Miners leading on biodiversity management

The world’s leading mining companies have significantly improved the extent and sophistication of their biodiversity management in the past ten years according to a recent report for the International Council for Mining and Metals. The ICMM is made up of 21 of the world’s largest mining and metal producing companies that are committed to leadership on sustainable development, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, The report found ICMM members have a greater focus on managing their direct impacts on biodiversity, and supporting the conservation of biodiversity not impacted by mining activities. And all members have more specific commitments on biodiversity which are driving the process. The i

How poor governance killed good policy

Newly elected Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday that the Office of Living Victoria will be disbanded. What does that mean for the urban water policy that promised to green the streets of Melbourne and reduce the price of water? The abolition of OLV was hardly surprising. The Napthine government had already folded the agency back into the Department of Environment and Primary Industries on 1 July in anticipation of a damning Ombudsman’s report. The CEO and head of Office resigned a few weeks later. The Ombudsman’s report found the two senior managers at OLV had spent vast amounts of public money without following basic procedures to ensure value for money and avoid pe

Hattah lakes watering

Last week I spent three glorious nights camping at the Hattah Lakes national park, just south of Mildura in Victoria's Mallee country. We enjoyed a riot of birdlife by day and star filled skies at night. The shallow freshwater lakes are an oasis in the midst of an arid landscape of red sand dunes, river red gums, black box trees in full bloom and endangered buloke woodlands. The 230 species of birds, I discovered later, include many rare and internationally protected species. The area is bursting with new life after environmental flooding earlier this year by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority. Its an environmental success story by the CMA, the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the Vict

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