MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2018

Changing attitudes towards the rakali, Australia’s version of the otter
Have you seen a rakali? Chances are if you have been near a waterway in Australia, you could have been near a rakali and not even known it.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/get-to-know-the-rakali-australias-native-water-rat/9464212

Hero or villain? Dingo emerges as an unlikely saviour
New research reveals a complex food chain where dingoes can become ‘guardian angels’ for many of Australia’s vulnerable species, especially after bushfires.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-02-25/bushfire-dingo-feral-animal-study-pest/9478270

Labor will not support donations law that ‘punishes’ charities, says Shorten
Labor leader says he will keep working to ban foreign donations but believes it can be done without impacting other groups including not-for-profits
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/25/labor-will-not-support-donations-law-that-punishes-charities-says-shorten

Energy chiefs tip more gas pain
Malcolm Turnbull’s gas export restriction threats have been ­unable to counter the impact of rising oil and Asian gas prices.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/pipeline-chiefs-tip-oil-gas-prices-to-balloon/news-story/01a222810168c9f9635ae8164467e92f

Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund is almost empty. It shouldn’t be refilled
Ian A. MacKenzie, The University of Queensland
https://theconversation.com/australias-emissions-reduction-fund-is-almost-empty-it-shouldnt-be-refilled-92283

Smart money: a better way for Australia to select big transport infrastructure projects
Marion Terrill, Grattan Institute and Hugh Batrouney, Grattan Institute
Despite a huge fall in interest rates, the federal government has been using the same rate to value prospective infrastructure projects since 1989.
https://theconversation.com/smart-money-a-better-way-for-australia-to-select-big-transport-infrastructure-projects-92265

It’s time for all of us to take control of our energy costs
Luke Menzel
Let’s face it, we’re all sick of talking about energy. Most people wish the issue would simply go away – let the pollies sort it all out and make our bills go back to normal
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5242994/its-time-for-all-of-us-to-take-control-of-our-energy-costs/?cs=97

Absurd denial of growing pains is frightening
Andrew Bolt
Adding more than 300,000 immigrants to Australia’s population in just one year is plainly nuts — at this rate, every city, town and bush camp in Australia will double its size in just 44 years, writes
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-its-absurd-to-deny-growing-pains-in-booming-population/news-story/4b8d46c728c22ea7a5cf9e232fd05c57

Baby-weight claims challenged
A claim that emissions from coal-fired plants may cause low-birthweight babies in the Latrobe Valley has been challenged.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/questions-over-claim-that-coal-emissions-cause-lowbirthweight-babies-in-latrobe-valley/news-story/f0db2ea8bb5969084d6efc32d0f7fdd6

Health Minister promises answers on health of Latrobe Valley babies
https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/health-minister-promises-answers-on-health-of-latrobe-valley-babies-20180225-p4z1nj.html

Fight over Spencer St car slowdown
A major street in Melbourne CBD could permanently lose a car lane under a City of Melbourne plan to make the city safer for pedestrians — but the RACV has hit out at the proposal.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/spencer-st-could-lose-a-lane-under-plan-to-make-city-more-pedestrianfriendly/news-story/1df00b45c174fbd5631dd3f394fc4b82

Don’t screw up Fishermans Bend
Age editorial
The redevelopment of Fishermans Bend is one of the biggest Australian urban planning projects ever contemplated
https://www.theage.com.au/national/dont-screw-up-fishermans-bend-20180224-h0wl6z.html

Whitehaven’s wild ride isn’t over yet
http://www.afr.com/street-talk/back-from-the-brink-whitehaven-coal-readies-boldest-move-yet-20180222-h0whi0

New rail links to Badgerys Creek airport to be signature projects
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/new-rail-links-to-badgerys-creek-airport-to-be-signature-projects-20180222-p4z1ah.html

No need to reopen the bike helmet debate
Canberra Times editorial
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/no-need-to-reopen-the-bike-helmet-debate-shane-rattenbury-20180223-h0wkh4.html

It’s official: Brisbane drivers ripped off $50m a year at the bowser
https://www.theage.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/it-s-official-brisbane-drivers-ripped-off-50m-a-year-at-the-bowser-20180223-p4z1j5.html

Desire for Daintree bridge builds
A Daintree businessman says he has seen a “pro-bridge” shift among some local residents as frustrations mount over the ferry operations.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/could-daintree-residents-be-turning-in-favour-of-bridge/news-story/5accb346e4cacf5679a65dc6bb79832a

‘Monorail salesman’: Bernardi ridicules Musk during pro-nuclear launch
Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi lashes out at the SA Liberals over their opposition to a nuclear dump, and likens Elon Musk to “the monorail salesman from The Simpsons”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/cory-bernardi-conservatives-back-nuclear-dump-for-sa/9482870

Next stop Norwood: SA Labor pledges $279m to further extend tramline
SA Labor announces a policy aimed at derailing Liberal leader Steven Marshall, promising to install three kilometres of new track to take Adelaide’s tram network to Norwood.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/labor-commits-to-extending-adelaide-tramline-to-norwood/9482618

Conservatives’ plan to make us ‘Saudi Arabia of the south’
Building a nuclear waste dump will turn South Australia into the economic “Saudi Arabia of the south”, the Australian Conservatives say, while comparing billionaire Elon Musk to a character from The Simpsons.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sa-election-2018/sa-election-2018-australian-conservatives-launch-campaign-with-promise-of-a-nuclear-waste-dump/news-story/a92afa15fc37fd7434c75221af50e8cd

Tarkine tug-of-war exposes family tensions as Liberals, Labor oppose calls for national park status
A man who describes himself as the “opposite to a latte-sipping greenie” says his call to protect the Tarkine wilderness from 4WDs has caused tensions among his Tasmanian “rellies”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/save-the-tarkine-rally-in-hobart/9482946

Tas govt pledges deer hunting changes
With less than a week until Tasmania’s state election, both the Liberals and Labor are trying to out-pledge each other in a bid to woo voters.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/hobart-brewery-expansion-a-jobs-boost/news-story/fe299d1065b14f47279af8470259540a

Basslink cable ‘design inadequate’, Hydro readying for legal fight, emails reveal
The design of the undersea power cable that links Tasmania to the mainland is “inadequate”, with staff of the government-owned power company instructed to “keep records” in anticipation of a looming legal battle, the ABC can reveal.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/basslink-cable-design-inadequate-legal-fight-brewing/9482916

Massive crowd rallies for Tarkine
A big crowd has demanded that the takanya/Tarkine be world heritage listed and a national park, but are set to be disappointed with both leaders of the Liberal and Labor Parties saying they have no plans to do so.
http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/bumper-crowd-takes-to-street-to-demand-protection-for-tarkine/news-story/ce806c683aaa6b70493d87574cc72782

As Tasmania looks likely to have minority government, the Greens must decide how to play their hand
Narelle Miragliotta, Monash University
https://theconversation.com/as-tasmania-looks-likely-to-have-minority-government-the-greens-must-decide-how-to-play-their-hand-91985

How all Perth’s sewage could be turned into drinking water
Forget the “yuck factor” — authorities say 100 per cent of Perth’s sewage could eventually be recycled and put back into drinking water under a plan to counter climate change and population pressures on the city.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-25/how-alll-perth-sewage-could-be-turned-into-drinking-water/9472046

How Trump’s EPA is letting polluters off the hook, in one chart
Civil penalties collected by the EPA fell by more than half in Trump’s first year in office.
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/2/22/17036114/pollution-fines-trump-pruitt-epa

Forget about recycling, we need to start re-using
Peter Cox
Excessive packaging is costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/forget-about-recycling-we-need-to-start-re-using-20180223-p4z1h5.html

The terrifying phenomenon that is pushing species towards extinction
Scientists are alarmed by a rise in mass mortality events – when species die in their thousands. Is it all down to climate change?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/25/mass-mortality-events-animal-conservation-climate-change

Can a tourist ban save DiCaprio’s coral paradise from destruction?
South-east Asian idylls – from Philippine islands to the Thai bay made famous in The Beach – plan to turn tourists away so that devastated coral reefs have some time to recover. Will it be enough?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/25/can-tourist-ban-save-dicaprios-coral-paradise-thailand-maya-bay-philippines-boracay

Toxic toad invasion puts ecology of Madagascar at risk
The Asian amphibians arrived just 10 years ago. Now in their millions, they threaten the island’s unique wildlife
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/24/madagascar-toxic-toads-lemurs-ecology-threat

One million birds killed illegally every year at a wildlife site in Iran
Conservationists sound alarm over unprecedented slaughter of rare and endangered species by hunters at three lagoons
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/25/one-million-birds-killed-illegally-iran-wetland-wildlife-site

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