Update: University of Adelaide and a net zero emissions target

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Update 6: Aldinga Washpool

Also confirmed through phone call on 12 July 2021 that the current City of Onkaparinga Council position on the Washpool is contained as a motion within the 4 May 2021 minutes of their Strategic Directions Committee, namely, acceptance of the Item 7.4 Washpool Lagoon - Council's Role report.


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GIS data for SA nature park outlines

NatureMaps Support
Enviro Data SA
SA Department for Environment and Water
e: [email protected]

 

Dear NatureMaps Support,

Re: GIS data for Nature Parks and Wildlife SA (NPWSA) Reserves outlines

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of my correspondence and for maintaining the NatureMaps application and website.

I am writing in my personal capacity with a keen interest in environmental conservation and in public accessibility to – and enjoyment of – our natural environment.

Google Maps is widely used by South Australians and visitors to our state to navigate to sites of public interest, including NPWSA Reserves, especially National Parks, Conservation Parks, and Recreation Parks. Currently, Google Maps is missing the outlines of several significant South Australian NPWSA sites, including Para Wirra Conservation Park, Anstey Hill Recreation Park, Cobbler Creek Recreation Park, Glenthorne National Park, and Sturt Gorge Recreation Park, to name but a few. I note that mapping of the NPWSA Reserves (outlines) data layer is available via the NatureMaps application.

For example, since providing GIS coordinates for Lawari CP to Google Maps a few years ago, there have been 50,000 public views of the photos assigned in Google Maps to the Park. Hopefully this demonstrates the public value, and especially tourism value, in having NPWSA sites properly shown on public mapping applications.

May I kindly request, can Enviro Data SA provide me with the GIS data – or instructions on how to access that data – for the NPWSA Reserves (outlines), noting my intention to provide this data to Google Maps?

If not, would Enviro Data SA be willing to provide the data directly to Google Maps?

Would it be possible to set up a process by which the data could regularly be made available (for example, annually) to publicly accessible mapping providers such as Google Maps?

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

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

4 / 7 / 2021

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Submission to the Australian aquaculture inquiry

Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
e: [email protected]

 

Dear Committee

RE: Submission to the Australian aquaculture sector inquiry

I write to the Committee as a former Senior Policy Adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP with carriage of the environment portfolio at the adviser-level for Centre Alliance. This submission is being made wholly in my personal capacity.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1: Pollution from aquaculture urgently needs to be accounted for in the National Pollution Inventory

 Aquaculture has a valuable role to play in Australia’s economy; however, like all private industry, it still needs to operate within a reasonable social licence. The fact that aquaculture has been exempted from providing account to the National Pollution Inventory has no basis in public policy, and a complete basis in politics. This exemption for aquaculture needs to be removed as a matter of priority.

Recommendation 2: Establish a moratorium on aquaculture in Fitzgerald Bay, SA

The Giant Australian Cuttlefish that aggregates in the breeding season in significant numbers at Point Lowly near Whyalla is a major South Australian ecotourism drawcard. Aquaculture used to operate in Fitzgerald Bay (directly to the north of Point Lowly) and created significant nitrogenous pollution, leading to the rapid decline of Cuttlefish population numbers. Since the closure of those aquaculture operations, the Cuttlefish population has experienced recovery.

There are currently plans to restart aquaculture operations in Fitzgerald Bay without regard to the expected significant impact upon the Cuttlefish and destruction of its ecotourism benefits. It may well be possible for aquaculture – properly monitored for nitrogenous (and other) pollution and operating within strict limits – to operate in coexistence with the Cuttlefish.

However, until there is a requirement for such aquaculture pollution to be properly measured (and therefore properly regulated and limits properly enforced), there should be a moratorium on aquaculture in Fitzgerald Bay.

My thanks to the Committee for their consideration of my submission.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Michael Cornish

2 / 7 / 21

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University of Adelaide and a net zero emissions target

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

Dear Chancellor,

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

I hope this correspondence finds you well; thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I am writing to you in your capacity as Chair of the University of Adelaide Council and would be appreciative if you were able to bring my correspondence to the attention of the Council.

I am writing in my personal capacity as an alumni and former staff member of The University of Adelaide. To avoid all doubt, I am not writing in any way in my capacity as a current employee within the Group of Eight directorate.

During my time as former Senior Adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP, an intellectual interest in climate change and environmental conservation has developed through greater understanding into an active and keen interest. It is through this lens that I seek to encourage the university to publicly adopt a clear emissions target - ideally, a minimum target of net zero (CO2 equivalent) emissions by 2030. I have searched unsuccessfully for any such commitment that the University may have made.

None of this is to detract from the very good work that The University of Adelaide has already undertaken to reduce its environmental footprint, such as its commitment as a Carbon Neutral Adelaide Partner, and work done under its sustainability engagement program, Ecoversity. These initiatives should rightfully be recognised as excellent steps in the right direction to ensure the university is doing its part in safeguarding Australian and global livelihoods and our shared environment.

However, other leading Australian peer universities have already made public announcements to net zero emissions targets, including the Australian National University (“below zero by 2030[1]), The University of Sydney (“Net zero emissions by 2030[2]), The University of Melbourne (“carbon neutral before 2030[3]), and Monash University (“Net Zero emissions by 2030[4]), to name but a few.

The University of Adelaide has an opportunity to position itself on climate change as ‘running with its peers’, although that opportunity may soon pass.

May I kindly request, is the University Council (or university administration) actively considering a net zero emission target?

If so, what is the likely timeline on a decision on that target?

If not, I kindly and strongly encourage the Council to actively deliberate on setting a net zero emissions target and set a deadline for that decision.

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

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

25 / 6 / 2021

Cc Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj AC

[1] See: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-zeroes-in-on-negative-carbon-emissions-by-2030

[2] See: https://www.sydney.edu.au/about-us/vision-and-values/sustainability.html#climatechange

[3] See: https://www.unimelb.edu.au/alumni/news/universitys-sustainability-plan-published

[4] See: https://www.monash.edu/net-zero-initiative

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Update 5: Aldinga Washpool

The Hon Rob Lucas MLC
Treasurer
GPO Box 2264,
Adelaide SA, 5001

Dear Treasurer,

Re: Aldinga Washpool, and the new Conservation Park

I write to you in your capacity as the Minister responsible for Housing and Urban Development. As a former Senior Adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP, I am writing to you in my personal capacity and out of a keen interest in environmental conservation, and for the Aldinga Washpool site in particular.

Firstly, may I commend your Government for its decision to provide permanent conservation protection to the Aldinga Washpool site within the marginal electorate of Mawson[1]. It has yet to be determined whether some of the land at the Washpool site will become part of the newly announced Conservation Park, including parcels of land which I understand to be owned by the Minister responsible for Housing and Urban Development, namely:

  • F40143 Q1; and
  • F40143 Q2.

As you might imagine, I strongly urge the State Government to follow through on the spirit of its commitment to the future of the site by contributing these parcels to the new Conservation Park. Parcel F40143 Q2 is clearly integral to the actual watercourse itself, but the important positive impacts of restoring the directly adjacent areas (such as parcel F40143 Q1) on the environmental outcomes for the Washpool site, such as with surface run-off and the hydrological balance in the waterbody – and the countervailing negative effects should this buffer zone be removed – should not be underestimated.

May I kindly request an update on whether these parcels are still under the ownership (and/or care) of the Minister responsible for Housing and Urban Development, and whether there is active consideration for their addition to the new Conservation Park?

If so, what is the likely process and timing for a Ministerial decision to be made?

Thank you again for your Government’s commitment of support for permanent conservation of the Washpool site and for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

23 / 6 / 2021

Cc Mr Geoff Hayter, Chair, Washpool Coalition

[1] As per: https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/aldinga-washpool-to-become-a-protected-area

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Update 4: Aldinga Washpool

Mayor Erin Thompson
City of Onkaparinga
PO Box 1
Noarlunga Centre SA 5168

 

Dear Mayor Thompson,

Re: City of Onkaparinga, Aldinga Washpool, and the new Conservation Park

I hope this correspondence finds you well; you would remember me from my time as former Senior Policy Adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP. Thank you for your own ongoing efforts and support for permanent conservation of the Aldinga Washpool site.

I am writing to you in my personal capacity and out of a keen interest in environmental conservation. The permanent conservation of Aldinga Washpool was an issue I worked upon during my employment with Ms Sharkie, and since then I have been providing advice to the local Washpool Coalition and undertaking my own advocacy on the issue with the State Government.

I too am concerned that there are land parcels at the Aldinga Washpool site that have yet to be confirmed will be a part of the eventual conservation park (as shown in the map at: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/aldinga-washpool). These include land parcels which I understand are directly owned by the City of Onkaparinga, or is Crown land under their care, namely:

  • D7917 A9
  • D6804 A239
  • D6326 A116
  • H106000 S862
  • F10453 A11

May I kindly request an update on whether these parcels are still under Council ownership (and/or care), and whether there is active consideration for their addition to the new Conservation Park?

If so, what is the likely process (such as a vote at Council) and timing for a decision to be made by the City of Onkaparinga?

Thank you again for your support on this issue and for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

 

Michael Cornish

21 / 6 / 2021

Cc Mr Geoff Hayter, Chair, Washpool Coalition

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Update 3: Aldinga Washpool

[Map reproduced from: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/aldinga-washpool]

96641 NPWS Aldinga washpool map v4

[Map reproduced from page 8, Washpool Lagoon Vegetation Survey and Mapping 2016, available here: https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/files/sharedassets/adelaide_and_mt_lofty_ranges/coast_and_marine/aldinga-washpool-lagoon-vegetation-survey-mapping-2016-rep.pdf]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update 2: Aldinga Washpool

[Reproduced from: https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/aldinga-washpool-to-become-a-protected-area]

19/06/2021 | David Speirs MP

One of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems will form part of a new conservation park at Aldinga with the Marshall Liberal Government stepping in to protect the area from potential housing development.

Aldinga Washpool, in Adelaide’s south is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species, particularly birds and swamp plants of conservation significance, including a threatened coastal saltmarsh that’s nationally listed as a vulnerable threatened ecological community.

The Washpool is also of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people and contains numerous archaeological sites and artefacts.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the Washpool land will be combined with the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park to create one new conservation park.

“This is a significant moment for the local community who have been championing for the Aldinga Washpool to be protected for decades,” Minister Speirs said.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to improving conservation and increasing the amount of open, green space available for people to explore and by combining the Aldinga Washpool land with the nearby Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park we will create a fantastic ecological and cultural haven just south of Adelaide.

“This follows the creation of Adelaide’s second metropolitan national park at Glenthorne and builds on our government’s record investment in open space and our historic push to increase the amount of space protected as national parks across the state.

“This is in stark contrast to the former Labor Government who ripped funding away from the environment and failed to rule out selling off these precious pieces of land to developers.

“In 2018, a Washpool Working Group was established, and we have been working closely with this group to ensure the land’s cultural and environmental values be protected and restored.

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

“We will now work with the local community about the future management, and a planning process will commence next year to consolidate hydrological, ecological, and cultural work done so far.”

Recognising its cultural and environmental significance, and that it’s now surplus to SA Water operational requirements, the entirety of the Aldinga Washpool land has been transferred, encompassing five allotments totalling 31.64 hectares. There is also a mix of State Government tenures in the process of being transferred.

When complete, the total area of land added to park will be about 74 hectares.

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Update: Aldinga Washpool

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