Articles on Western Australia

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Shark Bay was hit by a brutal marine heatwave in 2011. W. Bulach/Wikimedia Commons

Shark Bay: A World Heritage Site at catastrophic risk

Everyone knows the Great Barrier Reef is in peril. But a continent away, Western Australia's Shark Bay is also threatened by marine heatwaves that could alter this World Heritage ecosystem forever.
New legislation in WA might provide reassurance to victims of crime, but risks political interference when it comes to deciding who gets parole. from www.shutterstock.com

Serial killers’ fates are in politicians’ hands. Here’s why that’s a worry

Under new WA legislation, the state's attorney-general has the power to order serial killers and mass murders remain in jail, sometimes without judicial review.
An unconventional gas valve in WA’s Kimberley region, which has been newly opened up to fracking. AAP Image

Fracking policies are wildly inconsistent across Australia, from gung-ho development to total bans

The Western Australian government's decision to green-light fracking in selected areas aims to walk a line between industry interests and community opposition. But across Australia the picture varies widely.
Victoria has led the way in upgrading intercity rail services with medium-speed VLocity trains that have a cruising speed of 160km/h. Joe Castro/AAP

Let’s get moving with the affordable medium-speed alternatives to the old dream of high-speed rail

High-speed rail for Australia has been on the drawing boards since the mid-1980s but has come to nothing. Three states are developing medium-speed rail with federal funding, but NSW is missing out.
In the field studying the rock association in the Doolena Gap greenstone belt, 30 km north of Marble bar in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. David Murphy

How the Pilbara was formed more than 3 billion years ago

The remote Pilbara region of Western Australian formed many billions of years ago when the Earth was much hotter and the crust softer than it is today.
The Victorian mountain ash forest has been severely affected by fires and logging. To determine the actual health of the forest, we need to look at the quality, not just the quantity of what remains. Graeme/flickr

Why we are measuring the health of Australian vegetation poorly

In the aftermath of fires or logging, conservation needs to focus on recovering the health of the remaining vegetation, not just the size of the forest or woodland.
An echidna in the Western Granites at Jam Tree Gully. John Kinsella

Friday essay: species sightings

On his bush block in the WA wheatbelt, poet John Kinsella attempts habitat restoration and reflects on the responsibilities of the writer as a witness to species loss.
Contrary to popular belief, sex workers were more likely than not to report that their work enhanced their wellbeing. Author supplied

New report shows compelling reasons to decriminalise sex work

The study shows the negative effects of sex work's criminalisation, including a reluctance of workers to go to police and clients using it as an excuse to abuse workers.
Aboriginal dancers from Pinjarra perform at the unveiling of the counter-memorial in Esplanade Park, Fremantle, April 9 1994. Courtesy Bruce Scates

Monumental errors: how Australia can fix its racist colonial statues

A Fremantle monument to three white explorers was revised in 1994 to acknowledge the violence committed against Indigenous owners. As Australia struggles to reconcile its racist past, perhaps this monument shows a way forward.
Solar panels are still a rarity in WA’s lower-income areas. Orderinchaos/Wikimedia Commons

WA bathes in sunshine but the poorest households lack solar panels – that needs to change

Western Australia has huge amounts of sunshine and wind, yet only 7% of its energy comes from renewables. What's more, most households in the poorest suburbs are still locked out of the solar panel boom.

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