DECEMBER 2004 by vivi07


									Environmental Hope
The Bi-Monthly Newsletter of Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment

October 2005
Edition 18

In This Edition:
Editorial 1 News form the Office 2-5  Convenor‟s report  End of Year Social & Planning Meeting  Library Donations Welcome  New Mutual Support Partners  Library Update  Good BUGs for the Environment  Biodiversity Month (September)  Catholic Earthcare Australia  Volunteers Cricket Day  Greywater Reuse  Letters to the Editor General articles  Bushcare Month (October)  Money Saving Green Tips  EcoVoice now Online  Events Calendar  Weedbuster Week  Water Week  Recycling Week Queensland News Around the States & Territories World News Membership form 6-8

Welcome to our October edition. We have endeavored to cram in as much information as we can into fewer pages. Thank you once again to those who have taken the time to send letters to the editor. All feedback is very welcome. In this edition, you will find information, book reviews, and websites relating to Bushcare, Recycling, Frogs and Waterweek. We have included some information about new Mutual Support Partners and our usual hints and tips for making your house more environmentally friendly. Looking at the overwhelming problems of global warming, forest degradation, salination, and drought, one can easily become disheartened at the enormity of the problems facing us, but HOPE firmly believes that we can achieve very positive gains in our households and communities. The key to sustainability lies with the small, simple steps we can make every day to lessen our environmental footprint. Change our habits – change our lives. Become involved in a Bushcare project near you. Don‟t think that because you live in town, that Bushcare doesn‟t apply. Get involved in caring for green space or parkland near you or contact the local Landcare office and find out about projects near you. Become a recycler; build a frogpond in your backyard. Food for thought - Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim Recycle should apply to water too.

9 10 11 12

Robyn Whale, Editor

Read back issues of Environmental Hope at

“Environmental action doesn’t entail having to spend money. In many cases environmentally responsible action will save you money. Just a simple step, like eliminating draughts in your home can save up to 20% on your winter heating bill.” - from Its Easy Being Green Handbook

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Householders' Options to Protect the Environment

News from the Office
Convenor’s Report
During August and September, a lot of the time was spent on planning and preparation for HOPE‟s projects and upcoming events. One project, a supermarket survey, looked at which steel can products carried the recycling logo - this is a lead up to National Recycling Week. Our major event for September were displays (and a colouring competition for children) organized for Biodiversity Month. One display was at the University of Southern Queensland, and the other in the children‟s section of the city library. Also, planning is well in hand for two shopping centre displays for National Weedbusters Week (8-12 October); and a display at the city library for National Recycling Week (16-23 November). HOPE received invitations to attend information sessions on Water Futures Toowoomba (29 Aug) and Sustainable Housing (30 Aug); and the launch of Catholic Earthcare Australia„s “The Gift of Water” statement. Kirsty Holmes, our Secretary / Treasurer for the past 2½ years, has resigned and Miriam Sharp, our Admin Officer, has taken on these positions. Thank you Kirsty for all your efforts. Frank Ondrus ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting website
Fresh from the farm to you. Healthy, nutritious and delicious certified organics, delivered right to your door! Welcome to Queensland's largest organic home shopping service, offering you the convenience of Internet shopping or phone ordering. We deliver throughout Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and most surrounding areas, and Rockhampton. We offer you the largest variety of organic fruit and vegetables, organically raised FREE RANGE meat and eggs, special allergy foods, snacks and most grocery lines. Visit to learn more!

Library Donations Welcome
It is important to keep our library resources up to date. Suitable donations of books, magazines, videos and newspaper articles would be appreciated.

Also, …
Donations of office consumables such as photocopy paper and postage stamps are always welcome. Any financial contributions are used to off-set postage and telephone / internet expenses.

Occasional expert comment sought
From time to time, HOPE is asked to make comment on various State and Federal discussion papers, draft policy and/or strategy documents. If you have particular expertise and would like to help preparing responses, please contact the office on phone (07) 4639 2135 or email .

New Mutual Support Partners.
HOPE is happy to welcome Catholic Earthcare Australia ( and Clean Up Australia ( as Mutual Support Partners. Please visit their respective websites to see what services and resources they have on offer.

Are you being served?
Where have I heard that statement before? Seriously folks, we welcome feedback from you on HOPE, its activities and direction so that we can better service your interests. Please forward your comments and /or concerns to HOPE, PO Box 6118, Toowoomba West QLD 4350.

Library Update
The library has now been reorganized and catalogued. New donations are still coming in and they are very welcome. Library resources are available for anyone to use – Monday is HOPE‟s office day, so feel free to come and have a look at what‟s available. There are books, journals, newsletters, magazines, CDs, videos and more. The reference section of the library has categories from biodiversity, climate change, natural resource management, salinity, State of the Environment, water and waste management and minimization. Copies of the library list are available on request. Stephanie Johnson

End of Year Social & 2006 Planning Meeting
- Saturday 26 November 2005 Please come along to our social and 2006 planning day to be held on Saturday 26 November, at 22 Vacy Street, Toowoomba. The gathering will commence at 12.30pm. RSVP by phone or email by Friday 18 November.

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Good BUGs for the environment
Recently, more that 1,000 cities all over the world participated in World Car Free Day (WCFD). It is part of Mobility Week, held across Europe during September, and it aims to encourage car free transport. It seeks to promote a change in attitude and behaviour towards means of transport that are less harmful to our environment - such as walking, riding bikes, and public transport. Other options to reduce the use of cars are car pooling, making fewer trips during peak time and working flex-time. There also are groups that can help people to make the transition to being car free, such as Bicycle Users Groups and Bus Users Groups (BUGs). They promote the use of other means of transport than cars, because they are concerned about the impact cars have on our environment and our health. Individuals have changed their behaviour, and get fit and enjoy themselves when walking or riding. Check with your local Council for BUGs in your area. Besides the benefits for the environment there are lots of other advantages of not using a car. It does not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution, but it is also good for our general health and fitness, it adds to productivity at work, enhances safety and saves money. People riding to work or elsewhere say that they are feeling much better both physically and mentally. Employers claim this helps boost employee productivity, and reduce people taking sick days. When there are less cars on the road (at the same time) there might be not as many accidents, which improves safety. Last but not least, being car free means that people save costs of things like car maintenance and petrol, car parks and roads. Some figures: an average car engine sucks in 10 cubic metres of fresh air (equivalent to the air in a small room!) to burn each litre of petrol and emits hot fumes with 2.7 kg of carbon dioxide, 9.25 kg of nitrogen and 0.09 kg of water vapour. Excessive use of fossil fuels is a dominant contributor to pollution and global warming effects such as floods and droughts. Maybe it is not such a bad idea to walk or ride sometimes! To make it easier for people to enjoy a car free day once in a while it would be great if local councils would create better running and better accessible public transport, and make improvements to the pavements and bike facilities towards safe and healthy road use. And of course they should lead in example! Miriam Sharp

Biodiversity Month events aplenty in Toowoomba
During September, HOPE setup two information displays to promote the protection and conservation of our biodiversity. A colouring competition for primary school aged children was conducted through the children‟s section of the Toowoomba Library. Thanks also to Toowoomba City Council for their Responsible Pet Ownership display and their Backyards, Birds & Binoculars activity at Water-bird habitat in Toowoomba.

Information display at University of Southern Queensland

Colouring competition and display at Toowoomba City Library

Responsible Pet Ownership display at Toowoomba City Library

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Householders' Options to Protect the Environment

Mutual Support Partner
CATHOLIC EARTHCARE AUSTRALIA is an ecological agency established by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference and chaired by Bishop Christopher Toohey. Its mission is to help promote understanding among people that creation is sacred and endangered, and that the natural world needs protection and preservation for present and future generations yet unborn. Coming Events Climate Change Conference, 18-20 November 2005 (hosted by the Bishops of Catholic Earthcare Australia) This major National Conference will bring together diverse members of the Catholic Church as well as representatives of public bodies, other faith communities, NGOs and international guests. The event aims to establish a dialogue with the wider community on ways to tackle the serious problems which climate change brings and to alert the Church to the reality of this global phenomenon and the need for action. For more information on the conference program visit . Postal Address: Catholic Earthcare Australia Mater Dei Property 229 Macquarie Grove Road Camden NSW 2570 Phone (02) 4655 4855 Email: Website:

ANNUAL VOLUNTEERS’ CRICKET DAY - Saturday 22 October 2005
Volunteering Queensland has extended an invitation to volunteer groups to join them at their annual cricket day at the Gabba in Brisbane. This event is held each year to celebrate the outstanding contribution made by Queensland volunteers, with up to 50,000 people attending. For your free ticket to watch the Qld Bulls play the Tasmanian Tigers, phone 07 3002 7600 or visit .

Greywater is the water generated from the use of the shower, bathtub, spa bath, hand basin, laundry tub, washing machine, kitchen sink and dishwasher. Greywater does not contain wastewater from the toilet, urinal, or a bidet. Greywater is a significant resource, provided it is managed in an environmentally responsible manner, and public health and the health of the household are protected. Greywater is safe to use if used appropriately. It can contain disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, viruses and parasites. It may also contain fats, oils, detergents, soaps, salt, nutrients, food and hair. The following measures will reduce the health and environmental risks associated with use of greywater.     Do not use sprinklers to distribute greywater Use subsurface irrigation systems Do not put greywater on food plants Do not put greywater on lawns where children are likely to play  Do not allow greywater to leave your block  Do not irrigate with greywater during periods of wet weather  Do not allow greywater to enter the storm water system and make sure greywater does not create a nuisance for example through odours or ponding -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
99% Biodegradable in salt or fresh water *Mr Macho *Mrs Marvel *Mr Marine *Mr Motor

Now available in Toowoomba and environs All of our products are: *Non Toxic *Non Hazardous *Non-Flammable *Non-corrosive Trade enquiries welcome Call Your Local Distributor: Marlene King Adams H: 07 4696 1662; M: 0427 636 706

Interesting Website:
The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society, founded in 1982, is a national, non-government organization with headquarters in Brisbane. Its goal, through research, lobbying, public education and grassroots support, is to protect, repair and restore the rainforests of Australia and to maximize the protection of forest biodiversity. Visit .

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Letters to the Editor
G‟day HOPE editorial team, I loved your newspaper. It was an amazingly informative production. Well done! I notice that Crows Nest (Qld) is due to get Australia‟s largest wind farm. I also have been doing a little research myself and have stumbled across an interesting idea for an article – geothermal energy. With the above in mind, I have an idea for a story that you could cover. Covering this story would add „cred‟ to your already great newsletter. Also this subject is very topical as the federal government (along with China, India and America) seems to be talking very seriously about the future for nuclear energy. The story is about a Brisbane-based company (Geodynamics), which aims to produce base-load emissions free electricity. If the project comes off, it is a viable alternative to nuclear energy. Here are some links to Geodynamics, which you might find useful: Following is a URL link to the article that Seven‟s Beyond Tomorrow ran on the story html Below are the URL links to two articles that the ABC ran on this company/project 9521.htm ish_1283397.htm To conclude, below is a link to a story that ran on the ABC radio about this form of energy: 2.htm - I think that your readers would be interested in reading an article about this project. I hope this helps. Regards, Malcolm.

1. The ANZ owns the Bank of New Zealand 2. Westfield Holdings is the largest owner of shopping centers in the world. Where are the Australian editorials and opposition to them? The effects of globalization, transnational companies and economics can be used in discussions regarding the environment but a personal opinion such as yours should not be used, in isolation, in an editorial on the environment. Rod Ford

 Thank you for your letter. All feedback is appreciated.
May I direct your attention to the HOPE Charter – HOPE members prefer, in general, renewable to non-renewable, natural to manufactured, and local to imported. -----------------------------------------------------------------------G’day HOPE, I think it would be a good idea to have a section in your newsletter for environmentally friendly recipes. HOPE could promote recipes that are nutritious, easy to prepare, can be made from ingredients grown in the garden, are vegetarian, (which is better for the environment and is more ethical), and most of all – yummy. Murray

 Great idea, Murray! In fact, starting next edition, we’ll
run a competition for recipes that fit your outlined criteria. There will be a prize for the best recipe. Why don’t you send in one of your favorites to kick off the comp? -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Herbicides can kill non-target plants as well as the weeds; they can leach into the soil and into ground water. They may be unsafe for your children and pets and might leave a residue on other plants you are growing for your consumption: Dig them, chop them, smother them with weed matting, mulch or newspaper. Solar cook them – cover the weeds with black plastic, particularly in hot weather. Heat will build up under the plastic and kill weeds and their seeds. Give them a hot bath – when you boil the kettle for a cuppa, pour the remainder on the weeds. DISCLAIMER Opinions expressed in this publication may be those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of HOPE or its members. All advertisements and items are accepted in good faith. HOPE cannot accept responsibility for misrepresentation by advertisers, nor does inclusion of any item imply endorsement by HOPE.

The Editor, I was disappointed in your editorial of August 2005 regarding your opposition to the presence of Aldi in Australia. You‟re entitled to your opinion on overseasowned companies in Australia but I find it hypocritical when this opinion is not balanced by comments on the enormous investments Australian companies have overseas. (Dick Smith, who should know better, is one of the worst culprits but I think he is mainly interested in the publicity.) Without filling several foolscap pages with the names of Australian companies with overseas investments and the vast income obtained therefrom two should suffice as examples.

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October – Bushcare Month
The term Bushcare describes a range of programs involving the community in natural resource management. The name was originally used by local councils in Sydney to describe council supported community bush regeneration programs, but since the formation of the Natural Heritage Trust, the definition of Bushcare groups has broadened Bushcare programs have been becoming more sophisticated over the last decade, with many volunteers now working on environmental issues as well as ecological. Stormwater management, erosion control, education and environmental monitoring are now undertaken along with flora and fauna management. In many parts of Australia, programs similar to Bushcare exist, with groups carrying out work on public land but with less (or no) support from their local councils, their resources coming from State or Commonwealth government grants or sponsorship. Under the first phase of the Natural Heritage Trust, Bushcare funded activities to protect, enhance and increase the vegetation of the Australian landscape. A priority was to support community involvement in the management, protection and rehabilitation of the native vegetation, and therefore reverse the longterm decline in the quality and extent of Australia‟s native vegetation cover. Bushcare projects include:  Land for Wildlife  Habitat Restoration for Threatened Species  Conservation & Sustainable Management of Native Grasses  Conservation & Management of Coolibah Swamp  Living Landscapes:- Integrating Nature Conservation, Actions into the Agricultural Landscape  Restoration of Wildlife Corridors (Information for this article was sourced from the Natural Heritage Trust website - )

Weedbuster Week
9th -16th October 2005
Environmental weeds are plants that have formed wild populations outside their natural range. They become a problem because they replace native plants in local habitats and destroy habitats for native wildlife. There are at least 1500 environmental weed species identified in Australia and this number is increasing every year. Weeds are a major threat to protected bushland and waterways. They can spread quickly, choking native plants and reducing the food and shelter available for our wildlife. Aquatic weeds choke and stagnate waterways, creating increased risks of flooding, mosquito breeding grounds, obstructing recreational access, polluting the water and killing native fauna. Weeds seeds are spread by animals or the wind and many re-grow from tiny pieces of stem or bulbs that have not been disposed of properly. Most of these destructive weeds start out in our gardens. It is now illegal to sell any of the lantana varieties, Singapore daisy, asparagus ferns and African tulip tree. To find out which plants are declared pests and for suggested replacement plants visit the WEEDS AUSTRALIA website which will provide information on how to identify and manage weeds. or contact your local council or the Environmental Protection Agency.

Book Reviews
Gardeners Companion to Weeds, by Suzanne Ermet This book will aid the identification of weeds in the lawn and around the home garden, as well as weeds found in larger spheres, such as waterways and pastures. Features over 150 common weeds and invasive plants in Australia and up-to-date control measures. ($32.95 from ) Environmental Weeds, by Kate Blood Reviewed in Edition 7 of HOPE Newsletter To read past issues of our newsletter visit us at

Bushcare Tips
   Become a responsible pet owner. Your gentle dog or cat can wreak havoc among native wildlife if allowed to roam at night. Become a volunteer with your local Bushcare, Landcare or Friends group. Help replace invasive plants with natives. Learn which garden plants are serious weeds. If you visit your local nursery, ask for a list of garden menaces and alternative species. Make sure no bush invaders are planted in your garden.

Interesting Website:
Birds Australia - Began life as the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU) in 1901. We thought that title was a bit of a mouthful, so now we call ourselves Birds Australia. BA is dedicated to the conservation, study and enjoyment of Australia's native birds and their habitats. Visit .

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1. Always switch off the TV, VCR, microwave and stereo at the power point instead of leaving them in stand-by mode. 2. Purchase appliances with the highest Energy Star rating. 3. Set your fridge temperature at 5degreesC. Leave sufficient room around the top and back of the fridge (around the coils) for hot air to escape. 4. Defrost the freezer regularly and set the temperature at 18degreesC. 5. Only run your dishwasher when its full. 6. Consider solar lighting for your veranda and garden. 7. Dry washing on a clothesline. Your clothes will smell fresh, look better and wear longer. 8. Replace incandescent light globes with compact fluorescents. They provide just as much light and use 75% less power. 9. Install time switches on your lights or movement and light sensors that provide security while saving money and energy. 10. Turn off your hot water system when you go on holidays. 11. Switch off the light when you leave the room.

ECOVOICE now online
Eco Voice the Environmental Newspaper Australia & Aotearoa/New Zealand is now available online. The familiar print format will be on hold for the next few months, but you can still stay informed with environment and sustainability news with the new pilot online newspaper EV Online. EV Online provides articles from business to build through to energy and education, information on environmentally friendly business and services, and the opportunity to stay informed in an accessible, ecofriendly and paperless way. Visit today!

Recycle your junk mail into the recycle bin or send it back to the companies that have sent it to you and tell why you‟re unhappy. Better still; put a “NO JUNK MAIL” sticker on your mailbox. Use rechargeable batteries. These will put less heavy metal pollution into the ground, even though they contain cadmium, because you will use less, and you‟ll save money in the long term. Recycle car batteries:- look for the names of scrap metal dealers in the yellow pages. When you buy a new battery, ask if the old one is going to be recycled. Turn food waste and leftovers into rich compost for your garden or fatten your worms. When shopping, choose food containers that can be recycled – glass, steel or aluminuim. Avoid plastic and polystyrene. In the office, recycle paper and purchase recycled toner cartridges for your laser printer. If your local council doesn‟t provide a recycling service – demand one. Start a petition, write to your councilor. Get active!

The average Australian home pumps about eight tonnes of greenhouse polluting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. So change the way you use power and you can tackle climate change from your own home and save hundreds on your energy bill. Air-conditioning costs the average Australian household $70 a quarter. Natural shading and airflow cost little in comparison.

October 1-31 3 7 9-15 16-22 7-13 1-7 Bushcare Month - World Habitat Day - Walk to work Day - National Weedbuster Week - National Water Week - National Recycling Week - Coastcare Week -

November December

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The Toowoomba City Council aims to lead Australia in terms of addressing a pressing water supply problem and benefiting the environment with its new “Water Futures” initiative. Central to the proposal is recycling of water from domestic sewage and trade waste to drinking water. The water for drinking purposes will be treated to the standard identified by the Australian Water Quality Star Rating system and fed into one of Toowoomba‟s water supply dams. For further information visit A BLOG has been established at to provide community consultation on Toowoomba City council‟s proposal to recycle affluent into the city‟s water supply. Visit the website and have your say for or against the proposal.
th nd

7th to 13th November
Recycling is one of the easiest ways for a person to actively help the environment. It takes waste and turns it into a useful material resource that can be made into new products. An amazing range of items is made from recycled materials: for example milk and juice cartons get recycled into office paper, and each year over 12,000 tonnes of office paper get recycled into “Safe” toilet paper. An equally amazing number of items can be recycled without much effort on our part. Most local governments provide a recycling service along with garbage disposal and will supply a list of what can placed in your recycling bin. A number of Charities will accept items for sale in their shops. Lifeline, St Vincent‟s De Paul Society, Drug Arm, and Save the Children Fund are just a few of these organisations that redistribute goods for minimal cost to their customers. Clothing, furniture, books, household goods, almost any useful item can be recycled through these organisations. Some of them have bins placed in strategic sites near shopping centers and some will pick up large items from your home. The list of items for which there are specialized recycling services is quite substantial: tyres, mobile phones, printer cartridges, stamps, corks, Christmas cards, etc. An excellent source of information on recycling is Planet Ark‟s Visit the main Planet Ark website for information on a range of recycling campaigns and useful household tips. Baronia Heights College has created a website called Aussies For Refunds on Cans and Bottles, as part of their campaign for the introduction of deposits on can and drink containers throughout Australia. For more info visit and click on AFROCAB. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Book Review

THE GARDEN GURUS – GUIDE TO WATERWISE GARDENING – By Trevor Cochrane and Neville Passmore. Written by garden experts with more than 50 years of practical hands-on experience in water challenged climates. It is both easy to read and inspirational. By adopting the principles and techniques outlined in this book, gardeners will learn how to save up to 60% of their garden water while still sustaining and developing a flourishing garden. Available from Greenharvest, Melany Phone07 5494 4678 or

New homes to be more efficient AND with cheaper bills
The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) today welcomed changes to building regulations in Qld which will mean that all new houses are more energy and water efficient. The changes should also lead to cheaper running costs for residents. “Making greenhouse-efficient hot water system (usually solar) standard in all new houses in Qld is a practical and commonsense decision towards reducing our CO2 emissions,” said Toby Hutcheon, Coordinator of the QCC.

Book Review
Waste Wise Shopping Guide 2000 Details products made from recycled materials and lists suppliers. This easy to use booklet is available at the HOPE library. Recycle Your Garden, by Tim Marshall - Reviewed in Edition 15, HOPE Newsletter To read past issues visit us at


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Queensland News
Threatened Species Network Calendar of Events The TSN website has a calendar of events of which QLD groups can advertise volunteer events and training or public events that promote threatened species conservation. Go to and follow the prompts for Events Calendar. TSN is very happy to hear from anyone who has an event or activity coming up that they can promote for you via this website. Contact Katherine Howard, Program Officer Grants (QLD) ph 07 3839 2677 New homes to be more efficient AND with cheaper bills The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) welcomed changes to building regulations in Qld which will mean that all new houses are more energy and water efficient. The changes should also lead to cheaper running costs for residents.” Making greenhouse-efficient hot water system (usually solar) standard in all new houses in Qld is a practical and commonsense decision towards reducing our CO2 emissions,” said Toby Hutcheon, Coordinator of the QCC. “Heating water is 40% of an average electricity bill, so using solar can be a significant saving,” said Hutcheon “The big disappointment with the package is that it does not mandate rainwater tanks, leaving that decision up to local government.” said Hutcheon. With water restrictions already in place in parts of Qldand likely to be upgraded-the time is right to bring back the rainwater tank as a standard Qld icon. Emerging evidence is showing that rainwater tanks can provide as much as 30% of a homes water needs. The QCC puts out the challenge to all local government to take this opportunity to immediately mandate rainwater tanks in their LGA‟s. The current code will not address energy and water efficiency in existing dwellings. However, the state government has signaled that this will be the next cab off the rank. For more information contact Toby Hutcheon on 07 3221 0188 or 0419 664 50. New address for: Birds Queensland (Queensland Ornithological Society Inc) PO Box 2273 Milton QLD 4064

The Environmental Protection Act –
Who does what? The EPA administers Queensland's Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) in partnership with local government and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (NR&M) and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF). Under the mining provisions of the EP Act, NR&M is responsible for issuing environmental authorities for prospecting permits and mining claims. DPIF administers the EP Act for cattle feedlotting, pig and dairy farming and livestock holding facilities. Local governments have several devolved and delegated responsibilities under the EP Act, including: enforcement and administration of some 'environmentally relevant activities‟ operating within their local government area; approval of waste management works within their local government area; and enforcement and management of litter and waste dumping within their local government area and illegal activities at their waste management facilities. In addition, some local governments have accepted a delegation for the enforcement of illegal deposits or releases to stormwater under the Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 1997. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting Websites:
Australian Marine Conservation Society -AMCS is a national, non-profit organisation whose mission is to protect the health and vitality of Australia's coasts and seas. AMCS provides leadership on a wide range of marine issues throughout Australia including marine parks, fisheries, threatened species and land-based pollution. The marine environment is under threat and needs our help. Widespread coral bleaching, declining water quality, the presence of introduced marine pests, struggling fisheries and species declines are symptoms of a system under too much stress. Visit . Australian National Water Trading System - Water Trading made easy! All you need to know is how much water you want to buy or sell and waterfind does the rest. Visit . The Big Scrub Environment Centre - Of the Earth's creatures, frogs are amongst the most susceptible to changes in their habitat and to the degradation of the environment. Help Us to Survive by Helping the Earth to Survive. Visit . Bird Observers Club of Australia - Is an independent, non-profit association, which relies on subscriptions, donations, hundreds of volunteers and a small team of dedicated staff. Visit .

Birds Australia & Australian Museum - Birds in Backyard website
This website is designed to link old and new bird lovers into the magic of Australian birds. Visit today!

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Around the States & Territories
$316 million heralds new era for WA salinity fight Communities in Western Australia's salt-affected regions will help create a better future for the State's precious land and water resources thanks to $316 million in funding from the Australian and State governments. The National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality funding package was announced by Australian Minister for the Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, Western Australian Premier, Geoff Gallop, and Western Australian Ministers for Agriculture, Kim Chance, and the Environment, Judy Edwards. The funding will go to areas affected by salt and deteriorating water quality. For information about the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality visit . and ml South west strategy kick-starts environmental action Western Australia's South West region will benefit from more than $15 million in Australian and State Government funding to fight salinity, sustain primary production and protect native plants and animals. The funding is drawn from the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust and the joint Australian and State Government-funded National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality. For more information about the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan visit . Voluntary water labelling starts Australia's first 6-star Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme is open for business, Senator Campbell has announced. The WELS scheme is one of a comprehensive raft of measures to save water under the $2 billion Australian Water Fund. Senator Campbell urged manufacturers and importers of dishwashers, washing machines, showers, toilets, urinals and some kinds of taps to register their products and start labelling them under the scheme. Information about the WELS Scheme is available at . Latest NPI Update - National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) Newsletter The latest issue of NPI Update is now available at NPI Update is a free web newsletter published by the Department of the Environment and Heritage. The newsletter informs the community, industry and government about NPI issues such as the progress of the NPI review and National Environment Protection Measure variation and upcoming events.

New national recycling rate set Australian and state environment ministers have agreed to a national packaging-recycling rate of 65 per cent by 2010. The current rate is 48 per cent. Senator Campbell said the new target was challenging but realistic. "Achieving the target will require all levels of government and industry to work hard together," he said. The recycling target is the key feature of the National Packaging Covenant, which was extended for another five years. Further information is available at Government agencies cut energy use Australian Government agencies have cut their energy use by 15 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 11.5 per cent since 1997-98, saving taxpayers about $30 million every year, Senator Campbell said. The energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of 121 government departments and agencies are detailed in the report Energy Use in Australian Government's Operations 2003-04. "These results show it is possible to help the environment and to save money at the same time - simply by being smarter energy users," Senator Campbell said. Visit for more information. “Only when we drink the last drop of clean water will we realize that oil wasn’t the main problem after all” John Heij

Attracting Frogs to Your Garden, by Kevin Casey “Frog-scaping” is the increasingly popular art of transforming a backyard into a welcome habitat for local native frogs. This charming book provides essential advice on tadpole raising, frog identification, frog-spotting techniques, frog calls and frog photography. Practical advice is given on building backyard frog ponds and establishing balanced garden environments. - Available from Green Harvest. Also, visit to find heaps of information about frogs, and you will even be able to hear the frogs croak.

Interesting Website
Community Resource Information System (CRIS) The aim if the Community Resource Information System (CRIS) is to provide the community of the Queensland Murray Darling Basin with a practical, up-to-date information system that can be used to assist in the effective management of the region‟s natural resources. Visit .

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World News
Organic farming is solution to Africa’s famine Despite intense pressure from the biotech industry; African nations are increasingly turning to organic farming practices rather than genetically engineered crops. Tewolde Berhan, head of the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia, believes that organic farming is the solution to Africa's famine. "Organic farming reduces risks. Intensive farming has led to the exacerbation of pests and diseases," says Berhan. While the biotech industry pushes expensive synthetic fertilizers on impoverished Third World farmers, those farmers implementing simple organic soil amending techniques are witnessing higher yields without chemicals or the cost. Behran tells, "Now, farmers don't want chemical fertilizers. They say, 'Why should we pay for something we can get for free?'" d=250 EU ministers uphold sovereign right to ban GMO's EU environment ministers dealt a blow on Friday to efforts to get more GMO crops grown in Europe, as they agreed to uphold eight national bans on genetically modified maize and rapeseed (canola) varieties. The vote was a sharp rebuff for the European Union's executive Commission, which had wanted the ministers to endorse an order to lift the bans within 20 days. d=249 Greenpeace Activists in Brazil Across South America the bulldozers of industrial agriculture, dragging mammoth chains, are destroying huge swathes of diverse ancient forests. Indigenous peoples, and rare species like jaguars, are being swept aside to make space for huge, chemical intensive soya monocultures, often planted with genetically engineered soya. Raising demand for soya for animal feed is fuelling the destruction that is encouraged by governments in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, in partnership with huge agricultural corporations like Monsanto. Left unopposed, this means that many huge forests will disappear in the next few years. Greenpeace is taking action to stop this destruction and make a stand for the indigenous people and rare species of the forest. Last years the Greenpeace jaguars first appeared on the scene to block the bulldozers and rally thousands of people to pressure the Argentinian government to halt the destruction. Because the government failed to act against the destruction the jaguar team are back this year, now with a helicopter to spot the bulldozers in the difficult terrain.

"Companies are failing to act responsibly, and the Argentinian Government stands by while rampant deforestation continues," said Emiliano Ezcurra, Greenpeace Argentina forests campaigner. "We're here to place ourselves between bulldozers and trees to stop the destruction of these last remaining ancient forests". Free e-waste recycling for the Big Apple New York City Council has introduced an e-waste bill that would require manufacturers to provide for recycling of computers and television sets, with collection rates to be set at 30% of sales by 2010, 55% by 2015 and 80% by 2018. Drink deposit boots recycling Increased deposits on drink containers helped Californians recycle 12 billion aluminium, glass and plastic containers in 2004. The recycling rate of containers with a mandated refund value rose from 55% to 59%.

Some plants are naturally able to survive in dry conditions. They may be proficient at storing water or reducing water loss, or able to access water deep in the soil. There are a few tell-tale signs of a water-efficient plant that can help you to make choices for your garden, without needing to be a horticulturist. Small leaves mean smaller surface area, which reduces water loss. Most water efficient plants have small, tough leaves or needles. Tough surfaces on the outer layers of leaves or waxy surfaces often indicate water-efficient plants. Light leaf colors reflect sunlight rather than absorbing it. Look for light green, blue-green or grey-green foliage. Thirstier plants tend to have soft, dark, green leaves. Hairy leaves act as windbreaks, reducing water loss through transpiration., Some plants have fine hairs around their pores. Backbone in a plant means it has a tougher internal structure and is likely to be more water efficient. Thirsty plants will wilt more easily. Deep root systems means that a plant is likely to make better use of soil moisture by having extensive root systems.

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Householders' Options to Protect the Environment

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