Worst of a bad bunch: Environment groups appeal the Wiluna uranium mine proposal

Overnight state and national environmental groups lodged an appeal against the Wiluna uranium mine proposal being promoted by the junior mining company Toro Energy. The appeal was lodged on behalf of the Conservation Council of WA, the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth Australia, and the Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA.

Fracking Working Group must deliver veto rights to landholders

The state’s peak environment group and the Frack Free Future campaign have renewed their call for strong rights of veto for landholders facing gas fracking on their land, following the announcement of a Land Access Working Group by Minister L’Estrange at the Petroleum Open Day conference in Perth.

WA wildlife remains at risk under new laws: Conservation groups call on parties to outline urgent plan of action

Leading conservation groups today said the fate of endangered wildlife remains in the balance after Parliament passed the governments controversial biodiversity laws last night.

WA “God Clause” extinction laws should not be passed

Conservation groups today called on the state Opposition to vote against the WA Government's controversial Biodiversity Conservation Bill which includes a “God Clause” to allow the extinction of native wildlife.

Toro uranium proposal faces continuing uncertainty

Environment Groups have warned investors that today’s EPA advice on the Toro uranium mine proposal in the Murchison is a long way from an approved and operating mine. The EPA has deferred consideration of critical environmental issues that need to be dealt with before a mine could proceed. This along with community opposition, a lack of bipartisan support and the ongoing slump in the uranium price make Wiluna a poor investment. 

 

Mulga Rock uranium proposal under Appeal

MEDIA RELEASE - 30th August 2016

Overnight the Conservation Council of WA, in partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth Australia and the Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA lodged an appeal against the EPA recommendation to approve the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine in the Goldfields. 

Citizen scientists to reveal WA beach pollution hot-spots

A Citizen Science project being launched by the Conservation Council of Western Australia is set to reveal marine plastic pollution hotspots by engaging volunteers in studying the distribution of minute plastic particles around the Southwest coastline, from Geraldton to Esperance.

In a first for WA, the project will involve volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ around the southwest who will take hundreds of samples of beach sand. The samples will be analysed by UWA researcher Dr Harriet Paterson to reveal the true extent of plastic contamination in the marine environment.

The sampling will identify tiny fragments of plastic called micro-plastics which affect marine life on a global scale. The particles look like food to marine life, but when ingested can kill animals and deliver toxic chemicals to the animals tissue.

Micro-Plastic particles occur when plastic waste enters the ocean and waterways and breaks down into small particles over time. Microbeads from facewash and fibres washed off from synthetic clothing are also contributing to the problem.

The CCWA has initiated the Benchmarking the Accumulation of Micro-Plastics off South-Western Australia Project in partnership with UWA. The project is supported by funding from the WA Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program and the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council.

CCWA’s Micro-Plastics Coordinator Kate Born said “We have known about plastic pollution in our marine environment for years, but not the threat from micro-plastics and fibres. For the first time this project will engage the community in gathering reliable data to measure the extent of the problem right here in Southwest WA.”

“We’re trying to determine if there are hotspots for micro-plastics along the West Australian coast,” says Dr Harriet Paterson, researcher from UWA. “Is the source of the plastic from local populations, or from oceanographic processes bringing global plastic to our shores?”

Dr Paterson, accompanied by CCWA Science and Policy Coordinator Dr Nic Dunlop, Micro-Plastics Coordinator Kate Born, local conservation groups and volunteers, is planning to sample West Australian beaches from Geraldton to Esperance.

Micro-Plastics are being eaten by zoo-plankton, near the bottom of the food chain. If the chemicals associated with these particles can be transferred through food chains, then people eating seafood could also be exposed. Micro-Plastic particles may contain a range of hormone interfering compounds, as well as heavy metals.

“By analysing the beach samples, we will understand the distribution of micro-plastics on our coastline,” Dr Paterson said, “this will enable managers to make better informed management decisions.” 

CoastCare and community groups will start sand sampling the beaches from the 1st September 2016. Southwest communities are invited to take part in this project, for more information contact Kate Born on 0458 204 844, or email kate.born@ccwa.org.au

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Environment Groups welcome 10c recycling refunds for WA

Media Release - 17 August 2016

Environment Groups welcome 10c recycling refunds for WA

Environment groups strongly welcomed the announcement by the Barnett Government that a 10c recycling refund scheme for beverage containers will be introduced in Western Australia.

Mulga Rock uranium plan faces serious opposition

Environment groups and Traditional Owners have vowed to fight the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine, 260 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, despite today’s recommendation by the state EPA that the Environment Minister approve the mine.