26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 9 – 15 May 2012

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1. This week 10 years ago, Chair of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority, Craig Knowles announced the establishment of an Advisory Committee on Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences.

Mr Knowles said the Authority was committed to an ongoing discussion about the scientific and socioeconomic knowledge that was needed to support the adaptive management of the Basin over the next few years.

“The Committee will be up and running in mid-2012 so we can build its advice on the priorities for future work into the implementation phase and the Committee can contribute to the review of sustainable diversion limits in 2015,” Mr Knowles said.

2. The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) announced it would work with National Indigenous Television (NITV) to launch a new national free-to-air Indigenous TV service later in the year.

Managing Director of SBS, Michael Ebeid said the new service would vastly increase opportunities for telling stories from and by Indigenous communities.

“SBS acknowledges and respects the importance of maintaining Indigenous editorial responsibility in the delivery of the new channel,” Mr Ebeid said.

“We also acknowledge the pioneering role that NITV has played in forging the way for a national Indigenous broadcasting service.”

3. The Victorian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Hugh Delahunty announced a major upgrade for Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in preparation for the Centenary of ANZAC in 2014.

The redevelopment would include a southern extension housing a new auditorium and education facilities; two new courtyards; improved retail space; an enhanced visitor centre; a new cafe; and a permanent, purpose-built home for the Devanha lifeboat used in the landing at Gallipoli.

“One of my biggest priorities is to educate, commemorate and preserve our war history, and these redevelopments will ensure the best possible experience for visitors to the Shrine, especially school groups,” Mr Delahunty said.

4. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a national approach to reforming climate change policies and programs.

Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith said the move would “fast track a rationalisation of programs that are not complementary to a carbon price or are ineffective, inefficient or impose duplicative reporting requirements”.

Mr Smith said the agreement followed the release of findings from an independent review that had been triggered by the introduction of legislation for the Federal Government’s carbon price/emissions trading scheme package.

5. Queensland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry developed a new super apple that stays fresh for longer.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh said the Kalei apple was the result of a 20-year breeding program by the Department.

The apple could withstand the major fungal disease black spot, meaning growers would not need to use fungicide.

“The Kalei, which is Hawaiian for ‘loveable’, is noticeably sweeter when compared to other apple varieties currently on the market,” Mr McVeigh said.

“It will retain its firmness, texture and crispness for up to three weeks.”

6. And this week a decade ago, Chief Executive of the National Water Commission (NWC), James Cameron said improved and systematic monitoring of water plans was needed to provide confidence they were effective.

Mr Cameron said environmental water management had been evolving well in all States and Territories but there was still a way to go.

“Getting the appropriate monitoring arrangements in place, focusing on clearly articulated planned ecosystem outcomes, is critical to determining the extent to which water plans are delivering real benefits to the environment and to build community confidence in how well we are using our environmental water,” Mr Cameron said.

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