Bolder targets in latest Reef Plan

Most responses to the final Reef 2050 long term plan focussed on the lack of a serious policy on climate change and coal mining. But reef scientists have applauded stronger targets for reducing water pollution and extra funding to achieve them. The new targets reflect the Queensland Labor government's election promises to cut the amount of nitrogen flowing on to the reef from key catchments by 80% by 2025promised an extra $100m over three years fro programs to improve water quality and environmental sustainability. And the federal government added another $100m for the programs they've been funding under the joint 2013 federal-Queensland government Reef Plan. Some progress has been made sinc

Call for comment on emissions policies

Last week the federal government released much awaited consultation papers on the safeguard mechanism for the Emissions Reduction Fund and Australia's post-2020 emissions reduction targets. Business and advocacy groups have the opportunity to provide comments by late April. The post-2020 targets will be established mid-year and will set Australia's position to the UNFCCC ahead of the Paris conference in December. Other major economies, like the US and Europe, have already flagged ambitious targets in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Commentators have criticised the governmet's approach as being tricky in its accounting, because it references 2005 as the baseline year for t

Cosmetic surgery in the news again

The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority recently released a paper canvassing options for regulating cosmetic surgery. The consultation paper includes a regulatory impact statement setting out the costs and benefits of regulating the highest risk elements of cosmetic surgery - securing informed consent and the responsibilities of doctors for post-operative care when they carry out procedures in their rooms using analgesia or sedation. These were key issues in the report of the first Inquiry into Cosmetic Surgery in Australia, which I wrote as executive officer to the inquiry committee chaired by Merrilyn Walton. The inquiry found a high level of satisfaction among consumers o

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