Showing posts with label World Heritage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Heritage. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 October 2018

INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENT: Proposed 19.4ha subdivision at Hickey Street, Iluka. curently being assessed as a controlled action


This proposed development of 19.41ha of forested land adjacent to World Heritage Gondwana coastal rainforest in Iluka, NSW, was first sent for public consultation in December 2015.

This is probably the last chance that community members have to offer their opinion on the plan for a 141 lot subdivision on the lot.

The Stevens Group has issued an Invitation for Public Comment which reads in part:

The preliminary documentation for the proposed action is on display and will be publicly available, to be viewed or obtained by download from the online facility without charge, from the 24 September 2018 until 4:30pm (AEST) on the 2 November 2018, at the following locations:

 § Clarence Valley Council Administrative Centre – 2 Prince Street, Grafton, NSW;
 § Clarence Valley Council Administrative Centre – 50 River Street, Maclean, NSW;
 § Iluka Library – Corner Duke Street & Micalo Street, Iluka, NSW;
§ NSW Office of Environment and Heritage – NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Level 4, 49-51 Victoria Street, Grafton, NSW;

§ Online at /www.stevensgroup.com.au%20– a link to the preliminary documentation will be available by selecting the ‘Residential’ page, then by choosing the “Iluka Subdivision – Invitation For Public Comment” tab.

Interested persons and organisations are invited to view the preliminary documentation. Written comments can be directed to Stevens Holdings Pty Limited, C/- Ocean Park Consulting Pty Limited, PO Box 99, Miami, QLD 4220, or email (rangi@oceanparkqld.com.au). 

Deadline for submissions is 2 November 2018.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

UNESCO REPORT - "Assessment: World Heritage coral reefs likely to disappear by 2100 unless CO2 emissions drastically reduce"


Excerpts from United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: A First Global Scientific Assessment, 23 June 2017:


Seventy two percent of World Heritage reef properties (21 of 29) have been exposed to severe and/or repeated heat stress during the past three years. Within the three years of the current global bleaching event (mid 2014-mid 2017), 18 World Heritage reefs (62%) were in the highest impact category (dark red) at either one or both stress levels (Table 1c,d). A further three properties were exposed to recurrent bleaching stress (red) or a single severe stress event (orange). This illustrates the dramatic impact on coral reefs during this period, which has seen three consecutive years of record global temperature (2014, 2015 and 2016), and reflects an increase in bleaching frequency from that seen in the prior decades. Only four properties (14%) escaped bleaching-level heat stress during this three-year bleaching event: Brazilian Atlantic Islands (Brazil), iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa), Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (Sudan) and Socotra Archipelago (Yemen)…..

Coral mortality during the third global bleaching event has been among the worst ever observed, including at World Heritage reefs; e.g., Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Papahānaumokuākea (USA) and Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles)…..

Papahānaumokuākea (USA) and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), among the most spatially vast of all World Heritage properties…..

Coral communities typically take at least 15 to 25 years to recover from mass mortality events such as destructive cyclones and mass bleaching events. If the frequency of mass mortality events increases to a point where the return time of mortality events is less than the time it takes to recover, the abundance of corals on reefs will decline. Consequently, the frequency of stress events that reached or exceeded the 4°C and 8°C-week DHW thresholds was calculated for each World Heritage reef-containing property (Table 1) to detect if the bleaching frequency exceeded the best-case rates of recovery.

This analysis showed that World Heritage properties containing coral reefs have been increasingly exposed to heat stress during recent years. Nearly half (13) of the 29 World Heritage Listed reef properties were exposed to levels of heat stress that cause coral bleaching, on average, more than twice per decade during the 1985- 2013 period

Download full report here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

"Zero prospect of recovery" for many sections of Australia's World Heritage Great Barrier Reef


James Cook University, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, media release, 10 April 2017:

Two-thirds of Great Barrier Reef hit by back-to-back mass coral bleaching

For the second time in just 12 months, scientists have recorded severe coral bleaching across huge tracts of the Great Barrier Reef after completing aerial surveys along its entire length.  In 2016, bleaching was most severe in the northern third of the Reef, while one year on, the middle third has experienced the most intense coral bleaching.

“The combined impact of this back-to-back bleaching stretches for 1,500 km (900 miles), leaving only the southern third unscathed,” says Prof. Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, who undertook the aerial surveys in both 2016 and 2017.

“The bleaching is caused by record-breaking temperatures driven by global warming. This year, 2017, we are seeing mass bleaching, even without the assistance of El Niño conditions.”

The aerial surveys in 2017 covered more than 8,000 km (5,000 miles) and scored nearly 800 individual coral reefs closely matching the aerial surveys in 2016 that were carried out by the same two observers.

Dr. James Kerry, who also undertook the aerial surveys, explains further, “this is the fourth time the Great Barrier Reef has bleached severely – in 1998, 2002, 2016, and now in 2017. Bleached corals are not necessarily dead corals, but in the severe central region we anticipate high levels of coral loss.”

“It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016.”

Coupled with the 2017 mass bleaching event, Tropical Cyclone Debbie struck a corridor of the Great Barrier Reef at the end of March.  The intense, slow-moving system was likely to have caused varying levels of damage along a path up to 100 km in width. Any cooling effects related to the cyclone are likely to be negligible in relation to the damage it caused, which unfortunately struck a section of the reef that had largely escaped the worst of the bleaching.

“Clearly the reef is struggling with multiple impacts,” explains Prof. Hughes. “Without a doubt the most pressing of these is global warming. As temperatures continue to rise the corals will experience more and more of these events:  1°C of warming so far has already caused four events in the past 19 years.”

‘Ultimately, we need to cut carbon emissions, and the window to do so is rapidly closing.”

Not all data is shown, only reefs at either end of the bleaching spectrum: Red circles indicate reefs undergoing most severe bleaching (60% or more of visible corals bleaching) Green circles indicate reefs with no or only minimal bleaching (10% or less of corals bleaching).

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

President of the Casino Chamber of Commerce, Luke Bodley, lends his support to proposed environmental vandalism on a large scale


Des Euen and ‘friend’ on the Iluka side of the Clarence River mouth at an unspecified date

There is obviously one born every minute somewhere in the world and on 26 May 2016 it was the turn of the National Party's Luke Bodley of Realo Group Pty Ltd to step into the limelight and be recognised .

Here he is on Facebook promoting a proposal to destroy existing environmental, cultural, social and economic values in the Clarence River estuary:

And who is he doing this promotion for? Why for a $1 shelf company, with no apparent business address (instead using the address of the Minter Group), no listed business phone number and, most importantly,  no local, state or federal government support.

A phantom-like company which states it has had international development funding approved for five inter-related projects est. to cost $42.7 billion in total.

Projects which appear to still be mere sketches on the back of envelopes if this plan for a large industrial port is any indication:

Figure 1 shows a port precinct which covers an est. 27.2 % of the entire Clarence River estuary
www.aid-australia.com.au/project-1/


According to Mr. Euen the indicative timeline will see Stage 1 of this approx. 36 sq km super-port operational sometime in 2018 - even though not one of the required in-depth reports has been generated to date by AID Australia, no planning application has been submitted yet and no comprehensive surveying undertaken. He laughably states the entire proposed port infrastructure will be completed in around twelve years.

I wonder if Mr. Bodley has ever puzzled over the fact that there is no roar of support emanating from the Clarence Valley for these personal projects of former Queensland truck driver Desmond John Thomas Euen?

Has he thought about why an infrastructure 'plan' that has been hawked around the country for at least the last four to five years has been unable to gain official support in all that time from either local, state or federal governments?

Or wondered why Euen isn't holding his "summit" in the area covered by the lynch-pin in his grandiose plan, the Lower Clarence?

Perhaps this Google Earth snapshot of what the lowest section of the Clarence River estuary looks like today might give him a hint:


What this image shows is a river from the mouth to Harwood which has been held under Native Title since 2015 and an approach to the river partially blocked by a culturally & spiritually significant coffee rock reef which is the indigenous ancestor Dirrangun.

It shows the base for the largest commercial river & offshore fishery in NSW (generating in excess of an est. $92M output and $15.4M annual income) which supports a fleet moored on both the Iluka and Yamba sides of the river and as far up as Maclean.

There are also oyster leases and aquaculture ponds within the estuary.

This snapshot covers part of the range of one of only two river-dwelling dolphin pods on the east coast of Australia and one which successfully co-exists with the tourism-reliant small towns of Yamba, Iluka and Maclean, as well as with the many domestic and international yachts and other pleasure boats which use the lower river.

The green is this image predominately comprises cane farms, extensive national parks, dedicated foreshore nature reserves and one of this country’s few World Heritage areas, a 136 ha remnant of the ancient Gondwanna subtropical rainforests proclaimed by the United Nations in 1986.

In 2006-07 the people of the Clarence Valley successfully fought off a Howard Government proposal to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment for the benefit of mining, agricultural irrigation and land development interests in the Murray Darling Basin and southern Queensland.

That fight was part of the reason why Australia’s federal government changed in 2007.

As late as 30 May 2016 Nationals MP for Clarence and Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Chris Gulapatis, has this to say in response to Euen's scheming:

While even Des Euen himself recently told The Daily Examiner that it is NSW Government policy to direct import-export sea freight to the major ports of Port Jackson, Port Botany, Port Kembla and the Port of Newcastle.

UPDATE

North Coast Voices received this email today:

North Coast Voices Blog - Correction of information required


From: redacted [mailto:redacted@gnfrealestate.com.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 8 June 2016 1:59 PM
To: northcoastvoices@gmail.com
Cc: Darren Perkins
Subject: North Coast Voices Blog - Correction of information required

Good afternoon,

With regard to the below blog link for North Coast Voices, Luke Bodley ceased employment with GNF Real Estate Pty Ltd on the 28th April 2016. We request that the mention of George & Fuhrmann Real Estate be removed from the article.


Regards
Darren Perkins
Managing Director

George & Fuhrmann

However Luke Bodley was still listed as part of this real estate company's Casino staff as at 2.28PM on 8 June 2016:


When there is public evidence online that Mr. Bodley is no longer associated with this company the mention will be removed from the body of the post, but the correspondence and comment will remain.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Great Barrier Reef: black letter days


It’s time to ask incumbent federal MPs and senators what they intend to do to when faced with legislative bills or ministerial decisions which have the potential to negatively impact on The Great Barrier Reef and to make it very clear that their answers will decide votes in July 2016.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 April 2016:

Scientists surveying the mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef say only 7 per cent of Australia's environmental icon has been left untouched by the event.

The final results of plane and helicopter surveys by scientists involved in the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce has found that of the 911 reefs they observed, just 68 had escaped any sign of bleaching.


The severity of the bleaching is mixed across the barrier reef, with the northern stretches hit the hardest.

Overall, severe bleaching of between 60 and 100 per cent of coral was recorded on 316 reefs, almost all of them in the northern half of the barrier reef. Reefs in central and southern regions of the 2300 kilometre Great Barrier Reef have experienced more moderate to mild affects.

The mass bleaching event has been driven by significantly higher than average sea temperatures as a result of the current El Nino event, coupled with a long-term warming of the oceans due to climate change.

While the barrier reef has experienced mass coral bleaching events in the past – notably in 1998 and 2002 – Professor Terry Hughes, convenor of the bleaching taskforce, said the current event was by far the biggest.

Sky News, 24 March 2016:

A leading academic says it may be too late to reverse effects of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

*It could be too late to reverse the effects of coral bleaching in large swathes of the Great Barrier Reef caused by man-made climate change, a leading academic fears.


Professor Justin Marshall, from The University of Queensland's CoralWatch team, has just spent 10 days at the Lizard Island Research Station, north of Cairns, gathering data and images of coral bleaching in the northern part of the reef.

Prof Marshall said almost all of the coral in a 500km stretch of the reef was bleached and about half of that coral was dead because of the bleaching.

He said sometimes coral could recover from bleaching, where it becomes white after losing the symbiotic algae that brings it nutrients, but when there was large-scale coral death like in this situation, it was far less likely.

'The absolute figures are unknown and our research is ongoing to determine that,' Prof Marshall said.

'Over the next few months we'll be able to give you an answer, but to be honest I'm a bit pessimistic.'

Prof Marshall said the coral bleaching in the area was the worst he'd ever seen it.
'I have kids, I love to take them up to the reef, but to be honest, I would have been ashamed to take my children up there this time,' he said.

He said global warming was causing coral bleaching, which wasn't helped by El Nino conditions this year.

'There is an additional natural fluctuation, but that must not deflect our realisation that this is definitely a man-made, carbon-emission event, which is killing the Australian reef,' Prof Marshall said.....

ABC News, 28 March 2016:

An aerial survey of the northern Great Barrier Reef has shown that 95 per cent of the reefs are now severely bleached — far worse than previously thought.
Professor Terry Hughes, a coral reef expert based at James Cook University in Townsville who led the survey team, said the situation is now critical.
"This will change the Great Barrier Reef forever," Professor Hughes told 7.30.
"We're seeing huge levels of bleaching in the northern thousand-kilometre stretch of the Great Barrier Reef."
Of the 520 reefs he surveyed, only four showed no evidence of bleaching.
From Cairns to the Torres Strait, the once colourful ribbons of reef are a ghostly white.
"It's too early to tell precisely how many of the bleached coral will die, but judging from the extreme level even the most robust corals are snow white, I'd expect to see about half of those corals die in the coming month or so," Professor Hughes said.....
Professor Hughes said he is frustrated about the whole climate change debate.
"The government has not been listening to us for the past 20 years," he said.
"It has been inevitable that this bleaching event would happen, and now it has.
"We need to join the global community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"For me, personally, it was devastating to look out of the chopper window and see reef after reef destroyed by bleaching.
"But really the emotion is not so much sadness as anger.
"I'm really angry that the government isn't listening to us, to the evidence we've been providing to them since 1998.".....

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

VALE: The Great Barrier Reef


Of the 520 reefs surveyed only four showed no evidence of bleaching
ABC News, 28 March 2016


Aerial snaphot of coral bleaching, Great Barrie Reef, 2016


Scientist witnesses severe coral bleaching

James Cook University scientists have described scenes of widespread damage as coral bleaching extends its reach in the northern Great Barrier Reef.

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Jodie Rummer from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies has just returned from more than a month at Lizard Island Research Station in the Northern Great Barrier Reef, and she is appalled by the extent of the bleaching.

“I witnessed a sight underwater that no marine biologist, and no person with a love and appreciation for the natural world for that matter, wants to see,” she said.

Dr Rummer has been undertaking research on the island since January 2012, one of the most pristine sites in the entire Great Barrier Reef. She has spent the past five weeks underwater, studying the effects of the extreme heat on the physiology of reef fishes.

“The bleaching now is not just restricted to the hard corals. There’s also extensive bleaching in the soft corals, and it is also affecting anemones and giant clams.”
Dr Rummer called the event “catastrophic”. She said fish were still abundant but is worried for the future.

“We know that many of these tropical populations of reef fishes cannot tolerate dramatic increases in temperatures for extended periods of time. So it may be just a matter of time before the fish start feeling the heat as well. We’re watching them closely.” The latest Bureau of Meteorology forecasts suggest that temperatures will remain well above average through the month of March.

Dr Rummer said the heat comes hard on the heels of cyclones that had also had an impact on the northern Reef.

“This year, the combination of El Niño, climate change, and an extended period of hot summer days when the tide was exceptionally low has caused many of the corals that survived last year’s cyclone to lose their symbiotic algae and start bleaching.”

She said aerial surveys planned in the coming days by the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce will systematically measure the extent of the phenomenon.

Note to editors:
Coral bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, like heightened sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, called ‘zooxanthellae’. The loss of these colourful algae causes the corals to turn white, and ‘bleach’. Bleached corals can recover if the temperature drops and zooxanthellae are able to recolonise them, otherwise the coral may die.
The National Coral Bleaching Taskforce was convened in 2015 to co-ordinate research effort among Australia’s marine science community in the event of a mass bleaching event in Australia. The taskforce draws together 10 research institutions across Australia to co-ordinate the efforts of over 300 scientists.
The associated research institutions are, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, James Cook University, NOAA, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, WA Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Global warming is claiming the life of The Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage natural wonder which can be seen from outer space.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Does no-one in the entire Abbott Cabinet have a grasp on reality?




Below are the opening paragraphs of a joint media release by The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for the Environment and The Hon. Andrew Powell MP, Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection on 1 February 2014 – just days after Australia learned that approval had been given to dump dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion into the Great Barrier Reef marine park area. I can only believe that Mr. Hunt has parted company with reality.

The Australian and Queensland Governments have today released the 2014 State Party Report on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area which highlights the significant progress being made to improve the management, health and protection of this amazing iconic area.
This progress report has been delivered to the World Heritage Committee meeting currently underway and demonstrates unequivocally the Australian and Queensland Governments’ commitment to better managing and protecting this natural wonder.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said getting the management and protection of the reef right is a top priority for the Abbott government.
“The Government is implementing important initiatives such as our Reef 2050 Plan, Reef Trust, and funding vital projects such as Crown of Thorns Starfish eradication and the Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership”, he said.
“The federal Government is working closely with Queensland to help protect this Australian icon for future generations.
“The report shows that the Great Barrier Reef’s outstanding universal value and integrity remain largely intact and Australia has made substantial progress and commitment in responding to the requests of the World Heritage Committee.
“In close cooperation with the Queensland Government, we are boosting the conservation of the Reef through a range of approaches both on land and in the marine environment.
“This includes carrying out the comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef, an ongoing commitment to the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan and continuing strict protection under national environment laws.....

* Photograph of The Great Barrier Reef found at Australian Geographic