THE Steve Irwin Reserve on Cape York is expected to be mined, with Environment Minister Andrew Powell yesterday moving to wind back Wild Rivers environment protection.
Mr Powell released a scoping paper for a proposed management plan, which is expected to replace Wild Rivers protection on at least four rivers.
Under Wild Rivers, the previous government placed a 500m buffer zone on the Wenlock River, potentially making Cape Alumina's multibillion-dollar Pisolite Hills bauxite mine proposal unprofitable.
Wilderness Society spokesman Tim Seelig said yesterday he feared the mine would destroy the Wenlock, which had the highest number of freshwater species in Australia.
"We know Cape Alumina is just waiting to get its plans back on the table," he said. "Once protection is removed, it will be open slather."
Cape Alumina managing director Graeme Sherlock said the company was concentrating on its nearby Bauxite Hills project, rather than Pisolite Hills.
In April, Mr Sherlock said if Premier Campbell Newman changed wild rivers legislation, Pisolite Hills would be reassessed.
Cape Alumina proposes to use 12,360ha or about 9 per cent of the Irwin Reserve, which is the old Bertiehaugh cattle station.
Dr Seelig said Mr Powell was winding back the clock on environment protection.
"This will inevitably lead to more destructive development such as mining and dams in our last free-flowing rivers," Dr Seelig said.
Eight new mines had been proposed for the Cape's east and west coasts.
"(The Government needs) to commit to protecting the environment ... as the first priority and only support truly sustainable economic activities," Dr Seelig said.
He supported Mr Powell's whole-of-region conservation approach although there were few details in the scoping paper.
Mr Powell said he would release details next week but the bioregion management plan would focus on protection and management of the Cape, while allowing appropriate opportunities for economic development.
Four major teaching units on water addressing significant gaps in the school curriculum have been released by the Australian Government today. These units aligned to the Australian Curriculum are on four key regions in Australia; the Murray-Darling Basin, Northern Australia and the Wet Tropics, the Lake Eyre Basin and the Great Artesian Basin.
The units explore how natural water systems work, the ways we use water and sustainable water management practices. Understanding Australia’s water challenges is the first step to sustainable water management and better balancing the water needs of our communities, farmers and the environment.
The science and geography resources have been developed as an online resource to complement the digital education revolution. The lesson plans make use of new classroom technologies, including interactive whiteboards and high-speed internet connections with lessons ranging from the value of agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin to the feasibility of moving water long distances across our country these resources offer a practical approach to science and geography.
Students are given the opportunity to learn about some of Australia’s most significant water areas while also exploring water use in their own homes, schools and communities.
The new teaching units will complement the Water Education Toolkit, a vast collection of resources for teachers available on our website that has proven to be enormously popular, with over 3000 unique page views in the last three months.
The Water Education Teaching Units were developed by Education Services Australia and reviewed by a panel of Australian teachers and an indigenous curriculum consultant.
These resources have been developed for lower secondary school students but can easily be adapted for any classroom in Australia.
The finalists for the BMT WBM Government Award, one of the 2012 Healthy Waterways Awards, have been announced. The Healthy Waterways Awards is an annual celebration which honours the champions of waterway health in South East Queensland. The finalists for the BMT WBM Government Award are:
The BMT WBM Government Award is open to all levels of government agencies – local, state and federal – not including universities. Entries can include projects undertaken in partnership with private enterprise or other stakeholders.The BMT WBM Government Award winner for 2011 was the Waterways Extension Program, run by Redland City Council.
BMT WBM have also been announced as a finalist under the Powerlink Queensland Industry Award category for their Tygum Lagoon Rehabilitation Project. BMT WBM have been working with Logan Ciry Council and PLACE Design Group on this project. The Industry category is open to industry sectors such as manufacturing, commerce, development, retail groups or fishing for projects aimed at improving the management of water, or the state of waterways.
The winners of the 2012 Healthy Waterways Awards will be announced at a ceremony at Victoria Park Golf Complex on Thursday 28 June.
Argentina's Iguazu Falls is chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The announcement was made at the site of the fantastic falls by Bernard Weber, the president of the Swiss foundation, New Seven Wonders. Watch the news clip below.
Would you like to write a story on something river related in your area? To do so, send us an original article that is 500 words or less (.txt or .doc files only), upload a picture in jpeg format (max 2mg) and if we like it, we’ll post it on our site as well as send you out an IRF gift pack.
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