Major Day Out” event to support all our local volunteers working to conserve and restore our unique natural environment. 

When: September 17, 2017 - 8.30 12p.m.
Where: Mona Vale Basin Beach Reserve, at the end of Bassett Street Mona Vale

Grants Of Up To $3 Million Available For Innovative Solutions For Organic Waste

Media release: EPA
Applications for grants up to $3 million are now open to councils, waste and/or organics processing companies and not-for-profit organisations who have plans for projects that can tackle the amount of food and garden waste that goes to landfill.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority and Environmental Trust are inviting applicants to submit their proposals under three different grant streams:
  • Organics Processing Infrastructure - up to $3 million for infrastructure process more source separated organics from households and businesses 
  • Food Donation Infrastructure – up to $500,000 for equipment to collect, store and redistribute surplus food to people in need
  • Product Quality – up to $500,000 for equipment to improve recycled organics product quality 
Previous rounds of these grants have already funded projects that have made a positive impact on local communities. Last year 3 Pallaettes was awarded a $295,600 Organics Processing Infrastructure Grant to provide the Central Coast with an open windrow composting system for organic wastes, that would otherwise be sent to landfill, to produce a premium grade humified soil conditioner.

With a $89,500 grant under the Food Donation stream, Settlement Services were able to purchase a van, cool rooms and freezer to run The Staples Bag program, supplying a bag of food staples to people in need.

EPA Unit Head Organics Amanda Kane said the grants gave councils and community groups the chance to fund projects that could make a real difference when it came to organic waste.

“From saving good food from being wasted and tackling food insecurity in our state, to increasing NSW capacity to process more collected green waste,  these grants are designed to tackle organic food waste from every angle,” Ms Kane said.

The Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) Director Grants Peter Dixon said the Environmental Trust was pleased to offer the new rounds of organics funding for organics collections under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

“This is a significant amount of money that will go to projects that will make a significant change to organic waste in our state.”

The grants are being delivered through a partnership between the EPA and the Environmental Trust (which is administered by OEH).

Applications close 5pm Thursday 10 August 2017. The EPA is hosting webinars to assist potential applications find out more about grant programs. More information on these webinars available here

For more information on the organics collections grants and webinar visit.

4nature Inc V Centennial Springvale Pty Limited And Others

UPDATE 2 August 2017: EDO NSW
The NSW Court of Appeal has found in favour of our client 4nature in its court case to protect Sydney’s drinking water catchment from the impacts of Springvale coal mine.

Springvale coal mine, operated by Centennial Coal, lies beneath the Newnes State Forest in the Blue Mountains. In September 2015, the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) approved an extension to the mine operations that allowed the mine to discharge large amounts of mine water into the river system that forms part of Sydney’s drinking water catchment.

The PAC’s approval allowed Centennial Coal to extract 4.5 million tonnes of coal from the Springvale mine every year for a further 13 years. Millions of litres of highly saline mine water was permitted to be discharged every day into the Coxs River, which flows into Lake Burragorang, Sydney’s major drinking water reservoir. Water discharged from the mine also contains nitrates, phosphates, zinc, nickel and other contaminants.

Following the PAC approval, on behalf of 4nature Inc, EDO NSW launched landmark legal action against the owners of the mine (Centennial Springvale Pty Limited and Springvale SK Kores Pty Limited) and the Minister for Planning in the NSW Land and Environment Court. The case argued that the approval was unlawful because the PAC could not be satisfied the development will have a ‘neutral or beneficial’ effect on water quality in the catchment – a standard introduced by the NSW Government in 2009 specifically to protect Sydney’s drinking water catchment.

The NSW Land and Environment Court found the PAC’s approval was lawful, and that the extension could proceed. However, 4nature appealed that decision in the Court of Appeal. The challenge was successful, with the Court overturning the Land and Environment Court’s decision and declaring that the PAC’s approval was in fact unlawful. A further hearing will be required to consider the orders appropriate to resolve the proceedings.

This was the first case to test laws passed in 2009 that were introduced to protect Sydney’s drinking water catchment. Under those laws, a development cannot be approved unless the consent authority is satisfied that the development will have a ‘neutral or beneficial’ effect on water quality.

EDO NSW is grateful to barristers Richard Lancaster SC and Nicholas Kelly for their assistance in this matter.

To stay up to date with this case and our other cases, sign up to our weekly eBulletin.

Protections for water too fluid?, EDO NSW blog 22 February 2017.

Link to this case summary.

Memorial Dedicated To Staff On World Ranger Day

Monday, July 31st, 2017: The Hon. Gabrielle Upton, Minister for the Environment
The NSW Government has dedicated a memorial to National Parks and Wildlife Service staff who have lost their lives in the line of duty on World Ranger Day, NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said today.

World Ranger Day is observed on the 31 July each year to commemorate the many rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.

Ms Upton said the memorial near Govetts Leap in the Blue Mountains National Park acknowledged 10 men and women since 1978 who have lost their lives while doing their job protecting the state’s conservation areas.

“Caring for NSW’s national parks and reserves is no ordinary job. Our rangers and staff are extraordinary people,” Ms Upton said.

“They make a difference every day to the conservation and enjoyment of national parks. The work they do is important, rewarding, but also sometimes dangerous.

“Today is about taking a moment to say thank you for the contribution these men and women made to our community and to our State’s conservation.”

Photos courtesy Pittwater's Julie Hegarty, a Member of the National Park and Wildlife Advisory Council:

"I was fortunate to be a special guest at the NPWS Memorial Dedication at George Phillips Lookout, Blue Mountains National Park, to honour those employees that have lost their lives in the line of duty. A sobering moment standing in 7degree temps in the rain."

A Further $6 Million For 20 Million Trees Available For Community Projects

Media release - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy
Under our 20 Million Trees Program, the Turnbull Government will invest $70 million to plant 20 million trees by 2020. 

Community groups, organisations or individuals can now apply for grants between $20,000 and $100,000 for tree planting projects that will put back threatened bushland and support threatened species.

Priority will be given to projects that target nationally-listed Threatened Ecological Communities. 

Under previous 20 Million Trees funding rounds, Landcare groups and community projects across Australia have planted three million trees. With 13.4 million trees already contracted for planting, today’s announcement will ensure that the 20 million trees election commitment target is met.

The 20 Million Trees Grant Guidelines: Round Three are also now available and applications close on 15 August 2017.

The 20 Million Trees initiative is an important part of the Turnbull Government’s National Landcare Program.

More information is available at

Applications will be accepted from eligible individuals, landholders, community groups, Indigenous groups, non-government organisations and state, territory and local government agencies.

Projects may occur on public and private land; in urban, peri urban and regional areas across Australia.

There is no limit to the number of applications applicants can submit. Each application will be for a single 20 Million Trees Project.

Refer to Part 3 of the Guidelines for the eligibility and funding conditions for Applicants, Projects and Activities.

Key dates
Applications open: 19 June 2017
Applications close: 2.00pm AEST (Canberra time) Tuesday 15 August 2017

Round Three projects must be prepared to commence before 1 December 2017 and must be able to be completed by:
  • 30 June 2019, for Projects seeking grant funding of $20,000 to $60,000 (GST exclusive); or
  • 30 June 2020, for Projects seeking grant funding of $60,010 to $100,000 (GST exclusive).
Note: Projects will not be able to undertake any planting activities in the final six months of the project period with the exception of planting to make good on any losses. This is necessary for plantings to be sufficiently advanced to allow an accurate final survey to determine the number of trees established at the end of the Project period.

Bird Walks And Talks 2017: PNHA

Come and see and hear some of our fantastic native birds, many of which you'll never see in your garden. Join in a Sunday guided bird walk with Pittwater Natural Heritage Association. All walks  start at 8am and end about 10am.

August 27 Chiltern Track. Meet at gate, off northern of Chiltern Rd Ingleside.
September 17 Irrawong reserve. Meet at corner Irrawong Rd and Epworth Rd.
November 26 Warriewood Wetlands. Meet end of Katoa Close, north Narrabeen. 

Bring binoculars if possible. Drink, hat and comfortable shoes.
More information contact or 
Ph Kerry on 0402 605 721.

You don't need to book but if we know you're coming we'll watch out for you. Call if in doubt about weather as we won't go out if it's raining.

Petition: Rescind Adani's Unlimited Water License And Support Aussie Farmers!

As Queensland farmers, water is crucial for our livelihoods. As our climate gets hotter and drier, our water resources are even more precious. We call on the Queensland Premier to rescind the unlimited, free 60-year water license they are proposing to grant to the Adani coal mine.

My name is Angus Emmott and I'm proud to be a third generation grazier from Longreach in outback Queensland. I'm committed to a sustainable future for farming in Australia and ask you for your support to protect our precious groundwater. 

In Queensland, the proposed Adani-owned Carmichael coal mine has been granted unlimited access to groundwater. The mine, the biggest of nine proposed for the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton, is expected to draw 26 million litres of water per day from its pits. Over its life this mine alone would total 355 billion litres of water and modelling already demonstrates that 2 springs will be shut down.

As farmers we are angry about the special deal struck by the Queensland government to give Adani free water for its proposed coal mine. I am launching this petition today to call upon Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to support Aussie farmers and to rescind the water licenses that allow Adani access to unlimited water for 60 years.

All over the country, farmers are battling to stop fossil fuel mining and fracking on their land. Nearly 90% of Queensland is currently drought declared, so why are we giving an Indian billionaire access to unlimited groundwater for a new coal mine?

I'm asking all Australians, to stand with me in calling upon the Premier to rescind this approval before irrevocable damage is done to our groundwater systems and the long term sustainability of Queensland agriculture. 

Angus Emmott with Farmers for Climate Action

Take Precautions To Reduce Risk Of Spreading Flu

04 August 2017: NSW Dept. of Health
With reported cases of influenza yet to peak, NSW Health is urging people to take precautions to reduce their risk of getting or spreading the contagious illness.

With 19,483 influenza cases reported this year to 4 August, data from previous seasons suggest a peak is likely in the next fortnight.

The latest NSW Health weekly influenza surveillance report, with data up to 30 July, shows that influenza activity has increased further in the community with multiples strains of the influenza virus circulating.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said people with flu symptoms should take extra care to avoid spreading their infection to family and friends who may be at greater risk of a severe influenza infection.

“Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of used tissues and washing hands thoroughly and often are simple precautions people can take from spreading flu,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“We are seeing high levels of both influenza A and B strains circulating in the community, which places vulnerable people at high risk of catching the influenza and developing severe complications. There have also been 150 outbreaks reported in aged care facilities since the start of the year.”

Dr Sheppeard said people with flu symptoms should also avoid going out unless it’s to see their doctor, and they should stay away from school and work until they have fully recovered.

“It is also important to remember that it’s not too late to vaccinate. Winter will be here for another month and we usually see influenza activity continue into September.”

People at high risk of influenza complications, such as elderly people and younger people with chronic conditions, Aboriginal people in certain age groups, and pregnant women, were also strongly advised to have the influenza vaccination to reduce the risk of influenza.

The weekly report, which includes data from last week, shows there was a marked increase in presentations to emergency departments for pneumonia and influenza-like illness state-wide, with 526 people needing to be admitted for pneumonia including 53 critical care admissions in the week ending 30 July. Despite the increased demand, NSW Health is managing the surge in activity.

“During peak times we encourage people to seek advice from their GPs and HealthDirect, a 24 hour helpline that provides immediate health advice on line from registered nurses,” Dr Sheppeard said.

Influenza symptoms include: fever and chills; cough, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose; muscle aches and joint pains; headaches and fatigue; nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

To minimise the risk of developing influenza:
  • ​get vaccinated every year – vaccination is best before winter starts but it’s not too late to be vaccinated
  • wash your hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, and dispose of used tissues
  • ask sick people to stay away until they are well
  • if you are vulnerable to severe influenza see your doctor as soon as influenza symptoms start as early treatment of influenza can help prevent complications.
For more information see the NSW Health Influenza website: 

NSW Parents Not Planting Enough Vegies On Plates

02 August 2017: Health Minister, the hon. Brad Hazzard 
Children are not eating anywhere near enough vegetables and are relying too much on unhealthy snack foods for energy, the latest Chief Health Officer’s Report shows.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant today launched the report, What NSW children eat and drink, which shows that only one in 20 children eats enough vegetables each day.

“One in five children in NSW is overweight or obese so we all need to take a good look at what makes it onto the dinner plate,” Mr Hazzard said.

“A healthy diet sets children up for life – if we support parents to get it right early then they have the best chance possible of heading off potential health, and mental health, illnesses for their children.”

The report surveys eating and drinking habits of children aged five to 15, focusing on fruit and vegetables, treat foods, milk, water and sweetened drinks and fruit drinks.

Half of all kids in NSW eat an unhealthy snack every day and more than 40 per cent eat takeaway at least once a week, which is often high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

However, three in five children eat the recommended amount of fruit and nearly two- thirds drink enough water.

Dr Chant said the survey findings indicate far too many households regard treat foods as diet staples.

“Snacks such as cakes, biscuits and chips are no longer occasional treats – they make up almost 40 per cent of kids’ total daily energy intake,” Dr Chant said.

 “Children should eat about five serves of vegetables a day. We know that diets that are low in vegetables are a risk factor for disease later in life.”

One of the Premier’s Priorities is to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by five percentage points by 2025.

New Chair For Southern NSW LHD Board

03 August 2017: Health Minister, the hon. Brad Hazzard 
​Dr Allan Hawke AC has been appointed Chair of the Board of the Southern NSW Local Health District.

Dr Hawke is a former High Commissioner to New Zealand and Chancellor of the Australian National University.

He spent more than three decades in the Commonwealth Public Service, rising to the rank of Deputy Secretary of the Departments of Defence and Prime Minister and Cabinet, then Secretary of Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, Transport and Regional Services.
“I am very pleased that Dr Hawke has agreed to take up this important role,” Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said. “He brings a wealth of relevant experience, and most significantly, he is a local lad who was born in Queanbeyan, went to school in Queanbeyan, before earning a Bachelor of Science and a PhD at ANU.
“Dr Hawke’s appointment demonstrates that we have listened to the Southern NSW community,” Mr Hazzard said. Dr Hawke’s impressive record in public administration, along with his local knowledge, made him the obvious choice to steer SNSWLHD’s Board in a new direction which will prioritise community involvement and listening to community concerns.
As well as leading 21 major independent reviews for the Federal, ACT, NSW, Northern Territory and Victorian governments, Dr Hawke is Chairman of the Canberra Raiders, a director of Datacom and Lockheed Martin Australia, President of ACT Barnados and a Member of the CEDA (Committee for Economic Development Australia) Board of Governors.
Dr Hawke’s appointment follows the conclusion of Jenny Symon’s four years in the role.
Mr Hazzard said Chief Executive Janet Compton is also leaving her role at Southern NSW Local Health District. Julie Mooney will be acting Chief Executive, effective today. Recruitment will begin immediately to appoint a new chief executive.
“There have obviously been some challenges in the local health area and these changes will provide a clean slate to move forward and rewrite community involvement in the Local Health District, “ Mr Hazzard said.

New Operators Announced For The Transfer Of Supported Accommodation And Respite Services

1 August 2017: NSW Dept. of Family & Community Services
The NSW Government has announced three more providers for supported accommodation and respite services across the state.

The providers are:
  • Life Without Barriers – Central Coast, Nepean Blue Mountains, South Eastern Sydney
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) – Northern Sydney
  • Achieve Australia – Norton Rd SSL and the remaining SSL group homes arising from the Metro Residences redevelopment.
The transfer
To support continuity of care and retain a capable and experienced disability workforce, all staff and residents will transfer to the new provider for their area.

We expect the transfers to start from February 2018.

Details are still being finalised and affected residents will be updated as information becomes available. All services will continue to run as normal now and after the transfer.

Selection process
It was an extensive and competitive selection process to find the right providers to take on the services. They have a long and proud history of delivering accommodation services to people with disability. This is consistent with the key principle that residents and their families, carers or guardians told us was important when selecting new providers.

Previous providers announced
The three providers join those selected earlier this year to operate supported accommodation and respite services in other regions across NSW. These providers are:
  • Northcott
  • House with No Steps
  • LiveBetter Community Services, formerly known as CareWest
  • Hunter Valley Disability Services Limited
  • Mid North Coast Disability Services Limited.
Information and support
FACS will continue to provide affected staff, residents their families and carers with more information leading up to the transfer.

Residents, their families and carers can contact Transfer Connect on toll-free 1800 870 789 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, or

Transfer connect is a new service tailored to supporting people through the transfer process, particularly with questions or concerns relating to their own individual situation.

In addition to Transfer Connect, you can still call 1800 379 284 or for more information.

Information is also available at

New Treatment For Lung And Kidney Cancer On PBS

30 July 2017: The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport
From 1 August, more than 4500 Australians will benefit each year from the listing of a revolutionary new medicine for lung and renal cancer on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Nivolumab (sold as Opdivo®) is used to treat both locally advanced and metastatic stages of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and Stage IV clear cell variant renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

It is a significant new treatment which can extend life and improve quality of life for patients, and it is more effective and safer than current therapies.

And at a cost to Government of around $1.1 billion, it is one of the largest ever listings on the PBS.

Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy that helps make cancer cells more vulnerable to attack by your body’s own immune system.

It activates T cells (white blood cells that help your body fight disease) so that they can attack cancer cells anywhere in your body. 

Nivolumab blocks the activity of a molecule called PD-1, a protein that prevents T cells from recognizing and attacking inflamed tissues and cancer cells.

Nivolumab triggers your immune system’s response to cancer by blocking the PD-1 protein on T cells.

It is very different to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, because it uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

The PBS listing means that patients will pay only a maximum of $38.80 per treatment phase for the medicines, with concessional patients paying just $6.30.

Without subsidy, the medicine would cost a patient more than $130,000 per year.

Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by adding $7 billion worth of medicines to the PBS.

Unlike Labor, we are adding drugs recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee without fear or favour. Labor delayed the listing of seven vital drugs.

The Turnbull Government has a rock solid commitment to Medicare and part of this commitment is ensuring people have access to medicine when they need it. We are continuing to deliver on this commitment.

New Data Shows Widespread Sexual Assault And Sexual Harassment At Australian Universities

Tuesday 1 August 2017: Australian Human Rights Commission
One in five (21%) students were sexually harassed in a university setting in 2016 and 1.6% of students were sexually assaulted in a university setting on at least one occasion in 2015 or 2016, according to a landmark report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities released today by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

“The unavoidable conclusion of the data we have gathered from more than 30,000 university students across all 39 Australian universities is that incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment are occurring at unacceptable rates at Australian universities,” said Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

“We know that sexual assault and sexual harassment have a devastating physical, emotional and psychological impact on individuals. More than 1800 people made a submission to the Commission, sharing their stories about the ways their lives, studies and mental health have been impacted by their experiences.”

The Change the course report comes after years of work by students and advocates, including the Hunting Ground Australia Project who provided seed funding for the project. All 39 universities, through peak body Universities Australia, also supported the Commission in undertaking this work.

The national survey was the largest of its kind ever conducted in Australia. The survey found that sexual assault and sexual harassment are occurring to varying degrees across most areas of university life.

“Almost a third of sexual harassment reported in the survey occurred on university grounds or in teaching spaces, while one in five of those who were sexually assaulted said that this occurred at a university or residence social event,” said Commissioner Jenkins.

“We found that college settings are a particular area of concern, particularly for women who were four times as likely as men to have been sexually assaulted in this setting.”

Across all university settings, the Commission found that women were three times as likely as men to be sexually assaulted in 2015 or 2016 and almost twice as likely to have been sexually harassed in a university setting in 2016.

“While anybody can experience sexual assault or sexual harassment, it is clear from the data that women at university experience these behaviours at disproportionately higher rates than men,” Commissioner Jenkins observed. 

“This adds weight to the body of evidence that highlights disturbing rates of sexual violence against women in Australia.”

Commissioner Jenkins noted that the report also includes important findings on high rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse students.

The Commission’s research revealed that most students who were sexually assaulted or sexually harassed at university in 2015 and 2016 did not make a formal report or complaint to their university.

“Only 6% of students surveyed thought their university was currently doing enough to provide clear direction on sexual harassment procedures and support services,” said Commissioner Jenkins.

“Only 4% thought this was the case in relation to sexual assault.”

Commissioner Jenkins also stressed the importance of ensuring that survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment are given the support they need.

“The evidence is clear that universities need to do more to prevent such abuse from occurring and to build a culture that responds appropriately to these incidents by supporting victims and sanctioning perpetrators.”

The report includes nine recommendations on areas for action and reform – eight of which are directed at universities and one aimed at university colleges.

“The fact that all 39 universities committed to the national survey is a positive indication of their desire to take action in response to this report,” said Commissioner Jenkins.

“By implementing the Commission’s recommendations Australia’s universities can contribute to changing the national culture to one that does not tolerate sexual assault or sexual harassment in any form. I am confident that universities are up to the challenge and I am committed to working with students and universities to assist in this process however I can.”

The survey was delivered by Roy Morgan. The Commission sought and received ethics approval for the national survey from the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of New South Wales.

View Change the course: National report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities on the Australian Human Rights Commission website:

Disability Support For Conferences

2 August 2017: Media Release
The Federal Government will spend $313,000 to help people with disability take part in conferences across the country.

Grants of up to $10,000 have been awarded to 33 organisations under the National Disability Conference Initiative (NDCI).

The Hon Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, said the initiative is an example of the Australian Government’s aim to create inclusive and accessible communities. 

“The National Disability Conference Initiative grants will assist people with disability to participate in conferences about important issues affecting their social participation and overall wellbeing,” Mrs Prentice said.

The grants can be used to assist with the costs of conference fees, accommodation and domestic travel for people with disability and their carers.

Services such as Auslan interpreters live captioning services, hearing loops, note-takers for people who are deaf and hearing impaired, and conference materials in a range of alternative formats such as Braille or larger font can also be covered.

The National Disability Conference Initiative also promotes the principles of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.

Organisations receiving National Disability Conference Initiative funding to support the inclusion of people with disability in conferences during 2017-18 are:

Action for More Independence & Dignity in Accommodation
Albinism Fellowship of Australia
Alzheimer’s Australia VIC
Arts Access Australia
Attendant Care Industry Association (Australia).
Aus Docc
Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability
Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association
Autism Association of Western Australia
Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT)
Belonging Matters
Blind Alliance Australia
Blind Citizens Australia
Brain Injury Australia
Charge Syndrome Association of Australasia
CHI.L.D The Association for Childhood Language and Related Disorders
Children and Young People with Disability Australia
Community Mental Health Australia
Disability Employment Australia
IDEAS Information on Disability Education Awareness Services.
Metabolic Dietary Disorders Association
Motor Neurone Disease Australia
Multiple Sclerosis Australia
National Disability Services
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Society of Australia (Brittle Bones)
People with Disability Australia
People with Multiple Sclerosis (Vic)
Round Table for Information Access for People with Print Disabilities
Sailability New South Wales.
Short Statured People of Australia
Speak Out Association Of Tasmania
The Immune Deficiency Foundation of Australia
Tuberous Sclerosis Australia

Vale Les Murray

Monday, 31 July 2017
by FFA Staff writer
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is saddened to learn of the passing of legendary football broadcaster Les Murray AM who died today after a period of illness.

Murray was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 2003 and was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his services to Football as a radio and television producer, journalist and presenter, and through national and international football organisations.

Born in Hungary in 1945, Les Murray’s early years were spent following the famous Hungarian team of the 1950s. His playing career was interrupted when his family migrated to Australia in 1957. They settled in Sydney where Murray resumed playing with Sydney club St George Budapest. He moved into journalism with the Fairfax Group until 1980 when the opportunity arose to join SBS Television.

In 1984 Murray toured with the national team to China and Europe. He presented regular weekly programs on football for SBS, including acting as compere for major awards nights. Murray was also the author of articles and books on the world game.

FFA Chairman Steven Lowy AM, expressed condolences on behalf of the Australian football community.

“This is a very sad day for football. Few people become synonymous with their sport…but Les was one of those few,” said Lowy.

“He made an immense contribution to football in Australia through his professional work but above all through his passion…..he literally brought the game to millions and connected us to the biggest sport in the world.

“I’ve been seeing his face and hearing his voice since I was a teenager and I am sure I speak for many when I say that football is not going to be quite the same without him around,” concluded Lowy.

FFA CEO David Gallop, in the United States with the Westfield Matildas, said Les Murray had made football accessible to many people who were new to the game. 

“Les turned the term “the world game” into a reality for millions of Australians. He had unmatched passion along with his great friend the late Johnny Warren MBE OAM for what football could be and how to take it there, " said Gallop.  

Football Federation Australia extends its condolences to Les Murray’s partner Maria and his daughters Tania and Natalie.

State Funeral For Les Murray AM

August 1, 2017: Office of The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced a State Funeral for Les Murray AM.

“On behalf of the people of NSW I extend my deepest sympathies to Les Murray’s family, friends and colleagues,” Ms Berejiklian said. 

“Thanks in large part to Les’s tireless and passionate advocacy, football is now one of the most popular sports in the country and part of our mainstream sporting consciousness.

“But Les’s good work was not limited to sport alone. Les, who came to Australia as a refugee from Hungary, was an inspiration to many communities across our multicultural society.

“Les epitomised the post-war generations of migrants who helped make Australia what it is today.

“Les passionately embraced his new life and gave back to his community in spades.”

World First Light Rail Vehicle Arrives In Sydney

August 1, 2017: Office of The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW
The first of a brand new fleet of light rail vehicles has arrived in Sydney from France and was officially unveiled today by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance.

The world first glimpse of the new vehicle in Randwick for the CBD and South East Light Rail marks a significant step towards the new transport system coming to life.

“It is a really exciting day to be standing here with the first of our world-class light rail vehicles and offering the people of NSW a glimpse of this innovative, modern vehicle,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know the travelling public have been patiently waiting for this major milestone.”

Sixty vehicles are heading to Sydney to operate the new light rail system from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford operating as 30 coupled sets, 67 metres in length.

“Sydney is the first city in the world to receive the Citadis X05 vehicle and I am pleased to note they are fully accessible with low-floors, double doors, dedicated areas for wheelchairs and prams and low-level on-board passenger intercoms,” Mr Constance said.

“These trams use four times less energy than an average bus and 10 times less energy than a car.

“The next step will be to begin testing the vehicles along part of the track later in the year, ahead of services starting operation in 2019.”

Each light rail vehicle set can carry up to 450 people, equivalent of up to nine standard buses, meaning less congestion on Sydney’s roads and more reliable travel times.

Currently, more than 50 cities worldwide use global rail transport supplier Alstom’s Citadis light rail vehicles, with the X05 model to be a world first in Sydney.

The CBD and South East Light Rail will provide reliable, high frequency ‘turn up and go’ transport services from Circular Quay and the CBD, to Randwick and Kingsford via Surry Hills, Moore Park and Kensington by early 2019.

Grants Program Update For Arts Organisations 

01 August 2017: Media Release - Australia Council for the Arts
In March 2017, the Minister for the Arts announced the transfer of funding from the Catalyst program delivered by the Department of Communications and the Arts to the Australia Council. The Council has subsequently reviewed eligibility requirements and other changes applied to its grants program since 2015.

Following the transfer of funding from the Council to the Catalyst program in 2015, the Council announced that organisations receiving Four Year Funding would not be eligible to apply for Council’s project grants, as they had access to project funding through Catalyst. In light of the funding changes this year the Council will revert to the original criteria which enables all small to medium arts organisations to access Council’s project funding.

From the October 2017 closing date the revised eligibility arrangements for our grants program will be as follows:
  • Four Year Funded organisations can make one application for project funding per calendar year, subject to the Catalyst restrictions below
Organisations in receipt of Catalyst grants:
  • If your Catalyst project funding concludes after May 2018 it will be counted as one of your applications to the Australia Council for 2017.
  • If your Catalyst project funding concludes after September 2018 it will be counted as one of your applications to the Australia Council for 2018.
Successful applicants can now apply to the subsequent closing date
All other eligibility and application requirements remain the same.

We will review the outcome of these arrangements in the context of the 2018-19 budget and will provide an update in July 2018.

Cracking The Code Of Megapests

August 3rd, 2017: CSIRO

Helicoverpa armigera. Credit: CSIRO
For the first time, researchers from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have mapped the complete genome of two closely related megapests potentially saving the international agricultural community billions of dollars a year.

Led by CSIRO, in collaboration with a team of experts, the researchers identified more than 17,000 protein coding genes in the genomes of the Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa zea (commonly known as the Cotton Bollworm and Corn Earworm, respectively).

They also documented how these genetics have changed overtime.

This level of detail makes it easier for scientists to predict both the caterpillars' weak spots, how they will mutate and even breed plants they will not want to eat.

The bollworm and earworm are the world's greatest caterpillar pests of broad-acre crops, causing in excess of US $5 billion in control costs and damage each year across Asia, Europe, Africa, America and Australia.

The bollworm, which is dominant in Australia, attacks more crops and develops much more resistance to pesticides than its earworm counterpart.

"It is the single most important pest of agriculture in the world, making it humanity's greatest competitor for food and fibre," CSIRO Scientist Dr John Oakeshott said.

"Its genomic arsenal has allowed it to outgun all our known insecticides through the development of resistance, reflecting its name -- armigera which means armed and warlike."

In Brazil the bollworm has been spreading rapidly and there have been cases of of it hybridising with the earworm, posing a real threat that the new and improved "superbug" could spread into the United States.

In the mid-90s CSIRO assisted Australian cotton breeders to incorporate Bt insect resistance genes in their varieties to try and tackle the bollworm.

"Bt cotton" plants dispatch an insecticide from a bacteria -- Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) -- that is toxic to the caterpillar.

In the following 10 years, there was an 80 per cent reduction in the use of chemical pesticides previously required to control bollworms.

However the bollworm soon fought back with a small percentage of them building resistance to BT cotton and scientists introducing further strains of insecticides to manage the problem.

CSIRO Health and Biosecurity Honorary Fellow Dr Karl Gordon said while a combination of BT and some insecticides was working well in Australia, it can be costly and it was important to comprehensive studying the pest themselves to manage the problem world-wide.

"We need the full range of agricultural science," Dr Gordon said.

"Our recent analyses of the complete genome, its adaptations and spread over the years are a huge step forward in combating these megapests."

Identifying pest origins will enable resistance profiling that reflects countries of origin to be included when developing a resistance management strategy, while identifying incursion pathways will improve biosecurity protocols and risk analysis at biosecurity hotspots including national ports.

As part of the research, CSIRO and the team updated a previously developed potential distribution model to highlight the global invasion threat, with emphasis on the risks to the United States.

The findings further provide the first solid foundation for comparative evolutionary and functional genomic studies on related and other lepidopteran pests, many of considerable impact and scientific interest.

Microgrid Construction Begins At Garden Island

1 August 2017:Minister for Defence and Minister for the Environment and Energy- Joint media release
The Government welcomes the commencement of construction of an integrated solar and battery storage microgrid at HMAS Stirling, by Carnegie Clean Energy.

Carnegie’s operations on Garden Island have been made possible through $28.5 million in combined grant funding provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Carnegie are pioneers in the renewable energy industry. Their 240kW CETO 5 wave energy units, built and operated on Garden Island between 2012 and 2016, was the world’s first commercial-scale wave array to be connected to a grid.

The company will now build a 2MW solar PV and battery microgrid at Garden Island, which is located 61 kilometres south of Perth.

This facility, in conjunction with the desalination plant already built by Carnegie on the island, will supply power and water to the naval base.

Defence is committed to implementing programs to improve energy efficiency and resilience, reducing costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This project will integrate with the existing Defence power infrastructure to increase the energy resilience of the base.

The potential remains for the microgrid to be connected to a wave energy resource in the future.

The Government continues to support the work of Carnegie and we look forward to seeing how this project will inform Carnegie’s ability to provide energy security solutions at island locations in the future.

Banks To Overhaul Consumer Credit Insurance Sales Processes

Tuesday 1 August 2017
ASIC has brought together representatives from the banking industry and consumer advocates to improve outcomes for consumer credit insurance, with the establishment of a Consumer Credit Insurance (CCI) Working Group.

The CCI Working Group will progress a range of reforms, including a deferred-sales model for CCI sold with credit cards over the phone and in branches.

CCI is a type of add-on insurance sold with credit cards, personal loans, home loans and car loans. It is promoted to borrowers to help them meet their repayments if they lose their job, become sick or injured, or die. However, CCI has long been associated with poor consumer outcomes in Australia and overseas, including consumers being unaware that they have purchased CCI and consumers being ineligible to make a claim on their CCI policy. Compared with other common insurance products (such as car and home insurance), consumers can receive very little back in claims compared to what they pay in CCI premiums.

The establishment of the CCI Working Group comes off the back of extensive work by ASIC in relation to CCI, including audits of eight Australian banks following systemic illegal conduct in the United States by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (refer: 17-254MR), and our work in relation to add-on insurance products (including CCI) sold through car dealerships.

Following discussions with ASIC, the banks have now committed to a range of measures to  improve consumer outcomes in relation to CCI. Significantly, this includes a deferred-sales model for CCI sold with credit cards over the phone and in branches. This will mean that consumers cannot be sold a CCI policy for their credit card until at least four days after they have applied for their credit card over the phone or in a branch. This reduces the risk that a consumer will feel pressured to purchase the CCI product, or purchases a CCI product that does not meet their needs.

In addition, the CCI Working Group will identify improvements that will be made to banks’ sales practices for CCI on credit cards sold online, and with other loan products in all sales channels. For example, the banks have committed to strengthening their processes for obtaining express consent from customers who purchase CCI and to provide improved disclosure about the cost and duration of the policy.

ASIC welcomes these steps to improve consumer outcomes and ensure that consumers are able to make an informed decision when being offered CCI. ASIC will monitor the effectiveness of the changes to assess if further reforms are required, including through metrics that indicate the value being provided to consumers by CCI products .

The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) will incorporate these measures into the revised Code of Banking Practice and will accelerate their introduction so that they commence in the first half of 2018 and well before the new code is fully in place.

'Consumers should be confident that when they sign up for consumer credit insurance, they know what it is and that it suits their needs,' ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said.

'We welcome industry's commitment to improve their sales practices and look forward to working with industry and consumer advocates on these initiatives.'

In addition to our work on add-on insurance (including CCI) sold through car dealerships, ASIC has commenced surveillances into past CCI practices by banks.

'Our last major consumer credit insurance review in 2011 put forward a range of recommendations in relation to disclosure, staff training and compliance monitoring,' Mr Kell said.

'We will examine how the banks addressed those recommendations as well as if further changes are needed to ensure better outcomes for consumers. If we find instances of mis-selling, we will take further action.'

The CCI Working Group includes representatives from ASIC, the ABA, banks and consumer advocacy groups.

The CCI Working Group met for the first time on 27 July 2017 and is tasked with determining:
  • how a deferred-sales model for CCI sold with credit cards over the phone and in branches will work
  • what measures need to be implemented for CCI sold with credit cards over the Internet
  • other measures to promote good consumer outcomes (including well informed decision making) for CCI sold with credit cards and other loan products; and
  • the data necessary to ensure that the success of these reforms can be monitored (such as data on complaints, claims performance and cancellations).
A deferred-sales model is where the sale of the add-on insurance is separated (usually by at least a few days) from the sale of the underlying credit product (such as a credit card or car loan).

CCI sold with credit cards accounts for the majority of CCI sales by banks. While the forthcoming deferred-sales model will not apply to CCI sold on-line, or with home loans and personal loans, other measures will be introduced to promote good consumer outcomes in these areas. Importantly, the success of these measures will be monitored by ASIC to determine if further reforms are required.

In 2016, ASIC released three reports covering its review of the sale of add-on insurance through car dealerships, which found that the insurance is expensive, of poor value and provides consumers very little or no benefit (REP 470, REP 471, REP 492). ASIC will shortly release a consultation paper to consult on proposals in relation to add-on insurance products sold through car dealerships, including a deferred-sales model for this channel.

In October 2011, ASIC issued Report 256 Consumer credit insurance: A review of sales practices by authorised deposit taking institutions (REP 256 ) which included a number of recommendations by ASIC, after the review found a number of deficiencies in the areas of sales practices, disclosure, training programs and monitoring. 

ASIC's MoneySmart website has information on consumer credit insurance for consumers.

$40 Million For Dementia Research Projects

01 August 2017: Media Release - Office of the Hon Greg Hunt MP 
Minister for Health and Minister for Sport
The Turnbull Government is allocating more than $40 million to medical research projects which will improve the lives of Australians fighting dementia.

Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and we must do everything we can to investigate and the causes and effects of this terrible disease.

People with dementia and their carers helped set the priorities for these research projects and contributed to the expert review which picked the successful grants.

The 45 projects receiving funding are critical to addressing this growing health issue and in accelerating our fight to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2017, there are estimated to be 413,106 Australians living with dementia and by 2025 this number is expected to increase to 536,000.[2]

This is not just an Australian issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognises dementia as a global public health priority.

Dementia is more likely to occur amongst Aboriginal people and over 8 per cent of the proposed funding has a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research.

One of the projects led by Dr Jamie Bryant at the University of Newcastle, and will look at improving timely diagnosis and provision of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with dementia.

Over $1.2 million will go into support, identification and improved services for indigenous people living with dementia, led by Dr Bryant’s team, in close collaboration with Aboriginal Health Services.

Investigating ways in which dementia and diabetes are linked as well as considering prevention of both will be a key part of Dr Ryusuke Takech’s project based at Curtin University.

Finding ways to improve sleep as a way of reducing dementia will be a project led by Dr Craig Phillips from the University of Sydney.

They will explore the pathophysiological mechanisms that link disturbed sleep and circadian rhythm with cognitive impairment and dementia.

This research will investigate how circadian disruption in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea and mild cognitive impairment can affect the body and brain vascular function.

These projects will be administered by the Commonwealth’s peak research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council.

A full list of grant recipients is available on the NHMRC website:

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 3303.0)  2 The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling NATSEM (2016) Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056

Champions! Australia Wins Tournament Of Nations

Friday, 4 August 2017
by Staff Writer of Westfield Matildas
Another dazzling display from the Westfield Matildas has seen them take out the inaugural Tournament of Champions following a 6-1 demolition of Brazil in California on Friday morning (AEST).

Despite going behind early, Australia’s speed, movement and technical quality shone through as they tore the South American heavyweights apart.
After earlier wins over USA and Japan, the emphatic victory made it a perfect three-from-three at the tournament for Alen Stajcic’s side to claim the title, their first piece of silverware since their 2010 AFC Asian Cup triumph.

Australia’s dominant display not only means they inflicted Brazil’s heaviest defeat since a 6-0 loss to the USA in 1999 but also exacts some revenge for the defeat to them at last year’s Rio Olympic Games.

The win will also give the Westfield Matildas a huge psychological advantage heading into their two-game home series against Brazil next month.

The passing of Australian football broadcasting great Les Murray inspired the Westfield Matildas in their 6-1 thrashing of Brazil in the USA, it’s been revealed.

Star striker Lisa De Vanna revealed the death this week of the immensely popular broadcaster struck a chord with the Australian women, as they prepared to face the South Americans in California on Friday (AEST) in the Tournament of Nations. 

“Today was emotional,” De Vanna told AAP’s Ben McKay (@benmackey) after the win.

“Staj [coach Alen Stajcic] usually puts different things in team meetings and today it was all about Les.

“You could tell in Staj’s voice how much he and [fellow SBS commentator] Johnny Warren meant to him and the game.

“For obviously Polks [Clare Polkinghorne] and Lydia [Williams] who are senior players, we obviously knew all about his legacy and what this man fought for.

“Just like we are fighting to be the best team, to be recognised and to lift the game and the women’s game in Australia."

De Vanna was one of the keys to the romp against the Brazilians, scoring twice and proving a constant menace alongside Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord. 
She is now the all-time leading goalscorer in the Matildas with 42 goals, one ahead of the great Kate Gill. 

“Les was a pioneer. Staj laid out how he was like us women, fighting to show what we can do. And for Australia.
“A lot of the girls took that advice onto the field and it showed.
“To go out and score six goals, it was a bit of a dedication to Les," De Vanna added. 

The NSW Government has confirmed there will be a state funeral for Les Murray.

Fresh from a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Australia, Brazil have the opportunity for instant revenge when they visit our shores next month.
The Westfield Matildas will host Brazil in a two-match series in September.
On Saturday September 16, the two will clash at Pepper Stadium in Penrith at 3pm.
Three days later on Tuesday September 19, they’ll lock horns again at Newcastle International Sports Centre from 7.30pm.
The stands are certain to be packed with fans of Australia’s latest sporting sensations!

Mawson’s Huskies Make It Onto The Map

2nd August 2017: Australian Antarctic Division, Dept. of Environment and Energy, Australian Government
The huskies used in early Antarctic exploration are being immortalised with their names bestowed on a variety of prominent landmarks across the icy continent.

The Australian Antarctic Division Place Names Committee today announced 26 islands, rocks and reefs are being named after the beloved dogs which played a critical role in Australia’s heroic era of exploration a century ago.

Committee Chair, Gillian Slocum, said the huskies served alongside Sir Douglas Mawson and his men.

A husky dog from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) taken at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay. (Photo: Frank Hurley)

“The dogs were used for expedition transport, pulling sleds laden with supplies, as well as providing companionship for the men,” Ms Slocum said.

“While some of the dogs returned to Australia, others sadly perished in the harsh conditions.”

A number of features near Cape Denison, where Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911–1914 was based, have been named after the huskies.

“Given their important contribution to Antarctic exploration, it is appropriate to name Antarctic landmarks in their honour with the most prominent features named after the most important dogs.”

“Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen gifted Mawson a husky named Lassesen, in honour of the dog that was with him when he reached the South Pole in 1911. Lassesen Island in the Mackellar Islands is named after Mawson’s dog.

“Pavlova Island, Ginger Reef and Devil Rock were all four-legged members of the AAE. Pavlova was named after the famed Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, who was a friend of Belgrave Ninnis who cared for the dogs during the expedition.

“Ninnis later died during the ill-fated Far Eastern Party sledging journey, when he and six of the party’s best dogs, as well as most of the supplies, fell through a crevasse.”

Other huskies named after royalty, explorers, sporting champions, singers, comedians and Greek mythology lend their names to features such as Mary Island, Caruso Rock, Jeffries Rock and Franklin Reef.

Ms Slocum said the latitude and longitude of each feature is confirmed when they are named.

“The approved name, coordinates and a narrative describing the feature are recorded in the Australian Antarctic Gazetteer and Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica.

“Accurate names and positions are critical for scientific research and operations in Antarctica and satellite imagery is allowing us to better identify islands which we may have previously been unsure whether a feature was an island or iceberg,” she said.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s Place Names Committee oversees the naming of features in the Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard Island and McDonald Islands and territorial seas.

The Australian Antarctic Gazetteer records all the Australian Antarctic place names.

Mackellar Islands at Cape Denison (Photo: Dean Lewins)

Sir Douglas Mawson's Huskies (File Footage)

Summer Scholarships At National Library Of Australia

Applications for 2018 Summer Scholarships open on 31 July 2017 and will close 30 September 2017.

We offer annual summer scholarships to support younger scholars undertaking postgraduate research requiring special access to the Library’s collections. These scholarships are made possible through the generosity of the family of the late Norman McCann (a former National Library Council Member), and of John and Heather Seymour. 

Preference for Norman McCann Scholarships will be given to those working in the disciplines of Australian history, Australian literature, librarianship, archives administration or museum studies. Preference for Seymour Scholarships will be for those undertaking biographical research.

The scholarships are tenable for a period of six weeks commencing in the second week of January each year. Scholars have privileged access to the Library’s materials and facilities, as well as sustained interaction with many of its staff.

Who can apply?
The scholarships are open to students who have commenced PhD study and are under the age of thirty at 31 December in the year of their application (note: age limit is a condition requested by the donors). Applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent residency. Preference will be given to applicants who would otherwise find it difficult to use the Library’s collections for reasons such as geographic distance from Canberra.

In selecting scholars the National Library of Australia Fellowships Advisory Committee will consider:

  • an applicant's academic potential and capacity for research
  • the value and quality of the proposed research at the Library to the applicant's academic progress
  • the relevance of the National Library's collections for the proposed research
Instructions for applicants
  • Register as an applicant
  • You can only submit your application online. Instructions are provided during the application process.
  • After you have submitted an application, you will receive a confirmation email. A reference number and a copy of your application will be attached to the email.
  • You are required to attach to your application a PDF copy of a certified transcript of your academic record and a PDF copy of a recently completed piece of research writing (eg a thesis chapter).
  • You must nominate two referees, with their current contact details. The National Library will directly contact your referees but it is your responsibility to provide referees with a copy of your application.
  • Applications close on 30 September 2017.
What assistance is offered?
Scholarship holders will receive an honorarium of $300 per week plus twin share accommodation with breakfast included, at University House at the ANU for the six-week duration of the scholarship. A return economy class air fare from the scholarship holder's home within Australia will also be provided.

Fellowships and scholarships

NFSA Calls On Music And History Buffs To Have Their Say!

August 3rd, 2017
To celebrate 10 years of Sounds of Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) is calling upon music lovers and history buffs to suggest this year’s additions for the prestigious honour list.

Since launching in 2007, more than 100 sounds have been added to the Sounds of Australia registry.  Each recording has been chosen for its relevance to our national identity, from definitive rock ballad’s like Cold Chisel’s Khe Sanh to iconic jingles like the 1938 Aeroplane Jelly Song.

Now, it’s time for Australians to have their say on what’s missing. Is there a power ballad so awesome it needs to be preserved for eternity? A famous speech or radio program that’s been overlooked? With nominations for 2017 open until midnight on Sunday 13 August, this is your chance to do right by your favourite classics.

Members of the public are invited to nominate up to three sounds for consideration. They can be popular songs, jingles, famous speeches, radio broadcasts or any other sound recordings. The only criteria for eligibility is that the recordings are Australian and more than 10 years old. The current list, which can be viewed here, even includes records of extinct Indigenous languages.

Fans of particular singers, bands or shows are encouraged to share their top picks and gather support on social media using the hashtag #SoundsOfAustralia.

For anyone with a fondness for music released as recently as 2007, this means that songs such as Silverchair’s ‘Straight Lines’ and Thirsty Merc’s ‘20 Good Reasons’ are now eligible for nomination.

The public nominations will be reviewed by a panel of industry experts, who will then make a final selection of ten sounds to be added to the Sounds of Australia.

Sounds that are selected will be preserved by the NFSA for years to come, giving future generations the chance to discover and enjoy the recordings.

Nominations can be submitted on the NFSA website or on social media. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have your favourite iconic sound recognised and celebrated.

Example: in 2016 Island Home by Christine Anu made the list!

Christine Anu My Island Home

The song “My Island Home”, was originally written and composed in 1987 by the Wurrumpi band. The song was written about George Rrurrambu who fronted the Wurrumpi Band. 

The original song starts off with the sound of water hitting a tinny. The sound itself isn’t actually water but a small group of instruments imitating the sound, e.g. guitar and drums. The sound is played at the beginning of the song because it signifies aboriginal culture and being on a boat, spear fishing, is part of aboriginal tradition. It also relates to the song being about home being an island.

Warumpi Band - My Island Home 1988

Sometimes it is forgotten that the Warumpis wrote the alternative Australian Anthem "My Island Home", although it is actually about Elcho, a small island in Arnhem Land, Australia.

Original lineup was: George Burarrwanga (known in life as George Rrurrambu & George Djilangya), the Butcher brothers and Neil Murray. Sadly George died of lung cancer in 2006. 

We recently lost another Elcho Island Artist, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu:

Vale Dr G Yunupingu

27 July 2017
I was saddened to hear of the passing of prominent Indigenous music artist Dr G Yunupingu.

From the remote community of Galiwinku on Elcho Island, he shared the Yolngu language with the world through his music, bringing to life the deep connection between language and identity.

Dr Yunupingu became the highest-selling Indigenous artist in history, touching the world with his music which was sung in a mix of Yolngu and English.  

The extraordinary work he carried out to support his community and encourage young First Australians to engage in the arts and cultural programs through the G Yunupingu Foundation will continue to inspire and foster great Indigenous artists.

Dr Yunupingu will be remembered for his outstanding musical achievements, his community contributions and his inspiration to artists with disability.

I extend my sincere condolences to his community, family and friends.

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield
Minister for Communications
Minister for the Arts

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.