Australian news, and some related international items

Mega fire set to form as ‘frustrated’ authorities plead with ‘stubborn’ residents

Mega fire set to form as ‘frustrated’ authorities plead with ‘stubborn’ residentsYahoo News 6 Jan 2020

Residents in Victoria have been told a giant 180,000 hectare fire will join with out-of-control fires across the border in NSW to create a ‘mega fire’.

Exhausted firefighters worked tirelessly to contain the bushfires throughout the weekend but a powerful and volatile southerly on Saturday quickly stretched the blazes, with the fires edging closer to each other throughout Sunday.

And while rain has brought a brief period or respite, residents were told at a CFA meeting in Tallangatta on Sunday night it is only a matter of time before the Corryong fire connects with the huge 297,000-hectare Dunns Road fire around the Snowy Mountains, the ABC reported…….

‘Uncharted territory’ for NSW

Ms Berejiklian labelled the ongoing threat “uncharted territory” with hundreds of homes feared lost across southern NSW.

“We can’t pretend this is something we have experienced before – it’s not,” she told reporters on Sunday.

At 6am, there were 136 fires burning across NSW, with 69 uncontained.

January 6, 2020 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Evacuation of thousands as Victoria’s bushfires merge

LIVE:  Victorian fires merge, thousands told to leave as fire danger worsens, 9 News, By Olivana Smith Lathouris • Producer Dec 30, 2019   With temperatures set to soar, around 30,000 residents and holiday-makers have been urged to evacuate in Victoria’s far east as fires rip through East Gippsland.

– Firefighters expecting bushfire conditions in NSW to deteriorate with high temperatures and strong winds forecast in the lead-up to New Year’s Eve.

– Sydney’s NYE fireworks display is expected to go ahead but a final decision will be made later today……

December 30, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Victoria’s chemical waste scandal

December 9, 2019 Posted by | environment, secrets and lies, Victoria, wastes | Leave a comment

How are Australian States progressing on renewable energy? South Australia way ahead

South Australia leading the nation in renewable energy,    Samantha Dick

South Australia is shifting to renewable energy faster than any other state or territory.

This is despite the federal government’s “lack of leadership” and continued support for major fossil fuel projects, says the Climate Council.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | energy, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia | Leave a comment


The Standing Committee on Environment and Planning invites written submissions from individuals and organisations addressing
one or more of the issues identified in the terms of reference.
The submission closing date is Friday 28 February 2020.

Terms of reference
That this House requires the Environment and Planning Committee to inquire into, consider and report, within 12 months, on potential benefits to Victoria in removing prohibitions enacted by the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983, and in particular, the Committee should —
(1) investigate the potential for Victoria to contribute to global low carbon dioxide energy production through enabling exploration and production of uranium and thorium;
(2) identify economic, environmental and social benefits for Victoria, including those related to medicine, scientific research, exploration and mining;
(3) identify opportunities for Victoria to participate in the nuclear fuel cycle; and
(4) identify any barriers to participation, including limitations caused by federal or local laws and regulations.

The submission closing date is Friday 28 February 2020.
Ways to make a submission:
  1. Email to
  2. Using the eSubmissions form
  3. Hardcopy; send to:
The Committee Manager
Standing Committee on Environment and Planning
Parliament House, Spring Street
All submissions should include:
  • Your full name
  • Contact details (either a postal address or phone number)
  • The text of your submission or an attachment containing your submission
  • A clear indication if you are seeking confidentiality
All submissions are public documents (and may be published on the Committee’s website) unless confidentiality is requested and granted by the Committee. Please note that submissions will be published on this page as they are processed by the Committee. Your name will be published with your submission, but your contact details will be removed.
If you have any questions about the inquiry, please contact the committee secretariat.

November 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Climate change is bringing more extreme weather events to Sydney and Melbourne

Hail, cyclones and fire: Extreme weather risks on the rise, SMH, By Peter Hannam, November 1, 2019, Sydney and Melbourne will most likely be exposed to more intense hailstorms, tropical cyclones will track further south and bushfire risks will increase in most of Australia as the climate warms, new research shows.The modelling based on a 3 degree temperature rise is contained in a severe weather report to be released on Friday by IAG, the country’s largest general insurer, and the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research.

“Climate change is not just about the future,” the report states. “There is already solid evidence that there have been measurable changes to weather and climate extremes with the [1 degree of] warming to date.”

Changing insurance claims data are among the indications that major damaging hail events for Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne have already been increasing in the past decade……

Insurance and other financial firms have been reassessing their risks to climate change, prodded in part by international groups such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

IAG managing director Peter Harmer said there was “an urgent need for Australia to prepare for and adapt to climate change”.

“[It] is critical there is a co-ordinated national approach from governments, industries and businesses to build more resilient communities and reduce the impact of disasters.”

Executive manager of natural perils at IAG Mark Leplastrier said that, apart from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, communities had two main tools to shape the future risk profile: the tightening of land planning and improving building codes.

“There’s a huge opportunity to adapt,” he said……..

November 2, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, Victoria | Leave a comment

MP Sonja Terpstra and Victoria’s Labor government stand by existing bans on nuclear activities

Sonja Terpstra, State Labor Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region “….The Victorian Government and I do not support the state parliamentary inquiry into the use of nuclear energy. We stand by our existing ban on nuclear power and are committed to retaining the Victorian Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1963.

It makes no sense to construct nuclear power stations in Australia. They present significant community, environmental and health risks, not to mention the ongoing and yet unsolved problem of the disposal of nuclear waste. Instead through the Victorian Labor Government’s ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Target, we are giving the renewable energy sector the confidence needed to invest in the clean energy projects and jobs that are crucial to our future….”

October 28, 2019 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Bass Coast Shire Council declares Climate Emergency

Climate change is an emergency, Mirage News, 23 Aug 19

Bass Coast Shire Councillors have resolved that climate change poses a serious threat and should be treated as an emergency.

A motion was carried at last Wednesday’s Ordinary Council Meeting and will see Council develop a Bass Coast Climate Change Action Plan 2020-30, to set out how Bass Coast Shire can more effectively contribute to climate change mitigation and be more resilient and well adapted to the effects of a changing climate.

It will also include a target of zero net emissions by 2030 across Council operations as well as the wider community.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said while Council’s Natural Environment Strategy, adopted in 2016, recognises climate change, this declaration goes one step further…..

August 24, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Parliamentary Inquiry into nuclear power for Victoria

Inquiry to explore Victoria going nuclear, Yahoo News Benita Kolovos

Australian Associated Press, 14 August 2019  The Victorian parliament is set to explore lifting the state’s bans on nuclear activities in an effort to tackle climate change.

A Liberal Democrats motion for an inquiry into the potential for nuclear power passed the state’s upper house on Wednesday.

The 12-month inquiry will explore if nuclear energy would be feasible and suitable for Victoria in the future, and will consider waste management, health and safety and possible industrial and medical applications.

Liberal Democrat MP David Limbrick said the political climate – and actual climate – have changed significantly since nuclear energy was last seriously considered in the 1980s.

“The young people of today no longer fear nuclear holocaust. Today’s young have a new fear – global warming,” he told the Legislative Council…….

The Greens’ Tim Read said it makes “absolutely no sense” for Victoria to consider getting into nuclear energy.

“This inquiry is a waste of resources and a waste of time,” he said in a statement.

“Dredging up the tired old debate on nuclear will only delay the urgent work needed to end our reliance on coal and gas and transitioning to clean and safe renewable energy.”

Similar inquiries are being held in NSW and federal parliament……–spt.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLmdvb2dsZS5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAABq2naeyyQ9ohtcPQW2Ho9e2-qDfI6XSbDwfZUneTxi4VhdT3GWx-zWbqg0MCFS2ArOO-cBI7xrEXbGJxc_Z4MEQGCMb8xZYz9GdF6dLu3azUPUvN5EB4x2GgyUSjwZkX1E93xGECuqxS4HnxqOETaVwytGf9KBTZIzT3QuaBP-R

August 15, 2019 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

National Party Member for Gippsland Darren Chester makes reassuring, but rather ambiguous, noises against setting up nuclear power

“No plans” for move to nuclear: MP Latrobe Valley Express, Michelle Slater  , 26 July 19,

July 27, 2019 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Melbourne’s tram network is set to be powered by the state’s largest solar farm

July 22, 2019 Posted by | solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

Climate change bringing sea-level rise to Victoria’s low-lying towns and suburbs

Rising sea, erosion to wreak havoc in low-lying suburbs: report, The Age , By Benjamin Preiss and Adam Carey

June 23, 2019Rising seas are threatening to encroach on low-lying parts of Melbourne within 20 years, causing flooding and erosion in suburbs including St Kilda, Point Cook, Mordialloc, Seaford and Frankston.

Other places at risk include areas around Queenscliff and Barwon Heads on the Bellarine Peninsula; the south-west Victorian towns of Port Fairy and Portland; and Tooradin, Lang Lang and Seaspray in the state’s south-east.

A report tabled in Victoria’s Parliament last week examines the myriad threats to the state’s fragile coastline, painting an alarming picture of damage to the environment and suburban Melbourne if no action is taken.

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council report cites a 20-centimetre sea-level rise by 2040 and between 40 centimetres and one metre by century’s end.

Sea-level rise will lead to more frequent inundation of low-lying areas, loss of coastal habitat, cliff, beach and foreshore erosion,” the report says.

“Climate change will also put pressure on ageing coastal infrastructure and ultimately impact on feasibility of living in or developing some coastal locations.”

Increasing storm intensity, coupled with rising seas, will cause extensive erosion of the Victorian coastline by 2040, the report says.

“The most extensive area vulnerable to erosion by 2040 is the Gippsland coast,” it says. “Other coasts at risk include west of Portland, beaches in Port Phillip Bay between Mordialloc and Frankston, and the coast between Cape Paterson and Cape Liptrap in South Gippsland.”

Coastal erosion has already had a dramatic impact on the foreshore at Inverloch, which has receded 33 metres since 2012…….

June 24, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Mass protest in Melbourne, demanding action on climate change.

Climate change protesters flood Melbourne’s CBD, block traffic in call to action,  More than a thousand people have marched through Melbourne’s CBD and staged a mock “die-in” for climate change. ABC

Key points:

  • Activists marched through the city and staged a “die-in” at Bourke and Swanston streets
  • Organiser Extinction Rebellion called for a Citizens’ Assembly on “climate and ecological justice”
  • The protest disrupted tram schedules in the city during the march

The protest started with speeches at the Victorian Parliament, then marchers moved through the city to the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets where they staged a “die-in”.

A number of protesters dropped to the ground to lie down in the intersection before moving on to Carlton Gardens.

Protesters young and old chanted “this is our future, there is no plan B” and “what do we want — action, when do we want it — now”.

One of the protest organisers, Extinction Rebellion Victoria, called for governments to set up a “Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice” to lead environmental policy.

Extinction Rebellion organised a series of protests in London last month which caused major disruptions…….

May 25, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Victoria’s major bushfires still out of control

Victoria bushfires: Major blazes still out of control as residents may be allowed to return home

By 9News Staff, 6:03am Mar 5, 2019  Five of the 29 bushfires burning in Victoria this morning are still out of control this morning stretching across 59,000 hectares of land.

A cooler weather change that is moving over the state has seen yesterday’s ‘Emergency’ warning zones downgraded to a ‘Watch and Act’ level, however authorities have warned that four major fires are still out of control.

Those incidents include the largest blaze still raging in Victoria at the Bunyip State Park which is still sparking spot fires in multiple areas…….

March 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Over 2000 firefighters working to contain bushfires around Victoria

Fires rip through Victoria: ‘worse than Black Saturday’,  A fire, which has destroyed properties and more than 10,000 hectares of land is burning in the same area as the deadly Black Saturday bushfires.    Bushfires have ripped through Victoria’s east, with a wind change challenging firefighters working all night to contain the blaze.  SBS News 4 Mar 19 

Despite cooler conditions expected on Monday, firefighters may have to contend with dry lightning, which could start more fires.

The Bunyip State Park fire, burning 65km east of Melbourne, was sparked by lightning strikes on Friday and has destroyed more than 10,000 hectares.

The blaze is still racing towards the Princes Freeway and emergency warnings remain in place for the surrounding area.

“The risk of lightning redevelops in the late morning with the chance of some showers and thunderstorms,” Bureau of Meteorology’s senior forecaster Christie Johnson said.

While there was a chance of showers, it was hard to pinpoint where they would hit, and there would only be a few millimetres of rainfall, she said…..

More than 2000 firefighters are working to contain blazes around the state …..

March 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment