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One of the hottest topics for the upcoming election is a new forest national park to protect the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s faunal emblem. Greens MPs/Flickr

Victorians short-changed on environmental policy

Less than a week out from Victoria’s state election, both major parties have been largely silent on environmental policy. Neither the Coalition nor Labor has released comprehensive documents. It also seems…
Kakadu National Park is Australia’s largest – but we need to make sure parks are actually protecting wildlife from threats. Rita Willaert/Flickr

We have more parks than ever, so why is wildlife still vanishing?

While we can never know for sure, an extraordinary number of animals and plants are threatened with extinction — up to a third of all mammals and over a tenth of all birds. And the problem is getting worse…
Australia’s Commonwealth marine parks were designed to protect marine life, including important foraging areas for sea birds.

Marine park review looks set to repeat past mistakes

In June 2012 the Labor government announced the “world’s largest” system of marine parks, adding 2.3 million square kilometres and taking the overall size of Australia’s Commonwealth marine reserves to…
Could Australia’s new threatened species commissioner be the break Tasmania’s endangered devils need? jomilo75/Flickr

Threatened species win a voice in Canberra – but it’s too late for some

Australia’s threatened animals and plants may have received a small win today — the announcement of Australia’s first threatened species commissioner by Environment Minister Greg Hunt in Melbourne. The…
Save Albert Park unsuccessfully campaigned to relocate the Grand Prix to a permanent track. AAP/David Crosling

Does the Australian Grand Prix belong in a public park?

From Thursday through Sunday this week the Australian Grand Prix will take over Melbourne’s Albert Park, bringing with it the glamour of fast cars, grid girls and Formula One drivers Raikkonen, Alonso…
Lake Judd, in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park. JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Abbott’s half right: our national parks are good but not perfect

Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week told a timber industry dinner that he doesn’t think national parks should be a growth industry: “We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up…
One reason why: Leadbeater’s Possum will become extinct unless further action is taken to protect their Mountain Ash habitat. Flcirk/Greens MPs

Why Victoria needs a Giant Forest National Park

The Central Highlands of Victoria are home to the world’s tallest flowering plants, the Mountain Ash, and one of Australia’s most endangered mammals, the Leadbeater’s Possum. Both are threatened by ongoing…
Diversity is the key. Agricultural Research Service

Protect a sixth of the land, save two thirds of species

The scene was typical for an international gathering of governments: bureaucrats, sat behind nameplates and speaking through interpreters. But the less than typical result of the votes cast at this 1992…
Lindisfarne Castle, Northumbria - one of many beautiful places in the “desolate” North East. Owen Humphreys/PA

Neither fracking nor anything else should divide us further

The recent comments from former government energy policy advisor David Howell, Lord Howell of Guildford, on the suitability of different parts of England for fracking amply demonstrate how off-the-cuff…
Calling something protected isn’t enough to protect it. AAP Image/Australian Institute for Marine Science

Governments are not protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Announcements last week of the escalating damage to the Great Barrier Reef confirm Australia’s most famous and intensely managed Marine Protected Area has not been properly protected. UNESCO’s recent review…
Buffalo might be introduced to Kakadu, but maybe we need to embrace the change. Flickr/George Olcott

National parks need to embrace global change

On land and in the seas our world now resembles a series of badly run zoos, set in an even more badly run botanic garden. The badly run zoos, our global set of national parks, are often seen as the jewels…
Moves to increase protection of national parks have been voted down. Flickr/Marc Dalmulder

Why would the ALP vote against stronger environmental protection?

This week Greens Senator Larissa Waters proposed significant amendments to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Some sought to better protect farmers and water resources from…
With the number of visitors Australia’s national parks get every year, can we really call them locked up? Flickr/The 0bserver

National parks are the least locked up land there is

Across Australia, the debate over national parks is escalating. This has been triggered by a series of significant changes in the approach to managing parks, with moves to open them to logging, grazing…
National parks make up a lot of our landmass, but change is needed if they’re to protect it. Flickr/Paolo Rosa

Making national parks truly national

Australia boasts over 500 national parks covering 28 million hectares of land, or about 3.6% of Australia. You could be forgiven for thinking we’re doing well in the biodiversity-conservation game. But…
We shouldn’t assume hunting, logging or grazing will damage areas like Guy Fawkes River National Park. We also shouldn’t assume they won’t. Ian Sanderson

Stopping hunting, logging and grazing won’t save national parks

Countries create national parks to protect areas of biological, physical, cultural and spiritual significance. In Australia, we generally prefer national parks to be free from activities such as hunting…
We have to get smarter about the way we manage Australia’s national parks. Nic Prins

Our national parks must be more than playgrounds or paddocks

It’s make or break time for Australia’s national parks. National parks on land and in the ocean are dying a death of a thousand cuts, in the form of bullets, hooks, hotels, logging concessions and grazing…
When cows are going hungry, should their rights trump those of national parks? AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Queensland cattle crisis: animal welfare or the environment?

Due to a serious drought that has seen one-third of Queensland drought declared, farmers are struggling to feed their cattle. There’s inadequate feed on their own land, feed is hard to source in the marketplace…

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