Author Archives: Michael

Update 5: Australian sandalwood conservation

Sourced from:

Community invited to comment on sandalwood management

Friday, 4 November 2022
  • Public to shape how sandalwood will be conserved and protected
  • Helps sustain native species for future generations
  • Consultation period runs for six weeks until 9 December

Western Australians can now have their say on the conservation and use of sandalwood over the next five years.

The draft Sandalwood Biodiversity Management Programme aims to stabilise wild sandalwood and outlines how it can be sustained into the future.

Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) is a slow-growing tree found across 146 million hectares of the Wheatbelt, Goldfields, Murchison, Gascoyne and southern Pilbara. Extensive agricultural clearing has seen wild sandalwood dwindle over the past 200 years, particularly in the Wheatbelt. It’s also been impacted by illegal harvesting, pests, grazing and bushfires.

The draft programme prepared by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions sets out how wild sandalwood will be conserved, protected and managed, consistent with the requirements of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. It will not apply to plantation sandalwood.

The public comment period is open until 9 December. To have your say, visit

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

“Sandalwood is a unique resource and we’re committed to protecting and sustaining this remarkable species for generations to come.

“This will apply to the management of wild sandalwood on both Crown and private land, but won’t apply to plantation sandalwood.

“Having your say will help us understand any industry or community concerns to help shape the management of this important native species.”

Update 5: University of Adelaide and a net zero emissions target

Draft Sustainability Strategy now available:

The headline targets from the Strategy reproduced below; note that they have chosen net zero carbon emissions by 2025, and carbon neutral by 2030 (carbon neutral means “The University’s scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are balanced via removal of equal greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere as per the Climate Active standard.“)

Update 1: GIS data for SA nature park outlines

Good Evening Michael,

Apologies for the length of time it’s taken to get back to you.

Since we last exchanged emails on this topic we have discovered there is a bit more to this issue than we originally thought.  We’ve engaged with the DEW Parks Marketing team to get a better understanding of the information that the department already provides to Google – this has helped to define the scope of what we need to consider.  Here is a summary of what we have uncovered.

Information Discovery

  • The department is already providing information to Google for high visitation parks through a Google Business Profile account.
  • The information provided includes:

o   park name

o   park address

o   contact phone number

o   opening times

o   web link to DEW Parks web site – eg Belair National… – National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

o   an (XY) map coordinate to define the centroid for the park – for Google functions like display, zoom and obtaining directions

  • This is an example of the information for Belair National Park –  Belair National park – Google Search
  • An additional Google Map Content Partner account would be required to upload mapping data representing park boundaries to Google for inclusion on Google map products


  • The Google Business Profile and Map Content Partner accounts are not the same – we are not able to use the existing departmental Business Profile account to upload mapping data.
  • There is an overlap in the park information that can be provided to Google by each account – this means there is a potential to provide conflicting information for a park, unless there is careful curation of park information content.

o   For example, the use of park type abbreviations in the park name in our mapping layer is likely to be different to that required for public use, as currently delivered through the Business Profile account – some reformatting of park information will be required

  • As mentioned in our previous email, Google has published some guidelines defining the required format and structure of mapping data to be provided by a Map Content Partner account – Geo Data Upload Content Requirements – Map Content Partners Help (  For mapping data representing Parks and Protected Areas, our park mapping data will need to be translated to meet the guidelines below.  This will require an automated (scripted) translation process if were are to provide parks mapping data to Google on a regular basis.








Related Issue

  • We’ve also been informed of a related issue – there is a need to provide map coordinates to identify the main entrance / public access points for a park.  This is to help provide more accurate directions in Google maps.
  • At the moment the directions function in Google does not always guide visitors to the most logical access point for a park – see example below













  • In some cases this will require verification with regional parks staff to ensure we are providing up-to-date access information.

Next Steps

We’re currently looking to arrange a conversation with a Google contact so that we can discuss these issues and hopefully identify options for providing the required information (for both Parks Business and Mapping) in a coordinated approach – ideally without the need for overlapping accounts.

Thanks for your patience whilst we work through these issues.

Kind Regards,  Online Mapping Support

DEW Online Mapping

Department for Environment and Water

GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA 5001

Update 2: University of Adelaide and a net zero emissions target

The Hon Catherine Branson AC QC
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005

Dear Chancellor,

RE: The University of Adelaide and a net-zero emissions target

I write to you to follow-up on my correspondence of 25 June 2021, and the response provided by Acting COO, Ms Virginia Deegan, on your behalf.

The key message in my initial correspondence was that the University of Adelaide has an opportunity to position itself on climate change as ‘running with its peers’. In that correspondence, I asked whether the University Council or university administration was actively considering a net zero emission target, and the likely timeline on such a decision. Please find a copy of my original correspondence and your university’s response enclosed.

In that response, I was informed that the University was developing of an ambitious emissions reduction strategy, and that:

The strategy development will include consultation with staff, students, alumni and industry experts in the coming months, with a final document to be presented to the University Council in early 2022.

May I please seek an update on the development of that strategy, including:

  • How, as an alumni and formal staff member I can contribute to the consultation?
  • The current estimated timeline on the launch of that strategy?
  • Whether the strategy will include a net zero CO2-equivalent emissions commitment, and if so, by what date?

Thank you again for your time and consideration of my correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

1 / 3 / 2022

Update 8: Aldinga Washpool

SA Government media release:

Reproduced below:

21/01/2022 | Steven Marshall MP | David Speirs MP
A new 340-hectare park in Adelaide’s south is set to become a coastal environmental, recreational and cultural haven for generations to come, with the official proclamation of the Aldinga Conservation Park.

The Aldinga Washpool, one of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems, has now been combined with the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park to create the state’s newest conservation park.

Premier Steven Marshall said the proclamation was a significant milestone for the local community and supporters.

“By combining the Aldinga Washpool land with the nearby Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park it’s created a fantastic new ecological and cultural haven just south of Adelaide,” Premier Marshall said.

“This adds to my government’s commitment to protect our state’s natural environment by doubling the area covered by national parks, investing record levels of funding to improve conservation, increase visitor numbers and boost our regional economies.

“Importantly the Aldinga Washpool site is of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people who today maintain their connection with Country.”

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the local community had long advocated for better protection of the site.

“In 2018, an Aldinga Washpool Working Group was established, and we have been working closely with this group to ensure the land’s environmental and cultural values are protected and restored,” Minister Speirs said.

“For years the future of the Aldinga Washpool was under threat so it’s incredibly pleasing for the local community to be able to see this important site saved for future generations.

“This further adds to our record expansion of area protected in South Australia, which has seen us increase the number of national parks across the state from 21 to 29 and double the area protected from approximately 3.90 million hectares to just over 7.9 million hectares.

“This record expansion is backed up by the biggest ever government investment in parks to boost conservation as well as improve our standing as a world-class eco-tourism destination

“Adelaide has been recognised as the third most liveable city in the world and it was recently named as the second-ever National Park City and our record expansion of parks and green space will only enhance this reputation.”

The Aldinga Washpool includes valuable habitat for at least 79 native species, including three bird species of national conservation significance. It is also home to swamp plants of conservation significance including threatened coastal saltmarsh.

Prior to European settlement, the Aldinga Washpool was an important place for curing and drying possum skins by the Kaurna people. It is also a significant site as part of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Trail and contains registered sites under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA).

The land being added to the state reserves system in this proclamation includes a combination of land previously transferred from SA Water, the Coast Protection Board and the City of Onkaparinga.

The Department for Environment and Water, SA Water, Green Adelaide, City of Onkaparinga and other working group members have been working on flood mitigation, stormwater management, weed control, revegetation plans, water quality and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The proclamation of the Aldinga Conservation Park adds to the eight national parks created since 2018 including Glenthorne National Park, Hindmarsh Valley National Park, Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert National Park, Nilpena Ediacara National Park, Wapma Thura – Southern Flinders Ranges National Park, Lake Frome National Park, Cleland National Park and Deep Creek National Park.

New map from the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA (also at: