Inbox and Environment News: Issue 348

February 18 - 24, 2018: Issue 348

WANTED: Volunteers With A Keen Interest In Teaching And Fishing

February 14, 2018
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is calling for people keen on mentoring young people how to fish to join the popular Fishcare Volunteer Program.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Coordinator – Community Programs, Dee Payne, said the program has 250 volunteers State wide and is supported using funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust as part of the NSW Government’s commitment to sustainable and responsible recreational fishing and habitat conservation.

“Fishcare volunteers play a vital role in promoting sustainable recreational fishing and do a terrific job in advising anglers and the general public about the rules and values of responsible fishing,” Ms Payne said.

“Volunteers partake in activities such as fishing workshops, schools visits, field days, fishing competitions, habitat restoration works, etc passing on their knowledge and skills and encouraging values that ensure there will be fish into the future.

“If you have a passion for fish and fishing and you'd like to help protect our aquatic habitat, why not think about becoming a Fishcare Volunteer? We are calling for anyone interested in joining the program to register their interest to complete specialised training, to be held in Sydney on April 14 and 15.

“Applicants from across NSW are encouraged to apply, with travel and accommodation costs covered for the duration of the weekend. The training weekend encompasses both freshwater and saltwater sessions, and isopen to anyone over the age of 18 years of age.

“Volunteers range in age from students to retirees, and come from a great range of backgrounds and it’s expected volunteers will be available to give approximately one day per month to assist the program.

“Our volunteers help create better awareness among anglers and the wider community about fishing issues, and all volunteers are issued with clear identification as well as a distinctive hat, shirt and backpack containing the necessary documentation.”

NSW DPI staff and guest speakers will cover topics on recreational fisheries management, fishing rules, fish conservation, aquatic habitat management, maximising survival of released fish, communication skills and much more. At the end of the weekend participants will receive a statement of attainment by TAFE NSW.

The training is free to complete however places are limited. To apply to become a DPI Fishcare volunteer go

Meeting Of Environment Ministers: National Environmental Management Plan For PFAS

February 16, 2018: Australian Government Dept. of Environment and Energy
The Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers have endorsed Australia’s first PFAS National Environmental Management Plan.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that have been used in applications such as fire-fighting foams, textile treatments for upholstery and clothing, paper products and electroplating.
Some PFAS have been globally identified as chemicals of high concern, particularly due to their environmental persistence and bioaccumulation.

Environment ministers agreed in November 2016 that all jurisdictions have a critical role to play in developing nationally consistent standards for managing environmental contamination by PFAS.

The plan provides valuable guidance around storage, re-use and disposal of contaminated material, which will facilitate proactive decision-making for contaminated site management, including remediation.

The plan recommends practices to assess sites and address contamination found.

The PFAS NEMP includes a program of future work that is expected to address key gaps by mid-2018, as well as other important gaps through longer-term research activities.

Environment Ministers acknowledged the leadership of the Heads of EPAs and the Victorian EPA in delivering the plan.

The PFAS National Environmental Management Plan can be accessed at the following website:

Relief For Farmers, Community As Department Rejects Acland Coal Mine

February 14, 2018: Lock The Gate
Local farmers and community groups have welcomed the decision by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) to reject the Acland Stage 3 coal mine on the Darling Downs.

The decision follows a recommendation by the Land Court last year that an Environmental Authority should not be granted for the mine expansion primarily because of the impacts on groundwater, noise and intergenerational equity. 

Ellie Smith from Lock the Gate Alliance said:

“This is a wonderful day for Acland farmers and residents. They ran the longest legal challenge in the history of the Land Court, and won, and we’re all relieved that decision has been respected by the department.

“The Land Court decision was so significant because it was the first time the Court had recommended outright rejection of a mining project after a contested hearing, whilst on the other hand they have recommended approval 290 times.

“The department has done the right thing and upheld the rule of law in Queensland by rejecting an Environmental Authority for this damaging mine.

“This vindicates everything local people have worked so hard to protect for the last 10 years – rich farming country, groundwater and the health and wellbeing of their families.

“They have suffered health impacts and severe mental distress as a result of the negative impacts of the existing mine and fears about the expansion.

“The important thing now is to end the uncertainty for the community and to permanently protect the Darling Downs from damaging coal mines,” she said.

New Acland Coal last year applied for a judicial review of the Land Court decision, and that is still due to be heard for five days from the 19th March 2018.

20-Year NSW Forest Peace Deal Teeters As Conservation Groups Walk Away

February 16, 2018: NSW Nature Conservation Council
The Berejiklian government is putting threatened forest wildlife and an historic 20-year peace deal at risk by pushing ahead with a sham consultation process designed to lock in unsustainable logging indefinitely.

The NSW Nature Conservation Council and NSW National Parks Association today walked away from stakeholder consultations on the extension of the state’s three Regional Forest Agreements.

Regional Forest Agreements were struck in the late 1990s and early 2000s and delivered a fragile peace in the Forests Wars that had raged for decades through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: “We will not be party to a process that perpetuates the reckless mismanagement our precious forests.

“Koala populations in NSW forests have plummeted over the past 20 years during which these agreements have been in place.

“We insist the government conduct independent scientific reviews that will give us a clear understanding of what harm forestry has done to our threatened wildlife over the past two decades before we decide how our forests will be managed for another generation.”

National Parks Association CEO Alix Goodwin said: “Far from achieving ecologically sustainable forest management, the RFAs have permitted the extensive destruction of public forests because logging under the Agreements is not subject to scrutiny by Commonwealth law.

“As a result, many of our forests are in a worse condition now than when the agreements were struck two decades ago. Carbon stores are decreasing, and populations of forest species are in freefall.

“We have decided to not participate in the current round of stakeholder consultations because the NSW Government has not agreed to a fair, scientifically credible assessment and negotiation process.”

Specifically, the government has refused to:
  • Consider whether the RFAs are a suitable model for forest management.
  • Complete the RFA 10- and 15-year reviews before beginning negotiations on the RFA renewal.
  • Complete a socioeconomic assessment of all land-use options that considers, among other things, climate change impacts and the potential use of forests for carbon capture and storage.
  • Establish a fair process for RFA renewal negotiations, with balanced representation and moderation by a credible, independent third party.
  • Guarantee there would be no pre-emptive decisions (i.e., no new Wood Supply Contracts) before the end of the process.

Regional Forest Agreements (RFA)

Have Your Say: NSW Government
The NSW and Commonwealth Governments are seeking feedback on five-yearly implementation reviews of RFAs and how to extend them for an additional 20-year term.

Consultation will enable a full appraisal of the current RFAs covering the Eden, North East and Southern regions of NSW. It will also drive optimal implementation of new agreements, including what we can learn from our experience over the past 20 years.

The government is committed to working closely with all parties in getting the balance right in the long-term management of their forest resources.

A number of community meetings are planned across the state. Details will be available shortly.

Have your say
Have your say on the extension of RFAs by 12 March 2018.

More Information
Email: Project Leader
Phone: 02 9934 0728

Public Hearing For United Wambo Super Mine Goes Ahead Despite Crucial Lack Of Information

February 08, 2018:Lock the Gate
public hearing for the latest large new coal mine proposed for the Hunter Valley will take place in Singleton today, despite crucial information not being available about the project’s cumulative impact, leading to accusations the Department of Planning is failing in its duty to the public

The United Wambo mine would open a deep new pit at the shuttered United mine and deepen the Wambo mine open cut.

Lock the Gate spokesperson, Georgina Woods, said, “With this new proposal, there would be 25 kilometres of nearly uninterrupted open cuts between Broke and Jerry’s Plains, straddling two major waterways and causing cumulative noise and air pollution.

“The cumulative damage being done to water and biodiversity and the cumulative noise and air pollution from mining is a disgrace but the public hearing is going to be held without the public having access to accurate and impartial information about the damage.”

Lock the Gate Alliance is accusing the Department of Planning of rubber-stamping a biodiversity offsetting stitch up to let the United Wambo mine clear over 200 hectares of a nationally critically endangered woodland despite warnings the ecological community could become extinct in a few decades.

The remnant proposed to be bulldozed for the new mine is in moderate to good condition, which means, according to the Commonwealth Government’s conservation advice it is “critical to the survival” of the community overall.

Lock the Gate estimates there has been cumulative clearing of over 3,000 hectares of the Central Hunter Valley Eucalypt Forest and Woodland for coal mines since 2007.

But last month the Department of Planning recommended the mine proceed because the proponent, a joint venture of Glencore and Peabody Australia, had an adequate offset package to compensate for the loss.

Lock the Gate says that the offset package being proposed by the company is incomplete, and up to a third of the area put forward by the company as compensatory habitat is their own mining pits with the promise they will be rehabilitated into the future.

We have tried to get more information to understand why the Department of Planning is recommending this mine for approval without the assessment being complete but we’ve been stonewalled.

“The Hunter region has lost too much of its bushland already. When we clear their habitat, woodland birds and bats have nowhere to go. Promises of rehabilitation decades into the future cannot compensate for clearing wildlife habitat now.

“The Department of Planning is letting mining companies bulldoze the Hunter Valley into a silent and lifeless landscape. When it comes to critically endangered forests, we can’t afford to lose any more. This mine must not be allowed to proceed.”

Related: No one interested in the Planning and Assessment Commission public hearings. Louise Nichols. Singleton Argus, published February 13, 2018;

"It’s clear the concerned community and environmental groups have no faith in the PAC process despite the Commission being described as being independent. Protesters at the United Wambo Coal Project PAC hearing said all the Commission does is rubber stamp these projects. They argue that despite putting a great deal of work into their submissions nothing ever changes and the mines are simply approved following their recommendation for this to occur by the Department of Planning and Environment."

Independent PAC To Decide On Cabbage Tree Road Sand Quarry Proposal

February 9th, 2018: Departmental Media Release, Department of Planning and Environment
A proposal to build a sand quarry in Williamtown, in the state’s Hunter region, is now before the independent Planning Assessment Commission for a final decision.

A spokesperson from the Department of Planning and Environment said it carefully considered the Cabbage Tree Road Sand Quarry proposal’s potential benefits and the public health issues raised.

"After a rigorous assessment and public consultation, we have found that the project could be approved. The independent Commission will now undertake its own assessment to determine whether the quarry plans will go ahead," the spokesperson said.

"Williamtown Sand Syndicate proposes to extract more than three million tonnes of sand for up to fifteen years to provide the thriving infrastructure and housing construction markets across the local Hunter region and Greater Sydney with building materials. 

"An estimated $16 million would be paid to Port Stephens Council, supporting its work providing local community services. Six permanent quarry jobs would also be generated for uptake by workers from the Hunter.

"Important public health and safety considerations were exhaustively and cautiously assessed, especially public feedback on local contamination from fire-fighting foam chemicals, known as PFAS, previously used at the Williamtown RAAF Base.

"This issue has been of utmost importance to our assessment. We have considered a number of specialist studies and consulted with seven other government agencies to consider any potential impact on the public from the proposed quarry."

The spokesperson added that the Department sought early advice on the proposal from the NSW Government’s Williamtown Contamination Expert Panel. 

"Our assessment findings and recommended conditions are consistent with the panel’s advice, which carefully considered any potential for the proposal to interact with waterborne PFAS contamination in the Williamtown area. 

"The panel advised that the proposal presents low risk with respect to PFAS exposure or contribution to the spread of PFAS, as long as quarry operations remain above the water table.

"The Cabbage Tree Road Sand Quarry plans do not propose to interfere with the groundwater table or local surface water,” the spokesperson said. 

Analysis of maximum groundwater levels since 1997 shows the water table has not reached the level of the proposed quarry. The Department’s recommended conditions restrict the quarry from interfering with the water table by regulating the quarry extraction depth.

The recommended conditions include a Maximum Extraction Depth Report, which must be prepared by the quarry before any digging takes place. The report would be regularly updated to track groundwater levels. There would be continuous monitoring of quarry operations and the water table over the life of the project to ensure distance between them is maintained. 

Independent water sampling considered in the Department’s assessment also shows that bore water at the site does not currently contain any trace of PFAS.

"To make sure any evolving PFAS risks are being monitored at the proposed quarry site, we recommend a condition that would require the company to regularly test bore water for PFAS chemicals," the spokesperson said.

"Another recommended condition requires the company to commission an independent expert to annually review all currently available information about PFAS contamination originating from the Williamtown RAAF base. The appointment of this suitably qualified expert would require approval from our Department, and the review findings would be made publicly available."

In response to submissions from the public and government agencies, Williamtown Sand Syndicate significantly amended its proposal. The company reduced the proposed maximum rate of extraction by 70,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent to taking 2100 trucks off the road per annum. To improve road safety for private vehicles, an emergency avoidance lane was also added to the eastbound lane of Cabbage Tree Road.

The assessment also looked in detail at the proposal’s potential noise and traffic impacts. The Department has recommended conditions to manage these appropriately, such as acceleration and deceleration lanes on Cabbage Tree Road at the quarry’s entrance.

To read the Department’s assessment report visit the NSW Major Projects website webpage

Tasmanian Devil Populations Continue To Decline

February 12, 2018
Ongoing monitoring of wild Tasmanian devils shows that overall population numbers are continuing to decline, due to the presence of devil facial tumour disease. Results of this research -- conducted by the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) in collaboration with staff from the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), San Diego Zoo Global, Toledo Zoo and the University of Tasmania -- were published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology, in a paper titled "Density Trends and Demographic Signals Uncover the Long-term Impact of Transmissible Cancer in Tasmanian Devils."

Tasmanian devils face extinction in the wild because of devil facial tumor disease, a rare, contagious cancer found only in devils. It is transmitted from one animal to another through biting, a common behavior among devils when mating and feeding. The disease kills all infected devils within 6 to 12 months, and there is no known cure or vaccine. Lead author Billie Lazenby, Ph.D., wildlife biologist with the STDP, indicated that research of devil densities at monitoring sites, together with spotlight counts around the state, show that populations have decreased by about 80 percent following the emergence of devil facial tumour disease (DFTD).

"While the number of Tasmanian devils in the wild continues to decline and DFTD is spreading, to date, devils are still found in the wild in Tasmania," she said. "We are now dealing with very small and potentially isolated groups of devils across Tasmania. The ongoing impact of DFTD, which continues to cause high mortality in devils, could make them vulnerable to other threats."

Research further indicates that remaining wild populations are showing slight reproductive changes, possibly in response to the challenges posed by the disease. "Devils in diseased areas are now breeding younger and having more pouch young, which has allowed them to persist at low levels in the wild," said Mathias Tobler, Ph.D., Population Sustainability scientist with San Diego Zoo Global. "This research has shown the structure of the wild devil populations in diseased areas has shifted dramatically, with devils over the age of 2 being very rare, compared to sites before DFTD emerged. Earlier breeding in young devils means that they are contracting DFTD younger, often as 1-year-olds."

Although these reproductive shifts are allowing the populations of this species to maintain, the overall reduction may indicate that the species is at greater risk of extinction due to other factors. "While devils have persisted to date in the wild, such large reductions in their numbers and the change in their age structure means their populations are impacted more by other threats, such as roadkill, bushfire, loss of genetic diversity, variation in food availability caused by drought and changes in the ecosystem as it responds to the loss of devils in the wild," said David Pemberton, Ph.D., STDP program manager and senior author. "Efforts to manage the devils, such as the development of an immunotherapy, are ongoing, but remain in a research-and-development phase."

Tasmanian devils are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. They are native to the island state of Tasmania, which is part of Australia, where they live in forest, woodland and agricultural areas. Tasmanian devils are nocturnal hunters and use their keen senses of smell and hearing to find prey or carrion. They can give off a fierce snarl and high-pitched scream, which can be heard at feeding time, to establish dominance. San Diego Zoo Global is working with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program and zoos and universities in Australia to create disease-free populations of this species, to ensure the species does not go extinct.

Billie T. Lazenby, Mathias W. Tobler, William E. Brown, Clare E. Hawkins, Greg J. Hocking, Fiona Hume, Stewart Huxtable, Philip Iles, Menna E. Jones, Clare Lawrence, Sam Thalmann, Phil Wise, Howel Williams, Samantha Fox, David Pemberton. Density trends and demographic signals uncover the long-term impact of transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13088

First Scientific Expedition To Newly Exposed Antarctic Ecosystem

February 12, 2018
A team of scientists, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), heads to Antarctica this week (14 February) to investigate a mysterious marine ecosystem that's been hidden beneath an Antarctic ice shelf for up to 120,000 years.

The iceberg known as A68, which is four times of London, calved off from the Larsen Ice Shelf in July 2017. The scientists will travel by ship to collect samples from the newly exposed seabed, which covers an area of around 5,818 km2. It is an urgent mission. The ecosystem that's likely been hidden beneath the ice for thousands of years may change as sunlight starts to alter the surface layers of the sea.

The international team, from nine research institutes, leaves Stanley in the Falkland Islands on 21 February to spend 3 weeks in February-March 2018 on board the BAS research ship RRS James Clark Ross. Satellite monitoring is critical for the ship to navigate through the ice-infested waters to reach this remote location.

Marine biologist Dr Katrin Linse from British Antarctic Survey is leading the mission. She says: "The calving of A68 provides us with a unique opportunity study marine life as it responds to a dramatic environmental change. It's important we get there quickly before the undersea environment changes as sunlight enters the water and new species begin to colonise. We've put together a team with a wide range of scientific skills so that we can collect as much information as possible in a short time. It's very exciting."

The team will investigate the area previously under the ice shelf by collecting seafloor animals, microbes, plankton, sediments and water samples using a range of equipment including video cameras and a special sledge pulled along the seafloor to collect tiny animals. They will also record any marine mammals and birds that might have moved into the area. Their findings will provide a picture of what life under the ice shelf was like so changes to the ecosystem can be tracked.

This newly exposed marine area is the first to benefit from an international agreement made in 2016 by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This agreement designates Special Areas for Scientific Study in newly exposed marine areas following the collapse or retreat of ice shelves across the Antarctic Peninsula region. The agreement came following a European Union proposal to CCAMLR, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists.

Professor David Vaughan, Science Director at BAS says: "The calving of A68 offers a new and unprecedented opportunity to establish an interdisciplinary scientific research programme in this climate sensitive region. Now is the time to address fundamental questions about the sustainability of polar continental shelves under climate change.

We need to be bold on this one. Larsen C is a long way south and there's lots of sea ice in the area, but this is important science, so we will try our best to get the team where they need to be."

Prof. Dr. Angelika Brandt from the Marine Zoology department is on board representing the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum. During and after the Larsen-C expedition Brandt and collaborators will focus on biodiversity and assemblage structure assessment of the epi- and suprabenthic peracarid crustaceans and their respective colonisation in this newly developed benthic ecosystem.

While the team mobilises for the expedition, glaciologists and remote sensing specialists continue to monitor the movement of the Larsen C Ice Shelf. In December 2017, a team from University of Leeds worked on the remaining ice shelf to investigate changes in ice structure after the calving event, to be able to predict shelf stability in the future.

Materials provided by Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum.

Promoting The Remediation Of Contaminated Land In NSW

Departmental Media Release - Department of Planning and Environment
The NSW Government is proposing planning policy improvements that will provide greater clarity, guidance and consistency for the remediation of contaminated land.
The Department of Planning and Environment’s Deputy Secretary for Policy, Strategy & Governance, Alison Frame, said the Department is reviewing the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for the remediation of land and the Contaminated Land Planning Guidelines as part of our wider policy review program.
“For almost 20 years, the existing remediation state policy and associated planning guidelines have provided the planning framework for the management of contaminated land in NSW,” Ms Frame said.
“It’s worked well in the past. But as technology improves and community expectations evolve, we need to make sure we have the latest requirements for the remediation of contaminated lands.”
The Department is exhibiting an Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) for a new Remediation of Land SEPP, as well as draft Planning Guidelines and is seeking comment from the community.
It is proposed the new Remediation of Land SEPP will:
  • provide an updated and clearer State-wide planning framework for the remediation of land;
  • require consent authorities to consider the potential for land to be contaminated when determining development applications;
  • clearly list the remediation works that require development consent; and
  • introduce certification and operational requirements for remediation works that can be undertaken without development consent.
The EIE and the draft Planning Guidelines, as well as information on how to provide feedback, is available here.

Stop The Senseless Destruction Of Our Wildlife: Nature Conservation Council (NSW) Taking State Government To Court

By Nature Conservation Council (NSW)
Thousands of possums, quolls, koalas and gliders will be killed each year now that the Coalition government has gutted our tree-clearing laws. Nationals MPs, big agri-business and developers are being given powers to trash our precious woodlands under the new Biodiveristy Conservation Act. This new act will:
  • add extinction pressures to our state's 1000 threatened species;
  • threaten our clean, reliable water supplies;
  • turn our fertile land into wasteland through erosion and salinity; 
  • put landmark trees and bushland at risk; and
  • add further to Australia's carbon pollution.

Biodiversity offsets law will drive extinctions
The use of biodiversity offsetting schemes in NSW is adding extinction pressure to the very species those schemes are supposed to protect, anew report has found.

Biodiversity offsetting lets a developer clear bushland if they buy, protect and improve bushland elsewhere.

In theory, offsetting is supposed to ensure there is no loss in biodiversity values. In practice, offsetting is pushing species to the brink. Read our analysis of offsetting schemes in NSW over the past 10 years.

We are taking the Berejiklian government to court to scrap its destructive land-clearing laws, to defend nature and the rule of law.

More information on the case

Our case seeks to overturn the worst elements of the land-clearing laws on two grounds:
  1. Failure to adequately consider the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development
The Primary Industries Minister and the Environment Minister had a legal duty to consider the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development when making the land-clearing codes. That includes proper consideration of internationally recognised legal principles such as intergenerational equity, the precautionary principle, and conservation of biodiversity. Documents obtained under freedom of information laws suggests the Ministers failed to do so.

      2. Failure of the Primary Industries Minister to obtain                                    concurrence of the Environment Minister

The Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair had a legal duty to obtain the “concurrence” (more simply the agreement) of the Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton before “making” the codes. Documents obtained under freedom of information laws suggest that Ms Upton approved the codes on August 25, one day after Mr Blair had made them on August 24.

If our legal challenge is successful, the government should scrap these bad laws, go back to the drawing board and make new codes that actually protect our threatened species.

We are being represented by public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW. The case was referred to the Land and Environment Court on Friday, November 24, and we are awaiting a hearing date. Check back to this page for updates as they occur.

We need to raise funds to run this court case.

Please donate today to protect nature from unsustainable land clearing. We urgently need your support. 

No Gas Drilling Off Newcastle Petition

Gas company Advent Energy has approval to start seismic exploration for oil and gas off the coast from Newcastle and the Central Coast. 

Seismic exploration creates sonic underwater blasts that puts marine wildlife at risk, including migrating whales, and impacts productive local fishing grounds.

If Advent Energy finds gas, the next step will be a push for an oil and gas field off the coast off Newcastle and the Central Coast. That's a proposition the local community will never accept. 

It’s not worth risking the health of the marine environment, our valuable fisheries resources and the local jobs it sustains for oil and gas exploration where the community will never accept a future gas field. 

Sign the petition to say NO GAS DRILLING OFF NEWCASTLE:
Dear The Premier of NSW.,

I oppose seismic exploration off the coast of Newcastle and the Central Coast and call on your Government to take steps to cancel the existing exploration licence and ban future offshore oil and gas development in NSW. 

1. Seismic exploration has been shown to impact on the hearing and navigation of whales and negatively impact on marine habitat and biodiversity. 

2. Offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling puts at risk local fishing and tourism industries that rely on a healthy oceans and a vibrant marine and coastal environment. 

3. An oil spill off the coast between Sydney and Newcastle could be catastrophic. The risk of oil and gas leaks and spills has been shown around Australia and the world. No matter the quality of regulations, accidents happen. The risk is unacceptable. 

4. NSW should be pursuing clean renewable energy, not more polluting and risk fossil fuel. 

$1 Million In Grants To Support Environmental Research

February 13, 2018: NSW OE&H
Current and future environmental issues will be boosted with grant funding of $1 million now available as the NSW Environmental Trust Environmental Research program opens.

Office of Environment and Heritage Director Grants, Peter Dixon said the funding supports academics and scientific institutions, working in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

"Projects to be funded will use applied research to investigate new knowledge and advanced techniques to answer complex environmental issues," Mr Dixon said.

"For the 2018 grant program, new research priorities have been set and proposals must focus on resource management; wetlands and river systems; landscape management and/or marine, coastal and estuarine ecosystems.

"The funding supports projects preventing environmental harm and forging successful, real-world solutions to solve environmental problems in NSW.

"Individual grants of up to $150,000 are available and I encourage interested researchers to apply.

"Past funding has played a critical role in a variety of projects, from investigating how to integrate Aboriginal Culture into long-term successful engagement in environmental issues, to developing a theoretical model to reduce the environmental impacts of unsorted waste leaving construction sites.

"A total of 146 expressions of interest were received in the last funding round so I anticipate high interest in this round too," Mr Dixon said.

The 2018 Environmental Research program, run by the NSW Environmental Trust, will close on Monday 12 March.

To find out more about the application process visit the Environmental Trust's Environmental Research grants page.

Meeting Of Environment Ministers: Environmental Management Of Industrial Chemicals 

February 16, 2018: Australian Government Dept. of Environment and Energy
Australian environment ministers note the progress on the development of a National Standard for environmental risk management of industrial chemicals. The Commonwealth and states and territories have been working collaboratively, and with close consultation with business and the
community, to develop the National Standard.

The National Standard is an innovative framework that will achieve better protection of the environment and provide a nationally consistent, transparent, predictable and streamlined approach to environmental risk management of industrial chemicals for all Australians.

The Australian Government will commence drafting legislation to establish this framework for protecting the health of our environment and everything living in it.

All jurisdictions will continue to work together and consult broadly during implementation of the National Standard to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes for governments, businesses and the community.

Further information on the National Standard is available at:

Environmental Restoration And Rehabilitation Grants

February 6th, 2018: NSW O&H
The Restoration and Rehabilitation grants program is now open toapplications, and will close on Monday, 26 March 2018

To assist in the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services in NSW.

Individual grants of up to $100,000 with a total of $2,000,000 for community organisations and $2,000,000 for government entities. 

Who can apply
Community groups and organisations, incorporated associations, non-profit organisations, non-commercial cooperatives, Trusts and government entities.

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 date 3: 02/09/2017
Extension of timeframe: 17/08/2017 Titleholder action: 15/10/2017
Extension of timeframe: 05/10/2017 Titleholder action: 31/10/2017
Resubmission of EP: 31/10/2017 NOPSEMA decision: 30/11/2017
Request for further information: 30/11/2017 Titleholder action: 21/12/2017
Acceptance of EP: 10/01/2018 Titleholder action: 20/01/2018Decision notification (PDF 707 KB)
Submission of EP summary 19/01/2018 NOPSEMA decision 29/01/2018
Publication of EP summary 16/02/2018 - (not published/available at this date or yet - 18/2/2018)

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. 

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) regulates all offshore areas in Commonwealth waters, which comprise those areas beyond the first three nautical miles of the territorial sea. This includes the Ashmore and Cartier offshore territories and offshore areas adjacent to all states and the Northern Territory. 

NOPSEMA also regulates all offshore areas in coastal waters where a state or territory has conferred regulatory powers and functions. In jurisdictions where powers to regulate are not conferred, regulatory responsibilities remain with the relevant state or territory. 

Friends Of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment Activities

Bush Regeneration - Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment  
This is a wonderful way to become connected to nature and contribute to the health of the environment.  Over the weeks and months you can see positive changes as you give native species a better chance to thrive.  Wildlife appreciate the improvement in their habitat.

Belrose area - Thursday mornings 
Belrose area - Weekend mornings by arrangement
Contact: Phone or text Conny Harris on 0432 643 295

Wheeler Creek - Wednesday mornings 9-11am
Contact: Phone or text Judith Bennett on 0402 974 105
Or email: Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment :

Spotlight Walk - 8pm Friday March 9
7:30pm - 9:30pm.
Ever wanted to see some of Sydney's Bushland icons - the Red-Crowned Toadlet, Giant Burrowing Frog and Eastern Pygmy Possum? Learn about what wildlife lives after dark and witness these unique creatures in their natural habitat. Meeting point provided upon booking. 
Booking essential:

Narrabeen Lagoon Eco Paddle
1pm Sat Mar 31, 2018
A relaxing 2 to 3 hour afternoon paddle. No previous kayaking experience required, tuition given. BYO boat or a hire kayak can be arranged at cost.
Bookings essential.
Email or call 0417 502 056

Exploratory Walk 
7:30am Sun 11/2/18 
Walk starting from Deep Creek. Allow 5 hours. Only fit walkers. 
Booking essential: Conny 0432 643 295 

Upper Deep Creek Catchment walk 
Sat 28/4/18 
Start 10am at Terrey Hills and allow 3 hours and bring a screwdriver for some voluntary weeding near the end of the track. 
See and identify spectacular Sydney sandstone flora in “autumn” blossom. Carpool required. Bookings essential: Conny Harris 0432 643 295 

Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment transverse 
Sat 19/5/18 
Start 9am - finish 1.30pm.
This walk is a hidden gem. Also lovely scenic views and sometimes rare fauna. Plant ID as we go and a brief lunch break BYO. Carpool back.
Bookings essential: Conny Harris 0432 643 295

Cromer to Oxford Falls 
Sun 10/6/18 
Start 10am from Cromer Rd, allow 4 hrs and bring lunch to see great carvings near Red Hill, fantastic views over Narrabeen Lagoon and as typical for this catchment very different vegetation communities. Plant ID as we go. We will walk down to Oxford Falls and carpool back. Bookings needed: Conny Harris 0432 643 295 

Green Team Beach Cleans 2018!

Hosted by The Green Team
The Green Team is back for 2018! 
It has been estimated that we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050...These beach cleans are aimed at reducing the vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans before they harm marine life. 

Anyone and everyone is welcome! If you would like to come along, please bring a bucket, gloves and hat. Kids of all ages are also welcome! 

The Green Team is a Youth-run, volunteer-based environment initiative from Avalon, Sydney. Keeping our area green and clean.

Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park: 1080 Fox Baiting Program

1080 fox baits (sodium fluoroacetate) will be laid in various locations across Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and Garigal National Park from Thursday 1 February 2018 to Tuesday 31 July 2018.  

The baited areas will contain buried baits or ejector capsules. Do not touch the baits or ejector devices as they are poisonous. 1080 is highly lethal to domestic animals and pet owners are reminded that dogs are not permitted in national parks.

For further information during business hours please contact NPWS Greater Sydney Branch Pest Officer on (02) 9542 0678.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park: Aboriginal Heritage walk, Akuna Bay,
America Bay walking track, Apple Tree picnic area, Bairne walking track,
Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Basin Aboriginal art site, Beechwood Cottage,
Birrawanna walking track, Bobbin Head, Bobbin Head Information Centre
Centre trail, d'Albora Marinas at Akuna Bay, Empire Marina Bobbin Head,
Gibberagong walking track, Great North walk – Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Kalkari Discovery Centre, Mount Colah Station to Pymble Station cycle route, Mount Ku-ring-gai track to Berowra Station Perimeter trail,
Red Hands Cave walking track - Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park,
Resolute picnic area, Salvation loop trail, Sphinx Memorial, Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head loop track, The Basin campground, The Basin picnic area, The Basin track and Mackerel track, The Pavillion picnic shelter, The Station picnic shelter, Topham walking track, Wallaroo walking track, Waratah walking track, West Head lookout, Willunga Trig walking track

Clean Up Australia Day 2018

Community - Sunday 4 March
Schools/Youth Clean Up Day - Friday 2 March
Business Clean Up Day - Tuesday 27 Feb

Clean Up Australia Day - Sunday 4 March.
But Remember - Everyday is Clean Up Day - so you can register an event at any time of the year.

Because when the rubbish is gone, nature can carry on ....
Register your own Clean Up site or  volunteer at a site near you .

You can see our Site Supervisor Checklist for how to go about finding, registering and organising your Clean Up.

Site Supervisors will receive a Clean Up starter kit.

For everything you will need and more Visit:

Scotland Island Is Registered To Participate Once Again! 

This event encourages and inspires thousands of Australians to take to their local park, beach, bushland and streets and really help make a difference to their local environment 

If you would like to help out, either by grabbing a bag and filling it, or helping to supervise activities, please email to put your name on the list. 

Come down to your nearest Wharf to collect a bag between the hours of 9am and 12.00pm.  
Bring gloves, sunscreen, hat, sensible clothes and footwear – and don’t forget to bring some water too!   
Toby and his crew will be out on the Laurel Mae to collect material. 

Coasters Retreat

Meeting Point: Fire Shed
This Clean Up is a recurring one which takes place yearly.

Next Clean Up: March 2nd 2018
End Date: March 4th 2018
Start time: 8:30 AM
End time: 4:30 PM

Site Coordinator Details
Wilma Taylor


Site Address
Pittwater Rd, Bayview NSW
NSW 2104

Meeting Point: Bayview Sea Scouts Hall
This Clean Up is a recurring one which takes place yearly.
Next Clean Up: March 4th 2018
End Date: March 4th 2018
Start time: 9:00 AM
End time: 12:00 AM

Site Coordinator Details
Jenny Hermann

Mona Vale Beach

Site Address
Mona Vale Beach
Mona Vale
NSW 2103

Meeting Point: Mona Vale Beach
Date: March 2nd 2018
Start time: 8:00 AM
End time: 10:00 AM

Site Coordinator Details
Natasha Power


Representing: Upper Northern Beaches Rotary Club
About Our Site
Join us to help clean up, fix up and conserve the environment.

Site Address
Coastal Environment Centre
Narrabeen lagoon, Lake Park Road North Narrabeen 2103
Mona Vale
NSW 2103

Meeting Point: Volunteers will meet at the Coastal Environment Centre and work north towards Warriewood SLSC
This Clean Up is a recurring one which takes place yearly.

Next Clean Up: March 4th 2018
End Date: March 3rd 2019
Start time: 9:30 AM
End time: 11:00 AM

Site Coordinator Details
Michael Baxter

Warriewood Beach And SLSC

Join us to help clean up, fix up and conserve the environment.

Site Address
Narrabeen Park Parade
NSW 2102

Meeting Point: Timber platform on beach next to car park.
This Clean Up is a recurring one which takes place yearly.
Next Clean Up: March 4th 2018
Start time: 09:30 AM
End time: 10:00 AM

Site Coordinator Details
Bruce Kelly

Narrabeen Rock Pool

Site Address
Ocean Street
North Narrabeen
NSW 2101

Meeting Point: Car Park
This Clean Up is a recurring one which takes place yearly.

Next Clean Up: March 4th 2018
Start time: 11:00 AM
End time: 12:00 PM

Site Coordinator Details
Peter Collings

Wimbledon Island, Narrabeen Lagoon

Site Address
Wimbleton Avenue Park
North Narrabeen
NSW 2101

Meeting Point: Park at end of Wimbleton Avenue
This Clean Up is a recurring one which takes place yearly.

Next Clean Up: March 4th 2018
End Date: March 4th 2018
Start time: 9:00 AM
End time: 12:00 PM

Site Coordinator Details
Rick Shires

Bloomfield Colliery Modification 4 Extension

Extension to the current life of mining.
No details up yet
Exhibition Start         02/02/2018
Exhibition End         02/03/2018

Sea Level Rise Accelerating: Acceleration In 25-Year Satellite Sea Level Record

February 12, 2018
Global sea level rise is not cruising along at a steady 3 mm per year, it's accelerating a little every year, like a driver merging onto a highway, according to a powerful new assessment led by CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem. He and his colleagues harnessed 25 years of satellite data to calculate that the rate is increasing by about 0.08 mm/year every year -- which could mean an annual rate of sea level rise of 10 mm/year, or even more, by 2100.

"This acceleration, driven mainly by accelerated melting in Greenland and Antarctica, has the potential to double the total sea level rise by 2100 as compared to projections that assume a constant rate -- to more than 60 cm instead of about 30." said Nerem, who is also a professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. "And this is almost certainly a conservative estimate," he added. "Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years. Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that's not likely."

If the oceans continue to change at this pace, sea level will rise 65cm (26 inches) by 2100 -- enough to cause significant problems for coastal cities, according to the new assessment by Nerem and several colleagues from CU Boulder, the University of South Florida, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Old Dominion University, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The team, driven to understand and better predict Earth's response to a warming world, published their work today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere increase the temperature of air and water, which causes sea level to rise in two ways. First, warmer water expands, and this "thermal expansion" of the oceans has contributed about half of the 7 cm of global mean sea level rise we've seen over the last 25 years, Nerem said. Second, melting land ice flows into the ocean, also increasing sea level across the globe.

These increases were measured using satellite altimeter measurements since 1992, including the U.S./European TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, and Jason-3 satellite missions. But detecting acceleration is challenging, even in such a long record. Episodes like volcanic eruptions can create variability: the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 decreased global mean sea level just before the Topex/Poseidon satellite launch, for example. In addition, global sea level can fluctuate due to climate patterns such as El Niños and La Niñas (the opposing phases of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO) which influence ocean temperature and global precipitation patterns.

So Nerem and his team used climate models to account for the volcanic effects and other datasets to determine the ENSO effects, ultimately uncovering the underlying sea-level rate and acceleration over the last quarter century. They also used data from the GRACE satellite gravity mission to determine that the acceleration is largely being driven by melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica.

The team also used tide gauge data to assess potential errors in the altimeter estimate. "The tide gauge measurements are essential for determining the uncertainty in the GMSL (global mean sea level) acceleration estimate," said co-author Gary Mitchum, USF College of Marine Science. "They provide the only assessments of the satellite instruments from the ground." Others have used tide gauge data to measure GMSL acceleration, but scientists have struggled to pull out other important details from tide-gauge data, such as changes in the last couple of decades due to more active ice sheet melt.

"This study highlights the important role that can be played by satellite records in validating climate model projections," said co-author John Fasullo, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "It also demonstrates the importance of climate models in interpreting satellite records, such as in our work where they allow us to estimate the background effects of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo on global sea level."

Although this research is impactful, the authors consider their findings to be just a first step. The 25-year record is just long enough to provide an initial detection of acceleration -- the results will become more robust as the Jason-3 and subsequent altimetry satellites lengthen the time series.

Ultimately, the research is important because it provides a data-driven assessment of how sea level has been changing, and this assessment largely agrees with projections using independent methods. Future research will focus on refining the results in this study with longer time series, and extending the results to regional sea level, so they can better predict what will happen in your backyard.

R. S. Nerem, B. D. Beckley, J. T. Fasullo, B. D. Hamlington, D. Masters and G. T. Mitchum. Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era. PNAS, 2018 DOI:10.1073/pnas.1717312115

Australia’s Strategy For Nature 2018–2030: Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy And Action Inventory

by Department of Environment and Energy
Draft Revision of Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

On 25 November 2016, Australian, State and Territory Environment Ministers agreed to revise “Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy: 2010 – 2030” based on the findings of a review into the first five years of the Strategy’s implementation.  During 2017 a working group of officials from Australian, state and territory governments, and the Australian Local Government Association has worked together to prepare a revised Strategy. 

The Strategy has been revised to improve its ability to drive change in biodiversity management priorities, and its alignment with Australia's international biodiversity commitments.

Called “Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2018-2030: Australia’s biodiversity conservation strategy and action inventory”, the draft revised Strategy is open for public comment from 15 December 2017 until 16 March 2018. 

Avalon Boomerang Bags 2018

Avalon Boomerang Bags sewing bees will be starting again on Tuesday 30th January 11am-4pm at Sew Craft Cook. 20/14 Polo Ave, Mona Vale. 

Looking forward to catching up with everyone’s holiday news. 

Newcomers especially welcome! Don’t need to know how to sew, we will teach you.

Permaculture Northern Beaches 2018 Events

Manly • Warringah • Pittwater | Sydney
Permaculture Northern Beaches (PNB) is an active local group based on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  Our parent body is  Permaculture Sydney North.

PNB hold monthly permaculture related events on the 4th Thursday of each month at 7:15pm at the  Nelson Heather Community Centre,  Banksia Room, 5 Jacksons Rd, Warriewood

Thursday, February 22, 2018: 7:15pm – 9:00pm
Nellson Heather Comunity centre 
5 Jacksons Road, North Narrabeen
onight's presentation on a  low tox life is for people curious about HOW to and WHY to lower their toxic load, and then helps them do that in a positive, empowered way across home, body, mind and food. Alexx Stuart is a speaker who brings the concept of the Low Tox Life to life through her speaking and workshops across the globe leaving audiences feeling hopeful and positive about detoxing your life. This can range from products you use in your home, bathroom, on your body,  what we eat and what we plant in the garden.

Start the year with a detox!
7:15 Pm at Nelson Heather Centre, Banksia room, 5 Jacksons Road, North Narrabeen.  Entry is by donation, all welcome!!

We also have a swap table for any items from your garden or items to reuse for others.  There is organic teas and coffees available, bring a plate of food to share.

Sunday, March 25, 2018: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
For anyone interested in Seed Saving, join our PNB seed saving afternoon at Bungan Edible Sanctuary.  Every three months,  we meet to exchange seeds, package up excess seeds for distributing at the PNB monthly meeting and share whatever knowledge we have about seeds, seed saving and what grows well in our area. 

This seed workshop will also include a garden tour around Bungun Edible Sanctuary which includes aquaculture, native bees, raised beds, chickens and a lot more.

Bring along seeds to swap that you are pretty sure are open-pollinated (not hybrid) and have been sourced from your own garden, or from somewhere you know OR  bring a plate of food or healthy drinks to share around the table.

Please register for the Seed workshop by emailing  JJ –

Sunday, April 15, 2018: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Learn how to make  Eco-cleaning products such as dish washing liquid, householder cleaning spray, toilet cleaner, and furniture polish. We also make skin care products such as organic body moisturiser, essential oil perfumes and natural tooth powder. 

Today's workshop at Avalon will involve making these products with an experienced team so as you can them make them for your own use at home. Spaces are limited. If you would like to be involved in the team and this workshop at Avalon please  book your place by email to :

We are exposed to over 2,000 chemicals in our homes. For many of us this is the most exposure we will receive in our daily lives. This workshop is an easy and effective way to use non-chemical and non-petroleum based products.

This is part of our Green Home initiative and our focus in February and March for a non-toxic lifestyle made possible by the community grant program from the Northern Beaches Council.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 – Sunday, April 29, 2018: 9:30am

This two-day permaculture course is a great overview of all aspects of permaculture - so as to enable you to take the next steps to incorporate this into your life. Over the weekend we will cover topics from organic gardening, sustainable housing, soil, site analysis for your garden/site, permaculture design, and zoning. You will receive an Introduction to Permaculture certificate and a copy of Bill Mollison's book " Introduction to Permaculture."  The course will be held at the Coastal Environment Centre (CEC) on Pelican Walk, Narrabeen Lagoon.  This will also allow for some practical exercises such as PLANTING A RAISED BED GARDENand NATIVE BEES. You will learn how to include permaculture design in your own home and garden.

The course will be from 09:30 - 4:30 pm on both days. For bookings and information please contact - with the subject heading ITP April 2018.

Teachers for the weekend include Margaret Mossakowska, biologist, and Moss House Sustainability founder and Michelle Sheather, international ecologist, Permaculture Northern Beaches coordination team.

Cost:  $290 for permaculture group members, $330 for non-members, concessions available for students, pensioners, unemployed.

Saturday, May 12, 2018: 10:00am – 1:00pm

There are many scenarios where garden space is minimal including rental properties; apartments with balconies;  townhouses with small courtyards; retirement homes; caravan parks; community garden allotments and many suburban blocks.

This workshop on small space gardening is to help you make the most of the space you have.  You will learn techniques such as stacking, hanging pots, lattices, using narrow niches and wall and fence spaces, portable grow bags, clever plant choices such as dwarf varieties and low maintenance plants that take up minimum space with a high yield. 

Design your garden to optimise your space. Join Angela Penn, kitchen garden teacher at Manly West Primary School; and science teacher for this workshop at Manly Vale Community Garden.

Organised by PNB in cooperation with Backyard in a Box. Bookings are essential inquiries:

Long Reef Walks 2018 Season

If you’d like to join us on a walk please contact me a couple of weeks before the walk date to make a booking. FREE GUIDED WALKS of Long Reef Aquatic Reserve with NSW Department of Industry & Investment Fishcare Volunteers will be held on the following date:

Dates for 2018
Sunday 18 February 2018              4:00pm – 6:00pm
Sunday 18 March 2018                   3:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday 15 April 2018                      1:00pm  – 3:00pm

~ Walks are held subject to weather conditions ~

Bookings are preferred.
Please email Wendy to book:

Phil Colman, who keeps us updated on the Fishcare Volunteer Walks, has said, when sending in these monthly dates for the new season walks;

"I am only too happy to take individuals or small groups of senior school students out when I might be able to help them with their studies, give them possible projects or whatever.  

Keep in mind that I am totally dictated to by tides, but am retired and basically available at any time.  I am not, by the way, looking for payment.  If I can steer someone in the direction of marine study, I’m paid enough!"

You contact Phil via email at: - ph; 9982 6142

Amendments To The Threatened Species List

February 15, 2018: Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy
The Minister has approved the inclusion of 19 species, transfer of 8 species, removal of 2 species and retention of 3 species in their current category in the EPBC Act list of threatened species. He also found 3 species ineligible for listing. The amendments were effective under the EPBC Act on 15 February 2018, except for the Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) which will be effective on 15 March 2018.

Common name                                       Scientific name            Type                  Category
Central Rock-rat                                  Zyzomys pedunculatus         Mammal                  Transfer from Endangered to Critically Endangered
Christmas Island shrew                 Crocidura trichura                 Mammal                  Transfer from Endangered to Critically Endangered
Mountain Pygmy-possum                  Burramys parvus                 Mammal                   Retain as Endangered
Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat          Lasiorhinus krefftii         Mammal                  Transfer from Endangered to Critically Endangered
Numbat                                                  Myrmecobius fasciatus Mammal                   Transfer from Vulnerable to Endangered
Woylie                                                  Bettongia penicillata         Mammal                   Retain as Endangered
Baudin's cockatoo                          Calyptorhynchus baudinii Bird                           Transfer from Vulnerable to Endangered
Crimson Finch (White-bellied) Neochmia phaeton evangelinae Bird                           Transfer from Vulnerable to Endangered
Noisy Scrub-bird                                     Atrichornis clamosus Bird                           Transfer from Vulnerable to Endangered
Princess Parrot                                       Polytelis alexandrae Bird                           Retain as Vulnerable
Western Bristlebird                            Dasyornis longirostris Bird                          Transfer from Vulnerable to Endangered
Pinkeye Mullet                                      Trachystoma petardi Fish                           Not listed (ineligible under any criterion)
Scalloped Hammerhead                                Sphyrna lewini Fish                           Include in Conservation Dependant
Great Hammerhead                                  Sphyrna mokarran Fish                           Not listed (ineligible under any criterion)
Smooth Hammerhead                                    Sphyrna zygaena Fish                           Not listed (ineligible under any criterion)
Nevin's Slider                                                       Lerista nevinae Reptile                   Include in Endangered
Carter's Freshwater Mussel                         Westralunio carteri Invertebrate           Include in Vulnerable
Hairy-fruited Billardiera                                   Marianthus mollis Plant                   Remove from the Endangered category to not listed
Hamersley Lepidium                              Lepidium catapycnon Plant                   Remove from the Vulnerable category to not listed
Lemon Spider-orchid                                   Caladenia luteola Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered
Quindanning Spider-orchid                   Caladenia hopperiana Plant                   Include in Endangered
Many-flowered Commersonia              Commersonia apella Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered
Spider Net Grevillea                          Grevillea thelemanniana Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered
                                                          Austrostipa bronwenae Plant                   Include in Endangered
                                                           Austrostipa jacobsiana Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered
                                                                    Banksia vincentia Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered
                                                              Diplolaena andrewsii Plant                   Include in Endangered
                                            Eremophila glabra subsp. chlorella Plant                   Include in Endangered
                                                              Goodenia arthrotricha Plant                   Include in Endangered
                                                                Leucopogon nitidus Plant                   Include in Endangered
                        Leucopogon sp. Ongerup (A.S. George 16682) Plant                   Include in Vulnerable
                                                                 Marianthus paralius Plant                   Include in Endangered
                                                             Stylidium applanatum Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered
                   Synaphea sp. Pinjarra Plain (A.S. George 17182) Plant                   Include in Endangered
                        Synaphea sp. Serpentine (G.R. Brand 103) Plant                   Include in Critically Endangered

The Minister's Delegate has approved an update to the name of one species in the EPBC Act list of threatened species. This amendment was effective under the EPBC Act on 15 February 2018.

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

The northern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii) is one of three extant species of wombats. It is one of the rarest land mammals in the world and is critically endangered. Its historical range extended across New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland as recently as 100 years ago, but it is now restricted to one place, a 3-km2 range within the 32-km2 Epping Forest National Park in Queensland. In 2003, the total population consisted of 113 individuals, including only around 30 breeding females.[3] In the last census taken in 2013, the estimated population was 196 individuals, with an additional 9 individuals at the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge at Yarran Downs near St. George in southern Queensland. In recent years, the population has experienced a slow but steady increase to an estimated 230 individuals in 2015.

The northern hairy-nosed wombat is nocturnal, living underground in networks of burrows. They avoid coming above ground during harsh weather, as their burrows maintain a constant humidity and temperature. They have been known to share burrows with up to 10 individuals, equally divided by sex. Young are usually born during the wet season, between November and April. When rain is abundant, 50-80% of the females in the population will breed, giving birth to one offspring at a time. Juveniles stay in their mothers' pouches for 8 to 9 months, and are weaned at 12 months of age.

photo of Northern Hairy nosed wombat courtesy macinate:

Funding For Australian-First Queen Bee Program

February 12, 2018: NSW Dept. of Primary Industries (DPI)
A genetic improvement program has received $1.3 million from the NSW Government to breed queen bees with superior honey production, disease resistance and pollination performance.

The program will ensure the sustainability of pollination services across horticulture and cropping.

As part of the program, a new research apiary will be based at Tocal Agricultural College. The apiary will have 250 hives, a honey extraction plant and facilities for the instrumental insemination of bees.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said genetic gains in honey production are estimated to be worth up to $41 million over the next 25 years.

“Currently there is no significant genetic improvement of managed honey bees in Australia and anecdotal evidence suggests the quality of breeder queens is declining,” Mr Blair said.

“Our researchers will now begin to evaluate the suitability of Australian and overseas honey bee populations for a range of production and health-related traits and use these results to produce superior queen bees for commercial breeders.”


Brilliant Landline (ABC) story on Western Australian Jarrah Honey, and related bee program, which commenced 40 years ago; 
Liquid Gold: Australian honey taking on the world - screened Sunday February 11th - still available  to watch here
Western Australia is experiencing a new gold rush, but it has nothing to do with precious metals. It's liquid honey, rich in antimicrobial and other health giving properties – and the rest of the world can’t get enough of it. This was commenced 40 years ago by the WA Dept. of Agiculrture and is part of WA's Better Bees Program:

Better Bees: The Western Australian Bee breeding program

What is Better Bees?
Better Bees WA currently consists of a group of 8 commercial beekeepers. Each individual beekeeper owns and maintains some of the 24 bee lineages that are currently recognized as being part of "The Western Australian Bee Breeding Program". The aim of the honey bee breeding program is to maintain a strong genetic pool of honey bee breeding stock for the WA apiary industry to use in maintaining a healthy population of managed honeybees. Queen bees derived from the Better Bees breeding program are highly sought by beekeepers all over Australia generating income for the beekeepers and queen multipliers. Run through the University of Western Australia

Centre for Integrative Bee Research

The Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) is located on the Crawley campus at the University of Western Australia in Perth. CIBER conducts basic scientific research into honeybee reproduction, immunity and ecology and aligns its work with the needs of industrial and governmental partners. CIBER is specifically dedicated to facilitate interdisciplinary research and offers opportunities for scientists to perform collaborative research on honeybees using methods and approaches from systems biology and evolutionary ecology. The ultimate goal is to better understand how individual molecules and their interplay are responsible for complex biological process such as sexual reproduction or immunity. Research conducted at CIBER is done in close collaboration with the local beekeeping industry, notably the Better Bees of Western Australia bee breeding program. 

Love In The Air As White-Faced Storm Petrel Returns After 56 Years

February 14, 2018
For the first time in over 50 years the rarely seen white-faced storm petrel emerged from an underground burrow at the Five Islands Nature Reserve this week, Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced.

In time for Valentine’s Day, these elusive birds are breeding again on the island off Port Kembla for the first time since 1962.

“These birds have been seen on and off since 2014 but haven’t been able to burrow to make nests on the island because it was covered with weeds,” Ms Upton said.

“The National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) and Friends of Five Islands volunteer group have spent the past four years eradicating weeks from the area and planting more than 12,000 native plants by hand. And it’s paid off!”

The conservation efforts have been rewarded with three adults and three chicks observed in and around burrows this month.

Two of the breeding adults were carefully caught and fitted with approved bands around their legs this week. This will determine if the birds are among others that might return to breed next season.

First banded wfsp in 56 years, photo courtesy NSW OE&H

“This is a fantastic opportunity to show how on-ground conservation efforts are working. Programs like this are an important part of the NSW Government’s commitment to conservation.

“There is not much known about this species so this will contribute enormously to understanding the small, but significant bird,” Ms Upton said.

The NSW Government has committed over $240,000 to the ongoing conservation work at the Five Islands Nature Reserve.

#EpicDuckChallenge Shows We Can Count On Drones

February 13, 2018: University of Adelaide
A few thousand rubber ducks, a group of experienced wildlife spotters and a drone have proven the usefulness and accuracy of drones for wildlife monitoring.

A University of Adelaide study showed that monitoring wildlife using drones is more accurate than traditional counting approaches. This was published today in the British Ecological Society journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

"For a few years now, drones have been used to monitor different animals that can be seen from above, including elephants, seals and nesting birds. But, until now, the accuracy of using drones to count wildlife was unclear," says the study's lead author, Jarrod Hodgson from the University's Environment Institute and School of Biological Sciences.

"We needed to test the technology where we knew the correct answer. We couldn't use wild animals because we could never be sure of the real number of individuals present."

The answer was a few thousand rubber ducks and the #EpicDuckChallenge.

The researchers made fake bird colonies out of the decoy ducks on a beach in Adelaide, Australia. Experienced wildlife spotters challenged those who counted birds from drone imagery to see which group could get closest to the actual number of fake birds.

Conditions on the day were ideal. The ground spotters counted the fake birds using binoculars or telescopes. Meanwhile, a drone was flown over the beach, taking pictures of the birds from the sky at different heights. Citizen scientists then tallied the number of birds they could see in the photos. The drone approach won.

"We found it is more accurate and more precise to have people count birds from the drone imagery than to do it on location," Mr Hodgson says.

But the scientists weren't finished there. Counting birds in photos takes a long time -- and citizen scientists can get tired. So the researchers made a computer algorithm to count the ducks automatically, which yielded results just as good as humans reviewing the imagery.

"With so many animals across the world facing extinction, our need for accurate wildlife data has never been greater," Mr Hodgson says. "Accurate monitoring can detect small changes in animal numbers. That is important because if we had to wait for a big shift in those numbers to notice the decline, it might be too late to conserve a threatened species."

"Our results show that monitoring animals with drones produces better data that we can use to proactively manage wildlife."

Jarrod C. Hodgson, Rowan Mott, Shane M. Baylis, Trung T. Pham, Simon Wotherspoon, Adam D. Kilpatrick, Ramesh Raja Segaran, Ian Reid, Aleks Terauds, Lian Pin Koh. Drones count wildlife more accurately and precisely than humans. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2018; DOI:10.1111/2041-210X.12974

This is a real-life Crested Tern colony -- the species of seabird that was replicated in the experiment. Photo by Jarrod Hodgson

Innovative Restoration Of Coral Reefs Helps Protect Caribbean Islands

February 12, 2018: University of California, Santa Cruz
The catastrophic 2017 hurricane season provided ample demonstrations of the increasing vulnerability of Caribbean populations and infrastructure to natural disasters. Researchers at UC Santa Cruz and the Nature Conservancy have now measured the protective role of coral reefs and field-tested a solution that reduces coastal risks by combining innovative engineering with restoration ecology.

Working in Grenville Bay, Grenada, the researchers showed that degradation of coral reefs is directly linked to shoreline erosion and coastal flooding in parts of the bay. The study, published February 1 in the Journal of Environmental Management, also evaluates one of the first uses of reef restoration as natural infrastructure specifically designed to reduce risks to people and property.

Investigating the link between healthy reefs and shoreline stability, the researchers found that Grenville's healthy reefs keep more than half of the bay's coastline intact by reducing the wave energy arriving on shore. In contrast, severe reef degradation is linked with chronic coastal erosion in the northern section of the bay, where the shoreline is disappearing at a rate of nearly two feet every year.

In an attempt to adapt, villagers have built makeshift barriers with tires and driftwood to slow the erosion threatening their homes, but these efforts have been largely unsuccessful. The reef restoration project was designed to enhance both the ecological functions of natural reef habitat and its protective effects.

"We are able to apply coastal engineering tools and models to support reef science and management. Ours is one of the first studies to directly show with evidence from the field sites and engineering models the impacts of reef loss on shorelines," said lead author Borja Reguero, a researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.

Coastal resilience
The study was part of an innovative coral reef restoration project called At the Water's Edge (AWE), a community-based initiative led by the Nature Conservancy to increase coastal resilience to climate change. The researchers field-tested a reef-based breakwater structure that represents one of the few existing examples of reef restoration designed to increase community resilience and decrease vulnerability. The aim is to facilitate the recovery of the coral reef and to directly reduce coastal erosion and flooding. With support from the German Federal Foreign Office and in partnership with Grenada Fund for Conservation, Grenada Red Cross Society, and community members, the pilot reef-based breakwater structure was formally launched in early January 2015.

"Grenada has been at the front lines of climate change both in impacts and importantly as a leader among small islands and developing states in addressing these problems," said AWE project lead Nealla Frederick.

The reef restoration structure is made from inexpensive and locally-sourced materials and labor, easy to assemble on-site, suitable for high wave energy or hurricane exposure, and specially designed to encourage habitat restoration and enhancement. Live coral fragments from the existing reef were placed onto the structure to encourage natural reef growth. This approach is designed to be replicated in small island communities, which are often the most susceptible to the impacts of climate change.

Pilot structures installed in Grenville Bay, Granada, can provide protection from coastal erosion and help to restore degraded coral reefs. 
(Photo by Tim Calver)

According to coauthor Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at the Nature Conservancy and research professor of ocean sciences at UC Santa Cruz, a growing body of scientific studies and project-based experience shows that coastal habitats such as coral reefs, oyster reefs, mangroves, wetlands, and dunes can offer cost-effective protection from the increasing impacts of climate change. This study builds on that knowledge, highlighting the potential and importance of prioritizing and investing in coastal habitats as effective and cost-effective natural infrastructure, he said. Island nations can meet their adaptation and hazard mitigation goals by investing in nature-based defenses, to significantly increase their coastal resilience and reduce the growing economic and human losses caused by coastal hazards.

"Reef degradation destroys the natural breakwaters for tropical coastlines in the United States and across more than 60 other nations. Our study identifies how severe this problem can be, and we used that information to design an innovative reef restoration solution to help people and nature," Beck said.

Borja G. Reguero, Michael W. Beck, Vera N. Agostini, Philip Kramer, Boze Hancock. Coral reefs for coastal protection: A new methodological approach and engineering case study in Grenada. Journal of Environmental Management, 2018; 210: 146 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.01.024

The 2018 Nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series National Final Set For LIVE Broadcast This Weekend

Surf fans will be able to watch Australia’s best boardriders clubs go toe-to-toe when the 2018 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series Final gets underway on the 17th-18th February at Newcastle Main Beach.

The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series Final will be live on Channel 9’s GO! channel on Sunday 18th February from 1 pm – 5.30pm in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and on a 1-hour delay for Perth 11:00 am- 3: 30 pm. 

Fox Sports More (Channel 507) will broadcast the entire weekend live from 8 am – 6 pm daily.

A host of World Surf League (WSL) and free surf stars will all compete to help their respective clubs in the quest to be crowned Australia’s best.

WSL Women's 2 x World Champion Tyler Wright (Culburra), Nikki van Dijk (Phillip Island), Wade Carmichael (Avoca) Adrian Buchan (Avoca), Connor O’Leary (Elouera) and Keely Andrew (North Shore) are just a few of the many to bolster an already star-studded field of surfers. 

If you miss the live broadcast, be sure to catch all the National Final highlights in a dedicated 30-minute TV show scheduled for April 1st at 1 pm on Channel 9 for Sydney/Brisbane and 1:30 pm for Melbourne/Adelaide and Perth viewers.

Sophia Chapman and  Jackson Carey, both Narrabeen - photos by Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Series V National Final Qualifiers:

nudie Trials Winner

The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle is officially sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL), which allows Australian WSL Championship Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective state qualifying events as well as the national final.
The purpose of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle program is to build the profile and capacity of community boardriders clubs Australia-wide.  In the past four years, Surfing Australia has invested over $600,000 into Surfing Australia affiliated boardriders clubs as part of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle series.
Major sponsors of the 2017/18 series include the naming rights partner nudie and supporting sponsors Oakley, Nikon, Woolworths, Milwaukee, Destination NSW, Newcastle City Council, World Surfaris, World Surf League,, XXXX Summer Bright Larger, Fox Sports, Channel 9, 2XP and Surfing Australia.
To find out more information, please visit


February 18, 2018: by Surfing Australia
Culburra Beach Boardriders Club have taken out the 2018 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle Final in pumping waves at Newcastle Beach. It was a family affair as Mikey and Tyler Wright teamed up with Jordin and Ty Watsonalong with Jordan Dank to take the ultimate bragging rights in Australian Club Surfing.
The club, who only formed in 2014, had been edging closer to a final berth every year at the event and looked primed in 2018 with the addition of current Women’s World Champion Tyler Wrightand Brother Mikey. With only 50 seconds left, Mikey was the hero, finding a mid-range score and making it back to the beach just in time for the final to finish and to hear that the young club had just made history.
“This is incredible to win today – it’s so special,” Wright said. “I knew we were in good hands having Mikey out there at the end, he is such a weapon and could always get the score. Seeing him run up the beach at the end was good, he has so much passion for family and our club and that is what we needed today to get the win. Winning a World Title is obviously one of the greatest achievements, but this is more for the community and family - the hometown. I travel and compete with them in my heart but to be here today with all of them is incredible – these are the people that raised us and I couldn’t be prouder.

Having struggled during the teams division earlier in the day, Culburra were certain they didn’t have a chance of making the final and began to leave Newcastle. With Jordin Watson at the airport and Tyler on the Central Coast, they rushed back to the beach and prepared for the final where they came up against past champions North Narrabeen, event wildcards North Shelly and local favourites Merewether.
“I was down on the Central Coast not long ago and Jordy was at the airport so we were lucky to even make it back,” Wright continued.
Tyler’s younger brother Mikey was the star for the club taking out the skins earlier in the day then finding the winning wave in the final. Mikey couldn’t be prouder of the battle his club put up on the Final Day. Mikey Wright was also awarded the prestigious Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew medal for being the best performer of the event.
“As I was taking off on that wave I heard them say I had 53 seconds,” Mikey Wright said. “I knew I just needed to do two turns, then get up the beach and get into the gate. I ran through the gate and as I took a couple deep breaths I heard the countdown go three, two, one… So I was stoked to make it. Winning as team is an unreal feeling, it’s not just the surfers in the jerseys, but we had supporters, our boardriders club and the whole community back home in Culburra. Our team was almost out, but I had a good morning and made some heats, we love a fight and we never give up. Everyone played their part and I’m really proud of what we did today.”

Culburra club President Ty Watson was the heart and soul on the Final Day, willing his team on, even when it looked like they were gone. His performance was solid and held Culburra in the race along with his brother Jordin and club-man Jordan Dank.
“I can’t believe we won and we didn’t even have Owen (Wright) here,” Watson said. “I spoke to him before the final and he said he was watching and supporting the team. We thought we’d be out of the event because we had a bad heat in the Tag Team yesterday. Half the team had left town, Tyler was in Avoca and my brother was at the airport when we found out that Mikey had won enough Skins heats for us to qualify for the final. Then we came here and won. It’s a great feeling.”
Macy Callaghan added another accolade to her increasingly impressive resume after being awarded the Layne Beachley medal for being the top female performer over the weekend, her second time being awarded this prestigious honour. Callaghan’s club North Shelly Boardriders had to settle for 4th place overall today, but the future surfing star was one of the main reasons they made a final appearance.
“It’s been such a great weekend!” Callaghan said. “Of course it would have been great to win the event, but our club made the final and we had a great time enjoying the event together. It’s a real honour to win this medal, I’ve looked up to Layne my whole life and it’s great to have her here watching me surf. I’m feeling great and really excited about the next couple of events we have coming up.”

Following in exactly the same trajectory to the 2016 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle, North Shelly Boardriders’ Shane Holmes managed to take out the Milwaukee Heavy Duty Award for a barrage of impressive snaps and carves over the course of the event. Holmes claimed a $500 purse as well as a bunch of Milwaukee products for his efforts.

2018 Nude Australian Boardriders Battle Final Leaderboard

1    Culburra BRC - Winner
2    Merewether SRC - Runner-Up    
3    Nth Narrabeen BRC
4    North Shelley BRC
5    Snapper Rocks
6    Torquay BRC
7    Elouera BRC
8    Avoca BRC
9    Burleigh Heads BRC
10    Le Ba BRC
11    Scarborough BRC    
12    North Steyne BRC
13    Ulladulla Boardriders
14    Byron Bay BRC
15    Maroubra United BRC
16    North Shore BRC
17    Point Lookout BRC
18    Phillip Island BRC
19    Frenchmans
20    Coffs Harbour BRC
21    Margaret River BRC
22    Bondi BRC    
23    South Arm BRC

The nudie Australian Boardriders Battle is officially sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL), which allows Australian WSL Championship Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective state qualifying events as well as the national final.
The purpose of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle program is to build the profile and capacity of community boardriders clubs Australia-wide.  In the past four years, Surfing Australia has invested over $600,000 into Surfing Australia affiliated boardriders clubs as part of the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle series.
Major sponsors of the 2017/18 series include the naming rights partner nudie and supporting sponsors Oakley, Nikon, Woolworths, Milwaukee, Destination NSW, Newcastle City Council, World Surfaris, World Surf League,, XXXX Summer Bright Larger, Fox Sports, Channel 9, 2XP and Surfing Australia.
To find out more information, please visit or on the Free WSL App.

Culburra Win - Photo by Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

Banksias: New Australia Post Stamps For Collectors

Release date: 20 February 2018
The genus Banksia is a group of woody evergreens that ranges from prostrate shrubs to upright trees of up to 25 metres, with diverse foliage and large, complex flower heads. Each flower spike can comprise hundreds or even thousands of individual flowers; Banksia grandis, for example, has up to 6,000. Flower colouration ranges over a warm palette: cream, yellow, orange, yellow-green, red, pink and brown. Many species in this genus have a fire-tolerant trunk, from which growth will sprout following a bushfire; the trunks of others are thin-skinned and the species regenerate from seed following a fire.

Of the 173 species in the Banksia genus, all but one (which extends to Papua New Guinea and the Aru Islands) are endemic to Australia. (Until recently, dryandras had been treated as a separate genus to banksias, but new research proves their evolutionary relationship to banksias, raising the species number in this genus from 77.) Although banksias occur in every state and territory, the region of greatest number and diversity is the south-west of Western Australia – the country’s most botanically rich state. Largely coastal, banksias rarely occur in the dry centre of the continent and those species that occur in the east generally do not occur in the west, and vice versa; only B. dentata is common to both sides of the country. The survival of a number of banksias is at risk, including B. cuneata, B. brownii and B. verticillata.

Historically, banksias are significant to Australia. They are among the first floral species collected during Cook’s 1770 journey to Australia, and then scientifically described. The genus takes its name from botanist Joseph Banks, for whom this genus was most important. He and Daniel Solander collected four species at what became known as Botany Bay, during the Endeavour’s voyage. They then collected a fifth species in Queensland, drying, pressing and describing the specimens while artist Sydney Parkinson began watercolour illustrations. Well before the journey of these 18th-century imperial explorers, Aboriginal people had long used the nectar of banksias in their diet.

The stamps
The stamps feature the artwork of celebrated Australian botanical artist Celia Rosser, owner and artist-in-residence at Celia Rosser Gallery in Gippsland. Celia was Monash University’s botanical artist from 1974 to 1999, where she undertook a 25-year project to illustrate Australia’s banksia species. Read Banksias: The artwork of Celia Rosser

“I actually have a banksia named in my honour. It’s perfectly round and there are only two perfectly round species. Someone came into the gallery one day and brought in a specimen that had been cut and divided and joined into a new species. It’s called Banksia rosserae. When a species has an ‘ae’ at the end, it’s feminine, “ii” is masculine. There are only two feminine species, mine and Banksia victoriae, named for Queen Victoria.” Celia Rosser

Celia Elizabeth Rosser, born 1930, is a renowned Australian botanical artist, best known for having illustrated The Banksias, a three-volume series of monographs containing watercolour paintings of every Banksia species.
In 1974 she was appointed University Botanical Artist, and began the project of painting every Banksia species. The project took over 25 years to complete, and resulted in the publication of a three volume monograph entitled The Banksias, with accompanying text by Alex George. Publication of the final volume in 2000 represented the first time that such a large genus has been entirely painted.
In 1977 she was awarded the Linnaean Society of London's Jill Smythies Award for botanical illustration, and in 1995 was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. Monash University awarded her an honorary Master of Science degree in 1981, and an honorary PhD in 1999.
Born Celia Elizabeth Prince in 1930, she began painting Australian wildflowers early in her artistic career. She first began painting Banksias after seeing a Banksia serrata near her home in Orbost, Victoria. Her first exhibition was at Leveson Gallery in Melbourne in 1965, and included three watercolours of Banksia species. Two years later she published Wildflowers of Victoria.
In 1970, Celia was appointed Science Faculty Artist at Monash University. She illustrated Peter Bridgewater's The Saltmarsh Plants of Southern Australia and The Mosses of Southern Australia by George Scott and Ilma Stone.

All illustrations are from the Monash University Collection, provided courtesy of Monash University Museum of Art.

$1 Banksia speciose

B. speciosa (meaning “showy” in Latin) occurs naturally on the south coast of Western Australia, between east Mt Barren to Point Culver. It prefers a habitat of consolidated white-sand dunes, sandplains and tall shrubland. This shrub, which has striking long, triangular-lobed leaves, can reach eight metres in height. Its cream to pale yellow flowers appear throughout the year, though most prolifically in summer and autumn.

$1 Banksia grossa

This small, slow-growing shrub was first described as recently as 1981 by banksia specialist Alex George. It grows to around one metre in height and its name refers to its clustered coarse, linear leaves on short branches. Its flowers are rust to golden-brown in colour, with styles of dark red to purple, and it blooms from March to September. The natural occurrence of this fire-resistant species is limited to around Eneabba and Regans Ford, north of Perth, where it prefers a habitat of shallow grey/white sand over laterite in shrubland.

$1 Banksia coccinea

B. coccinea is a striking species, with its bright red flower heads highlighted by its grey-green oblong foliage. Its grey individual flowers are offset by scarlet styles, and it blooms from June through January. Growing to around eight metres in height, it occurs naturally from Albany to Esperance in Western Australia, preferring a habitat of deep white/grey sand in tall shrubland or low woodland.

$1 Banksia cuneate

Like B. grossa, this species was also first described by Australian botanist and banksia specialist Alex George, this species described in 1971. It has two common names: Matchstick Banksia for its flowers, and Quairading Banksia for the place it was discovered. It is listed “endangered” on the IUCN Red List and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, with less than 2500 mature trees evident in the wild. This smooth-barked shrub grows to a height of around four metres. The flower heads are three to four centimetres wide, with styles that are cream turning pink, with a green pollen presenter, and it blooms from September to December. It occurs around Quairading, Brookton and Cuballing, in Western Australia.

Issue date
20 February 2018
FDI withdrawal date
21 March 2018
4 x $1
Stamp design
Celia Rosser
Product design
Jo Muré
Issue withdrawal date
31 August 2018

Milky Way Ties With Neighbour In Galactic Arms Race

Thursday, 15 February 2018: University of Western Australia and ICRAR
Astronomers have discovered that our nearest big neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy, is roughly the same size as the Milky Way.

It had been thought that Andromeda was two to three times the size of the Milky Way, and that our own galaxy would ultimately be engulfed by our bigger neighbour.

But the latest research, published today, evens the score between the two galaxies.

It found the weight of the Andromeda is 800 billion times heavier than the Sun, on par with the Milky Way.

Astrophysicist Dr Prajwal Kafle, from The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, said the study used a new technique to measure the speed required to escape a galaxy.

“When a rocket is launched into space, it is thrown out with a speed of 11 kilometres per second to overcome the Earth’s gravitational pull,” he said.

“Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is over a trillion times heavier than our tiny planet Earth so to escape its gravitational pull we have to launch with a speed of 550 kilometres per second.

“We used this technique to tie down the mass of Andromeda.”

Dr Kafle said the research suggests scientists previously overestimated the amount of dark matter in the Andromeda galaxy.

“By examining the orbits of high speed stars, we discovered that this galaxy has far less dark matter than previously thought, and only a third of that uncovered in previous observations,” he said.

The Milky Way and Andromeda are two giant spiral galaxies in our local Universe, and light takes a cosmologically tiny two million years to get between them.

With Andromeda no longer considered the Milky Way’s big brother, new simulations are needed to find out what will happen when the two galaxies eventually collide, around ~4.5 billion years from now.

Dr Kafle used a similar technique to revise down the weight of the Milky Way in 2014, and said the latest finding had big implications for our understanding of our nearest galactic neighbours.

“It completely transforms our understanding of the local group,” he said.

“We had thought there was one biggest galaxy and our own Milky Way was slightly smaller but that scenario has now completely changed.

“It’s really exciting that we’ve been able to come up with a new method and suddenly 50 years of collective understanding of the local group has been turned on its head.”

University of Sydney astrophysicist Professor Geraint Lewis said it was exciting to be at a time when the data was getting so good.

“We can put this gravitational arms race to rest,” he said.

The Milky Way and Andromeda prior to the merger. Credit: ICRAR

The Milky Way and Andromeda during the merger—a close up. Credit: ICRAR

Protecting Senior Australians From Superbugs

February 16, 2018: Media Release - The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health
Protecting senior Australians in residential aged care from the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria is the aim of two major research projects announced by the Turnbull Government today.

The rise of so-called “superbug” infections is a challenge for health care professionals, sometimes leaving them with limited or no available treatment options and is an increasing problem worldwide.

Reducing the threat and ensuring people in aged care are as safe as possible is a top priority, with a variety of factors contributing to both a high use of antibiotics and a heightened risk of infection, including from drug-resistant bacteria. 

These include the close living proximity of residents, multiple medical conditions, poor immune systems, poor mobility, and frequent transfer of residents to and from hospitals. 

Unfortunately, in some cases antibiotics have been over used in residential aged care facilities, compounding the risk of resistance developing.

Increasing our understanding of how antimicrobial resistance is transmitted and spread in residential aged care facilities is crucial and is a strategic priority for Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Under its Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance program, the MRFF will provide:
  • $1.4 million to the South Australian Medical Research Institute for a project led by Associate Professor Geraint Rogers which will analyse samples from 400 residents of 10 aged care facilities to determine the different modes of transmission of resistant bacteria and inform future strategies to limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance in residential aged care facilities
  • $1.1 million to a project led by Dr Henrietta Venter of the University of South Australia which will measure the spread of resistant bacteria, including in wastewater, from three residential aged care facilities. This research will inform antimicrobial resistance risk assessments and guide future policy controls to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance to, within and from residential aged care facilities.
Recent data has highlighted the need for improved antimicrobial management in Australian aged care.

Despite some action since the release of Australia’s Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy in 2015, there are still significant gaps in our understanding of antimicrobial resistant organisms in aged care facilities.

This research will help us to understand the spread of infections within aged care homes, and between these facilities, hospitals and other settings.

This will include the importance of visitors to aged care homes following management and medical advice and taking special care to avoid bringing infections into the facilities.

The MRFF is a long term source of funding for research and innovation to improve health outcomes, quality of life and health system sustainability. It is a capital-preserved fund which will reach maturity at $20 billion beyond 2021.

Parliamentary Friends Urged To Help Australians Love Food At Any Age

14 February 2018: COTA Australia Media Release
Leading consumer group for older Australians, COTA Australia, today thanked politicians and renowned cook Maggie Beer for helping shine the spotlight on how we can provide the best possible quality food options for older Australians living in residential aged care services.

COTA co-hosted the event for the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of Ageing and Aged Care – a new forum for advocates of older Australians to speak with MP’s about a range of issues that affect them. This event, held on Valentine’s Day, was ‘Loving Food At Any Age,’ with Ms Beer as the guest speaker.

COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said poor quality food, and lack of real choice of food, is one of the most common areas of complaint by aged care residents or their families.

“Providing good quality food in residential aged care has some challenges – both physical and nutritional.  Menu planning needs to take into account the medical requirements of every resident, their nutritional needs, cultural background and capacity to digest food or even eat,” Mr Yates said.

“In some cases, supplements are necessary to make sure a resident receives the nutrition they need but they should never be an easy or cheap replacement for proper food.

“Aged care providers need to do more than tick the basic dietary boxes. With imagination and effort there’s no reason that people living in residential aged care should forgo the joys of great meals just because people assume they’re too old to care.

“Tonight’s inaugural Parliamentary Friends event on Valentine’s Day is about putting love into food and getting people to think beyond mere sustenance for aged care residents to providing food to which residents look forward.”

Mr Yates said increasing consumer choice in aged care would help lift the standard of food provided by those aged care providers that do not currently prioritise high quality, nutritious food that residents want to eat.

“Some providers are doing an excellent job in providing high quality food options tailored to the specific needs of every resident but others could do much, much better.

“Unfortunately, not everyone can access the providers who are doing the right thing because the current aged care funding system restricts the way aged care beds are allocated.

“The Government can improve the quality of food by giving residents the funding so they can change providers if their food isn’t up to scratch; and allow the best providers to expand in response to consumer demand. 

The current system actually supports the survival of poorer quality providers – its way past time this stopped, as has been repeatedly recommended.

“COTA Australia looks forward to active engagement with the MPs and Senators of the new Parliamentary Friendship Group, which provides a multi-partisan forum for discussions on matters relating to the ageing of Australia’s population and the provision of aged care services in Australia”.

Government Agrees To Medicare Review Recommendations

February 16 2018: Media Release
The Hon Michael Keenan MP
Minister for Human Services
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
The Turnbull Government has agreed or agreed in principle to all 14 recommendations from the Independent Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers.

We are committed to protecting the personal information of the Australian people.

These recommendations will make practical improvements to the security of Medicare numbers, without increasing the administrative burden on health professionals.

The Government engaged extensively with the health sector to inform our response to this review and will continue this consultation throughout the implementation process.

Professor Peter Shergold AC led the review with an expert panel including the President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Michael Gannon represented by Dr Kean Seng Lim, and the President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Bastian Seidel.

The Government will also soon table its response to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Inquiry into ‘the circumstances in which Australians’ personal Medicare information has been compromised and made available for sale illegally on the ‘dark web’.

The Government’s response to the Independent Review is availableHERE

Recommendation 1: It is recommended that the Medicare card be retained as a form of secondary evidence for identity purposes.

Recommendation 2: It is recommended that the Department of Human Services, working with industry and consumer organisations, undertakes a public awareness campaign encouraging individuals to protect their Medicare card details, and reminding organisations that hold that information of their obligation to protect it.

Recommendation 3: It is recommended that as a condition of claiming Medicare benefits on behalf of patients, health professionals should be required to take reasonable steps to confirm the identity of their patients when they are first treated.

Recommendation 4: It is recommended that health professionals should be required to seek the consent of their patients before accessing their Medicare numbers through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) or by telephone.

Recommendation 5: It is recommended that individuals should be able to request the audit log of health professionals who have sought access to their Medicare card number through the HPOS ‘Find a Patient’ service.

Recommendation 6: It is recommended that the Department of Human Services undertake a Privacy Impact Assessment when implementing the Review recommendations, identifying the impact of changes on the privacy of individuals.

Recommendation 7: It is recommended that delegations within HPOS should require renewal every 12 months, with a warning to providers and their delegates three months before the delegation expires.

Recommendation 8: It is recommended that batch requests for Medicare card numbers through HPOS should be more tightly controlled (50 card numbers per batch request, and only one batch request per day), unless healthcare providers apply in writing to the Chief Executive Medicare, demonstrating a clear business need for a higher limit.

Recommendation 9: It is recommended that authentication for HPOS should be moved from Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to the more secure Provider Digital Access (PRODA) expeditiously, with the transition completed within three years.

Recommendation 10: It is recommended that HPOS accounts that have been inactive for a period of six months should be suspended, following a warning to users after three months of inactivity.

Recommendation 11: It is recommended that the process of opening and reactivating a HPOS account should be administratively straightforward.
Recommendation 12: It is recommended that the Terms and Conditions for HPOS, PKI and PRODA should be simplified and presented to users in a form that ensures that they fully appreciate the seriousness of their obligations.

Recommendation 13: It is recommended that, in order to provide greater security and availability, the Department of Human Services should actively encourage health professionals to use HPOS as the primary channel to access or confirm their patients’ Medicare card numbers, and that telephone channels be phased out over the next two years except in exceptional circumstances.

Recommendation 14: It is recommended that, during the phasing down of the telephone channels, conditions for the security check for the release or confirmation of Medicare card information by telephone should be strengthened, with additional security questions having to be answered correctly by health professionals or their delegates.

Brain Scans Show Why People Get Aggressive After A Drink Or Two

February 13, 2018: Springer Media
UNSW scientists measuring blood flow in the brain to better understand why people often become aggressive after drinking alcohol have found that brain areas that temper aggression shut off when people drink.
Researchers have used magnetic resonance imaging scans that measure blood flow in the brain to better understand why people often become aggressive and violent after drinking alcohol.

After only two drinks, the researchers noted changes in the working of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part normally involved in tempering a person's levels of aggression.

The study, led by Associate Professor Thomas Denson of the UNSW School of Psychology, is published in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, which is an official journal of the Psychonomic Society and is published by Springer.

According to most theories, alcohol-related aggression is caused by changes in the prefrontal cortex. However, there is a lack of substantial neuroimaging evidence to substantiate these ideas.

In this study, Denson and his team recruited 50 healthy young men. The participants were either given two drinks containing vodka, or placebo drinks without any alcohol. While lying in an MRI scanner, the participants then had to compete in a task which has regularly been used over the past 50 years to observe levels of aggression in response to provocation.

The functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed the researchers to see which areas of the brain were triggered when the task was performed. They could also compare the difference in scans between participants who had consumed alcohol and those who hadn't.

Being provoked was found to have no influence on participants' neural responses. However, when behaving aggressively, there was a dip in activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brains of those who had consumed alcoholic drinks. This dampening effect was also seen in the areas of the brain that are involved in reward. Also, heightened activity was noted in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with people's memory.

"Although there was an overall dampening effect of alcohol on the prefrontal cortex, even at a low dose of alcohol we observed a significant positive relationship between dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity and alcohol-related aggression," says Denson.

"These regions may support different behaviors, such as peace versus aggression, depending on whether a person is sober or intoxicated."

The results are largely consistent with a growing body of research about the neural basis of aggression, and how it is triggered by changes in the way that the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system and reward-related regions of the brain function. The results of the current study are also consistent with several psychological theories of alcohol-related aggression.

"We encourage future, larger-scale investigations into the neural underpinnings of alcohol-related aggression with stronger doses and clinical samples. Doing so could eventually substantially reduce alcohol-related harm," says Denson.

Choosing Wisely: Avoiding Risky Sedatives In Older Adults

February 12, 2018
They help many people sleep, or feel calmer or less anxious. But in older people, they also double the risk of car crashes, falls and broken hips.

That's why the medications known as benzodiazepines show up on international guidelines as drugs that very few people over the age of 65 should take.

Yet a sizable percentage of adults in that age group still have an active prescription for one, according to new research from three countries that have made a special effort to reduce their use.

Currently, about seven percent of older veterans in the United States have a benzodiazepine prescription, and the numbers are even higher in Canada and Australia, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

There's been a steady decline in all such prescriptions since new guidelines came out, the research shows. And the number of older adults starting on the drugs for the first time has dropped even faster.

But despite these reductions, the researchers say that the continued use of the drugs show much more needs to be done to alert providers, and patients and families, to their hazards and the need to find alternative treatments.

"This downward trend is definitely encouraging, in particular the trend in the new starts for these medications, because the easiest solution is to not start people on them at all," says Donovan Maust, M.D., M.S., an assistant professor of geriatric psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School who worked on the study and has studied the risks of psychoactive drugs on older adults.

He notes that research shows that newer antidepressant medications, and non-drug psychotherapy approaches, have been shown to help ease many of the symptoms that often prompt doctors to prescribe benzodiazepines -- without the risks. Also, research has shown that patients who take a benzodiazepine to calm the effects of acute stress are actually more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

More about the study

An international group of authors including Maust and his colleagues looked at data from older adults treated in three different healthcare systems between 2010 and 2016: the U.S. Veterans Affairs healthcare system; Canada's most populous province, Ontario; and Australia.

In all, the percentage of U.S. veterans over age 65 prescribed a benzodiazepine dropped from 9.2 percent in 2010 to 7.3 percent in 2016, and the percentage newly started on the drugs for the first time dropped from 2.6 percent to 1.7 percent over the same time period.

Maust notes that the veteran population likely has even lower benzodiazepine use than the general U.S. population because of ongoing VA efforts to discourage their use.

Ontario started with much higher prevalence: 18.2 percent of all older adults had a current prescription in 2010, declining to 13.4 percent by 2016. The province also made strides in reducing the percentage who started a prescription each year, from 6 percent to 4.4 percent.

Australia started off with the largest proportion of its over-65 population having a benzodiazepine prescription, at 20.2 percent in 2010. By 2016, that had declined to 16.8 percent. But the number of first-time prescriptions didn't go down much -- from 7 percent to 6.7 percent.

Choosing wisely together
All three countries participate in Choosing Wisely International, an effort supported by the Commonwealth Fund to help countries emulate the Choosing Wisely initiative launched by the American Board of Internal Medicine that now offers American doctors and patients dozens of evidence-based recommendations. Australia and Canada each have their own national initiatives.

In fact, benzodiazepine use by people over age 65 landed in the top 10 of all issues that the Choosing Wisely International group chose to focus attention on.

Jonathan Brett, MBBS, from the University of New South Wales and the study's lead author, notes "this analysis is the first publication of an international collaborative explicitly focused on the measurement of harmful or wasteful care."

Studying the use of the drugs in different countries was tricky because of the nature of data available from each national system, notes Maust, who is a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

In the U.S. VA system, which shares one medical record system, the effort to educate providers about the risks of benzodiazepines in older patients, and to scrutinize prescriptions for them, appears to have borne fruit.

In Ontario and Australia, the oldest patients had the highest rates of existing or new prescriptions, which is how prescribing looks for non-Veteran older adults in the U.S.

Surprisingly, in the VA system, the youngest group of older patients -- those ages 65 to 74 -- had higher benzodiazepine prescription numbers than the oldest veterans.

Since 2012, all benzodiazepines have been listed on the American Geriatrics Society's Beers Criteria list of medications that carry outsize risks for older adults. The U.S. Choosing Wisely recommendations against them came out in 2013. But concerns about their use among older adults have been raised for over 20 years.

"When you consider that, it's disappointing that new use isn't dropping more," says Maust. "We need to bend the curve further, with special focus on those who have never been prescribed these medications before because the greatest risk of fall is in the first few weeks after starting on one of these drugs. And if you don't become a new user, you can't become a chronic user."

Jonathan Brett, Donovan T. Maust, Zach Bouck, Rosalinda V. Ignacio, Graham Mecredy, Eve A. Kerr, Sacha Bhatia, Adam G. Elshaug, Sallie A. Pearson. Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults in the United States, Ontario, and Australia from 2010 to 2016. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15292

Light-Activated Cancer Drugs Without Toxic Side Effects: Fresh Insight

February 13, 2018
Future cancer drugs that are activated by light and don't cause the toxic side-effects of current chemotherapy treatments are closer to becoming a reality, thanks to new research made possible by the Monash Warwick Alliance, an intercontinental collaboration between the University of Warwick (UK) and Monash University (Australia).

Led by Robbin Vernooij, a joint PhD student from the Monash Warwick Alliance, fresh insight has been gained into how a pioneering platinum-based chemotherapy drug candidate -- trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(py)2] -- functions when activated by light.

The treatment -- originally developed by Professor Peter Sadler's research group in the University of Warwick's Department of Chemistry -- is an inorganic-metal compound with an unusual mechanism, which kills cancer cells in specific targeted areas, in an effort to minimize toxic side-effects on healthy tissue.

Completely inactive and non-toxic in the dark, the treatment can be inserted into cancerous areas, its functions triggered only when directed light hits it -- causing the compound to degrade into active platinum and releasing ligand molecules to attack cancer cells.

Using an old spectroscopic technique -- infrared spectroscopy -- the researchers observed what happens to the structure of the compound by following the metal as well as molecules released from the compound.

The researchers shone infrared light on the inorganic-metal compound in the laboratory, and measured the vibrations of its molecules as it was activated.

From this, they discovered the chemical and physical properties of the compound: some of the organic ligands, which are attached to the metal atoms of the compound, become detached and are replaced with water whilst other ligands remain stable around the metal.

This fresh insight into the mechanics of the treatment offers new hope that photoactive chemotherapy drug candidates, such as trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(py)2], will progress from the laboratory to future clinical trials.

Robbin Vernooij, lead author and joint researcher from the Monash Warwick Alliance, commented:

'"The current short comings of most chemotherapeutic agents are unfortunately undeniable, and therefore there is ongoing effort to develop new therapies and improve our understanding of how these agents work in effort to develop not only more effective, but also more selective, therapies to reduce the burden on patients.

''This is an exciting step forward, demonstrating the power of vibrational spectroscopic techniques combined with modern computing to provide new insights on how this particular photoactive chemotherapeutic agent works, which brings us one step closer to our goal of making more selective and effective cancer treatments''

Peter Sadler, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, commented:

"About half of all chemotherapy treatments for cancer current use a platinum compound, but if we can introduce new platinum compounds that avoid side-effects and are active against resistant cancers, that would be a major advance.

"Photoactivated platinum compounds offer such possibilities. They do not kill cells until irradiated with light, and the light can be directed to the tumour so avoiding unwanted damage to normal tissue.

"It is important that we understand how these new light-activated platinum compounds kill cancer cells. We believe they attack cancer cells in totally new ways and can combat resistance. Understanding at the molecular levels requires use of all the advanced technology that we can muster. In this case, advances have been made possible by a highly talented research student working with state-of-the-art equipment on opposite sides of the globe.

"We hope that new approaches involving the combination of light and chemotherapy can play a role in combatting the current short comings of cancer therapy and help to save lives."

The majority of cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy treatment currently receive a platinum-based compound, such as cisplatin. These therapies were developed over half a century ago, and cause toxic side-effects in patients, attacking healthy cells as well as cancerous ones.

There is also a growing resistance to more traditional cancer therapies, so new treatments are desperately required.

Robbin R. Vernooij, Tanmaya Joshi, Michael D. Horbury, Bim Graham, Ekaterina I. Izgorodina, Vasilios G. Stavros, Peter J. Sadler, Leone Spiccia, Bayden R. Wood. Spectroscopic Studies on Photoinduced Reactions of the Anticancer Prodrug, trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(py)2]. Chemistry - A European Journal, 2018; DOI:10.1002/chem.201705349

Time To Rebuild The Structure Of Closing The Gap

Monday 12 February 2018: Australian Human Rights Commission
Australia is a long way short of closing the gap by 2030 and needs to rebuild the foundations of the strategy as a matter of urgency.

The Close the Gap Campaign welcomes the news that there has been an improvement in several closing the gap targets, however, only meeting 3 out of 7 targets for such a critical national priority is no cause for celebration.

Close the Gap Campaign Co-Chair and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, said the Strategy needs a major recommitment to make the accelerated progress needed.

“After 10 years of closing the gap work, we all expected to be further ahead than just managing to meet 3 out of 7 targets,” Commissioner Oscar said.

“This is a national shame. In 2018, it is still a fact that our people live nearly a decade less than non-Indigenous peoples in this country. ”

Last Thursday, the Close the Gap Campaign released a highly critical review of the last 10 years of COAG’s Closing the Gap Strategy.

The Federal government is currently leading a refresh process of the Closing the Gap Strategy.

Close the Gap Co-Chair and Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Rod Little says the refresh process is the last chance to get government policy right, in order to achieve the goal of health equality by 2030.

“The analysis of the Campaign is that the Strategy will not work, or only partially work, if governments fails to resource it and stick to the plan.

“All Australian governments must return to the first principles and commitments of the Close the Gap Statement of Intent – first signed in 2008. This was an ambitious, landmark and human-rights based compact that we hold governments to,” said Mr Little.

The Campaign welcomed reports of the success of economic targets relating to Indigenous procurement, which is indicative of the value of targeting setting. Government must continue to be held accountable to national headline targets.

The Government is yet to provide any direct response to the health recommendations provided by the Campaign last week. For example, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) must be supported to expand much further. It is well established that ACCHOs are best placed to deliver culturally safe health services, which cut unnecessary hospital admissions, and lift access across the health system. 

There were some detailed and considered recommendations made by the Campaign in its Review launched on Thursday 8 February. We look forward to a detailed response to those recommendations from Federal, State and Territory governments.

The Close the Gap Campaign Review called for:

• A new Strategy must be co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders and be underpinned by agreements negotiated between Federal, State and Territory governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders.

• The building blocks of a new strategy must include national funding agreements, implementation plans and clear accountability.

• Maternal and infant health programs and a focus on addressing chronic disease must be retained and expanded.

• Strategy targets must be retained and inputs for good health must be measured. State and Territory governments should also report on targets in relation to their jurisdiction.

• The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan Implementation Plan should be fully costed, funded and implemented – and focus on identifying and filling health service gaps.

• The Strategy should work to an overarching health infrastructure and housing plan that works to build the right physical environment for health to flourish.

You can download a copy of the Close the Gap Campaign’s Reviewhere

Brain Sciences Researcher Pinpoints Brain Circuit That Triggers Fear Relapse

February 13, 2018
Steve Maren, the Claude H. Everett Jr. '47 Chair of Liberal Arts professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University, and his Emotion and Memory Systems Laboratory (EMSL) have made a breakthrough discovery in the process of fear relapse.

A paper on their findings, called "Hippocampus-driven feed-forward inhibition of the prefrontal cortex mediates relapse of extinguished fear," was published in the February issue of Nature Neuroscience, a scholarly scientific journal that focuses on original research papers on brain science.

Maren said this discovery could prove helpful for clinicians treating disorders like PTSD.

"Patients often undergo exposure therapy to reduce their fear of situations and stimuli associated with trauma," Maren said. "Although exposure therapy is often effective, pathological fear and anxiety are known to return or 'relapse' under a number of circumstances. This often occurs, for example, when trauma-related stimuli, which have come to be tolerated during therapy, are unexpectedly experienced outside of the clinical context. Relapse of fear after therapy has been estimated to occur in upwards of two-thirds of patients undergoing exposure therapy."

In their research, Maren and his team studied the relationship between three parts of the brain: the hippocampus, which is involved in memory; the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in executive control and regulation; and the amygdala, which is involved in emotion. While the neurocircuit between the three have long been known to process fear, this study has been able to pinpoint connections between the hippocampus and a specific type of cell in the prefrontal cortex that is involved in a relapse of fear.

Travis Goode, a graduate student and member of the research team, said, "This has wide-spread implications for treating fear disorders in the future, as we now know what part of the brain to target."

Other members of the research team from Texas A&M include Jingji Jin, Thomas F. Giustino, Qian Wang, Gillian M. Acca, and Paul J. Fitzgerald.EMSL also collaborated with the Sah Laboratory in Australia, led by Pankaj Sah.

Roger Marek, Jingji Jin, Travis D. Goode, Thomas F. Giustino, Qian Wang, Gillian M. Acca, Roopashri Holehonnur, Jonathan E. Ploski, Paul J. Fitzgerald, Timothy Lynagh, Joseph W. Lynch, Stephen Maren, Pankaj Sah.Hippocampus-driven feed-forward inhibition of the prefrontal cortex mediates relapse of extinguished fear. Nature Neuroscience, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41593-018-0073-9

Water Filtration Breakthrough Using Metal-Organic Frameworks

February 2018: Monash University
With two billion people worldwide lacking access to clean and safe drinking water, joint research by Monash University, CSIRO and the University of Texas at Austin published today in Sciences Advances may offer a breakthrough new solution.

It all comes down to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), an amazing next generation material that have the largest internal surface area of any known substance. The sponge like crystals can be used to capture, store and release chemical compounds. In this case, the salt and ions in sea water.

Dr Huacheng Zhang, Professor Huanting Wang and Associate Professor Zhe Liu and their team in the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with Dr Anita Hill of CSIRO and Professor Benny Freeman of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, have recently discovered that MOF membranes can mimic the filtering function, or 'ion selectivity', of organic cell membranes.

With further development, these membranes have significant potential to perform the dual functions of removing salts from seawater and separating metal ions in a highly efficient and cost effective manner, offering a revolutionary new technological approach for the water and mining industries.

Currently, reverse osmosis membranes are responsible for more than half of the world's desalination capacity, and the last stage of most water treatment processes, yet these membranes have room for improvement by a factor of 2 to 3 in energy consumption. They do not operate on the principles of dehydration of ions, or selective ion transport in biological channels, the subject of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Roderick MacKinnon and Peter Agre, and therefore have significant limitations.

In the mining industry, membrane processes are being developed to reduce water pollution, as well as for recovering valuable metals. For example, lithium-ion batteries are now the most popular power source for mobile electronic devices, however at current rates of consumption, there is rising demand likely to require lithium production from non-traditional sources, such as recovery from salt water and waste process streams. If economically and technologically feasible, direct extraction and purification of lithium from such a complex liquid system would have profound economic impacts.

These innovations are now possible thanks to this new research. Monash University's Professor Huanting Wang said, "We can use our findings to address the challenges of water desalination. Instead of relying on the current costly and energy intensive processes, this research opens up the potential for removing salt ions from water in a far more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable way."

"Also, this is just the start of the potential for this phenomenon. We'll continue researching how the lithium ion selectivity of these membranes can be further applied. Lithium ions are abundant in seawater, so this has implications for the mining industry who current use inefficient chemical treatments to extract lithium from rocks and brines. Global demand for lithium required for electronics and batteries is very high. These membranes offer the potential for a very effective way to extract lithium ions from seawater, a plentiful and easily accessible resource."

Building on the growing scientific understanding of MOFs, CSIRO's Dr Anita Hill said the research offers another potential real-world use for the next-generation material. "The prospect of using MOFs for sustainable water filtration is incredibly exciting from a public good perspective, while delivering a better way of extracting lithium ions to meet global demand could create new industries for Australia," Dr Hill said.

The University of Texas in Austin Professor Benny Freeman says, "Produced water from shale gas fields in Texas is rich in lithium. Advanced separation materials concepts, such as this, could potentially turn this waste stream into a resource recovery opportunity. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with these distinguished colleagues from Monash and CSIRO via the Australian-American Fulbright Commission for the U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Science, Technology and Innovation sponsored by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)."

Huacheng Zhang, Jue Hou, Yaoxin Hu, Peiyao Wang, Ranwen Ou, Lei Jiang, Jefferson Zhe Liu, Benny D. Freeman, Anita J. Hill and Huanting Wang. Ultrafast selective transport of alkali metal ions in metal organic frameworks with subnanometer pores. Sciences Advances, 2018; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq0066

Affordable Housing Limited By Ad Hoc Funding, New Research Finds

February 14, 2018: AHURI Media
Affordable housing project outcomes are being driven more by funding opportunities than by defined housing needs, new research by UNSW Sydney has revealed.

The research, Paying for affordable housing in different market contexts, was undertaken for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). 

Report authors Professor Bill Randolph, Dr Laurence Troy, Dr Vivienne Milligan and Ryan van den Nouwelant, from the City Futures Research Centre in the UNSW Faculty of Built Environment, analysed six recently completed affordable housing developments across Australia.

An interactive modelling tool, the ‘Affordable Housing Assessment Tool’ (AHAT), was developed to determine how affordable housing project costs, revenues and subsidies impacted affordability for the range of lower income households in need of affordable housing.

Funding opportunities for affordable housing include having access to government land; public and private capital and debt finance; tenant rents, including from commercial tenancies; and sales of properties to the private market.

Depending on how these diverse sources of funding are combined can add complexity, cost and financial risk to delivering affordable housing.

For instance, in the absence of adequate funding, community housing providers are having to reduce the proportion of their developments dedicated to social and affordable housing in order to reduce project debt to levels that can be serviced by rents from low-income tenants.

"What we have developed for the first time is a tool that enables us to start with housing needs, then figure out which types of subsidies and policies will best be able to fund projects to meet those needs," says Dr Troy.

"By using this tool we also found subsidising the private sector to produce affordable housing that is available for a defined period of time is less cost effective over the longer term than directing such subsidies to not-for-profit housing providers."

The report makes a number of policy recommendations to help affordable housing meet the needs of low-income households:
  • make public land available at below-market cost to support affordable housing development;
  • keep affordable housing in the not-for-profit housing sector to retain for the long term the social benefit created by public investment;
  • encourage mixed tenure developments and development at scale;
  • provide ‘gap funding’ to help reduce the need for private financing;
  • use needs-based modelling for investment decisions and to drive the allocation of subsidies.
The research report is available here.

Consultation On Online Copyright Infringement

February 13, 2018: Australian Government Dept. of Communication and the Arts
We are seeking views on the effectiveness and efficiency of Australia’s online copyright infringement amendment.

The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015 was introduced to help reduce online copyright infringement and disrupt large-scale violations by websites operating outside of Australia.

This review supports the Government’s commitment to review the operation of the online infringement amendment after it came into effect on 27 June 2015.

As part of our consultation round, we will meet with stakeholder groups affected by the amendment, including peak bodies and their members, to discuss their experiences and views.

Submissions close on 16 March at 5.00 pm (AEST).

Find out more:

Public Consultation On Draft Legislation To Toughen The Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law

February 12, 2018: Media Release - The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services
If a multinational corporation makes money in Australia, it’s only right that they pay tax in Australia, which is why the Turnbull Government has introduced new laws to close loopholes and ensure profits are taxed here.

Today the Government has released for public consultation new Exposure Draft legislation and draft Explanatory Memorandum to implement the Government’s 2017-18 Budget announcement that it would toughen the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL).

The Turnbull Government’s MAAL took effect from 1 January 2016 and prevents multinationals from escaping Australian tax by using artificial or contrived arrangements to avoid having a taxable presence in Australia.

To date the Australia Taxation Office has identified 38 taxpayers that have brought or are bringing their Australian sourced sales onshore in response to the MAAL.  The result is the ATO expects an additional $7 billion in income each year will be returned to the Australian tax base.

In further action against tax avoidance by multinationals, the Government is strengthening the MAAL by preventing the use of foreign trusts and partnerships in corporate structures to avoid the application of the MAAL.

The new legislation will ensure that the MAAL continues to operate as intended and that multinationals pay the right amount of tax on their Australian income. The new rules complement the Government’s Diverted Profits Tax and strong track record in stopping multinational tax avoidance.

The Turnbull Government is committed to putting Australia at the forefront of global efforts to improve tax system integrity.

The Exposure Draft legislation and Explanatory Memorandum are available on the Treasury website.

Submissions are due by Friday, 23 February 2018. The Government encourages all interested stakeholders to make a submission.

Melbourne's Domain Parkland & Memorial Precinct Earns Permanent Place On National Heritage List

February 11, 2018: Media release - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy
One of Australia’s outstanding government domains and an area which takes in landmarks such as Government House Victoria, the Domain Parklands, Melbourne Observatory and Shrine of Remembrance as well as some of Melbourne’s best known vistas has been permanently added to Australia’s National Heritage List.

The area, to be known as Melbourne’s Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct, secured emergency heritage protection in February 2017, in the face of development pressures from Melbourne’s Metro Rail Project.

“Last year, I urged the Victorian Government to consider the impacts from the Melbourne Metro Rail Project on this important part of the city and approved St Kilda Road and Environs for interim listing,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“The permanent listing means this significant historic site and grand old part of Melbourne will be protected from future actions that may impact its National Heritage values.

“It’s good news for Melburnians and all Australians interested in our nation’s story.”

The new Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct National Heritage place encompasses 109 hectares south of the CBD between St Kilda Road and the Yarra River.

Much of the Precinct was developed over the course of the nineteenth century, including during the Victorian gold rush – a boom time for growth in Melbourne. Melbourne embraced its status as one of the world’s great cities with ambitious plans for boulevards, parks and places for scientific research and discovery.

The Precinct also became a gathering place to commemorate significant events and people. It is home to the Shrine of Remembrance, built to honour those who lost their lives in war. It also includes the King's Domain Resting Place which is the commemorative burial place for 38 Victorian Aboriginal people.

The permanent inclusion of Melbourne's Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct in the National Heritage List cannot affect decisions made before the site’s listing, including those allowing trees to be removed from St Kilda Road, but will protect it from future actions that may impact its National Heritage values.

“The Precinct will now have ongoing protection as a National Heritage place and join the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Melbourne Cricket Ground as one of Australia’s most prestigious heritage sites,” Minister Frydenberg said.

For more information on this listing, go

Realtime Payments, Any Hour, Any Day Of The Week

February 13, 2018: Media Release - The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia
Australians will now be able to make instant electronic payments at any time of the day, with the launch of the New Payments Platform (NPP) today.

The Turnbull Government welcomes the launch of the new platform which is set to revolutionise the payments process for millions of Australians, making payments faster and simpler for consumers and businesses.

Using the NPP, Australians will be able to transfer money to each other instantly, 24/7, on any day of the week, including weekends and public holidays. This overhaul of the payments system means Australians will no longer have to wait for bank transfers and payments to arrive in their account.

Gone will be the days of frustrating three-day waits for transfers between accounts of different banks. Customers will be able to securely pay businesses, split restaurant bills with their friends, and pay a tradesperson instantly.

Customers will also be able to include more information with their payments, such as additional text, invoices and receipts. This simplified approach will help businesses to make payments quickly and efficiently and let them get back to running their business.

The NPP has been collaboratively designed and built by 13 key Australian financial institutions, including the Reserve Bank of Australia and the major banks, with the support of the Turnbull Government. Other financial institutions will be able to connect to the NPP directly or via an existing participant that offers connection services to smaller financial institutions.

Initially, around 60 banks, building societies and credit unions will be connected to the NPP, with more to connect over the coming months.

Bank customers will be contacted with details of when and how they can access the new services and asked to nominate a PayID code - such as a phone number, email address or ABN - that will identify you. No more having to remember BSBs and account numbers in order to make or receive payments.

PayID will also provide more assurance about payments by letting users see the name of the individual or business they are paying, before the payment is finalised.

The NPP will also provide the infrastructure for new and innovative payment services. The first of these –Osko – will commence rolling out from today.

Osko by BPAY will let people make instant direct payments to other users through online and mobile banking portals without needing to download a separate app. Over time other innovative services will also look to make use of the data-rich message capability of the NPP.

The launch today complements the Government's FinTech agenda, and I look forward to the development of other NPP services that will add even more convenience, functionality and efficiency to how individuals and businesses make payments.

The financial institutions that have built the NPP have had security and fraud prevention front of mind during its development.

Financial institutions already use real-time credit card fraud detection and online banking authentication tools to protect customers. They are building on these tools as they roll out the NPP to customers, including:
  • real time payments can only be made by customers logging in to their usual internet or mobile banking platform and authorising a payment;
  • banks will use a number of innovative fraud detection tools to identify, stop and examine unusual or suspicious payments;
  • PayID enables customers to check the name of the account holder they are paying before authorising a payment; and
  • the NPP itself is certified to the highest data security standards and is monitored 24/7.
As with any Australian financial services, consumers should continue to remain vigilant about scams asking them for payment or for logins and passwords. Customers should contact their financial institution if they have any suspicions about anyone asking for payment or account information.

Further information is available at the NPPA website or from individual financial institutions.

Australian Industry Proves World Beater, Smashing $1bn Milestone For Superjet

13 February 2018: Media Release
The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today announced that Australian industry has been collectively awarded over $1 billion in production for the F-35 program.

The strength of Australia’s defence industry has made it a significant and crucial contributor to the program which will support up to 5000 Australian jobs by 2023.

“More than 50 Australian companies directly shared in the production contracts to date, with many more indirectly benefiting through supply chain work,” Minister Pyne said.

“Australian industry continues to prove its global competitiveness by performing better than initial forecasts, with Australian industry involvement expected to exceed $2 billion by 2023.”

“The journey of Australian industry’s involvement in the global F-35 Program has been one of great success and long-term economic opportunity for Australia.

In 2016 the Joint Strike Fighter program supported more than 2400 jobs across Australia, which is set to grow to 5000 by 2023.

“Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase production contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates more than double.

“Australian industry is manufacturing parts that will be fitted to every F-35 aircraft in production across the globe.

“Australian success in the Joint Strike Fighter program isn’t limited to manufacturing parts. Australian industry has also been chosen as the maintenance hub for the engines, airframes and 64 of 65 components which have been assigned by the Joint Project Office.

“When I travel to the U.S. in April I will be arguing for more work for Australia, we have the capability and we deserve the work,” Minister Pyne said.

In a major milestone for the Australian F-35A Project, the first Australian-made Vertical Tail – produced by Victorian-based company Marand – was fitted to Australia’s third F-35A aircraft as it neared completion at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, in August 2017.

The stealthy, advanced F-35A represents a significant change in capabilities and will give Australia an edge against the emergence regionally of advanced capabilities.

The first two Australian F-35A aircraft are scheduled to arrive for permanent basing at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, in December.

By the time of Final Operating Capability, expected in December 2023, Australia will have a training squadron and three operational squadrons comprising 72 aircraft.

Visit: Key Australian companies who have shared in AU$1 billion in F-35 Production contracts

Australian Humanitarian Assistance To Tonga

13 February 2018: Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence
The Australian Government is providing emergency humanitarian assistance to help the people of Tonga, following Tropical Cyclone Gita.

Our thoughts are with the people of Tonga after the destructive storm struck overnight as a Category 4 cyclone, causing severe damage to the capital Nuku’alofa.

Following a request from the Tongan Government, Australia has deployed $350,000 in life-saving equipment including emergency shelter, kitchen and hygiene kits to assist over 2,000 people in need. 

Australia has released humanitarian supplies, including tarpaulins and water purification tablets, through the Tongan Red Cross.

The Australian Defence Force will conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, as part of the broader whole of government effort to support the Government of Tonga.

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster will deliver much needed emergency relief supplies to Tonga this evening. The ADF is also ready to assist with debris removal, water, sanitation and distribution of emergency supplies on request from the Government of Tonga.

To further assist in the response, two civilian humanitarian specialists have been deployed at this stage, in addition to an Australian-funded humanitarian specialist already working with Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office.

An Australian medical expert is working with New Zealand specialists and Tongan authorities to assess health services in affected areas.

Australian officials are travelling to Tonga to help provide assistance to Australians affected by the disaster. All Australians in Tonga are advised to remain indoors and follow the instructions of local authorities. At the time of issue, DFAT had not received any requests for consular assistance.

Middle Earth Preserved In Giant Bird Dung

February 12, 2018: University of Adelaide
While the giant birds that once dominated New Zealand are all extinct, a study of their preserved dung (coprolites) has revealed many aspects of their ancient ecosystem, with important insights for ongoing conservation efforts.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today, the study, by the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) and Landcare Research NZ, reconstructed the prehuman New Zealand ecosystem using coprolites ranging from 120 to 1500 years old.

The ancient dried dung originated from four species of extinct giant moa and the critically endangered kakapo parrot, and contained genetic records of diet, pathogens, and the behavior of the birds. Such detailed pictures of the pre-historic ecosystem are critical for present-day ecological restoration efforts, but are not available from the conventional fossil record of preserved skeletons.

The ancient dung samples were excavated from caves and rockshelters across New Zealand by Dr Jamie Wood, of Landcare Research. He says, "Coprolites were actually more common than we'd thought, once we started looking for them. And it turns out they contain a huge range of important information about past ecosystems."

Lead author Alex Boast, a PhD student at Landcare Research says, "A key finding was that the giant birds were eating a wide range of mushrooms and fungi, including species that are critical for the beech forests that are widespread across New Zealand. The brightly colored mushrooms remain distinctive parts of these forests today, but it appears they were meant to be eaten and then distributed by the moa.

"Worryingly, introduced mammals which consume these mushrooms don't appear to produce fertile spores, so this critical ecosystem function of the giant birds has been lost -- with serious implications for the long-term health of New Zealand's beech forests."

The research was performed at ACAD where Postdoctoral Research Associate and microbiome specialist, Dr Laura Weyrich, says, "Moa coprolites contained a surprising diversity of parasites, many completely new to science. Several parasites appear to be specialized to single moa species, so that a range of parasites became extinct with each moa species. As a result, we have probably underestimated the loss of biodiversity associated with the extinction of the megafauna."

ACAD Director, Professor Alan Cooper, who led the study, says, "The wide diversity of DNA we retrieved from the dung has allowed us to reconstruct many aspects of the behavior and interactions of species that we've never been able to see before. This important new method allows us to see how prehuman ecosystems have been altered, which is often hard to identify, and to guide our efforts in correcting some of the resulting damage."

Alexander P. Boast, Laura S. Weyrich, Jamie R. Wood, Jessica L. Metcalf, Rob Knight, Alan Cooper. Coprolites reveal ecological interactions lost with the extinction of New Zealand birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018; 201712337 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1712337115

Beautiful Bondi, 1926

An early silent documentary showing the attractions of Bondi Beach and the surrounding Waverley area. Beaches include Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama. Surfing, swimming, sunbaking, life savers, all the beach activities and features that are seen on these beaches today were just as popular in the 1920s. Hotels and apartment developments are seen under construction, many of which remain as Bondi heritage today.
From National Film and Sound Archives

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.