Inbox and Environment News: Issue 351

March 11 - 17, 2018: Issue 351

Return And Earn - Reverse Vending Machine Now At Warriewood And One For Dee Why Coming Soon

March 10, 2018
Further to recent news that a Reverse Vending machine has been installed at Manly Vale, Mark Horton, Mona Vale resident, reports;
"RETURN & EARN for recycling glass bottles, plastic bottles, drink cans and other containers has, at last, arrived in the Northern Beaches at Warriewood. It wil open tomorrow 10 March 2018. It is located at the Northern Beaches Indoor Sports Centre (NBISC) at Jackson Rd, Warriewood or enter near Narrabeen Sports HS / North Narrabeen PS at the end of Namona St. See photo for details. "

The Hon. Brad Hazzard, NSW Health Minister and member for Wakehurst, posted an item on his website's News page on February 27th that;
The Time and Tide Hotel  at Campbell Ave, Dee Why will have a reverse vending machine for the Return and Earn container deposit scheme, where people will be able to claim 10-cent refunds for eligible drink containers they return.

Return and Earn is the largest litter reduction initiative to be introduced in NSW, and now there are more collection points for people to be involved.

Most drink containers between 150ml and three litres are eligible for the 10c refund. Containers should be intact (not crushed or broken) and have a readable barcode to be eligible.

For more information, including a full list of eligible drink containers, visit:

The delay in installing enough Reverse vending machines or over the counter collection points has led to some local frustration but as the scheme is rolled out further its success seems assured.

“Every such scheme in the world has a ramp up period and it takes time for financially viable infrastructure to be put in place and for the community to adapt. To think that the current issues will be permanent features is ridiculous. Clearly the hyper critical commentators aren’t interested in a proven program being given time to sort out our serious recycling and litter problems,” said Jeff Angel, Director of TEC and Boomerang, said a few weeks ago.

“New collection points are being opened every week and it’s very gratifying that the community wants more. As for the alleged consumer rip-off, the arrangements are no different to what occurs in South Australia - returns are projected; advance payment made by bottlers; and in the next quarter adjustments are made according to actual returns. Many bottlers then reduce their prices if there was overpayment. As the system settles in projections become more accurate. The initial agreed prices are to be reviewed after February.”

“From our research, the 67% return rate for the first few months is close to what we predicted. It will gradually ramp up to about 80%.”

“Return and Earn is a big, new program and NSW is the first state in Australia to bring in the modern, automated system that is necessary for our big cities and towns. The government, community and Tomra/Cleanaway are to be congratulated for their commitment and support,” Mr Angel said. 

Our thanks to Mark Horton for his persistence, over several weeks, in asking 'where is it? when is it going to be here?' or words in a similar vein.

A few Other Local collection points
Danny Deli Café
26 Avalon Pde
Avalon Beach, NSW, 2107
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:00am-5:00pm/ Saturday 7:00am-4:00pm/ Sunday 10:00am-3:00pm
Type of collection point: Over-the-counter
Maximum number of containers per transaction: 100

North Narrabeen Newsagent
3/1 Powderworks Rd
North Narrabeen, NSW, 2101
Type of collection point: Over-the-counter
Maximum number of containers per transaction: 400

Coles Manly Vale
12/14 Koorala St
Manly Vale, NSW, 2093
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 7am to 10pm
Type of collection point: Reverse vending machine
Maximum number of containers per transaction: 500

Photo: New Reverse vending machine at Manly Vale unveiled Thursday February, 22nd 2018 at Manly Vale by Manly MP James Griffin and NSW Environment Minister, The Hon. Gabrielle Upton.

Court Finds NSW Government Land-Clearing Laws Invalid

Friday March 9, 2018: Media release - Nature Conservation Council NSW
The Land and Environment Court today ruled the NSW Government’s land-clearing laws invalid because they were made unlawfully.

“The government has bungled the introduction of one of its signature pieces of legislation, and in the process demonstrates its careless disregard for nature in NSW,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Today’s ruling is an embarrassing admission of failure by the Berejiklian government and a great victory for the rule of law and the thousands of people who have supported us in taking this action.”

The Nature Conservation Council, represented by public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW, launched legal challenge against the government’s land-clearing codes last November.

NCC had argued through its barristers Jeremy Kirk SC and David Hume the codes were invalid because the Primary Industries Minister failed to obtain concurrence of the Environment Minister before making the codes, as is required by law. The government today has conceded this was indeed the case.

“It is deeply troubling that the government disregarded the important oversight role of the Environment Minister when making environmental laws, but we are even more concerned about the harmful content of the laws themselves,” Ms Smolski said.

“By the government’s own assessment, they will lead to a spike in clearing of up to 45% and expose threaten wildlife habitat to destruction, including 99% of identified koala habitat on private land.

“These laws were made against the advice of the scientific community and against the wishes of the vast majority of the many thousands of people who made submissions.

“It would be completely cynical for the government to immediately remake these laws without first correcting their many flaws and including environmental protections the community wants and the science says we need.

“Premier Berejiklian must act now to prevent further plundering of our forests, woodlands and water supplies by scrapping these laws and making new ones that actually protect the environment.”

Ms Smolski pledged to continue the campaign to overturn weak land-clearing laws.

“As the state’s peak environment organization, we will do everything we can to expose the damage of land clearing and will not stop until we have laws that protect nature,” she said.

“These laws are a matter of life or death for wildlife. More than 1000 plant and animal species are at risk of extinction in this state, including the koala and 60 per cent of all our native mammals.

“Land clearing is the main threat to many of these animals, and the laws this government introduced unlawfully are pushing them closer to the brink.

“It is regrettable that we had to take the government to court to make it abide by its own laws, but it demonstrates the critical role organisations like ours play in our democracy.”

Right now our Premier has the power to make sure koala habitat and threatened ecosystems are off limits to bulldozing. Sign our urgent petition now at -…/ta…/is-koala-habitat-off-limits/

Thank you to public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW (Environmental Defenders Office NSW) for representing us.

2018 Australian National Surfing Squad Announced

Thursday March 8th, 2018: from Surfing Australia
Thursday, March 8th /2018 
Off the back of Surfing Australia’s Olympic Readiness Camp in January, where Australia’s top surfing athletes deemed most likely to be in contention for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spent three days together, a consolidated group of 16 athletes have now been named in the 2018 Australian National Squad. The squad was selected by the Surfing Australia National Selection Committee. 

The Surfing Australia National Selection Committee includes 7 x World Champion Layne Beachley, 4 x World Champion Mark Richards, ex WSL surfer and Talent Pathway Coach Kate Wilcomes, 3 x World Champion Mick Fanning and Surfing Australia Elite Program Manager Bede Durbidge.

The Squad was Unveiled at the Australian Surfing Awards on the Gold Coast

2018 Australian National Squad:

Julian Wilson - QLD
Matt Wilkinson - NSW
Owen Wright - NSW
Connor O’Leary - NSW
Adrian Buchan - NSW
Wade Carmichael - NSW
Mikey Wright - NSW
Ethan Ewing - QLD
Stuart Kennedy - NSW
Tyler Wright - NSW
Stephanie Gilmore - QLD
Sally Fitzgibbons - NSW
Nikki van Dijk - VIC
Keely Andrew - QLD
Bronte Macaulay - WA
Macy Callaghan – NSW

Participants in the Olympic Readiness Camp with Cathy Freeman at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre (HPC) in January. 
Photo credit: Ted Grambeau /  Surfing Australia

Surfing Australia Elite Program Manager Bede Durbidge said: “It gave me great pleasure to announce this incredibly talented Australian National Squad at the Surfing Australia Awards on Tuesday night on the Gold Coast. With the World Surf League World Championship Tour season about to kick-start this weekend at Snapper Rocks we at Surfing Australia want to support this squad as best we can to achieve their goals.”

Surfing Australia National High Performance Director Kim Crane said: “This group of athletes are already making their mark on the international stage, and the character and courage they display in their quest to become world’s best is an absolute credit to them. As a sport, we are grateful to have such incredible role models, and in identifying this group as our highest priority, we will do whatever we can to support their journey.”

Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark said: “The talent pool is a deep one in Australia and it was extremely tough for the selection panel to narrow the squad down, to the 16 athletes we have announced. These athletes are deemed most likely to represent Australia in the Japan 2020 Olympics and we look forward to working with them on their quest for WSL Tour victory and towards Japan 2020 Gold Medals.”

Getting To The Sydney Royal Easter Show From Mona Vale

Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses will run each day during the 12-day Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Services start running between 07:00 and 07:30, depending on the route, each day. Services run every 15 to 25 minutes and more frequently during peak times and begin arriving at the precinct from around 08:45 each morning until 17:30 in the evening.

Return services start running from Olympic Park at around 12:45, with the last bus on each route leaving the precinct at 23:00 each night of the Show.
Note: scheduled wheelchair accessible buses will travel on each route. Find the closest stop to you using the Major Event Bus interactive map. 

Route To / from SOP (Forest Coach Lines)
1A Warriewood via Dee Why
1B Warriewood via Mona Vale

You can also view:

Travel to the Royal Easter Show
All pre-purchased ShowLink tickets include return public transport for your trip to the Royal Easter Show on any one day.
You can pre-purchase your ShowLink ticket on the Sydney Royal Easter Show website. ShowLink tickets are not sold at train stations, ferry wharves or on buses.

Travel public transport with ShowLink tickets
Present your ShowLink ticket for travel on:
  • Train services (bounded by Bomaderry (Nowra), Goulburn, Bathurst and Dungog stations)
  • Sydney Olympic Park major event buses
  • Regular bus services
  • Sydney Ferries services
  • Light rail services.
Keep your ShowLink ticket for your return trip home as you will need to present your ShowLink ticket or have a valid ticket when travelling on public transport.

ShowLink tickets are not available for purchase on-board transport services or at train stations. ShowLink tickets are only available at selected Woolworths outlets or online via Ticketmaster. Alternatively, you can purchase your ShowLink ticket at the Sydney Showground ticket booths located at the entry gates to the Show, however we strongly encourage you to pre-purchase your ticket where possible as there will be queues.
Remember to keep your ShowLink ticket safe for your return trip home as you will need to present your ShowLink ticket or have a valid ticket when travelling on public transport.

Single day, two-day or Twilight (after 4pm entry) ShowLink tickets are available. For more information on all the available ticketing options, seeTicket types. For more information on the terms and conditions that apply to ShowLink tickets on public transport, visit Please note there are no exchanges, refunds or cancellations on purchased ShowLink tickets.

Early Bird ShowLink: Available online until 22 March 2018

Icy Runway To Get Face-Lift

6th March 2018: Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Antarctic Division
The final flight of the Antarctic season is due to take off for Australia’s Wilkins Aerodrome tomorrow, ahead of a face-lift planned for the glacial runway next season.

After a decade of operation, engineering works will be undertaken on the blue ice runway in the summer of 2018–19 to reposition the strip.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s General Manager of Operations Dr Rob Wooding, said the 3.5 kilometre strip, near Australia’s Casey research station, is an incredible feat of engineering.

“The runway is built on a 500 metre thick glacier, which moves downhill towards the coast about 12 metres a year, it also rotates anti-clockwise about 1.5 metres per year,” Dr Wooding said.

“Every summer the runway is surveyed to ensure compliance and every three years it is moved back up the glacier.

“However the runway has now accumulated about 20 metres of rotation that also needs to be corrected.”

The runway will close for a three month period, from mid-November 2018 to mid-February 2019. It normally closes at the height of each summer for about five weeks, due to warmer temperatures causing potential sub-surface melt.

The Australian Antarctic Division will run a maximum of 10 flights, before and after the shutdown.

“The Division aims to minimise the impact of the closure on planned projects by transporting some expeditioners south on the icebreaker Aurora Australis, or postponing programs,” Dr Wooding said.

Australian Antarctic Division’s Acting Aviation Manager Steve Wall, said the team of eight expeditioners stationed at Wilkins will undertake the engineering works.

“They’ll use a range of graders, dozers, loaders and snow groomers to cut into blue ice and remove approximately 300,000 cubic meters of ice from the northern edge of the runway.”

“The works will ensure Wilkins Aerodrome can continue to operate for another 10 years, and that it will be ready to support major projects scheduled for the following season (2019–2020), including establishing an overland traverse capability and the search for a million year ice core.”

The last flight of the year on an Airbus 319 will take off from the Antarctic gateway city of Hobart tomorrow.

About 550 expeditioners travelled south with the Australian Antarctic Program by air and sea this season, undertaking nearly 100 projects including deep field ice core work, glacier research and Southern Ocean cloud studies.

The team will use a range of graders, dozers, loaders and snow groomers to cut into blue ice and remove approximately 300,000 cubic meters of ice from the northern edge of the runway. (Photo: Micky Loedeman)

The Australian Antarctic Division will run a maximum of 10 flights in the 2018/18 season, before and after the shutdown. (Photo: Chris Crerar)
The runway is built on a 500 metre thick glacier, which moves downhill towards the coast about 12 metres a year, it also rotates anti-clockwise about 1.5 metres per year. Every summer the runway is surveyed to ensure compliance and every three years it is moved back up the glacier. However, the runway has now accumulated about 20 metres of rotation that also needs to be corrected.

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Exhibition 

The world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, will open at the Australian National Maritime Museum on 13 April 2018 in time for the school holidays. The 100 extraordinary images celebrate the diversity of the natural world, from intimate animal portraits to astonishing wild landscapes.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for over 50 years.

Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality and technical excellence.  Launching in 1965 and attracting 361 entries, today the competition receives almost 50,000 entries from 92 countries highlighting its enduring appeal. This year’s 100 award-winning images will embark on an international tour that allows them to be seen by millions of people.

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, says ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year is one of our most successful touring exhibitions, enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. The awarded images shine a spotlight on nature photography as a work of art, whilst raising questions about our crucial role in shaping a sustainable future.’ 

Kevin Sumption, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, said the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition held broad appeal due to its rich subject matter showcasing the diversity of life.  “This is one of the most innovative and popular photographic competitions of its kind and we are delighted that Sydney audiences can once again enjoy these unforgettable and inspiring images at the Australian National Maritime Museum.”

And to make the exhibition extra special Sydney visitors can also come face to face with equipment used by celebrated Australian shark photographers Ron and Valerie Taylor and experience the brand new Oceans 3D film which runs in the museum’s theatre (check the museum’s website for schedule).

The 53rd Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition is a featured exhibition of Head On Photo Festival 2018 and opens on 30 March 2017. Exhibition labels are available digitally in six languages. Tickets are $20 adults, $12 concessions/children and $50. For further information about the exhibition visit

The Australian National Maritime Museum, in Darling Harbour, is open from 9.30am to 5pm daily. All enquiries (02) 9298 3777 or visit

Image: © Qing Lin - The Insiders

Environment Minister Knew 99% Of Koala Habitat Would Be Exposed To Land Clearing By Contentious New Laws, FIO Document Shows

March 2nd, 2018: Media release - Nature Conservation Council NSW
A document obtained under freedom of information laws shows the Berejiklian government knew its new land clearing laws would cause extensive harm to wildlife habitat but pressed ahead with the changes anyway.

“This is damning evidence that the Environment Minister approved these new laws knowing they would expose 99% of identified koala habitat on private land to clearing,” NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.

“The document also shows the Minister was warned the laws could cause a 45% spike in land clearing and that they would mostly benefit very large agribusinesses that could clear land on a massive scale, not smaller enterprises and farming communities across the state.

“It shows what we have suspected all along – environment policy in NSW is being dictated by the National Party and the powerful agribusiness interests the party represents.

“Minister Upton knew these laws were very bad for threatened species and bushland, yet she approved them anyway. This is a disgrace.”

The document, obtained by EDO NSW for the Nature Conservation Council, was prepared by the Office of Environment and Heritage for the Environment Minister and outlined the consequences of Ms Upton agreeing to land-clearing codes proposed by Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair.

Key warnings in the document include:
  • “The regulatory changes will further increase agricultural clearing by between 8% and 45% annually.” (Page 3)
  • Clearing under the code risks: “Removing key habitat for threatened species, including koala habitat (less than 1% of identified koala habitat in NSW is protected from clearing under the Code)” and “Increasing vulnerability of threatened ecological communities”. (Page 6)
  • If unchecked “such clearing could destroy habitats, cause soil and water quality impacts”. (Page 5)
  • “The main benefits are likely to be private benefits for large farming operations which broadscale clear under the Code.” (Page 6)
“These are terrible laws that put our wildlife at risk,” Ms Smolski said. “Premier Berejiklian should act immediately to protect the thousands of hectares of koala habitat at risk by exempting sensitive areas from code-based clearing. “In the longer term, she should go back to the drawing board and draft new laws that protect our precious wildlife and bushland.”

Download the FOI document here

Bushcare in Pittwater 

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

Where we work                      Which day                              What time 

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

Winnererremy Bay                 4th Sunday                        9 to 12noon 

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

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

Old Wharf Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      8 - 11am 

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

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

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

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     2nd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

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

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

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

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

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

Department Fines Springvale Coal Mine $15,000 For Environmental Damage

March 6th, 2018: Departmental Media Release, The Department of Planning and Environment
The Department of Planning and Environment has fined Lithgow's Springvale Coal Mine $15,000 for damaging an important environmental area on the Newnes Plateau, near the mine site.

Centennial Coal notified compliance officers from the Department of damage to vegetation at Sunnyside Swamp.

Dr Oliver Holm, Executive Director of Resource Assessments and Compliance, said the planning conditions placed on mine approvals exist to protect the environment and community.

"Springvale Coal is required to identify important environmental areas, such as Endangered Ecological Communities, when issuing a Land Disturbance Permit for clearing or ground disturbance works," Dr Holm said.

"Because the company failed to properly identify Sunnyside Swamp on the Land Disturbance Permit, an independent contractor damaged vegetation in the area when undertaking clearing under the powerline.

"If the area was properly identified on the Land Disturbance Permit measures could have been implemented that would have protected the endangered vegetation."

Dr Holm said Springvale Coal has committed to remediating Sunnyside Swamp and has paid the $15,000 fine.

"Compliance officers will continue to monitor the Springvale Coal Mine site," Dr Holm.

"We actively monitor major project sites across NSW to make sure companies are meeting their conditions."

To find out more about the Department of Planning and Environment’s compliance team and read the latest January 2018 Compliance report, visit the Department’s website here

Please Help: Contribute To Significant Trees Register For Our Area

Significant trees listings wanted
February 28, 2018: Avalon Preservation Association
The next step in the Avalon Preservation Association's Avalon Cultural Audit is to identify and list significant trees in the area.

Roger Sayers has nominated the Spotted Gums in the reserve opposite Careel Bay Wharf.

Please help us by contributing your pick of significant trees in the area so we can map them and enter into our database.

You can either post a picture/s on the APA Facebook page and identify location of tree/s and species type if known or email us with same

Our new Avalon Preservation Association Noticeboard is finally installed on corner of Belle Property Building near Herforts Chemist Old Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach. Many thanks to Mark Griffin Belle Property for use of wall and Robert Adema for installation.

Stop Seismic Testing Newcastle Public Rally

Sunday, March 18 at 1 PM - 2 PM
Public · 
In only two weeks seismic testing is to commence off the beautiful coast of Newcastle. The severity of the underwater air gun blasts leads to devastating affects on marine life and fisheries. 

If successful it may lead to a foreign oil and gas field off our coast. 
Help us keep our oceans alive!

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 - 25/2/2018)


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. 

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. 

Nowra Bridge Project - Princes Highway Upgrade

Roads and Maritime Services is planning for a new Princes Highway bridge over the Shoalhaven River at Nowra. The project would also provide upgraded intersections at Bolong, Illaroo and Bridge roads and at Pleasant Way.

Have your say
Roads and Maritime is currently seeking feedback from the community on a preferred option for the project from Monday 19 February 2018 until Friday 23 March 2018.

The preferred option includes:
  • A new northbound four lane bridge
  • Reconfiguration of the existing concrete bridge to carry southbound traffic
  • Intersection upgrades at Illaroo Road, Bolong Road and Bridge Road
  • New Pleasant Way T-intersection
  • Keeping the old southbound bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.
Have your say
Send a written submission to or Nowra Bridge Project, PO Box 477 Wollongong NSW 2500
We also encourage you to complete the Online Survey

Inquiry Into The Effectiveness Of The Implementation Of The Basin Plan

7 March 2018: Media Release - The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, Joint media release with The Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

The Coalition Government has announced a Productivity Commissioninquiry into the effectiveness and implementation of the Basin Plan and water resource plans.

The Basin Plan supports the integrated management of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin to optimise social, economic and environmental outcomes.

This inquiry will fulfil the statutory requirement for the first of the Commission’s five-yearly assessments of the effectiveness of the Basin Plan and water resources plans as required by the Water Act 2007.

The Commission is due to report to Government by 31 December 2018.

Public consultation will be undertaken as part of the inquiry and the Government encourages all interested parties to participate. Further information and the terms of reference are available on the Commission'swebsite.

New Inquiry Into Environmental Water

March 1, 2018: House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy has commenced an inquiry into the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water.

The inquiry will examine the role of Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder in determining how environmental water should be used, and also consider how the impact of environmental watering is monitored and evaluated.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder is an independent statutory position established to manage Commonwealth environmental water for the purpose of protecting or restoring environmental assets.
Since its establishment, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder has become the largest single holder of water entitlements in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Chair of the Committee, Mr Andrew Broad MP, said the inquiry is an opportunity to understand how environmental water has been managed to date and to identify opportunities to improve the use of environmental water into the future.

“Rivers, floodplains, and wetlands are cornerstones of the Australian environment and support economic activity in regional communities across the country. Environmental water has an important role in ensuring that Australia’s river systems are sustained in the long term,” Mr Broad said.

“In launching this inquiry, the Committee is keen to understand how the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder makes decisions about when and where to use environmental water, and to examine how the water holder taps into local knowledge and uses the latest science in order
to achieve genuine long-term environmental outcomes,” Mr Broad said.

“The Committee is not inquiring into the broader Murray–Darling Basin Plan, and we are not looking to duplicate the work already underway in this area. Our focus is on Commonwealth environmental water,” Mr Broad said.

The Deputy Chair of the Committee, Mr Pat Conroy MP, explained the Committee would also seek to ensure that environmental water is used efficiently.

“Commonwealth environmental water holdings represent a significant investment by the Australian public in our natural environment. As part of this inquiry, the Committee will examine the integrity of the management of environmental water and seek to ensure that environmental water is used
efficiently and for the purpose for which it was acquired,” Mr Conroy said.

The Committee will accept written submissions, addressing one or more of the terms of reference, until Thursday, 12 April 2018.

Further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, is available on the inquiry webpage. Information about how to make a submission to an inquiry can be obtained from the Parliament of Australiawebpage.

Management And Use Of Commonwealth Environmental Water

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy has resolved to inquire into the 2016-17 annual report of the Department of the Environment and Energy. In doing so, the Committee will inquire into and report on the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water.

The Committee will be conducting public hearings and site inspections to gather evidence from stakeholders.

Submissions are invited until Thursday 12 April 2018.

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.

Funding Local Environmental Projects

27 February 2018: Joint media release - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy and The Hon. David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
The Coalition Government is helping community and landcare groups restore local environments through local projects that also contribute to our national environmental priorities.

Applications are now open for groups to share in $5 million worth of grants, available under the National Landcare Program.

“I encourage community, landcare, environmental and other natural resource management groups to take advantage of this opportunity, tackle local issues and contribute to protecting our extraordinary environment,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“Activities can range from invasive pest and weed management, revegetation, erosion control and threatened species conservation to community engagement and Indigenous land and sea planning.

“The program complements the $450 million we’re already investing over five years to deliver national environmental priorities at both a regional and local level.”

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the grants would harness community support in dealing with invasive pests and weeds.

“Not all pests and weeds are found on farmland, public lands can be a breeding ground for them,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We want to control the problem at the source and stop the spread to neighbouring farmland.”

Applications close on 19 March. One-off grants between $5000 and $50,000 are available.

For further information, please visit:

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. 

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 

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

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:

The First Royal Visitor To Australia 150 Years Later

150 years ago, on the 12th March 1868, an Irishman named Henry James O’Farrell attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Alfred Duke of Edinburgh, the first member of the royal family to visit Australia. 

Twenty thousand people made the long journey to Hyde Park, mostly by foot, to protest the assassination attempt. Parliament quickly legislated a response to O’Farrell who had pulled the trigger. Community relief after Prince Alfred survived saw large sums donated to establish a hospital in his name – the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital opened in 1882.

In 2015 Pittwater Online ran a history page; 

This week Parliamentary Education’s evening program ‘A Little Night Sitting’: to be held at the Parliament of NSW on Tuesday 13 March between 5 – 7 pm, will also focus on this event - details below.

4.7 Million Australians To Benefit From Indexation

March 5th, 2018: Ministers for the Dept. of Social Services
Around 4.7 million pension and allowance recipients will receive an increase to their welfare payments from 20 March.

The increases will help pensioners and allowance recipients to keep up with increases in living costs.

From 20 March, pension payments including Age Pension and Disability Support Pension will increase by $13.20 a fortnight to $907.60 for singles, and by $19.80 a fortnight to $1,368.20 for couples combined.

Individuals receiving Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, and Sickness Allowance will benefit from an increase of $7.00 a fortnight to $554.60. Members of a couple will see an increase of $6.30 a fortnight to $503.40.

The Parenting Payment (Single) will increase by $9.80 to $774.40 a fortnight.

Rent Assistance rates also increase from 20 March, as do a range of income and assets limits for pensions and allowances, as a result of indexation.

Payment rates for pensions and allowances are adjusted twice a year. Pension increases are linked to prices and wages, and allowances are linked to the Consumer Price Index.

Full details of new rates and thresholds are available on the DSS website

Federal Court Decision In Regis Aged Care Case

March 6, 2018: The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP , Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health
The Federal Court handed down a decision on 2 March 2018, to disallow Regis Aged Care from levying an “Asset Replacement Charge” on aged care residents.

This ruling confirms the Department of Health’s interpretation of the relevant legislation.

The decision is a reminder to aged care providers to ensure that they adhere to the legislation in regards to fees charged to residents.

An information sheet regarding the legislation can be found at theDepartment of Health's website.

The Department notes the Federal Court’s decision has a 28-day appeal period.

Apply For An Investing In Women 2018 Grant

March 9th, 2018: NSW Government
Grants between $25,000 and $100,000 are on offer to support women in the workforce.
The Investing in Women program funds organisations to develop and implement projects that support economic opportunity, participation, empowerment and leadership.

Projects should address at least one of the seven focus areas:
  • women’s economic opportunity and advancement
  • equitable workplaces for women and men
  • women in small business
  • women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers
  • women in male-dominated trades
  • women in leadership roles
  • leadership pathways for young women.
Minister for Women Tanya Davies said the NSW Government wants to further support gender equality in all industries and at every level.

“We want this funding to have a renewed focus on supporting proven projects that are sustainable, as well as helping new initiatives come to life,” Mrs Davies said.

Eligible organisations are encouraged to apply by 22 April 2018.

Highest Bulk-Billing Rate On Record

March 6, 2018: The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
New Medicare data shows a record amount of Australian patients are seeing their doctor without paying a cent, with the bulk-billing rate increasing to 85.8 per cent in the first half of the 2017–18 financial year. 

This is the highest GP bulk-billing rate on record for the July to December period and it is nearly 4% higher than Labor’s 81.9 per cent, which they achieved when they were last in Government.

More than 65.9 million bulk billed GP visits were provided to patients over this time period, an extra 3.1 million services compared to last year. 

The total cost of all Medicare services during the six month period was $11.6 billion, with the bulk-billing rate for all services increasing in every state and territory. 

These figures put to bed the shocking lies that Labor continues to peddle about Medicare. 

Medicare has never been stronger. 

And we’re investing more than ever – with record Medicare funding increasing each and every year from $23 billion in 2017-18, to $24 billion, to $26 billion to $28 billion in 2020-21.

Spending under Labor was $19.5 billion in 2012-13.

And although more Australians are benefiting from these record bulk-billing figures than ever before, we must continue to drive down the cost of private health insurance and address out-of-pocket costs. 

That’s why the Turnbull Government will work with the medical profession to address the large and sometimes unanticipated out-of-pocket medical fees some patients face. 

A new expert committee chaired by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, will investigate out-of-pocket costs and options to ensure that consumers are better informed of fees before agreeing to treatment.

Our commitment to Medicare is rock solid and the figures released today show that under the Turnbull Government, Medicare is providing more support to Australian patients than ever before. 

Major Boost For Future Quantum Jobs

March 7th 2018: Media release - Premier of NSW, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian
The NSW Government is forging a path to future high-tech job opportunities by supporting further development of the University of Sydney’s proposal for a new Sydney Quantum Academy to train the next generation of quantum engineers and put NSW at the heart of the global quantum economy.

The $500,000 commitment towards the Sydney Quantum Academy proposal is the second from NSW Quantum Computing Fund. The initiative is a partnership between the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, UNSW Sydney and UTS.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the investment in the quantum economy is about jobs. It would create education and economic opportunities for NSW and new professions to shape the future of the high-tech industry.

“We have a tremendous wealth of expertise in quantum science and technology in NSW. There are researchers here who the world is watching closely, as the race to develop the first fully-functional quantum computer heats up,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The Quantum Academy will train a future generation of quantum engineers to build and program these machines. The Academy will also build on the expertise across our universities to create a quantum ecosystem that will benefit NSW.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills, John Barilaro, said the $500,000 will go towards the development of the Sydney Quantum Academy proposal which will help to cement NSW as the centre of the global quantum revolution.

“NSW already has an unusually high concentration of quantum computing expertise and this funding from the NSW Government will make sure our state continues to push boundaries in this field,” Mr Barilaro said.

Leading University of Sydney scientist and Director of Microsoft Station Q, Professor David Reilly said: “Building a quantum computer is one of the most significant scientific and engineering challenges of the 21st century. The computing power of quantum machines will potentially revolutionise medicine, communications and transport.”

2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons, whose team at UNSW Sydney is currently developing a silicon based quantum computer said: “We have some exciting opportunities for translation in the quantum space, we need good people and I welcome the NSW Government’s support.”

Pokies To Be Capped In High-Risk Communities

March 7th, 2018: NSW Government
New gambling reforms will ensure no extra gaming machines can be added to areas with a high risk of problem gambling in NSW.
The NSW Government will overhaul the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) scheme that regulates gaming machine movements, with a stronger focus on communities with the highest potential for problem gambling.

Community organisations will be notified when a gaming machine application is made, and community consultation will run for longer periods.

In high-risk areas such as Fairfield in western Sydney, pokies will be capped at their current number and no additional machines can move into these areas.

The gambling reforms introduced into NSW Parliament also includes tougher penalties, including increased fines, for directors and wagering operators who do the wrong thing.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the caps are an appropriate response to concerns that some areas have too many gaming machines.

“A number of councils and community groups suggested caps and the NSW Government agrees this is the right thing to do in higher-risk areas,” Mr Toole said.

“These changes will deliver more transparency, more community consultation and greater certainty for industry.”

The NSW Government will provide better access to gaming machine data, including comprehensive activity and profit statistics.

Learn more about the reforms on the Liquor and Gaming NSW website

Making Sure Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share: Addressing Hybrid Loopholes

7 March 2018: Media Release - The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia
The Turnbull Government is continuing to ensure multinationals pay their fair share of tax – today releasing revised exposure draft legislation to address hybrid mismatch arrangements.

Hybrid mismatches exploit the differences in tax jurisdictions.

This may occur, for example, where an amount is treated as interest in Australia, but is treated as a dividend in a foreign jurisdiction. Multinationals can use this mismatch to their advantage, to reduce the amount of tax they pay in Australia.

A mismatch can also occur where a deduction is available for the same payment in two or more jurisdictions.

The proposed rules are designed to prevent companies doubling up on taxation benefits. The rules will work by either denying deductions or including amounts in assessable income.

The exposure draft legislation implements the recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports Neutralising the Effects of Hybrid Mismatch Arrangements and Neutralising the Effects of Branch Mismatch Arrangements.

It also puts into action a targeted integrity rule to address arrangements designed to circumvent the hybrid mismatch rules.

The hybrid mismatch rules will further strengthen Australia's tax laws and are another example of the Turnbull Government's action to shut down loopholes and tackle tax avoidance head on.

By ensuring that all taxpayers including multinationals pay their fair share of tax, we ensure the sustainability of our tax system so that we can fund the infrastructure and services needed by Australians.

The exposure draft of the legislation is on the Treasury website.

Submissions are due by Wednesday April 4 2018 and can be sent The Government encourages all interested parties to make a submission.

Australia And Timor-Leste Sign Maritime Boundary Treaty

7 March 2018: Joint media release with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, the Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP and Senator the Hon Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

Today we signed the Treaty between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Establishing Their Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea.

The treaty is an historic agreement that opens a new chapter in our bilateral relationship. It establishes permanent maritime boundaries between our countries and provides for the joint development and management of the Greater Sunrise gas fields.

The treaty delivers certainty for both countries. Australia and Timor-Leste have agreed that we will exercise joint rights over the seabed containing the Greater Sunrise field. Seventy or eighty per cent of the revenue from developing Greater Sunrise will flow to Timor-Leste, depending on the final development concept to be agreed upon by Timor-Leste and Australia.

This will require the support of the private sector oil and gas joint venture companies whose capacity to develop and operate the project will depend on its economic viability.

The Treaty also puts in place transitional provisions to ensure certainty and security for affected offshore petroleum operations in the Timor Sea.

The treaty is the outcome of the first ever conciliation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Australian Government expresses its appreciation to the Conciliation Commissioners and the staff of the Permanent Court of Arbitration for their vital role in assisting Australia and Timor-Leste to reach agreement on the treaty.

The agreement is a testament to the way in which international law, in particular UNCLOS, reinforces stability and allows countries to resolve disputes peacefully. It is an example of the international rules-based order in action.

Appointment Of Native Title Registrar - National Native Title Tribunal

March 5th, 2018: Media release - Attorney-General for Australia, The Hon Christian Porter MP

Ms Christine Fewings has been appointed the Full-Time Native Title Registrar within the National Native Title Tribunal.

Ms Fewings brings extensive native title experience and expertise to this role. She has worked as a native title practitioner in private practice and has served for a decade as a Registrar of the Federal Court of Australia, including most recently as National Registrar, Native Title.

As Native Title Registrar, Ms Fewings will be responsible for maintaining the National Native Title Register, the Register of Native Title Claims and the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

The Native Title Registrar is also responsible for assessing native title claimant applications for registration, giving notice of native title applications and Indigenous Land Use Agreements, and registering Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

In light of Ms Fewings' skills and experience in this area, I am confident that she will perform these functions to a very high standard.

Ms Fewings will replace Mr Robert Powrie, who has performed the role of acting Native Title Registrar since March 2016. I thank Mr Powrie for his service as acting Registrar over this time.

Ms Fewings has been appointed as Native Title Registrar for a period of five years, commencing on 13 March 2018.

Historical Spatial Data Made Available Online

March 7th, 2018: National Native Title Tribunal
In response to feedback from our stakeholders, the NNTT Geospatial Services team has made more spatial data available online.

Specifically, data outlining historical native title claims can now be accessed and downloaded for use in your own mapping applications. This dataset provides a spatial representation of application areas as they appeared at the time that the application was ended. Note that in some cases this may be different from the area at the time the application was lodged.

To use the data, go to this and select “Historical Native Title Determination Applications” from the dataset selection list.

Australia Council Awards Recipents Announced For 2018

March 5th, 2018: Australia Council for the Arts
The Australia Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the prestigious Australia Council awards, which recognise and celebrate the significant contributions of leading artists to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of the nation. 

Nominated by industry peers, the eight recipients of the national awards demonstrate an extraordinary range of outstanding and sustained achievement across music, literature, community arts and cultural development, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre, and dance. They join an impressive and diverse group of individuals who have received these awards in previous years. 

The recipients will be honoured during a special ceremony at Carriageworks, Sydney on Tuesday. Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski said it was an opportunity to reflect on the important role artists play in capturing the nation’s imagination.

“These national awards are a critical way for the Australia Council to recognise the remarkable achievements of individual Australian artists, as well as highlighting the broader contribution of all our artists to enhancing the lives of Australians. The recipients of the 2018 awards are leaders in their respective fields. They have individually and collectively made highly significant contributions to the development of artistic practice and to challenging existing ways of exploring how we express identity and how we connect with one another. Almost all Australians engage with the arts multiple times on a daily basis. The Arts play a central role in wellbeing, in building more creative and cohesive communities, and are a complex and layered reflection of our nation. With that in mind it is essential that we celebrate and support the rich and diverse artistic talent we are fortunate to have,” he said.

The recipients of Australia Council Awards for 2018:

Bruce Pascoe (VIC) - Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature 

Liza Lim (VIC) - Australia Council Don Banks Music Award

Pat Brassington (TAS) - Australia Council Award for Visual Arts

Nigel Helyer (NSW) - Australia Council Award for Emerging & Experimental Arts 

Phillip Adams (VIC) - Australia Council Award for Dance 

Liz Jones AO (VIC) - Australia Council Award for Theatre 

Christian (Bong) Ramilo (NT) – Australia Council Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development

Edwin Kemp Attrill (SA) - Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development

Rethinking Childbirth Education Could Save AU $97 Million P.A.

March 2nd, 2018: NICM, Western Sydney University
Research led by The University of Notre Dame Australia, NICM and Western Sydney University, shows antenatal education not only reduces the rates of medical interventions during childbirth, but can save the healthcare system up to AU$97 million per year.

The Australian-first research found that an effective childbirth education programme -- which significantly reduced the incidence of caesarean births -- could save an average of AU$808 per woman.

Lead author, Dr Kate Levett says applied to the 120,000 first time mothers who give birth annually in Australia, the potential saving for hospitals, government and private health insurers is significant and is likely to be an underestimate of the actual amount of medical resources saved.

"Most of the medical savings in the model come from the reduction in rate of uncomplicated caesarean section in the women allocated to the 2-day antenatal programme, Complementary Therapies for Labour and Birth (CTLB)," said Dr Levett, Research Fellow at The University of Notre Dame Australia and Adjunct Fellow at NICM.

"Our previous research showed that after taking the CTLB course, approximately 82 per cent of women, who were first time mothers, experienced a vaginal birth, as opposed to a caesarean section.

"With the global emphasis on reducing caesarean section rates and the budgetary constraints faced by maternity providers, the potential benefits of this intervention may be significant from both a clinical and an economical perspective," Dr Levett said.

Published online in the medical journal BMJ Open, the latest study is part of an ongoing collaborative investigation into the high rates, and costs of medical intervention that women experience during childbirth.

"We have a strong international collaborative team with NICM, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the Translational Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, The University of Central Lancashire UK, and Health Economist, Associate Professor Federico Girosi at Capital Markets CRC Australia and Western Sydney University, who designed the analysis," said Dr Levett.

The researchers say the use of AR-DRG codes provides a simple way to conduct cost analyses for particular interventions, as well as enabling healthcare commissioners and providers around the world to make informed choices about the added value of a proposed intervention.

Frequent medical interventions during childbirth are problematic as they commonly result in instrumental birth or caesarean section at a high cost, both mentally and financially.

The researchers' latest findings look specifically at the cost implications of the CLTB intervention, and propose that savings generated from reduced medical interventions, specifically caesarean section, could be used to resource effective evidence-based antenatal education for women.

Dr Levett said antenatal education programmes like CTLB can reduce the stress of childbirth and save valuable hospital resources.

"Previous research has shown the antenatal CTLB programme significantly reduces epidural use, as well as reducing a range of other clinical interventions that have important adverse consequences, including caesarean section, if overused in healthy women and babies," Dr Levett said.

While wider national and international implementation of the pilot clinical trial is recommended to confirm results in a broader population and examine issues of generalisability, the researchers say the positive savings could lead to a reduction in birth-related healthcare costs of approximately nine per cent.

Kate M Levett, Hannah G Dahlen, Caroline A Smith, Kenneth William Finlayson, Soo Downe, Federico Girosi. Cost analysis of the CTLB Study, a multitherapy antenatal education programme to reduce routine interventions in labour. BMJ Open, 2018; 8 (2): e017333 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017333

Honouring 100 Significant Sites Of Anzac Spirit

March 8, 2018: Media release - Premier of NSW, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian
From the battlefields of France and Kokoda to Vietnam and Afghanistan, NSW’s international military history will be honoured as part of a new artwork for the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott announced the 100 significant sites where soil samples will be collected for the artwork, designed by artist Fiona Hall as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.

The 100 international sites across 31 countries and jurisdictions have been carefully chosen to represent the State’s involvement in Australia’s international military history.

Ms Berejiklian said the project aimed to collect soil samples from 100 sites to be displayed in a ring set in the floor of the Memorial’s new Hall of Service.

“This artwork will honour more than a century of service, from 19th century battles to recent Australian peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Pacific,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Elliott said the list of significant sites had been limited to 100 to symbolise the Centenary of Anzac, and did not seek to be a compete record of Australian battle honours.

“Of the 102,800 Australians who have died on active duty since 1885, all but a few hundred lie beneath foreign fields. The soil represents the ground on which the ultimate sacrifice was made, and where many who made such a sacrifice still lie,” Mr Elliott said

As part of the same artwork, the walls of the Hall of Service will also feature soil samples from 1699 locations across NSW that enlistees for the Australian Imperial Force gave as their home address.

Mr Elliott said it will serve as a focal point for future generations to learn about Australia’s military history as well as the service and sacrifice of our country’s defence personnel and their families. The Anzac Memorial upgrade will be completed in late 2018. 

2018 NSW Women Of The Year Awards

March 8th, 2018: NSW Government
Outstanding women have been recognised for their achievements at the 2018 NSW Women of the Year Awards.

Now in its seventh year, the awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women across NSW to industry, community and society.

2018 winners
NSW Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year – Professor Hala Zreiqat
NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award – Carmen Julie Shelley
First State Super Lifetime Achievement Award – Norma Ingram
Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year Award – Shaza Rifi
Rex Airlines Regional Woman of the Year Award – Juliet Duffy
Community Hero Award – Dr Raji Ambikairajah
NSW Business Woman of the Year Award – Kristy Chong
Professor Hala Zreiqat won the 2018 NSW Women of the Year award for her outstanding contribution to regenerative medicine and orthopaedic research.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian congratulated each of the winners for their outstanding achievements.

“The selflessness and skill that all of the winners and finalists have shown echo through their communities and make real positive impacts on people’s lives,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Minister for Women Tanya Davies said the awards are an important opportunity to acknowledge women who are driving important change through their passions and purpose

“I’d like to sincerely thank them for contributing so much to NSW,” Mrs Davies said. 

Ministers’ Awards For Women In Local Government

The annual awards were established to celebrate the outstanding efforts of women working for metropolitan, rural and regional councils.

The 2018 awards recognised 17 women for their contribution to their communities through local government.

“The awards recognise women in leadership positions, those challenging the status quo in jobs such as engineering and, for the first time this year, female trainees or apprentices,” Mrs Davies said.

Two More Cases Linked To National Listeria Outbreak

06 March 2018: NSW Dept. of Health
The number of people affected by the national listeria outbreak has risen to 17 with two more interstate cases linked to contaminated rockmelon, a man from Victoria and a woman from Queensland.

There have been no further cases in NSW linked to the outbreak.

NSW and Victoria have both recorded six cases, there have been four cases in QLD and one in Tasmania. There have been two deaths in NSW and two in Victoria.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said both new cases became ill before the contaminated rockmelons were recalled from market on 28 February.

“Listeriosis has a long incubation period - up to 70 days. Therefore there are multiple foods consumed and retailers used by the cases, which need to be thoroughly investigated and the findings matched to specialist laboratory test results, to determine the source,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“NSW Health responded immediately with the NSW Food Authority and other state health departments to pinpoint the cause and advise vulnerable groups how to minimise their risk.

“All state and national guidelines have been followed and public warnings issued here and interstate when the food source was identified.”

Listeria is found widely in the environment and rarely causes serious illness in the general population, but for vulnerable people, such as those who are over 70, pregnant, or have diabetes or suppressed immune systems, it can be extremely serious or even life threatening.

“Typically around one third of people who fall ill with listeriosis die every year. Most of the cases are never related to an outbreak like this one we’re seeing with the rockmelon contamination,” Dr Sheppeard said.

NSW Health thoroughly investigates all notifications of listeriosis. 

People at risk of listeriosis are reminded to avoid the following foods:
  • pre-cut melons such as rockmelon or watermelon
  • pre-packed cold salads including coleslaw and fresh fruit salad
  • pre-cooked cold chicken, cold delicatessen meats, pâté
  • raw seafood, uncooked smoked seafood (e.g. smoked salmon)aw seafood, uncooked smoked seafood (e.g. smoked salmon)
  • unpasteurised milk or milk products, soft cheeses (e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta or    blue-vein)
  • sprouted seeds.prouted seeds.
Location of 2018 listeriosis cases in NSW
Local Health District (LHD) Outbreak cases (n) Non-outbreak cases* (n)
Western Sydney LHD                     0                             1 
Southern NSW LHD                       0                              3
Northern Sydney LHD                    3                              2
South-Eastern Sydney LHD          2                              0
Sydney LHD                                    1                              0
Northern NSW LHD                        0                             1
Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD             0                              2
TOTAL                                             6                              9
*genetic information available to date suggests that these infections are not linked to rockmelon consumption, or to each other.

All other NSW Local Health Districts have had zero cases to date in 2018.

ABC's New Cadetship For Women

7th March 2018
The ABC has announced a new cadetship scheme encouraging women to enter the film and television industry as part of its support for International Women’s Day and the #PressforProgress campaign.

The 12-month Your Time cadetships are supported by Screen Australia and are aimed at women who want to develop screen skills, especially in the fields of camera, sound, directing and other craft skills roles where women are historically under-represented.

The Your Time cadetship scheme is one way the ABC is supporting International Women’s Day on Thursday 8 March. The ABC will also promote IWD 2018 across its platforms with specialist programming and guest presenters, highlighting the contribution of broadcasters, program makers and women behind-the-scenes throughout the organisation.

And following on from last year’s IWD programming schedule which was well-received by audiences, ABC programs across television and radio will be presented by all women line-ups.

ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie said International Women’s Day 2018 was an important opportunity not only to celebrate the contribution women make in the workplace but also to highlight where work still needs to be done.

“While women are equally represented across the ABC Board and in our leadership positions, International Women’s Day affords us the opportunity to focus attention on the work still to be done,” Ms Guthrie said.

“We lead the industry in our representation of women in presenter roles on many of our programs and we work hard to ensure our audiences hear these voices every day”.

“But there is still more work to be done so that our content reflects the Australian population, so women are equally represented in the stories we tell, the experts we interview and the comedians who make us laugh. We also play an important role in ensuring Australian children grow up watching programs where girls are equally represented in all types of roles.”

“The Your Time cadetships demonstrate the commitment of the ABC and Screen Australia to ensuring women get more opportunities.”

The Your Time cadetship scheme was inspired by Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative. For more information about the cadetships visit the ABC Careers page on 8 March –

Applications Close: 21 March 2018

HMAS Warramunga Seizes Eight Tonnes Of Illicit Drugs

6 March 2018: Australian Government Department of Defence
The crew of Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga has intercepted two vessels and seized approximately eight tonnes of hashish valued at approximately $400 million during operations in international waters of the Arabian Sea.

Warramunga has now seized 19.5 tonnes of hashish and 1.5 tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of $1.43 billion* since deploying to the Middle East in November 2017.

On 3 March Warramunga’s Seahawk helicopter crew detected a vessel of interest during surveillance operations. A boarding party searched the vessel, uncovering 4.1 tonnes of illicit cargo.

The Seahawk crew then detected a second vessel of interest and the subsequent boarding and search operation resulted in the seizure of an additional 3.9 tonnes of illegal narcotics.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Warramunga, Commander Dugald Clelland, RAN, said he has been continually impressed with the crew’s determination and professionalism.

“This has been a high tempo deployment for HMAS Warramunga but we have been fortunate in seeing significant quantities of narcotics not reach their final destination as a result of the efforts of the crew and the CTF 150 team,” he said.

“Preventing the movement of these narcotics not only potentially saves lives; it also deprives terrorist and other criminal organisations of $1.43 billion in revenue, which allows us to degrade the effectiveness of these organisations.”

The Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Rear Admiral Jaimie Hatcher, AM, RAN, said the achievements of Warramunga and her crew reflect a longstanding legacy of success by the RAN in the region.

“This is the 66th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel in the region since 1990 and the continual successes of Warramunga during her rotation builds upon the foundation of commitment our Navy has shown to the region for nearly three decades,” Rear Admiral Hatcher said.

The narcotics were transferred to Warramunga and will be disposed of at sea.

Operation MANITOU is the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.

Combined Taskforce 150 is one of three task forces operating under Combined Maritime Forces. Australia assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 in December 2017.

Warramunga intercepted and boarded two suspect vessels on 3 and 4 Mar 18 in an operation planned by the Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) which is commanded by Australia and supported by a combined Australian-Canadian staff.

Warramunga is deployed on Operation MANITOU, supporting international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region (MER). Operation MANITOU’s mission is to contribute to the Combined Maritime Forces, which is a 32-nation partnership focused on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation and promoting a safe maritime environment. 

Warramunga is on her third deployment to the MER and is the 66th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel to the region since 1990. 
Photo by LSIS Tom Gibson

Saab Australia Advancing Collins Class Submarines

March 6th, 2018: Media Release - The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence Industry
The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has congratulated Saab on their recent contract with ASC to supply an updated Integrated Ship Control Management and Monitoring System (ISCMMS) for four Royal Australian Navy Collins class submarines.

“I congratulate Saab on their technological advancement and also thank ASC for their work integrating this upgrade into HMAS Collins,” Minister Pyne said.

“This $24.2 million project will support 50 jobs, the majority of which are in Adelaide.

“Technological developments keep Australia at the forefront of Defence capability, help keep our personnel safe and ensure they have the right equipment to carry out their duties in the defence of the nation,” Minster Pyne said.

Saab’s ISCMMS enables the Collins class submarines to manoeuvre; and fully integrates the management of propulsion, trim, power generation and ship services.

HMAS Waller will be upgraded in 2018, and the system will be integrated into the remaining submarines in 2019 as they undergo their routine maintenance cycles.

Based in Adelaide, Saab Australia employs almost 400 Australians, and is one of the Australia’s most respected defence and security system integrators.

Saab Australia has developed and integrated technology to protect and empower Australia’s Navy, Army and Air Force for over thirty years.

New Forensic Analysis Indicates Bones Were Amelia Earhart's

March 7, 2018: University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Bone measurement analysis indicates that the remains found on a remote island in the South Pacific were likely those of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, according to a UT researcher.

Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology and director emeritus of UT's Forensic Anthropology Center, re-examined seven bone measurements conducted in 1940 by physician D. W. Hoodless. Hoodless had concluded that the bones belonged to a man.

Jantz, using several modern quantitative techniques -- including Fordisc, a computer program for estimating sex, ancestry, and stature from skeletal measurements -- found that Hoodless had incorrectly determined the sex of the remains. The program, co-created by Jantz, is used by nearly every board-certified forensic anthropologist in the US and around the world.

The data revealed that the bones have more similarity to Earhart than to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample.

The new study is published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

Jantz also compared the bone lengths with Earhart's. Her humerus and radius lengths were obtained from a photograph with a scalable object. The scale was provided by Jeff Glickman of Photek. Her tibia length was estimated from measurements of her clothing in the George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers at Purdue University. A historic seamstress took the measurements, which included the inseam length and waist circumference of Earhart's trousers.

Based on this information, Jantz concludes that "until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers."

Questioning Hoodless's analysis had less to do with his competence and more to do with the state of forensic anthropology at the time, Jantz said.

"Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century," the paper states. "There are many examples of erroneous assessments by anthropologists of the period. We can agree that Hoodless may have done as well as most analysts of the time could have done, but this does not mean his analysis was correct."

Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while flying over the Pacific. Many assumed that her plane had crashed into the waters, and she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were never seen again.

A group of researchers, including Jantz, believe she died as a castaway on the island of Nikumaroro.

Along with bones found in 1940, a search party discovered part of a shoe judged to have been a woman's, a sextant box designed to hold a Brandis Navy Surveying Sextant, manufactured around 1918 and similar to the one Earhart's co-pilot used, and a Benedictine bottle, something Earhart was known to carry.

The bones eventually disappeared, and what remained was metric data limited to four measurements of the skull and three of long bones -- the tibia, humerus, and radius.

In reaching his conclusion, Jantz investigated other theories about the bones. He looked at the possibility that they may have belonged to one of 11 men who were presumed killed at Nikumaroro in the 1929 wreck of the Norwich City on the island's western reef, more than four miles from where the bones were found. He also considered the possibility that they were the bones of a Pacific Islander.

He concluded that there was no documentation on the men and no evidence that any of them had survived the shipwreck to die as a castaway. The woman's shoe and American sextant box also are not artifacts likely to have been associated with a survivor of the wreck. Nor was there evidence that a Pacific Islander had ended up as a castaway.

Based on all the evidence, the paper states, Earhart "was known to have been in the area of Nikumaroro Island, she went missing, and human remains were discovered which are entirely consistent with her and inconsistent with most other people."

Jantz conducted the study in collaboration with the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

Richard Jantz. Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones: A 1941 Analysis versus Modern Quantitative Techniques. Forensic Anthropology, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.5744/fa.2018.0009

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.